Tag Archives: NYCUrchin

The ReSurf Project

3 surfers, 50 salvaged boards, 1 question…How far would you go to make the world a better place…with surfboards? Support The Resurf Project in salvaging old boards and getting them to underprivileged kids around the world! Isreal is the first stop in March 2013 where they will set up surf camps and film a documentary on the project, but they hope to take the concept to other developing parts of the world.  Help them make this concept a reality on their final day of fundraising!

Who are these dudes?

Three surfers from Long Island, NY, Oran Bendelstien, Mike Urra & Steve Weinrib, founded the ReSurf Project.  We are passionate surfers, and close friends, who are committed to our mission of using surfing as a vehicle to create positive change for underprivileged children throughout the world.

Where does the cash go?

Our goal is to get our film finished and released by August 2013, in time for next year’s surf festival entries. We will be shooting the film with Pierce Kavangh of Misfit Pics, over the fall of 2012 in NY and in Israel, April 2013. We ultimately need to raise over $40,000 to finish the film, but raising $20,000 now will allow us to keep going towards the finish line! You can be a part of this exciting project by pledging whatever you can afford. The funds will be used to accomplish several things, including:

  • Collecting & storing unwanted used surfboards. 
  • Fixing up boards to make them look brand new and surfable.
  • Shipping boards to various locations throughout the world for donation.
  • Providing surf lessons for 3 days, teaching kids basic fundamentals & joy of catching waves.
  • Document the experience to help pay this message forward.

If you are interested in contributing to this cause through social media, blogs, partnerships, sponsorships or even to donate a board, please reach out to Steve, Mike and Oran: resurfproject@gmail.com.  

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Oh Ginger Snap!

Here is a holiday recipe from Patagonia’s District Manager, Sandy relief organizer and master baker, the lovely Joy Lewis! Sweeeet…
Gingersnaps for whatever reason scream holiday to me.. i love them for breakfast, to give away, or if you’re attending any ‘Love, Actually’ parties they go great with a scoop of homemade chai icecream as an open-faced sandwich. Here’s my ‘how to’….
to start you need some supplies:
and for ingredients you need the following:

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper*
2 sticks unsalted butter (soft but not melted) (yes, i know this seems like a lot (it is) try not to think about it)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses

*honestly i use a dash of regular pepper, as a gal who has never once cooked a meal in her kitchen i only have spices appro for baking.
step one. fluffy butter! 
beat butter and sugars on medium for several minutes until fluffy.. no joke, like 3 minutes (your neighbors will be forgiving of the kitchenaid at 7 in the morning if you share)
step two. messiness.
add in egg and molasses (scrape the sides of your bowl several times as molasses is sticky!) beat on medium until combined
step three. dry side. 
quickly throw together the rest of your ingredients (flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, pepper) and gradually add to your mixer on low. don’t overwhelm the batter by dumping it all in at once. i generally add it in in about 5-6 scoops
step four. ginger frosting. 
at this point you want to lay some plastic wrap (or wax paper) on the counter and spread out the batter like frosting to be about an inch thick. this goes into the fridge for at least two hours. i generally do overnight and finish up in the morning (its a cookie for breakfast thing i guess)
step five. roll and sugar.
i use a 1.5 inch baller (its basically a small icecream scoop) for consistent cookies. after you have your balls (mine aren’t really balls because i leave them flat on one side) drop them in sugar and then onto the cookie sheet (i line mine with baking parchment)
the longer the dough is out of the fridge, the stickier it gets. i tend to get it all balled and rolled and then put back in the fridge for another 10ish minutes. i always want a soft cookie and the secret is making sure you’re putting cold dough in the oven.
step six. bake and cool.
preheat oven to 350′ bake for 10-12 minutes. eleven is always about perfect for me. let them set on the pan for about a minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
step seven. share!
seriously, thats a lot of butter.. don’t keep these in your house! as a compulsive baker i have tons of little baggies and boxes and tapes and twines- anything i’d need to make it look like i bought them vs baked them. since these are holiday-ish i seal them up with a little plaid tape and tie them into somewhat appropriate serving sizes with bakers string.
Thank you Joy!! Happy holidays everyone!!
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TWOTHIRDS is a cool blue menswear line based in San Sebastian with a mission!! They donate 10% of their proceeds to protect our oceans and spread ocean awareness through their Sentinels, including Brooklyn resident and Rockaway surfer George Bates. And their video is purely beautiful.

