I tried to keep some little columns consistent on this site, as it was fine to write to the stipulations each one held. East Meets West is a fun one, as I’ve lived in both sides of the United States for a decent chunk of time now. Here is me revisiting it since the last post on MARCH 3RD, 2020.


Local summer is a phenomenon I really came to appreciate as I grew older and became more washed up. As a grom all throughout highschool and during my early years of college, I longed to be home for the summer. Lavallette (my hometown) is a special place in the summer. A town with the population of 2000 jumps to I don’t even know. I’d like to say it triples, and that might even be an understatement. This mile long town and the bordering small towns jam in as many people they can on the weekends, and even during the week it is still filled to the brim. The amount of traffic my small beach town would gain in the summer was one of the most exciting things to me as a kid. Memorial Day weekend was when the gates would open, the 4th of July marked a somewhat halfway point, and Labor Day weekend was the last hoorah.  Going from a school year with all my same classmates and the routine of school then to 3 months of more friends coming down from out of town, more to do, and more people to see. Working in Ocean Hut during the summer was always a ball. It’s always fun to see the same customers supporting the local business and chopping it up with pops and later me as I grew older right in front of them. I started working there in 8th grade, and stayed all the way until I was going into my senior year of college, so many regular customers saw me change quite a bit. Long story short, Lavallette summers were what I longed for every year.

It felt like my whole life I wanted to be 21 and truly enjoy summertime outside of the normal operations. But funnily enough, by the time I hit this life milestone my allure of summer had started to wear off. Don’t get me wrong, Summer at home is still probably the most fun time for me, as I have a ton of friends who don’t live in Lavallette so in the off season it’s quiet. But simple tasks like getting a coffee or driving to work take twice as long during the summer. Even parking is tough. It’s funny: little did I know it, but the place I now live in faces the same summertime influx. Newport is way more populated in the offseason than Lavallette, but in the summer we face the same overcrowding as home. This is where we make an ode to the local summer. 


Lavallette is a place that truly faces the pure definition of a local summer. When labor day weekend passes by and everyone goes back to schooling/work, the beaches become desolate. Days where there were once hundreds of people sprawled across the sane turn into days where you might see one or two people. Most local businesses are still open, but the lines and crowds are at a minimum. It is almost the best of both worlds, as weekends see the influx of people return, but still not as much as a summer day. The most crowded it gets is when there is surf during the local summer. Lavallette is an untouched beach town in this month or two span for the most part, as I have had so many surfs and beach days with absolutely no one around. The temperatures are still warm both on land and in the water. I haven’t got to experience September in a while back in Lavallette, as I come home roughly twice a year- once during the holidays and then usually once in the summer. But I think that needs to change. Hurricanes swells, warmth, and nonexistent crowds is what we are looking for, and fall typically delivers all the above. As far as really warm temperatures, September is where it is at, and October could be really nice or start to dip down.


California’s local summer is a little different, but not all that different. They typically coin local summer to include September and (potentially) October as the local summer season, and in California these might as well be extended summer months. This year in particular, we experienced extremely warm weather and water temperatures in both September and October, so I think the local summer has a little extension cord on the west coast by a month. Just last Sunday, I spent a day at the beach sunbathing on the first day of November. By that time at home, the temperatures have dipped. As far as crammed crowds and difficulty doing things, Newport gets just as bad as home in the summer months. People driving from inland to escape the heat and hit the beach make it hard to drive anywhere (especially to the beach) and navigate around town. In peak summer months, we typically bike to the beach to avoid the 30 minute extravaganza that is finding a stall. Businesses are booming, the same 3 holidays (MDW, The 4th, and LDW) are jam packed, and it isn’t much different than home. One stark contrast is that in Newport, summer can bring some solid swell and September and October I’ve had some of my favorite surfs (similar to how home is pretty good during (September/October). With the extended local summer, the crowds stick around till mid September, but by October you are in the clear.

