I have a co worker with whom I regularly discuss passions. Hers: trees, leaves and all things outdoors. Mine: beach, beach, beach (to be reductive). She asked me recently, 'Kimmy, why don't you just move to California?' My reply, 'Because I live here.'
This is a self-evident way to answer a question that often feels a lot more complicated. If my 22-year-old self had known I would be biking these same New York streets a decade gone by, how would that make me feel? Ecstatic? Relieved? Shocked? Yes, probably. And what if I said to that Kim, 'You know, you could just move to California. Year-round beach. Maybe have a career in swimwear. Open a shop with a lot lower overhead and even get your s
I'm not sure when I coined my life 'Monkey Bar Theory'. Perhaps around the time I changed jobs from working at a small cafe to working at the juice shop literally next door. Work in my life has always felt like swinging along a set of monkey bars: one hand on the last rung, one reaching out for the next. This is my monkey bar life. Over the last ten (twelve? fifteen?) years, watching more and more friends evolve towards traditional lines of work or work schedules, I have regularly confronted the question "What am I really doing?" or "What do I really want to do?" These same questions have been parroted back to me through the mouths of strangers (patrons, customers, guests) who want to know w
Of my own doing, Instagram and Pinterest show me thousands of dollars worth of designer swimsuits a day ranging from teeny crochet bikinis from All That Remains to better-love-your-butt beauties from Stone Fox Swim. I look at these suits, because I think they remind me of the sea (to be argued at a later date). Despite these stylized advertising efforts, there is really only one person who has shown me how to truly wear a suit. This dream artist/designer/florist/sea queen, responsible for Herb and Dye Rockaway, has set an example of what real Beach Queens do for swimwear. Every time I spot her barefoot goodness, she is wearing some version of a slipdress or beach tank or fabric scrap that le
At 6:00am on March 22, 2012, I had an epiphany and moved to Rockaway beach. Okay, not that very day, but the summer that followed traces back to that moment. The Aha happened on a sunrise commute to my Upper West Side coffee shop job. Journal says: "3/22/12 Great ideas strike before dawn? I am biking to work in pre-dawn humidity. It occurs to me to take my own advice, to act on my dreams if I continue to say they're my dreams: live and work at Rockaway. Live fulfilling your dreams." That Spring was ripe for dreams. My then-new boyfriend and I talked constantly about our visions of life, finding so much overlap, feeling everything possible. Diary entries demanded in all caps, "Remove your own
One gift the beach commute gives me is a chance to read. Truth be told, the book I throw in my bag to read on the beach isn't used for much more than a beach nap pillow once I'm on the sand: it is all for the subway ride. Here are some of my favorite subway-to-the-beach reads: TO READ ABOUT THE BEACH The Happy Isles of Oceania by Paul Theroux This book could also fall under Trailblazers. Expert adventurer and chronicler Paul Theroux takes us on his paddle around the Pacific Islands from New Zealand to far Fiji and beyond. With a sharp wit and a Brit's wry irony, he describes the trip and the people. All for a Few Perfect Waves: The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora by David