Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our Hawaii
A surf documentary about Rockaway Beach, Queens.


Our Hawaii follows a group of neighborhood surfer buddies, now in their 40’s and 50's, as they re-visit key moments of their lives spent riding the waves of Rockaway Beach, Queens. Within a conservative, blue- collar community cut off from the rest of New York City, Rockaway's bleak beaches offered these locals a place of freedom, self expression and bonding. Against the backdrop of a once-vibrant seaside resort area turned urban wasteland, Our Hawaii chronicles how – through the upheaval of the Vietnam War, the losses of 9/11 and all the changes in between – their connection to each other has been kept alive by a love of surfing. (2010, 58 minutes)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Anthony James Mixon III
At the Nightingale, NYC
On December 30, 2011 my beloved friend Anthony passed away of a massive heart attack. He was 52. Featured  in A Misfit's Manifesto as well as several Village Voice articles, Anthony was a statistician and a music fiend who settled in Flanders, New Jersey, collected cars, loved strip bars, Herbert Spencer, Binary Science, Lou Reed, the sociology of religion, Eraserhead, cigars, and his collection of 40 precious guitars.  Tattooed from head to toe, by day Anthony worked at Novartis as a management marketing VP. He was also a dedicated power-lifter. 

Anthony's father once said his son had "a brain like a snapping turtle." A quantitive sociologist, Anthony was brilliant and kind, generous with a heart the size of Texas. In the early 1980's, we met in graduate school, after hours in a  parking garage. Anthony was sitting alone in his car  listening to Pere Ubu when I handed him a homespun cassette tape that featured Led Zep
and Public Image Ltd. That sealed it in blood. We spent many years hanging out in NYC's punk & hardcore scenes, following bands and buying each other spikes and leathers and shots. The CorpseGrinders called him "the Genius Biker."

Several years ago, Anthony met the love of his life, Joelma, a Brazilian dancer and stylist he referred to as the Mona Lisa.  He wrote poetry for her, and the couple bought land together in Joelma's native Brazil; they planned to marry and relocate near the equator. Anthony was one of the most humble, and honorable men I've ever known.  An atheist and altruist, Anthony's  ashes were spread in Bonifay County, in the Florida panhandle where he grew up. For comfort, he often sat a
lone in the woods with a bottle of Johnny Walker, listening to Berlin, thinking about Lou Reed, Ellen Willis and New York City. How blessed we were to share his time on Earth---I will miss him for the rest of my life.
 
Anthony, center, with CorpseGrinders