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.

Seasons Change

Image result for groundhog day 2020

I really have been hammering home the idea of change. When things stay too constant, it tends to turn real dry. We love to get ourselves into routines, but every once in a while we start to dislike the order of operations or even the certain practices we jam into an already crowded schedule. While routines and change can definitely be spearheaded by us, as we are in control of our life, many changes are out of our hands. Sometimes they might be in other peoples hands. Hopefully those peoples hands are tender and loving. Wishful thinking. There are also changes that neither us nor anyone can control. These changes usually are depicted by our ecosystem or are constructed by a set of norms that have been in places for centuries.

If you happen to also live in California, you have noticed something the past couple of weeks. Right after we passed groundhog day and Phil didn’t see his shadow, it was predicted that an early spring is upon us. With this, the past couple of weeks have been nothing short of beauty. Warm weather. Sunshine from sunup to sun down. Strong sun, heating up the climate and what felt like the ocean water climbing backup. Sunsets that have been beautiful, and that are also getting later and later by the minutes. South swell has poked it’s little head out from hibernation, but only to show us it’s still there. It seems like people have just had more pep in their step. Just because a slight change in weather (in comparison to my home state, NJ, which features severe weather changes that actually do lead to people going from insanely grumpy to happy). 

You can start to tan again. You don’t need to layer up for the office or a work commute. You can go out to the bars in a T-shirt again. The boots are almost nocked off, and the neoprene is only getting thinner and thinnerYou don’t need to sit in your car with the heat blasting before a dawnie.  Soon enough beach days will be upon us. For those that don’t indulge in the coast, you will leave work at five, six, even seven, and still have at least an hour of sunshine left. This is maybe one of the greatest feelings yet. While you don’t need sunshine for everything, it sure gives you a little bit more enthusiasm, especially if what you are trying to do is based outside. As adults, most of our days are spent confined inside. Getting out of work with the sun still high in the sky is a great feeling. 

With Spring and Summer, we have a lot more to look forward to (especially in California). Easter. Coachella. The Del Mar Racetrack. Memorial Day weekend. The Fourth of July. Labor Day weekend. The month span of April to September just seems so much more eventful than that of October to March. While this is totally personal, I feel as though most would agree with what I am saying. Unless you like cold weather, or really just love Christmas and New Years. To each his own. We are ushering back in the months of sunshine and fun times. The months where every second we have we want to spend it outside. The months were the days reach their maximum length. When the beach sounds like a great idea no matter what the time is. Oh, what a time it is. 


6 Must Haves for Summer 2019 at the Beach

I’ve compiled a list of what I deem essential items for the incoming season: Summer. 

A Filled-to-the-Brim Hydroflask

(Yes I know it is missing in the photo.) Hydration is probably one of the most underrated aspects to living a healthy lifestyle. Whether it boils down to getting your daily 100 ounces of water to reduce inflammation and ensure peak physical performance, or just guzzling gallons after a big night out, water can be your best friend. Also, the single use plastic epidemic is getting scarily big. It is guaranteed when walking the beach you will stumble upon thousands of water bottle caps, and even just the full empty water bottle. Do your part and also ensure you can be your best self and invest in a reusable water bottle. Hydroflask makes one that is pleasing to the eye. I suggest getting the 32 oz Wide Mouth, since all you need is ~3 to hit your 100 ounces and get in the “bonus realm” (100+ ounces of water a day).

A (Soft) Surfboard

It is never to late to pick up surfing. All you need to do is try one surf lesson and you will realize how much fun can be had trying to learn something new that revolves around summer. After a couple of goes, you might want to try it by yourself, and if you have the bills purchase your very own surfboard. While there are levels in price to this item, a soft surfboard tends to tick all the boxes. Durable, check. Cheap(er), check. Stylish, check (depending on the brand). A soft surfboard is a board that everyone can learn on, and even the experienced fellow can have a go and grin from ear to ear. My preference might have a slight bias, but Catch Surf makes a damn good soft board, and cater to beginner and expert riders. My quiver consists of two, the 54 Special for fun in a small bundle (you can for sure rip on these) and the stand up boogie AKA the black ball battler (you can for sure rip on these, if your name is Kalani.)

A Good Pair of Sunnies

In a perfect world, the sun is shining all summer long. You need to protect your eyeballs. You need to also be looking A-1 at the beach, driving, or pretty much doing anything outdoors. You could flex these inside, but I wouldn’t recommend it (unless suffering from a >tier 3 hangover, but how about instead you scope this). This is a staple pair of sunnies. Whether it’s one old reliable all summer long, or a couple of styles to switch it up with, it’s hard to leave the house without these on. While I dabble in all brands, I found Otis Eyewear makes a pretty nice pair, both durable (glass lenses make them tough to scratch) and fashionable. The only downside to this item is it might run you a couple blue faces and they can be gone in an instant (deaths including dropping, sitting on, loosing, drowning). My personal favorite is the Winston.

A Stylish Sarong/Towel

Probably one of the most multi-functional items on the list is the sarong/towel. If you have ever frequented Coachella, you might have seen a bunch wrapped around people’s heads or necks, and then doubled in use as a matt to sit and listen to the sounds. These could be used also at the beach, in the same exact way. A very easy to fold and lightweight one works best, ensuring it will fit in your beach bag and be easy to tote around. The cherry on top for this one is you can get some pretty aesthetically pleasing ones, with fun and foreign patterns. I purchased 2 for Coachella and am anxious to get them some use at the beach. You can find them all over the place, mine are from Amazon.

A Gritty Grill

It’s getting to that time of the year where sunsets are as late as it was when you would cuddle up in bed and read a good book in those colder months. Little is more euphoric than grilling with some of ya mates with a blazing sunset in the background. You can potentially get some good Instagram content and are going to end up with a delicious meal. It’s for sure a win win. When it comes down to which grill, I have no idea. Ours is pretty average and in rougher shape, but that just adds character. Maybe a Traeger?

A Classic Beach Cruiser

Living in a beach community that ramps up in traffic over the summer has always been a blessing and a curse. While on one hand there are many new people to meet and it makes the town a little more exciting, the flip side of the coin is overcrowded roads and lines at coffee shops. Getting in the car can be a real drag when it is a beautiful day, and a normal 10 minute commute can turn to a 20 or 30 minute commute. A bike helps solve this problem, making it easy to move around in the crowded streets. Get some fresh air and take in some sunshine while moving from A to B. I always opted for the garage sale bike that needs a little bit of love, just for the culture. A little elbow grease it’ll be looking like new. I also did this since I never locked up my bike, and they tend to get stolen often.

BONUS: Half-Day Fridays

Maybe just a California bias, but these definitely don’t suck. When the sun is shining, nothing feels worse than being inside. Working can make it tough to get out and absorb some vitamin D, but with this awesome holiday(?) it makes sure everyone has an equal opportunity to earn a tan.