Category Archives: Thomas Rinaldi

Robert Stark interviews Jack Ravenwood












Robert Stark and co-host Pilleater talk to Jack Ravenwood. He is the author of Paradise Theater, a collection of short stories centered around the theme of the post-industrial American small city. He is also the main writer at Mean Street Cinema, a website dedicated to films from New York City in the 70’s and 80’s, as well as the co-founder of little ape press. He blogs at Foreigner Thoughts


The setting of the book Paradise Theater in Jack’s home town West Allis, Wisconsin in the 1980’s and early 90’s
The Paradise Theatre movie house which the book was named for and featured on the cover
The Fairview Motors Sign which is featured on the back of the book; Mid-Century Road Signage
The cultural, political, and economic themes in the book
Allis-Chalmers closing in West Allis and the de-industrialization of the Midwest
Ross Perot’s campaign in 1992 against NAFTA, and Trump campaigning on trade issues
Jack’s Unz Review article Trump, JFK, and the Deep State
National Review Writer: Working-Class Communities ‘Deserve To Die
How the best case scenario for the US would be to carve out a niche in high end manufacturing that caters to China’s growing middle class
Jack’s new home Shenzhen, China which is a manufacturing power house, and new mega city built from scratch
Jack’s Mean Street Cinema site, his interest in Vintage New York City, and Robert Stark’s interviews with Thomas Rinaldi about New York Neon and Robert Brenner about his Time Square Tours
Jack’s observations about Hong Kong Neon and how Hong Kong Is Slowly Dimming Its Neon Glow
Jack’s future plan to document Neon in Hong Kong in either a book or blog
The culture of Hong Kong as a bridge between the east and west and it’s “relative autonomy”
Vertical living and how it is the norm for urban China for all classes
High density living isn’t inherently bad but it is necessary to have a high quality of culture to sustain it
Jack Kerouac’s The Town and the City
Conformity in Asian culture; authentic Asian culture vs. SWPL larping
Chinese Philosophy; the Tao Te Ching
The evolution of Western Philosophy; Deconstruction and selective deconstruction
Jean Baudrillard and the simulation

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s Paintings!

Thomas Rinaldi returns to talk about Neon












Robert Stark and co-host Pilleater talk to returning guest Thomas Rinaldi. He is the author of New York Neon and blogs at


Thomas’s Tours of West Village’s Vintage Neon Signs, his Greenwich Village Neon Walking Tour, and how those areas have the highest concentration of surviving Neon in New York City
Thomas’s observation that Neon has declined in both corporate chain dominated, as well as lower income communities
How ironically in the 60’s Neon was synonymous with commercialization(ex. Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence)
The association of Neon with 80’s Retro-Futurism(ex. RetrowaveClub NEON) and the irony that Neon hit rock bottom in the 80’s
The decline of Neon in Time Square, Robert Brenner’s Gritty Old Time Square Tours, and the few remnents including the West 43rd Garage and the McDonalds from the 80’s
Lights Out 2016: Signs We Lost That Year
The Colgate Clock in Jersey City, which has been LED’ed
Clock Towers Signs in New York including the Paramount Theatre, the Consolidated Edison Building, the Met Life Tower, and the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower
Soviet Neon Stars at the Kremlin and Neon in Communist Cuba
Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Refinery redevelopment; the outlawing of waterfront signs in New York City
The C & H factory Sign in Crockett, California
Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco as one of the best examples of a renovated former industrial site
Georges Claude, the father of the commercialization of Neon
The popularity of Signs Inside
Fake Neon
Animated Neon Signs, the peak in the 50’s, and San Francisco’s “Coca~Cola” Sign
Bulb Signs which were proliferate in the 1920’s, and Robert’s observation that they were also popular with 90’s era Las Vegas Casinos
Wildwood, New Jersey Neon
Mid Century Road Signage; Route 66
Downtown LA; The LA Museum Of Neon Art
Neon in Buenos Aires, Argentina; The Art Deco Kavanagh building and Estadio Luna Park
Thomas’s observations from Stockholm and Amsterdam
How Neon is declining in both Mega Cities such as New York and London as well as the poorest cities in the developing world
Hong Kong Is Slowly Dimming Its Neon Glow

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This show is brought to you by Robert Stark’s Paintings!

