Home / Essays / 2014 / June

Guest Editing a Beachcomber Issue

I was super-excited to be asked to edit my own issue of the Beachcomber this summer by Curt Travers, our publisher at The SandPaper. The idea was to create more of a "magazine" style publication and let a few key writers edit their own editions. I was assigned the Watersports issue and I am really happy with the way it came out. The Production team did a nice job and thanks to Kyle Gronostajski for the cover shot, which really encapsulates the best of LBI summer.

I wrote the content, gathered some of the photos and included a list of cool Summer Apps and a Calendar. But I think my favorite was the story on the 1978 SandPaper Surf Classic. I would have been four when this event went down in Harvey Cedars, but I love the single fin era. So many similarities to what the Jetty Clam Jam is today. My bud, Jack Ryan gave me some good background and most of the photos were by Trish Craig.  

1978 SandPaper Classic'78 SandPaper Surf Classic, from the archives.

Other features include: Garbage Fishing  Learning to Surf, and the Growth of Stand Up Paddling  Stay tuned for Michael Molinaro's food and drink issue and Victoria Ford's Fashion Issue later this summer.

"Caught in the Act" Wrap Up

The first artist reception at the Ann Coen Gallery is in the books. It was an insane week of painting, planting, power washing, preparing, and hanging our first ever show Caught in the Act. But it was also a pleasure to spend time with such a legendary and humble photographer in Ken Salerno.

“The Pope,” as he is known here, still won’t let us refer to him as an artist, but his documentation of the punk and hardcore scene in New Jersey going back over 30 years was truly amazing. Shown in conjunction with Steve Tozzi’s “Riot on the Dance Floor: The story of City Gardens and Randy Now,” at the Lighthouse International Film Festival, we are very grateful of how many who came to see the film also checked out Salerno’s work. We're thankful for Randy who helped promote the exhibit and want to congratulate Tozzi on a fantastic New Jersey premiere. Caught in the Act will hang through Thursday, June 12 and we will have digital files available upon request for the rest of the summer. Please contact the gallery if you are interested in purchasing one of the limited prints or skate decks.

City Gardens by Salerno

Ann Coen Gallery Opening Party

The long awaited summer has finally arrived on Long Beach Island. It seems only three weeks ago, we were still bundled up in flannels, and now we’re jumping in the ocean to cool off.

And with that, we are proud to announce the Official Opening reception of the Ann Coen Gallery from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 28. This all-day art event is a celebration of the newly opened Ann Coen Gallery – the result of years of dreaming and planning to provide an amazing creative space on LBI. Ann Coen will have her work on display, ranging from the most recent images of life returning to LBI to years of travel, winter swells, and memorable Island weddings and events. The Gallery will also have on display work from longtime friend and Barnegat Light photographer, Chris Pfeil, as well as her talented young assistant, Eric Hance. Your family won’t want to miss out on the cream truck and lemonade stand thanks to our friends at Rustic Drift.

The Opening will be held as part of the Ninth Annual LBI Artists Open Studio Tour presented by the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences. Many of our friends will also be opening their homes and studios including m.t. Burton, Kathy Engelson, Swell Colors Glass Studio, Firefly Gallery, and North End Trilogy. As the new home of Ann Coen Photography, the gallery will continue to be a place where families and couples can consult to discuss capturing the moments of their lives, but it will also be a forward-thinking gallery, hosting art shows and events throughout the year. It's a place to celebrate the traditional allure of Long Beach Island, while moving stylistically in a forward direction. For those visiting LBI: Long Beach Island is Exit 63 on the Garden State Parkway, about 50 minutes south of Asbury Park. We are located on 15th St. and Long Beach Boulevard in Surf City.

Secret Garden article "Riot on the Dance Floor," Inked

"Even if you never saw Operation Ivy play at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, you’re still aware of the stories. Everyone has heard of LA’s Roxy Theatre, if only from the live Social D and Bob Marley albums recorded there. Mabuhay Gardens, the 9:30 Club, the Brixton Academy, Fireside Bowl, the Whiskey … they’ve all become part of the greater culture of rock. And thanks to some brilliant (borderline obnoxious) merchandising, the whole world knows what CBGB’s was. But unless you’re from Central New Jersey—or were a touring musician in the 80s—you never heard of Trenton’s City Gardens."

It's fairly amazing how one venue influenced the lives of so many people I know today.

I had only been to a few shows at City Gardens, and it wasn't until after it closed its doors when I was 19 that I realized how influential it was.

This summer, "Riot on the Dance Floor," Steve Tozzi's documentary is doing the festival circuit. It's the story of City Gardens and promoter Randy Now, bolstered by the photos of Ken Salerno. I was fortunate enough to be on location for a few of Tozzi's interviews several years ago and put together a feature for Inked Magazine on the film. I also had a story on the Lighthouse Film Fest premier in The Sandpaper.

"Riot" makes it's New Jersey premier at the Lighthouse Film Festival on June 7 (Surflight Theatre, 3:30 p.m.) and we are hosting the Salerno Art Show directly afterwards at the new Ann Coen Gallery  1418 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City.

Social Distortion, Agent Orange, Token Entry, Bad Brains, Lifetime, Endpoint, Rancid, De La Soul, Inside Out, Underdog, Fishbone, Bad Religion, The Bouncing Souls, Fugazi, Shelter, Vision, 3rd Bass, The Descendants, A Tribe Called Quest, 7 Seconds, Into Another, Mouthpiece, and so many other of our favorite bands played there. It was where Green Day, the Offspring, and Nirvana played right before blowing up to massive commercial success.

We are also extremely excited to host Salerno's first art show, "Caught in the Act." Not only did he capture countless shows and skate images for "Thrasher" at the time, but his work spans nearly five decades from shooting the burgeoning surf scene in New Jersey to Caribbean travel and the slow rebuild of Seaside Heights since Sandy. We both have a lot of common threads with Salerno. This is going to be a great weekend.

Mike Ness, by Salerno