Saturday, July 29, 2017

French Roast in Greenwich Village closed this week.

This diner/bistro opened on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 11th Street in 1993 and was one of the few restaurants that was open 24-hours a day in the area. We remember eating there after marching in the Village Halloween Parade in 1994. It always attracted a mix of clientele, from neighborhood locals to celebrities and tourists. We don't know exactly why they closed but wouldn't be surprised if it had something to do with a rent increase. #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork #diner #bistro

Thursday, July 27, 2017

One last visit to Great Jones Cafe, East Village, NYC...

The Great Jones Cafe closed at the end of dinner service last night. This cafe, which opened in 1983, was known for its reasonably priced Cajun-style food and for its #vintage #jukebox which was curated by long-time general manager Bill Judkins. Bill, who parted ways with the restaurant in March, took his record collection from the jukebox with him. Let There Be Neon, the 40 year-old neon sign shop in Manhattan, created the EAT neon that hangs in their window. The news of its immediate closure hit us particularly hard because not only did we photograph it for our book Store Front II-A History Preserved" but we are currently curating an exhibition based on a series of photography and oral history workshops that we taught at the Neighborhood Preservation Center and this Cafe was photographed by 2 of the participants, including @americansquares. This month, we have now lost both Cup & Saucer and now the Great Jones Cafe. #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Gino's, Upper East Side NYC

The restaurant was opened in 1945 by Gino Circiello.  Gino's specialized in moderately priced #Italian ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡นf ood ๐Ÿ and was known for its tomato-red wallpaper printed with 314 leaping zebras. Ed Sullivan and Frank Sinatra often dined at Gino's aka Gino of Capri. Gino passed away in 2001 at age 89 and his long-time waiter, Salvatore Doria, took ownership of the restaurant along with the chef, Michele Miele. Sadly, they were forced to close the #restaurant in 2010 when their rent was increased by $8,000 a month to over $30,000 a month and health-care costs of their employees also increased. A cupcake cafe (Sprinkles Cupcakes) took its place. #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hank's Saloon in Brooklyn

We love the fact that you can hear live music ๐ŸŽถ at this old #tavern. #storefront

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hudson over at Astor Place's Creativity Cubed presented by one of our sponsor's The Village Alliance, yesterday...

The Village Alliance is a generous sponsor of our upcoming exhibition "Capturing The Lower East Side's Storefronts Oral History & Photo Exhibition"! Please join us at the opening celebration on Monday, August 14th from 6-9 pm at the Theater for The New City Gallery. 155 First Avenue near 10th Street in the East Village. Free wine and light bites will be served!

Friday, July 21, 2017

We are happy to announce that the East Village restaurant Veselka :: Beceะปะบa is a generous sponsor of our upcoming exhibition "Capturing The Lower East Side's Storefronts Oral History & Photo Exhibition"

The show will be at The Theater For The New City Gallery located at 155 First Avenue near 10th Street. The opening reception will be on Monday, August 14th from 6-9 pm and is FREE and open to all. Wine and Light bites will be provided.

VESELKA located at 2nd Ave at 9th Street was established in 1954 by Ukranian immigrant Wlodymar Darmochal. It was originally established as a newsstand/candy store that also sold soup and sandwiches. The word Veselka means rainbow in Ukranian. The restaurant now specializes in homemade pierogies, borscht and potato pancakes, or what as second-generation owner Tom Birchard likes to refer to as Ukranian “Soul food”! Veselka now makes 3,000 pierogies every day, 2,500 potato pancakes every week and 5,000 gallons of borscht every year.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Skyview Delicatessen in the #Bronx

This Glatt Kosher #deli located in Riverdale has a great #neonsign with a sans serif #font. We especially love the large "D". Photo from 2011 appears in our book "Store Front II-A History Preserved". #neon #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork

Reader. Summertime in the city, NYC, earlier...

Monday, July 17, 2017

One last visit to Cup & Saucer in New York City's Lower East Side

CUP & SAUCER on Canal Street at Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side closed after over 75 years in business earlier today after a steep rent increase. This unpretentious spot was founded as a Jewish luncheonette complete with a lunch counter and stools as well as a small seating area.

Cup & Saucer has been co-owned by John Vasilopoulos and Nick Castanos since 1988. We spoke with John... "We took over this luncheonette from the second owner in 1988, but we haven’t really changed a thing about it. We have the same interior and the same original signage from the Coca-Cola Company. As long as the bolts holding our sign in place hang on, we plan to keep it. Cup & Saucer was founded in 1940 when this area was the center of the Jewish-owned jewelry trade. Now most of the Jewish jewelry places have closed and moved to the midtown Diamond District and Chinese-owned stores have moved into the neighborhood. So we lost most of our old-time customer base and corporate accounts."

Above is co-owner John Vasilopoulos behind the counter. The narrow space has stool seating on the counter side and window seating on the other with views of the always busy seat corner. This photo was taken during a quiet moment the day before school started. We returned a couple days later for breakfast and the place was packed with a line out the door. 

Inlaid on the terrazzo floor is a gold cup and saucer. John continued... "Years back, we had our regular clientele who didn’t even have to place an order, we would just see them walk in and start cooking their food and pouring their coffee for them. Our menu, however, has stayed the same with eggs in the morning and hamburgers and simple sandwiches for lunch. We close by 6 pm so complicated dinner offerings are not an issue."

