Saturday, December 30, 2017

Since it is terribly cold outside in NYC (currently 19 degrees F), we thought that some great #typography might help everyone warm up

Ralph's Deli & Grocery in the Bronx. We absolutely love its #handpainted sign, especially the #letter "R" in Ralph's. Our love of #typography and #signage is actually what prompted us to start documenting beautiful #momandpop stores like this one. #bronx

Friday, December 29, 2017

The "MINI" edition of James & Karla Murray's classic Store Front II - A History Preserved is in stores now

Tune in to the Leonard Lopate show on WNYC on Wednesday January 3rd between 12:40 - 1pm to hear guest host Arun Venugopal discuss the comings and goings of "Mom & Pop" shops in New York.

Grassroots Tavern has been in business for 42 years on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village, NYC

Sadly, this #divebar will close on December 31st because according to the manager the rent had become too high for them and “We basically decided to throw in the towel.” We will miss their #neon sign glowing in the window as well as it’s tin ceiling and tap beers 🍺 served in large glass mugs 🍻.

Carey Hilliard's Restaurant Barbecue, Savannah, GA

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New York City is in the deep freeze with temperatures all this week in the 20s and dropping into the single digits at night so we thought what better #storefront to highlight than THE LEMON ICE KING OF CORONA.

The Lemon 🍋 Ice King was founded in 1944 by Peter Benfaremo. He opened @lemonicekingofcorona in Corona, Queens after returning home from World War II and taking over his father, Nicola’s small ice stand. The #Italian ice was originally hand-cranked in tubs and sold only during the summer, but is now made electrically year-round using the same three basic ingredients, sugar, water and flavoring. Cases of lemons 🍋 and oranges 🍊 are used to get the true taste in production, and all flavors have real fruit or nut pieces in them. The Lemon 🍋 flavor is the most popular. Peter Benfaramo passed away in 2008, but his relative, Vinnie Barbaccia and his business partner, Michael Zampino, are still running the business. Blending flavors of ice is still forbidden and the secret recipes for all 40 flavors have remained largely untouched, all being made on the premises, including four sugar-free varieties.

Complete photo from 2004 and interview with Peter appear in our book, "New York Nights".

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Our visit to artistic duo Strosberg Mandel's studio in SoHo NYC for 6sqft...

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"Last year, Belgian-American figurative painter Serge Strosberg had an exhibit about feminism in the East Village. The show’s curator introduced him to David Mandela theatrical stylist, jewelry designer, and former drag queen. Though the two came from very different artistic backgrounds, they immediately hit it off on both a personal and professional level. Fast forward to today, and they’ve formed the NYC-based artistic duo Strosberg Mandel, creating large-scale assemblage portraits–mostly of rock n’ roll icons such as Prince, David Bowie, Elvis, and Cher–using found materials and glamorous add-ons like Swarovski diamonds and luxury fabrics."

Hudson. Out and about over near Little Italy, NYC...

30 years of some of our favorite photos 1987-2017 Hightlight...

Cutting across Tompkins Square Park, East Village, NYC, in the snow, over by the Hare Krishna Tree, March 2017. We love how this winter wonderland scene is reflected in the melting snow on the ground.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Photographs from our visit to pre- and post-restoration Temple Court / Beekman Hotel Building for 6sqft...

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"In 1883, one of NYC’s first skyscrapers opened at the corner of Nassau and Beekman Streets. Known as Temple Court, the nine-story red brick and terra cotta structure was designed in the Queen Anne style by architect James M. Farnworth to attract accountants and lawyers who needed to be close to the city’s courthouses. Its most impressive feature was its central atrium that rises the full height and is topped by a large pyramid-shaped skylight and two rooftop turrets."

30 years of favorites highlight: Mars Bar, East Village, NYC

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Mars Bar in the East Village with Roy, sitting outside. This #analog photo was taken in 2005 and appears in our book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York". Roy, who passed away in 2010, was a fixture outside of this iconic #divebar and could also be found inside in the morning prepping it for the day. In 2011, this neighborhood bar closed after being in business since 1984 and the whole building was demolished to make way for a luxury apartment building. Today, a shiny glass TD Bank branch stands in its place.

From our 10 Years Later, before/after project...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

El Quijote has been in business since 1930

This #Spanish cuisine restaurant is actually located inside the historic Chelsea Hotel. The #ChelseaHotel which was built in the 1880s has a landmarked exterior of Queen Anne architecture with a red brick face and black cast-iron balconies.

Photo from 2010 and interview with the 2nd-generation owner of El Quijote appears in our book "New York Nights". #storefront #neon #neonsign

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Happy holidays to our friends and followers!

To celebrate the holidays we are releasing 11x14 inch signed prints of Bright Food Shop for $99 with free shipping to anywhere in the continental U.S. DM or email us at to send payment via PayPal or Venmo.

