Sunday, March 31, 2019

In honor of #nationalpencilday ✏️ yesterday, we are highlighting CW PENCIL ENTERPRISE in the Lower East Side.

@cwpencilenterprise was founded online in 2014 by Caroline Weaver, an amateur pencil collector and lifelong pencil lover. Their original store location (shown in our photo) was opened on Forsyth Street in March 2015 and their current larger shop on Orchard Street features an in-store testing station where you can try out dozens of pencils on a pad before purchasing. The staff are very knowledgeable and know everything about the pencils, erasers, notepads and pencil sharpeners they sell. The pencil shop also has a selection of antique pencils produced before 1980 which aren’t in production anymore and has a hot foil stamper so they can personalize pencils purchased at the store. Happy National Pencil ✏️Day to everyone who (like us) still uses pencils!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Souvenirs on East 14th Street with owner Alex Bogatyr in the doorway.

This shop had an interesting selection of Russian ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ souvenirs, including military hats, pins and medals ๐ŸŽ–, a collection of Russian nesting dolls as well as music, fabrics, framed photos and postcards. It seemed like its window display remained unchanged for years and the interior was equally clutter-filled with Russian bric-a-bric from floor to ceiling. Sadly this shop closed in 2015 after a rent increase and the space was initially occupied by a coffee shop which also now has closed and (if memory serves us correctly) is currently occupied by a bubble tea place.

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Waldorf-Astoria closed the doors to its historic #hotel in 2017

The Waldorf-Astoria closed the doors to its historic #hotel in 2017 for a huge renovation project that will eventually create larger rooms and add a new set of luxury condos. But before it closed, we had a chance to photograph its interior with its 1931 Art Deco spaces. After the renovation plan was announced by its new owners, thankfully the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the first three floors as an interior landmark. Sadly not included in the landmarked spaces is the Starlight Lounge and its gorgeous hallway on the 19th floor (photo). To see more of our pre-renovation photos of the Waldorf-Astoria and read more about its history, please visit @6sqft:

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Photography from our visit to the Waldorf Astoria for 6sqft...

Full article:

"Luckily, photographers James and Karla Murray captured the Waldorf in all its glory before it closed its doors. Ahead, take a tour of the old Waldorf, from its iconic, two-ton lobby clock to the three-tiered grand ballroom."

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

We were on @newyorklivetv today at 11:30 am speaking with @joellegarguilo and visiting some of our favorite East Village Storefronts

Watch the video here:

Hudson going in for the kiss! At the viewing party for

NBC today at 11:30AM where we visited some East Village stores with @JoelleGarguilo ...watching live at Russo's, East Village, NYC

Watch us on NBC today at 11:30AM as we visit some East Village stores with Joelle Garguilo...

Join Joelle Garguilo as she catches up with Insta-famous James and Karla Murray Photography and gets a #history lesson on NYC's stores. Tune in at 11:30 and check out more of their pics like this on the #newyorklivetv Instagram. #storefront #photography #nyc #newyorkcity #NewYorkCity

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Springtime over at 150 year old GERBEAUD CONFECTIONARY Cafe, Budapest, earlier...

Renovation works are in full swing on central Vรถrรถsmarty tรฉr, where a wartime bomb has just been discovered yesterday, outside the legendary Cafรฉ.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC on Broome Street in the Lower East Side has been open since 2005.

This adorable #bakery is 100% vegan as well as being gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free and refined sugar-free. The only sweeteners they use are both agave nectar and vegan sugar (evaporated cane juice). Erin’s goal is to make eating #vegan and gluten-free fun and delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹. We not only love @erinmckennasbakery focus but also the #neon and blade #signage on its #storefront.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

On this chilly day in NYC, we can’t help but think of warmer Spring weather and all the flowers ๐ŸŒธ that will soon be blooming.

The Flower Stall on East 13th Street was founded by Cornell Edwards in 1967 and was housed in one of the few remaining pre-law tenement buildings with its original #storefront intact which exist in New York City. Sadly, Cornell who according to @gvshp_nyc was an “excellent steward of the building” passed away in 2011. ๐Ÿ’

Thursday, March 21, 2019

We are excited to be speaking about Storefronts and the plight of Mom & Pop Shops during "Best of the Boroughs: Queens Day" at the American Folk Art Museum on April 26th at 3PM.

Free; registration recommended

Since it does not feel like Spring here in New York City, our thoughts went to a different city where we enjoyed some beautiful Spring weather...Paris, France ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท.

Lapin Agile is a historic #cabaret club in Montmartre which has existed since 1860. Although it originally had a different name. In 1875 the artist Andre Gill ๐ŸŽจ painted the sign that was to suggest its new permanent name... a picture of a rabbit ๐Ÿ‡ jumping out of a saucepan and locals began calling the night club Le Lapin a Gill, meaning “Gill’s rabbit”. In the early 1900s, Lapin Agile became a favorite spot for struggling artists and writers including Picasso, Modigliani, Apollinaire and Utrillo. Happy First Day of Spring #firstdayofspring ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒทeveryone!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

La Guli Pastry Shop, Astoria, Queens

In honor of St. Joseph's Day yesterday, (Feast of St. Joseph), which is celebrated on March 19th to honor the legal father of Jesus and patron saint of carpenters (as well as acting as Father's Day in countries including Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น , Spain ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ and Portugal ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น), we are highlighting La Guli Pastry Shop in Astoria, Queens where you can get sfinge, a pastry dedicated to St. Joseph's Day.

