I like to know the means by which new readers come to this website, and perusing the list of most popular search terms from time to time, I begin to ascertain patterns. I am also curious how well I help new readers find the information they need and how I can better meet the needs of the global audience.
Here is the list of the five most popular search terms from the past month that have directed people to Walking Off the Big Apple. I will follow the list with a brief analysis of these findings:
1. "Julian Schnabel"
2. "Julian Schnabel building"
3. "Walking Off the Big Apple"
4. "Venetian masks"
5. "How to make Venetian masks"
Julian Schnabel: recent Academy Award nominee, major contemporary visual artist, friend of Jean-Michel Basquiat, raised in Brownsville, Texas, interior designer for the Gramercy Park Hotel, mover and shaker. I don't know Julian personally. What else do you need?
Oh. His building in the West Village. I wrote about his "Tower of Pink Power" lo, these many months ago, when WOTBA was just a wee thing, but for each new week this particular post continues to rank high on the visitor's list. Indeed, you MUST come walk the neighborhood and see his building with your own eyes. I have come to love it in every way – its whatever pink-rose-red mottled facade, its brazen Italianate trimmings, its soaring height on the western edges of the Village.
Walking Off the Big Apple: I have high confidence that people have come to the right place when they type in this search term. I imagine it's the result of a conversation involving my far-flung friends. Since 1990, the colonel (the title I give my Kentucky-born spouse on this website) and I have lived in Austin, Texas, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Columbia, South Carolina, and now Greenwich Village, USA. In that order. Beat that with a stick! So, I think the conversation goes like this:
"You hear anything from Teri lately?"
"Naw. Living in New York! Heard she had a popular blog." (Note: I tell people I have a "popular" blog as a PR technique.)
"What's it called?"
"I think it's called..."
Venetian masks: Time for the masked ball, or as a South Carolina friend commented when he saw some Venetian masks in a flower shop, "They must be having an Eyes Wide Shut party!" As I explained in one of the Weekend Frivolities, I visited the shop in Venice that made the masks for the Kubrick film. I stumbled upon the place while strolling the small streets near the Guggenheim Venice. From time to time, I make masks based on molds I made of our two dogs and deceased cat. I'm going to make more this year and will try to sell them to you.
In conclusion, Julian, raised on the Texas-Mexican border, and me, raised in Big D, and both in love with Art, sometimes dream in Italian. Prego, y'all. Welcome to the West Village. Welcome to Walking Off the Big Apple.
The 6th most popular search term is "cupcakes."
Image: Julian Schnabel's Palazzo Chupi, W. 11th Street, with cupcake and coffee from the nearby Magnolia Bakery. Photo from the morning of February 26, 2008. Walking Off the Big Apple –"Giving readers what they want since 2007."