Monday, September 30, 2013

A Massive Feat of Passion by Matt Warshaw

Mr. Warshaw, we applaud you.

Beware The Zombie Surfpocalypse!

The diner is nondescript, or I should say it is descript in all the ways a typical diner should be. Certainly not the sort of place you'd expect one of the world's most fabulous people would (or I should say, would have their assistant) reserve a lunch date with an intrepid culture-beat writer. But that is exactly where I find myself as I sashay in from the dusty mid-summer heat. I scan the front dining room, again expectations turned upside down when I see her in a corner booth, baseball cap pulled slightly askew, deep in concentration scanning her iPhone 5. People of this stature aren't supposed to be on time, let alone early! But it was only the beginning salvo in a series of attacks on the defenses I thought so well fortified after years of interviewing celebrities.  I approach the table slowly, not wanting to intrude too abruptly, but she sees me coming and leaps up, sending ashes from the dangling cigarette precariously attached to her famously full bottom lip flying onto the floor around her. "Oh! these horrible things. I try to give them up! Every week I promise Cherché I'll give them up!" Cherché, her adorable miniature bullterrier barks approval (or is it disdain) at just the moment I notice him there, tucked behind her oversized Dolce de Rossi bag.  She waves her hand nonchalantly, registering my surprise, "Oh, I eat here all the time. Ron, the owner let's me bring him in as long as he keeps his mouth shut (she shoots Cherché a dagger of a look. Cherché seems to notice not one bit.) As we sit down, a buxom, tattoo'd waitress saunters over. "I'll have the usual, Ginger," my subject nods and they look at me expectantly. I fumble around the plastic menu and settle on lemon tea. They exchange a knowing look, a giggle and then as Ginger spins off, she explains to me, "I've done these sorts of thing here before, and for some reason everyone always orders lemon tea!" Her air is breezy, knowing and deliciously unconventional. It's hard to imagine someone of such ferocious reputation being so warm, but that is just what she is, welcoming me into her world as if there's nothing to it. Here is a woman who's seen everything, done just about everything, knows everyone who's anyone and can sit with me, a rumpled, crumpled mess with the same sort of delicate graciousness and generosity you always think would be reserved for only the inner circle. I can already tell, I'm in for a wild ride.

Or so I might start out the next EBNY post. Fashion fashion fashion. Celebrity glitz propaganda blogorama tumblr archive runway surf and skate symposium warehouse sale.  As a sometime part of the Surfashion Industrial Complex, I accept the ensuing zombie apocalypse as the natural evolution of bacterial infection. And since I wasn't there from the beginning, I can only assume this was where it was always heading. Yeah, I watched World War Z last night.  And yes, it freaked me out a little.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Surf Challenge!

Friday was open house at my son's school. Open house is the day you get to sit in your kid's chair in your kid's classroom and listen to the hopeful meanderings of your kid's teacher as she explains some of the hopeful curriculum she plans to implement for the school year. If I sound skeptical or negative in any way in the use of the word "hopeful," I would rather it come across as more from the hardened warrior parent's expectation level based on two previous public school campaigns. It's not that my expectations are low, in fact they are not. It is more that mood regarding this sort of thing is tied, like some sort of perverse see-saw, to the expectations of my fellow parents. And their expectations seem to be all over the place at times. Whereas I hear a rather progressive, attentive and thoughtful tone from my son's teacher, some other parents seem like they hear something else entirely. And I think to myself that it might be the height of teaching professionalism should anything organic happen to happen in an environment that craves such concrete and unerring protocols. Which leads me to the topic of surf contests. Or rather, my inclusion in one. Or rather my decision to participate in one. I spend an inordinate amount of time telling my son failure is good. He has that natural fear of failure, that innate human desire for the safety of quiet success and I know this will need to be overcome if he's going to do anything he's really proud of. I mean I've been told that myself a thousand times via a hundred canned TED talks. And so, staring down the barrel of Ty Breuer's antagonizing gun of "so, you gonna come to the comp?" I have to say yes. I have to set an example. Right? I'm no professional surfer, or semi professional one. Shit, I'm not even amateur when it comes to contests. In fact, I was awful out there. Onshoresideshore and just enough water moving to keep me and my tired arms out of any proper take off spot. And there was China Ty just killing. Wave after waves it seemed, while I kept having to swim in to fetch my board. Somehow I got just enough funny poses off to be slightly more entertaining than the other guys. And when I stumbled in after my last Quixotic attempt at a headstand, there was my son to run up and give me a big hug.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Stay Away East Coast Film Premiere Recap

Fuzzy "proof" of a series of mishaps during the Stay Away premiere.  
Beer drank, pizza ate, movies watched in flop-o-vision, jazz-reggae-hiphop dj set consumed.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

On A Day Like Today

It's possible that today someone is being born who will work all their lives to produce something that connects with the rest of the world only to be forgotten once they're chosen medium becomes an artifact and no longer art.

