Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Mollusk just posted this on Facebook. I just posted it here. Some people are digital aloha, some people have digital stoke. EBNY is digital ex-lax.

ADENDUM : What once was a series of shots of Joel Tudor styling in Costa Rica, or something like that, is now digital snow. All I an say is that it was pretty nice while it lasted.

ADENDUM DOS : According to Chris Klopf it was ripped material from "Classical Gas."

The Mastic Bureau Handbook

Happening : LBHS Surf Team

The SMASH Fest Interview

Now that the first festivus is fading into the rear view mirror and while the next festivus is but a hopefully unavoidable speck on the horizon, I'll reprint my interview with Smriti Keshari for the liner notes of the curating panel.  She is a great conversationalist, and if you ever have her ring you up for the talk over some Mogador breakfast, I suggest taking her up on it.

Anyhow, dunno why, but I reckon if I don't post it I'll likely digitally file it away and lose it.  Which may be a better turn of events in some prospective retrospective moment,  but I'm always somehow up for making myself ripe for punishment.


Toddy Stewart is a filmmaker and loving father living in Brooklyn, NY.  He wrote and directed the critically acclaimed surfing short film, THE SURF MAGAZINES DON’T TALK ABOUT LAPSED CATHOLICS, and is a partner of the creative production studio Picture Farm. He is a wannabe sometime surfer. Toddy in fact spends more time writing about not surfing for the surf blog, The Endless Bummer.

Your film, The Surf Magazines Don’t Talk About Lapsed Catholics resonated with many people because of the philosophical musings over the nature of being a surfer. How much does that philosophical depth influence the films you select?  
I think it makes a big difference.  I tend to lean that way anyhow, and frankly, there are only so many surf films I really want to watch.  And when I say "surf film" I mean specifically the sort of film a surfer would make for another surfer to showcase the technical side.  Big airs, slash and bash, copious hanging ten, huge waves.  At this point I'd be less bored by films that let more people into the process. People want to understand and connect to the inner dealings of it all without being able to tell a truly buried rail from some maneuver less "successful." I look for films that translate the feeling of being there. How are the filmmakers able to viscerally transport the viewer in a glancing fashion? The second thing I look for is how the filmmaker is able to show the pure joy of surfing, the community and that sort of guttural happiness it all creates.

What advice would you give surf filmmakers? 
It seems surf filmmakers regard film as ultimately a visual art form but what you see with your eyes is not necessarily what you get with your ears, or any other senses.  There’s much to be explored with sound in surf filmmaking.  It just seems like people plop some really amazing visuals on a soundtrack and call it a day. How can surf films be more philosophically sonic? 

How would you describe the current state of surfing in NY?  
Since surfing is becoming more culturally prevalent in New York, there’s an incredible opportunity to hand on habits in the water. There’s a positive energy to the people who have been surfing out here and it effects the way new people are learning and building this culture.  There is an excitement, a newness to surfing culture in New York that isn't there on the West Coast.  Surfing has been here for a long time, but now that it is some sort of fad, there is this poseur, wannabe thing happening that is counter-intuitively kinda great. People out there with smiles on their faces trying to wrap their minds around something.  Sure, it's super annoying too, but I'd rather surf with people who are stoked to just be in the water. 

You've been making a lot of films with your company Picture Farm, anything related to surfing?
We got to make the promo films for the SMASH Fest with Tyler, the ones based on Saturday Night Fever and Breakfast at Tiffany's. There were so many other good ideas we all came up with that we couldn't make happen thanks to crazy schedules, but those two were so fun to make. 
On that tip of making interesting films about sport, my co-director Chris Bren and I have been making these art films about Major League Soccer fan culture. MLS improbably bought an idea we proposed to make these little films about supporter groups and they've even more improbably bought the idea that we can make things really abstract.  We're shooting with multiple cameras during games, focusing on the proximity of the fans to the action and the culture of these rabid fans.  And we are recording with multiple microphones as well, getting layers of sound.  I really want it to be as much a sonic explorations as it is a visual one.  We're taking our cue from Zinedine Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait and Tokyo Olympiad, two of my favorite films. We just got back from Kansas City and Toronto and next up are the Red Bulls and DC United. I'm super excited about it.

How do you see the technology and surfing intersecting with one another?

