Saturday, October 21, 2017

Long Island Bar in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

@longislandbar is an historic bar/restaurant which was opened in 1951 by Ramon Montero and was run by his daughter Emma Sullivan (and her late husband) until 2007. It sat empty for nearly 7 years until it was lovingly restored (including the #vintage two-color #neonsign ) and reopened by Joel Tompkins and #mixologist Toby Cecchini. We love ❤️ that they not only kept but relit the #neon. We are sure that Emma would be proud! We photographed this #storefront back in 2004 for our book "Store Front:The Disappearing Face of New York" and also interviewed Emma who told us the name of the bar was chosen by her father "because Brooklyn was still considered part of Long Island back then".

Friday, October 20, 2017

Hudson. Gorgeous day rooftopping, East Village, NYC, earlier...

Newsstand, Union Square Park, NYC

Beginning in 2007, the city began to replace various old newsstands throughout Manhattan and the boroughs with glass and steel boxes by CEMUSA, which operate as franchise locations. The ramshackle old Newsstands were mainly privately-owned small businesses and the owners kept them for generations. Sadly this green, oval-shaped newsstand, recently closed and construction began to remake the location into a stand selling nuts. We will miss this #newsstand! #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork  #unionsquare

Union Square, Autumn. For Travel + Leisure via Getty Images. 10.20.17

Thursday, October 19, 2017


"James and Karla Murray’s classic tome from their ongoing Store Front series is now available (Dec 2017) 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.

The authors’ landmark 2008 book, Store Front, was recently cited in Bookforum’s 20th Anniversary issue as having “…demonstrated the paradoxical power of digital photo editing to alter actual views in order for us to see more clearly what is really there.” James and Karla Murray live in New York City and were awarded the New York Society Library’s prestigious New York City book award in 2012 for their last book, New York Nights."


In honor of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, which starts today: Milon, a Bangladesh Indian restaurant, East Village, NYC

Milon is a family-owned restaurant, which has been in business since 1982. As seen in this photo, Milon and its neighboring restaurants, take #Diwali very seriously and have decorated their interiors with thousands of lights. The owner of Milon told us that in the summer, they have to unplug lots of their lights because when the air conditioner is running, they overload the circuits! Photo from 2010 and full interview with owner appear in our book "New York Nights". #storefront #diwalidecor #lodownny #ig_signage #everything_signage #festivaloflights

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Photography from our visit to EverGreene Architectural Arts in Industry City, Brooklyn for 6sqft's new feature "Where I Work"...


"On Monday evening, the Historic Districts Council will present their 29th annual Landmarks Lion Award to Jeff Greene of EverGreene Architectural Arts, one of the nation’s foremost experts in specialty contracting for both traditional and new, innovative techniques for restoring and conserving murals, ornamental plaster, and decorative finishes. “Jeff has been pivotal in restoring some of New York City’s most beloved landmarks to their proper glory,” said HDC’s executive director Simeon Bankoff. And indeed, this is true; their commissions include the recent restoration of the New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room, Brooklyn’s Loew’s Kings Theater, the Eldridge Street Synagogue, and the McKim, Mead and White-designed University Club, where the event will be held, and this only scratches the surface of their hundreds of projects throughout the country."

We are in a sporting mood with the NY Yankees ⚾️playing tonight in the post-season at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx

That is why we are highlighting Varsity Sneakers πŸ‘ŸShoes πŸ‘ž. We love the #vintage #signage this #storefront has, especially because it includes the word "DUNGAREES" πŸ‘–. We also are fans of this #Bronx store's large window displays, which you rarely see in newer shops as they tend to maximize interior square footage and not care about large product window displays.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hudson. Curtain call over at Theater for the New City Gallery as our show "Capturing the Lower East Side's Storefronts"came down today!

Thank you to all who supported our workshops and resulting gallery show and continue to support the Mom & Pop Stores of New York City.