Happening : Rollicking Rockaways

FREE week-end of fun, laughs and entertainment celebrating Rockaways Carnival Heritage with:

Sept. 27-28-29
Opening Reception on the 27th from 6 to 9pm.
- A Tribute exhibition to the former amusements in the Rockaways, from Thompson's Park to the real Rockaways' Playland.

Sept. 28
from 7 to 9pm
- A Cabaret Night, with awesome performers (contortionist, juggler, circus performer, magician, mime, surprises and even more)

September 29
from 3 to 6pm
- An afternoon of Games of Skills and Chance for all the family. Participate in our Raffle and get the chance to win an awesome prize!
 — at Rockaway Beach Surf Club

Happening : Surf Film Festivals Abide

Surf Queens

I sit in the customer waiting area of the Koeppel Volkswagen on Northern Boulevard in Queens.  There is a large screen HD TV which I had the moment to mute before any other customers waded in.  Had I not done that, we would all be subject to the vicissitudes of the morning talk show purgatory that is the-people-who-replaced-Regis-and-Kathy-Lee. The customer waiting area is a contemplative place.  A place of respite where the gently scratchy sounds of classic rock radio playing on the mechanic's beat box compete with the rumble of the Pepsi machine.  I wonder if I'll ever not have dandruff.  I wonder if I'll ever learn to fly fish.  I go to the bathroom.  I wonder at my impatience with my own pee.  I want to pee faster sometimes.  I wonder at that.  I wonder if, when I go to the hair cutter lady today, she'll be disgusted by my dandruff.  I wonder what sort of haircut a man approaching forty years old really ought to have.  What's appropriate? I wonder how the oversized Wine Spectator magazine made it onto the formica-topped round table in the middle of the room.  How does it fit in with the Regis & Kathy Lee replacements, the AM New York news dailies, the VW sales material and the Hershey bars in the vending machine? And the other people here, all dutifully gazing into their iPhones, thumbs twitching, mouths stoic, shoulders hunched. I wonder at them, around them, through them. Where is my Kind bar?  Oh, sorry, my Kind Healthy Snack? The one my seven year old son turned down this morning as I excitedly offered it to him as a possible afternoon munchie.  "The last time I ate one of those I threw up" he says with a matter of fact confidence I haven't heard from him before. "Really? Not because of the bar, though." "Mmmm hmmm. I don't eat nut bars." News to me.  Found it.  I found the bar. It was in the bottom of my bag.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Today's Thought

What does this have to do with you? Nothing, except maybe the skateboarding and for some, perhaps the lingerie. And I don't know at what depth the motivations of the director's sense of artifice and fact meet, but it's safe to say there is a comment here, meant or no. You're being sold something, you've always been sold something and you'd best be ok with that as you'll be sold more, and more again.  Use it to your advantage, get involved and force them to sell you what you really want.

Shralp It

This post is dedicated to Kevin Patrick Freeny, explorer, funny man & videographer.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happening : Joey Cups at Picture Farm Gallery

Joey “Cups” Gallagher is dropping a new short film “Stay Away,” and accompanying zine
Thursday night at Picture Farm Gallery
338 Wythe Ave bet. S. 1st and S. 2nd St. in Williamsburg Brooklyn.7:30-10:30. 

Starring Barry Mcgee, Alex Olson, Kunle Martins, Andy Lyons, the Brothers Marshall, Charles R Smith and the undisputed King of Malibu, New York’s very own Phat Sam! 

This is an in-house screening event, friends and family style.
Be a friend and RSVP

October 3rd PF Gallery is hosting the opening of our next month long show: Over & Over.

