The Nights That Say Neon
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The Nights That Say Neon

137 Yonge Street
While trying to decide whether to be dazzled or mildly offended by the LED installations currently ornamenting The Bay’s Queen Street store, Torontoist was taken aback to find that the dire predictions about a possible ripple effect have already become (partially) true, in that another building further south on Yonge has followed its lead by adorning its facade with its own light display – albeit one without the relative class of The Bay’s.
On approach from the north (see left photo), the shimmering face of 137 Yonge Street (at Temperance) is merely puzzling. When viewed from straight-on, however, the seventeen columns of neon tubing, each climbing eight floors of the building, are downright gaudy (right). While the fact that it is neither an advertisement, nor has the potential to be turned into an advertisement, is commendable (and very much a relief), the sheer inexplicability and terrific inappropriateness of the installation are offensive to the public-space advocates in us on a whole other, less well-defined level.
Photos, which make blasted thing seem much prettier than it actually is, by Daniel Quinn.

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