weather report: ride the high wave

it’s official: summah. this month, we caught up with two bk-based artists: photographer ben rayner and keep it cool designer aylin ulutas and walked on the wild side with snaps from carla rhodes.

we also swapped bodegas-for-boardwalk-shacks serving up tasty eats, cold sips and choice seaside views. then the usual: a motown movie, rockaway radio and throwback jones beach snaps. 

remember: be patient. be kind.  ride the wave.

we caught up with ny designer aylin ulutas and her keep it cool label. as she likes to say: "we can go up and then we can go down. it's ultimately up to you on how to keep your 'cool'."

AYLIN ULUTAS : Where are you from? Brooklyn, NY

ROCKAWAY : When did you start creating your line -- and what kind of inspiration did you have as a kid? I created Keep It Cool during the summer of the pandemic. As a kid I always had a fascination for the moon and stars. My mom always told me to dream big and never stop believing. As a kid I'd wish upon a star. This is just the beginning of my brand...

AY : What do you love about color? I love that color can set different types of moods and imagination.

ROCKAWAY : What influences your work and play? I'm always seeking an adventure. Whether I'm sitting in a cool bar or by people watching or going for a drive with music blasting something always catches my eye and I start brainstorming. Also, I need my alone time. I'm a creative. Sometimes I just like to do absolutely nothing.

AY : What is your ideal warm weather and accessories wardrobe? A bikini top, shorts, slides, sunglasses and a tote bag (I'm always on the go)!

ROCKAWAY : How do you balance work and play? My work is my play. My play is my work. I genuinely love what I do. I get to create cool stuff as I'm working. The creative juices start flowing as I'm working and playing. It's a blessing.

AY : What is your summer mantra? Good feels. I'm on a higher wave.

and ny-based photographer (fashion, portraiture, lifestyle) and director ben rayner. loving this energy.

BEN RAYNER: I am from London, England. I've lived in NYC since 2010

ROCKAWAY: When did you start taking photographs and what caught your eye from an early age?

BR: I started taking photographs in the punk scene of London when I was 14 or 15. I was hugely influenced by emo album covers, especially Saves the Day 'Through Being Cool. ' I wanted to take photos like that. That led to portraiture and then fashion and lifestyle.

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

BR: I love my neighbourhood of Sunset park brooklyn! It's the best.

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about photography -- and how do you get into the flow?

BR: I've been doing it so long it's almost an extension of my body at this point. I carry a camera almost everywhere. That's sorta my style.

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

BR: Shoot shoot shoot. Like Malcom Gladwell's 10,000 hours. You only get good at something by flexing your muscles. Also fuck the rules.

ROCKAWAY What's your summer motto?

BR: Have fun cause it's gone pretty quick.

and last but not least - we wilded out with carla rhodes, a wildlife photographer with a conservation-based heart and mind.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from? 

CR: I grew up in Louisville and lived almost my whole adult life in New York City. I now reside in the glorious Catskill Mountains of New York. 

ROCKAWAY: When did you start taking photographs and what caught your eye from an early age -- and any influences or inspirations with other photographers or artists?

CR: I found photography entirely by accident. I purchased a DSLR camera in 2015 hoping to make short videos for my former ventures as a comedic ventriloquist. Then I started visiting the Catskill Mountains, which reconnected me to my roots as a former Kentucky country gal. I turned my lens on wildlife, and was instantly hooked!  I'm inspired by underrepresented, overlooked and misunderstood subjects, who I try very hard to elevate in my photographic work.

ROCKAWAY: How did nature find you?

CR: I grew up in a rural area. Some of my earliest and happiest memories involve nature. While living in NYC, I volunteered at Wild Bird Fund, which greatly rekindled my love of all things wild. Combined with getting a place in the Catskills, I reconnected to nature on a deep level I’d never felt. 

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about photography -- and how do you get into the flow?

CR: Nature gets me into deep flow and a state of mindful bliss. I love the feeling of being absolutely present as a silent observer and has opened me to a whole world I didn’t even know existed. I'm humbled, inspired, and floored by how magical nature is.  My goal is to get people to care about nature and her creations, with the hope viewers will then respect and protect all things wild.

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

CR: Follow your heart!  Use any camera you can get your hands on, and start experimenting. My biggest teacher has been failure and constant experimentation. Get out there, make mistakes, and get lost in the process. Learn the basics so you know how to make your tool work for you… And then break every rule possible! 

ROCKAWAY : What is your favorite animal? 

CR: This changes daily. Right now my fave raves are Gray Catbirds, who have just arrived back in my area. I’m enjoying hearing them mew ridiculously from local bushes and thickets!

ROCKAWAY: What's your summer mantra?

CR: “Mighty oaks from acorns grow!”

love thy…concessions

‘tis the season for outdoor time. a trio of rockaway outposts are dishing out some mighty fine food, sweet ocean views, live music, and our chilled rockaway cans.

b 106 : caracas: since 2011, this is the de facto spot for arepas and sidekicks not to mention wicked frozen sangrias // riis :dropout:  a cozy beachside jam with burgers, sammies and (um, legit cheesy) fries // riis @gooddogbbq - a sibling owned spot at bay 9 in riis park for finger-licking-good bbq. 




@djtanknyc getting after it, as usual :

lets get it july





“Success, fame, and fortune, they're all illusions.” - Scarecrow

This Motown version of the Wizard of Oz takes place in ‘70s Harlem and follows silver-slipper-clad Diana Ross (Dorothy) to Oz. You know the tale: only the lion, tin man and scarecrow (Michael Jackson) can help get her home. The Wicked Witch and The Wiz (Richard Pryor) offer some resistance but nothing's gonna stop Dorothy after she  sings “Ease on Down the (yellow-brick) Road.”

throwback daze

we’re sharing some black-and-white snaps by joseph szabo, a long island shutterbug who documented young kids and legit beachy scenes at jones beach back in the 60s, 70s and 80s. 

founder freestyle flow :

july 4th! slowwww down 2022!

been a fun june with events and hitting shelves at some new regional chains — think fairway, shoprite, gourmet garage, deciccos, key foods — with more to come. keep those eyes peeled! but, our partnerships with the local concessions in rockaway have been equally special and rewarding! a can of rockaway goes perfectly with your lunch on the beach so don’t sleep when you’re hanging on the boardwalks. we have some exciting drops tomorrow so eyes on your inbox for the announcement! just realized im asking a lot of your eyes this month : but as the kids say — clear eyes, full hearts, cant lose!

rock on. x b

where the streets meet the beach. @drinkrockaway