Sunday, September 12, 2021

Did you know that New York City was literally built from Oyster 🦪 Shells?

When Henry Hudson arrived in what is now New York City in 1609, there were approximately 350 square miles of oyster reefs in the harbor and its surrounding waters, which contained nearly half of the world’s oyster population. As the city expanded, many of the buildings including Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center depended on the burning of oyster shells for lime. 

While thinking about the importance of oysters to NYC, we are highlighting “The Famous Oyster Bar” on 7th Avenue at West 54th Street which was founded in 1959 and continued to be operated by the same family until it closed in 2014. It’s bright red #neonsignage was saved and now hangs at the Grey Lady restaurant and oyster bar restaurant on Delancey Street in the Lower East Side.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Sunshine Florist on First Avenue at 52nd Street has been in business since 1958.

This lovely family-owned #florist like many florists across the country and elsewhere, struggled to survive during the pandemic as it was forced to close since it was not an essential business, wedding and other large parties to which they provide flowers for were cancelled and many people who live in the Sutton Place neighborhood that this #floralshop serves also moved out of the neighborhood.  

• Yesterday we visited Sunshine Florist to check in on it and are happy to report that they are still going strong! To watch our livestream video where we visit Sunshine Florist as well as another independently-owned small business in the neighborhood. 

To watch and subscribe to our JamesandKarla YouTube channel, see direct link below & in bio and IG story. 

•Full video:

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Happy Rosh Hashanah to all who celebrate!

In honor of the Jewish New Year celebration which began at sundown last night, we are highlighting Ditmas Kosher Meats & Poultry, as beef brisket is one of the dishes traditionally served on this holiday. 

When we photographed Ditmas Meats & Poultry in 2004 for our book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York”, we also spoke with the owner of this Borough Park, Brooklyn #storefront who told us that the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were one of the busiest times of year for his business! 

• • • • • #disappearingfaceofnewyork #kosher #jamesandkarla #meatmarket #butcher #kosherfood #jewishfood #boroughpark #butchershop #butchersofinstagram #butchers #poultryofinstagram

Sunday, September 5, 2021

To continue our barbecue-filled celebration for the Labor` Day weekend, we are highlighting William’s BAR-B-Q on Broadway in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

This barbecue spot, was founded in 1952 by Harry Williams and became well known for its barbecue chicken 🍗 served hot off the spit. 

Many famous customers frequented the small take away joint, including Liza Minnelli, Harry Belafonte, Wade Boggs, Isaac Stern and Itzhak Perlman before it closed in 2005. 

Our 35 mm film photo taken in 2004 is an outside from our book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York”. 

• #jamesandkarla #barbecue #storefront #barbecuetime #bbqchicken #disappearingfaceofnewyork #bbqlife #bbqchicken #bbqporn #beefbrisket #barbecuesauce #bbqchicken #coleslaw #upperwestsidenyc

Saturday, September 4, 2021

With the holiday weekend starting, attending a barbecue is on our mind and got us thinking about Sherman’s Bar BQ in Harlem.

This barbecue 🍖 spot, which was founded in 1948, was a neighborhood favorite for its outstanding pork 🐷barbecue ribs and even served the Beatles in 1964 when Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes took them to Sherman’s Bar BQ. Sadly this iconic restaurant closed in 2011. 

Our 35 mm film photo taken in 2004 appears in our book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York”.  

• • • • • • #jamesandkarla #barbecue #bbqribs #disappearingfaceofnewyork #bbqlife #bbqchicken #bbqporn #harlem #storefront #harlemnyc #barbecuetime

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Zelig Blumenthal on Essex Street near Hester Street was one of the many Judaica stores in the Lower East Side selling Jewish religious articles.

When we took this 35mm film photo in 2004 for our book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” we had no idea in that just a few short years that it would close and be replaced by a coffee shop as the neighborhood became more and more gentrified. The other religious stores in the neighborhood also closed and to our knowledge there are none left. Yesterday, we visited this part of the Lower East Side, which once had a large Jewish population and stopped in some other Jewish-owned shops to help support them. 

To watch our livestream visit to the area, please subscribe to our JamesandKarla YouTube channel, see direct link below & in bio and IG story. 

• Full video: