Tag Archives: san clemente

DECK THE WALLS: SKATEBOARDS AS DECOR – THE HORROR!

There’s really no excuse for this. Unless it’s a college dormitory or your parents’ basement or the living room of a pro skater or the place of business for somebody connected to the skateboarding industry (and by extension the surf industry), skateboards as decorative wall art is no bueno, brah!

You see, savvy reader, once you’re past a certain age and a certain living circumstance (i.e., you’ve moved out of your college dorm room or parents’ basement into your own apartment or one-bedroom condo) your choice of decor and artwork should show that you’re adulting, and we mean adulting hard!

You should be hanging some real artwork on your walls. If you have a spare $450 million lying around for a rare Leonardo da Vinci painting, well, that would be a good start. But you’re practical — you don’t throw around that kind of money on a painting (which is possibly a fake anyway) even if you have that kind of money.

Think more along the lines of some tasteful framed black-and-white photography. Or a framed Shepard Fairey poster or a signed and numbered Mr. Brainwash print. Even framed covers of vintage 1970s Playboy or New Yorker magazines is acceptable. Do you notice a trend here? The word “framed” is key.

But skateboard decks! No! If you’re Tony Hawk, then it’s ok. Are you Tony Hawk? No, you’re not (unless, of course, you are Tony Hawk — Tony, is that you? Hey, bro! Are you reading our blog? — OMG, Tony, you’re so awesome, bro!!!).

If you’re Banzai Bowls, a fine establishment and purveyor of smoothies and açaí bowls in the picturesque seaside hamlet of San Clemente, California, then it’s also acceptable to hang skateboard decks on you walls (see photos above and below).

They can do it because they’re part of the surf-skate culture and San Clemente is a serious surf-skate town, if not the modern American surf-culture capital, and their establishment is one of the go-to apres-surf hangouts for many a skater and many an exhausted and famished surfer seeking sustenance after hours in the water, “charging the gnar-gnar,” as it were.

But you? Me? No, don’t try this home.

 

DESIGN LUST: SURFBOARD SHOP THINLY DISGUISES ITSELF AS ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN FIRM

It’s no secret that we here at Global Graphica are fond practitioners of surfing, the so-called Hawaiian “sport of kings.” After contemporary art and good espresso, surfing is our other true obsession.

So on our recent road trips up and down the SoCal coast in search of waves, we stopped in the seaside city of San Clemente, the self-proclaimed “Spanish village by the sea” and a hotbed of surfing and surf culture in south Orange County. There we popped into the Album surfboards shop for the first time to see for ourselves the brand’s famously beautiful and well-designed boards. 

We didn’t expect that the shop itself would be as beautiful as those boards. In fact, as we approached the entrance to the minimalist storefront, we were in the hottest of a hot secs stopped in our tracks. 

We stood, slacked-jawed and wondered, “Are we in the wrong place? This must be the office of an architecture firm, surely? Or perhaps a day spa designed for the publishers of Wallpaper magazine?”

It was none of those things, savvy reader! It was a surf shop. It was the Album surfboards shop.

We had found surfing’s Holy Grail: An aesthetically-pleasing retail experience ensconced in sophisticated, minimalist architectural design. Our hearts fluttered.

Most surf shops, ya see, they … well, they suck, aesthetically speaking. Most surfboard shapers and brands suck, aesthetically speaking. (As people, they’re awesome; They don’t suck.) But most of them have no taste.

And this bothers us, savvy reader. It tears at our souls. Album, however, has restored our faith.

Vintage Surfboards

The artwork on these beautiful vintage 1970s-era surfboards is surprisingly well-preserved even though the boards themselves show some of the wear and tear that comes with use and age, bearing scars of repaired dings and discoloration. The boards evoke a time when surf culture was evolving and surfing was largely seen in the U.S. as a past time for rebels, outsiders and underground creative types. These are among hundreds of boards on view at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center in San Clemente, California, which is worth a visit if you’re ever passing through the area.

On the Street … Drive-Thru Coffee Mural at Zebra Coffee

Zebra House Coffee is probably the best place to get an espresso coffee in the surf-mecca Southern California town of San Clemente. It’s a laidback cafe and a fine space to sip on an iced Americano while flipping through back issues of Surfer magazine. In fitting SoCal fashion, Zebra offers a drive-thru service, and it has this cool graffiti-style, street-artsy mural painting for signage pointing customers in the right direction.

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In Southern California … Street Art by Bandit at the Cellar …

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After an awesome day of surfing at San Onofre Beach, a legendary surf spot in Southern California, we went out for beers and grub at the Cellar, a bar in neighboring San Clemente where we were pleasantly surprised to see this stencil street art by the Los Angeles-based street artist Bandit in the bar’s restroom. The town of San Clemente itself is a beautiful beach town that is virtually devoid of graffiti and street art.

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