It’s Not A Drive-By!


Image from

My friends, I intended to show pictures of murals that I snapped here in New York City, but upon inspection of my work I found my efforts wanting. The lovingly crafted murals were created by truly gifted artists, and each one depicts various musicians who lived within Queens county. The men and women who painted the murals obviously understood things such as lighting, perspective, and sizing when creating their masterpieces, and to see their work is to view unheralded artistic wizardry. Conversely, my rushed efforts to capture their artwork via a digital camera were…well…not reflective of wizardry of any sort.

In my own defense I have to note that I hurriedly snapped the photos from the safety of my parked car since many people violently object to the presence of cameras pointed anywhere close to themselves or their property. While the murals are public displays, the buildings they are on are privately owned, as are the other buildings and homes around them. As I was trying to take the pictures, curious passersby and onlookers gave me a once-over with the occasional menacing glare thrown in for good measure. My gosh, I felt like yelling that I was taking pictures, not engaging in a drive-by shooting! Was I able to take a picture at anything close to a correct angle? No. Was I able to position myself for optimal lighting? Nope. Was I able to adjust the zoom to sufficiently capture the details so carefully placed within each mural without the looky-loos giving me the stink eye? No way.

People, it was like something out of the original Twilight Zone. The only things missing were the late Rod Serling and the show’s theme music. I will try again to capture images of the murals next week. Whether it was due to back-to-back days of 80-degree heat following weeks of low temperatures or the bites of rabid raccoons, the locals seemed to be very much on-edge. Am I going to anger anyone in a city where a wayward glance could result in gunfire? No, no, no, and in case I wasn’t clear: NO. Too many people were too nervous about something, and in true New York fashion I don’t want to find out what that something was.

Let’s see how next week goes. With luck, the residents will remember to take their Prozac before I stop by.

All the best,
Keith V.



A New Home For “Fearless Girl”

Strong woman.

With her chin up and hands placed firmly on her hips, the young girl’s slender frame stands rigid and defiant before an onrushing creature of muscle and sinew. An unseen wind catches her hair and billows her dress like a sail, yet the girl remains still and unyielding. Mere feet from her is a horned beast of enormous size and even greater power, yet the girl’s face shows neither fear nor concern, but unfailing confidence and immeasurable calm. Her name is Fearless Girl, and she is currently a close second to the Statue of Liberty as the New York area’s most famous sculpture.

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New York Fact-O-Gram #4

The Current Madison Square Garden.

The Current Madison Square Garden.
(By Rich Mitchell.)

Most people outside New York City know that Madison Square Garden is the name of the city’s premier indoor sports facility. However, most don’t know that the Madison Square Garden of today is neither the original venue nor is it in the location of the original. Amazingly, the current Madison Square Garden is actually the fourth structure to bear the iconic name of the most storied sports and entertainment facility ever to exist here in my native New York City. Continue reading

The Rotten Little Brother: A Memoir

Updated on 8/1/2011:

Back when I was a skinny little kid in elementary school, I was a member of the Cub Scouts here in Queens, New York. It was a grand time filled with crafts, camaraderie, youthful play, and after-school cartoons on TV. We would always gather just a few blocks from school in the home of one of my classmates, a boy named Victor, and to this day I can recall the sinfully sweet taste of his mother’s cakes and cookies.

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