This summer I visited the city that never sleeps and one of my favorite insomniacs, Gunner Hughes. His first photography exhibition was taking place at the legendary East Village punk/skater bar, Max Fish. Coincidentally tropical storm Colin was on a trajectory that complemented the surrounding stretch of coast line.
The concentration of photographs consisted of historic graveyards throughout the city. To me, the images showed a stark juxtaposition between life and death. In such a heavily developed metropolis, many of the graveyards were surrounded by buildings full of life, sidewalks with hoards of people–oblivious to the implications these places of rest presented.
We arrived to Max Fish fashionably buzzed, groups of people were already meandering about scoping the images on the wall sharing their interpretations with one another. As the night progressed it was cool to see how many people turned out for Gunner, being that he had only lived in the city for about 6 short months.
Taking full advantage of the open bar and high spirits, we hung around the show into the wee hours of the night. On our way home, we stumbled and zig-zagged into a few dive bars to maintain a healthy blood alcohol level. In true New York fashion, we ended the night with a couple slices of pizza.
As soon as we recovered from a night of debauchery, the forecast for tropical storm Colin began to shape up for the surrounding NYC beaches, specifically Montauk. We rented a car, waited for traffic to clear and hit the road. We arrived at a friend’s house around midnight, and got a little shut eye. We woke early the next morning and headed straight for the beach. As we walked over the dunes it quickly became apparent that the swell from tropical storm Colin had yet to hit. To kill time we visited a few local surf shops, such as Air and Speed, and Island Surf and Sport. We drove around looking for setups, incase the swell did ever show up, and downed the area’s finest lobster rolls and espresso martini’s at Inlet Seafood.
Colin eventually showed face and brought with it severe thunderstorms and hail that bombarded our rental car. Following the initial squalls came conditions that favored a spot we checked earlier in the day.The same place that earlier looked like a choppy lake was now head high with broken up lines throwing over and barreling along the shallow sandbar. Gunner got his camera ready while I freaked out and threw my wetsuit on as fast as possible. We surfed and shot until dark, trading off barrels with the locals that pulled up onto the beach in their 4×4 trucks shortly after we arrived; a good sign we were at the right spot.
The next morning the ocean was once again flat. We made our way back to the city where I played tourist for a few days before heading home. In reflection, the show, the swell, and friendship couldn’t have coincided at a better time.