weather report: summer, summer, summertime

get em’ june: epic season of surf, skate, sea, sand (and always a lil’ asphalt). this month, we talked to photographer james maher, illustrator peter arkle and street artist stephanie rond. we also screened working girl (big hair, don’t care), dug up some arty bodega goods and dialed down with rockaway radio.

pssst: keep your plant-powered cans chilled for optimum warm weather drinkability (+ spiked, if you’d like).


we caught up with lifelong ny’er james maher, a street, documentary, and portrait photographer.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

JM: I’m a lifelong New Yorker, don’t know if I could survive anywhere else. I now live with my wife and kid in Sunset Park, Brooklyn - a neighborhood which I absolutely love.

ROCKAWAY: When did you start taking photographs -- and what other photographers influenced you?

JM: I started taking photographs in college. I was interested in the city as an organism, as an experiment, as an idea. My work has tried to tell the story of this place. I try to mix history and storytelling with photography. History has always been a big influence. I was always inspired by Bruce Davidson, Matt Weber, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Alec Soth, Helen Levitt, Trent Parke.

ROCKAWAY: Where are your favorite places and neighborhoods to point a camera in NY?

JM: I love to shoot the same areas over and over. In Manhattan, it’s the East Village, Lower East Side, Nolita, and SoHo. I’ve been actually doing a 9 year project on Greene Street in SoHo, one of the wealthiest blocks in Manhattan, shooting it 3-4 times a week with the intention of turning it into a book one day. You see such interesting things on this block, I just keep going back.

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about photography?

JM: I love walking and getting lost. The camera allows me to focus my attentions on my surroundings. It’s fantastically therapeutic in such an anxiety producing city (and my parents are both psychiatrists, so I often feel like I’m trying to diagnose the city). I also think of the camera like a pen. It’s just a tool that allows you to tell stories and that’s what I try to do.

ROCKAWAY : What's your advice to someone who wants to learn how to take a picture?

JM: Everyone gets bogged down in the technical at first, but make sure to take the time to think about why you want to photograph. What do you want to capture? What are the ideas you can create in your work? Great photos can be made of interesting subjects with bad technical quality, but great technical photos of boring subjects will always be boring.

ROCKAWAY: For someone who has never been to NYC, what places would you tell them to visit?

JM: John’s of Bleecker. Walk the Manhattan Bridge - the views are so much more incredible than the Brooklyn Bridge (which is certainly incredible to walk as well), A Knicks of Mets game, Coney Island in summer, and of course Central Park.

ROCKAWAY: What's your spring mantra?

JM: Walk, walk, walk.


and nyc-based peter arkle, an illustrator of books and magazines. he also publishes peter arkle news with stories about everyday life.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from? PA : I grew up in Scotland, moved to London for art school and in 1995 moved to New York for a new adventure. I've been here since and still love it.

ROCKAWAY: When did you become an artist and what inspires your work now?

PA: I became a proper artist when I graduated from art school. I'm most inspired by everyday life and paying attention to the small details of what’s going on around me. The world is always surprising me with funny or amazing things.

ROCKAWAY: What kind of visual diet did you have as a kid?

PA: I was excited every Saturday when the new issue of my 2000AD comic would be delivered. It used to have such amazing drawings (mainly black and white but with some simple color––I love what the artists could do with such simple, cheap printing).

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about storytelling through illustration?

PA: I enjoy being able to jump between words and drawings. If I don’t want to draw something I use words. If I'm having trouble finding the right words I use drawing. There’s also a fun in-between that is not quite drawing and not quite writing. I like how you can slip between being funny and serious in a fluid way.

ROCKAWAY: How do you balance work and play?

PA: I make sure that if I'm at my desk I'm doing something useful. Also, when trying to get through a big batch of drawings I build in distractions (watering plants, working out, laundry, going for a walk). I still need times when my wife, Amy, and I run away and lie on a beach doing NOTHING.

ROCKAWAY: What is your spring mantra? PA: Make the most of the extra daylight. Do NOT waste time! But also, HAVE MORE FUN!


and last but not least - stephanie rond, a street artist whose colorful and feminist work can be see on the walls around the world. (ig)

 

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

STEPHANIE ROND: I'm from two hippies that believed in equity and speaking up and out. I'm from imagination and hard work. I live in Columbus, Ohio.

ROCKAWAY: How do you feel when you are staring at a blank wall or a blank canvas — and what is your process for doing the work?

SR: Blank walls and canvas are opportunities to learn and share.  I believe in the accessibility of art, and everyone's right to see themselves in the art. My process is about bringing the diminished stories of women and girls forward to the public. My materials are spray paint and stencil - the tools of protest. 

ROCKAWAY: Growing up what kind of kid were you -- what was your visual diet?

 SR: There is a joke in my family that my favorite toy was a spoon - because I could make any object have many lives. A spoon was a microphone, a musical instrument, something meant for digging holes for worms, a tool to scrape, dig, draw and see the world upside down. My visual diet was that of a kid watching, listening and growing up on a large university campus; libraries, the rec center and public pool, books, music, festivals, protests and debates.  

ROCKAWAY: What inspires or influences your art?

SR: People's stories, our strengths and weaknesses as humans, nature...I think inspiration is a whisper that you have to practice listening too.

ROCKAWAY: What is your spring mantra? 

SR: You can't pour from an empty cup!

#LOVETHYBODEGA

/bōˈdāɡə/

the bodega. new york’s bread-and-butter, 24/7, under-one-roof, go-to staple for everything you’ll ever need —late night munchies and early morning grabs. we’re going down a rabbit hole with british artist lucy sparrow’s pop-up of 9,000+ brands made entirely of soft and sturdy felt (there’s even an atm). fittingly, she calls it her “fauxdega.”


ROCKAWAY RADIO

 

 

you need a dj for your summer jam?! hit up our girl, @djtanknyc she hooks it up for us and for you :

mdw 2022


ON LOOP:

 

WORKING GIRL

 

You want to be taken seriously, you need serious hair.” - Tess McGill

Welcome to 1988 Manhattan – where everything is big and bigger (teased out hair, corporate ambitions, the NY dream). Tess McGill of Staten Island is going from rags-to-riches: a working-class secretary who goes through a Cinderella make-over story to make it. Bonus: Carly Simon’s iconic anthem, Let the River Run.


throwback daze

remember those old timey postcards from the beach? greetings from? wish you were here? coney island, rockaway, long island, saratoga springs. we found a little trove of treasures from out east, because nostalgia still looms large in our world.


founder freestyle flow :

yo! happy memorial day weekend! the year is flyinggggg - how are we halfway there? wild. we have been hard at work building biz and are hitting the ground running with big expansion come june 1 in nyc. please keep your heads up for cans in coolers at your local bodega or supermarket and buy some if you see some. major thanks! if you’re a small biz owner or someone who wants to hook us up with a new account — holler at hi@drinkrockaway.com and we will connect you with our new distribution partners. its been weird/silly/stupid? to launch a new company in the middle of a global pandemic, but it feels sooooo good to be on the road to takeover. thanks so much for being there from day 1.

in other news, we will be sponsoring both rockstock and girl power by hester street fair on june 11 - come on by for free sips and welcome events back to our beloved city! yay!

its our season, lets live it up. every single moment.

rock on. x b

where the streets meet the beach. @drinkrockaway