La Guli Pastry has been family owned and operated since 1937. When we photographed this #storefront in 2009 for our book, "Store Front II- A History Preserved" we interviewed the 2nd-generation owner Rosario Notaro, who shared with us some history about his #pasticerria. Below is an excerpt from the full interview which appears in our book. “My father, Paolo, immigrated to New York from Palermo, Italy and he and his brothers, who had a background in the pastry business, opened two Italian pastry shops in Manhattan in the 1920s. My father saved all of his money and moved to Astoria, which was considered the wilderness back then. He bought the building and opened this pastry store in 1937 using all of his old family recipes, which were passed down from generation to generation. Everything here is handmade on the premises and we are known for our authentic Italian pastries including cannolis and sfogliatelle that you rarely find in other stores.”

Monday, March 18, 2019

Photography from our preview day visit to The Vessel at Hudson Yards for 6sqft...

Full article:

"The long-awaited Hudson Yards development opened on Friday and with it, the centerpiece of the 28-acre project: a 150-foot-tall climbable public art piece, known as “Vessel.” Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the impressive bronzed steel-and-concrete structure offers visitors a one-mile vertical climbing experience through 154 interconnected flights of stairs and 2,500 individual steps. On Friday, 6sqft joined the first group of people to ever climb the honeycomb-shaped sculpture. Ahead, get up close to the intricately-designed Vessel and learn how to reserve tickets to climb it."

Photography from our visit to an East Village railroad apartment for 6sqft...

Full article:

"There are almost too many charming elements to note about advertising professional Kate Callander’s East Village one-bedroom. First, there are all the original features–the floorboards, claw-foot tub, penny tiles, exposed brick, and copper light fixtures. Then there’s the serene vibe you get as soon as you walk in. Hoping to create her own “slice of heaven” within the bustling neighborhood, Kate opted for neutral fabrics, whimsical touches like her beloved fairy lights, and soft, feminine finds. But most importantly, she’s filled her home with mementos from her upbringing and travels."

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

In honor of the anniversary of Jack Kerouac's birthday yesterday, March 12, 1922 we are highlighting one of his favorite haunts in the East Village, Gem Spa, where he often had egg creams

 Gem Spa at the corner of 2nd Avenue and St. Mark's Place has been in business since the 1940s and is famous for its egg creams, a quintessential New York beverage originally served in candy stores throughout the Lower East Side beginning in the 1920s. The egg cream does not contain eggs or cream but is a mixture of very cold milk, seltzer, and flavored syrup. Because most of the original soda fountain locations have closed, true egg creams are rapidly disappearing. To this day, Gem Spa continues to make their egg creams using the same recipe and original soda fountain machine from the 1940s. The countermen learned to make egg creams from the previous owner who learned from the previous owner before him. The chocolate, vanilla, and coffee-flavored syrups were once made in the basement by the store’s original owner. On a typical weekend night, Gem Spa sells about 70 egg creams.  Photo from 2001 appears in our book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” along with an interview with the current owner who explains about Gem Spa’s secret to making their best-selling egg creams.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Pete’s Pizza ๐Ÿ• & Restaurant in Midwood, Brooklyn.

We love the #signage this classic NY #pizzeria (circa 1975) has with its chasing lights surrounding the perimeter (notice that it has one yellow-colored๐Ÿ’ก light while the rest are clear). The gumball machines located by the front door also caught our eye.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Walter’s Delicatessen in Queens.

We not only loved the #vintage Coca-Cola #privilegesign this deli had (notice that they mistakenly inserted the lettering to read DEILCATESSEN”) but also the architectural details the building itself has. Photographing places like this mom-and-pop #storefront has taught us to really look ๐Ÿ‘€for “hidden in plain sight” details!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Yesterday was National Meatball Day #nationalmeatballday so we are highlighting one of your favorite Italian restaurants in NYC QUEEN RISTORANTE in Brooklyn Heights.

Queen Ristorante is a second-generation family owned Italian restaurant, which was founded in 1958. When we photographed the restaurant in 2011 for our book, "New York Nights", we also interviewed the second generation owner, Vincent Vitiello. Here is an excerpt from the full interview which appears in our book.
"This neighborhood has changed drastically since we opened. It once had a very large Italian population and the area south of here on President Street and Union Street was almost exclusively Italian. Now of course, it’s very mixed and gentrified and also has gotten pretty expensive. Our customer base has not really changed because we have always been a neighborhood restaurant, which thrives on repeat customer business. Our customers are special to us and we try hard to make them feel that this is like a home to them. Even though there is a neighborhood feel to our restaurant, we try to keep the food at a world-class level but with a neighborhood sensibility. The fact that we have been in business over 50 years with consistently high ratings from the critics attests to the fact that we are one of the best Italian restaurants in Brooklyn and the top in all of New York City."

