New York City is a unique place in many ways, and among the things that make it what it is are the famous small stores you can find everywhere called bodegas. A Bodega is a small convenience store typically found in NYC and many of them work long hours, accommodating the busy residents who often need to buy something in a rush. There are around 13,000 bodegas across the city and an artist named Gabi Lamontagne celebrates them with her illustrations.
“Bodegas play an essential role in the New York City lifestyle and define its landscape,” Lamontagne tells The Guardian. “I was attracted to their hand-painted awnings framed with colorful lightbulbs … once in a while, you will find a working cat inside a store.”
Before starting to work on her illustrations, Lamontagne takes photos of the bodegas and then paints them in watercolor style. She doesn’t try to copy every detail but instead makes them slightly abstract which emphasizes their charm even more.
Find more of the artist’s work on her Instagram page and check out the bodega illustrations below.