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"Ghost Signs 2 is a must-read for history buffs, urban archaeologists and fans of graphic art and advertising. Open to any page and be immersed in New York’s past of streetcars, vaudeville theaters and snake-oil cures." Reel Urban News


Ghost Signs 2: Clues to Uptown New York's Past

Frank Mastropolo

New York City's scores of timeworn ads have improbably survived for decades. These "ghost signs" hold the secrets of businesses and products that vanished decades ago. Clues to our jobs, schools, places of worship, cafes, and concert halls lurk in their faded outlines.

Frank Mastropolo brings more than 100 of these signs to life in each of his collections of Downtown and Uptown ghost signs through insightful commentary on the history of the distinct neighborhoods and the eclectic businesses that anchored them in the first half of the 20th century. The collections offers an important and timely look at New York City's rich economic and social fabric, especially today, when long-established businesses are rapidly being priced out of their neighborhoods.

Mastropolo is a journalist, photographer, and former ABC News 20/20 producer, winner of the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University silver baton. He is the author of Fillmore East: The Venue That Changed Rock History; New York Groove: An Inside Look at the Stars, Shows, and Songs That Make NYC Rock; The Not-So-Wild Animals of New York; and the What's Your Rock IQ? Trivia Quiz eBook series.

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Omega Oil, 287 West 147 Street

“Frank Mastropolo gives us a glimpse into New York City’s past by introducing us to a town many of us didn’t know existed. You’ll never be able to walk down the street again without keeping your eyes peeled for ghost signs!”— Dana Arschin, Reporter, Fox 5 News, New York 

"Part deux of Mastropolo's tour de force of ghost signs in New York City provides not only a visual glimpse of the city's vintage signage but also a veritable walk back in time when industrial activity made the city buzz. These are the remnants of the factories that served a growing city, the restaurants that fed its workers, the department stores that fascinated, and more. Mastropolo is that true expert that turns a fleeting observation into a lifelong exploration." — Michelle Young, Founder, Untapped New York

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Horn & Hardart Automat, 146 West 38th Street

"Frank Mastropolo takes us on a delightful journey through New York City’s past by exploring the vestigial signs of bygone businesses. His photographs and commentary rescue the stories of once-thriving enterprises from obscurity while reminding us that layers of history lurk behind facades and under our feet, awaiting our discovery." — Margi Hofer, Museum Director, New-York Historical Society

"Mastropolo's latest installment chronicling the ghost signs of Manhattan highlights some truly fading legends. From my personal favorites in Union Square to a collage of hidden gems in the Fashion District, this book offers great coverage across all the smaller neighborhoods formed within Uptown's localized past, hidden within plain sight." — Craig Winslow, Artist & Founder, Light Capsules

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Studebaker, 615 West 131st Street

10 Ghost Signs of Uptown New York

Untapped New York

Ghost Signs: Clues to Uptown New York's Past


Ghost Signs of NYC: Weber and Heilbroner


Ghost Signs of NYC: Lerner Shops


Ghost Signs of NYC: Horn & Hardart Automat


Ghost Signs of NYC: A. S. Beck Shoes


Ghost Signs of NYC: General Electric


Ghost Signs of NYC: Omega Oil


Ghost Signs of NYC: J. M. Horton Ice Cream


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© 2024 Frank Mastropolo. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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