James and Karla Murray have been photographing the unique and quirky storefronts of New York City for over 10 years. Their documentation is especially nice considering how quickly independent stores are disappearing and being replaced by boring corporate chains. In 2009, they released their book, Store Front, which features 225 businesses — half of which are now gone. They started the project because they were attracted to the signage, but then they met and talked with the owners and learned their stories. Their work has turned into an archive of New York City commerce.
It sounds like a cliché, lamenting the “good old days,” but when you look at these great old businesses and think what’s now in their places — Starbucks, Foot Lockers, cookie cutter condos — you have to admit, we are losing out.
To see more of their work, go to the Clic Gallery.