All posts by Ken Pierce

I'm a Freelance Music Photojournalist from NYC and Founder of the Heavy Metal website PiercingMetal.com; I created this blog site to showcase the other things in life that keep my interest or catch my attention. Believe me that is a lot of stuff to talk about when it comes down to it. I hope you enjoy what we are delivering because there is so much to share as a resident of this bustling metropolis.

Playing “Frogger” in Newburgh, NY

OK, so perhaps the title of this blog posting is a little deceiving but it did get your attention and bring you here and that is all that matters to me.  The two photos of this little jasper of a frog were snapped on a recent visit upstate to my friends place in Newburgh, NY.  It was late on Saturday evening and this guy was hanging on to the door frame and just loving life it would seem.

My friends said that while they had seen many frogs up in their neck of the woods they had not yet seen any that small or in this color.  I rushed for my trusty Lumix to snare a few shots of the little guy and then let him go about his evening business.  I tried to not disturb him or frighten him and was out of his way in seconds.

I’m not really sure what kind of frog he is but he was about the size of a quarter.  Perhaps in truth a little bigger but he was not even the size of a half dollar coin if any of you remember what those were.  I loved being able to snap this since nature always reminds us of how magnificent this planet is.

Holy Hot Zone Batman!!! The City Is Cooking Out There!!!

With NYC getting its heat on and cooking both tourists and residents alike, I was compelled to share this photo with the readers of the PiercingKen blogsite.  I happened upon this sight last week actually and am very glad to see this kind of thing being offered to the public especially on days such as this.  If you cannot tell what it is, it is pretty much just a long sink with several drinking fountains on the top of it.  It is connected to a fire hydrant and offers the passerby a drink of ice cold NYC water.  We do have the best of that stuff by far so do partake if you see one of these.  On days like this you will surely need to indulge.  At the moment of this writing NYC was dealing with a 100 degrees temperature and the humidity made it a lot worse.  It was one of those two or three shower days for sure.

Here’s a slightly different view of the communal sink basin.  It reminded me a lot of the things I used to use in grammar school days.

"Drink Up - It's Free"

Stop, Hey, What’s That Sound? It’s East Village Radio Dude…

Check this out. Several days ago I was wandering the Lower East Side of NYC with Skeleton Pete as we were looking to kill some time before hitting a gig at Piano’s NYC.   The band we were going to see was not coming on until late so that left us some time to walk around and grab some food and drink before indulging in the always amazing music scene of the Big Apple.   As we walked down East Houston street and turned onto 1st Avenue, Pete said “hey aren’t we near where they broadcast East Village Radio from?” and I had to admit that I did not have a clue what he was talking about.

As we walked across the avenue at around 2nd Street it would seem he was correct and we were near this space and since I did not really know what it was I inquired.  It is apparently a 24-7 radio station that streams online and has a number of different deejays who spin different genres of music on their shows.  The deejays are all volunteer so I am assuming this is more of ones musical passion than about a daily paycheck.  I snapped a couple of photos of the relatively nondescript storefront for good measure to give you a little bit of a visual sense of what kind of space you are dealing with.  It did not seem large to my eyes but since we needed to keep moving and with the show currently being “On Air” I did not poke my head in to mention I was a wandering journalist who wanted a few more pics.  There is always another time and I can append new images to the end of this posting if need be.

The idea and existence of this appealed to me immediately because this is a powerful means for new music to get heard and for those who might have a skill at delivering it to make a name for themselves.  To me, this is being more of a chance to establish oneself as radio deejay than we find you being able to become on mediums like Blog Talk Radio do based on its direct focus to genres and how you are able to deliver the music.  I love some of the programming and personality found on BTR but I have to admit that sometimes it is a task and a half finding what I like.  There is a Metal program on EVR and its currently run by a pair of brothers and one of these dudes is in the band Natur (which I learned after doing a little digging around).  Clearly everyone is doing a number of things with their day to keep busy and this encourages me to keep sharing thoughts, photos and ideas with the larger public.

Skeleton Pete mentioned this seemed like something fun to do if there was ever the opportunity and I think working musicians should be looking into the shows that apply to their genre in order to reach even more people with their sound.  The link to East  Village Radio is below and I hope that you check them out and give them a little attention.  It’s really incredible and true that something awesome is around every corner of New York City.

