I remember that one year just before my father's birthday erranding with my mother at Thompson's Drug, seeing one of those fuzzy headed troll dolls, the rubbery kind with the marble eyes, and observing what a prefect gift it would be for the impending anniversary. My mother, ever vigilant to my sly canards, caught on pretty quick. You sure it's for Dad and not just for you? The impudence! I would never ever buy a troll doll for my father just so I could play with it. She acquiesced. A week later, playing with the ugly thing in my Dad's office, she walks by and gives me the death stare. And so it was some thirty plus years later (plus, plus perhaps) that while looking for a new used beater board to stash under the house, I come across a ten foot foamie at the surf shop. Ten feet! I consider the possibilities of a ten foot foamie. Ten feet! I think that it might be the perfect girth and griddle for Wifey's long awaited foray into the family pass time. This will be perfect! A day later I find myself steering the unwieldy thing into a few fun beach break close outs, perfecting my dance with the long lines until the wave of the day catches me just right, putting me in epic position for the close-out beach break ten-foot-foamie cover-up of the decade. Except. Except it's a ten foot foamie see. And ten foot foamie's ridden only a few times don't operate quite like a regular hard ten foot surfboard. Or even a six foot foamie. No a ten foot foamie doesn't have quite that split second maneuverability. Whatever split second maneuverability I can usually muster. One ripped up right knee MCL later and I am duly contrite.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Ok, try doing this in 30-40˚ air and 40-50˚ water temps.
Chris Pfiel capturing moments that chill the bone yet warm the heart.
Jersey Shore, Post Sandy, Pre Holiday cleanup.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
read this and enjoy the bounty of thought that goes into a surf report that has a bounty of thought going into it.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
"I am going to need lots of help. I have a few options where people can volunteer. The following is option one. The only requirements are a willingness to help other people and a positive attitude. This is for all ages...
1. Operations Sandy Claus- My office is stuffed with stuffed stockings. We started handing these stockings and gifts out in Long Beach last weekend. As many as we handed out, I got twice as many more donated to me...haha. SO, now I have more then ever and I will need lots of volunteers! Bring your friends bring your family.
Here is the plan. People can hand out these out during the week now but most people wont be home. The BIG days will be Saturday December 22nd and Sunday December 23rd. I also see this overflowing into Monday December 24th (Christmas Eve) as many residents will be off and home that day as well.
Here is how you get involved. Just show up (bring your Santa hats to wear) at my office and grab a few boxes of stockings. I will assign everyone a block or two to go knock on doors and spread the love. Its that simple. Show up, grab some stockings and go have some fun. I am at 120 West Park Ave Suite 103 Long Beach NY 11561. Its a boarded up Remax office in the covered garage next to Sutton Place restaurant. Thank you and I need people to help!!....-Bryan Murphy"
Monday, December 17, 2012
Hello from the field…
I have said this many times before, but nothing replaces time. The greatest effort one can put forth in my line of work is good old fashioned hours. It is very simple - if you fully commit yourself and do the hard time, everything you need will come as a result. We have done a lot of things to provide relief to some of the hardest hit areas since the onset of Sandy, but the most valuable thing we have done is simply be there. It's been the same everywhere I've worked in the world - all of the greatest developments throughout our relief efforts come organically by showing up every day and doing the work.
Example - I was out in Rockaway the other day doing the seemingly simple task of delivering some diesel to one of our relief center partners for their generator. I then got an urgent call from the shipping container company that said the container we ordered was in the area and ready to be dropped off. We had been waiting for that container for a week and it wasn't scheduled for delivery for another two days. There was a mixup and the driver was in Rockaway and ready to deliver.
The purpose of the container is part of our strategy to set up a distribution network in all of the hardest hit areas. Basically, we have our warehouses in NY and NJ that receive all sorts of donated supplies - then the idea is that we'd drop shipping containers directly on ground zero of the hardest hit areas and fill them up periodically with the supplies from the warehouse. Then the local relief centers we work with in each of these areas have access to the container so they can get supplies as needed. This way they can act quickly when they learn of a family that has a specific need - all they have to do is run over to the container, get the supplies, and then go drop them with the family. We are constantly updating what we put in the containers based off the current intel we get from the relief centers, so the whole thing becomes a very streamlined and targeted operation. That said, we already have one of the containers directly in the center of LBI (NJ) and the crew down there have been utilizing it brilliantly - getting people in those communities the supplies they need and also using it for storage of demo tools for the volunteer groups they manage. So the Rockaway container was next on our list and showed up two days early!
