There's a super feature on Coney Island's news signs in the NY Times today. Artist Steve Powers offered to paint new signs for various Coney Island businesses for free, and then last year, he and Creative Time formed The Dreamland Artist Club, which connect artists with business owners for Coney Island signage betterment. Times reporter Randy Kennedy finds business owners to be generally happy with the project:

One veteran arcade owner, who spoke only on the condition that his name not be used, said that he was suspicious of the project at first, but had watched as the signs had brought customers back to Jones Walk.

"This place used to not be lighted," he said. "It was shabby. It was a place you weren't sure you wanted to come to." But now, he said: "We're getting city people who never came here before, and they're bringing their cameras, and I guess they're trying to find subliminal things somewhere in these signs."

Heh. This year, the artists include Tauba Auerbach, Beatriz Barral, Crash, Ronnie Cutrone, Os Gemeos,Justin Green, Isca Greenfield-Sanders, Mimi Gross, Vandana Jain, Greg Lamarche, Paul Lindahl, Clive Murphy, Gary Panter, Kamau Patton, Bruno Peinado, Steve Powers, and Swoon. The Dreamland Artist Club opens tomorrow, with a party from 5-8PM at Ruby's. Walking tours leave at 3, 3:30, 4, and 4:30PM tomorrow, leaving from The Clubhouse at 1206 Surf Avenue; then every tours are given at 3 and 4PM Saturday and Sunday, or by request, through Labor Day. And there are prizes!

More: The NY Times story has an audio slide show of the photographs, Banterist examined Coney Island grammar [via Curbed], and Gothamist on Coney Island.

Photograph by Ting-Li Wang for the NY Times