12/08/16 3:52pm

The holiday season is evergreen (sry) for themed internet content, but once in a while there’ll be a song that bypasses the usual fast-burning viral fame and moves directly into meme status. Some years back, we Jews got Brandon Harris Walker’s Chinese Food on Christmas and Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song. This past Halloween, we were gifted SNL’s David S. Pumpkins, sure to play on for many Halloweens to come. And this week, a new song surfaced on the internet for the 2016 Christmas season. It’s not the rewrite of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” but it is your feminist holiday anthem of the year.

LIT (Like a Christmas Tree)” is a rap song made in collaboration by Brooklyn-based rap collective Hand Job Academy and Miami-based duo Basside. The title is pretty self-explanatory, and the song does a great job of capturing the millennial sentiment of 2016’s holiday season. We’ll happily spend time with the family for holiday celebrations, so long as we can get lit and avoid having anything to do with organized religion.

“Cover my tats for mass in a dress from ASOS, ’cause Christmas day I get pesos.” (more…)

12/08/16 1:35pm
Just some of the miscellany you'll find in this coffee shop / art project space. via IG user @stefpix2

Just some of the miscellany you’ll find in this coffee shop/art project space. via IG user @stefpix2

It’s no secret that your coffee addiction runs you a hefty annual tab. And with third-wave shops in almost every BK neighborhood these days, you may end up dropping $4-6 on drip because it’s French Press, or pourover, or just plain pretentious. But thankfully, there are still a few caffeine-addicted artists kicking around Brooklyn who actively oppose capitalism, and are making a powerful statement about just what “coffee culture” should really mean by creating a cash-optional café in Williamsburg.

Created by artist Fran Illich and freelance curator Juliana Cope, the AridoAmérica Winter Plan will serve as a café and gathering space where patrons can forgo the monetary cost of their coffee and opt instead to barter goods or services in exchange for a cup. Illich told the Brooklyn Paper that he was seeing a lot of people in New York “looking for a shelter, a safe space to talk, to drink some coffee, eat, cry,” and was inspired to run the alternative coffee shop as a “four month art project” to show people that there are “things more important than money.”

So, starting tomorrow (Dec. 9) through March 30, you can skip your regular morning coffee spot and head over to El Museo De Los Sures gallery (120 S. 1st St.) in Williamsburg, where a cup of coffee is only as valuable as you believe it to be. Sounds a little like most other art, doesn’t it? (more…)

12/08/16 12:52pm
May you fight on forever in our hearts, cardboard robots. Via Facebook.

May you fight on forever in our hearts, cardboard robots. Via Facebook.

We are weary and tired, eyeing the end of the calendar year with longing even though we know that an arbitrary flip of the calendar page will not bring better news in the next year. Earlier this week BookCourt announced it’s closing; now we’ve got word that weirdo art and performance space Standard Toykraft is shutting down at the end of the month after an “exhaustive legal battle to save the building from being closed, sold and demolished,” according to a statement the venue sent out this week.

The space, which was founded in 2012, served up heavily costumed variety shows, puppet performances and the occasional cardboard robot battle. The owners prided themselves on offering low-cost performance and rehearsal space residencies, along with private studio space for visual artists. It’s not a surprise that a place like this would close as Williamsburg turns into the new Soho. But it’s one less place for weirdos in a city that desperately needs to hold on to them. Read their full letter announcing the closure is after the jump: (more…)

12/08/16 11:16am
Sound the horns and axe out your date! (#1) (pic by BibiBooth)

Sound the horns and axe out your date! (#1) (pic by BibiBooth)

1. Join Brokelyn and the skint to drink like your boss isn’t watching at our 6th annual No Office Holiday Party! There will be live-band karaoke with Rock Star Karaoke NYC, DJ Doctor Mister spinning holiday tunes, our NSFW holiday photo booth, drink specials from cosponsor Coworkrs, drunk food from Yeah Dawg, and more surprises! (Friday, Littlefield, $5)

2. Welcome winter at BHS Free Friday: Let It Snow, where you can make DIY snowflakes, learn to knit, hear how the Ice Age affected New York City, and enjoy accordion music from Matt Veligdan. (Friday, Brooklyn Historical Society, FREE)

3. See some revolutionary art at the opening of Sister Outsider, a show of protest and solidarity featuring 20 artists who belong to communities that have been directly threatened by Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric. (Friday, Underdonk, FREE) (more…)

12/07/16 1:15pm
Via Flickr user wasik.

Via Flickr user wasik.

WELP our dystopian nightmare has entered the “conspiracy theories about Halloween decorations at Roberta’s” stage, so it doesn’t look like things are getting better anytime soon. We’ve been tracking lots of ways to join the resistance, from volunteer opportunities and bystander intervention training to being a DIY graffiti vigilante and attending a 31-hour anti-Trump comedy marathon. We’re just going to keep listing events and other opportunities here: If you know of any we should add, email tim[at]brokelyn.com or tell us in the comments. (more…)

12/07/16 3:05am
Stand up for love at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center. via Facebook

Stand up for love at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center. via Facebook

Dan Savage, American author, activist for the LGBTQ+ community and the voice behind Savage Love, recently posted a message to Instagram reminding the public that everyone appointed to Donald Trump’s cabinet so far has opposed LGBTQ+ rights, “just so there’s no confusion.”