Had I not been in the area to receive it and connect with the construction yard where we got permission to store it, the driver would have had to turn around… just a simple example of just showing up every day and the quick actions that pop up and need attention. But the real development happened when I met the person in charge of the construction site where we got the container delivered to and will keep it thereafter. It was a guy named Nick Masem - an executive at a big development group called the Beechwood Organization. They had recently developed a neighborhood in Rockaway called Arverne by the Sea. But once Sandy hit they went into charity mode helping where they could just like everyone else… They have an entire team of sub-contractors at their disposal from mold re-mediators to plumbers, builders, and electricians. They are able to restore a house in a few days and were doing it at a fraction of the normal prices as their way to assist in the relief efforts. Moving forward these types of services are going to be the single most important asset to the recovery process. In some cases there are already pockets on homes that are ready for some level of rebuilding and/or restorations.
We are currently in the process of identifying certain residential and small business candidates in the areas we're working that we would like to help rebuild. In some cases it's a family that for a number of reasons finds themselves in a truly dire predicament - home completely damaged, no flood ins, denied by FEMA, and are now jobless because their work space in the community was damaged as well… sadly enough these cases are many and we cannot help them all, but we can help some. And the missing link for us is finding a building partner that can execute the work and work with us on a reduced rate… Well, Beechwood was absolutely fired up to be that partner and were looking just the same for a credible NGO that they could get more locations from. I talked to the owner of the company later that day and he was so enthusiastic about doing this program with us. He said they naturally have their big for-profit ventures still plugging away but that, in addition, through our program they could use all of their resources, and ultimately do what they do best for the greater good. Both he and Nick are stellar guys and I can't wait to do our first rebuild with them… !
All of this came simply by being in the field that day delivering diesel to a relief center. It was huge progress in an instant… and truly a testament to doing the one thing in all of this that, in my opinion, is a non-negotiable - showing up, day in and day out!
Some other notable actions that we've helped to facilitate recently have been the tireless volunteer groups that Joe Woerner has been organizing in the Ortley Beach and Lavalette areas as well as the ones organized by Joe Mangino & Jon Coen in LBI. These efforts have been shining examples of people rising to the occasion to do what has to be done to rebuild their communities.
Also, the Restore the Shore crew (of whom we work with) have been on fire! I can't say enough good things about these folks. They had the brilliant idea of trying to protect every volunteer group (not just ours) that was heading over the bridge in Point Pleasant last weekend - so we decided to buy 400 full safety outfits (Tyvek suits, gloves, double cartridge 3m respirators, and eye protection) and park a truck right at the entrance to to bridge saying "FREE SAFTEY GEAR". The crew gave them to countless volunteer groups that passed by and we out of our stock in 1 hr.
The last, shout out I want to give is to both crews who have so graciously donated their warehouse space and facilities to us since day one - Ergo/RestoreTheShore in NJ and Rogan/Loomstate in NY. Without these hundreds of families would not have any of the much needed supplies we've been able to provide them… Honestly, these warehouses have been one of the single most important things we efforts we've done and on behalf of W4W I want to say a BIG thank you again…
Lastly, I want to say another BIG thanks to all of you who have supported us so far… You contributions have been instrumental in the recovery process and have directly impacted so many of the families in need. I am humbled by the ongoing generosity by all of you…
In light of so many events this year, so much loss, so many emotional hits, it's great to get people together in a big room and chat. That's what happened last night at the Brooklyn Surf Flea. Lots of great people talking to other great people. Lots of people turning out to both do what they do while contributing a bit to recovery. And while the cold rain kept some at bay, heaps of people showed up to peruse the wares and soak up some space. Ceasar and Annie did an outstanding job organizing and managing the event, getting all the vendors together and making sure all the Lagunitas flowed like wine. As the recovery process slowly urns into a rebuilding process it will be important to keep the community energy up and activated. I foolishly didn't get a photo of each and every vendor, but here is a sampling of some images...