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Store Front (Mini) - The Disappearing Face of New York Hardcover – January 28, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly (March 7, 2011): 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 --Publishers Weekly
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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The images in the book cover the five boroughs of New York; Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Each section is broken down by neighborhood.
The authors mention in their introduction that nearly a third of the businesses they photographed have since disappeared. The date on that introduction is 2008, and from my own casual use of Google Map's Street View function to virtually visit many of the addresses in the book - I would say that as of 2013 more than half are gone. Included with the photographs are the approximate addresses of each of the shops and the date the photograph was taken.
I bought this book because I wanted some photos of vintage urban storefronts to use as reference for a project that I'm thinking of doing. This book definitely fills that need and more. Along with the photographs the authors also provides a short history of each of the different areas of New York and they took the time to talk with the people who owned & operated man of these shops and stores. Most of these businesses have been (or were) continuously run by the same family over the generations. That is something I imagined on some level in the back of my mind. But it wasn't till I started reading the brief write-ups of those conversations that these store fronts are like the covers of different books - each containing a unique story of it's own. Realizing that actually helped me with the project that I'm going to work on.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must for coffee-table book collectors, NYC lovers, photography fans, city kids, and those interested in urban studies. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
I bought this for my boyfriend who grew up in New York. He's pretty picky about books and he likes it. We have it on our living room coffee table. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is beautiful, giant, gorgeous and an absolute treasure. It is by far one of the nicest books in my collection of (many) photography books. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
N.B. This is a review of the original, 2009, full-sized publication.
The soul of community. That's what this book represents to me. Read more
Excellelnt nostalgia book, and the mini version was sufficient for us.Published 11 months ago by T. Ervin