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

Ann Coen Gallery hosting "Caught in the Act"

We can't begin to explain how excited we are to host Ken Salerno's first art show at the Ann Coen Gallery on June 7. Well, guess the first news is that Ann is opening her own studio/gallery on 15th Street and the Boulevard in Surf City. This is where she will continue to build great relationships with the families whose important moments she has captured year after year, as well as show her travel, lifestyle, music and local imagery to the world. 

We have both been big fans of Ken Salerno for years. We have a lot of the same roots. He has skate shots of our friends going back decades. We are amazed at his work documenting the punk and hardcore scenes and album art. And we share a love for some of his favorite spots in the Caribbean (not to mention clams on the half shell.) 

But after almost five decades of shooting, this is Salerno's first show, entitled Caught in the Act. He will have prints, as well as a digital slideshow encompassing the burgeoning 1960s surf scene in New Jersey, early travel, years of legendary punk shows, his work as a contributor to "Thrasher," right up to his chronicles of post-Sand Seaside Heights. We're doing the show in conjunction with the Steve Tozzi film, "Riot on the Dance Floor," the City Gardens film that makes its New Jersey premier at the Lighthouse Film Festival. Buy tickets, because it will sell out.

"Riot" plays at 3:30 at the Surflight Theatre. Caught In the Act will follow directly after at the Ann Coen Gallery, 1418 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City, New Jersey (eight miles north of the film screening) from 6-10 p.m. Both Tozzi and Salerno will be there to meet and greet.

Right across the street from the Ann Coen Gallery is A Little Bite of Italy  a nice deli with gourmet sandwiches and pizza. There is ice cream and sushi both right across the street, as well as North End Liquors. Those traveling a distance can check out The Drifting Sands in Ship Bottom, which offers a slight discount if you're attending the film festival. The Islander is recently remodeled and might be more affordable. We are really looking forward to this.

Mickey McCarthy Feature in Slide Mag

These are the assignments I love.

Pick up the latest issue of Slide Magazine (Issue #28) to see my feature on Outer Banks surfer/photographer/historian/shaper Mickey McCarthy. You can find it at bookstores and select surf shops. 2M has always been one of my favorite guys to work with and this one was a real pleasure. It documents his decades of shooting the Outer Banks, from Civil War reenactments to epic swells. They’ve got a little


We're fortunate to have a lot of great friends all over the world. Check some links and support good people.

Mikala Jones for the Outdoor Journal

I had the opportunity to work with Hawaiian surfer Mikala Jones on a full ten-page feature for The Outdoor Journal Mikala is one of those amazing Hawaiians who simply charges, but has a great respect for family life and Hawaiian tradition. The Outdoor Journal is a newer mag out of India, the first global outdoor pursuit magazine. This is my first assignment with them, but there is more in the works. They have plans to be in the bigger US bookstores at some point in 2014. The story is in Volume: 1, Issue:3, Winter 2013. Mikala and I talked about the breaks in his backyard, poke from the Superette, and the North Shore Land Trust.

The Race of Gentlemen, Inked Mag

The Race of GentlemenThe Oliers Car Club presented "The Race of Gentlemen" in Wildwood, October, 2014

Last October, Ann Marie and I covered The Race of Gentlemen by the Oilers Car Club in Wildwood. The six-page feature appeared in Issue 61 of Inked Magazine, but the story just ran online this week. Racing vintage hot rods and motorcycles, it was a really creative event with serious characters, thrills and spills. “This doesn’t happen anywhere else in the States. It’s really impressive. At a car show, you sit on a lawn chair and people check out your car. But this is a whole other level,” says Jim Loughlin of Jamesburg, NJ. He, his brother, Brett, and his father, John, had built the car—from scratch—the week before the event. It was one of two from-scratch hot rods out of the 35 or so. Read the full feature, "Oil and Water" here.

"Working Class" Jetty Nicaragua trip, ESM

Ten years ago, I was still bartending full time in the summer and just getting my writing off the ground. I did a few stories on some young guys who had launched an apparel line. Then I started to work with them and help develop some ideas. I even shared my office with them for a year. Jetty has not only grown that into a legitimate company, but I've thoroughly enjoyed growing with them every step of the way. I've built great relationships with their team riders, staff, and the non-profits they are involved with. Then we all worked shoulder to shoulder in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Our community is far better off because of these guys.

Check out this feature on the Jetty trip to Nicaragua for Eastern Surf Magazine's Traveler's Notebook  Not quite the crazy voyages in a van through Central America 15 years ago, but it was an excellent time with a great crew. 
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