Tag Archives: seaside heights

Stuck in a Corner With You: An Ode to the Claw.

The best kind of cornered. With Dot, Freddy, and B Bins.

The best kind of cornered. With Dot, Freddy, and B Bins.

The Crab’s Claw Inn. An institution. -al establishment. I’ve been familiar with the Claw for years, but I only began to properly cherish it this past summer, while working next door at Shaded Vision. (An institution.)

On Friday, the Claw re-opened its door to the public for the first time since Superslut –storm Sandy. When I arrived at 10 p.m., the place was packed with jubilant patrons, doling out hugs and high fives by the hundreds, downing Winter Ales and Yuenglings, and, mostly, smiling. So much smiling.

Houses have been flattened, gutted, renovated, rebuilt. The Heights opened its streets to… everyone. Park residents were allowed to go home. Cheese balls were served. But this? This felt like a real milestone. It felt like the mail man and the boutique owner and the bar owner and your mom’s friend and the pro surfer and the restorer were able, maybe, to feel almost normal again. Maybe. They saw each other with drinks in their hands again, in a place to which they all pledged allegiance, a long time ago, without ever saying a word.

You see, the Claw is like our Central Perk. It’s where we go after work and spend our hard-earned dollars on deliciously unpretentious fare prepared and delivered by people with heart. Where plans are made and friends are met. Where we replenish ourselves after hours in the sea. And remind ourselves that we’ll be in the sea in just hours. We go to eat dinner. Or to skip dinner. We sing and dance, talk story, talk shit, aggrandize waves and fish and babes. Everybody probably doesn’t know your name, but I’d bet that everybody knows your face. It’s where we go when we don’t want to go home, or when we can’t go home. It is a sort of home.

I know how this sounds. It’s not that we’re a bunch of alcoholic bar flies. Because the Claw isn’t really just a bar. It’s an institution. And it’s back.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dispatches From The Eye Of The Storm. AKA Oh Sandy. Two.

On the morning of Saturday, November 3rd, I wake up at 7:30 a.m. to a dark room. The nightlight I plugged into the wall, a subtle alert to the presence of electricity, is still dim. I grudgingly push two down comforters aside and climb out of bed, wearing the latest in pajama couture: Long socks, shorts, sweats, and a hoodie layered beneath a ski sweater. It’s our sixth day without electricity and it’s 4 degrees in my house. But at least I have a house. I keep reminding myself. So many of my friends lost everything. But at least they are safe.

This headspace is surreal. I remember watching Katrina and her aftermath on the television, and being unable to process what I was seeing. Too much destruction and sorrow. Human kindness–as well as malevolence.

The night before, I sat in my friend’s living room, absorbing borrowed warmth, and watching the nationally televised Sandy benefit concert, broadcast from Rockefeller Center in New York City, where half of Manhattan still didn’t have power. Another friend who made the journey back through the Lincoln Tunnel said returning to the City was the strangest thing she’s ever experienced. It’s hard to fathom New York standing still.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The September sessions. So far.

Image

I stumbled out of bed at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, washed my face. Changed into a ‘kini. Pulled on cutoff jean shorts. Listened to early morning political discussions while I drove to the island. I grabbed three coffees from Wawa and grabbed two friends from up the street. We checked a spot just to the north and headed for the inlet. Somehow, we found parking. The lineup was a madhouse. Mad people, mad waves. Pulsing, beautiful, large. The skilled, the swell-deprived junkies blocked and dropped in on each other as the unskilled allowed their boards to drag them over the falls on top of their fellow watermen. And women. There were two of us out there. A minuscule percentage.

I managed the paddle out easily, navigated the clean-up sets without incidence, stayed sufficiently out of the way. I sacrificed noteworthy rides for peace of mind. Dot suffered sets on the head and aggro challengers, a board to the mouth. She situated herself amidst the action. Not interested in staying out of your way, sir.

After an hour and a half, I aimed for the beach, only to be tossed around and crushed to the bottom by menacing shorebreak. I clawed my way onto the sand and sat down with a not-so-small effort to refrain from embarrassing collapse. I told myself I’d wait for Leslie to pass before paddling out again.

I stumbled out of bed at 5:32 a.m. on Thursday. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Surf Shop Challenge 2010

The SURFER and Oakley Surf Shop Challenge kicks off April 2nd with the Southwest regional comp in Cardiff, C.A.  The next stop is Seaside Heights, N.J. (Casino Pier!)  Last year, the team from Heritage (Sea Isle City, N.J.) won the Northeast title for the second consecutive year.  On April 19-20, Heritage will battle royale with Ocean Hut, Inlet Outlet and other regional teams for a page in SURFER, awesome gear, and a trip to Huntington Beach for the National Championships in September.  Also up for grabs: $10,000 and the [somewhat diluted] right to say the best surfers come from ____.  Check out the full schedule here.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Post-Blizzard Casino Pier 12.20.09

I was standing on the beach yesterday in a ski jacket and gloves, and I could barely keep my camera in my hands because they were, pretty much, frozen.  There were like 10 inches of snow on the sand, except where the biting wind had swept it away, and there were about 20 hard-core Jersey guys out in the water.  They were covered head to toe in neoprene (or whatever wetsuits are made of these days) but they were out there in the 40-something-degree water and below-freezing air, getting some excellent rides.  Impressive.

Ryan Daly trying not to freeze, literally.

These guys were nice enough to let me take their photo.

Tagged , , , , ,

MTV’s Jersey Shore. Ugh. Here we go again.

MTV: Why, why, why must you encourage the maddening migration of bennies to the beach?  The show is admittedly kind of funny, in a ridiculous sort of way (I like how they keep calling that one girl “Snickers”).  And at least, for once, it is made clear that these people aren’t locals.  Phew.  But seriously, I have principles.  I cannot support this nonsense.  Even if it weren’t hitting close to home, for the most part, the content sucks.  It feels strangely similar to (or EXACTLY like) everything else MTV has done in the past 10 years.

Watch it if you must.

Tagged , , , , , , ,
Advertisements