Wednesday, February 16, 2005

10 Things I Love About HB

Okay, so this blog is tasting decidedly less salty these days.

Don't worry, there will be a 10 Things I Hate About HB posted, er... post haste. Promise. And it won't be hard. Believe me.

Right now though I'm still coming down from a 4 hour session in perfect peaks this afternoon, preceded by an unbelievable evening glassoff session the day before, with the most explosive sunset I'd seen in a few weeks.

Plus, my wife and I just had a baby girl, which has me a little loopy right now. Kids'll do that to you.

So without further skidda-ma-do...

10 Things I Love About HB

10. Old beach bungalows. They're tearing them down as fast as they can score permits for skinny, tall, stucco, monster homes, but downtown HB still has tons of cool old houses built in the teens, 20's and 30's. Some of my favorites are on Huntington St. and Franklin, both part of my daily ride to the beach. The only thing better than some of the houses, are the amazing gardens and yards they accompany. A big up to the bungalow.

9. Ruby's on the pier. Where else can midday onshore wind make you practically cramp up with hunger pains, as bacon, fries, and patty melts come wafting through the lineup. They need a Surf-Thru window. Sorry, we reserve the right to refuse service to all spongers and pimply surf shop employees.

8. The clock. Right above Jack's is our Big Ben...a big old tower clock with bells on the half-hour. Anyone who ever asks you what time it is out in the water is either deaf and blind, or from Fountain Valley and doesn't know where to look.

7. Inside reforms. I don't know of any other spot that has as consistent an inside section as HB. So what if it spawned the Huntington Hop? Doing a few nice turns on the outside and then connecting into a slot on the inside and stepping off onto the sand positively kicks ass. Leashes? Who needs 'em?

6. Mann's Pierside. Surf movies on the big screen, all year long. 'Nuff said.

5. The Surfing Walk of Fame. Julia Roberts can eat her kids for all I care. My heroes are all embedded in the sidewalk on Main St. Curren, Lopez, Occhilupo...they're all here, every day, and we're adding more all the time.

4. Duke's. My SF friends are rolling their eyes. Yeah, it's a chain...the same company that owns Kimo's and a dozen other surf-themed restaurants. And yeah, the wine list sucks and they serve drinks in plastic cups during the US Open. But you know what? It's a great concept restaurant and it's the best location in the entire city (Chimayo's, underneath, is down too low and you can't see anything but the sand). And the food's pretty damn good.

3. Nine miles of beachbreak. It closes out on big south swells. It misses north swells. It gets mushy. The water gets dark and ugly and it blows out in the afternoon. But on days like today, we're talking NINE FUCKING MILES OF PERFECT PEAKS. Pick a parking spot...any spot will do...and split a peak with a few buddies. Repeat over and over until your arms fall off.

2. Main St. lights. There's just something so cool about sitting on your board out in the water, after the sun has set, and turning to see Main St. all lit up. It's the opposite of country surfing. You're where it's AT.

1. Sunsets. While Main St. lights up behind you, mother nature has a tendency to light up in front of you. HB may be a concrete jungle, but watching the sun slip behind Catalina is as soulful as any experience in surfing.

Okay, that's it. Enough of this love-in.

I jammed my knee at the park this morning, hanging from the monkey bars while watching my son climb UP the slide. He doesn't have a scratch on him, but my knee is swelling up like Danny Nichols' ego after another photoshoot at Bolsa Chica.

My foot got torn up out in the water today, and my nose is burned.

My brand new car has a flat tire. Neither my wife nor I have even looked at the growing stack of bills in 3 weeks. I'll be changing newborn diapers at 3 in the morning. And my son floated a biscuit in the bathtub this evening which I had to fish out with toilet paper while he laughed and threw Scuba Ernie at me.

Nope.

Still happy.

The Colonel says, "At ease."