Over the last few years, I have been getting my hands into some video work. After seeing our mini-documentary series, Just Beneath the Surface, Ocean County's Office of Tourism and Business Development hired myself and Oak Leaf Media to create a video spot for the county. We were very excited to take on this project.
We took a couple of days this summer and put together something that really shows the best of Ocean County. Our models were awesome. Brie Fagan and Dave Ambrose especially were troopers. Archie even made a cool cameo at Jenk's Aquarium.
I think this is just the start of where we can go when government offices and commerce organizations look to locals to really tell the story and give a sense of place.
For the last two years in a row, its possible that the best assignment I've gotten was covering the Salty Dog Cruise, a sailing punk rock festival headlined by Flogging Molly. Our friends The Bouncing Souls were aboard this year, as well as NOFX, Less than Jake, The Voodoo Glow Skulls, The English Beat, The Skalites, the Bunny Gang, and a few thousand scurvy pirates and wenches. We had some good time on that rocking ship.
I spent last week in New Hampshire and kind of had the ideal New England road trip. Scored some bluebird days of fast groomers before a little weather system bought snow to the White Mountains and a fun little swell on the coast. Throw in some epic food, hiking, friends, the Womens March in Portsmouth, winter adventure, and it was a fantastic trip.
Last Saint Patrick's Day, I set sail with a few thousand punk rock misfits and Irish hooligans aboard the Salty Dog Cruise - Flogging Molly's annual voyage out of Miami to the Bahamas with an amazing lineup. Three straight days of seeing Rancid in a small venue and floating around on rafts in the Caribbean with Fishbone watching Flogging Molly, plus hanging with Frank Turner, Christopher Ellis, and The Street Dogs.
"The ship’s stewards—tall, distinguished Norse men in pressed white sailing suits— began to cajole the masses. They herded mohawks and green fedoras, pin-up girls and skinheads, chubby weirdos in Speedos, and miles of tattooed limbs, all while maintaining a smile. Once assembled, the spike-belted mob broke out in soccer chants and squirt gun fights, calmly quelled by the stewards until 2,000 people simultaneously learned how to put on a life vest.
Somehow we got through the drill. When the leather jackets, pirate wenches, checkered Vans, and half of Boston were all back on the pool deck, the cruise director welcomed everyone to the Sail Away Party. Then, as Norwegian Cruise Line’s Sky cruised past the southern point of Key Biscayne, Frank Turner commandeered the mic.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the English punk folk singer declared, “We are on a fucking boat!” The assembled misfits raised their glasses with a roar like the sea."
23 years of seeing Fishbone, seeing them on a beach in the Bahamas was jus surreal. Frank Turner is literally the least pretentious musician I have ever met. And I pretty much avoided the pool since there was free booze 24/7 and no one ever seemed to go to the restrooms.
We are actually on the front page of Inked today. The article features some really amazing images of the crew of characters by Rich Johnson and Caleb Morgan of Spectacle Photo. Huge thanks to Flogging Molly and CA Management for getting me on the boat and Inked for running such a great piece.
I have always loved writing about food. This recent feature that appears in the Food and Drink Issue of the Beachcomber, edited by my friend Victoria Ford, (out now) was particularly fun.
"In the mid 2000’s, they became all the culinary rage with celebrity chefs, foodies and bloggers gushing about them. They could be found up and down the Jersey Shore. It only took another decade for them to reach LBI… sometimes we’re a little slow to catch on."