“Our planet is covered by two-thirds ocean. Our ocean gave us the gift of life. In turn the inspiring immensity of our ocean gave us our name: TWOTHIRDS. Our ocean makes us who we are and gives us immeasurable joy. We at TWOTHIRDS aim to address like-minded people; those who are awake and aware of the immense value of our oceans, people deeply connected to surfing and those who have a thirst for substance and style.”

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Surfer Grrrls in Brazil

I met Mira at Patagonia SoHo after a talk by big wave surfer Mercedes Maidana. If I remember correctly, she was wearing a hiking pack, headed straight for the airport. Non-stop and full of energy, she’s on a mission to empower women through surfing and rap around the world. Huh? Yeah, you heard! See how the two connect on her current journey in Brazil…

Surfing and hip hop??
Both are powerful subcultures – both are all about flow, whether your playing with words and rhymes and getting in that zone over a beat, or whether you are on that edge of a wave, about to make a drop into something scary.  Both deal with that space of adrenaline and
self-awareness, where, when you are really flowing, you are not held back by fear, and you can do great things.  Quite frankly, I wish there was more overlap in the culture associated with hip hop and surfing, and that’s one reason why I am doing this project.  Surf culture, at least in commercial mainstream American media, I feel has been pretty narrowly defined– the “endless summer,” the California blonde beach babe, the music of Jack Johnson and the Beach Boys. That’s never really fit who I am, and I would like to actively work to broaden surf culture to include forms of music and expression, that resonate much more strongly with me, and other folks who haven’t seen themselves reflected in surf media.

Why Brazil?
Over the past ten years I’ve been exposed to a lot of Brazilian music, percussion, and dancing, and I love it.  A weird little way I procrastinate when writing is learning the words to Brazilian samba songs.  So I wanted to go to Brazil for a long time just to soak up the music and culture and language, which I think is beautiful.  But then I got really into surfing in the last 3 years, living 5 minutes from the beach (respect to all you NYC surfers who trek way further than me to hit the waves), and I also started noticing that there were a ton of great Brazilian surfers.  So I did some research on the coastline and there are lots of great breaks, especially in the South. So it was a perfect combination: surf and music in Brazil.

What’s your end goal on this journey?
The goal is the journey itself.  I hope to share my adventures as a girl surf traveler, and also the stories of the women and girls I meet along the way.  I’m doing this through a combination of media well-suited for the internet: music videos, blog posts, video clips, photos. Personally, this is an amazing opportunity for me to really grow as a surfer, a musician, and video artist and to immerse myself in a culture I have always admired.  Every day, my head feels like its going to explode with everything I am learning.  I hope that when I return from Brazil at winter’s end, I will be able to continue to do creative music and video work, around women surfing, women of color in the outdoors, hip hop and surfing!  All are areas that need more promotion.

My hope is that other women and girls will see  these videos and blog posts and feel inspired or excited to try something new, and that folks who have never gone surfing may feel a little bit closer to something that once seemed out of reach.  I want to create media that joyfully affirms the power of women to be big and bold.  I see the music videos as part of my ongoing work as an environmental educator, in which I have tried to integrate creative expression, particularly hip hop culture, into my teaching, to empower youth to feel a sense of cultural ownership of the outdoors.

What’s your take on female surfing in Brazil?

In big surf spots like Florianopolis and Rio, you can see lots of AMAZING girl surfers.  That same samba flare that makes Brazilian soccer players so fun to watch also applies to surfing.  The women here, like the men, can really shred!  The ratio of female to male surfers here roughly corresponds to my local break in Northern California – probably one girl for every 7 to 10 guys.  When I was in Salvador, Bahia, where surfing is still popular but more for your committed urban surfers, I was almost always the only girl in the water, though I did meet a couple rad women body boarders towards the end of my stay.  The surf magazines in Brazil are squarely aimed at men, with the usual (alienating if you are a woman) sections on surf babes with lots of butt shots on the beach. There is an awesome and popular free journal called “Drop” in Florianopolis which treats women just like, well, surfers, and that one always makes me happy.  I’ll let you know once I learn more!  It’s a good question for browngirlsurf.com -  a rad organization run by my friend Farhana which is highlighting the stories of pioneering surfing ladies in countries where it ain’t so easy to be one.  She’s on a trip to Bangladesh and India right now.

