Well what a week it's been.
All a bit of a blur really, what with the effects of jet lag never really leaving as I lurched from time zone to time zone.
After some 25 hours in the plane I arrived in New York, and promptly got the cab to what seemed to me to be a logical first base as at least there would be, though not familiar faces, at least friendly ones. The Mollusk Surf Shop in Williamsburg was that Port of Call and I have to say it is without doubt the most unusually placed, friendliest little surf shop I have ever been in. Tiny and full of Beautiful Surf Craft, the guys in there were welcoming and enthusiastic, especially given I had arrived with a brand new Maurice Cole thruster that had been ordered by Mike, one of the guys who both worked at Mollusk and helped organise the New York Surf Film Festival.
On hand also was the shops owner, Chris Gentile, artist and gentleman, who, as both, allowed me the pleasure of an upstairs art studio tour and offered a choice of his extensive and eclectic board collection if luck smiled on me and I scored some swell.
There also I met Tyler Breuer who was to feature prominently in the following days.
Then on to the hotel in Chinatown,and my first sight of the Big Apple which caused jaw rash as said appendage dragged along the freeway on our approach. The place is just massive. It was raining and late, the lights were on and just an incredible, impressive sight as I crossed the bridge from Brooklyn to downtown Manhattan.
The next day, I had hours to kill until the Festival so a rain soaked walk and and a visit to MOMA, and later a pre festival meeting at Tribeca before the evening showing of Musica Surfica.
Somewhere in there I was interviewed out on the footpath by Will from Fuel TV, while being watched by a guy peeing on the wall, and later expressing his stoke that he could observe a Fuel Interview in progress.
A unique experience for me, and only in New York.
There also I met Ras and Dave from Phoresia, who turned out to be lovely guys and great company over the couple of days they were there. Good surfers both as I discovered, but also good humoured, and passionately involved people. Thinkers as well and a pleasure to share a day or two with. New Friends.
Later that night, the Musica Surfica screening, which was very well received, followed by a long Q&A with Tyler and an enquiring audience. To say I was a little nervous would be kind, but it seems my excessive sweating and hand wringing went unobserved.
The next day a surf run with the Phoresia boys, courtesy of boards supplied by Chris of Mollusk, with me having the pleasure of a Christenson bonzer which proved an enlightening ride in the 3-4 foot crunchiness of Long Island. Much better waves than I could have expected as a hurricane swell arrived in perfect synchronicity for the NYSFF.
That night, festival time, and me being introduced to the delight of the Vodka Red Bull by Franke from France's Xtreme Video, this in an attempt to keep me awake as by then the jet lag had me in its' grip as I slept through film after film. Not being rude or disinterested, but I was just so shagged.
Sunday, another surf run , this time courtesy of Mark Temme, maker of The Rocks. Mark was a loud, motor mouth gem of a guy, a well traveled and world interested New York surfer, we had a ball, and the waves were good.
I always suffer from new spot weirdness, I rarely surf well (for me) straight up, but amidst all this managed to get a couple of nice ones, and my singular impression of New York surf and surfers is... way friendlier than they have a right to be, and they were way better than I expected. They have barrels in sight of the skyscrapers, and it was one of the most unique surf experiences of my life.
Held at the Red Bull Space a block or so away from Tribeca, and I felt quite the odd one out as an Old Fart in a Sea of Youth. Just settled in for a quiet watch of the proceedings and the odd chat when Tyler B gets up to announce the Awards and the winner was... Musica Surfica!
You could of knocked me down with a feather and I managed to get through the speech without making a complete dick of myself but I'm not sure I thanked everyone I should have and I can barely remember what I said.
Later got hugged by girls of an age I haven't been hugged by since before they were born and I didn't complain one bit.
Great, surprising night in a wonderful city.
Next stop LA but next post more on New York as I haven't finished but wanted to get something down quickly. My apologies if this all sounds a bit lacking in flow but I can barely see for jetlag.