A NY Road Sign the DOT Forgot About

I think this is quite possibly my favorite road sign in New York:

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You can find this decaying sign on Seagirt Boulevard just before you cross the bridge to Atlantic Beach in south Queens.

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But the real question is: what the heck does this sign mean? You’re already in the middle of New York when you pass it; that arrow could be pointing in any direction and still be accurate! And if it’s referring to Manhattan, it’s definitely pointing in the wrong direction.

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If it said Atlantic Beach or Long Beach or Nassau County or Long Island, it might make some sense…but as it stands, it’s just a simple wooden sign with an arrow pointing to “New York.” And when was the last time the DOT put up signs printed on wood??

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To be totally honest, this is actually my favorite road sign in New York. Forget the silly “How sweet it is!” and “Fuggedaboutit!” signs…

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“Welcome to Brooklyn: Home To Everyone From Everywhere!”

…that’s the absolute best description of Brooklyn I’ve ever heard.

-SCOUT

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15 comments

  1. Wow, I remember that sign. Back in the 80s, I lived in Brooklyn and worked at a beach club in Atlantic Beach. I always took it to mean that if you make the upcoming right turn your only go to the beach, but if you go straight you get the rest on of New York and “The City”.

    Also, it is no biggie, but that sign and all of Rockaway is in Queens.

  2. As I remember it people in Brooklyn used to say “I’m going to New York”. Queens and the burbs called it “The City” There were signs in Forest Hills, i think. that said “To City”.

    Don’t know if it’s true but I heard the Brooklyn way dated back to when Brooklyn was a separate city.

    Good find.

  3. “Home to Everyone From Everywhere” is, indeed, a great description of Brooklyn. Still, “Fuggheddaboudit” made a great punchline to my Brooklyn montage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeZWx_-FL2o

  4. looks like that sign may have been re-purposed at one time -then the new front of it fell off revealing the original NY sign.
    I’ve seen metal signs that were painted over with new info on them, but the older info still shows thru a bit.

  5. One of my favorites is the “Now leaving Brooklyn… Oy Vey!” as you head onto the Williamsburg Bridge towards Manhattan.

  6. I agree with post number 4. I think it was repurposed. Look at how the curved edges have been shaved off on the sides to make it fit the backboard.

  7. how strange indeed. a gov’t mess up, that got lost

  8. I love the sign that says How Sweet it is ….

  9. Haha, so someone else has put his sign on the internet! Good job. I live kind of in the South VS/Lynbrook/Hewlett area, and sometimes when driving back from Brooklyn I might take the “back way” down Flatbush Ave through the Rockaways and always enjoyed the sign. My girlfriend thought it might have been set on fire the first time I pointed it out to her… that might not be so out of character with Far Rockaway, though, haha.

    Having signs printed “To New York” isn’t uncommon at all on Long Island, although a sign physically facing east saying such is strange.

    Let’s hope it continues to stand!

  10. Formerly, was there another sign near there that said something like “Brooklyn: Hometown to People from 150 Nations”?

  11. I drive past this location everyday, unfortunately the sign disappeared several months ago, although the post still stands. For other locations near by, check out the Far Rockaway Post Office on Mott Avenue (a juxtaposition from a bygone era which no longer reflects the neighborhood). I’ve always found the abandoned Post Office (approx. 90 Beach Channel Drive) in Rockaway Beach intriguing, wondering if it’s was once as nice as the one on Mott.

  12. Wow, those pics bring back a lot of memories . . . I lived in Lawrence, right over Queens-Nassau border from Far Rock as a kid in late 60s to early 70s. We would always go exactly that way on the way home from visiting family in Bkln. The county line and end of Seagirt is right up ahead in the photos: stay on road and it curves around to go north on Doughty Blvd to Lawrence (long before the expressway was built), or exit to right to go over Atlantic Beach Bridge. I recall that back then the bridge toll was $.25 each way.

    Don’t recall the “NY” sign (but it must’ve been there long before I lived there). But the scene is otherwise exactly the way I remember it from when my family moved away from Lawrence and NY in 1973. Doesn’t seem like it’s been almost 40 years!

  13. Looking for a photograph of those “To City” signs that pointed to Manhattan and used to be in Queens. Sam Roberts samrob@nytimes.com

  14. I work over there and just thought its pointing towards 878 which has many routes branching off of it you can take to get to Manhattan.

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