Dora's Ungentle Needling

Purity. Perhaps one of the more conflict-inciting concepts in world history.  Also the supposedly magic ingredient in what is known as the peak experience. A year ago I plunked down a chunk of change on a surfboard with dubious design origins but handcrafted by an acknowledged master. I did my research on the board before buying it of course, finding the fabled and trademarked Dora smoke screen legend clinging tightly to the creation myth of the design.  But there was something about it I couldn't avoid. Its oddity and possible uselessness pulled me in. The execution period of my untested love affair with the odd shape, weight and rail specs lasted only a handful of sessions as my knees decided, at 38 years and millions of reps, they were simply tired of my shit. That crazy foot-rutted Jim Phillips Copy Cat model sat unused on my wall for the better part of seven or so months and after hours of tai chi, rudderless meditation, and fretful glances to swell reports, the physical green light was given some weeks ago tore-start the labour of love to find out how that thing would work. Ah, the consternations allied with purity. For the design process is birthed in a search for purity. In this case the purity of function and form in context of that purest of physical endeavors, riding a wave. But of course the hands that wrought it, initially, were not quite the hands that wrought it subsequently, as Jim Phillips' mastery seems to compensate for some of the shape's less useful Dora-esque idiosyncrasies. Or, I should say, perhaps the board should never have been sold to surf on Long Island. At least these were the first, gut-wrenching assumptions I made upon my return. And in truth, this is probably the case. But every board has its place, every plank its slot. And I've had a ball on the thing the last few weeks, getting used to its grumpiness regarding turns, its stinginess with nose time, its incorrigible disgust with any foot placement other than the two thirds point of the board. I've started to accept the nuances and use them to my advantage. Until this morning. This morning I happened upon the heretofore apotheosis of its place in my surfing life: the switchstance section beater. Somehow that thing just wants to be ridden a little willy-nilly, my squat legs just searching for balance, my arms held just so. It wants me there, wild and slightly unhinged. Sweet, ungentle purity.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happening : Lava Girl Surf Workshop

OPEN TO WOMEN & MEN. SURF SCIENCE & TRAVEL | Sunday, October 6, 2013 | 2pm-6pm To purchase your tickets go to: Admission $45.00 | Space is Limited.

Head Up, Ass Down.

There are not too many activities where keeping your butt high is the call. It always seems that dropping the ass, keeping the back straight, bending the knees and lowering that central center of gravity is the right thing to do. It sort of goes along with such chestnuts as "keep your eye on the ball!" and "push through to till the end!" and "breathe!"  It is such a common coaching missive it is hard to imagine anyone forgetting it so quickly. Unless you've never been coached.  I myself was only coached intermittently, always in the nether, twilight edges of sports team culture.  Anyhow. In surfing the same holds true. Keep your eye on the wave, paddle till the end, relax and don't stinkbug.  And it's amazing what will happen when you just stick with it.  Like me, you may have something of a disaster of a working weekend. Getting a late start and taking too long at the hardware store. Nothing quite beats that feeling when you discover one corner of your pad is rotted through and you've got to replace the whole propping.  Then your little mini circular saw dies.  Then you leave the wood out overnight to get rained on. And nothing quite like laying waste to a rabid zombie squirrel with a one wood.  And the waves are shit.  Well, the waves are shit until the last possible moment.  And then they are gloriously shit.  The sort of shit that leaves a big buzzing smile on your face as the autumnal sun sets over the strumming classic rock hits maestro at the Gilgo burger shack.  The sort of gloriously shit waves that make the whole disaster of a working weekend worth every penny of time taken.  The sort of gloriously shit waves to which, as you drift off later that evening, you construct wholly new mnemonically augmented epic ride archival 35 millimeter footage out of the dregs of mixed up semi-swell standard definition video footage.  Oh and did I mention we saved a lost and thoroughly confused swan trying to cross the Sunrise Highway?  We somehow did that too. Big ducks, those. Keep that butt down.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Hurricane Sandy Update

Ty Breuer talks to Jon Rose about the deal on the ground now, and where it's headed, at the Inertia. (click on that colored bit.)

And Kind Snacks will donate a dollar to the continuing rebuilding effort everytime this video is viewed so get to it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Happening:: Andy Kessler Day

Happening : Mo' Olelo in Rockaway

Happening : Wave Ki, Brooklyn Style

Open house this weekend at New York Shaolin.  The place where I study my hand style via Tai Chi and my son studies what it means to be a thoughtful, considered human via Kung Fu.  If you've ever thought to take Brad Gerlach at his word, show up tomorrow.

Come take a free class and see for yourself. Guaranteed to focus and re-energize your life.

148 N 10th St. (Between Bedford & Berry), Basement Room 2, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
For more information or to RSVP, contact Master Christopher Lee at (718) 963-3686 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

¡Enter & Win!*

*Waves Guaranteed To Look Exactly As They Appear In The Flier

Sundown Surf Shop and The Atlantic Surfing Federation are pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Sundown Surf Challenge hosted by Supervisor Kate Murray at Camp Anchor, 630 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach, NY 11561 on Sunday, September 29, 2013.

The Sundown Surf Challenge is being held in conjunction with the Town of Hempstead’s Family Festival by the Sea, which runs Saturday and Sunday September 28th and 29th. 

The Family Festival by the Sea will bring food vendors, bands, and other family friendly activities to the park adjacent to the beach. This contest is stop #2 of the ASF NY Chapter’s 2013-2014 competition season. 

Go to sign up and register!