East Meets West: Weather

In the world we live in, the year is broken into 4 quadrants of weather patterns. Named seasons, there is winter, spring, summer, and fall. Depending on where you are in the world, these seasons can come at all different times. Depending on where you are in the world, these seasons could be starkly different or pretty similar. In the USA, we start and end the year in winter (which now that I am thinking about it is kind of wack, imagine christmas and NYE in the summer? That would be pretty tight.).Out of winter it feels like we crawl into spring, sprint through summer, breeze through fall, and just like that it is winter again. Having grown up on the east coast and lived on the west coast for a little while now, I have experienced both types of seasonal years. While starkly different, I have my likings and dislikings to both. Read below, as I break the two coasts into a single con and single pro for the year:



Like: Layers and a Functional Wardrobe. 

I love outerwear. If you opened up my current closet in California, you would first scratch your head at the sheer number of T-shirts I own. But once you looked past that, you would realize how many heavy jackets and thick coats that line the right side. In California, realistically, there are about 3 months in which you might need a heavy jacket. Most of the time this is only necessary at night, in which I am either firmly planted on my couch or going out for the night and do not want to carry around a bulky jacket or sweat bullets all night. So I can wear these nice pieces to work. But I am guilty of just throwing on a sweatshirt and heading out the door in comfort. To make matters worse, I own a ton of rainwear that gets little action unless we stumble upon a wet week. While I can wear them when it is dry, it just defeats the tech I so proudly love to sport. I also love to layer, which almost never happens since it rarely drops below 50. Being home lets me go from boardies and a T-shirt to pants and a long sleeve to bundled up for winter. And back around the spectrum again. 

Dislike: The Ice-cold Wind Vortex

One thing in which I will NEVER miss from my hometown of NJ is something that is so unbelievably brutal that I truly do nothing when it comes around. When we reach the three months of January, February, and March, the weather dips to an extreme low. Both April and December can be quite cold, although more often than not it is around the 50-60s and sunny, occasionally dipping to the 40s and hopefully not the 30s. But you really never know. But for those three months, there are often week long stints of sub 30 degree weather with over 20 MPH winds. When it is cold, sometimes I can tough it out and try and do something outside. But when it is cold AND windy, it is just terrible. The wind chill drops the weather about 10 degrees, and also can really chap your lips and give you the runniest of noses. The only time in which this is not the worst thing ever is if the wind is offshore and there is waves, but even then I am not enthused to tug on 5 millimeters of rubber and bob up and down in the icebath. 



Like: The Endless Summer

California truly can experience an endless summer. Although south swells, warm water, and summer crowds leave with the seasonal change, the warm weather tends to stay. Sure, every once in a while the temperature takes a dip and the winter and you can’t wear flip flops or not wear a jacket. But for the most part, if the sun is up, you can get away with being pretty warm with minimal clothing on. Although I like seasonal variety and being able to tap into a full wardrobe, I think I like being warm most of the time and never really having to shiver from the weather alone. In the Summer it’s hot. In the Fall it’s hot. In the Winter it can be hot. And in the Spring it’s hot. I truly loved the warm weather when I was at university, as pool parties were a plenty. I truly despised the warm weather when I broke a sweat walking to class or just breathing inside our house since AC costed an arm and a leg. But in the end, 365 warmth triumphs all faults and favoritism. 

Dislike: The Occasional Wet Season

I have always disliked rain. I have come to not dislike it as much, as sometimes a day off just vegging out on the couch is necessary. But growing up as a hyper teen, I disliked it strongly. An avid skateboarder and BMXer, these were my vessels to roam the streets. When it was raining and I didn’t have a license, this meant I was house locked. I would ruin my skateboard in the rain and potentially rust my bike in the rain. The one thing I could do is surf, and always enjoy the tranquil conditions rain would bring. The waves are flat most of the time at home, so sparingly would I score this session. In California, rain brings dirty water. Dirty water means no surf. And no surfing means I get grumpy. Sure, I tempt fate more than most and take on the bacterial water every now and then. But even I know when it has rained a bunch and it’s a no go. I also just get bored not being able to go outside. And when it never rains even 3 days of rain feels long. 