How can someone get involved?
The most important thing people can do is to share the videos and media I am making with other girls and women.  You can find it all at www.surfergrrrls.com and find regular updates at www.facebook.com/surfergrrrls.  On the website, click on the link for music and video for links directly to the music videos.  I am always interested in speaking gigs as well.  I want as many girls and women as possible to hear about and be inspired by this project. I am always looking for collaborators – videographers, music engineers, hip hop artists, beat makers.  If this project really stirs your imagination and you’d like to get involved in this way, you can
hit me up through the blog or facebook page.

Mercedes’s story is pretty inspiring huh? Especially the fact that she didn’t start surfing til 24 and now is taking on insanely large waves! What women inspire you?
I am inspired by women who are pushing limits – within the system and outside.  In the world of music, I am a big fan of Missy Elliot and Bjork, because they are just busting open the scene constantly.  They are totally unrestrained by the straitjacket of what the mainstream has defined as sexy and appropriate for women, and they KILL IT – defining all this on their own terms, with their wild intergalactic creativity, and being, in my opinion, the most fabulous women out there.

I am inspired by women who use their bravery, their intelligence, their creative skills, their athleticism, or whatever to challenge the status quo and work towards social justice and create more room for women to be themselves.  I am a big fan of Angela Davis the great
intellectual activist for prison reform and a more just economic system and a huge admirer of Rell Sun, the great Hawaiian surfer and community activist.  Both inspire me to be brave, to act on my beliefs even when it is uncomfortable, and to give of myself to others.

Is there a quote you live by or do you have any words of advice for the younger female surfers?
A big lesson I have learned from surfing is persistence and not feeling shy about screwing up.  Learning new things doesn’t come easy, and you will often look stupid while you are beginning to improve.  Don’t be afraid of messing up.  Don’t wait for permission.  If you want something, go do it.    Learn to love yourself when you are bumbling, and learning, and trying.  Learn to laugh and go back the next day and try again.  Just putting yourself out there, in the mix, makes you brave and awesome – whether with surfing, school, dating, learning to play the drums, or whatever — so stick with it.

Join Mira’s journey.

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Reclaim NY

This is an amazing idea!! Local artists have teamed up to transform pieces of the old boardwalk into furniture. Like little ants we are rebuilding our community with great creativity and care…piece by piece. Tonight there will be a silent auction for the furniture items, with all proceeds going to Red Cross in NY. Event details.

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Loomstate Sandy Recovery Tees

Sustainable clothing company Loomstate is donating 100% of sales from their Sandy Recovery tees to Waves for Water and Food Bank for NYC, on top of donating the t-shirts themselves.  Gift these super soft tees to your family and friends this holiday! Made from organic cotton, they are easy on the environment too!


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Surf Community Versus Sandy

“There is no other community on the world like the surf community and it’s gonna be them that make a difference.”

This weekend come meet the surf community that is making these real changes along the coast!  Do your holiday shopping at the Brooklyn Surf Flea at Picture Farm and support each local and Rockaway surf vendor in supporting Sandy recovery – each will be donating 10% or more of their sales from the day. Here is a teaser for the 20+ brands that will be a part of Brooklyn Surf Flea this Sunday! Join us on Facebook to receive updates on the flea. Plus come enjoy surf flicks like Surfing 50 States and beverages from Lagunitas!

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More Sea Creatures in the City

Join your fellow sea creatures to discuss water quality and the benefits of adding more filter feeders into local ecosystems. RSVP to timothywilliselkins@yahoo.com.

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Blue Beyond Borders

There have been a ton of Hurricane Sandy fundraisers, but Blue Beyond Borders is the first that is promoting climate change awareness. There will be a panel of ocean luminaries, including underwater explorers, authors, conservation photographers, the director of Chasing Ice, and a variety of scientists. Sounds like the best night ever!! Tickets.

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