Thank you to all our generous sponsors including Neighborhood Preservation Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Municipal Art Society of New York, East Village Community Coalition, Veselka :: BeceΠ»ΠΊa, The Village Alliance, Greenwich Village Society For Historic Preservation, Unique Copy Center and Unique Visuals NY, Veniero's, Jimmy's No. 43, Westside Market Taste Wine Company, FABNYC, Townsquared, and Amalgamated Bank.

Also thank you to following blogs and websites who showed support: The Lo-Down NY, Untapped Cities, E.V. Grieve, PIX 11, 6sqft and others who showed their love of neighborhood mom&pops! #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork #ahistorypreserved

Hudson. With Karla and Jimmy Webb over at Jimmy's @IxNEEDxMORE, LowerEast Side, NYC...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Chung's Candy & Soda Stand, Lower East Side, NYC

We love how this small #momandpop shop kept their original #signage visible and did not cover it up with the newer plastic awning. Sadly, according to the @lodownny Chung's Candy 🍭  & Soda Stand has now closed and a for rent sign is visible across the #storefront. #disappearingfaceofnewyork

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Box Fresh 1969 Polaroid Model 340 Land Camera

We couldn't believe our eyes πŸ‘€  when we spotted this entire #vintage @polaroid set-up at a flea market near our studio in the East Village, with its original packaging and cold-clip (to get good color pictures when the temperature of the camera and film is 65 degrees F or below) and optional Polaroid Flashgun # 268 and unopened pack of 75 speed color film which expired in October 1970. All we have to do to get it in working order is to convert the current 4.5 V battery which powers the electric eye and shutter controls to use AAA batteries. Original price tag says G. Fox & Co. Department Store.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Neptune Liquors in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

This liquor shop not only has great #script #signage but also a great graphic of the god Neptune. We took this #analog photo in 2006 for our book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York" (hence the low liquor prices compared to today's prices). #storefront #type #disappearingfaceofnewyork

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Jet Set Concepts, Harlem, NYC

We not only love the #signage this #storefront has with its combination of #script and #fontastic lettering but also love the forward fashion and wigs displayed in the windows. #Analog photo from 2004 appears in our book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York".

Friday, October 6, 2017

AT&T Long Distance Building Lobby

Hildreth Meiere was commissioned to design the ceiling mural in this building's lobby that depicts the "Continents Linked by the Telephone and Wireless". We love the #ArtDeco style of the ceiling murals and this tile map of the world 🌎. #untappedcitiesOHNY

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

White Mountain Farm Grocery, NYC

In honor of last night's harvest moon πŸŒ•  which is unusually late this year (it is normally seen in late September, not October) we are posting White Mountain Farm Grocery. We love that this #delicatessen kept its #vintage Coca-Cola #privilegesign. In the 1930s and 40s, these #signs were very prevalent around the city as they were given free to store owners who agreed to sell Coca-Cola products. Unfortunately many of these Coca-Cola signs have been replaced. #storefront

Monday, October 2, 2017

Getting ready to ship our Chromatic Storefront Collage Print 20 X 60 inch (5 feet width) to a client, just now...

Limited edition prints available up to 6 feet width. Contact us for more info:

The Market Diner, NYC

The Market Diner opened in 1962 and was one of the city's most interesting diners in an architectural sense as it was built with a zig-zag overhang and windows that sloped inward at the bottom. Unfortunately it closed in 2015 when the real estate company who owned the property decided to build a 13-story mixed use glass tower in its place. We loved this #diner not only for its crazy architecture but also because it was one of the last stand-alone diners left in Manhattan. #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork #gentrification #vintagediner #chromediner

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Russ & Daughters Cafe on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side.

The 4th-generation owners of the historic Russ & Daughters Appetizers shop @russanddaughters opened this sit-down restaurant a few years ago so that people could enjoy their smoked salmon, sturgeon, herring 🐟 and caviar along with other Jewish comfort food including knishes, potato latkes and matzo ball soup. We not only love this cafe's food but also love how they modeled both the exterior of the cafe including its #neon #signage and the interior on the original 1904 location. #storefront #neonsign  #breakthefast

Friday, September 29, 2017

La Pastora Bakery in the Bronx has been in business for nearly 40 years.

