Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S.

by Joseph McKeown

“Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S.” is a mixed media installation that celebrates small, family owned shops in the Lower East Side, most of which have shuttered. The wood frame structure, by architectural and interior photographers Karla and James Murray, features four nearly life-size and incredibly realistic photographs of a bodega, coffee shop/luncheonette, vintage store, and newsstand. In creating the piece, they wanted to recognize the “unique and irreplaceable contribution made to New York by small, often family-owned businesses” and celebrate places that “helped bring the community together through people’s daily interactions.” The installation is on view in Seward Park in the Lower East Side through July 2019.