Thursday, March 31, 2011

Past the Ides, Jody Olán

Riding my bike down Wythe I see Jef carrying groceries. He invites me in for a coffee but I can't drink coffee this late in the day. We talk about the state of the world. We agree it is a dark time. We drink soda water.
"You know, Todd, tonight we have a great performer. Her name is Jolie Olán. She's really great, you should come."
"Jolie... like pretty?"
"Orleans, like New Orleans?"
"No, Olán, you know, like the Dutch."
"Oh! Holland... not Orleans."
This takes me a minute. It takes a minute to sink in.
"Jolie Holland? She's playing here? Tonight?"
"Oui, Todd. You should come see her."

Jolie Holland plays a Daniel Johnson song followed by a Syd Barrett song tonight. She plays "Darling Ukulele" on a ukulele. She plays "Damn Shame" in a way I haven't heard before. After the show I am talking to her boyfriend about a story I heard earlier from the guy who sells me wine. About Oscar Peterson asking him for a request during a performance on Christmas Eve in 1998. My breath is terrible. I can tell it's terrible. Jolie Holland's boyfriend is backing away. I am talking faster, trying to finish my story before he scrams.

In the mens bathroom at Zebulon there is a piece of red graffiti that reads "I never left New York... but New York did." I don't buy it.

Past the Ides, ratio profiling.

A classic thunderbolt moment, his face, stunned, makes my face (I can feel it) look stunned. He looks driver side, passenger side, driver side, back seat, driver side, driver side. I can feel the heat rising under the blue collar, creeping up his neck. It was all going so well, what happened? His partner, rounding the supposedly broken tail light, flash light in hand (daylight be damned) and looked the other way: passenger side, driver side, passenger side, backseat, passenger side, etc. He exclaims "he, he's not wearing his seat belt!" As if to make up for something. This all hits me later in the shower of all places, I dry off laughing. We laugh together at the stupidity. Back on the street, he looks this way and that. He explains the back right tail light is not working properly. But this car is a piece of shit. There's Olde English lettering on the back window. She's Puerto Rican... or something. She was scurrying. He is stammering a little. He doesn't know what to do. We are blocking traffic. As I said, it is cold. Stupidly, insidiously cold. Doltishly cold. So my wife ran to the car from the grocer with her arms wrapped tight, hands in her pockets. My son's big head must have looked like an older person's normal head. This was the look on the cop's face. I say, no offer, pointing to the side street, "I can pull over there...." He nods. Almost gratefully. They take a long time to write out the summons. (Stammering, it seems) "uh, this is just a summons, it won't go on your record. You won't get any points." I nod. Now, in retrospect, I can feel the stupidity on my face; the unknowing, naive misunderstanding. They take forever to write the summons. In the time they are in the patrol car writing out the summons on the carbon paper, a friend walks by and laughs sympathetically at (or is it with) our predicament. The cop comes back. He twitches (a retrospective twitch, I have to admit) and mentions that the back light is sort of working now. Actually, it kind of goes in and out, it looks like it's not working and then it works again. It confused us. He mentions something about a dinner break, how he'll be at the precinct in an hour and if I drive by I can have him sign off on the summons. I don't understand. I mention that it's probably something to do with the wiring and how odd it is that it's out as I just had the car inspected. He gives me a funny look. I don't notice. I notice later, in the shower. He offers again to write off the summons in "an hour." I don't get it. I tell him I'll have to take care of it tomorrow because it's seven o'clock already and I have to get my kid to bed and what mechanic is open right now to fix it anyways? Another funny look. An "alright." We drive off. It's not until later, in the shower of all places.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Past the Ides, just.

I walk on the sunny side of the street. It is bitterly cold. Unseasonably, irresistibly, bitterly cold for this late March day. The heat from the curry udon warms my insides, even as the table at which I ate it, positioned as it was near the door, necessitated I wear my heavy coat through the meal. Yesterday we fought a little, my wife and I, about money and future. The sorts of things wives and husbands quarrel about. She says why don't we just get rid of the car when the insurance is due? This is an instant affront. It hurts my senses and I can't rightly explain why. We do not have any more money problems than anyone else. Everyone is bad with money. Or good, depending on how you look at it. We just happen to live in New York, where the cost of doing certain simple things drains your bank account as quickly as taking an international flight every week might. And it is like an international flight. That's why we're here, really. You go to the museums once a year, perhaps. Every couple years maybe you go to a play or the theater. This is after a decade or more of city living and the magic has surrendered to the mundane: job, career, family, financial. But there is the neighborhood. The Slavs and the French, and the Africans and the Chileans, the Asians and Swedes, the Egyptians and the Central Americans. These are the real reasons for New York. For the decision of New York. Our kids play together. We all eat together. We kiss cheeks. But the car, the car I know now is my liberty. My hope for liberty. It means that to me. Like most Americans I guess, for me the car is king. My wife wonders that we should remodel the flat, make an outdoor space. I wonder how I'll scope out that gem of a shack near the Atlantic I'll eventually run off to on the weekends. My wife wonders that it's not in my mind to buy something in town. My heart skips and my chest tightens because I don't know what I'd do if I had to pay a mortgage anywhere so far from a break. We glare at each other. The apartment goes silent for a while. That was yesterday, today is different. I hear her talking to her friend about properties by the sea and this town versus that one. I breathe a little deeper, knowing that New York is all about the day to day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Grant Cornett Japan Donation

