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1-Photographing New York's Endangered Mom and Pop Stores_Brownsville_Brooklyn_NYC_Untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierA 2009 images of the Pitkin Avenue Bootery in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Image via Store Front II

The increasing homogenization of businesses is apparent everywhere: the uniform fast-food chains sprouting up in neighborhoods around us, the Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts cups many commuters hold on the subway, and even the similar clothing brands people choose to purchase from. With this in mind, City Lab recently published a series of photos showing New York City’s “endangered mom and pop stores” from James and Karla Murray’s new book Store Front II, which documents New York City’s diverse, family-owned businesses before they disappear. On the cover is Village Cigar, which has in front of it a memento of type of fight – Hess Triangle, once the smallest plot of land at 500 square inches, holding out against eminent domain.

Shockingly, just one-third of the stores the Murrays’ photographed in their 2008 book, Store Front: the Disappearing Face of New York, are still standing, showing how quickly small businesses have shut down. Here are some images of New York City’s “mom and pop” stores fromStore Front II.

One interesting family-owned business featured in the book is the Mansoura’s Oriental Pastry shop on Kings Highway. According to City Lab, the Mansoura family has been in the pastry business since the 1700s, selling their Middle Eastern treats around the world.

1977

A photo posted by Mansoura (@mansourapastries) on

A photo of the shop in 1977.

2-Photographing New York's Endangered Mom and Pop Stores_Midwood_Brooklyn_NYC_Untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierMansoura’s Oriental Pastry in 2009. Image via Store Front II

Interestingly, the Mansouras chose the word “oriental” for their business because it was based on the French word Moyen-Orient, meaning the “Middle East,” (though some New Yorkers have consequently confused the business for selling East Asian pastries). Today, its sign reads “Mansoura Patisserie and Confiserie.” 

Check out these other photos from the book:

Photographing New York's Endangered Mom and Pop Stores_Washington Heights_Caporal Fried Chicken and Shrimp_NYC_untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierNew Caporal Fried Chicken and Shrimp in Washington Heights, 2010

Photographing New York's Endangered Mom and Pop Stores_House of Oldies_Greenwich Village_NYC_Untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierHouse of Oldies record store in Greenwich Village, 2010

Photographing New York's Endangered Mom and Pop Stores_Morscher's Pork Store_Ridgewood_Queens_NYC_Untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierMorscher’s Pork Store in Ridgewood, 2009

Photographing New York's Endangered Mom and Pop Stores_Ray's Candy store_East VIllage_Untapped Cities_NYC_Stephanie GeierRay’s Candy Store in the East Village, 2013

Photographing New York's Endangered Mom and Pop Stores_Rogers Tire SHop_Flatbush_Brooklyn_NYC_Untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierA tire shop in Flatbush, 2009

Next, check out 13 of NYC’s old school butcher shops, a guide to NYC’s vintage bars, cafes and restaurants, or Manhattan’s Best Consignment, Vintage and Thrift Shops. Get in touch with the author @sgeier97

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