Bright Food Shop in Chelsea was in business from 1938-2007. Upon closing, the original #neon sign which wrapped around the corner, was carefully removed and stored by the owners. Earlier this year, they reached out to us to let us know that they donated their #neonsign to the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati. @americansignmuseum. We are so happy to hear that such a beautiful #sign was saved and can now be seen again! #signage #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork

30 years of favorites highlight: Ray's Candy Store, East Village, NYC

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Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A in the East Village @rayscandystore was founded in 1974 by Ray Alvarez. Ray told us that he is one of the few stores near Tompkins Square Park that stays open 24 hours and that he was working behind the counter during the famous riot in 1988. Ray is a generous and sweet man, who always gives our dog, Hudson, free hot dogs when we stop by to visit. Exterior photo from 2009 appears in our book "Store Front II -A History Preserved".

Monday, December 18, 2017

Some of our Favorite NYC Christmas 2017 Windows

Spark Pretty

Venieros Pasticceria

La Sirena Mexican Folk Art

Alleva Dairy

Bergdorf Goodman
Bergdorf Goodman
Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Beads of Paradise
Uncles Sam's Army & Navy

I Need More

Saks Fifth Ave

Perriwater Ltd. Florist

Macy's Herald Square


Da Nico Ristorante
Whiskers Holistic Pet Care

Lord & Taylor

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hudson with "Store Front II-A History Preserved" Mini edition, an excellent holiday gift especially for people with small apartments

"Store Front II-A History Preserved" Mini edition  has just been released and is available at your favorite local independent bookstore including Strand Book Store @rizzolibookstore @tenementmuseum_shop @spoonbillbooks and many others.

"James and Karla Murray’s classic tome from their ongoing Store Front series is now available for the first time in its covetable “mini” format. The Murrays have been capturing impeccable photographs from the streets of New York City since the 1990s. With Store Front II they’ve continued their documentation of an important cross-section of New York’s “Mom and Pop” economy. The Murray’s penetrating photographs are only half the story though. Their copious background texts, gleaned largely from interviews with the stores’ owners and employees, bring wonderful color and nuance to the importance of these unique one-off establishments."

30 years of favorites highlight: Russ & Daughters Appetizers, Lower East Side, NYC

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Russ & Daughters has been in business since 1914. It is now being run by fourth-generation owners Joshua Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman. The ✡️ appetizing store is known for their smoked #salmon and their vast #caviar selection. The business was founded by Joel Russ out of a pushcart before he opened this #storefront. There were more than four hundred appetizing stores in the city in 1936. This is the last one remaining on the Lower East Side.

We really love their #vintage #neonsign flanked by the two #neon fish 🐟 which was lovingly restored by @lettherebeneon! Niki Russ Federman told us that while the #signage was being restored a number of years ago, many customers came by the shop worried that because the #neon was removed, that the business was closing, but she reassured them that was NOT the case and that their iconic neon sign would be brought back asap! We are so happy that they did!

Friday, December 15, 2017


We designed this colorful collage using actual signage taken from our collection of New York City #storefront photos.

We have 3 limited edition sizes available:
- 8.5 x 32 inch width image printed on 12 x 36 Kodak Professional Endura Glossy Paper Edition of 50 @ $250/print
- 11.75 x 44 inch width image printed on 20 x 48 inch width Fuji Crystal Archive DPII Glossy Edition of 15 @ $500/print
-18 inch height x 68 inch width image printed on 20 x 80 inch (6 feet 6 inch width) width Fuji Crystal Archive DPII Glossy, Edition of 10@$800/print

Custom sizing also available.

Payment via PayPal or Venmo to our account at:

30 years of favorites highlight: Trash & Vaudeville, East Village, NYC

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Trash & Vaudeville in the East Village has been in business since 1975 and closed at St. Mark's Place after 41 years. It was founded by Ray Goodman and has been a popular place for musicians to get #‎punk #and #rockandroll clothing and accessories for decades. Jimmy Webb, the long-time manager told us "we are hands on and into personal customer service. We keep the spirit of #‎rockandroll alive." One of the reasons for closing this St. Mark's store was that the rent had risen to $45,000 a month. Although Ray Goodman is relocating the #‎store nearby on 96 East 7th Street. Photo is from our book New York Nights.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

In honor of Hanukkah, we are highlighting the original location of the SECOND AVE DELI in the East Village

This Jewish Delicatessen/Restaurant was opened in 1954 by Abe Lebewohl, a Jewish immigrant from Russia. It specialized in Matzo Ball soup, aka Jewish penicillin and corned beef and pastrami sandwiches. Sadly, Abe Lebewohl was killed in 1996 during a robbery after the restaurant had closed for the night. Jack Lebewohl, Abe’s brother took over the delicatessen but was forced to close in January 2006 because the rent on the 2,800 square foot space was raised from $24,000 a month to $33,000 a month. @2ndavedeli later reopened in Midtown with a similar menu and has since opened another location on the Upper East Side. Photo from 2003 appears in our book "Store Front:The Disappearing Face of New York". #storefront  #disappearingfaceofnewyork