weather report: it ain’t over yet

yep, it’s nearly summer's end – but we’re still going! this august, we hung with fam featured ny artists matt paul catalanoscott bluedorn and went west to hang with la-based carlos ayon.

then … shaft’s his name – shaft’s his game is our ny movie on loop, followed by some superlative rockaway jams in honor of our #winning volleyball squad, and some on-point #lovethybodega sips.

come check us out!

check it : ny-based photographer matt paul catalano. fire.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

MPC: I grew up in NJ in a small fishing town. I've been lucky to have a consistent relationship with my home. I keep coming back to the Jersey Shore every summer to spend time with friends and family and hang out at the beach.

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

MPC: I started playing with my father's camera when I was a kid. He always had his Canon EOS 35mm for family trips and special occasions. In highschool I really wanted to understand the physics of photography. Growing up at the beach I took an interest in the ocean & surfing.

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

MPC: the best thing about photography is perspective. Art in general is about telling a story and finding a creative way to relay one's perspective. I loved bringing the perspective of swimming in the waves. Not many people to witness the power and energy of thousands of gallons of water being shaped over a sandbar or reef. The way water moves and flows and shifts is hard to put into words.

ROCKAWAY: How did you get into the water and surf snaps?

MPC: My mom brought me to the beach as a toddler and I remember playing on an old styrofoam bodyboard. All the friends I grew up with were into surfing and I naturally just started getting into it. We used to buy the old waterproof disposable film cameras and take them out. Once I was old enough to travel (and save money for trips) I saw the draw of getting into the ocean and surf photography. It was exciting to try new places and coastlines.

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

MPC: Take photos of things that you can't live without, things that you're afraid to lose, and find new ways (or perspectives) that help relay your point of view. Think of the camera as your canvas and your lens as your paint brush. Don't be afraid to share your work as it will help you evolve and drive your passion for looking for those new perspectives.

ROCKAWAY: What's your summer mantra?

MPC: Just cruise. Life is almost as short as the summer so work hard but put aside time to enjoy as much as you can with friends and family. There's not many better things than hitting the beach at sunrise with no one around.

and we hit the hamptons with artist and illustrator, scott bluedorn. dreamy.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

SCOTT BLUEDORN: I'm from East Hampton, NY.

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

SB: I became a full time artist about 7 years ago, but have been making work my whole life. The ocean and the culture and ecology that surrounds it is my greatest source of inspiration.

ROCKAWAY: What kind of visual diet did you have growing up?

SB: The natural environment of the east end is always the star of the show and the light that attracted many artists here. I was exposed to surrealism and abstract expressionism from an early age and all of these things contribute to my art now.

ROCKAWAY: How does nature inform your work?

SB:The natural world is a constant flux of energy and relationships that is very dynamic. The ocean plays the central role because of my proximity and its endless variety of visual themes. Similarly, forestscapes are starting to emerge in the same way. Animals have always been totemic for me as well.

ROCKAWAY: How do you balance work and play?

SB: Much of my art is based on experience, for example painting from life or reinterpreting a natural event. I'm a surfer, beachcomber and all of these “play” activities are the inspiration for my work.

ROCKAWAY: What is your motto for summer?

SB: Be the last one to go indoors.

and the last but not least, we looked left and hit la to chat photographer carlos ayon. love.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

CARLOS AYON: I was born, raised and still reside in East Los Angeles, CA.

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?

CA : I've been taking photos for as long as I can remember. I used to buy disposable cameras when I was a kid and keep albums. It never actually occurred to me that I enjoyed photography until I was in my mid-20's. I have many influences but if I had to pick, I would say Estevan Oriol is at the top.

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

CA: I love freezing a moment in time forever - especially the small things that most people don't pay attention to. I enjoy that photos become so important over time whether you realize it in the moment or not. I'll wake up really early and just start walking. Sometimes I'll walk 1 mile, sometimes I'll walk 10 miles. The more hours you put in, the more likely you are to capture something good.

ROCKAWAY: How do you decide to shoot in color for some snaps and black + white for others?

CA: It depends. If I'm shooting film, wherever I'm going to shoot may dictate whether I shoot color or not. Sometimes, I just choose randomly. If I'm shooting digital, I may make the decision after the fact and I'll just choose depending on what looks better to me.

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

CA: Buy, find, borrow or steal a camera - any camera. Take a class, go on youtube or ask a photographer on social media for advice. The resources are all there at your disposal. It's never too late or too early to start. Just press the shutter and grow from there.

ROCKAWAY: What's your summer mantra?

CA: Find some shade and drink water.

love thy bodega: sapphire cafe & deli

a few years ago, this williamsburg, bk newbie opened with the bona fides : breakfast wraps, stacked sammies, everything bagels and snacks galore (!!!) plus the entire fam bam of our rockaway sips -  💯

addy: 40 north 4th street williamsburg ny



@djtanknyc rockin for our championship rockaway beach volleyball league squad — keep killing it kids! :

we the champs



“Play straight, baby,” - John Shaft

From Harlem to Greenwich Village, substance and style collide as follow the cool-as-a-cucumber private eye John Shaft around town (in a sweet double-breasted leather jacket) in this Gordon Parks-directed 1971 blaxploitation classic. Oh, and that iconic soul-funk soundtrack is courtesy of Isaac Hayes. 

founder freestyle flow :

my (leo, obviously) seasons gone, lets get some virgos! ive said it before and ill say it again, september is the best beach secret — keep it local.

in other news, we have been busy over here behind the scenes hustling away with our new distribution partners in the tri state plus making some big plans for 2023. yikes, i hate to rush time away, but always gotta be thinking 6-12 months ahead in biz. id like to give a special shout to our rockaway beach volleyball league drink rockaway team — the champs are here! im taking that sh*t as a real good omen for what’s ahead for this little engine that could.

rock on. x b

where the streets meet the beach. @drinkrockaway