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Spring is a fickle time to be a surfer in L.a. the normal spring weather pattern brings foggy mornings and onshore winds that make the dawns uninviting and grey.

Los Angeles/Long Beach is the busiest port in North America. Huge container ships move in and out of the harbor every day and night, and the behemoths bob on the horizon beyond the surf, waiting for the appointed docking times. a lot of surfers work on the docks – if you get nightshifts you’re free in the days, and the union wages are steady.

Container ship leaving San Pedro….

With nothing much in swell heading to Southern California for a few days, it’s a good time of year to make those trips to other places you’re supposed to be Visiting….

The five hour flight from the West Coast to new York City seems like a short one if you’re accustomed to flights to Asia or Europe. Drag your carry on bag through checkpoints, (no baggage fees!), read a few magazines, have a cocktail or three, and the next thing you know you’re there, standing on the subway platform at JFK.

Visiting new York is like visiting America. It’s older and denser than California, and it feels more like the cliches of America than L.a. and its Mexican vibe. ¬†Good old American breakfast of greasy fried eggs, hash browns, potatoes, and toast. Lower East Side diner.

Or huevos con chorizo at George’s Diner, Brooklyn.

Couch surfing is the only surfing I’ve done in new York. Jamie’s East Village apartment has a futon and a fire escape to hang out in the evening.

New Yorker’s always like to put down life in Los Angeles for any number of reasons. one of the main complaints about L.a. is that people say it takes too long to get anywhere in its vast spread and distances and freeways. But if you know new York you know you spend a lot of time on the subways there – hours per day. It’s just like L.a. – if you don’t want to spend time commuting, then you end up not going anywhere, which is a shame in two of America’s most interesting cities.

And you spend a lot of time walking in new York……Chelsea. West 20th St. and 10th Ave.

More train time with an old friend who was teaching at Rutgers University in new Jersey.

Too long in Manhattan and as a surfer you start to get nervous being away from the water. Bottled water bubbles from Niagara Falls.

Hit and run to new York City. a handful of days, a grab bag of bars and nights on the town, a criss-crossing of the island by train and taxi, seeing old friends, doing some business, hitting some art exhibitions, Visiting…..

Posted in Art, Events, Inspiration, People, Photography, Places, Surf, Travel Tagged ,

Posted by: Sandow Birk

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