STORE FRONT NYC: Photographs of the City's Independent Shops, Past and Present

This collection of hugely popular and critically acclaimed photos celebrates New York City’s unique history and culture—from long-disappeared icons to still-thriving favorite haunts.

For decades, husband-and-wife photography duo James and Karla Murray have been on a mission to document and preserve on film the various small shops of New York City—many of which are quickly disappearing—and a culture of authenticity that is hanging by just a thread. Featuring glorious new reproductions of images from their past books as well as never-before published photos, this elegiac volume will delight the Murrays’ multitude of fans, as well as anyone interested in the charm and history of small urban retail.

Large in format and filled with color and affectionate detail, the book includes an introduction by the Murrays explaining the genesis of their lifelong project and why they love to photograph store fronts. Most of the store fronts are featured in generous single-page images with captions listing location, neighborhood, and year the photo was taken. Chapters are organized by each of the city’s five boroughs and include descriptions and maps, with an introduction by Blondie co-founder and photographer Chris Stein.

Filled with diversity and character, these images honor destinations lost to rising rents and changing demographics. Together they comprise both a guidebook and a love letter to a city that never sleeps, and is always evolving.

Published by Prestel: September 19th, 2023

240 Pages Hardcover 12.13 x 10.38 inches $39.99


James and Karla Murray have been capturing impeccably accurate photographs of New York City since the 1990s. In the course of their travels throughout the city’s boroughs they’ve also taken great care to document the stories behind the scenery. The Murrays have rendered the out of the way bodegas, candy shops and record stores just as faithfully as the historically important institutions and well known restaurants, bars and cafes. From the Stonewall Inn to the Brownsville Bike Shop and The Pink Pussycat to Smith and Wolensky, the Murrays reveal how New York’s beleaguered mom & pop business stand in sharp contrast to the city’s rapidly evolving corporate facade. 348 Pages Hardcover 13 1/4" x 12" $69.95

Also available in MINI format 8 3/4" X 7 1/2" 348 Pages Hardcover $29.95

The Critics on STORE FRONT II:

Winner Foreword Reviews'
2015 Book of the Year Award

Store Front II” furthers the work of its predecessor, gathering photographs and interviews that celebrate scraggly awnings and weathered brick and mortar with an awe typically reserved for the Big Apple’s famous landmarks.
The New Yorker

James and Karla Murray’s Store Front photography books capture a disappearing world – New York’s small stores and their unique and precious aesthetics.
Sarah Moroz
The Guardian

Like anthropologists rushing to document an isolated Amazonian tribe before civilization encroaches, the Murrays are racing to record Mom and Pop shops before the wrecking ball arrives.
Robert Brenner
Huffington Post



Store Front – The Disappearing Face of New York is a visual guide to New York City’s timeworn storefronts, a collection of powerful images that capture the neighborhood spirit, familiarity, comfort and warmth that these shops once embodied. Almost all of these businesses are a reflection of New York’s early immigrant population, a wild mix of Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Poles, Eastern Europeans and later Hispanics and Chinese. The variety is immense from Manhattan’s Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery and Katz’s Delicatessen to the Jackson Heights Florist in Queens, Court Street Pastry in Brooklyn, D. D’Auria and Sons Pork Store in the Bronx and the De Luca General Store on Staten Island. And as the Murray’s stunning, large format photographs make patently clear, the face of New York is etched in their facades.
336 Pages 4 Fold-outs Hardcover 13 1/4" x 12" $69.95

Also available in MINI format 8 3/4" X 7 1/2" 336 Pages 4 Fold-outs Hardcover $29.95

The critics on STORE FRONT:

One of the period's most successful New York books...
Twentieth-Anniversary Issue Vol.21

If you're at all interested in the passing cityscape, this book is a
documentary mother lode.

Steven Heller
The New York Times Book Review

These unfussy, elegant, and richly colored photographs of butcher shops, bakeries, fabric wholesalers, cuchifritos stands, stationery and sporting-goods stores, laundromats, groceries, and dive bars give connoisseurs of signage, folk typography, and ambient erosion much to pore over.
Jaime Wolf

The New Yorker


Having captured and preserved the beauty and charm of New York City’s traditional shops and lamented their dwindling numbers in the bestselling Store Front – The Disappearing Face of New York, James and Karla Murray have returned to the city’s streets once more to expose the city bathed in light. New York Nights is the result, a book that thrills us because the city is switched on. The photographs continue in their powerful style — with structures rendered magnificently by a photographer duo possessing absolute mastery of a self-created genre. The Murrays have taken vivid photographs of an outstanding selection of bars & pubs, restaurants and cafes, music venues, and shops, all with historical significance and enduring after-dark aesthetics. Turning the pages of New York Nights, one can start with drinks at the KGB Bar or a walk through the East Village — window shop at Trash and Vaudeville, and move on to an engagement at Radio City Music Hall or the Village Vanguard, followed maybe by an early morning bite at the Yaffa Cafe. Stories of a bygone New York are brought to life by words from the proprietors and employees who experienced them. James and Karla Murray’s photographs are so captivating and the interviews they conducted are so engaging that the cultural history of New York City will forever be in their debt. 276 Pages Hardcover 13 1/4" x 12" $69.95

