The Disappearing Faces of New York City.
Photographs by James T. & Karla L. Murray.
Gingko Press, Corte Madera, 2008. 224 pp., 150 illustrations., 11½x13".
Now in its second printing.
Authors James and Karla Murray have been photographing the streets of New York for years, publishing two bestselling books on the graffiti scene, Broken Windows and Burning New York, in the process. With the publication of Storefront, the Murrays have turned their attention towards faithfully documenting the generations-old stores and shop windows of New York’s neighbourhoods. Within the pages of Storefront, the reader may explore entire blocks that have not changed much in the past century, engaging in startling encounter with contemporary New York. Details of an architectural and cultural heritage that is fast disappearing such as signage, architectural adornment, and window displays are presented in context, as they exist on the street, all in amazing detail. Between the collected interviews with the shop-owners, and photos from every nook and cranny of New York, Storefront is sure to evoke feelings of nostalgia in hardboiled New Yorkers, visitors and ex-pats alike.
'The text accompanying each image mentions the year the store opened and often includes detailed remembrances of the stores' histories obtained through interviews with managers or owners. Images in the book are grouped by borough and neighborhood. Each section is accompanied by a clear map outlining the area and a short description of the cultural heritage of each neighborhood. The book includes four foldout sections of panoramic photos capturing entire city blocks, so that the storefronts may be seen within the context of the locale. The book documents this subject with such deeply fascinating detail, it will be of interest to many patrons, including people who never intend to visit New York City.'
-Library Journal Review, March 15, 2009
'For sentimental New Yorkers, these are tear-jerking times. Along with many overly posh things that most of us will survive just fine without, the bad economy threatens to flush away lots of fragile, old-school features of the city we love. James T. and Karla L. Murray document many of these in their excellent new coffee-table book, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York. Since they began their project eight years ago, fully one-third of their subjects are closed, and many more are certainly on the brink.'
-New York Magazine, March 13, 2009
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