07/29/16 6:00pm
Bush Terminal Park, Sunset Park's hidden treasure. Photo by Scott Steinhardt/Brokelyn.

Bush Terminal Park, Sunset Park’s hidden treasure. Photo by Scott Steinhardt/Brokelyn.

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A Brooklyn woman absolutely frappéd her boyfriend in this Craigslist ad.

The L train shutdown became official, and we looked at the consequences.

Ikea made your meatball dreams come true.

Zara ripped off another small designer, and people took action.

We survived the first Panorama, and wondered: Is NYC reaching music fest overload?

A new site started giving landlords/buildings letter grades, just like restaurants.

Jon Stewart made a surprise appearance at The Bell House!

Bed-Stuy vegan bakery Clementine talked to us about their a big expansion.

We introduced you to the best Brooklyn park you’ve never heard of.

We considered quitting our desk jobs to work on a rooftop farm.

Tips tips tips tips: tips [at] brokelyn.com

07/29/16 4:45pm
Curate your own Brooklyn museum with this map from the Parks dept.

Curate your own Brooklyn museum with this map from the Parks dept.

If you can make New York your gym, you can also make it your art museum. Now that the NYC Parks Department has released a map pointing out over 1,000 public art sites and monuments across NYC, it’ll be easier than ever to curate your own Brooklyn museum.

On the map, you can search for sites around your apartment or your office by entering a zip code or address. On the Parks website, you can scan the catalog of the city’s permanent and temporary collections by entering the name of a specific artwork, or browsing by key words like “abstract,” “bas relief,” and “9-11.” Hitting all 1,000 would take forever, so we chose five of the best you can see in Brooklyn—hop on a bike or hoof around this weekend on your own public art scavenger hunt. (more…)

The view from Sunset Park's Bush Terminal. Photo via Scott Steinhardt /Brokelyn

The view from Sunset Park’s Bush Terminal ain’t too shabby. Photo via Scott Steinhardt /Brokelyn

In 2014, a major revitalization project began to change Sunset Park. Next to the neighborhood’s decommissioned piers and shipyards, new occupants started to replace the multitude of adult video stores and industrial warehouses near the shore. Industry City opened, and along with it came a rash of expensive food options with odd operating hours. Micro Center, a Best Buy competitor, opened its doors (with a Bed Bath & Beyond due to join it in the coming months). Once-occupied buildings were being reoccupied by newer, hipper tenants willing to pay a lot more. For a place that kept quiet for the last decade or so, it sure was making its fair share of noise.

Among the new retail chains and makeshift EDM venues, however, was a small piece of heaven tucked away behind condemned warehouses and leftover trolley tracks. After decades and planning and two years of building, Bush Terminal Park quietly opened its gates in November of 2014 on the corner of 43rd Street and 1st Avenue. Yet nearly two years later, residents living in proximity to the park still do not know of its existence. (more…)

07/29/16 12:00pm

Do you know your food? Michelle Cashen, farm manager at Brooklyn Grange. Photo via @esynyc

Michelle Cashen didn’t always know she wanted to work at a farm. The 25-year-old Rockaway native studied environmental policy during her undergrad years. She knew she wanted to be some kind of environmental advocate, so she got a job right out of college as a paralegal at a law firm.

But after a couple years, she realized the sedentary, office lifestyle wasn’t for her. “I did not enjoy sitting at a desk every day and for the majority of my week being inside, sitting down, not using my body,” she told Brokelyn.

While pondering a career change, Cashen, who now lives in Bushwick, looked into opportunities at Brooklyn Grange. She had been on a tour at the farm’s flagship location in Long Island City, and knew they had a farm crew and training program. “My interest in rooftop farming originated from my love of healthy food and my desire to green the city,” she says. “After Hurricane Sandy, I kept thinking, I want to help make NYC a greener place.”

Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest rooftop soil farm, which grows 50,000 pounds of organic produce yearly, is not a bad place to start. The two farm operation wholesales produce to more than 40 restaurants and retailers across Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, operates a CSA, and sells at farmers’ markets. They also host classes and workshops, support nonprofit education initiatives, maintain more than 30 beehives across the city—the list goes on. It’s a truly mind-blowing example of what hard work, horticulture, and a little ingenuity can accomplish within the limitations of an urban setting.

She applied to the training program and was accepted, working on the farm crew for her first season at Brooklyn Grange. “That was the first time I had done any actual farming,” she says. “I had never even done gardening before. It was all learning as you go.” (more…)

07/29/16 10:29am
Jonny Stew and J Will at the Bell House last night. Via Facebook.

Jonny Stew and J Will at the Bell House last night. Via Facebook.

It has been a particularly brutal election season made even worse by the lack of Jon Stewart, who used to serve as our nightly pressure release valve who screamed back at you “I AM DUMBSTRUCK ABOUT THESE THINGS TOO YOU’RE NOT CRAZY.” He decided to quit The Daily Show last year before he had to suffer through another election of the same predictable patterns (and who can blame him), but as he left he blew his comedy dandelion into the wind, scattering seeds of smart political talent across the entertainment landscape.

He’s been popping up a few times to check in on his proteges since, with appearances on Samantha Bee’s show and a brief but welcome return to Daily Show form on Stephen Colbert’s show last week. Last night he showed up to check in on another of his former squad in our own backyard: Stewart was the surprise guest at the live taping of the 2 Dope Queens podcast from Daily Show alumna Jessica Williams and comedian Phoebe Robinson. He talked about what he’s been doing since he left the show, how he hired Williams and, like all comedians who come to the Bell House for the first time, made fun of Gowanus. (more…)

07/29/16 9:18am
Courtesy of Facebook.

