Stock Image

Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York (SIGNED by 2)

Murray, James T.; Murray, Karla L.

63 ratings by GoodReads
ISBN 10: 1584232277 / ISBN 13: 9781584232278
Published by Gingko Press; Berkeley, California, 2009
New Condition: New Hardcover
From virtualrarities (san francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since 12 January 2009

Seller Rating 5-star rating

Quantity Available: 1

Available from more sellers

View all  copies of this book
Buy New
List Price:
Price: 243.58 Convert Currency
Shipping: 3.20 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Cash PayPal

About this Item

SIGNED FIRST EDITION FULL-SIZED HARDCOVER in AS NEW, VERY FINE Condition in like Dustjacket. SIGNED by both authors on title page, ow, unmarked, unread, pristine. This critically acclaimed bestseller has gone into numerous printings including a compact mini version. This brilliant documentation of New York's irreplaceable, generations-old storefronts has made headlines all over the world. Extra charges will apply to ship this tome. Bookseller Inventory # 502929

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New ...

Publisher: Gingko Press; Berkeley, California

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

This is a visual tour so saturated with realism you can smell the knishes neatly displayed in the window of the Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery, a visual tour comprised of hundreds of images of unique 19th and 20th century retail graphics and neon signs still in use and inspiring us to purchase to this very day. But for how long?

Are New York City s local merchants a dying breed or an enduring group of diehards hell bent on retaining the traditions of a glorious past? According to Jim and Karla Murray the influx of big box retailers and chain stores pose a serious threat to these humble institutions, and neighborhood modernization and the anonymity it brings are replacing the unique appearance and character of what were once incredibly colourful streets.

Store Front:The Disappearing Face of New York is a visual guide to New York City s timeworn storefronts, a collection of powerful images that capture the neighborhood spirit, familiarity, comfort and warmth that these shops once embodied. Almost all of these businesses are a reflection of New York s early immigrant population, a wild mix of Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Poles, Eastern Europeans and later Hispanics and Chinese.

The variety is immense from Manhattan s Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery and Katz s Delicatessen to the Jackson Heights Florist in Queens, Court Street Pastry in Brooklyn, D. D'Auria and Sons Pork Store in the Bronx and the De Luca General Store on Staten Island. And as the Murray s stunning, large format photographs make patently clear, the face of New York is etched in their facades.

Review:

From The New York Times Book Review (April 5, 2009):

For those who think modernization is always a virtue, the demise of these relics may be a good thing. For me, it marks the end of an era of sign painting and storefront innocence. Which is why my eyes widened when I saw James T. Murray and Karla L. Murray s oversize (11 3/4 by 13 1/4 inches) coffee-table book, STORE FRONT: The Disappearing Face of New York (Gingko, $65). The Murrays, authors of two books on graffiti art, Broken Windows and Burning New York, have been photographing storefronts for more than eight years, and in this book they employ large-scale horizontal pages (and a few gatefolds) as they track their odyssey from the Lower East Side to Harlem to the Bronx, from Brooklyn to Queens to Staten Island. If you re at all interested in the passing cityscape, this book is a documentary mother lode; if you re happy to see these joints disappear, it might at least kindle appreciation for them.
The Murrays photographs, however, do not romanticize these not very picturesque locales. The images are bright and crisp, though most of what the authors photographed was dingy and covered with graffiti; quite a few fronts and signs were falling apart or grungy to begin with. Yet it is in this state of decay that the stores hold a curious fascination indeed, a raw beauty for anyone concerned with vernacular design. I was particularly taken with the Lower East Side remnants that are slowly being squeezed out by hip restaurants and shops. Zelig Blumenthal s religious articles store, on Essex Street, appears not to have changed since my grandparents lived nearby. The Hebrew lettering on the window is as clean as it was back then. Meanwhile, at Rabbi M. Eisenbach s shop, the painted signs seem to be fading. Beny s Authorized Sales and Service, which sells fine jewelry, electric shavers, lighters, pens, is not just a throwback; it also exhibits a totally alien aesthetic compared with that of most stores today.
Store Front is not mired in nostalgia. Take the photograph of the (now closed ) Jade Mountain Restaurant, on Second Avenue near 12th Street, where I ate cheap Chinese food as a teenager. It is not a storefront I get misty-eyed seeing again; even the so-called chop-suey-style sign lettering does not make me long for what s lost. But it s part of a larger mosaic that was (and is) New York s retail consumer culture.
The book is also a study of urban migration, featuring Jewish delis and Italian latticini freschi stores downtown, Hispanic bodegas and Irish bars uptown, and a white-bread Howard Johnson s in Midtown (now gone). There are also photos of single blocks, with various contrasting storefronts tightly packed next to one another, that resemble a third-world market. Downtown is much more alluring than uptown but maybe that s because I was raised downtown. --Steven Heller for The New York Times. --The New York Times Book Review

Overly affectionate accounts of days gone by make up an entire genre in America these days, part of the general shift in the past generation from future-focused optimism to nostalgia-laced longing.

You see it in paeans to roadside America, to lost highways and long-forgotten attractions. Most of it is unabashed ode. Rarely, though, do you see an account that zooms in on a chunk of the American landscape what was, what is and the hint of what may be and manages to be both lyrical and documentarian, elegant and decidedly anthropological.

That's exactly what awaits when you crack open "Store Front," which at nearly 7 pounds is a mighty volume that functions as a visual catalog of New York City retail architecture and all the stories behind it. This is an appealing, unmatched tale of individualism and the tapestry of entrepreneurial zeal, all wrapped up in brick, mortar and colorful signage.
--The Associated Press

From Bookforum (Vol. 1 Issue 4): One of the period's most successful New York books- an evergreen subgenre- STORE FRONT demonstrated the paradoxical power of digital photo editing to alter actual views in order for us to see more clearly what is actually there. --Bookforum

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.