cover image Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York

Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York

James T. & Karla L. Murray, Ginkgo, $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-58423-407-4

Anyone who loves the compact, diverse small businesses that are a part of urban living will be fascinated with the new, compact version of this labor of love from the Murrays (Burning New York). The authors, who have been working on this project for eight years, are shocked by the rapid changes to their chosen subject; changes to zoning, rent, and families have contributed to a rapid loss of the sorts of small businesses showcased here, in vivid photos shot on 35mm film. The Murrays divide their book into five chapters, one for each borough, and include neighborhood maps and brief histories. Photographs are accompanied by their own narratives or those of business owners, providing details about former locations, family history, products on display, and more. Manhattan, "home to many of the institutions, buildings, and diverse neighborhoods that have made New York famous," occupies nearly half of the book. Readers will feel an immediate nostalgia for the famously walkable city; a single block can contain a bakery, restaurants, stores selling clothing, jewelry, gifts, linens, musical instruments, sporting goods, and more. This handsome little book will make non New Yorkers want to skip Times Square on their next visit in favor of catching some of these neighborhood spots before they're gone for good. Photos. (Feb.)