I actually don't know if this is still happening.  Last I heard Grant was nearly out of paper and looking to donate.  But if there is still some material left, and you dig on Grant's photography as much as I do, might as well give it a shot.  Click on the black&white type and you'll be transported to his blog where you can check out the wares. 


Christian over at Beer Can Beach introduced me to the concept of the "Paddle of Shame": the paddle-in at the end of a session when you're unlucky enough not to catch one in. For whatever reason the circumstance had never struck as worth noting, but now I think about it a fair bit. Today however, my paddle out to the lineup constituted a Paddle of Shame in its own right. Shame over not getting my act together early enough this morning so I could head straight to the beach after dropping the boy off at school. Shame that I took two wrong routes once I did pull my shit together, getting me stuck in two bad bits of traffic which further wasted the short window of dumpability the tides would afford. Shame, even, that as I surveyed the less than pristine "conditions" I knew that I had to paddle out nonetheless, if not for the fact that I'm always crowing about "getting at least one" then for the fact that it would only be my third surf in New York since January and only my third surf in the brand new Matuse winter wettie my sister gifted me for my birthday. So yeah, today's bobbing up and down in 39˚ water 40˚ air was more of a penitence; me trying to make up for some shameful shit. Hopefully, I've set the thing right. Tomorrow is a new day.

And yes, I "caught" one in. Quotations shamefully necessary.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Japan Giving Oportunities in NYC

NEW YORK (HEART) JAPAN at Lavo on March 29th

7-10 PM
39 East 58th Street

Cash Bar/Food
DJ MSG on Decks

We are asking for a $20 minimum donation at the door (larger donations are most welcome). All door proceeds and 10% of income generated at the venue will donated to Doctors Without Borders, to support their efforts in Japan operating mobile clinics in the hard-hit Miyagi prefecture. All donations are tax-deductible and there will be forms available for those wanting a receipt/acknowledgement.


Benjamin Dewar
Lelaine Lau


Miki Agrawal
Radha Agrawal
Keetja Allard
Mark Baker
Belinda Becker
Tyler Breuer
Jayma Cardoso
Danielle Chang
Lily Cho
Kevin Crawford
Michelle Forrest
Tegan Gaan
Veronica Gledhill
Lauren Grafer
Erin Hawker
Kelly Hulbert
Alex Jeffers
Suzanne Koshnoodi
Steve Lewis
Leonard LoRusso
Emilio Mesa
Sakura Moriya
Yvonne Najor
Takamichi Saeki
Cristina Salazar
Amber Senn
Mami Shirakawa
Amanda Young Shortall
Ali Smith
Katia Tallarico
Sasha Tcherevkoff
Fernando Tormena
Tom Trowbridge
Liz Vap
Arden Wohl
Derek Yamada
Hikari Yokoyama

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has sent medical teams to support the government-led earthquake and tsunami response in Japan. They are running mobile clinics and conducting needs assessments, which will determine the full scope of their response. Please note that Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) typically does not earmark funds for specific arenas of operations, instead using unrestricted donations which allows them to provide rapid and targeted care to those areas most in need. Our donation will be unrestricted.


NEW YORK CITY LOVES JAPAN at Cielo on April 3rd

Sunday, April 3 at 6:00pm - April 4 at 4:00am
club Cielo
18 little west 12 street

We are throwing a serious jam to celebrate and support them in this most difficult time.
Please join us at Cielo on Sunday April 3rd.

