Changing NYC Storefronts Documented Across a Decade

CBGB, The Bowery, East Village, NYC


New York City is constantly moving and changing. Walking along the same exact city block can be an entirely different experience from week to week, with new stores and restaurants popping up all the time.

Ten years ago, photographers James and Karla Murray began documenting the unique storefronts that define New York as a wonderfully diverse place to live. After a decade had passed, the pair went back to the same locations, only to sadly discover that many of the charming family-owned stores had been pushed out and replaced by large chains, banks, and generic businesses.

Some locations were bought out and replaced, while others went out of business because they couldn’t afford the exorbitant costs of rent, however, the lots still remain empty. In an effort to preserve the memory of each neighborhood’s personality before diversity is completely gone, the Murrays documented these rapid changes with side by side photographs compiled in a book entitled Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York.

The artists said, “We hope this glimpse will bring awareness to the unique character these small mom-and-pop businesses add to the streets and neighborhoods of New York City and the sense of community they provide. These storefronts have the city's history etched into their faades.”


2nd Avenue Deli, 2nd Avenue at East 10th Street, East Village


Bleecker Street at Carmine Street, Greenwich Village


Mars Bar, corner of 2nd Ave. and E 1st St. East Village, NYC


Gertel’s Bakery, Lower East Side, NYC


Claudio’s Barber Shop, Harlem, NYC


M&G Soul Food Diner, Harlem, NYC


Ralph’s Discount City, TriBeCa, NYC


Gertel’s Bakery, Lower East Side, NYC


Max Fish, Lower East Side, NYC


Lenox Lounge, Harlem, NYC


334 Grand Street, Lower East Side


West Houston Street, Greenwich Village

James and Karla Murray’s website
via [PetaPixel]



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