Friday, March 22, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
In response to Super Storm Sandy, I showed up here on the East Coast, with friend DJ Struntz, on Nov 1st 2012. As we round out the 5 month mark I find myself still deeply entrenched in a way that I've only ever felt once before - during our work in Haiti, post earthquake. I remember hitting the 6 month mark in there and feeling very disconnected with the rest of the world… most likely, because I (literally) was. But I've been having the same feelings here lately. Though here on the North East I am not living in a tent or traversing bumpy dirt roads like I was in Haiti, I still have the same feelings of being slightly unhooked from the rest of the world. That said, obviously anytime we truly apply ourselves to something, it's very easy to get lost in it… It's also the nature of the path I've chosen… or let me rephrase that - the one that chose me!
It's the little things that help a us stay grounded… for me it's been the (somewhat) regular surf sessions I've managed to have throughout the cold winter… and the people from the world I somewhat left behind that have visited me. They have served as great reminders of what my "norm" once looked like - where I came from and what my roots are made up of. I'm all for reinvention and the evolutionary process that we call life, but without a solid grasp on how we get from one chapter to the next we've got nothing… to understand our growth we must first be conscious of the steps that lead us there.
Now let's get down to the nitty gritty…
Our Hurricane Sandy Relief initiative has been organic and guerrilla in nature - just like all our other global projects. We have applied the same gusto and sensibilities and achieved great results…
We have compiled our first impact report for this initiative, which I will let speak for itself - but basically it outlines the programs and/or major categories (relief centers, home & small business restorations, monetary grants, hot meals, etc) in which we've put our funds towards; and the actual people/communities that have been impacted by them. In addition to the things listed on the report there are a number of spontaneous initiatives that we continue to do each week. They may not necessarily become ongoing programs for us but they are great relief initiatives all the same. A couple I'd like to mention as of recent are the Coney Island Firehouse supply drive and the Farmers Market at our 96th St relief center in Rockaway.
We learned of the Coney Island Firehouse situation through one of the fireman, Bradach Walsh (also co-founder of Rockaway Beach Surf Club), stationed there that lives in Rockaway. Basically their house got completely thrashed by Sandy. They lost virtually everything in it and to top it off (for whatever unknown bureaucratic reason) the entire house had been running on a generator until just a month or so ago. Seriously?! An FDNY house running on a generator…? These are the dudes that we need in fighting shape first so they can be there for the community should anything else happen. It's so damn obvious I feel stupid even writing it. They also lost everything in the house that made it a habitable place for them - refrigerator, work out equip, tools, furniture, computers, etc - all of which the guys stipend their paychecks into a general fund to buy! So after some time getting the Battalion Chief to let us help… they finally gave us the list of lost/damaged items. They had no expectations and I just said we will do our best at getting some of the things replaced for them. A month or so later, with the phenomenal financial support from a partner org called Fashion Girls For Humanity we drove back to the firehouse in a box truck loaded full with brand new replacements for most of the things they lost. They were blown away to get all that stuff and actually invited us to eat lunch with them after in their mess hall. It was a wonderful feeling to help get these guys back on their feet and I can’t thank all involved parties (especially Kikka and Julie from FGFH) enough for partnering up with us and supporting this initiative they way they did. The Battalion Chief (same one I’ve been fostering the relationship with since the beginning) came in that day specifically for this… He was so grateful for everything and said that it was the most help they’ve gotten from ANY source since the disaster.
Aside from just replacing the things they lost my ultimate goal for this effort was to form a genuine long term rapport/relationship with them? Well, the Chief pulled me aside at the end of our lunch and gave me his personal cell number - he said that he is making his entire Battalion and resources available to us - whatever we need just call him. It will no doubt serve as an instrumental ally throughout our process of helping to put these communities back together…
Lastly, I'd like to mention one of the great community programs that was created at our 96th St relief center in Rockaway by it's founder, Michelle Cortez. All the super markets (but one) in Rockaway got wiped out by Sandy - there is literally no place to buy fresh veggies or fruit for an entire 60 block stretch. Most people also lost their cars to sandy too which forces them to shop at their nearest corner deli through VERY limited inventory. So Michelle decided to start a Famers Market at the center on Sundays. She gets all the left over veggies and fruits donated from two large weekly markets in the city and then offers them to the residents in that cut off portion of Rockaway, free of charge. Not much more I need to say - a brilliant repurposing of resources and a simply wonderful service to provide people who've had their lives turned upside down…
Monday, March 18, 2013
Here was a film that garnered a ton of flack before ever hitting the screens. The touchy subject of kookdom, kookimosity and kook-bashing hitting speculative low notes smelling slightly of dreaded cinematic surf-bullying. And it was not to be. I find the thing hilarious, sneakily apropos and hilarious. Great jorb.
More here, here and here.
