Thursday, June 30, 2016

Imperial Beef Company Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

Imperial Beef Company was founded in the 1930s and moved to this Myrtle Avenue location in 1954. At the time according to Domenick, the second-generation owner and ‪#‎butcher‬, "Bedford- Stuyvesant, Brooklyn had a lot of ‪#‎Italian‬ families and we sold specialties like homemade Italian sausages. In more recent years, we changed our offerings to include chitlings." We love this ‪#‎storefront‬ ‪#‎signage‬ which was ‪#‎handpainted‬ on porcelain enamel tiles. Photo from 2004 and full interview appear in our book, "Store Front:The Disappearing Face of New York." ‪#‎disappearingfaceofnewyork‬ ‪#‎signgeeks‬ ‪#‎guardiancities‬ ‪#‎signcollective‬

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Carmine's Original Pizza in Greenpoint, Brooklyn was founded by Carmine Notaro in 1981.

Carmine, who emigrated to the U.S. from a province of Napoli, Italy, worked at a local bakery before opening his own ‪#‎pizzeria‬. He told us that he specializes in New York style thin-crust ‪#‎pizza‬πŸ• and ‪#‎Italian‬ calzones. We love his amazing ‪#‎signage‬ with its unique ‪#‎font‬ spelling "PIZZA"! Photo from 2009 and full interview with Carmine appear in our book "Store Front II-A History Preserved".

We are proud that our book STORE FRONT II - A History Preserved has won Foreword Reviews' 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award!

"James and Karla Murray have been capturing impeccable photographs from the streets of New York City since the 1990s; Store Front II chronicles their continued efforts to document a little-known but vitally important cross-section of New York’s “Mom and Pop” economy. From the Stonewall Inn to the Brownsville Bike Shop to Smith and Wolensky, the Murrays reveal how New York’s long-standing mom & pop businesses stand in sharp contrast to the city’s rapidly evolving corporate facade."

Monday, June 27, 2016

1970 SAAB Sonet III

A total of 8,368 Sonett IIIs were manufactured between 1970 and 1974. Disappointing sales, especially during the 1973 oil crisis, led Saab to end production in 1974.  Today, the average Sonett III condition is said to be no better than Fair. Fewer than 25 "concours"(new or better-than-new condition) Sonetts were known to exist in 2010. The Sonet III had 65 horsepower.

STORE FRONT II: When New York’s Mom-and-Pop Businesses Disappear, so Does a Neighborhood’s Character By Jordan G. Teicher for SLATE Magazine JUNE 27 2016

"The Murrays recognize that New York will continue to change and that more beloved businesses will suffer as a result. But they hope their work serves to celebrate the memory of shuttered institutions and to encourage readers to patronize the stores that are still around."

Saturday, June 25, 2016

JG Melon has been operating as a bar/restaurant since 1936.

We love its ‪#‎vintage‬ ‪#‎neonsign‬ and the ‪#‎storefront‬ itself with its small window panes. The interior also has the original wooden ‪#‎bar‬ and cabinetry, which date back to 1927. ! Photo and full interview with owner Jack O'Neill appear in our book, "New York Nights". ‪‬

Friday, June 24, 2016

Publication Party for "History is Made at Night" by David Godlis at Howl Happening

Karla & Hudson get our book signed...

David Godlis & introduction writer Jim Jarmusch

Glenn O'Brien & Jimmy Webb, at David Godlis book launch at Howl Happening, last night...

