Thursday, December 31, 2015

10 Small Businesses Enduring at the End of 2015 that you can still support and enjoy.

Bucking the trend to lament small independent businesses New York City has lost in 2015, we are instead highlighting 10 of the many businesses in the 5 boroughs that are still enduring. Visit them frequently and help support them so that they can continue to help make NYC in 2016 a special place to be. We celebrate these and over 200 more mom-and-pop shops in our newly released book STORE FRONT II: A History Preserved. Each business is carefully documented photographically and most include interviews with the owners.

“We hope that our project acts as an artistic intervention to help draw attention to and preserve the small shops whose existence is essential to the unique and colorful atmosphere of the city’s streets.”


1. Murray's Sturgeon Shop in the Upper West Side was founded by Murray Bernstein. It has been in business  since 1946 and specializes in the finest smoked fish, caviar, homemade salads and soups, and kosher knishes.

2. House of Oldies in Greenwich Village was founded by Bob Abramson in 1968. This record store has been thriving lately because as Bob told us for our STORE FRONT II book, "Vinyl is back! Kids are buying vinyl because they realize how much better the sound is."

3. Faicco's Pork Store was established in 1900 by Eduardo Faicco, an Italian immigrant. It is now being run by fourth-generation members of the Faicco family and has two locations, one in Greenwich Village and one in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

4. Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A in the East Village is one of the few stores near Tompkins Square Park that stays open 24 hours a day. It was founded by Ray Alvarez in 1974 and you can still find Ray manning the register most nights.

5. Mansoura Pastries in Midwood, Brooklyn has been in business since 1961. This bakery, which specializes in pistachio baklava, has a history dating back to 1780 when the Mansoura family had a confectionery shop in Aleppo, Syria.

6. Caputo's Bake Shop in Caroll Gardens, Brooklyn is now being run by James and John Caputo, the fourth and fifth-generation owners. It was founded in 1904 and originally only sold simple Italian bread, rolls, and biscotti, but now bakes many specialty breads, including its famous lard bread and olive bread.

7. Morscher's Pork Store in Ridgewood, Queens is known for its sausages and meat specialties originating from Gottschee, a German enclave in Slovenia. The store was founded in 1957 by Joseph Morscher and is now being run by his son, Herbert Morscher, who is continuing the tradition with his family's recipes but is mixing them with state of the art high-tech meat processing equipment.

8. La Guli Pastry Shop in Astoria, Queens has been family owned and operated since 1937. It specializes in Italian cookies and pastries, custom and specialty cakes, and homemade gelato and Italian ices.

9. 188 Cuchifritos in the Fordham neighborhood of the Bronx was established in 1983 by Cuban-born José Coto. This small restaurant, highlighted by Anthony Bourdain in his recent show, specializes in cuchifritos, a variety of pork-based dishes that are commonly fried.

10. Philip's Candy of Coney Island has been located in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Staten Island since 2002 but was founded in 1916 by Philip Calermis along the Boardwalk in Coney Island. John Dorman, who went to work for Philip in 1947, took over the business upon Philip's retirement in 1956.

Photographing New York's Endangered Mom and Pop Stores A new book, Store Front II, expands the quest to document family-owned businesses before they disappear. by Tanvi Misra Dec 30, 2015 for The Atlantic

http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/12/store-front-book-new-york-mom-pop-james-karla-murray/422160/ 

"The Mansoura’s story is just one of hundreds that the Murrays have captured in their two-decade quest to document the surviving mom and pop businesses in New York City. Their latest book covers even more ground than their previous one, published in 2008—spotlighting eateries, bodegas, and shops from neighborhoods they hadn’t explored.  “We hope that our project acts as an artistic intervention to help draw attention to and preserve the small shops whose existence is essential to the unique and colorful atmosphere of the city’s streets”


Gray's Papaya in Times Square, NYC

Gray's Papaya in Times Square is sadly no longer in business, despite their recession special of Save $1 on the purchase of 2 hot dogs and a papaya drink! This photo taken in 2010 appears in full (the above photo was cropped for phone viewing) in our newly released book STORE FRONT II- A History Preserved. Gray's Papaya was founded in 1973 by Paul Gray, a former partner of Papaya King and specializes in #hotdog and #papaya fruit drinks. Its only surviving location is on the Upper West Side at Broadway and 72nd Street. We loved its no-nonsense, in-your-face #neon #signage!

