During the glory days of Hamilton Street, when it came to neon, bigger was better. No store had a bigger sign than Hess's, and that was appropriate. When the city planners decided to built the canopy, that was the end of the great neon age for Allentown. That structure bisected the building's facades, and the vertical signs had to go. Since then we have progressed into sign regulations. Shopping is not a primary part of the new Hamilton Street transformation. Let's move this discussion around the corner to Allentown's new Hispanic shopping district on 7th Street. Hispanic Shopping District is my designation, not the city's. I call it that, because that's what it is. The street is being managed by Peter Lewnes, who is doing a good job. He's giving facade grants and sign guidance. The buildings end up with a historic look, and a professional hand lettered sign. Although it's neat, clean and presentable, it's not too exciting. Of course the City Fathers don't want too much excitement, as the people from Catasauqua drive in to the new arena. These new subsidized merchants are on a short leash. City inspectors remind them that besides for OPEN signs, no neon is permitted, and it must be inside the store. Now I know that I'm not a paid consultant, and there's no grant involved with this idea, but how about letting our new merchants put up some neon?How about letting them pursue the same dreams as the merchants once did on Hamilton Street. How about lengthening that leash?