We will have a party supreme for you! A stellar DJ Lineup, a live performance from the legendary Monday Michiru and our pal Jose Parla hosting for the night!

featuring Djs:
Francois K
Rich Medina
Metro Area
Dj Nature
Brennan Green
Dennis Kane
Alex from Tokyo

and a special live performance from:
Monday Michiru

All proceeds will go to the Red Cross of Japan

Our friends at Staple design have created a commemorative pin for all who give the suggested donation.
Our pals at Stussy/Union will be designing a commemorative shirt which we will be selling. ( proceeds again to japan red cross ), and we will be streaming the event live to Japan!
it will be a special night and we want u there! get up to get down -
NYC loves Japan

Dennis Kane & Alex Prat


Oragami Goodness

Recent Inspiring Stuff

Inspiration is a funny thing. What I sometimes call inspiring, a designation I normally assume leads to an over-all positive mental state, can in actuality lead me down the road to despondency. Does this mean the subject in question is not inspiring? Or like inertia's often half intoned usage regarding only the static state, can inspiring be similarly underestimated in the breadth of its definition? Maybe that's a stupid question. In the blogging tradition of collecting others images and reposting them for general appeal, I've flipped through the Surf Historians section to the right and scampered off with some recent things that inspire (full meaning now understood.)

Click on any photo and magically be delivered to the place of origination. That is, origination to my consciousness. Perhaps not the actual creative origin. You may have to dig deeper for that.

Barf A Loner

Today Antonio makes his way to Barcelona to meet up with the sort of people who do the sorts of things following, leaving me to make mistakes all on my own here in snowy New Jack. So I've combed my hair. Mistake #1.

Bring me back a soccer jersey Tony. And some crazy Spanish music video work.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


This has been brought to you by the bureau of thoughtful filmmaking and by viewers like us.


Via QPs.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

EBNY Photo Feature : Ed Cornell Does March

"Though the winds shifted around quite a bit, Friday through Saturday had it's moments. With a few stops including one that served up quite a few barrels... the air warmed up but the water stayed bitterly cold."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ok, so musicians and board shapers and the people who fix yer bike are at the top of the karmic pyramid, but somewhere down there, not too far off are guys and gals who just pick up the movie camera and make something. I guess they'd fall into the wider category of artist, which can be a fraught taxonomic category.  But take this guy, Andrew Ogilvie... I reckon he'll be getting more than coal.

The CNN List of Charities : Click This Title

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ensign Boy and Dr. Curran, Captain of the Pacific

As the swells rolled in, we rolled out. Mission Bay behind, the blue Pacific ahead. Thoughts and healing sending continuously to Japan.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Broome St. Temple

The magic of the "big city" is often put to the excitement of the cosmopolitan milieu; the crowds of people crossing each other's paths from all over the globe, gibbering and jabbering, hustling and bustling, sparking and sparring. It is often to this that people point when they say "in New York, things happen." It is also because of this that some people people tend to stay away. Too crazy, crass and crowded. But part of the joy of living here is how all these cultural elements don't just render creative conflict, but create moments of special solace and true spiritual participation that has a flavor rarely found elsewhere. My friend Chris made this film about a place he likes to spend his time. He himself a product of rather multi-continental and decidedly non-Hindu upbringing, has nonetheless found a spot that soothes his soul in that particular way. And the big city is a perfect setting.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

EBNY Photo Journal : Long Island Getaway

John The Caterer, Trailer Park

When I were a kid, there were only Spring Break.  There were no Winter Break.  But now I have a kid, and there's this Winter Break.  One week in the middle of April is now a second (or is that first) week at the end of February. And somebody's gotta take care of that kid.  So the boy and I head to Montauk.  Along the way we stop off at Mastastico for a spell to eat pizza, play dinosaur and read the local realty.  Along the way we stop off at Coffee Cup's to pick up a finger-touched Takayama.  Along the way we eat lamb stew, fried fish and a sundae at O'Murphy's.  I could get used to this Winter Break thing.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vader Surfs

Hadn't seen this one yet...
Found on Hunters Of Zanzibar

Colorfield Blue


my skillet-head friend
my fat-bellied comrade
break wind with me

The Testometer : Our Man Abroad

The verbage and verbage blocking are distinctly Tesi-esque linguistic palette.
(Thin veil of ribbing only serves to mask deep-felt wounds of envy.)

Today's Thought

Even if Antonio's left eye brow raises slightly in that inimitable way he has of letting one know his utter reticence, I continue to post "non-surf" matériel here unabated. Not so much because there isn't great surf matériel available, but because I get excited about other stuff and frankly, for my tastes, Tony doesn't post nearly often enough. Maybe this is my way of piquing his motivations. Just call me a bloggy Ekhart Tolle with an even shittier-eating grin.

And so...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


K. Lyons: A Great Guy, A Wonderful Beard.

This is a "Hey, I know that guy" moment. Found on Quality Peoples today, Kevin has often been found on the couch in my office on other days. Surprising? Maybe. But not really. The world works that way.
So here's to Kevin. Hi Kevin!

Today's Thought