Thursday, August 4, 2022

Caffe Capri

Caffe Capri in Williamsburg, Brooklyn which had the best iced coffee we have ever had. It was so strong and flavorful and there was nothing better on a hot August day to cool you off. Sadly this lovely family-owned coffee shop closed in 2015 after being in business since 1974. We included this photo in our book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” and also interviewed Joe (the co-owner with his sister-in-law Sarah) and asked him why their iced coffee was so delicious and he told us the secret was that he made ice cubes using espresso, not water…so that when the ice cubes melted, they would not water down the coffee. What a brilliant idea!




Circo’s Pastry Shop

Circo’s Pastry Shop in Bushwick, Brooklyn has been in business since 1945. This Italian 🇮🇹 bakery has been using the same original family recipes brought over from Sicily by the current owner, Nino Pierdipino. When we interviewed the owner for our book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” in 2004, he told us that not only is the storefront original but that they had to cover their vintage neon sign in mesh in the 1970s because its neon tubes were constantly being broken by kids in the neighborhood throwing rocks and bottles at it. Thankfully, in 2016 they removed the mesh covering the neon and restored the sign to its former glory. Their most popular item is their Cannoli a la Siciliana, which we can say firsthand is absolutely delicious!





Jim’s Steaks

We heard news that Jim’s Steaks on South Street in Philadelphia has had a huge fire 🔥 which broke out early this morning and continued to burn into the afternoon as it spread through the HVAC system. We absolutely love Jim’s as it not only has a gorgeous Art Deco storefront but also has an amazingly delicious cheesesteak made with 100% Black Angus beef 🥩(swipe left for 2nd photo of our cheesesteak with Whiz …we did not get onions on ours as we shared it with our rescue dog Hudson). Jim’s Steaks was founded in 1939 in West Philadelphia but in the summer of 1976, the current South Street location opened and is now currently being run by the 2nd-generation owner, Ken Silver. We hope this iconic cheesesteak restaurant is able to reopen as firefighters are concerned about the structural stability of the building.
To watch our livestream visit to Jim’s South Street this past spring where we watched their beef being sliced before grilling and ate our very first cheesesteak (we also visited lots of other great please shops & historic places) visit our JamesandKarla YouTube channel, see direct link below & in bio and IG story.




Friday, July 29, 2022

Tracks Bar & Grill

Tracks Bar & Grill, the railroad-themed bar was founded over 20 years ago inside Penn Station 🚉 by Bruce Caulfield and his partners. Although the bar was forced to relocate to West 31st Street in 2019 when Penn Station began its giant redesign/expansion, Bruce retained the railroad theme inside the new location which features old prints and murals related to the history of the LIRR and for train lovers, there is a very rare model of the 1964 World’s Fair subway on display.




Thursday, July 28, 2022

Air Line Diner

In remembrance of actor Paul Sorvino, who passed away the other day, we are highlighting the Air Line Diner in Queens where iconic scenes starring Sorvino as Paul Cicero aka Big Pauly in Martin Scorcese’s film “Goodfellas” were filmed. The Airline Diner is a Mountain View diner (built in New Jersey and transported to Queens) and opened near La Guardia Airport, adjacent to the Grand Central Pkwy in Astoria, Queens in 1952. This historic diner became part of the Jackson Hole hamburger chain in more recent years but its original neon signage (swipe left for 2nd photo) was preserved. It is a wonderful place to visit and have their delicious burgers and even the interior remains the same as it did when Goodfellas was filmed.





Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Garden on Bleecker Street closed in 2005 after being in business since 1974. It was the last of the green grocers which remained in the neighborhood and was owned by John & Abel, who not only carefully hand-selected the items they sold but also knew all of their regular customers by name and warmly greeted them every day. 
We took this 35mm film photo in 2001 as part of a panorama of the entire block stretching from Leroy to Carmine Streets, which appears in our book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” and only 1 of the original businesses remains in business in its original location, Rocco’s Pasticceria. Joe’s Pizza which had been located right next door to Vegetable Garden on the corner of Bleecker & Carmine was forced to move after a similar rent increase by the landlord around the corner to Carmine Street, where it thankfully is still operating today.