Friday, March 8, 2019

White Horse Tavern in the West Village has been in business since 1880.

It is one of the few wood-frame structures still in existence in New York City. The historic bar, once a hang-out for dock workers on the Hudson River piers was even open during Prohibition as it was a favorite haunt of Mayor Jimmy Walker. When we photographed White Horse Tavern in 2010 for our book “New York Nights” we also interviewed the owner, Eddie Brennan who bought the business in 1967 and later purchased the entire building. Below is an excerpt from the full interview. “Dylan Thomas was a frequent customer of the bar and often drank in the back room, to avoid the crowds. I remember him as just another customer when I was like 16, 17 years old and I would come into the bar to have a drink with the guys from the pier. I didn’t realize that he was a highly respected writer and poet. Dylan Thomas liked this bar because it was like home to him. He was a Welshman and was used to hanging around working class guys like miners and seafaring people. He would walk down here from the Chelsea Hotel where he was staying at the time. This was the last place he had drinks at before he became ill and died in 1953. The overhanging #neon sign went up some time in the 1940s. I recently had the sign entirely rebuilt because it had been very rusty and shaky.”

We just heard that the entire building has now been sold by Eddie Brennan with the sale contingent upon obtaining a leaseholder to maintain the century-old bar as is. The restauranteur Eytan Sugarman who has leased the space for 15 years has said that he will take the bar's history into account and wants to preserve its rich history.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

20 Instagram Photographers You Should Be Following in 2019 By: JESSI GOWAN for PHLEARN Magazine 03.05.19

Full article:  "This husband-and-wife duo are the epitome of relationship goals. As both architectural and interior photographers and multi-media artists, the pair has released a number of stunning coffee table books to critical acclaim, and they have images included in the permanent collections of some of New York’s major art institutions.  And on Instagram, they showcase photographs from their Store Front series – documenting the disappearing face of New York City. Browsing their feed is like taking a walk through the city’s colorful history, and you’ll find yourself feeling thankful for the effort they’re making to preserve it."

Bay Lighting, Borough Park, Brooklyn

We are huge fans of #typography and #lettering styles and this is one of the main reasons, we started looking at and documenting storefronts in the late 1990s...we were attracted to their signage including #neon signs and hand-painted signs. Bay Lighting in Borough Park, Brooklyn definitely attracted our eyes ๐Ÿ‘€ as it had a fantastic #neonsign in #script. This lighting store was founded in 1937 by Stewart Marks and when we took this #analog photo in 2004 for our book, “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York”, the second-generation owner, David, told us that the signage was installed in the early 1940s. We wonder if the signage was saved as the #storefront closed a number of years ago.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

More about our announcement of Moishe's Kosher Bake Shop closing for 6sqft...

Full article:

"Owner Moishe Perl told local photographers James and Karla Murray that yesterday was the bakery’s last day, and that the entire building has been sold. In business since 1977, everything was baked on the premises daily. Moishe’s challah bread, rye bread, hamantaschen, rugelach, babka and sugar kichel were legendary."

Hudson. Goodbye Moishe. Sadly, we just heard from the owner, Moishe Perl that yesterday was its last day as the the entire building has been sold.

MOISHE’S BAKE SHOP on 2nd Avenue by East 7th Street in The East Village has been in business since 1977 and has closed.

Sadly, we heard from the owner, Moishe Perl that yesterday was its last day as the the entire building has been sold. We loved this kosher #bakery as everything was baked on the premises fresh every day. They were known for their challah bread, rye bread, hamantaschen, rugelach, babka and sugar kichel.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Henry Street Deli in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

We took this photo in 2003, at a time when people still purchased newspapers ๐Ÿ—ždaily as you can see from the large stacks of various newspapers lined up on the yellow rack outside the shop. You didn’t even have to go inside if you were only buying a paper ๐Ÿ“ฐ, you could simply put your coins on the ledge of the walk-up window. We miss this aspect as we often would flip through the paper before committing to buying a copy. These days so few newspapers are sold at delis and newsstands (one owner told us that he is lucky if he sells 6 or 7 copies of the Sunday New York Times vs. in the 1990s when he sold hundreds of copies in just a few hours in the morning).

Friday, March 1, 2019

Freemans, Lower East Side, NYC

Freemans is a restaurant that is located at the end of an alley off of Rivington Street near the Bowery in the Lower East Side. It was opened by Taavo Somer and William Tigertt in 2004 after they discovered the “hiding in plain sight” space in an unused alley and started serving rustic American fare (meat ๐Ÿฅฉ, chicken ๐Ÿ” and fish ๐ŸŸ) and craft cocktails ๐Ÿธ. We love its turquoise blue door surrounded by plants ๐ŸŒฑ and the festive light ๐Ÿ’ก bulbs strung above the entrance. They say a business with no sign is a sign of no business but in this case, it definitely is NOT true.