Valerie Nye - Library Journal
While documenting graffiti art, professional photographers James and Karla Murray noticed that the city’s neighborhoods were changing quickly and many traditional storefronts were disappearing all together. The recognition of this change inspired this book dedicated to documenting storefronts. The Murrays have captured the details of New York’s “mom and pop” stores including neon and hand-painted signs, old doors, peeling paint, aging steel, and the items hanging in the front windows. The text accompanying each image mentions the year the store opened and often includes detailed remembrances of the stores’ histories obtained through interviews with managers or owners. Images in the book are grouped by borough and neighborhood. Each section is accompanied by a clear map outlining the area and a short description of the cultural heritage of each neighborhood. The book includes four foldout sections of panoramic photos capturing entire city blocks, so that the storefronts may be seen within the context of the locale. The book documents this subject with such deeply fascinating detail, it will be of interest to many patrons, including people who never intend to visit New York City. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries.