Quiet eyes awakened and delighted on upper Monroe

Quiet eyes awakened and delighted on upper Monroe

Painting by Esther Rolick of Clara and Jason Seley, March 1947 [Photo: Ken Kelbaugh] 3/17/16

Hopefully, I was one of only a few unaware (until yesterday) of the existence of Before Your Quiet Eyes.

If you are one such dullard — now chagrined — retrace my path of enlightenment to 439 Monroe Avenue between Meigs and Averill, next to Voulas and the Park Bench.

For about four years now, Ken Kelbaugh’s labor of love has been his bookstore, Before Your Quiet Eyes.  Overflowing with books, art and photos, BYQE is an urban oasis for indulging your visual and textual moods.


Before Your Quiet Eyes 3/17/16

As explained by Ken acronymically:

BYQE is my sanctuary from the turbulent world of a School Psychologist. It is a place to regain the energy that has been drained by the work-a-day world.

I can stand Before pieces of art and examine them in detail, or review a passage that has brought meaning into my life, inspired me, or transported me to a different existence.


Ken 3/17/16

Your presence is always welcome and a cup of tea is always available to be shared. Wander through books from long ago or some more recently printed, sit and enjoy the surroundings, or stand and view the art that graces the walls from local artists, or from places unknown.

The Quiet of the store permits the words that are between the covers of the books to be explored like gems hidden many years and now once again found and preciously handled. Allow them, your Eyes, to still and soak in all of the details that hide in plain sight in book covers, dust jackets, prints, photos and ephemera.

Come in and visit, regroup and become reinvigorated to face all that awaits you outside the walls of Before Your Quiet Eyes.eyes

And I’ll be marking  Just Poets on my calendar the second Wednesday of every month.  Those evenings  Just Poets — a local writers group — gathers at Before Your Quiet EyesOne reader is highlighted, followed by an open mic.

And hope to see you at the store’s occasional readings and art opening as advertised in the City, the D & C and his Ken’s facebook page.

For of those who have over the years enjoyed the Village Green, Gutenbergs, the Brown Bag, the Oxcart, Silkwoods and Ricks, Before Your Quiet Eyes carries on the rich literary tradition of Monroe Avenue with distinction, charm and spirit.

More on books and Upper Monroe

Guys, dolls and apples at the Writers and Books Scavenger Hunt for Rochester Reads

Rejoice, Book Lovers. The Bibliophile Society of Rochester revitalized!

A little bit of the Moulon Rouge and Greenwich Village

On Dante’s bust on Monroe Avenue

Porches: from Upper Monroe with Love

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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