City living can feel a bit stifling, but hitting the beach - even in 50 degree weather - is the ultimate equalizer.Â The salty sea breeze, light surf and setting sun along the classic boardwalk, Parachute Jump, Cyclone, Wonder Wheel and Steeplechase Pier make for a stunning backdrop.Â It's amazing to think that my folks took me to Coney Island as a child and after all these years later I'm still drawn there.
I visited Coney Island last week and got there at the magic hour.Â It was a spectacular fall day warm and bright and the golden sun on the surf and beach made for some very nice light.Â Moments after walking to the beach, a group of jet-skis put on a show for the onlookers hanging off Steeplechase Pier.Â After the show, I headed up to the pier and shot a few candids of the locals.
I had a rare insiderâ€™s view of the surfing culture that has been not-so-secretly thriving at Rockaway Beach for well over a decade. My good buddy Chad has been frequenting the Rockaway surf break for years and is part of a collective surf house across the street from the beach. Itâ€™s exactly what youâ€™d expect â€“ an unassuming bungalow with a dilapidated front porch and unkempt garden. However once the door swings open, youâ€™re greeted by racks of surfboards, skateboards, beach cruisers and wetsuits â€“ just the essentials. Other folks from the house casually came and went, talking about the waves and discussing which break was more happening. One of them remarked that the water was so warm, most folks were â€œtrunking itâ€ (i.e. just trunks, no wetsuit). Chad grabbed his board â€“ a retro looking number that had a paint job resembling a 1960â€™s muscle car â€“ and I tagged along taking photos, trying to keep up with his fast dash to get into the water.