Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A must-see NYC photo blog November 21, 2019

A Minnesota version of the Statue of Liberty at the Holiday Haven motel in Detroit Lakes. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo October 2019.


FOR A FEW YEARS NOW, I’ve followed the work of award-winning New York City photographer Keith Goldstein. His credentials are extensive and impressive.

But beyond that lengthy list of accomplishments is my genuine appreciation of his work. He specializes in street portraits and in architectural photography. Goldstein captures some pretty incredible pictures of people going about everyday life in the big city and I often wonder how he does it. But he’s that good, unobtrusively photographing individuals in an urban environment that is also part of each photo story. I often find myself studying a frame, surprised by what I see.

New York City is about so much more than the nearby Statue of Liberty and Wall Street and 9/11. This noted photographer reveals that in his images.

Recently, Goldstein’s photo blog has focused on NYC buildings, truly foreign to my rural flatlander background. I’ve only been to this East Coast city once, decades ago while in college. I remember standing on a street corner then, craning my neck toward the skyscrapers. And nearly being run over by someone pushing a garment rack down the sidewalk. I don’t ever intend to return to NYC. I really don’t much care for big cities.


Photographed in June 2014 at a shop in Farmington, Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2014.


But, through Goldstein’s photography, I am shown this world so different from mine in rural Minnesota. I see the humanity of NYC, raw and exposed. Sometimes I just want to reach into those portraits and wrap my arms around the people who are hurting. Give hugs. I want to stop and listen and offer a smile and encouragement. In the sea of humanity that defines this place, Goldstein manages to find the individuals, to tell their stories through the lens of his camera.


Another Statue of Liberty, this one at Hot Sam’s Foto Park near Lakeville. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo September 2012.


I consider his photography a gift. Real. Unfiltered. It’s important that I see the peoples and architecture of New York City because these images broaden my world. Goldstein’s photos stretch my compassion and my understanding of these United States of America. We are, no matter where we live, still just people with emotions and needs and hopes and dreams. And we all hold within us the capacity to connect and to care. Goldstein, in his art—because his work truly is art—offers that. And for that I am grateful.

TO VIEW Keith Goldstein’s blog, Far Earth Below, click here.

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “A must-see NYC photo blog”

  1. Ooooh –thanks for sharing the link to Keth’s blog. I am definitely checking it out. It is so wonderful to be able to appreciate all areas of our wonderful earth and there is so much to see. That is why we love to travel so much. It gives us glimpses of what amazing things we do not see every day in our own neighborhood.

  2. Audrey, I am so humbled and overwhelmed by your words. I am on the edge of my chair, almost speechless and close to tears. You truly are an extraordinary person. Your words really exposed a part of the work that only few seem to see feel. I am glad we can share our images, thoughts, and our connection over two totally different life-styles. May you and your family be blessed this holiday season and years to come.

    • Thank you for your kind words, also. I truly delight in your photography and all I’ve learned from viewing your work. You have a tremendous gift, that ability to see beyond simply faces on the street to the individuals you photograph.

      Many blessings to you and your family also now and always.

  3. I forgot to add that your images are so poignant. No matter how diverse, we truly are a nation of “one people”.

  4. valeriebollinger Says:

    I perused his blog site and signed up to follow his work. Thanks for introducing him.

  5. Susan Ready Says:

    Thanks for passing along some interesting pieces of information on Miss Liberty. No matter where she stands her presence is a representation of friendship between nations and freedom from oppression. A good reminder to all..

  6. Penny Wilson Says:

    Lovely sentiment, Audrey. “We are, no matter where we live, still just people with emotions and needs and hopes and dreams. And we all hold within us the capacity to connect and to care.” Profound!! ❤

  7. Littlesundog Says:

    There are many interesting galleries tucked away in odd spots in NYC. I found several interesting mini-galleries in the Soho area – photography much like Goldstein’s work. I follow a blogger out of Florida who photographs the real life, nitty-gritty of the South – from homeless, to rural festivals, the field hand working man, and life of oppressed and poor folks. I find that kind of work riveting. It can rip emotion from your very soul.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.