There is this whole side to the technology of board building that is way beyond me.  But in general I’ve become apprehensive of technology. Forecast services have really changed part of the nature of how surfing works. It's an old argument, maybe too old, but there is this process of trial and error that might be lost.  Thank god nature doesn't always cooperate. One of the best things about surfing is the anguish of the wait, you know, the process of the search. There’s a natural gratitude from taking part in that practice. 

On the other hand, technology can work when you incorporate it into a natural, organic process. I have a couple friends who have this wonderfully analogue method by which they are creating a better surf forecast. They travel up and down the coast with their baby in tow, looking at conditions and documenting patterns with a surfer's eye.  They plug all that first-hand info into some  sort of digital algorithm machine and presto, there's a real translation of data and anecdote. They are, you know, sort of upending all that, at least bringing the process back to something organic and tactile.  Which is probably, in the end, the point. 

Technology, as tool in the creative process, used in the process of actually living, what's wrong with that? I guess it's a matter of context.  Besides I'm sure driving up an down the coast searching for waves, spewing out fumes and sputtering gas isn't all that good for the environment. Being able to make that surgical strike is pretty helpful in that regard.

-Smriti Keshari

Yes. Uh huh. Yes.

I am reprinting here, because, well, the writing simply works. It is originally from here. At least that's where I got it, kindly via the redoubtable Jamie Brisick. Anyhow, good jorb Scott Tinley.

I like other surfers. I just don’t like them when they’re surfing.
If that sounds like a veterinarian saying that he or she likes dogs, but not when they bark or that I enjoy the company of our in-laws, so long as they are asleep, well, so be it.
Before you label me a self-severing curmudgeon, indulge my explanation of this diametric statement that most surfers should understand while the non-surfer scratches his head, the stereotype reinforced. Place yourself in this scene: You go to a party wearing an aloha shirt and slaps. Your nose is sun burnt and peeling. You silently ooze that pervasive stoke of having scored good surf that morning. Fate being what it is, you end up pouring beers and swapping stories with guys just like yourself. All is right with the world. But when that same carload pulls up to your empty lineup the next morning, your stomach turns. Damn, can’t they find their own spot?
As a student of the sociology of sport, I find it particularly interesting that we, as surfers, are one of only a handful of other sportsmen who really don’t like to see other members of our chosen activity. Oh, we may flatter ourselves with the label of ‘tribe’ or ‘subculture,’ but that appears as self-inflated profiling and means nothing unless the anecdotal evidence is there to back it up. And you could dumb-down the theory, call it “supply and demand,” no different than having to wait for a tennis court on a crowded Sunday morning. But it is more than that. So much more. Surfers are innately individualistic, born to stand, not above, but apart from the seething morass of humanity. We don’t do things en masse. That would be an affront to the very nature of our being. And especially, we don’t ride waves together. Not now anyways. There was a time though, not that long ago, when riding waves with other surfers was considered not only acceptable, but culturally correct, safer, and for all means and purposes, more fun. The ancient Hawaiians shared waves, the early California pioneers shared waves, and even the big-wave test pilot riders of the late '50s took off on the same behemoth face merely for the sake of sharing their fear.
As far as anyone can tell, it was likely the advent of the lighter-weight balsa boards and their resultant ability to climb and drop as they rode, that originally instigated the concept of ‘one man, one wave.' Now, though, when we speak to other surfers of the day’s conditions, we ask first of the crowd factor, not the size, shape, surface conditions or how one’s board performed. To 'score' is to get it alone, even if it is one-foot slop. How odd. How strange. How very sad.
