Meet the Founder

James Vena, Creator of StreetLifeRocks, is a successful entrepreneur who worked on Wall Street for most of his incredibly rewarding career, and he credits his street life smarts and ingenuity for getting him there. James was once described by the late and great Jim McKay as the “Wall Street Financier hailing from the clamorous streets of Brooklyn….gritty and NYC winter tough.”

James cherishes his childhood days playing in schoolyards and city streets.  He and his friends played traditional games like basketball, stickball, and football, with unconventional flavor.  Basketball hoops were made with chains, not nets, and the football field boundaries were “sewer to sewer”.  Another favorite street game was hockey on roller skates which involved popsicle sticks and crayon filled bottle caps. Imagination resulted in unlimited fun and hours of entertainment.

In a recent interview James said:

“I remember asking myself after I first bought a house in the suburbs ‘where are the people?’  Well they were in their backyards and I was never in a place, and never could get used to being in a place where people lived behind their houses, not in front of them. I was accustomed to sitting on a stoop, not in a hammock or on a lounge chair.

 

I’ve heard of the life of salty air, salt water and sand. In songs and in movies, as a young boy, the lifestyle of flip flops and short pants were for retired people and fans of Jimmy Buffett and the Beach Boys. Great music, but for me it lacked the reality of urban living. It was too utopian and relaxed.

 

I just never found that lifestyle appealing. I prefer to keep my feet in sneakers, standing on concrete and blacktop.

 

The grass and sand are just not for me. I prefer the sounds and smells of the city to the sound of the ocean and the smells of those that are enjoyed in a Salty Life. The sounds and artistry of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Carole King, the Ramones and John Lennon are what I want to hear when I reminisce. The aroma of NYC hot water hot dogs and chestnuts roasting on street corners are those that make me happy when I think about my life.

 

While I have no ill will or displeasure in the salt air life and the people who cherish it, it’s just not for me. I wish them nothing but peace, love and happiness as they enjoy suburbia and grass, sand and salt water, and easy listening beach and shag music.

 

They can have it as I will choose my street life.

 

Because to me STREETLIFE ROCKS and it forever will!”

James Vena

James Vena, Creator of StreetLife Rocks