Future Generations live together in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, like a Brooklyn version of The Monkees. Photo via Facebook.

Friendship is rare. Do you hear what I’m saying to you? “Friendship is rare.” Okay, so that’s a Tenacious D lyric (Oh shit, there’s a bear/Could you hand me that shotgun, buddy?/Also that chair.) All right, I’ll stop. But there are some friendships that lead to great things. Like music. Take Future Generations, for example.

The band met by chance in a practice room in their shared dorm building at Fordham University in the Bronx. They started making music together almost immediately; now, they all live together in Brooklyn. They’ve experimented with different genres throughout the years and currently they’ve got a sweet synth-pop thing happening. Their music is fun, danceable and often surprisingly optimistic (we could all use that these days). Future Generations’ first full length self-titled album drops today via Frenchkiss records, so we spoke with frontman Eddie Gore to talk music, fate, friendship and which fictional band who lives together they’re most like (naturally, it’s between The Monkees and The Spice Girls). (more…)

07/28/16 4:00pm
Peep some peculiar puppets tonight (#4) (pic by Joe Mazza)

Peep some peculiar puppets tonight (#4) (pic by Joe Mazza)

1. Have a cartoonishly good time at the 13th annual Animation Block Party, with screenings all weekend from international shorts to cartoon restorations to animated ads. (Friday through Sunday, BAMcinématek, $14/program)

2. Shine on at Glow@Grove, a dance party that lights up the night with a cosmic light show, body-painting, roaming light performers, and DJs Chela and Jubilee to keep you moving. (Friday, Grove Alley Night Market, FREE)

3. Find your groove at the Brooklyn Get Down house music festival, with a dozen DJs, a film screening, a panel discussion, and an indoor/outdoor art installation. (Friday & Saturday, Greenwood Beach, $10) (more…)

07/28/16 2:36pm
Pokemon content just won't stop. All parties are Poke parties now.

Pokemon content just won’t stop. All parties are Poke parties now.

Years from now, when our world is a scorched earth landscape, the last known survivors will huddle for safety around Pokestops, sending scavengers out into the cold gray world to hunt the last remaining Pokemon for food. Gyms will be towering garrisons controlled by tyrannical Pokemasters, cruel potentates who mock your meager HP. You’ll warm your hands over a burning pile of incense and tell your kids there was a time before all things were Pokemon, when you could laugh and sing and dance without having to worry about catching yet another Zubat. They won’t believe you.

We’ve already seen Pokemon Go bar crawls pop up around the city. This Friday, rampant Pokemania continues with a Party at Bushwick’s Father Knows Best: it’s an all-things-pocket-monster party featuring actual Pokemon celebrity Ivy St. Ive, who went viral for her short lived professional Pokemon trainer service. The owners will drop some lures around the bar so you can keep catchin’ em all. And if all this sounds like not enough to get you there: The bar is offering free beer and shot combos to anyone who arrives in costume. (more…)

07/28/16 1:15pm
Epicly delicious cupcakes, baked by Clementine. Photo via Clementine Bakery

Epically delicious cupcakes, baked by Clementine. Photo via Clementine Bakery

It’s rare that we hear good news about small businesses in Brooklyn, especially in the service industry, what with rising rents causing several eateries to shutter every month. While it’s tough out there for all food joints, we’ve noticed vegan restaurants having an especially tough time as of late, with Boerum Hill vegan restaurant M.O.B. closing last week. But maybe things are turning around for vegan businesses. Greenpoint became home to Screamer’s, the city’s first all-vegan pizza slice pizza joint, in June. Now another cafe that serves up delicious vegan baked goods and sandwiches is making a huge expansion too.

On Friday, popular Clinton Hill Clementine Bakery expanded to the much bigger space next door at 395 Classon Ave., taking over the former space of NeroDoro, the corner cafe that shuttered at the end of May, (R.I.P.). Clementine will hold onto its previous space at 299 Greene Ave., but use it for wholesale, while the new space will serve as the main cafe. We’re excited to see the popular neighborhood spot, which appeals to vegans and omnivores alike, able to expand its operation and become an even greater presence in Clinton Hill.

“The business was really growing, so we were happy to be able to use this space as a cafe and keep the old space for our wholesale business, which is also growing,” general manager Marcella Maki told Brokelyn. (Their vegan pastries and cakes, which include some gluten-free options, are available to order and can be found at cafes and storefronts throughout Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.)

The new iteration of the bakery was bustling this morning, filled with folks working on laptops, reading, or chatting with each other while sitting in front of the open windows, looking out onto Classon Ave. It gets better: Soon they’re adding beer and wine too.  (more…)

07/28/16 9:37am
Rentlogic assigns a letter grade to each building based on complaint records.

Rentlogic assigns a letter grade to each building based on complaint records.

The average NYC resident tends to avoid eating at a restaurant with a C rating — would they rent an apartment with a D- rating? That’s the grade my current apartment received according to a new site, Rentlogic, that uses an algorithm to calculate letter grades for apartments and landlords in the city. Now, before you sign the next lease, by going on Rentlogic you’ll be able to check a given apartment’s history of safety violations, vermin infestations, legal action and the like. Think of it as a way to run a background check to supplement your Craigslist search.

The CEO, activist and entrepreneur Yale Fox, who is behind Toronto’s Landlordwatch.com, told DNAInfo that he created the site because “renters really never come first.”

“It’s not a level playing field between landlords and renters,” he said. But by providing crucial information to renters, he’s hoping to change that.   (more…)