Editors Note


Friends, Ramones, Countrymen

Chewin’ at a rhythm on my bubble gum
The sun is out, I want some
It’s not hard, not far to reach
We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach

The surf! The sun! The shore! The Sun! The ocean breezes! The… SUN! What’s not-to-love about a day-at-the-beach if that day on the beach is… a beach photo shoot!

Folks sometimes tend to over-romanticize the lure of photo shoots but I’ve been doing them for years and STILL feel a jolt of excitement in anticipation AND participation. And a beach one is always special. But this one, just a few miles from my home and heritage turf, was extra special. With a bare bones crew on hand driving in from different homing starts, we built an amazing array of images for this month’s “A Nation of SUN Worshippers” cover and feature.  

Photographer Stephen Mark Sullivan was at his fashion photo gonzo best, Art Director Iris Johnson and Executive Editor Christine Yeh literally danced with a frenzy of freedom on the sand and under the guise of prepping every sunglass, Associate Editor Victoria Garcia eluded constant attempts made to catch her in a behind-the-scenes snapshot.

But my biggest accolade of the day goes to Assistant Editor Jillian Urcelay and her remarkable parents, Susan and Steven, as they hosted our whole crew all day in their Belle Harbor home in Rockaway Beach, Queens. Jillian secured all of the meals for the day; her mom literally revamped their living room to accommodate wardrobing and their dining room for hair and makeup, and her dad researched locations, spruced up their wonderful pool for some of the quick shots and stirred my memories for all the great times I spent at Rockaway as a child at my uncle’s beach bungalow, and as a teenager roaming the (long gone) Playland and parking my MG five blocks from the surf at Far Rockaway, escaping the swelter of a Queens summer.

So with the roar of the ocean AND The Ramones in your head, may I take this moment to remind you 20/20 is the only pub in optical delivering created photography in features and in our new product What’s New pages every month of the year. Hard work? Yup. But well worth the effort as we take the time to capture the romance of a product we truly consider the ultimate accessory.    

James J. Spina


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