It’s too easy to sit around feeling helpless right now, letting the dark cloud of anxiety regarding the future of America and its people make time stop. But the people need us. We need each other. We need to work together, to spread the message of inclusivity and take simple steps to make a positive change in somebody’s day. And if you’re not able to donate your money to worthwhile causes out there, there are still ways to get involved with local organizations that need volunteers and support, especially in a time where many of their missions are under fire by the president-elect and his team.

Volunteers for these organizations have a direct and positive impact on marginalized communities, and can assist families with legal issues and children of incarcerated parents. They can work on steps to spread anti-violence education and engender social change in their community. Last Saturday, history was made when the Army Corps of Engineers put a “temporary stop” on the building of the Dakota Access pipeline; it felt like the first good news of 2016. But more than that, it was proof that this stuff works.

Activism — whether through protests, ground relief, community engagement or otherwise — does work on a practical level, so long as we keep trying. In that spirit, here’s a roundup of local spots to volunteer your time, to work towards creating social awareness and change. (more…)

12/06/16 4:03pm
Now it's a bookstore, bar, coffee shop, AND a place to get involved. via Facebook

Now it’s a bookstore, bar, coffee shop, AND a place to get involved. via Facebook

There isn’t a lot of good news these days, and this morning proved no different as beloved Cobble Hill bookstore BookCourt announced it was closing after 35 years of serving the neighborhood. But not all indie bookstores are facing extinction just yet, and one such bookstore in Bushwick refuses to let the death march of 2016 portend a four-year sentence in Trump’s America.

Molasses Books (770 Hart St.), the bookstore that doubles as a coffee shop by day and a bar by night, announced a rolling weekly fundraiser wherein 10 percent of the bar’s profits on Friday nights are donated to a different cause or organization. These have included Standing Rock, Planned Parenthood and the American Immigration Council. This Friday, Molasses will donate 10 percent of the bar to Black Lives Matter.

You’re gonna be drunk until the end of 2016, anyway, and this way you’re getting drunk for a good cause. (more…)

12/06/16 1:41pm
Don't ever forget it, NYC. via Hollaback on FB

Don’t ever forget it, NYC. via Hollaback on FB

Open hate is on the rise. Last week, a Muslim woman was attacked on the 6 train. Yesterday, a Muslim transit worker was pushed down the subway steps. These incidents stand out not merely as a reminder that everything is terrible (which it is), but as a study in contrasts: In the former, no one intervened. In the latter, a good samaritan reportedly stepped in.

The difference between standing by and standing up may be just a few seconds’ difference in the event, perhaps an extra slur avoided, but remember that it affects victims disproportionately to how it affects you where trauma is concerned. Plus, the effect of bystanders who do nothing is well-documented in history.

But with a 35 percent spike in hate crimes in NYC, standing up for a stranger feels like a zero sum game. How can you de-escalate a situation where someone is getting violent? How do you know whether they’re armed and looking for a fight? In other words, how can you save someone from getting hurt without getting hurt yourself?

Luckily, there are courses for that being offered both in-person and online! It sucks that we need this kind of training, but them’s the breaks. And if you count yourself among the fragile white majority, you definitely owe it to yourself to study up. Start by listening to WNYC’s segment on what to do if you witness a bias attack, and then let the real training begin, young grasshopper. (more…)

12/06/16 1:14pm
Greenpointers holiday market in 2015. Via Greenpointers.

Greenpointers holiday market in 2015. Via Greenpointers.

Last week we rounded up some of the best holiday craft markets in Brooklyn this year; today we’re bringing you news about a market from our friends at Greenpointers that may help you shake off this winter chill. On Sunday, from 1-7pm, sleigh bells and palm trees, snowflakes and sunshine come together in the Greenpointers universe because they’re celebrating this holiday season with beachy cheer, at the Holiday Tropical Market.

Discover beautifully crafted high quality gifts from some of the most talented local artisans and makers while enjoying a day full of FREE fun activities, food, mojitos, mulled wine, and seasonal craft beer in the gorgeous Greenpoint Loft at 67 West St., 5th floor.  (more…)

12/06/16 11:00am
Eggnog is for closers. Via Flickr user globochem.

Eggnog is for closers. Via Flickr user globochem.

There are some people in this world who spend more time in the office than at home and know more about their coworkers than their roommates. These are people who actually enjoy using words like “synergy,” “webinar” and “circle back” in everyday conversation. These gifts are for your friend who will answer a phone call from their boss at a funeral. We figure that you might want to gift something with a little more cheer than a bag filled with Pepto Bismol and No-Doze. Here are some options to show them you care about their upward career trajectory from the unique vendors at Williamsburg’s Artists & Fleas, open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am until 7pm. (more…)