Hot Weiners © Kathryn Van Aernum

Hot Weiners
July 2017

My friend and photography mentor Helen and I had been planning a road trip to meet in the middle between Columbia and Norfolk for all the years I’ve lived here. We finally met in Raleigh in 2017 to visit the NC art museum and kick around the city. My fascination with photographing Coca-Cola® is as old as my friendship with Helen – nearly 40 years! We were actually on our way out of town when we saw this and I had one of those, “Oh my God, can you pull over so I can take a picture of that?” Girlfriends, friends and family have obliged me over the years (most of the time) with this request. Or if we are walking, they know I will catch up.

Of course, the sign is absolutely fantastic with the slighly weiner-shaped letters. However, the restaurant facade is also fantastic. Immediately recognizable as something from another era. They just don’t make storefronts like that anymore. The diamonds in the façade and what about that awning?! The thing that really makes it for me is the guy sitting on the stoop of the building next door. It becomes more of a unique moment because of his presence. His hipster look, along with the “Like us on (f)” place this image in our current time. Had Helen and I not been on our way home, and already bought food for the journey, I would have gone inside to get a hot dog. Next time. No ketchup.