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Store Front (Mini Edition) : The Disappearing Face of New York Hardcover – 28 Feb 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gingko Press; Min edition (28 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584234075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584234074
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 22.1 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 364,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bluebird on 19 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a superb book for everyone who loves New York and it's wacky and tacky character. For those who have not had the opportunity to get to know the City it will give them the chance to to see a side of the place seldom seen in promotional literature.

So wonderful that the Authors have recorded so much wonderful material before it is lost.

I also recommend purchasing a copy of New York Nights which is fabulous.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased this for someone who lived in New York for a while - hope it brings back some fun memories!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 33 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
There goes the neighborhood 28 Feb. 2009
By Robin Benson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Well, it was open last week, I went in and bought something" A familiar thought if you live in a city, large or small, across the Nation and discover that the store that had been there for decades is now closed: probably for good. James and Karla Murray have done us all a favor by capturing, for ever, the changing store front scene in New York. Amazingly, as mentioned in their introduction, almost a third of the stores in the book have closed!

The 220 photos (with some repeated in four huge fold-outs) cover the five boroughs with each getting a simplified street map and the relevant neighborhood indicated, some copy provides background to the name and how the area originated. What gives the book a lift though is the frequent addition of interviews with the storeowners who provide insights about the history of their premises and the products they sell.

All the photos are straight on shots of the store fronts but don't think for a minute that this might be sort of boring because these stores are a kaleidoscope of colorful window displays with products, notices and neon signs, awnings, and an amazing selection of lettering for their names, plus many of them desperately need some renovation and this adds texture to the surrounding building. Photos that are this content rich just don't need any gimmicks or trendy angle shots. The book's large size also adds to their impact (check out the Product Details).

This is a large, chunky, beautifully produced coffee table book (though a shame it wasn't printed with a finer screen than the 175 used). I wouldn't have thought that photos of store fronts would have yielded such a fascinating collection of stunning photos but here they are. A visual treat!

***SEE SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
BRINGS ME RIGHT BACK TO THE CITY 5 April 2009
By La Ura Loos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
After looking through Store Front, I felt like I was right back in NYC when I lived there over 40 years ago. The hundreds of gorgeous photos of these old mom-and-pop stores brought back memories of my own neighborhood and shopping trips downtown from The Bronx and summer outings to Coney Island. I also enjoyed reading all the interviews with store owners and finding out the "secret" to their survival. I have this massive book on my table and everyone who comes over spends time flipping through it and want to take it home with them. I plan on visiting many of the stores that were highlighted because the photographers kindly gave the exact address of each store in every borough. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever lived in New York, visited New York or just interested in seeing the stores that make NYC the special place that it is.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
STORE FRONT-an essential book for everyone who loves NYC 31 Jan. 2009
By A WRITER - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Amazing, enormous book filled with page after page of panorama photos and single mom-and-pop stores. I especially loved the huge fold-outs and reading all the interviews. What else can I say, the book is outstanding and I'll treasure it forever. I've told everyone I know to buy it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
What a great book 16 Jun. 2009
By Harald Widemann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
During a vacation I saw this book in a shop close to Central Park. Then back in Germany I decided to purchase it. With great interest I read all descriptions about New York and the stores to which the storefronts belong to. With this book I learn more about NY's history than with any other source. This book enriches my personal library
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Store Front" Is My Co-Pilot - A Treasure on So Many Levels 11 Feb. 2014
By Janko Puls - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Whenever I leave New York for a week or so - the first thing on my return is to walk through my neighborhood in downtown Manhattan and see what's left. The radical pace of changes doesn't slow down. And sometimes I have to make yet another little mark into my copy of "Store Front" when one of these places is gone forever.

The Murrays have done an incredible job on so many levels: They documented and preserved a vital part of New York that is rapidly changing to the worse. While New York always was a place of radical change and fast development, this phase in the early 21st century seems to annihilate the city's past and rip out its soul. The work of Jim and Karla Murray is a most valuable contribution to the city's history. The texts bring each place to life, not only for born and bred New Yorkers, but also for anyone who loves this city and just knows a little bit about it. The voices of the shop owners make the reader connect with the storefronts in an instant. You might laugh or cry about what you read, but I think that the Murrays did set indeed a new standard in urban documentation - because they add so much more.

On another level, Jim & Karla Murray grabbed the beauty and particular culture of storefront lettering - an aesthetic joy in its own - and coming from their interest in graffiti culture, it seems to be quite a natural development. For their follow up title "New York Nights" the Murrays revisit many of these places, just to add the other dimension through nocturnal appearances, bathed in neon and Tungsten lights. Their photographic style seems to be deadpan in the first place - until you start paying attention to more and more details and notice which decisions went into the photographic process. Jim and Karla Murry understand how to carve out the essence of each of these places, unadulterated by the daily hustle and bustle.

Conclusion: Whether you are a visiting New York lover or a native dweller from the neighborhood, a historian or a font designer, you will find plenty interesting and useful things in these two books. "Store Font" and "New York Nights" have top shelf places in my ever growing New York book collection.
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