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Lower East Side art installation will memorialize shuttered mom-and-pops

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The nearly life-size exhibit will pay homage to four shuttered neighborhood businesses

Rendering of James and Karla Murray’s Seward Park installation.
Via the Lo-Down.

A new art installation is making its way to the Lower East Side’s Seward Park, that will pay tribute to a handful of beloved mom-and-pop stores that once populated the neighborhood but have since shuttered.

As part of the city’s Art in the Parks UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant Program, Lower East Side-based photographers and authors James and Karla Murray, who have been chronicling New York’s changing landscape for quite a while, will debut a nearly life size structure that’s emblazoned with four vivid photographs of mom-and-pop shops that once were, reports the Lo-Down. The installation will showcase images of a newsstand, a bodega, the iconic Cup & Saucer diner that shuttered last year, and a vintage shop.

New York City’s constantly changing landscape has forced many beloved institutions to shutter and has made mom-and-pop stores particularly vulnerable, due to forces like competition from big-brand competitors, rising rent, and the like.

For proof, just take a look a Canal Street, where every single block on the strip is undergoing some type of change. Or, check out the East Village where “hypergentrification” is slowly killing the unique character of the neighborhood. And so the question remains: what can be done to save NYC’s mom-and-pops? Until we figure out, there is James and Karla Murray to keep the memory of those lost alive.

The installation will debut sometime this summer.