Sunday, October 30, 2016

Broad & Market Tavern in Newark, NJ billboard.

Broad & Market Streets in the heart of downtown became the focal point of #Newark after its establishment in 1666. The city of Newark expanded around the intersection and by the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, this "Four Corners" became Newark's modern business district where its first skyscraper was built by the Fireman's Insurance Company. We love this tavern's rusty relic with its amazing #font and depictions of glasssware. ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿท

Major Markets Prime Meats in Coney Island was established in 1934.

Jimmy Prince started working for the #butcher shop in 1949 when it was one of 16 butcher shops ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ– along Mermaid Avenue. After owning the #meat market for over 50 years, Jimmy decided to retire in 2009 to spend more time with his family and also because he was on a month to month lease and expected that the building might be razed to make way for new development in the area. We loved its #signage with the marching majors on either side of the #lettering. We also loved the @steveespopowers #signage on the side of the #storefront.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween time in Greenwich Village, NYC

Slideshow of our trip through last years Village Halloween Parade on 6SqFt: 

The Urban Lens: A walk through the wild and wonderful Village Halloween Parade


Pershing Square is a #cafe located under Grand Central Terminal's Park Avenue viaduct.

In 1939, when the building under the viaduct was constructed, it was used to provide tourist information. We love its colorful entrance and its #neon #signage. Photo appears in our book "New York Nights".

Thursday, October 27, 2016

From "My 630sqft: Inside ‘Store Front’ photographers Karla & James Murray’s East Village home of 22 years": "...going to Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A

From "My 630sqft: Inside ‘Store Front’ photographers Karla & James Murray’s East Village home of 22 years": "...going to Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A across the street from Tompkins Square Park... to get a coffee or an egg cream late at night. We still frequent the shop to this day to talk to the amazing owner, Ray Alvarez, who still works the night shift!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mamoun's Falafel in Greenwich Village

Mamoun's Falafel in Greenwich Village has been in business since 1971. It is the oldest #falafel restaurant in New York City and one of the first to open in the United States. In not only serves falafel but also other Middle Eastern foods including humus, shawarma (rotisserie lamb ๐Ÿ‘) and kebabs ๐Ÿข. In addition to this well-known MacDougal Street location they are also on St. Mark's Place in the East Village and in New Jersey and CT.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hudson. Out and about with artist Michael Anthony Pegues.

A contemporary of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat & Keith Haring, Michael Anthony has been called the "Black Andy Warhol". Hudson will be at his latest show's opening this Thursday night, Oct. 27 at 98 Kenmare Street in Soho.

Caffe Capri, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC

Caffe Capri in Williamsburg was founded in 1974 by brother and sister-in-law Joe Rinaldi and Sarah DeVita. They were known for their amazing ☕️ #espresso and iced #coffee that they made by putting coffee through a gelato maker so that regular ice cubes wouldn't water it down. We loved their #vintage #sign and the decor which felt like you were sitting inside their living room. We recently stopped by to speak with Joe who told us that they "closed the cafe because they finally decided to retire." (They are both in their 70s). Although we were saddened by the news, we are glad that their decision to close was NOT due to a high rent increase! Photo from 2008 appears in our book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York". #storefront

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ghost sign for Sozodont Toothpaste in Midtown.

When SL Green began knocking down a full block of prewar commercial buildings next to Grand Central Terminal last year to make way for its new 1,401-foot-tall office tower at One Vanderbilt Avenue it revealed this #vintage #sign for Sozodont, a popular brand of oral hygiene ๐Ÿ˜ product from the mid nineteenth-century. Sozodont was created in 1859 and its was chosen from the #Greek word "sozo", meaning to save, and "dontia", meaning teeth. We love its statement "Cleans Teeth Clean- Our Only Claim". We wish this #ghostsign could have been saved but sadly it was demolished and SL Green just recently broke ground for the new building which will eventually become the second tallest building in #nyc!