Robert Stark interviews Robert Brenner about his Gritty Old Time Square Tours

Robert Stark and co-host Pilleater interview Robert Brenner. Robert is a writer, critic, satirist, futurist, urbanist, and porkatarian. His work has appeared in the Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Salon, the Barnes & Noble Review, Medium, Different Truths, Antiserious, and Theory In Action. He is a graduate of the Writers’ Institute at CUNY.


Robert Brenner’s Gritty Old Times Square tours, which are offered on Saturday’s once a Month, hosted by Untapped Cities
Adult Entertainment is the focus of the tours, but they also cover the general history of Time Square
The remnants of seedy Time Square, including The Playpen, and the Show World Center on Eighth Avenue
Robert Brenner’s experience in Time Square as a youth in the 70’s
That era of Time Square portrayed in the Films Taxi Driver and Midnight Cowboy
The gentrification of Time Square in the 90’s, and how the area went from an interesting but dangerous area to a safe and boring one
The Deuce on 42nd Street, which was the center of adult entertainment in the 70’s
The Porn Industry in Time Square, and premier of 70’s porn films such as Behind the Green Door and Deep Throat that paved the way for the future of the pornographic industry, spawning many different adult sites, live cam sites, and even the Babestation blog.
Robert Brenner’s point that every city needs a Red Light District
Peter Sotos’s Pure Filth about the pornographer Jamie Gillis
San Francisco’s Tenderloin, where Robert Brenner lived in the early 80’s, and Robert Stark’s observations from his trip to the San Francisco Bay Area
The decline of neon signage in favor of LED, Robert Stark’s interview with Thomas Rinaldi of New York Neon, and the company LET THERE BE NEON! which restores old signs
The history of the Broadway Theater District, the New Amsterdam Theatre, and the defunct Paramount Theatre
The closing of Carnegie Deli and Maxie’s Delicatessen
The Bond Clothing Store Signs in Times Square
The John Portman designed Marriott Marquis in Time Square
The Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station, and plans for Moynihan Station inspired by the old Penn Station
New York Skyscrapers

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Robert Stark interviews Thomas Rinaldi about New York Neon

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Robert Stark and co-host Rabbit talk to Thomas Rinaldi. He is the author of New York Neon and blogs at

Topics include:

How Thomas got interested in Neon growing up, and how he noticed it’s decline
His project charting and photographing existing  Neon Signs before they disappear
The History of Neon, how it was invented in Victorian England in 1898, and latter made into signs by French Scientist Georges Claude
How the peak of Neon was in the late 1920’s and  30’s(Art Deco Era), but already started to see a decline in the 40’s
How Neon was originally used by Corporate chains but latter delegated to small businesses
Churches & Neon
How Neon  was originally seen as glamorous but latter became associated with seediness
Neon in Cinema, contrasting Dick Powell’s  glamorous Gold Diggers Of 1933 – The Shadow Waltz and his 1944 detective film Murder, My Sweet, which depicts Neon as seedy
The 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life which also uses Neon to depict seediness
Hotel Neon Signs and and Hotel Neon in the Film Noire Genre
Neon in future films including the utopian 1927 film Metropolis and the dystopian 1982 film BLADE RUNNER
Incandescent Bulb Signs
The history, decline and revitalization of Time Square, and how there are very few Neon Signs left
How Neon has become replaced by LED Signs
The myth that Neon signs are not eco friendly
Historic preservation issues regarding Neon Signs
New Neon Signs designed in the Vintage style
Neon in San Francisco and the book San Francisco Neon
Las Vegas, how newer casino’s have rejected Neon, and how older signs are preserved at the Neon Museum
The popularity of Neon in Asian cities
How there is a renewed interest in Neon
Artist who depict Neon in their work including Robert Stark
Neon in 1960s Pop Art
The importance of patronizing businesses that have Neon Signs

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