The critics on NEW YORK NIGHTS:

Winner New York Society Library
2012 New York City Book Award

NEW YORK NIGHTS is a neon-soaked celebration of the nocturnal institutions that keep the city that never sleeps awake, satiated and comfortably numb.
Mark Lamster
The New York Times

The Murray's, who gave us the enchanting Store Front, a daylight look at dozens of mom & pop storesacross the five boroughs, have returned with New York Nights. But please don't think of this as the noir version of their first book. It's more like the Through the Looking Glass companion to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Gotham at night for the Murrays is pure enchantment.
Malcolm Jones



Now in HARDCOVER edition with 70 more pages and previously unpublished images.

Full of vibrant, energetic and explosive full-color images, this wide format -page book gives voice to an art movement that is largely undocumented and often misunderstood. It features extensive graffiti artist interviews, covering topics such as tags, styles, motivation, crews, authorities, and the future of graffiti art. Five oversized fold-out gatefolds present some of the largest productions painted in NYC since 1996.
254 pages 5 gatefolds Hardcover $39.95

The critics on BROKEN WINDOWS:

Broken Windows documents the Giuliani-era explosion of "productions"?the usually legal, multi-writer pieces that began appearing on store gates, buildings, walls, and train tunnels?and "bombs," the illegal, controversial signatures that seemed to swarm the city. Like Chalfant and Cooper's Subway Art, Broken Windows becomes a salute to the graf-writers' visual genius.
Jeff Chang
The Village Voice

A must-have book gets a major upgrade!
Royce Bannon
The Source


The first book documenting Miami’s graffiti scene. The graffiti art featured in MIAMI GRAFFITI is full of vibrant, tropical colors and a multitude of styles reflecting the surrounding environment. Alongside works of hundreds of artists are interviews, which take the reader on a lush visual journey through this unique and flourishing art form.
176 pages with 220 illustrations

The critics on MIAMI GRAFFITI:

Through vivid photographs and the unedited words of the graffiti artists themselves, the book reveals a remarkably vibrant world that's been hidden too long.
Anne Tschida
Miami Art Guide

The Murrays earned the trust of the Miami artists by showing up in the most seedy parts of town, equipment in hand, ready to listen and document without judgement.
Fabioli Santiago
The Miami Herald


A sequel to the best-selling Broken Windows, Burning New York is sure to please an eager audience clamoring for more. New York is the undisputed graffiti capital of the world, the epicenter of a vibrant international scene that attracts artists from all over the globe. Some make the pilgrimage to study old school forms, others to make their own individual contribution to the evolution of the craft. All leave their mark. Burning New York features the latest and most exciting graffiti art being created today. In the same vein as Broken Windows it is a collection of interviews, intimate portraits of the artists working in the streets and hundreds of stunning large scale paintings. Burning New York features contemporary works by genre defying graffiti writers, an interesting combination of those who are just beginning to achieve prominence and others who have been honing their skills for decades. 208 Pages Hardcover


Photojournalists James & Karla Murray document the walls of NYC before they disppear. Soon all that will be left will be what the duo had been able to capture and photograph.
Billy Jam
New York Press



New York City store fronts have never looked better. Photographers James and Karla Murray reinterpret the shops from their bestselling book Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York with the help of top street and graffiti artists. These time-worn institutions were reproduced at close to life-size scale and then painted over by artists such as Crome, Lady Pink, and Shiro during an art installation presented by Gawker Artists on the Gawker Media roof, with the NYC skyline as its backdrop. The book documents the completed artwork, but also includes interviews with the artists and a fascinating look at the works in progress. In addition, the Murrays share the story behind the massive project and explain their concept. Mom & Popism is the perfect souvenir of NYC. 20 Pages Board Book

The critics on MOM & POPISM:

Love the aesthetic of street art but have mixed feelings about the taboo defamation of property? Check out Gawker Artists’ new exhibition MOM & POPism, a fun and perhaps provocative reinterpretation of James and Karla Murray’s latest book, Store Front: the Disappearing Face of New York
Jake Stavis
Paper Magazine

...the exhibition consists of a series of close to life-size photographic canvases shot by the Murray’s of a variety of ethnic, time-worn store fronts from New York’s various neighbourboods. The expansive canvases have then been left to a variety of graffiti artists including Blanco, Cake, Lady Pink and Zoltron, to deface at their leisure. The result is an energetic synthesis of painting, photography, collage and graffiti. Combining the high-shine cartoon aesthetic of the street art with the grubby true-to-life look of the storefronts. The show is an understated critique of New York City’s ever-altering façade and the places, people and artists that have shaped its creative culture - a culture which James and Karla Murray believe to be slowly slipping away at the hands of neglect and homogeny.