Channel Waterfront Cottages, NH

Friday, October 21, 2016

Brite Lite Barber Shop in Harlem

Brite Lite Barber Shop in Harlem is a favorite of ours because we not only love its #handpainted #signage but also love its #vintage poles outside. The #barber pole's colors are from a time when people went to barbers not only for just a #haircut or #shave but also for bloodletting and other medical procedures. The look of the pole is linked to bloodletting with the color red representing blood and white representing the bandages used to stem the bleeding. The pole itself was used to symbolize the stick that a patient squeezed to make the veins on his arm stand out more prominently for the bloodletting. In the USA the poles are red, white and blue while in Europe they are traditionally red and white. We also love the kid sitting on the bench outside waiting for his father to get his haircut.

Photo from 2004 appears in our book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York".

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Subway Inn, Upper East Side, NYC

Subway Inn on the Upper East Side was in business for more than 77 years before it was forced to close in December 2014 after it's lease was not renewed. One of its most famous customers was Marilyn Monroe , who filmed the "Seven Year Itch" nearby and stopped in for drinks. Arsemio Salinas, who has owned the #divebar since 2007, after working as a porter, bartender and manager for the original owner, luckily was able to relocate the #bar less than 2 blocks away at Second Avenue and 60th Street and re-installed the iconic #vintage #neonsign, the original wooden bar and stools and even the bar booths. Photo and full interview appears in our book "New York Nights".

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Katz's Delicatessen on the Lower East Side was established in 1888.

Katz's is famous for its Jewish #deli foods including its famous hot pastrami and corned beef sandwiches and its hot dogs. A ticket is given upon entering, which serves as a bill that must be handed in when leaving. Their slogan "Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army" started during World War II. Photo and full interview appear in our book "New York Nights".

Monday, October 17, 2016

Lucky Cheng's, the East Village nightlife institution opened in 1993.

Prior to that it was called Club Baths, the first openly gay-owned bathhouse which operated from 1971-1983 and then Cave Canem , from 1986-1993. Lucky Cheng's became hugely popular in the mid 1990s, complete with drag queen waitresses and was even used in an episode of Sex & the City for a bachelorette party scene. We particularly liked its #sign shaped like a Chinese food takeout box! ๐Ÿœ In July 2014, Lucky Cheng's closed primarily due to a huge rent increase.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Raymond's Meat Market in #Brooklyn has been in business since telephone numbers were assigned as alphanumeric.

The letters and first digit designated a certain geographic area and were referred to as exchanges. In this #meat market's case GE = GEdney which was in the area around East Flatbush near Brooklyn College. We not only love the alphanumeric #telephone exchange on the #sign but also the #script #lettering and the #handpainted goat ๐Ÿ and cow ๐Ÿ‚ on the #signage! We also love all of the #signs advertising #pig feet ๐Ÿ– #beef ๐Ÿฎand #chicken ๐Ÿ“ that are for sale at this #butcher! Photo from 2009 appears in our book "Store Front II-A History Preserved".

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

STORE FRONT II: A History Preserved- TIME OUT New York

"Photographers James and Karla Murray have made it their mission to document the small businesses of NYC before Chase branches and frozen yogurt shops inevitably replace them all. Their two books of photography Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York and Store Front II – A History Preserved bring together their charming shots of the mom-and-pop shops that still manage to give their neighborhoods character. (The ones that are still around, at least.)"

Monday, October 10, 2016

Susses Madel, Vienna, Austria

Our friend Achim Gauger has let us know that this past weekend the city of Vienna, Austria lost one of its great iconic old #neon signs from the #storefront of "Susses Madel". We were lucky enough to photograph this beautiful store during our visit.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

To celebrate #comiccon in NYC this weekend, we are posting Desert Island Comics

Desert Island Comics took over the #storefront that Sparacino's Bakery had occupied from the 1950s through 1990. Gabe, the owner of @desertislandcomics told us that he uncovered the #vintage bakery #sign when he rented the space in Williamsburg and removed an existing sign. As a lover of #typography he decided to keep the sign and added his own #signage for Desert Island Comics on the door. He chose the name Desert Island because he sells a very curated collection of #comics. We are so happy that he saved this beautiful #script and #handpainted sign!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hudson. Checking out Papaya King on St. Marks, East Village, NYC.

Papaya King is a stop on our SOLD OUT Historic East Village Food Tour with Untapped Cities this Sunday, October 9th at 12pm!

