Before And After Photo Series Captures The Disappearing Face Of New York City Storefronts

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C.B.G.B., Bowery

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Jade Mountain Restaurant, East Village

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Delightful Coffee Shop, Harlem, NYC

Optimo Cigars, Union Square

Optimo Cigars, Union Square

Photographers James and Karla Murray spent ten years documenting New York City’s ever-evolving storefronts, and recently published their decade-long project into the popular book, Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York. Of the project, the photographers say, “STORE FRONT provides an irreplaceable window to the rich cultural experience of New York City as seen through its neighborhood shops.”

The strength of the series is found in it’s wide-lens, capturing a time when opening a small business in New York was actually a viable option, and comparing that to the gentrified and corporatized Manhattan of today. This can be seen in vivid and stark contrast in photos like the Delightful Coffee Shop in Harlem being replaced by a ubiquitous Dunkin’ Donuts (above). Many of storefronts shows lost clients due to the ever-increasing rent, business which remain empty today, which has a depressing, darkening effect on the people who still remain in the community. James Murray says of the idea behind the series, “until you place them side-by-side and really look at the two photos, you cannot get the true sense of loss experienced by the neighborhood.”

More images from the series can be seen at their Facebook page. (via mashable)

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Bleecker Street at Carmine Street, Greenwich Village

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M&G Soul Food Diner, Harlem

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Marty & Son Meat Market, Harlem, NYC

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mchales-restaurantMcHale’s Restaurant, Hell’s KitchenralphsRalph’s Discount City, TriBeCa

 

 


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