East Meets West: Surfing

I grew up surfing on the East Coast. The birth of my surfing existence is on the beach up the street from Ocean Hut Surf Shop, and would be stuck up that beach until I got a drivers license junior year (NOTE: Sandy was this same year so not only would I not be able to get my driver license on my birthday, I also would not be able to access Lavallette beaches for months after). Once a legal NJ driver, I would being adventuring outside the Lavallette bubble to surf waves like Bayhead, Manasquan, and Jenks (the only wave I will admit to missing when in CA). While my surfing journey was heavily rooted in NJ, I was able to experience a handful of California waves in between trips out west throughout high school. Even though I rarely get to surf it now a days, Rincon point is a wave I know light the back (side) of my hand. I would put in hours at the point when out west for a family trip. When I came out to check out colleges out west I was introduced to Lowers. Maybe when the sand is right and the moons align, these waves can be half mimicked back home. But in my experience, I can count on two hands the amount of times this happens. Surfing on the East Coast and West Coast differ very heavily. And I would learn this after spending a mere Semester at school. Both have their positives and negatives. When I was greener to the West Coast, I would find very little to be missed about surfing in NJ. But perspective is everything, and in the ever-growing sport of surfing, things are changing very quickly. Let’s take the deep dive.



Surfing on the East Coast is much more of a waiting game. You simply cannot surf everyday much like other places. Now I know sometimes even the most wave rich coast can look dismal, and a soft top or log might be needed. But there are plenty of days I can remember between every season where there is LITERALLY no surf. “Lake Atlantic” is a term often coined in regards to how dismal the ocean can look. Now to double down on this, even when there are waves, it often can be in unfavorable conditions or less than ideal conditions. Winds are often way more prevalent on the East Coast, so no matter how early you wake up some days, it is still choppy. I can recall waiting for hours on hours just for a single hour window of favorable winds. This again brings it back to the waiting game. There are some spots that handle certain factors better, but wind tides and swell direction all play a major role in how the fickle beach breaks take shape.

After bitching about all that can be wrong about surfing at home, let’s talk about what’s right. For the most part, when it’s on it’s on. Nothing is quite as satisfying as rocking up to the beach to see perfect A-frame waves with not a soul in the water. With surfing’s growing popularity, this is much less common than it used to be. But plenty of days in the Fall and Spring I could see peaky chest to head high wedges with no one out at my local beach break. The crowd was me, my dad, and who ever else I wanted to invite. Plenty of times it was just my dad and I. Plenty of times it was just me. The solitude of a solo session is something very hard to replicate, and I would say a third of my surfs at home would be sans surfers. It could get a little spooky, but getting first pick of any wave puts that in the back of your head. My local beachie is still super reliable for being empty, but when it’s just not doing its thing I can enter the fray by driving 15 minutes north. My junior and senior year of high school was flooded with sessions in Bayhead and at Jenks, where you could find ledgey barrels a plenty. Anytime I’m home, I try to hone in on a session at Jenks.



Surfing on the West Coast is a lot less of a gamble. Wake up around sunrise and check the cams to cherry pick the best sandbar. Plenty of times I have been at the ocean and checking one spot while the cam for another is open on my phone. This is both a blessing and a curse, but for sure more of a curse. There are very few secrets left out here. Also, where I live can take almost any swell angle. Solid south swell? Spot X. Medium sized west swell? Spot Y. Combo swell and offshores? Spot Z. As far as wave quality, what the West Coast has going for it is the amount of different types of waves you can find within an hour driving on the freeway. Whether you are craving beach break barrels, rippable reef A-frames, or lined up points that offer up 20+ second rides, the options are there. You can truly think about the way you want to surf, and take a short drive to find a wave suitable for that. There is a ton of options, and on top of that before you even leave your house you can watch a camera to weigh out whether the drive is worth it.

With all good comes the bad, and this is referring back to the cameras. Where I live, there are actually more than 10 cameras within the handful of miles radius. There is a ridiculous amount of people out at just about every spot too. It is always more crowded when it is a little smaller, which it often is. A solid swell is needed to really trim the fat of novice surfers. The increasing crowds and inviting beaches just keep getting more and more densely populated. Since there are so many waves, you can escape the crowd if you get crafty enough. But plenty of spots that I used to surf with a light to moderate crowd are now ridiculously jam-packed. The crowds start before you even get in the water, too. If it’s on and passed 7AM, it’s too late. Parking spots can be scarce, and if it is street sweeping you might be walking quite a bit before you enter the ocean. When it get’s crowded, it starts bugging everyone. You see a ton more eggy folks when it’s crowded, and that really can drag the environment way down. Especially if the one being chirped is you or your buddy.