SOLD OUT! Our Historic East Village Food Tour with Untapped Cities this Sunday, October 9th at 12pm has sold out!

This is one of our tasting stops on our food tour, where everyone will sample a potato pierogi with toppings from Veselka :: Beceะปะบa. This is very timely as tomorrow, October 8th is National Pierogi Day. There is a waiting list for the food tour and you can also contact us to be added to our mailing list so that we can message you when we announce a new upcoming date.

Hudson. Chinatown, NYC.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Original Diana Pizza Calzones in the #Bronx.

We love the combination of #handpainted #signage using different #fonts and porcelain enamel channel #letters. We also love both #pizza ๐Ÿ• and calzones!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Joe's Tavern, Chelsea, NYC

Joe's Tavern In Chelsea has not been open in over 20 years but we love that this #vintage #neonsign has survived. It is surprising because this part of western Chelsea near the High Line has become very gentrified and many old buildings like this one have met the wrecking ball to become expensive glass condos. Not only do we hope this #neon survives but we also hope that this old brick tenement building with its peeling paint lives on.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Storefront: A Historic East Village Food Tour with James & Karla Murray - 2nd Avenue Deli at the corner of East 10th Street, opened in 1954 by Abe Lebewohl.

It was known for its Jewish comfort food including its Matzo Ball Soup. It was forced to close in 2006 after a huge rent increase but later reopened in midtown. To hear more about this iconic deli please join us on our walking and tasting tour of historic storefronts in the East Village with Untapped Cities this Sunday, October 9th at 12pm. To register for tickets:

The Critics on our STORE FRONT Books

Store Front II” furthers the work of its predecessor, gathering photographs and interviews that celebrate scraggly awnings and weathered brick and mortar with an awe typically reserved for the Big Apple’s famous landmarks.
The New Yorker 

James and Karla Murray’s Store Front photography books capture a disappearing world – New York’s small stores and their unique and precious aesthetics.
Sarah Moroz The Guardian 

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.
Robert Brenner Huffington Post 

STOREFRONT II: A History Preserved winner of Foreword Reviews' 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award 

If you're at all interested in the passing cityscape, this book is a  documentary mother lode.
Steven Heller The New York Times Book Review 

These unfussy, elegant, and richly colored photographs of butcher shops, bakeries, fabric wholesalers, cuchifritos stands, stationery and sporting-goods stores, laundromats, groceries, and dive bars give connoisseurs of signage, folk typography, and ambient erosion much to pore over.
Jaime Wolf  The New Yorker 

NEW YORK NIGHTS Winner New York Society Library 2012 New York City Book Award 

NEW YORK NIGHTS is a neon-soaked celebration of the nocturnal institutions that keep the city that never sleeps awake, satiated and comfortably numb.
Mark Lamster The New York Times 

The Murray's, who gave us the enchanting Store Front, a daylight look at dozens of mom & pop storesacross the five boroughs, have returned with New York Nights. But please don't think of this as the noir version of their first book. It's more like the Through the Looking Glass companion to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Gotham at night for the Murrays is pure enchantment.
Malcolm Jones Newsweek

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn

Kings Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn reopened in 2015 after undergoing a 4-year $95 million restoration. The #theater was originally constructed in 1929 as one of the five Loew's "Wonder Theatres" in NYC and New Jersey. It operated as an entertainment palace showing #films and vaudeville acts in a lavish interior inspired by the Palace of Versailles and the Paris Opera House. Kings Theatre closed in 1977 and sat abandoned for years, falling into disrepair before finally being restored. The front of the building seen in our photo features a glazed terra-cotta ornamental facade.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Carnegie Delicatessen just announced that it will close at the end of this year!

Carnegie was established in 1937 and has a #vintage #neonsign that we absolutely love and in fact chose this photo as the cover for our book "New York Nights". We interviewed Chuck Smith, the manager, for our book and he told us that "The neon sign outside is 65 years old. We are constantly fixing it because it’s very temperamental but we always want to keep it lit because it is iconic. We are best known for our #pastrami, corned beef and #brisket sandwiches, which are overstuffed with at least one pound of #meat. We pickle and smoke all of our own meat that we serve." Photo and full interview appear in "New York Nights" (Gingko Press).