Fred Giron-Giessen

Fred is a 15-year-old tenth grade student at School of the Future in Manhattan. She is also in charge of the literary magazine at School of the Future, attempting to share the artwork of the hidden talents that attend her school. Fred currently resides in SoHo with her mom, her dad, her younger brother, and her two cats-which are a constant source of inspiration for her photography. She loves doing photography as a pastime, as well as handball, soccer, watching shows on Netflix, along with spending time with her friends and family.

  • Adam moved to Rockaway from Oahu, Hawaii in the ‘90s. He lives on the sixth floor in the building directly behind him with his daughter, Lani (pictured below). He boasted about the various surfing achievements his daughter had won, and told me that they were on their way to a rugby tournament in Westchester. He’s a huge socialite on Rockaway for he conversed with all of the surfers on the beach.
  • Lani (on the left) told me that she had won surfing tournaments both in Rockaway and in California. She is currently a freshman at Harbor School on Governors Island. Her dad told me that she works at a local restaurant and makes empanadas during her free time, which seems to be limited. During the summer, she teaches at a surf camp on Rockaway.

I lived on the island of Maui, Hawaii until I was seven years old. We moved to New York City when I was in third grade. Although, I didn’t actually begin to surf until I moved from Hawaii. My dad still lived in Maui for another 6 years after my mom had had enough of the isolated island 5,000 miles away from her friends and family. It was then that my dad decided to teach my brother and I how to surf. I could only really surf when I visited my dad, which was about twice a year. Once he moved to the city, we suddenly began making the chase to fulfill our necessity of the ocean. It was Rockaway. My dad missed his “bathwater warm, bright blue pacific ocean”, but I was happy to have any waves at all. This project allows me to have an excuse to make time to visit the somewhat dirty Rockaways. I hope this project will push me and my dad to make more time to go surfing, and to also shine a light on the surfers of New York City. This way, people like my dad who believe there is no sanctuary for them in the city, are able to find others just like them.

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