SMASH is finally stepping into the role of NY surfy news aggregator that it were destined to fill. Check out the site for updates that may or may not include the sort of mental diarrhea, awkward asides and odd cultural non sequiturs often hampering normal surfy functions here. Click the pic.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
So EBNY HQ (AKA Picture Farm) is opening the Within Sight show tomorrow night, but today you can whet yer appetite with some great recent photos from Carla on Magic Seaweed and Michael at his eponymous joint today.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I will capitulate. I'll bend. I'll give in and I'll be broken. It happens all the time. I mean, it happened to my right knee not a few months ago and my left knee a few before that, so why not here, now? Basically I need to do some penance for something that isn't technically, immediately my fault, but for which I am the only one to blame. And so, a winter of spoils that wipes away the frustrating communal grime of last year's colossal wave-whimper but only adds only to my personal anguish. And for that I am truly sorry. And so, and so... I give you this. It contains so many things I'd rather not look at and hear, chief among them being the California mid-nineties sounding "punk" soundtrack, the fake lighting-flare-end-burn effects and a disgusting wave bounty to which I was not party to.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Friday, March 8, 2013
"Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again. Her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing it."
I just saw this today. I went to see Marina Abramovic when she was there but didn't sit with her.
Oddly powerful the whole thing. This sort of art is interesting.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Monday, March 4, 2013
Picture Farm Gallery presents “Within Sight: Photographers for Recovery”, a group photography show curated by professional surfer and filmmaker Mikey DeTemple to launch March 14th, 2013 at the gallery’s space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “Within Sight” showcases large scale photographic prints from several of the most dynamic surf photographers in the industry including donated pieces by Dane Peterson, Nick LaVecchia, Todd Glaser, Chris Burkard, Zak Bush, Ryan Struck, Matt Clark and Chris Pfeil. All works feature one of a kind, wooden frames crafted from reclaimed pieces of the now-destroyed boardwalk.
The disastrous effects of Hurricane Sandy are still a daily reality for numerous individuals and businesses decimated by the storm in October. “Within Sight” is born from the surf community’s desire to reinvigorate awareness and continued community support around this fact. “As with so many other natural disasters, the attention span regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has been a woefully short one,” says Picture Farm’s Toddy Stewart. “Months have passed and media attention and public awareness of the plight of Sandy victims has waned- relief efforts are turning into recovery and rebuilding and now more than ever we need to get behind these projects or face possible calamitous results for those living in the wake of the disaster.”
Following Sandy the local and national surf community responded with fierce and rapid grassroots efforts – volunteering, organizing and donating to the relief cause in huge numbers. This energy and speed was borne out of an indelible personal connection to those coastal communities and the dire needs of friends and family that were affected. An opening night party and silent benefit auction will be held on March 14th, 2013.
All proceeds from the sale will benefit Waves for Water, (www.wavesforwater.org) a non-profit organization founded by former professional surfer Jon Rose and the charity’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Initiative that focuses on supporting individuals and businesses in New York and New Jersey surf-based coastal communities hardest hit. “Community mobilization has been the success story of the recovery effort so far, neighbors helping neighbors and smaller grassroots organizations like Waves for Water taking a direct, hands on approach to relief and rebuilding,” DeTemple explains. “It is our hope that Within Sight will reinvigorate the energy of the surf community in continued support of Sandy efforts as we head into spring.”
About Mikey DeTemple
Mikey DeTemple is a New York native, professional surfer and filmmaker. Matt Pruett, editor of Eastern Surf Magazine, described Mikey this way: “Few surfers personify the essence of modern East Coast long boarding like Mikey DeTemple –classic yet rebellious, stylish but aggressive, competitive though utterly soulful.” Mikey has been an integral the East Coast’s surf scene since the age of 16, when he won his first pro contest and became a staple in the world of pro surfing. He has graced the covers of numerous worldwide surf publications and produced two of the best-selling surf films of the past several years.
Since Hurricane Sandy, Mikey has been constantly active in the relief effort, coordinating and participating in volunteer rebuilding efforts, hosting multiple events, donating artwork for fundraising purposes and using his high profile to keep attentions focused on the continuing needs of those affected.
About Picture Farm Gallery
Picture Farm Gallery was opened in response to what is perceived as a diminishing community vibe in the increasingly populated neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It looks to support local artists and concerns, giving month-long solo and group shows to friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends during a season stretching from March to November. Picture Farm Gallery also acts as a community center for volunteer efforts for Hurricane Sandy relief and provides a creative space for local crafts people.
About Waves for Water
Waves for Water works on the front-line to provide clean water solutions to communities in need around the world. They work with world leaders and strategic partners who take a “no-nonsense” attitude toward making global change. Waves for Water is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 by former professional surfer Jon Rose and supported by Hurley International. www.wavesforwater.org
Within Sight is generously sponsored by Reef and Raen.
And big old thanks to Wax Mag and SMASH!
I went to school with Erica Delma. I think we started in Catholic school together and ended up in public school together where I think I also went to school with her younger sister Nicole Delma. This is a long time ago. Then Nicole Delma pops up in New York (my New York, she popped up in her New York far earlier) and I find out she likes to run and surf. And then I see that she is running for a good cause and I think it would be a good idea to support the good cause. Then I think it would be a good idea for you to support the good cause if you have the inkling. Man, she is running a LOT. Click the pic.