Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

This Week In Not Surfing

1. Surfing is a Sissy Macho Goon Parade of Hugs and Recrimination, Needless Politicking and Shallow Posturing. There is a tremendous amount of unintentional art in that. There are maddeningly few moments of self-deprecation. There is, a mosquito bite or two below the surface, an incredible crew of inspirational, well-meaning people stewing about in the cesspool of this culture. It Doesn't Not Work serves not only to remind me of how much I don't know about surfboard shaping and hydrodynamic design but also operates as an annual gang-shame of my more conspiratorial instincts. I'm not sure what the preceding sentences mean exactly, but I liked writing them.

2. On that tip, I did not attend this year's Fish Fry as I was distracted by my children and setting up IDNW. It is a classic moment of "I wish I'd taken the time to do that."

3. And so I haven't surfed in an even longer while. My left knee now feels funny when I bend it for too long. My right ankle taunts me daily. My hamstrings feel like new guitar strings. And I haven't practiced Tai Chi in forever. And I have a gym membership that is far too expensive.

4. There is an old adagial equation: Tragedy + Time = Comedy. I'm pretty sure the secret to happiness is hidden in the maths here. Where the definition of Tragedy is given sliding scale structure and where the accounting of Time is truly miserly. The idea is to get that Comedy as close to that Tragedy as possible. And since the only way to get anything right is to practice, make the T1 to C a daily algorithm, where dire drama becomes a constant companion, necessitating the manipulation of temporal understanding to force that salve of perspective. Granted, your friends and family will look at you like you're crazy as you sob over that burnt toast, but pretty soon they'll think you're amazing as you barf out fits of laughter as you break the pencil tip! If you can get that muscle memory hair trigger going, you may just make it through this after all.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


"He was responsible in great degree for the lives of millions of surfers - his surfing inspired the Malibu generation of the 1950's. Without this guy, there would not have been the revolution in performance surfing." - Derek Hynd

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Swell Season!

Yesterday morning I was interviewed by Ben of the Swell Season podcast, talking about Andreea Waters' photos and the It Doesn't Not Work community show happening at the Picture Farm Gallery this weekend. I'm not sure how much of our interview he'll use, I'm not sure he was ready for how verbose and incoherent I can be after my morning espresso. I vaguely remember opining about identity issues, the rise of DiY & Farm To Table culture and how the surf scene in New York is all about simply "going for it."

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happening : It Doesn't Not Work (III)

This coming Friday night we open IDNW2016 with a book launch and presentation of Andreea Waters' SURF NYC photobook. Swell permitting we roll into the annual Fish Fry and onto the mayhem that is It Doesn't Not Work.

Check out the WEBSITE for more infos!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

This Week In Not Surfing

1. It used to be that we knew nothing of each other's lives for extended periods of time. The stories stewing in the between grew a pungency, the books of heroes written in literarily heroics flying off the shelves by dint of sheer novelty alone. It demanded a readership. It demanded an ear. It demanded tales that would dip and divulge with humor and prose. But now what have I to tell you? I didn't surf in the last two weeks? I am at work today? Next week I will co-host a surf design symposium? Yes. Now I've told you. What's left?

2. I recently spent time in Washington DC where I saw more men smoking cigars than I can remember seeing outside a bachelor party.

3. There is an innate laziness in a life lived upon the crest of imperative.

4. "Manic Monday," that Bangles gem, released a bit over 30 years ago introduced me to  the still startling realization that Sunday can be magical.

5. Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I am typically unprepared.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Today's Thoughts

Happening : Surf + Social Good Salon

"Join us for an informative and generative conversation with surfers hustling for good. Grow personally and plug into the surf-inspired movement. Make a lasting difference locally and on your next surf trip. Last year, an inaugural Surf + Social Good Summit took place in Bali. The event set out to create a global surfing community and social network across sectors: from business, non-profit, academia and civil society. This year's salon, taking place in Brooklyn, aims to build on what was started and provide ways for professionals like you to learn more & get involved. A silent auction will feature select art and photography to support growing the network of partnerships. Tyler Breuer (SMASH) will moderate a panel of surf nonprofit leaders joined by local movers and shakers - Locals Surf School and Ryan Struck. Come join a community of leaders inspiring change! Hope to see you there!"

