The front yard–not the kind with grass–is the "introduction" or "foreword" to the Queens' house. It is the buffer-zone between the city and home. In some cases, heavily barricaded and secured, in others, more open and welcoming. Often a space to sort out the multiple entrances of the house (front door, basement door, garage, etc.) as well as the trash removal and recycling. Primarily, this is done by the clever manipulation of the ground plane with a variety of architectural devices (stairs, ramps, porches, areaways, etc.) in order to achieve the adequate head/car clearances. The remainder is usually given over to a small strip of garden to achieve some privacy between neighbors, from the street, or simply beautify the property. In general, there is a very open, informal quality to these spaces. They are the first areas of the house to undergo alteration and personalization. Sometimes one can find small-scale altars and shrines on display–hints of the owner's religious beliefs. Precast lions and other kitschy ornamentation are also quite prevalent. 

Ornaments