Last winter I found myself surfing a cold, sharky, mysto spot up on the Central Coast, alone, and secretly coveted another body in the lineup…just in case. My admittedly weak thoughts took me back to my own home break the summer before; a fat, mushy wave that favors the gray-haired pony-tailed set, replete with their new 9’6”s cradled in their Thule rack-adorned SUVs. I had been watching one set wave after another go to the millionaires as I sat patiently on my dog-eared 6’8”. Finally, I told some VP of Marketing that I was going on the next wave and would he mind if I stayed out on the shoulder and allowed him his statuesque perch while I burned up a few rail-to-rail calories. He turned to me and grunted a reply that highly suggested I ride a “longboard” if I wanted to surf here.
While I didn’t get mad, I couldn’t let it go; my demented reaction prompted, no doubt, by the fact that I lived up the street, worked on the beaches and spent seven or eight sessions a week riding that yawner of a wave. So, with cynicism as fuel, I proceeded to rotate, in sequence, my gradually lengthening craft conveniently stored in the lifeguard tower on the beach, each time asking my perplexed new friend if “this was big enough?"
An airbrushed 9’0” Minard, a 10-foot rescue board, a 13-foot surf ski and finally a 19-foot Eaton racing paddle craft; I wondered just what he meant by needing a longboard.
Finally, I asked him if he would come in to the beach and help me row the two-man dory back out. That way, I explained, we could ride waves together and not be in each other’s way. He called me psycho and left the water. But I wondered who was more mentally unstable at that moment. I mean, I didn’t want to stuff the guy on take off and call him a kook. My kids were on the beach, same as his. I just wanted him to share the ‘love,' if only in gesture. Not chastise me for my shortened board, as if he was referring to something anatomical.
Face it. In highly populated coastal locales, the waters are crowded. Blame it on man’s search for a connection to nature. Blame it on the image propagated by the clothing manufacturers and the media. Blame it on the burgeoning ‘wahine craze.’ Blame it on the longboards, leashes and unobtanium-lined wetsuits. Hell, blame it on yourself for not becoming a lacrosse player. It doesn’t matter. People like to surf. And they like to think of themselves as the iconic wanderer, Juan Cabrillo or RH Dana with the optional leather and CD changer. Urban surfing will only survive if we recognize the futility of posturing, of expecting and requiring that every wave we get to ride will be un-encumbered by another surfer. Maybe the answer to this metro-madness is a type of controlled Marxism, but with the emphasis on the pleasure of sharing, of giving and receiving not because the unwritten rules say so, but because you want to; kind of like the Dalai Lama passing out wax at Malibu or Rodney King guiding newcomers down the trail at Lunada Bay.
This idealism may not fit with the rebellious nature of surfers everywhere and I doubt I’m going to suggest Johnny Boy go on Prozac, but trust me, you don’t want the binary opposite: a type of forced control and order in the line-up, like some crowded bakery where numbers are handed out. “Set wave serving number 49! Number 49, your order is ready to ride!”
Or worse yet, picture a gallery of fresh law school graduates, scanning the line up for potential contingency cases causing “mental duress.” Most of us would quite surfing and take up lacrosse. I’m not advocating drop-ins or a loss of respect for those who have paid their dues at a spot over the years. But if we choose to inhabit metropolitan regions and spend significant periods of time surfing crowded waves, maybe we should try a different tack than the current “meanest growl and biggest stick=most waves” scenario.
Then again there is always the real deal, the search for empty waves in every pocket of the globe. I know that I could live in a tree house in the Seychelles. But like all things, it seems, there is an attempt to achieve a sense of balance, convince the wife and kids that malaria night sweats are really not that bad. Not nearly as bad as trying a “go-behind” with some dude you never met, the both of you falling, coming up laughing, remembering that the ancient Hawaiians thought it rude to take off on a wave without another member of the tribe to share the experience. It’s like an old friend of mine says, “Never take off on the first wave of the set. Wait for the last wave so that all those paddling back out can watch you, and share and hoot.”
And probably cut you off on the next set.
Just so long as they ask first.