Event Web Page
Facebook Page

This Week In Not Surfing

1. I did not surf. I should be clear about that first. And when I sit down to the computer I feel my belly budge out over my belt just a little more. The weather is changing and I am not surfing and it is getting lighter earlier in the morning which means I could be surfing but I am not surfing because I am not demanding the time to surf. And I am entirely too ambivalent about this. I should be angry and pissed and raging and perhaps that's happening deep down and soon I will explode into the surfless asshole I know I can become, but for now, for some reason I am simply emotionally inert about it.

2. I was not emotionally inert about Bernie vs. Hillary. I was engaged, mentally. I abhor Hillary's record. I cringe at Bernie's simplistic proclamations. A woman president would be amazing. A Jewish Socialist president would be great. I am a registered independent in New York apparently, but I put in an affidavit ballot anyhow. Made me feel good even if it won't count. My wife and I voted for different people, both more or less protest votes in our own ways. This make me happy.

3. This Week's Word. "Consequel" : occurring in antecedent order based on the sufficient/necessary conclusions of an abstracted or conceptualized sensibility.

4. Today I walked out of my home wearing jeans and a jeans jacket. Three blocks on the trot to my studio and I realized too late. Shame is mine.

5. Life just isn't a movie trailer where you get to say one one-liner after another. Otherwise my week would have been filled up with me pithily repeating things like, "Death knells and coffin nails!" and "Things je care about... and things je don't!"

6. On Monday a Columbia University student named Katie showed up at my studio wanting to record an interview for Uptown Radio about surfing in New York. When I asked her how she found me and she replied "I did a Google search for New York Surf Blog and your's was the top one." I gave her Ty Breuer's email address.

7. Bill Finnegan won a Pulitzer.  God, I loved that book.

8. Addendum. Amazing what sound bites half an hour of interview will offer. I use the word "rolling" I think. I didn't use the word "breakers" thank god. And when she mentions I've been surfing in New York for nearly 20 years? I've lived here for 16 and it took me at least couple to figure out where the beach was.  I'm just glad she took my advice and found Ty.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Today's Thought

39,000 pages of Paul Klee's personal notebooks are available online.
Click Le Pic.

"...which he used as the source for his Bauhaus teaching between 1921 and 1931. If you can’t read German, his extensively detailed textual theorizing on the mechanics of art (especially the use of color, with which he struggled before returning from a 1914 trip to Tunisia declaring, “Color and I are one. I am a painter”) may not immediately resonate with you. But his copious illustrations of all these observations and principles, in their vividness, clarity, and reflection of a truly active mind, can still captivate anybody..." Open Culture

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This Week In Not Surfing

1. I think perhaps there is a tremendous biological urge to self-sabotage. Deep down in the core-est, most fundamental-est DNA is a little trigger that that lives in constant state of speculation, built of an pragmatic understanding that stuff breaks, shit falls apart, nothing lasts forever. Evolution invites us, in our hubristic rationality, to fight it. The Buddhists take this to its logical conclusion, the wonderfully winking dictums of that tradition shaming us into an uneasy misunderstanding of the nature of life. Or rather, a cogent understanding married to the wrong expectation of success. We may train our genetic switches to turn on and off at survival-appropriate rates, these auto-embedded binary skills taking their form contextually : I should not eat bagels and this is positive because instead I shall drink kale (and/or) I shall not waste my ammo here for instead I will slaughter my assailant there. But the core system agitates towards the preemptive dissolution of comfort. Things are going too well and this is not good (or) y = x where y = complacency and x = eaten by tiger/lion/bear. And self-sabotage it may be if we don't pay attention. There is comfort in the negative, see.

2. Sunday night I was horsing around with my son and his friend on the subway platform waiting for a train up to the Bronx and we bundled a little too close to a wide-eyed black man. I didn't notice at first his apparent rage but pretty soon he was screaming "White Devil!" and telling me I might as well commit suicide by jumping on the tracks. He yelled and followed us. He gave us the middle finger. The kids didn't know what to make of it. I did, or sorta did, or think I did. In all likelihood, I simply don't. He eventually mumbled off, dragging his anger in two fists like heavy sacks.

3. Dark, brown, cold cylinders of shifting water have been hitting the coast near here. I've been playing hooky from my duties.