Above, John behind the front counter. Cup & Saucer keeps their prices very reasonable with breakfast specials served from 6:30 am to 11 am starting at $5.00 for two eggs any style, potatoes & toast with coffee, tea or juice! 
"We try to keep our prices reasonable but it has been difficult because the price of raw materials just keeps on going up and up. Both my partner and I ran a food business uptown before we lost our lease and took this over so we know what it takes to survive."

Above is the storefront's 1940s over-hanging privilege sign. John told us in 2015 that the building they are located in was just sold to new owners and he expects the rent to double. ."..we don’t own the building and our lease is expiring in a couple of years so unfortunately our future is uncertain." The New York Times confirmed in a story published today that the landlord increased the rent from $8,200 a month to $15,800 a month and that negotiations to come to better terms failed, forcing them to close. 

This news hit us particularly hard as we not only photographed and interviewed the owners for our book, Store Front II-A History Preserved, but have been actively trying to help raise awareness of the plight of local mom-and-pop shops through free workshops we held at the Neighborhood Preservation Center in April, May and June. The participants of the workshops photographed and highlighted Cup & Saucer and it will be one of the local businesses chosen to be exhibited from August 14th- September 18th at the exhibition we are curating at the Theater for The New City Gallery. Please join us at the opening celebration on Monday, August 14th from 6-9 pm at the Theater for The New City Gallery. 155 First Avenue near 10th Street in the East Village. Free wine and light bites will be served! 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

News Stand, Manhattan, NYC

This newspaper stand is one of the oldest in the city and also one of the few left that maintains its original building versus the steel and glass Cemusa boxes erected by NYC.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Arcobaleno Italiano in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

We instantly fell in love ❤️ with this #Italian ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น storefront because not only did it have an amazing #sign with #script lettering but it also had a rainbow ๐ŸŒˆ. Photo from 2009 appears in our book "Store Front II-A History Preserved"

Hudson. Summer in the city, NYC, earlier...

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Old Town Bar has been in business since 1892

The bar has been in the same family since the early 1980s, and according to the 2nd generation owner, Gerard, the "entire interior is pretty much original". We not only love its interior but also are big fans of its #vintage #neonsign which was installed in the 1930s after Prohibition ended. Photo and full interview with Gerard appear in our book "New York Nights".

Monday, July 10, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

In honor of #nationalfriedchickenday yesterday we are highlighting New Caporal Fried Chicken ๐Ÿ— & Shrimp ๐Ÿค

This Washington Heights restaurant was founded in 1968 and specialized in #friedchicken with its special mix of "Spanish" spices and seasonings. We love its #signage with its mix of #script and sans serif #font and the little cowboy chick ๐Ÿฅ with a holster, holding a pop gun firing out the word "Fried"! Photo and full text appear in our book "Store Front II-A History Preserved". #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork  #ahistorypreserved

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Capturing the Lower East Side’s Storefronts Oral History & Photo Exhibition

August 14- September 18, 2017

Theater for the New City Gallery
155 First Avenue at 10th Street NYC 10003
Call (212)-254-1109

Opening reception Monday, August 14 6-9 pm
Wine & Light Bites Provided

Experience activism and community through the lens of photographers, as they display their work from two free 2017 workshops with acclaimed photographers and award-winning authors Karla and James Murray. In two sessions at the Neighborhood Preservation Center, the famed duo taught participants how to use photography and oral history to raise public awareness, build community, and encourage advocacy. Participants learned to create their own powerful photographs of neighborhood storefronts and connected with proprietors through interviews.

Curated by James T. & Karla L. Murray

Participating Photographers:
Shannon Anderson
Cassondra Bazelow
Yoni Benshlomo
Alyssa Bishop
Stacy Bisignano
Georgina Castanon
Pat DeMarco
Geoff Fellows
Leah Frances
Damian Kolody
Janet Li
Salvatore Napoli
Jackie Neale
Jennifer Parra
Jarrett Robertson
Heather Rogan
Tessa Rushton
Erika Sequira
Lindsay Smilow
Asya Stepnova
Michael Theodore
Mike Ursone
Nakeesha Van Wyk
Chinh Vo
Avra Wacks
Lisa Wong
Maria Liu Wong
Monica Wong
Molly Woodward
Pixie Yates

Capturing the Faces and Voices of the Lower East Side’s Disappearing Mom-and-Pop Storefronts is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Done in partnership with the Neighborhood Preservation Center.

Additional support provided by Theater For The New City.

New York State Council on the Arts
The Municipal Art Society of New York
Veselka :: Beceะปะบa
The Village Alliance
East Village Community Coalition
Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
Amalgamated Bank
Fourth Arts Block FABNYC
East Village Independent Merchants Association
Gingko Press

Refreshments provided by:
Jimmy's No. 43
Westside Market NYC

Exhibition Photographs Generously Printed by Unique Visuals

M&G Lingerie, Brooklyn, NYC

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Rainbow. Over the East Village, NYC, just now...

El Coqui Bakery & Luncheonette in the Bronx

We love this bakery's colorful #signage, especially the little "coqui" ๐Ÿธ  playing a guitar underneath a palm tree ๐ŸŒด  (A coqui is a tiny tree frog native to Puerto Rico). We also love the #neon in the window and the chaser lights surrounding the sign. #storefront