Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Moondance Diner on Sixth Avenue at Grand Street in Manhattan closed in 2007, to make room for a luxury hotel.

The 1930s #vintage diner was known for its #burgers ๐Ÿ”๐ŸŸ #fries and milk shakes and was owned by Sunny Sharma. The TV show "Friends" used Moondance as the #diner where the character Monica, played by Courtney Cox worked. Moondance Diner was also used by the film "Spider-Man" as the place where Mary Jane Watson played by Kirsten Dunst was employed. Luckily the diner was saved from demolition and purchased for $7,500 by Vince and Cheryl Pierce, who moved the structure by flat-bed truck to LaBarge, Wyoming at a cost of $40,000. After some much needed repairs, they reopened the diner in Wyoming in 2008 where it remained in operation until 2012. We especially loved the diner's rotating moon ๐ŸŒ™ #sign and the sparkling ✨ #lettering spelling "Moondance" in an interesting #font. We haven't heard any news on the fate of this diner since its closure a few years ago but hope that it will again be saved. #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork


Ideal Dinettes was in business from 1953-2008.

Ideal Dinettes' #neonsign and #storefront were original. We interviewed Barbara Mann the 2nd-generation owner when we took this photo for our book "Store Front:The Disappearing Face of New York" and she told us her father-in-law opened the store when the Bushwick, Brooklyn neighborhood they are located in was full of large Italian families who often needed dinette sets. Sadly #gentrifcation took its toll on the business as less families lived in the area and more single, young people with no need of a dinette set moved in. When closing the business Barbara called us to ask if we wanted their #neon sign as she knew we were huge fans of it and its #script #lettering, but we couldn't take this stainless steel beauty as it was just too large and would never fit in our East Village studio. Barbara ended up paying $750 for a dumpster hauler to take it away. We wish we could have saved it and now with the power and reach of social media we are sure we could have found a person or museum to rescue it. #type #typography #disappearingfaceofnewyork


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hudson. Over on the tree tops lookout....


Mittman's Pharmacy. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC.

Mittman's Pharmacy in Williamsburg has fantastic #vernacular #signage. We especially love the mortar and pestle filled with #handpainted products including Finesse shampoo and a bottle of Geritol. This #storefront is a #sign lovers dream. #Analog photo from 2004 appears in our book "Store Front:The Disappearing Face of New York".




Friday, February 24, 2017

Nurse shark, off Dania Beach FLA, just now...



The Keller Hotel, Greenwich Village, NYC

The Keller Hotel is one of the last surviving Maritime or Sailor's Hotels on the #GreenwichVillage waterfront.  The hotel was built in 1897 and housed sailors and seamen when docks lined the west side of Manhattan. We love its #vintage #signage and the Renaissance Revival #architecture. The building sadly has been largely empty for decades but luckily has been #landmarked by the city and its owners were recently denied an application to add a large and highly visible rooftop addition to it. We applaud the landmark commission's decision to save this #historic building and help preserve it for future generations.




Thursday, February 23, 2017

Waverly Restaurant in Greenwich Village, NYC

Waverly Restaurant in Greenwich Village was founded in 1979 by Nick Serafis and is now run by 2nd-generation family members. The overhanging #neonsign is original but they had to have the #lettering replaced and rewired a few years ago. The #neon along the #storefront was also replaced at the same time but luckily we had photographed it for our "Store Front" book 15 years ago when it had advertised "Steaks, Chops and Seafood".

This photo from 2010 and full interview with Nick appear in our book "New York Nights".

http://jamesandkarlamurray.com/JAMESandKARLAMURRAYBooks2015.html



Monday, February 20, 2017

We are honored to be nominated for the award for Outstanding Achievement in NYC Book Writing (Non-Fiction) at the 3rd annual 2017 GANYC Apple Awards

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon is the author of Scandalous Women: the Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women. Come see her present the award for Outstanding Achievement in NYC Book Writing (Non-Fiction) at the 3rd annual GANYC Apple Awards on Monday, March 6. 

http://www.ganyc.org/2017-ganyc-apple-awards






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. They recently reached out to us to let us know that they donated their #neonsign to the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati. We were so happy to hear this and hope to plan a visit to @americansignmuseum to see this beautiful #signage. #signgeeks #typography #type #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork




Friday, February 17, 2017

Our book Broken Windows: Graffiti NYC Celebrates its 15th Anniversary on Untapped Cities with photos and artist interview excerpts...

