The Red Goats of Kingston, NY

Kingston red goat

A white number 5 appears on one of the red goats spray-painted onto an Uptown Kingston planter box. (Freeman photo by Paul Kirby)

Sometimes goat-related news stories are just too good not to share here at Goat Berries — especially when they end up including some purty darn amusing goat quotes.

Quotable goatables for $100, Alex?

According to Paul Kirby at the Daily Freeman, Kingston, New York is currently under attack by a herd of red spray-painted goats (now with white numbers on them) on new planter boxes on Wall and North Front Streets.

The police are investigating, but word on Kingston streets is that the goats may be a political statement in opposition to $1.8 million renovations under the Uptown Pike Plan, which includes the refurbishing of old canopies as well as the installation of 22 new planters.

Those planters now feature the aforementioned goat graffiti, which may seem like a silly prank to you, but not to Kingston Alderman Thomas Hoffay, who compared the stenciled creations to . . . wait for it . . . gangs.

“Bloods, Crips, goats — it’s all the same,” Hollay said. [I did not make that up. You can find the original quote at the Daily Freeman.]

But not everyone agrees that those opposed to the plan are necessarily the culprits; Eric Francis Coppolino, who had been vocal in his displeasure of the renovations, called the suggestion “ridiculous.”

“If the goats said ‘oppose the Pike Plan’ . . . that would be one thing,” Coppolino said. “But they are just goats with numbers on them, and any one of the now 7 billion people on the planet might have put those goats there.”

Excellent point, Signor Coppolino, so I’m going to take this opportunity and go on the record right now (with all due respect to former President Bill Clinton):

I did not spray-paint goats on those planters, the boxes installed as part of the Pike Plan.

Feel free to include your denials in the comments —

and show your support for the goaties at the Red Goats of Kingston Facebook page.

Hey, I’m *always* on the side of the goats.

*All photos related to this story are by Paul Kirby of the Daily Freeman.

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3 Responses to “The Red Goats of Kingston, NY”
  1. Sari A. Myers

    As a resident and business owner of Uptown Kingston I have to say that I love the goats. They’re a poetic example of political art. According to one of Kingston’s elderly residents, Red goats are a part of Kingston’s humorous history–presumably as a play on “red coats.” And history is just one of the issues surrounding the canopies. Many people in the community are under the mistaken impression that the overhangs are historical–they’re not. They were installed in the early 1980’s. They effectively cover the facades of some of Kingston’s beautiful 19th century commercial buildings–built around some of the United States’s oldest stone buildings. As New York’s first capital, one can well imagine the history here–a history that people like Alderman Huffay are all too eager to obliterate in the name of cheap and dirty politics. The New Red Goats of Kingston begin to tell the story, as all political art does.


    Sari A. Myers Reply:

    Correction: the canopies that have inspired so much of the controversy here in Uptown Kingston were actually installed in the late 1970’s (not in the early 1980’s). By the early 1980’s, they were, however, already beginning to fall apart.


    michelle Reply:

    Thanks for the info, Sari!


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