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The Beachside Resident archives.





 
 

A Field Guide to Spring Break: Cocoa Beach
Each spring, legions of colorful and exotic species descend upon the beaches of Central Florida to bathe in the warming waves, consume massive quantities of beer, and commence in their yearly mating rituals...
 
 

Passages from the Surfer's Bible
In the beginning, God created the seas. And the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters. And God saw that the waters were without form, and the Lord God said, “Let there be waves,” and there were waves...
 
 

Slater, in Bronze
The drive through Cocoa Beach has changed forever. The moment the tarp was pulled from the Kelly Slater statue on A1A, our kitschy little stretch of asphalt swelled up and leaned itself ever-so-slightly seaward...
 
 

Thoughts on the Cold-Water Season
Another morning: the cream snakes into the coffee, purls, disperses in pools of white oil. Cormorants gather at the river's edge, necks retracted, mute -- black sentinels of the dawn...
 
 

The Cocoa Beach Vision Plan Quiz
Cocoa Beach is an optical illusion: depending on the angle you view it from, the city can take the shape of a tourist destination, a surf community, an upscale family town, or a brokedown beach village...
 
 

A Conversation at the River's Edge
It is a breezy October day in Cocoa Beach. Three men — a CITY PLANNER, a BOEING REP, and a LIVING SPIRIT PASTOR — sit on Adirondack chairs looking out on the Banana River....
 
 

Dont Dredge on Me
Dan Reiter Answers Letters on Guns, Gold, Gay Weddings, The Wavecaster Report, Ponce de León, and Other Such Nonsense....
 
 

A Pier in Downtown Cocoa Beach?
Cocoa Beach is that rare gem — a small American town where you can watch the sun rise and set over the water. Take A1A south past the mega-surfplexes, fast food joints and motels, and you’ll come to what the locals call “downtown,”...
 
 

Top 10 iPhone Apps of 2012
As part of our cutting-edge technology coverage, the editors of The Beachside Resident sent out our very own Dan Reiter to scour the internet for the most exciting and innovative iPhone applications of 2012....
 
 

What happened to the sandbars?
Years ago, Cocoa Beach stretched out as a broad expanse of fine, white compacted sand. Before condos armored the shoreline and the Port Canaveral jetty extension interrupted the north/south littoral sand flow, Cocoa Beach was a perfect place for surfers...
 
 

Moonrise Serenade (in Gmaj7)
Don’t be fooled, friend,
Life undoes itself in every age,
The world cracks and cracks,
Sprouts up again through fissures,
Nothing, everything is new...
 
 

Wish List, May
Here’s another exercise for those of you in need of a good soul rattling. I always find writing these lists to be like cracking the shell of a hard-boiled egg with a spoon; bit by bit you chip away...
 
 

Boardrider of the Month: John Hughes
Chances are, John Hughes is more of a local than you are.
If numbers count for anything, he’s been here since 1954. And he’s surfed Cocoa Beach for the better part of 50 years...
 
 

How to be a Kook
Kook \kük\ (n): 1 one whose ideas or actions are eccentric, fantastic, or insane 2 in surfing parlance, a beginner.
Ever wanted to try surfing...
 
 

The Creator
Life is like a heavy south drift. Months reel past like beach houses; years sweep by like streets. You’re born on Minutemen and you’ll probably die somewhere near South Patrick Shores...
 
 

A Tall Tale from the Heart of the Redneck Riviera
Well you asked, so I’m gonna tell you straight. I reckon you’re old enough to hear it without all the jingle-bells. Life ain’t all roses and ice cream and it ain’t no use pouring gloss over it neither...
 
 

A Thousand Island Lullaby
It is always easy going and very pleasant with a light tail wind, and if you look behind your board will see a v-shaped plume rippling over water grooved like elephant hide. The stand-up paddleboard is a biblical vessel...
 
 

Excerpts from the Diary of a Three-Year-Old Gourmet
April 21: The morning’s menu was uninspired: cold banana yogurt followed up by a single, overripe banana, sliced into 3/4" medallions. Pancakes with sweet syrup would have added much-needed texture to the menu...
 
 

Kill Your TV
A long, long, long time ago, before television came into the world, people were so exceedingly bored with their lives and had so much free time on their hands that they wasted their days with such banalities as leaves flapping about in the breeze...
 
 

Things I Love about Cocoa Beach
Here’s a simple writing exercise that could change your life. Take a half-hour out of your day and find a peaceful place to sit with your computer or a pad of paper…
 
 

Letter to the President –– The Glass Bank
Dear Mr. President:
My name is Dan Reiter and I live in Cocoa Beach, Florida. We have a charming little town here, rich in history, culture, and scenery, but poor in most everything else. Once -- a half century ago...
 
 

Marriage
It happened one idyllic afternoon, over six Valentine’s Days ago. The sunset flooded in through the church windows and shed a dreamlike, coral pink glow over our clasped hands. We recited our vows and donned the rings. I was 26. She, 21...
 
 

Killer Manatees
It happened the other day, while I was stand-up paddleboarding the river, skirting the periphery of the Thousand Islands, soaking up the last, honey-coated days of summer. I cruised along the warm, glassy waters in the lee of the mangroves — hovering, really, like a blissed-out gondolier...
 
 

The Short, Happy Life of Harold T. Sweeney: A Surf Story
His wife died giving birth to their second son, Melvin, which was about as serious a problem as you could come across, when you think about it. Her death hung like a sick, black cloud over Harold’s life for many years...
 
 

On Beauty, Part II
I was surfing alone last week, alone in a warm, green sea all simmering with seaweed, with the onshore winds ripping at my hair, and tattered and broken waves bumping up the surface...
 
 

In Defense of Localism
lo•cal•ism
1. a way of acting characteristic of one locality; local custom, practice, or mannerism
2. a word, meaning, expression, pronunciation, etc. peculiar to one locality
3. fondness for a particular locality
4. narrow outlook; provincialism...

 
 

Is there a God?
I suppose I should begin by telling you that I am a Jew. That is, I was born one. I had no choice in the matter. I would apologize for my heatheness, but in the near 6,000-year history of my silly, guilt-ridden people, not a single Jew has ever apologized for his ancestry...
 
 

One Summer Day
Florida summers are like molasses, thick, hot, dripping... the birds move with a certain languor, the yard is overgrown with wild, exotic grasses, the plumeria and mosquitoes swarm into full bloom, and a bright, lazy mist hangs over everything....
 
 

The Green Revolution
With all this talk about going green lately, it’s tempting to think that we may finally be climbing out of the coal-caked chimneys of the Industrial Age to peek our heads into a brighter, cleaner future...
 
 

Why We Surf
Florida swells are notoriously fleeting; they can come and go as quickly as the tides. When they do happen to stick around, the wind will usually blow in from the east, chop them into stacks of whitewater, and pile close-outs all up and down the beach...
 
 

Beneath the Sand
Our Legend begins around the turn of the century, before the barrier island was moored to the mainland by bridges. We are told of intrepid fishermen and adventurers who boated across the Banana River to a place they called “Oceanus”....
 
 

On Beauty
A friend once told me that his goal in life was to “maximize his moments of beauty.” “I do this,” he explained, “by living in the now, and by seeking out those things around me which please me most.” This friend’s idea seemed naïve at the time....
 
 

Freedom and the Road
Those were days of the whimsy and freedom that come only at the very end of one’s youth. The winds blew from the north for seven days straight. They blew against us on the way....
 


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