Interesting Ideas

Roadside Art Online

Birmingham

U.S. 11 as it runs between Birmingham and Bessemer, Alabama, is an outdoor vernacular art gallery that gives even my beloved Western Avenue in Chicago a run for its money. This page merely samples the great handmade typography on the stretch I traversed, while showing the best of the graphical images there.

P1010056
Monumental typography at Cash & Carry, Bessemer, Alabama. There must be a name for facades that double entirely as signs.
P1010053
Nice sign, great food. Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q, U.S. 11, Bessemer, Alabama.
P1010052
Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q, U.S. 11, Bessemer, Alabama.
P1010055
P1010061
The ghost of an imprisoned snow man? A&R Thrift Store, Bessemer, Alabama.
P1010060
A&R Thrift Store, Bessemer, Alabama.
P1010059
It took a minute to realize it's Bs with hair braids. Bessemer Beauty Institute, Bessemer, Alabama.
P1010062
Sticks 'N' Stuff, Birmingham, Alabama. The word "stuff" adds quality to any business name.
P1010063a
I can see the resemblance. Etheridge Brothers Barber Shop, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010064
Etheridge Brothers Barber Shop, Birmingham, Alabama. Think about how many business signs include nicely rendered portraits.
P1010066
Note the Eyor-like expression -- "I suppose you just want to eat me." 4th Ave. Ribs & Sub Shop, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010067a
A really hip vacuum cleaner?
P1010067
No. A hair cutter at Trendsetters, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010068
Set Free, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010070
Denise Anointed Hair Studio, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010071
Denise Anointed Hair Studio, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010072
Denise Anointed Hair Studio, Birmingham, Alabama. Denise is not alone in her annointing. See in Albany, Georgia.
P1010075
Beautiful You Hair & Nail Salon, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010074
Beautiful You Hair & Nail Salon, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010069
One of many facades in Birmingham lovingly detailed with both art and type. Beautiful You Hair & Nail Salon.
P1010076
Love the die cut. Parnell Tires, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010077
Parnell Tires, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010082
Emphatically meat. No hypocritcal cannibal animal pictures here. Elyton Meat Center, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010078
Ghost promotion at Elyton Meat Center, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010080
Elyton Meat Center, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010081a
Tire Town, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010081b
Redundant signage at Tire Town, Birmingham, Alabama. The mounted tire really says it all.
P1010083
Town Motel, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010083a
The skyline is an unexpected feature of the Town Motel's vintage sign.
P1010085
Rendezvous Tours, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010086
Seen up close, the bus has a bit of a Jim Sudduth quality to it. Rendezvous Tours, Birmingham, Alabama. Sudduth painted about 90 miles to the west.
P1010084
Rendezvous Tours, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010087
Car Show Wash Detail, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010088
Car Show Wash & Detail, Birmingham, Alabama. Not sure of the Psalm's relevance: "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
P1010089
Could be hard to get that Sunday deal at Car Show Wash & Detail, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010090
Car Show Wash Detail, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010091
Car Show Wash & Detail, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010092
Mello J's on 3rd, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010093
J. Georgette Balloons, Birmingham, Alabama. There was another large balloon shop just across the street.
P1010094
J. Georgette Balloons, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010095
The back of J. Georgette Balloons, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010096
Halyma African Hair Braiding, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010097
Power Rangers for Christ Child Center, Birmingham, Alabama. There's some cognitive dissonance here. This was one of many daycare centers on U.S. 11, and not the only one with a hint of weirdness.
P1010099
A licensed use?
P1010098
Admirable for the car wash to have a Ladies Day.
P1010100
Filled Bookstore, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010101
Above & Abundant Ministries, Birmingham, Alabama, adjacent to Filled Bookstore.
P1010104a
Bush Hills Tailors, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010102
Bush Hills Tailors, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010105
Bush Hills Tailors, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010107
Bush Hills Tailors, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010103
Bush Hills Tailors, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010108
A piglike Bert helps decorate a daycare center on U.S. 11 in Birmingham.
P1010109
Other Sesame Street characters on U.S. 11.
P1010110
Dondee's Hair Salon & Barber Shop, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010111
Aluminum Can Recyclers, Birmingham, Alabama. The can image is helpfully labeled to avoid confusion.
P1010114
Touched by an Angel Learning Center, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010115
Looking at Ernie's expression and skin tone, one might think this is Touched by Evil Bert Learning Center.
P1010119
This appears to be Ernie walking off with his (ill-gotten?) boodle bag.
P1010113
Touched by an Angel Learning Center, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010116
Touched by an Angel Learning Center, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010120
Where Alfred E. Newman washes his car. U.S. 11, Birmingham, Alabama.
P1010124
The excess "S" makes the name a keeper.
P1010122
Midfield, Alabama: The Convenient City. Or how about " The place with really modest aspirations." Even the name is middling.
P1010121
Are these athletes zombies, or just terrified? U.S. 11, Birmingham, Alabama.

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