For more by Scott Tinley, read "When Ships Were Made of Wood" in the current issue of TSJ.

Nice Design, Bro

A couple examples of some fine graphic design concerning immanent happenings.

The Artificial Leaf

"I still think there is so much hope for our world. We just need to persevere, cultivate and fund the creativity that exists in our society. This is a prime example of what we can do when minds are allowed to explore and bio-mimicry is encouraged." - Noah Sabich

Happening : Caceras at Lost Weekend

Monday, July 29, 2013

Today's Notes from the Mastic Bureau

even riots were better back then 
 just saying

Adventures in Gallerizing

Back to back surf-oriented shows are happening at the Picture Farm Gallery (AKA Picture Farm Production, AKA Picture Farm Post, AKA where I hang my hat). In honor of Bobby Fisher's current Surfer's Journal spread, we threw a party on Thursday and he he presented an expansive, yet tightly curated visual set that will adorn the walls for the next week or two.  Next up Bobby's work travels to the Out East Gallery in Montauk, so don't miss it there if you didn't see it here.

Right on the heels of that Reef will be four-walling Cyrus Sutton's Compassing film on August 15th with some residual visual documentation till the beginning of September. We aren't your standard, everyday gallery, more of a place where things happen including art.  So if you come by during the day and people are around, you know, doing stuff, don't be shy, take a look at the work.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Daughter : A Surf Film Review

I've always felt like an outsider.  I think maybe that's why I've always been an outsider.  I was an awkward kid given to playing alone in my room.  I was the apple in every bully's eye for a period of time.  I switched schools, tried to find my place, switched back.  The regular kids distrusted me, I wasn't smart enough to be a nerd and the jocks despised me. But there was nothing Trench Coat Mafia about me, I wasn't that despondent, just on my own.  I started fantasizing about ways to get out early, finding those surfing magazines on the magazine rack at Thompson's Drug, watching as my brothers moved off to California.

I didn't as much start surfing as it came to me mid-stream.  Perhaps earlier mid-stream than some, but tardy enough to feed my neurosis. I've never felt much like the surfer's surfer anyhow.  My wife comes from much older surfy stock, being the product of a beach-side, native Californian household with bespoke Phil Edwards balsas hanging on the walls, the sort actually ridden in Hawaii when that was still an anomaly.

We sometimes laugh about the fact that she married a "surfer."  Of course the obvious caveat being how much I don't think of myself as a "surfer" and how perhaps "unsurferish" I might have looked to her.  See, she wanted to get away from all that lazy beach stuff as soon as possible.  Her words, not mine.  It's no wonder we found ourselves in New York.  And we see how successful that strategy has worked, but such is the pull of the ocean. No fighting it.

So when you tell a wife like mine that the date will consist of going to see a surf film, well, you can imagine the screwy eyeballs in return.  But I've gone to enough dance performances to warrant a free pass on this front and so we found ourselves last night at the SMASH Fest watching Daughter.

By way of review I'll say this: as we sat nearer the back than the front, I could feel her settle in and actually start to semi-enjoy the film.  We actually whispered opinions about the surfing.  Little asides about the weight in one rider's feet versus the weight in the belly of another, a comment here about how properly the music matched each section, a couple laughs over a few of the arty interludes there.  

I liked the film very much.  I thought the pacing was tight and survivable, the surfing taut with aesthetic problem-solving, and the sensibility right down my alley.

But more importantly, wifey liked it.  And really, she is the surfing aficionado in the family.

Tonight at SMASH

Happening : Thunderbird Pow Wow

Click the pic.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Taxi Driver, SMASH Style

Here's the final installment in the series of B Movie style satirical surfy reworkings of some classic New York scenes we made for the SMASH Fest. Our take on "Taxi Driver" starring Ty Brewski and Joey Clams.

And here are the previous spoof-o-matics.

Tonight's SMASH Fest Lineup

Thursday, July 25, 2013

SMASH Surf App

Have you downloaded this thing yet? You ought to. Mostly because it's great.  But secondarily, or perhaps tertiarily, because if you root around a little you'll find an interview Smriti Keshari was forced to sit through with me. Interviews are funny things, and I am sure there is probably some wince worthy material in there, but so it goes.  I also did another one recently for Surfing Tierra Y Mar. Hilarious. Download the app!
Click le pic to download.


Tonight At PF Gallery Starting at 6 PM

Click the Pic.

Tonight's SMASH Lineup

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thursday Night Billburg Surfy Block Party

You ought to probably clear your schedule Thursday night. I mean really.  SMASH Fest kicks into high gear at the Villain space on North 3rd, including an amazing presentation of before & after Sandy photos. Around the corner and up the block at the PF Gallery, we are presenting a collection of photographs curated in celebration of Bobby Fisher’s 15-page portfolio in the upcoming August issue of The Surfer’s Journal (issue 22.4). Seriously. Clear it.  Walk around, sit down, watch a movie, drink a beer, walk around some more, sit down again. Repeat.

Happening : Shakespeare in McGolrick Park

Now if you know anything about McGolrick Park you know it's on the up.  You also know it's been on the down for a long, long time.  You know that while you're less likely to have to hurdle the drunken Polish retirees on your way through, you're only slightly less likely. Really, just a smidge.  But this park is the park across the street from my son's school and this whole happenstance of a free Shakespeare performance in that particular venue is pretty ground breaking to me. A neighborhood happening worth noting.
Click the pic.