David Godlis' photo of us:

Sunset, NYC

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Gertel's Bakery Luncheon

Gertel's Bakery was in business on Hester Street in the Lower East Side from 1914-2007. This #Jewish bakery, owned by Abe Stern, was known for its rugelach, hamantaschen, and challah bread, which were all baked on premises. Luckily after losing their lease in the #LES (an eight-story condo sits at the site now) they relocated their wholesale #bakery operation to Brooklyn and brought their #vintage #neonsign with them. We are so glad they saved this #neon beauty with its unique #typography. #signgeeks #tv_retro #tv_typography #typevstime #fontsastic #jj_texttypographical #signcollective #everything_signage #trb_ipoft_signs

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Flatiron Building

The Flatiron Building in Manhattan lit up with a giant Pride Flag in honor of the victims of the tragic mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. One of New York City's most iconic #architectural buildings paid tribute this weekend to the victims of the tragedy in Orlando by projecting a 60 x 120-foot #Pride Flag on the Broadway side of the building. This is only the third time the #Flatiron has been lit up.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Dublin House

Dublin House is a family-owned #Irish #pub which has been in business since 1921. It was founded by John Carway, an Irish immigrant from Dublin who rented the space during Prohibition. We absolutely love its #vintage #neonsign in the shape of a #harp and its letters that say "TAP ROOM" and "BAR" which blink on and off. The bartender, Mr. Daly told us that the reason the #neon #sign has the words "tap room" is that Dublin House was one of the first #bars to offer #beer on tap. Full interview with Mr. Daly and nighttime photo of entire #storefront with neon #signage appear in our book "New York Nights". #trb_ipoft_signs #tv_retro #tv_typography #tv_retrotype #bar #neongeeks #signgeeks #signcollective #everything_signage #foundtype #gas_food_lodging #ipulledoverforthis

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Three Lives & Company Booksellers , Greenwich Village

Three Lives & Company Booksellers is a small, independent #bookstore in Greenwich Village that was founded in 1978. It has been owned by Toby Cox since 2001, who sadly just announced via e-mail to all his customers that the building they are located in has been put up for sale and the present owners have NOT renewed their lease and are instead allowing them to stay on a month-to-month basis. They have been at their present location at the corner of West 10th Street and Waverly Place since 1983. Toby hopes that the future new building owners will let him keep the shop in its present space but if that doesn't work out, hopes to at least stay in the West Village. We certainly hope they do as we have always been huge supporters of small independent bookstores and even included this photo taken in 2011 along with an interview with Toby Cox in our newly released book, "Store Front II-A History Preserved". We also have signed copies of our book for sale at this great #storefront.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ideal Hosiery is a family-owned business that was founded by Len Friedman in 1950.

At that time the Lower East Side was the place to shop for underwear socks and hosiery. Luckily this store has survived despite the many changes that have taken place in this area with new development on the rise. We love its #handpainted #signage and all of the faded products displayed in the Windows. Photo from 2004 taken with 35mm film appears in our book "Store Front:The Disappearing Face of New York".

Monday, June 13, 2016

To celebrate the ‪#‎NYC‬ ‪#‎puertoricandayparade‬ yesterday, we are posting La Borinquena, a colorful classic ‪#‎bodega‬ located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

"La Borinquena" is a musical composition that is the official anthem of the commonwealth of ‪#‎puertorico‬. The title refers to the aboriginal Taino name for the ‪#‎island‬ of Puerto Rico, Borinken or Borinquen. We not only love the ‪#‎script‬ lettering on its ‪#‎signage‬ but also the ‪#‎handpainted‬ scenes of the island and the ‪#‎puertorican‬ flag . Photo from 2004 taken with 35mm film appears in our book "Store Front:The Disappearing Face of New York". ‪

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tito. 2016 NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade.

‪#‎puertoricandayparade‬ ‪#‎puertorico‬ ‪#‎puertorican‬ ‪#‎pride‬

Saturday, June 11, 2016

1950 Dodge Coronet

The Coronet was marketed by Dodge as a full-size car in the 1950s, initially the division's highest trim line but, starting in 1955, it became the lowest. The 8-passenger sedan's length was just over 18 feet.

Babo Farm's Fruits & Vegetables Mart in East New York circa 1999.

