Yesterday I took the wetsuit search to Mollusk, a surf shop not far from my place in Brooklyn. They didn’t have any loaners hanging around, but I have to admit that on a winter afternoon with vacation just a day away, I sort of just liked the idea of biking to a neighborhood spot.
I never really thought about the surf shop as community center, since I’ve never been a big surfer (standing up for me, is a victorious day on the waves), but last fall when I made this little audio slideshow there, and one of the guys there told me how in the ’50s and ’60s surf shops served that function, it did make sense.
I think it was my friend, neighbor, and former colleague from Loomstate, Moose Huerta (I still like his old blog) who first introduced me to the spot, probably via some summer evening barbeque, or stopping by to replace a broken fin (his, not mine) or something lovely of that nature.
Mollusk was equally pleasant yesterday. As always, it smelled like neoprene inside–an odor that was totally charmless when I lived in Santa Barbara, where surfers’ wetsuits hung in most showers; but is sort of precious now, and coupled with afternoon sunlight bouncing off the snow outside the window, made for a nice visit. Chris Gentile, one of the owners was working, and he told me that they’re moving to a bigger space soon. It’s rather sad they’re leaving the exceptional space that is Monster Island (more to come on that), but they’ll have more room for rental boards and wetsuits, apparel, books, and beyond.
I love the cabin-like corner on River Street where Mollusk lives for the moment, but I imagine they’ll take that neighborhood vibe and neoprene smell wherever they go.
And in the meantime, I think a wetsuit has materialized in San Clemente.