Saturday, November 23, 2013

Everywhere a sign

Since I moved to New York I've noticed some differences in the road signage. First off, there isn't enough of it. Even fairly major intersections tend not to have overhead direction signs, and on-ramps to the interstates are poorly signed. In other states, entrance ramps are marked by the standard big green signs like this one:

 Here, sometimes all you get is a shield, or what is called a "reassurance sign":

Also, they usually use ALL CAPS, which are harder to read than Mixed Case.

But there is one road sign here in New York I really like: the airport sign. Here's one that I took a picture of this morning (please disregard finger):

What's so great about this sign? Look at the silhouette of the airplane. Do you see that bump near the nose? You might think that's supposed to be the upper deck on a 747, but it's much too short. No, that is clearly a bubble canopy. And the wing seems to be riding high. No airliner has a high wing and a bubble canopy. No sir, that is definitely a B-47 bomber! They took off the engines and the drop tanks, but that long wing and stubby rudder are unmistakable. I venture to say that the guy who drew up the sign based it on this very photograph:


I've always liked the old B-47. It was one of the Air Force's first jet-propelled heavy bombers, and the first to feature those graceful, highly swept wings. It's not a stretch to say that the experience Boeing got building the B-47 led directly to the modern airliner. And now it's leading you directly to a modern airport, at least in New York.

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