The third-generation owner told us that his grandfather started the business after moving to the United States from Puerto Rico and that they still use all of his original recipes. Our hearts ♥️ go out to everyone who has friends and family in Puerto Rico and hope they all recover from the devastation the hurricane caused on the island. Photo from 2006 and full interview with owner appear in our book, "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York". #storefront

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hudson. In front of our near life size photo of the lost East Village treasure Love Save's The Day.

On display at the Theater for the New City Gallery on 155 First Ave at 10th street.

Capturing the Lower East Side's Storefronts is on display through Sunday, October 15th!

The gallery is free and open daily from 10am to 10pm.

Deli Grocery, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

We took this #analog photo in 2003 when people still purchased a variety of newspapers on a daily basis. The owner told us that newspaper sales were an important part of the business even though they didn't have a large profit margin because when people would purchase a newspaper they usually bought something else such as candy or a food item. #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Chelsea Sewing Center on West 23rd Street.

When we took this photo in early 2009, we thought to ourselves that this business may be in jeopardy as the area surrounding it was changing tremendously including the Garment District. Earlier this year, the mayor announced that he wants to eliminate the Garment District's zoning protections for manufacturing and move manufacturers and fashion firms to the remote eastern area of Sunset Park. This news doesn't bode well for a store that sells and repairs sewing machines and also sells fabrics, notions and buttons. #disappearingfaceofnewyork

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Our Remington Noiseless Model 7 typewriter manufactured in 03/1947

This #vintage typewriter was first made in 1931 and featured a full-sized paper table, a tabulator, black plastic keytops, and a long, horizontal carriage return lever. The original price for this portable #typewriter was $105. Remington stopped making these during WWII but revived them after the war with new features including black wrinkle paint, which is what ours has. We luckily found this at a flea market and it was in perfect working condition and just needed a new ribbon, which we happily installed.

We used this typewriter to print the artist labels for the storefront exhibition we curated and currently can be seen at the Theater for the New City Gallery on 155 First Ave at 10th street. The gallery is free and open daily from 10am to 10pm. Capturing the Lower East Side's Storefronts is on display through Sunday, October 15th!

Nathan's Famous in Coney Island, Brooklyn just after sunset...

Even though it is near the end of September and the first weekend of the fall season, it reached 91 degrees F in New York City so a visit to Nathan's seemed appropriate. Nathan's @originalnathans was opened in 1916 by Nathan Handwerker, a Jewish immigrant from Poland. Nathan's became popular in #ConeyIsland due to its low prices (5 cents a hot dog) attention grabbing #signage and attractive location by the beach. We not only love its hot dogs but also its array of #neon signage. The large vertical #neonsign was installed in the 1930s and the others along the #storefront were added in the 1960s. Photo from 2011 appears in our book "New York Nights". #nathansfamous

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Alias Restaurant, Lower East Side, NYC

Alias Restaurant at the corner of Clinton and Rivington Streets on the Lower East Side. We love this restaurant and it's chasing light bodega sign as well as the street art painted above it. The neighborhood, which we thought had already changed a great deal in 2010 when we took this photo, has changed even more in recent years. Outtake from our book NEW YORK NIGHTS. #storefront #disappearingfaceofnewyork

Friday, September 22, 2017

Now printed directly on METAL!

Our Chromatic Signage Collage is now available printed on metal with a high-gloss finish to give a glass-like sheen, ready to hang with aluminum rail wall mount on back. These prints are also available unframed up to over 6 FEET in length (12 in X 36 in metal print shown). Metal print is 100% water resistant. Contact us to order!

A scrambled #sign in Brooklyn.

We love that someone moved the #signage tiles around on this abandoned #storefront. We figured out the "Bakery" part of this puzzle fairly quickly but are not that sure of the rest of it and didn't want to cheat by using Google street view.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy Rosh Hashanah!

Kosher Island, Staten Island, NYC.