An assortment of NEW Prints are now available. Our limited edition signed prints range in size from 20x24 to 40x50 inches as well as a few select 11x14 prints. All C-prints are printed on Kodak Professional Endura Lustre Paper. Contact us by email or direct message for pricing and more info. Also available are signed copies of both Store Front and Store Front II.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"New York photographers capture the city’s disappearing storefronts " STORE FRONT II by NICOLE BITETTE for the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS 12.30.15

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/photographers-capture-nyc-disappearing-storerfronts-article-1.2481040

"In a new book, “Store Front II - A History Preserved: The Disappearing Face of New York,” photographers James and Karla Murray document the city’s iconic mom and pop storefronts.
More than 20% of the businesses have closed since the project started in 2008, according to the Murrays."

Store Front II : The Disappearing Face Of New-York by James T. & Karla L Murray by STEPH FRESH NEWS France

"6 ans après la sortie de Store Front ils viennent de lui donner une suite avec ce deuxième volume qui est une fois de plus un témoignage exceptionnel de cette facette de New-York qui ne sera bientôt qu’un lointain souvenir…"

http://freshnewsbysteph.com/archives/34659
Thank You Steph Fresh News!
Great selections of photos from our new book too!


Holy Care in the Bronx

Holy Care in the Bronx is sadly no longer in business. We loved its #handpainted #signage and the rows of bubble gum machines outside the #storefront. Although this photo did not make it into our newly released book "Store Front II-A History Preserved" there is a large section on the Bronx including the neighborhoods of Williamsbridge, Belmont and Riverdale.  

An assortment of NEW Prints are now available. Our limited edition signed prints range in size from 20x24 to 40x50 inches as well as a few select 11x14 prints. All C-prints are printed on Kodak Professional Endura Lustre Paper. Contact us by email or direct message for pricing and more info. Also available are signed copies of both Store Front and Store Front II.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Store Front II: A History Preserved - Huffington Post 12.29.15 by Robert Brenner

"That's why James and Karla Murray's new coffee table-sized book, Store Front II: A History Preserved, is so crucial. Like anthropologists rushing to document an isolated Amazonian tribe before civilization encroaches, the Murrays are racing to record Mom and Pop shops before the wrecking ball arrives."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-brenner/store-front-ii-a-history-_b_8870526.html 

Robert Brenner's twitter: https://twitter.com/robert_brenner


Watch our FREE book event which took place at Rizzoli Bookstore

https://youtu.be/vtCIg0S-xB0 

Rizzoli Bookstore is located on 1133 Broadway by 26th Street. and partnered with the Neighborhood Preservation Center to celebrate our "Store Front II" book release. The conversation is moderated by Karen Loew of GVSHP. Thanks to the Neighborhood Preservation Center for filming this event!


Monday, December 28, 2015

A year in a day. Our memories of NYC 2015.

Just before sunrise. Dawn breaks over the East Village.

Snow. This Tompkins Square Park tree has since been cut down.

Slush. Winter wears on.

Tragedy on Second Avenue in the East Village. Spring brings heartbreak .

Since 1892. The East Village endures.

Life. Three hawk-lets born on Ave A.

Summer. Fireworks over the East River.

Celebration. B&H Dairy re-opens after a long, hard fought struggle.

Enduring. Life continues in a rapidly changing neighborhood of The Lower East Side.

Gut-wrenching. Father of Nicholas Figueroa, East Village. Nicholas Figueroa's father tending to his son's memorial site at 121 Second Avenue in the East Village, the site of the gas explosion and fire which killed his son. His mother talked to us about the loss of their 23-year old son and how hard it has been coping with it. His father placed a Statue of Mary and a keepsake box at the memorial and also tends to the memorial for the other victim, Moises Locon. If one photo captured the year for us, this was it.

Pride. New York City named Stonewall Inn a landmark. This is the first time a site has been declared a landmark because of its cultural significance in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history.

Twilight. Night falls signaling the beginning of another NYC classic: The Annual Village Halloween Parade.

Autumn. The leaves change late in NYC.

Open. Beauty Bar, in our own neighborhood opens for the night. We featured this photo in our new for 2015 book STORE FRONT II: A History Preserved on the dedication page.

Personal favorite. If we had to pick a favorite from STORE FRONT II, Rogers Tire Shop would definitely be in the running for the top spot. We selected it for the book's back cover too.

Sunset. Better than any fireworks, the daily spectacle of the New York City sunset was especially spectacular in 2015.

East Village. From any vantage point the sunset show stopped us in our tracks. No filters needed.

Heart-break. The world unites.

After midnight. Fog engulfs the Brooklyn Bridge as most of the city sleeps.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Empire Diner. Closed. Chelsea, NYC

Empire Diner is located inside a 1946 Fodero Dining Car. The#miniature stainless steel stylized Empire State Building replica was installed on its roof in 1976. In late 2009 the diner closed after lease renewal negotiations with its landlord failed. The@empirestatebldg Replica was removed. In 2010 the diner reopened with a new name only to close again and reopen with its original name, but it has now just closed again due to non-payment of rent. Photo from 2008 appears in our book "New York Nights" along with full interview with owner. We absolutely love this #vintage #diner and its amazing#handpainted #signage. 


An assortment of NEW Prints are now available. Our limited edition signed prints range in size from 20x24 to 40x50 inches as well as a few select 11x14 prints. All C-prints are printed on Kodak Professional Endura Lustre Paper. Contact us by email or direct message for pricing and more info. Also available are signed copies of both Store Front and Store Front II.



Friday, December 25, 2015

Hudson, manning the Christmas Trees on 14th Street. Deep discounts!

Merry Christmas all!


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all of our friends and followers!

In celebration of this holiday season we are holding our 3rd annual Christmas puzzle give-a-way! The first person to message us back with the correct storefront names from which each letter of this holiday message was created will win not only a copy of STORE FRONT (Mini Version), our first storefront book but also a signed 24 X 26.5 inch poster of the cover of our newly released book "STORE FRONT II - A History Preserved". Second place gets the signed poster. We will award the two followers, 1st and 2nd place who message us through our Facebook James and Karla Murray Photography page and/or from our Instagram @jamesandkarla page. The winner will be announced with the correct answers! Hint: all storefronts used in the creation of this puzzle are from our new STORE FRONT II book! Happy holidays and best of luck to everyone!


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

Marietta, clothing store, Brooklyn (2009).

Marietta was opened by Marietta Chirico in 1940 and is now run by her two sons. Photo and full interview appear in our newly released book, "STORE FRONT II- A History Preserved".

To hear more about mom-and-pop stores from our new book, please listen to us on WNYC's The Leonard Lopate Show tomorrow, December 22nd at 1:20 - 2pm. The Leonard Lopate Show hosts the conversation New Yorkers turn to each afternoon for insight into contemporary art, theater, and literature, plus expert tips about the ever-important lunchtime topic: food. Produced by WNYC.
Airs weekdays at 12:00 noon to 2pm on WNYC New York 93.9FM / AM 820 Rebroadcasting at midnight on 93.9FM

For the holidays: An assortment of NEW Prints Now Available. Our limited edition signed prints range in size from 20x24 to 40x50 inches as well as a few select 11x14 prints. All C-prints are printed on Kodak Professional Endura Lustre Paper. Contact us for pricing and more info.




Saturday, December 19, 2015

A dinner at La Lunchonette during their final days... The restaurant closes 12.31.15

On Tenth Avenue. La Lunchonette was founded by Jean-Francois Fraysse in 1983 on the Lower East Side. We spoke with owner Jean-Francois who told us that he called the restaurant La Lunchonette because when he originally opened on Essex by Rivington Streets that the space was a Lunchonette and he just added a "La" to the existing signage.

The West 18th Street entrance. Jean-Francois explained his lower east side customers included many artists such as  Jean Michel Basquiat. He moved the restaurant, which specializes in French cuisine, to 10th Avenue in Chelsea in 1988.

Fully booked. Even though the restaurant was packed and he was very busy, Jean-Francois took the time and shared his thoughts on the changing neighborhood and its future. Our friends Robert and Johanna, who introduced us to Jean-Francois, traded a few happy memories in French.

Accordion Night. Live accordion music filled the warm space. Our appetizers arrived, recommended by Jean-Francois. He had picked the Sautéed Sea Scallops for us and they were delicious. For dinner we had the Skate Wing with Lemon Butter and Capers and Salmon with Roasted Bell Peppers and Garlic. Our friend Robert, an adventurous eater ordered La Cervelle or brains. Jean-Francois and his partner Melva Max will be closing the restaurant after nearly 28 years in Chelsea at the end of this month because "their landlord, who is a good friend of ours, is knocking the building down to make way for a larger 10-story structure."

Le chef. The kitchen is located in the center of the restaurant where you can watch the busy chef create the rustic French cuisine. Everything we ordered was fantastic!
Stepping back onto the empty, dark, and surprisingly cold far west side street we wandered up 10th Avenue to 192 Books to window shop and collectively shake our heads in dismay and disbelief that the city is losing another treasure. La Lunchonette, R.I.P.