Following President 45's impetuous press conference, I felt it was time to write something. I sat there trying to make sense of his ramblings and judging whether the press was asking him "nice questions" or not.
Then I started thinking of things I might ask him if I got to attend one of these press conferences. Because we have never seen anything like this. And I hope it doesn't last very long.
Is he making America great again?
Pizza is great. And this tastes nothing like pizza.
Ok. Press Conference questions. Here goes:
1. Mr. President.. Earth: Flat or round?
2. You and your closest advisors have been heavily endorsed by outwardly racist organizations, although you claim that "there is no one less racist than you." Do you feel you should have a meeting with Frederick Douglas to clear up any misunderstandings?
3. In regards to your Secretary of Education appointee, do you think there is a direct correlation between her contribution money and the senators who voted her in?
(Uhhh, "correlation" means "connection," Mr President.)
4. This is a two part question. I'm wondering if you'll get so sidetracked not answering one that you forget that I asked the other. You were quoted as saying that "we need clean air and clean water." What did you mean by that, and can articulate a single sentence regarding any thought or type of plan as to how you might achieve that?
5. How confident are you in the future of the United States without allies?
6. What does Steve Bannon tell you will replace the Affordable Care Act? You're right, that wasn't a nice question.
7. You've always been a champion of the self-made man. People love that about you. Can you tell us exactly how much money you inherited from your father?
8. I have a few friends in Atlantic City that you owe money to. Any chance they will see any of that money?
9. To your credit, you have set yourself apart in American political history as a president committed to fulfilling promises made on the campaign trail. But can you explain to us your interpretation of "drain the swamp?"
10. Do those tiny hands make your tiny penis look bigger?
The Pizza Resistance will be an ongoing column to remind people that while it seems America has lost it's red, white and blue marbles, there are some of us who still think this shit is crazy.
Since I started snowboarding, it was always very deeply tied to surfing and skating. Even though I've always been merely average at all three, I've has this fascination with the crossover - surfing a big north swell at Holyoke in the morning and running up to the Poconos for the twilight session, hiking a hit in Northern California and then checking the jetty at Humboldt before dark, riding at Whistler one day and then making the trek out to Vancouver Island to surf the next. I love it.
So I was fairly excited when Red Bull asked me to work with them on Switchboard, an event that involved surfing in Asbury and riding Mountain Creek... in the same day. And while we're at it, why not skate the bowl at Fourth Union? (Thanks Uncle Derek.) Unlike so many events that are designed to spotlight the elite, this was all about a bucket list experience that anyone could enjoy.
Yep, the surf was ridiculously flat last Saturday when we all met on the beach (23 degrees - nice touch, New Jersey) so we had a few hearty souls jump in the drink for effect. My bud, Dave Werner is a very good sport.
We skated the bowl and then headed up to Mountain Creek, where I learned to ride over two decades ago. I helped direct the content with photographer Kyle Arcomano and Foreword Films.
While this was based at the college demographic in California for a few years, in New Jersey it was everyone from awesome Dads with kids to pro surfers. Every got in some laps, a few surf turns and messed around in the park before all the high fives and hot waffles at the base. Great time, great people.
And they used this old man's blunt stall as the feature image at RedBulll.com with my story, which is hysterical.
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.
Big day. On Tuesday, we launched this teaser for the four new Just Beneath the Surface episodes. In the first 24 hours, it garnered 60,000 views. It's pretty damn exciting. Puts a lot of pressure on us to deliver!
This season we'll take you from the striper blitz offshore to deep in the pines. We're going to tell you the stories from behind the bar to the historic ships that have wrecked upon our shores. We'll explore homes that are built around the Island lifestyle, paddle the bay, score epic swell, and show you what's just beneath the surface that you won't even believe is New Jersey water (or waddr, as we say.) We have four new episodes that start dropping in the spring of 2017. Get ready for am adventure in our own backyard. Support from the Southern Ocean County Chamber, Dave's Electric, Mud City Crab House, Farias Surf and Ship Bottom Brewery.
This time last year, we were basking in abundant winter sunshine. I think we may have still been surfing without gloves. But didn't translate real well for snowy pursuits.
My most recent feature for GrindTV takes a look at the Northeast's snowy payback.
“The 2015 winter season was the worst the industry has seen in 40-plus years. We lost a lot of business and a few stores from the lack of snow and cold weather. It hurt everyone, including the manufacturers,” Paulie Yaremko, East Coast rep for Ride Snowboards and Grenade Gloves, told GrindTV. “Good thing Mother Nature has helped with this preseason and shops are back on track with sales. I actually don’t have a board left to sell.”
