It has struck me that living in a big city is much like being in a relationship. If you take it for granted, you will not reap the benefits. With a hungry blog to feed, I find myself exploring back alleys, talking to strangers, to get and exchange information, and as I zoom in on the details, a whole new side of my city unfolds. Yesterday I looked up, and the sun was hitting the old beehive neon sign (the logo of a bank that is no more) on Norreport Station. Being a night time attraction, I never imagined it would have such a day glow.
Today I talked to Mr. Neon himself, Bjarne Bentzen. Born and bred in the neon business, he is involved in the maintenance of most landmark neon signs in Copenhagen, and he was kind enough to share some information on the beehive. It turns out that the day glow comes from the sun hitting 23.75 carat leaf gold, and bees made from glass. The sign has been in action since the 1950s and even if the bank has long since been swallowed by a bigger one, it has so far been allowed to stay, courtesy of Den Danske Bank, who pays for the maintenance.
The old neon signs of the city holds a big place in our hearts, and when they decide to retire one, it hurts. When The Frogs went last year, a big group of people went into mourning. The old signs holds a great sentimental value, and many have earned the status of landmarks. The little unfolding stories on repeat convey the message in a way no led lights and diodes, or any other noisy commercial have been able to replicate. And in a case when the sign survives the product it advertises, it deserves the nomination for a Classic Copenhagen Award, in the category Best Neon Sign.