James and Karla Murray’s Storefront: The Disappearing Face of New York is an incredible book that documents the quickly-disappearing old storefronts around New York City. Many of these landmarks feature hand-lettering of the faded-into-glory nature which sign painters and fans of sign painting tend to find irresistible.
The Murray’s book, photographed over many years, is an invaluable document that I wish existed for my town as well. But the reality is that L.A.’s ever changing landscape has not left many of these old bodegas (or their hand-lettered signage) for us to admire.
So what’s the alternative for getting our old L.A. kicks? Well the only way I can think of is to dig into the archives and pull out some of those signs in their native state. I discovered many of these images on the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page. What you see here is just a tiny sampling of the old-timey goodness you will find there. I also recommend reading this article about how that amazing resource came together.