Full article LINK: http://untappedcities.com/2017/02/17/broken-windows-graffiti-nyc-book-celebrates-its-15th-anniversary/

"As our love of graffiti continued, we learned about lettering styles, the importance of a good hand-style and even the meaning behind the work. Graffiti has letters at its core, manipulated as far as the artist’s imagination could take them. Wild Styles, simple styles… all of it was fascinating and beautiful. At the same time we were documenting graffiti art, we also began to notice that many mom-and-pop shops in the city were disappearing, dramatically changing neighborhood streetscapes and character. The neon and hand painted signage of the storefronts captivated us, just like the graffiti murals. As we had done with the graffiti artists, we began to interview the shop owners and record their history. Documenting graffiti art inspired us to open our eyes to the many distinct neighborhoods of the city and record its life and texture. This book was first published in 2002 and in 2010, we released a revised hardcover edition with 70 additional pages including more full-color photos."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rudy's Bar & Grill in Hell's Kitchen was established by the Rudy family in 1933.

Famous patrons have frequented the #divebar throughout the years, including Al Capone, Frank Sinatra, Drew Barrymore, and Julia Roberts. Much of the interior is original including the long, custom-made mahogany bar. The six-foot #pig statue outside the bar is named Baron. He has been stolen twice in the over twenty years he has stood vigil but is now bolted down. We not only love Baron ๐Ÿทbut also the cut-out #lettering on the door ๐Ÿšช of this #bar. Photo from 2001 appears in our book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York" #storefront #type

Monday, February 13, 2017

To end our celebration of #pizza๐Ÿ• week, we are posting one of our favorite local joints, Joe's Pizza in Greenwich Village

Joe's Pizza was established in 1975 by Joe Pozzuoli on the corner of Bleecker Street at Carmine. Joe, originally from Naples, Italy serves the classic New York thin-style pizza slice and uses only quality ingredients. In 2005 he was forced to leave this corner location when the landlord raised the rent. Luckily he was able to relocate around the corner to Carmine Street where he continues to serve #pies. Joe also recently opened a 2nd location on 14th Street in the #EastVillage and one in Williamsburg so no matter whether you are in #greenwichvillage, near Union Square or Bedford Ave in Williamsburg you can grab a slice. We of course loved this original location's simple #sign with the #script Joe's and block #lettering spelling PIZZA. Photo from 2001 appears in our book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York." #storefront #pizzeria

Saturday, February 11, 2017

We are wrapping #pizza week on our feed this weekend and today are highlighting an iconic Pizzeria @patsyspizza.

Patsy's Pizzeria in East Harlem was founded in 1933 by Pasquale "Patsy" and Carmella Lancieri, who lived in an apartment above the #Pizzeria. It became known for its coal-fired ๐Ÿ”ฅbrick oven #pizza๐Ÿ• using classic, fresh ingredients. Many famous customers including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, and Tony Bennett were regulars. We are huge fans of their pizza and the #handpainted and neon #script signage on their #storefront. Full text and photo from 2014 appear in our book "Store Front II-A History Preserved". #dailypizza #signage

Friday, February 10, 2017

National Pizza Day at Paulie Gee’s Miami


Paulie Gee’s Miami recently opened in the up-and-coming MiMo neighborhood at 8001 Biscayne Boulevard (near the intersection of 79th Street). The pizzeria took over the art deco space formerly home to the China Palace and the restaurant’s original signage can now be found in the bar area. We were excited to visit the pizzeria not only because we were looking forward to a slice of Brooklyn down in Miami, but also because we had photographed the original China Palace sign back when it was still in business.




The owner, Jason Weinberg told us that he worked with Paulie Gee at his Greenpoint restaurant, learning all the recipes and his pizza making process, before deciding to open this first Southeast franchise of Paulie Gee’s.  Jason told us, “I picked this neighborhood, because it was up-and-coming. I spent over a year-and-a half traveling back and forth from New York while this place was undergoing renovation.” “I wanted to pay homage to the space’s past by preserving the signage.”

The renovation has revealed a stunning interior with columns painted over the years with layers of distressed paint in yellows, reds, blues, and greens now given a clear coat of enamel and the original ceiling of pecky cypress, a rare wood that was very desirable in 1941 at the time of the building’s construction, providing a contrast to the cement floors.

Just like the NYC Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the signature creatively topped pizzas are all cooked in a Stefano Ferrara wood-fired oven, complete with a tiled sun logo flanked by lemons.  Jason told us that, "Our wood-fired ovens operate at about 950 degrees F and cook the pies in just 90 seconds.” Jason also welcomed our pittie Hudson in, as the restaurant is pet-friendly!