Happening : Midnight Moment Featuring VarĂșĂ°

I can now say I've done this sort of thing. The music video I edited for Ryan McGinley and Sigur Ros is now playing every night a couple minutes before midnight in Times Square. On a bunch of screens. If you're walking around there at that time look up. You'll see a little piece(s) of me. A touch of self-aggrandizement I'm a touch too proud of to not tout.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Today's Thought

Via Matthew McGregor-Mento

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bobby Fisher Presents his TSJ Portfolio at the Picture Farm Gallery

It's funny how it all works out.  The redoubtable Tyler Breuer will be presenting the second leg of this year's SMASH Fest at the Villains space in Williamsburg starting on July 25th, the same night Montauk-based photographer Bobby Fisher will be having an opening for his Surfer's Journal portfolio show at the Picture Farm Gallery a few blocks away.  On your way to, or your way from SMASH (or if the film you're after is sold out) stop by the gallery to drink a beer and look at some gorgeous surf photos writ large and presented properly. 

For more info about the Picture Farm Gallery, check all out here.

Today's Thought

via Patrick Krou

We'll beat that pesky Mother Nature yet...

Click the pic.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happening: NY Surf Week

All sorts of surfy goodness coming right on up.  Click the logo!

Current Visualization

Via Noah Sabich and thanks to NASA

London Surf Film Festivus 2013

The submission line is open and operators are waiting to take your call!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Happening : 100 Miles to the After Party


Someone reminded me today that this happened....

Happening : Victory

Kimou is a great guy. It is never not a pleasure to see him gliding down the street looking like some sort of Alpine Cum Megatropolis Gomer Pyle.  Not that he really looks like Gomer Pyle.  He just wears these great Gomer Pyle glasses.  Did Gomer Pyle wear glasses? Kimou is also a fine street artist by the handle of Grotesk. And he publishes a magazine every now and then.  And his daughter seriously kicks ass at kung fu.  And his son is hilarious and his wife beautiful.  Sheesh.  Some guys have all the luck. Victory!

Just Passing Through, State of Disgrace, Questions Asked

Here in Bummerland we've been hiding from each other, from you and from ourselves.  A constant awkward shifting around, eyes darting back and forth, death breath at the ready.  It's been an awkward year for us.  All of a sudden mid-life separation anxiety has been replaced by late-thirties ineptitude in even the simplest of recursive browbeating. When did that goof Hugo Chavez die? Is Ed Snowden really a traitor?  Did that Zimmerman guy really get off the hook?  When will the NY mayoral race gravy train end?  How can I keep myself up at night with happy thoughts?  It all seems so far away. If my nose isn't failing me, is that Summer that just passed? Go out there and get yours and put ten percent of it in snail mail addressed to your future self.  Actually, it's when you're not trying that people seem to take notice.The wonderful Guillermo Orellana from the fine surf blog Tierra Y Mar sent me a bunch of questions the other day only moments before the lovely Smirti Keshari needled me for SMASH as well. Guillermo's salvo at breaking into my impenetrable fortress of rambles is here. Smirti's will be up soon I suppose, as they are probably trying to figure out how to make me sound like less of a know-nothing. Cus really, they're sweethearts those SMASHies.  And thanks Guillermo! We'll surf soon.

Happening : Surfy Celebrity Ty Williams Comes to NYC

Happening : Surfer Mike Journeys to Secret Project Robot

Happening : SMASHtastic

Happening, happening, happening.
Lotsa love pouring in from all sides.
100 Miles just went down, and next up are a host of other worthy opportunities to bath in the heat of some Ty Breuer stoke.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

WAX #3

The Surfer's Journal and Bobby Fisher come to Picture Farm

One of the great joys I have right now, among many others, is that my office space moonlights as an art gallery. This allows us to populate the walls with art and throw parties in honor of populating the walls with art.  This also means there is a certain amount of surf-related material obliged to weather the walls.  Local surf and travel photographer Bobby Fisher will be featured in a spread in the next Surfer's Journal and is gracing the gallery with a collection of photos. Please join us on the 25th of July for the opening reception and to check out the work before it hits the magazine shelves.  And stay tuned for a mid-August show in concert with Cyrus Sutton and Reef.

SMASH Fest Nearly Upon Us!

Multiple locations, multiple surfy films, multiples of fun. Check it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ted Endo, Roxy, and Anus Smell

Out on the job, shooting in the Great White North, sans computer, so normal posting is unavailable. But have you seen the latest job Ted Endo has done to Roxy on the Inertia? Great one, that. And then an equally great Roxy spoof video on there as well. This may be more of a tweet than a blog post, but these commentaries shouldn't be missed. Go to there.

Monday, July 1, 2013


A Picture Farm joint. Ty came to me with this great idea, I brought it straight away to my directing partner Chris and we shot a few funny B-movie translations of some iconic NY cinematic scenes for the SMASH Film Fest. Don't miss out on a great film festival...