weather report : get down on it

hear ye, hear ye, march 20th is the first official day of spring! 

we’re celebrating this month with hometown artists julia rothman and hyesu lee, who capture those epic nyc-centric flavors: bodegas, psychic shops and rush hour subway rides. we also screened a cheeky muppets movie and bonus tracked some og nyc mom n’ pop storefronts. as always, grind into brighter daze with some rockaway radio and sip often from our plant-powered cans. okay, we’ll catch you on the (warmer) flip.

julia rothman works from her studio in the back of her park slope apartment.  

julia co-founded women who draw, an open directory of female professional illustrators, artists and cartoonists with fellow illustrator wendy macnaughton.

ROCKAWAY:  Where are you from?

Julia Rothman: I grew up on City Island in the Bronx. It’s a small island most New Yorkers never even heard of. It's a mile and a half long and half a mile wide. There’s only one small bridge to get on the island. 

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

JR: Ha. I’m not sure when. Maybe always? A much better artist as a kid than now. I went to art school and then started doing illustration work professionally soon after. I would say my biggest inspiration is talking to strangers. I do it as much as I can. I love hearing people’s life stories. 

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

JR: My mom was a kindergarten teacher but she should have been an artist. She’s a great photographer and paints and draws too. From an early age, she nurtured my interest by bringing me to museums and buying me art supplies. My parents let me draw all over my bedroom wall inspired by Keith Haring. 

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about color and storytelling through graphics?

JR: I think there’s something different when you read a story that’s illustrated rather than with photos. It’s handmade and warmer. It’s nostalgic because it reminds you of picture books from when you were a kid. I think it makes you stop and pay attention to the mood when you come across it in a magazine or newspaper. Or I hope it does! 

ROCKAWAY: How do you balance work and play?

JR: For me, my work is play! I don’t really have to have too much of a balance. I work a lot but I enjoy it so much. I do try to only draw for fun on the weekends. 

ROCKAWAY: What are your favorite New York spots?

JR: Prospect Park is where I spend most of my time. And I love walking the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. I think walking the city is how you see it best. 

ROCKAWAY: What is your motto for the year?

JR: Well, it’s been a hard couple years for everyone. I guess I wanna say to myself (and everyone) - You’re doing it! Keep going!

illustrator, artist, muralist and educator hyesu lee was born and raised in seoul, south korea and now calls brooklyn, ny home.

she also uses the comics medium to connect with others, as well as showing the ups and downs of everyday life.


ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

Hyesu Lee: I'm from Seoul, South Korea.

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

HL: I went to the School Of Visual Arts in NYC to study Illustration, however, it took me a long time to figure out what it is that I want to do and communicate. I was lucky to get commissioned by amazing clients, but the personal work that I've been doing has been quite healing and helped me to connect with people.

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

HL: I was a shy kid, so playing with my dog and drawing him was my favorite thing - It's funny because now I'm an adult but still draw the new dog that I adopted!

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about color and storytelling through graphics? 

HL:  It's a place where you feel empowered and carefree. I don't know if I can articulate my stories as well as I hope if I don't illustrate them. I love how I can so easily connect with my audience. It feels so good and lovely. 

ROCKAWAY: How do you balance work and play?

HL: That will be something I really need to work on (hahah!) I work, work and work but it energizes me and makes me happy. But when I feel a creative block or exhaustion, I just switch off everything until I feel recharged.

ROCKAWAY:  What is your motto for 2022?

HL: I am a magnet of positivity!

#lovethybodega :



Westside Market

With seven spots around NYC, this family-owned Chelsea market doubles as a grocery store and deli. Thirsty? Chilling on ice you’ll find a duo of our plant-powered cans: Coastal Immunity for lingering colds and Endless Summer for super-juiced, caffeine-free focus. 

Addy : 170 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011




@djtanknyc breaks (almost) over :

winter break





“I’m still here and I’m staying. You hear that, New York?” - Kermit the Frog

We’re feeling for some Big Apple ‘80s lore (cuz’ if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere). Creator Jim Hensen takes Kermit and co. on the city streets to produce a Broadway show (spoiler alert: they’re rejected at first but finally make it happen). Look for a string of iconic locales (Central Park, Empire State Building and Sardis) and solid cameos from Gregory Hines to Joan Rivers. 

bonus track

since the 90s, photographers james and karla murray have been documenting gotham’s vanishing streetscapes. you know, the faded bodegas, smoke shops, hairdressers and butchers we know and love. their work is a reminder of nyc’s working class roots (cuz mom n’ pops #4eva) and to support small local businesses.

founder freestyle flow :

yo, you heard it hear first, breaks over. been a bizarre couple of years but we are headed for a rockin year (more newz soon). in the meantime, lean in to that nyc energy - it’s feelin good these days. because im high on the vibes, lets spread some luv. use febrocks22 for 20% your orders thru end of the month. spring ahead!

rock on. x b

where the streets meet the beach. @drinkrockaway