Today's Wave Ki

I finish reading the Brad Gerlach interview.  Wave Ki is pretty funny sounding.  I reckon quietly to myself as my wife hastles me to turn out the light that one can be doing wave ki all day if one wants.  I mean, shit, I do wave ki while I'm eating.  I dip into some book about releasing the creative endeavor.  I skim a few more pages about statistical analysis in soccer.  My wife is really crowing now. I check the swell forecast app.  Looks like I'll have a productive weekend.  Red until Monday.  I get off the phone with DJ Matchie.  We plan a private surf movie premiere night for Joe Cups for next Thursday.  Pizza and beer.  Maybe some turntables.  Low key event. It happens to fall on the same night as the semi-annual P.S. 110 parent's night out at Fada. That's always a great mess of good times. Turks and Francs and Yanks and expats of all sorts.  I wonder how I'll split the evening.  I was never a big Brad Gerlach fan.  But as Lentini say's "he sure believes in himself."  And yeah, you can't ask for more than that.  Believe in yourself.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Your Phone Exists With or Without You

I've started staring at my phone.  Just staring at it.  It doesn't need to do anything.  It doesn't need to ring or vibrate or shine or sparkle or smile or reach out and give me a high five. A sweet soul affirming, self-consciousness defeating high five.  No, I just stare at it and it has become the object of my visual fancy. It is a liar too.  It tells me things that aren't true.  It pretends it's something else.  It demands so much discernment.  And it brings me people and things I don't want to deal with, to talk to, to talk about.  I have a folder on my phone (that liar, trying to fool me into thinking it has a folder for me) called Outside.  In Outside I have a few weather applications and a few surf report applications.  These things, while not my phone, also lie to me.  Or they tell me the truth and I disbelieve them.  Fucking liars.  Last night it said this morning would be "good."  Or really, "green." Green means good.  I believed it, sort of, as I always do.  Falling for the trap, I'm such an idiot. Brandon spent the night in anticipation of a 4:30 AM start time.  Then he woke up at 2 AM (that is, my phone said it was 2 AM) with terrible, breathe-retarding allergies and split back to his own place to rest in private. My phone then slapped me in the face at the appointed morning time and I nearly woke up.  But I took that goddamn phone and put it under a pillow on the floor and went back to sleep.  It said it would be "green" this morning, but all I got was "blue" and I think it has lied to me again.  I'm staring at it now.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sifu Onion

My tai chi teacher, my son's kung fu sifu, is one of those guys.  Peel back a little bit, get a little more. No more than a rabid martial arts disciplinarian to some, Sifu Lee has more than a few other sides to him. Fishing, bow hunting, living out of his camper, playing bass in a rock band.  The guy is always surprising me with something.  The other day he shows up with an 8mm video cassette of Christian Hosoi ripping it in a 1980's Connecticut grocery store parking lot. At least that's what he thinks is on there. We haven't transfered it yet.  Today he sends me this simple statement with a link to the following vid.  I'm going to start calling him Sifu Onion.

Tommy Guerrero was to me the epitome of "Street Style" ....his delicate moves, knee bending and grace is what I find lacking in todays skaters. 
-Sifu Christopher Lee

Londoners Beware: The Working Artisan's Club Exhibition

Huck Says: Join us for the private view of The Working Artisans' Club exhibition. A celebration of hand-made craft and the craftsmen and women who choose to live life the artisanal way.

SEPTEMBER 19 | 6.30PM - 10PM |71a Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4QS
Please RSVP at

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our Motto is Immaterial

Awake from your slumber, cretins of drawn breath complaints.  Arouse your suspicions and widen your eyes.  Set your jaw amongst the tumbling tides of terrible twerkers. For it is now when the rubber strikes the anvil on the hallowed hulls. The mayhem awaits the unworried mind.

I had three recent mornings at San Onofre to bring the surfy quotient of this non-surfing surf blog up, tipping the scales slightly. Add to that a renewed interest by one "Other Gustav" with watery-esque images of his own and all of a sudden this thing is humming like a dilapidated Subaru cv joint.  Even Lentini has upped his usual ante with a vision of that massive Armenian's rad style.  And what are we supposed to do, pine for the past our whole lives?  Yes, I suppose we are.  I mean, the world prolly woulda been a better place had we all just started Scrambling instead of driving.

All this to say salt is in the air. It remains to be seen how the flood gates of a million boards sold in calmer times will pollute the water with joy or sorrow.  My knees are seemingly on the mend (while the back is stiff, the ankle still janky) (and that old war wound still gurgles, spitting blood and puss at awkward moments.)

The surfing season is here.  It could be your last. Enjoy your stay mortals.  Enjoy your stay.

Missive Missiles from the Mastic Bureau