Last week, I got a one-on-one interview with Travis Rice in LA, on the day of the premiere of his latest film "The Fourth Phase." I hesitate to call this a "snowboard" film because it's so much more. Rice and crew studied, followed, and rode the hydrological cycle of the North Pacific for four years. It's not just an action sports film - it documents the place where riding, science, and philosophy all meet. And there's so much more than that.
This film is excellent.
In addition to being a snowboard pioneer, Travis Rice is a very bright dude.
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 traveled all over the Caribbean and Central America (mostly like a dirtbag) but I had never been to the Dominican Republic. In June, I finally had the opportunity to visit this country for GrindTV This was more of an overall adventure mission mixed with some serious culinary experience than a surf trip, but still a really amazing journey. In the same day we were racing ATVs though the outback and then watching the sunset from the new Gansevoort Playa Imbert with a good time crew. And frankly, if I'm getting two sessions a day on a trip, I'll take go with the fantastic food voyage.
"Sometimes, it’s cool to check out new digs. This has never been a priority of mine, and as a result, I have spent nights in fishing-net hammocks, sketchy hostels, the pavement of Central American border crossing, airport floors, a puddle under a van and even the Tenderloin district in SF (well before the first fixed gears rolled through). But today was about both ends of the spectrum. This morning, we checked into the Casa Colonia, the only boutique hotel in the Playa Dorado region.
The place has been here for 11 years, which is apparently the perfect amount of time for the bamboo to grow around the 50 suites, two restaurants and the Bagua Spa, because the landscaping is phenomenal."
You can read the entire trip log via these links. Day 7 has a quick GoPro edit.
In addition to his journalism work, Jon has directed, hosted, co-directed, produced and scripted several video and film projects. His most recent is "Just Beneath the Surface," a series of mini documentaries on the Long Beach Island region.
Just Beneath The Surface Episode was directed and produced by Jon Coen, working with Oak Leaf Media. It examines two hyperlocal food sources on LBI - blue claw crabs and Jersey tomatoes and find out what it is about Southern Ocean County that inspires local artists. But it's more about the characters as we meet Richie the Crabber, Tomato Jay, Bunkerfish and Cathleen Engelsen.
RED BULL SURF AND RESCUE 2015
The Red Bull Surf and Rescue mini doc was co-directed by Jon Coen for Red Bull. In 2015, Red Bull highlighted the storied history of lifesaving in New Jersey by inviting every patrol in the state to the biggest, most unique lifeguard competition ever in the state. The film relied on Coen's network and knowledge of the New Jersey Shore.
East Coast Rising "A Surfer's Tale of Hurricane Sandy" from Transition Productions on Vimeo.
East Coast Rising by Transition Media was just one of many films made in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. This shows how New Jersey and New York surfers worked with Waves 4 Water to respond to the crisis caused by this historic event. Coen was interviewed on Long Beach Island during the clean up effort.
RED BULL PRESENTS INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN FALLON AT THE PRESS ROOM
After years of working with Brian Fallon and the Gaslight Anthem Coen was given the opportunity to talk with Brian Fallon in a recorded interview with a live audience at The Press Room in Asbury Park. This turned out to be a pretty interesting interview, as Fallon took the conversation into hilarity.
Clam Jam from Mangrove Media on Vimeo.
Ben Kalina of Mangrove Media released "Shored Up" in 2012 on beach erosion and replenishment. It not only was accepted to several film festivals, but really got the dialogue going about better beach fill projects. Coen was interviewed several times throughout the filming of this documentary.
When we first started surfing and skating the Casino Skate Park in Asbury Park in the 90s, it was a different kind of town. And when we saw the "Dogtown and Z-Boys" doc a few years later and got the full history of Venice Beach, we used to say Asbury was the East Coast's Dogtown. And just like Venice, it was the creatives, the skaters, musicians, tattoo artists, and surfers who were the first to have a stake in rebuilding Asbury.
For the last few years, a couple buds in that area, especially my good friend/skate legend/writer/and Bloody Mary connoisseur, Derek Rinaldi have been pushing to get a legitimate skate park in Asbury. For as weird (or as uncharacteristically normal) as everything is getting up in the city but he sea, this is an awesome movement. The park has been approved by the city council, but now there are the new hurdles of awareness, location, and funds. On July 23, The Asbury Park Skateboard Foundation will host a free screening of "Made In Venice," which isn't even out yet, thanks to the Asbury Park Film Initiative - a fitting film considering the two city's common stories on opposite coasts. And NJ native, Mike Valelly will be there as part of the Street Plant "Open Hearted" tour. This is all super cool.
And I hope to someday head up to Asbury to roll around the new park with my kid.