As we lament the ongoing transformation of New York into a giant collection of Chipotles, Pinkberrys, and board-run mini-chains, we were delighted to discover that the husband and wife duo of James & Karla Murray are doing their part to record its vanishing history. They recently published a great book called “Store Front — The Disappearing Face of New York” featuring hundreds of photos of New York’s vanishing storefront facades.
Store Front ‚Äì The Disappearing Face of New York is a visual guide to New York City’s timeworn storefronts, a collection of powerful images that capture the neighborhood spirit, familiarity, comfort and warmth that these shops once embodied. Almost all of these businesses are a reflection of New York’s early immigrant population, a wild mix of Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Poles, Eastern Europeans and later Hispanics and Chinese.
The variety is immense from Manhattan’s Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery and Katz’s Delicatessen to the Jackson Heights Florist in Queens, Court Street Pastry in Brooklyn, D. D’Auria and Sons Pork Store in the Bronx and the De Luca General Store on Staten Island. And as the Murray’s stunning, large format photographs make patently clear, the face of New York is etched in their facades.