Short Documentary: “Store Front New York”

Cool little doc about James & Karla Murray, a married couple who take photographs of New York City store fronts, made by the folks at Munrovia.  Enjoy.

MORE: You can pick up the Murray’s book Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York here if you’re interested.

RELATED: Two of my favorite store fronts in NYC were Celebrity Snack Palace, a scrubby diner on Delancey St. in Manhattan, and Explosion Robinson, a clothing store on Grand St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Both establishments are, unfortunately, long gone. I have photos of both of them somewhere, but here are cropped images of their signage I found on the internet…

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The latter is an album cover for a band that was named after the store and, yes, that’s really what the awning looked like. How awesome is that?

Posted by Kevin K. on 07/30/09 at 08:15 AM • Permalink

Categories: I Don't Know Much About Art, But I Know What I LikeNew York CityBrooklynManhattanYouTubidity

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Ralph’s made the cover! Ralph’s Discount, on, I think, Chambers St, is gone, but its battered, ridged steel face and plate-glass windows were 50, or maybe even 40’s, state-of-the-art, and looked so fantastically comic-book New York. I used to admire it from across the street as the sun hit it, low and from the side—it looked just like where Clark Kent would go on his lunch hour to purchase rubber bands.

That was good, I wish it had been longer.  I just ordered their book on Amazon and another one called “Vanishing America:  The End of Main Street Diners, Drive-ins, Donut Shops and Other Everyday Monuments”. 

It really does bother me that these small businesses are disappearing and being replaced by bland, homogeneous chain stores and restaurants as well as the luxury condos which, in this case, didn’t even materialize.  When we were in NYC Mrs. P. and I talked about how much of that is going on in lower Manhattan to make it more “upscale”.  And it’s definitely an issue in the older parts of most cities including Denver.  This is a young country and we don’t have a whole lot of history to preserve.  It’s too bad we can’t seem to get a mindset that it’s worth preserving either.

That was good, I wish it had been longer.

Feel the grit. Such a difference from where I now live, night and day, different worlds. What a fascinating labor of love.

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