Street-art inspired artwork hangs throughout the restaurant and there even is an old-school pinball machine, which our dog Hudson, was extremely fond of. He did have trouble staying off the tilt though...
 Weisberg serves many of the specialty pizzas that can also be found at Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint, including the “Ricotta Be Kiddin’ Me” (below) topped with fresh mozzarella, Canadian bacon, sweet Italian fennel sausage, fresh basil and post-oven fresh ricotta dollops and the “Hellboy” topped with fresh mozzarella, Italian tomatoes, Berkshire hot soppressata, Parmigiano Reggiano and Mike’s Hot Honey, as well as many vegan pies including the “In Ricotta Da Vegan” made with vegan tomato sauce, house made vegan fennel sausage, post oven house-made cashew ricotta dollops, baby arugula and extra virgin olive oil.

Weisberg has also created some new pizza creations that can only be found in Miami including The “Octopus’ Garden” topped with fresh mozzarella, garlic, arugula, and seasoned octopus, and the “Jewbano” topped with Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, Canadian bacon, pulled pork, and kosher dill pickles. Fellow diners Gabriela and Maria had the “Octopus Garden” pizza and the “In Ricotta Da Vegan” which they both raved about.

We had two pies. The first pie we chose was the “Brian DeParma” topped with Italian tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano which was prepared by both owner Jason and his assistant Orlando...

The pizza and salads are even served on Asian-inspired plates.

New York businessman, Gordon and Evan, eating in the bar area had an off menu pizza special topped with prosciutto di Parma, baby arugula, and Parmigiano Reggiano that brought them “right back home” minus the snowstorm.

For our second pizza we enjoyed the “Greenpointer” topped with fresh mozzarella, baby arugula, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano...




While enjoying our pies we noticed, near the entrance, shelving displayed colorful cans of imported tomatoes and a wooden pizza peel personalized by famed Brooklyn pizzaiolo, Dom DeMarco of DiFara’s Pizza.

We highly recommend dining at this new MiMo pizzeria for lunch and/or dinner. They serve wine and local craft beers and also have desserts including vegan ice cream.
Paulie Gee's Miami is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 6pm-10pm, Thursday- Saturday 12-11pm and Sunday 12pm-10pm. They are closed on Mondays.
LINK: http://pauliegee.com/miami/
 




Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hudson. Happy National Pizza Day!

To celebrate ๐ŸŽ‰ we visited Paulie Gee's Miami today! This is the new franchise location on Biscayne Blvd in the MiMo neighborhood of #Miami. It was opened by Jason Weisberg who worked with Paulie Gee in Greenpoint, Brooklyn learning everything about the #pizza ๐Ÿ• business and most importantly how to make the special pizza they serve using this imported wood-fired ๐Ÿ”ฅoven. We will show some of the delicious pizza ♨️ we ate tomorrow as well as the beautifully restored interior of this #ArtDeco space. We also are happy to say that this #Pizzeria is #dogfriendly as you can see from tonight's photo featuring our #rescuedog @hudsonpittienyc! #nationalpizzaday — at Paulie Gee's Miami.


Pizza ๐Ÿ• week continues with DiFara Pizza in Midwood, Brooklyn

This famous #Pizzeria is widely known for its thin-crust #pizza with bits of fresh basil ๐ŸŒฟ, a smattering of extra virgin olive oil in its sweet tomato ๐Ÿ… sauce and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese ๐Ÿง€ on top of imported Mozzarella cheese. Di Fara's was founded in 1964 and one of the three original founding partners, Dom DeMarco still makes every pie by hand. That is what his son says makes their pizza so consistent and delicious. We not only love their amazing pizza ๐Ÿ• but also their #handpainted signage. Photo from 2010 and full interview with Dominick DeMarco Jr. appear in our book "Store Front II-A History Preserved". #storefront #typography #type

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pizza ๐Ÿ• week continues with this amazing #vintage red and blue #neonsign for Wonder Bar Pizza in #Worcester, MA.

The Wonder Bar was opened in 1922 by Pasquale Bisceglia. It specializes in thin-crust Italian ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡นpizza and according to the manager they still make their pizza ๐Ÿ• the same way it has always been made, shredding the cheese by hand.



For our next #pizza week post we are highlighting New Park Pizza ๐Ÿ• in Howard Beach, Queens

This #pizzeria was founded in 1956 and uses a brick oven to make its NY-style thin crust pies. But the gem to us, is its vintage #neon sign with the flaming hot ๐Ÿ”ฅpie in its center. It makes getting to this hard-to-reach by public transportation #storefront worth the aggravation. Photo from 2010 appears in our book "New York Nights".

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Pizza Week continues with this #vintage #neonsign showcasing "Buster" delivering a piping hot pizza!

We found this in our archives and just had to share it. Notice the #handpainted details of pepperoni ๐Ÿ•and basil ๐ŸŒฟ on the #pizza and the #neon flames ๐Ÿ”ฅ coming off of it.