Both coasts lay in a special place in my heart. I feel as though if I spend too much time in one, I really start to miss the other. Right about now, I would love some less crowded waves. But I know when I am home, and it is flat, I’d love even just a waist high wave to jib around on. Since I live out in CA, I am thankfully there is always a rideable wave and often can be pretty fun. But scoring a swell back home tastes just as if not more sweet.

East Meets West: Weekend Breakfast Fixes

I swear I don’t mean to make this topic strictly based around food, but it just seems like there are so many battles between the two coasts on certain food genres or what you’d get in a certain situation. Here’s the scenario: you find yourself both coast in the same month. It’s a Friday night and all cylinders are firing. For the west coast Friday, the Newport peninsula or Wayfarer for 90s night is calling your name. Back east, you might be hitting seaside or heading north. Either way, you time travel through the night and to the next morning. Things are groggy and you find yourself with a headache and a craving for greasy breakfast foods. Here is where the clash comes into play. Granted, I’ve had the east coast special on the west coast and vice versa, these are the two guaranteed hangover cures, both meant to be accompanied by a cup of joe.

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EAST: The BEC, PEC, & SEC Bacon, Pork Roll, or Sausage Egg and Cheese (EC) tends to be the immediate call for a Saturday or Sunday morning hangover when back on the east side. If I have the liberty and it’s a banger of a hangover, I will hop in my car and drive all the way up to Point Pleasant for a BEC from Barons Bagel. The best BEC in my opinion on a super egg everything or oatmeal wheat bagel and if needed I can add a hash brown. They also have delicious coffee, and would typically be my stop after a pre-high school surf to walk into my first class with. If I’m stranded in Lavallette, there are plenty of ideal spots for one. No matter where I get the breakfast sandwich from, the coffee is always from Lava Java.

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WEST: The Breakfast Burrito The breakfast burrito honestly is one of my burritos of choice for any time. Lunch, a late night snack if served all day long, or the morning after a big one, this can really help ease the pain and get your Saturday or Sunday going. While I attended Chapman and found myself in rough shape a lot more often than recently, the Cali Tacos Breakfast B would surely cure my hangover. It would also couch-lock me shortly after and throw me into a food coma, but it was all worth it in the moment. Down in Newport, there are a handful of good spots for a killer BB. I feel like of recent I haven’t eaten one simply because I run around a lot on the weekend and typically eat some yogurt instead. When in need though, there are at least 5 spots I can count on to give me my fix.

East Meets West: Pizza

After living bicoastal for an extended period of time, I think it’s a good idea to let the people back east know some things about the west and vice versa. It’s funny, because when I am on the east coast, I gas up the west coast. When I’m on the west coast, I gas up the east coast. I grew up back east and wouldn’t trade that, but there is a reason I moved out west. It’s just more my speed. Anyhow, I figured I could do an article like for a lot of things I indulge in on both coasts. So here it is, welcome to East meets West.


This one is brought up a lot, and is increasingly more relevant as the Barstool pizza reviews gain more and more of a following (if that is possible). Ask me which coast has better pizza, and you won’t be able to blink before I say the east coast. BUT, I do like to preface the statement with a little bit more detail.

A Classic Slice: East

I’m talking just cheese, a 1-bite-everyone-knows-the-rules slice. As far as keeping it OG, the east coast has the basic cheese slice on lock, and the west coast has no clue where the key is. This is a large reason as to why I will say the east has better pizza, as this plain of a slice makes it easy to tell who gets it and who doesn’t. Also in this category is a Sicilian style slice, one of my all time favorites and is pretty hard to come by out west. And it’s not just plain slices. Pretty much any “regular” pizza I’ve had from back home is superior to the similar pizza out west.

Designer Pizza: West

While home has my pizza pick and nothing is better than a peppers and onion pizza from the local joint in Lavallette, the west coast does do the instagram pizza well. The type of pie (as slices are hard to come by out here) that when posted has people DMing you either asking if its good, where you got it, or calling you a psycho for such a wild pie. Never would I have thought about eating a blue cheese honey pizza, until I would go to 2145 in Costa Mesa. Boyyyyy is that thing tastey. Those are hard to come by back home, unless you are in the city.

And that’s how the tale of two coasts ends in regards to the zah. Check back for more East Meets West posts.