Official Website: http://www.eastvillageradio.com/

Happy 7 Eleven Day New York City :)

Today was 7-11-2011 and what better way to celebrate it than with a free small Slurpee courtesy of our local 7 Eleven franchise.  When one adds to the fact that it was about 90 degrees in the shade today it made for a perfect side trip from my errands and something worthy of one of our Shopping Madness postings.  Why not right?

Bay Ridge 7 Eleven Store

The PM.com HQ is located in close proximity to this store and while I had once wandered down to the one on 65th Street while looking for the KISS Cups, I was certainly not going to do that today.  It was just too hot.  So anyways, into the store I went and I was a little surprised to see no clear and visible signage about the free Slurpees but when I inquired at the counter I was handed not one, but two small cups.  The size of those cups are nothing more than a tease, so I was glad that the clerk handed me two.  It must have been my smile and friendly approach.  That does work sometimes you know.  With the upcoming Captain America movie coming out in a little over a week, I decided to go with a patriotic theme with my Slurpees.  I poured one blueberry and one cherry.  Of course I didn’t set them correctly for the photo purposes but like I said, it was 90 degrees in the shade.

I managed to avoid a brain freeze somehow but as you can see via the next image these two treats did not stand a chance.

Here is a better visual of the very festive cup.  No, I did not keep them, but I did put them in the recycle bin.  I think that is what I was supposed to do.

Thanks to 7 Eleven for offering this little premium for their customers.  It was the perfect day for it.  Also thanks to my Dad for letting me know this was going on in the first place.  I had no idea until I saw his email.  Enjoy the summer everyone and try to stay as cool and as hydrated as possible.  It’s for your own good.

The Gathering Places Of A Glorious Non-Misspent Youth

I was walking along Shore Road in Bay Ridge Brooklyn today on my way to an ethnic festival that was being held and for some reason I opted to take a more scenic and “take your time” route by walking through the actual park as opposed to aside it. As I reached the block near where my family lives I realized that I was smack dab in the space where many nights hanging out with friends had happened. I’m not sure what actually led to this being the case so long ago, but we loved our “spot” and very simply referred to it as “the spot” to meet up and some of my neighborhood buddies as well as forming bands of the time would always manage to meet up at certain times and catch up. This was pre-Internet and there were no cell phones or PDA’s and only doctors had pagers. During this time of life growing up, if you wanted to find your friends you called them on the house telephone and you told them where you would be and at what time. Interestingly enough we all managed to find each other much easier than we do today and hence my reason for honoring such a space. The view below shows this spot (which is down the path off around 87th and 88th Street on Shore Road) and as you can see there is not much to it. It didn’t need to be anything in all honesty as the meetings and conversations were the paramount of importance back then.


Of course it looks much different today and this whole region of clearing you see in the next shot was all trees at one time. There were also a few benches that are no longer here.  That part made sense because I remember them being in disrepair way back when.  Still they were great to have around when one had come down here to see friends after band practice or to keep a Boombox off the ground to play the latest cassette tapes (two other things you don’t see much of anymore either these days).  The relative seclusion of The Spot allowed for some radio blasting as we were deep enough down that the trees offered some buffer and we always aimed the radio speakers out to the highway which you can see in one of the other shots.  I admit that this does look nice and clean now but some of its original magic is gone.


The next view while a bit darker based on the angle of the sun that I had is kind of the same to my recollection. The Spot was located right next to the Belt Parkway expressway but there was never any need to worry as between the thoroughfare and our meeting space were tons of bushes and fencing.  If you climbed over stuff you could see the cars but generally you mostly saw zipping by headlights.  That’s Staten Island in the distance and the Narrows Harbor; as mentioned we would aim our music at the highway since it would keep our hanging out something that was unknown to the passing people above on Shore Road.  Also down there but not visible is the Bike Path which sometimes was a good space to hang but was too trafficked and a few more blocks travel to get to the right space for our liking.  It was easier to settle on this little neck of the woods for a little while before returning to whatever our routines were at the time.


This is one of the things that I have loved most about being a Bay Ridge resident and if you are not paying attention I am speaking of its parks.  If you are a photographer then you should definitely pay us a visit and bring your comfortable walking shoes along with a couple of bottles of water and energy bars.  You are going to need it.  Hoping you enjoyed this little reflective musing.  If not, that is okay as well.  Plenty more to come here as I walk through life.