Photographed with 35mm film. This #storefront has a great #handpainted #sign and is located on the ground floor of what was then an #abandoned building. We instantly fell in love with its #signage, especially the interesting type used for the "&" and the architectural adornments of the old building. Today, the building has been remodeled and the #fruit and #vegetable store has long been gone and instead of an empty lot next door to the building, there is newly constructed "affordable housing".

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Shore Haven Luncheonette in Bath Beach, Brooklyn has been in business since the 1950s.

We love its #handpainted #signage, especially the proclamation that it has the "BEST COFFEE in BENSONHURST"! It really does have good #coffee ☕️and serves a fantastic buttered #bagel! The interior is original, complete with lunch counter and stools and they also still serve old-fashioned egg creams and malteds!

Photo from 2009 appears in our newly released book "Store Front II- A History Preserved".

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Indeed Offices Get Vintage New York Storefront Conference Rooms: UNTAPPED CITIES 06/07/2016

"The two photographers took eight photographs from their famous Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York books and plastered the image on the company’s conference room walls."

Mitchell's Wines & Liquors, Upper West Side, NYC

Mitchell's Wines & Liquors on the Upper West Side is sadly removing their #vintage #neonsign. We loved this red channel #lettering beauty with its blue dot in the center of #wines and #Liquors. The letters uniquely are placed on a black Carrara-pigmented glass background. The owner is renovating the entire #storefront and is not replacing the 1946 #neon. We hope that it will be saved! Photo from 2010 appears in our book "New York Nights."

Friday, June 3, 2016

STORE FRONT: The Disappearing Face of New York Installation

We were commissioned to provide 8 of our large-scale photographs of New York City mom-and-pop storefronts to be installed as wall-coverings for the conference rooms at the New York City offices of the #1 worldwide job search site, Indeed.  Indeed has over 180 million unique visitors per month matching employers with job seekers, and they recently began moving into their new 125,000-square-foot offices in the unique Hippodrome building at 1120 Avenue of the Americas, the former site of the once-celebrated Hippodrome Theatre. The design concept for the new office space according to Derek Stewart, head of real estate at Indeed, "pays homage to interesting job industries that call New York home."    

Indeed chose an interesting array of our storefront photographs printed at near life-size for their conference rooms. Many of the storefronts they chose were photographed by us between 10 and 15 years ago using 35mm film and appear in our critically acclaimed book, "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York." 

Sadly, our photographs are one of the only visual records of many of these unique New York City storefronts, as they have disappeared in the face of modernization and conformity and the once unique appearance and character of our colorful streets has suffered in the process.   Even though many people define New York City by its architectural icons including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building and Central Park. For us, it is the timeworn and tested generational “mom and pop” stores that line the city’s streets and avenues that are just as iconic. They may not be as famous or instantly recognizable as the Brooklyn Bridge, but they are an equally important part of what makes New York a unique and remarkable city. The store owners have expertly defied the forces that make operating a small business in New York City for any length of time a Herculean feat. A great many of them have not only survived but continue to play a vital role in their neighborhood as ad hoc community centers. Just as the skyline of New York changes both incessantly and insidiously, the landscape of New York streets changes as well. But while the skyline still manages to remain just as arresting, its streetscapes are not always so lucky.    

These are the sizes they were printed at: Ralph's Discount City (2004) 139" W x 95" H Smith's Bar 139" W x 95" H Patsy's Restaurant 155" W x 101" H

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Joe & John's Pizzeria πŸ•in Ridgewood, Queens

Joe & John's Pizzeria πŸ•in Ridgewood, Queens had an amazing #storefront with a retro mint green and pale yellow design complete with #script lettering. Although the #pizza place is still in business, the original Joe and John have long retired and new owners and management took over the business and modernized the exterior and replaced the #vintage #signage. We wish they had left the exterior of the #pizzeria intact because it is one of our favorite stores in our newly released book, "Store Front II-A History Preserved".

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Food has one of the best examples of ethnic #signage we have seen in #NYC.

Not only do we love the unique #font used in the #sign but we also love how they installed a tile mosaic of #Chinese characters. #storefront