Photo from 2010 appears in our book "Store Front II-A History Preserved".

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A visit to See's Candies on West 8th Street, Greenwich Village, NYC

See’s Candies located on 60 West 8th Street (near 6th Avenue) in the West Village has been open since the end of January 2017. We had a chance to sit down and talk with Bill Rhodes, the owner of this charming old-time candy shop.

Charles See founded See’s Candies in 1921 in Los Angeles. Charles originally owned an apothecary but his mother’s chocolate was so delicious that he started selling it in the store and eventually people bought more chocolate than aspirin so that was the start of the company.

All of the chocolate and candy we sell today is made exactly the same way as it was in 1921. Nothing has changed. In fact the entire store is gluten free because everything is exactly as it was in 1921, when people didn’t use any fillers in anything.

It is very cosmopolitan today to have this type of candy because there are no fillers in it whatsoever.

Even during the great wars when there were rations, Mr. See insisted on using quality ingredients and insisted that his mother’s recipes remain unchanged. It was always the best ingredients, without compromise. And that is why the product has always tasted just as delicious as it did in 1921.

The chocolate itself has no wax or paraffin in it so that is why it tastes so creamy and delicious. Most other chocolate companies add an agent that will help make it set more quickly or so that it doesn’t melt in warm weather. When it comes to our dark chocolate, people who don’t even like dark chocolate, like ours because we actually add vanilla to the mix.

The Bordeaux (seen in Bill's hands in photo above) has been one of our best sellers for many years. It is a brown sugar buttercream and drenched in either a delicious milk chocolate or dark chocolate with sprinkles on top.

I picked this neighborhood because I really wanted to recreate for New York what a true old-fashioned chocolate store would have been like in 1921. The West Village and West 8th Street in particular for some reason has something that pulls your heart strings of old New York. There is just something…a feeling to West 8th Street.

I wanted a store with not only the best product but with amazing customer service and people dressed in uniforms that would have been applicable back in 1921. I really wanted the store itself to give the image of going back in time.

When I worked with the architect when first designing the store, I gave him a picture of the original See’s Candy Store in Los Angeles and said to him, “I want you to recreate this in New York.” And he did. He used the finest marble floors and countertops and even was able to use the original light fixtures that had been inside a See’s Candy Store in the 1940s. 

The fixtures were in a storage warehouse in San Francisco and when I told the company my plans to recreate the original store, they gave them to me. The architect even insisted that the air conditioning vents were hidden because in the original store, there was no air conditioning. So if you stand inside this store, it’s really like you are taken back in time.

We have over 100 varieties of chocolate in the store and in the candy counter where you can pick and choose whatever you want, there are over 80 varieties. We usually have special flavors of chocolate or lollipops for each season. The flavors change with the season and with the different holidays such as Christmas, Valentines, Halloween etc. The store really gets transformed each season by the product that enters it. People really look forward to the change in seasons so that they can see what new flavors come in.

The boxed candy we sell is also consistent to what was originally offered. The boxes even say on the side, Quality without compromise” because that was Mr. See’s slogan.

We get all of chocolates and candies shipped to us from our manufacturing facility on the West Coast once a week. It is over-nighted via air freight. The chocolate we sell is meant to be eaten right away. This isn’t the kind of product that is meant to be bought and given as a present in a month or two. Our chocolates use only the freshest ingredients and taste best when they are eaten right away.

We encourage everyone to stop by See's Candies and say hi to Bill and the staff and sample some of their chocolates and candies as we did. We absolutely loved their "Chocolate and Variety" box which has a mix of some of their most popular milk, dark, and white chocolate soft centers, crunchy nuts and smooth caramels. We particularly enjoyed their Kona Mocha, a white chocolate with a milk chocolate and coffee soft center with toasted coconut. They also just received their new Halloween flavors! Not only did we love the chocolates and candy they sell but really appreciate how so much attention was paid to the design of this store (both exterior and interior). When stepping into it, we really felt transported back in time.

Hudson. Treat time with model Ali from Senegal over in Soho, NYC, earlier...