Odds are you’ve got a pair or two of neglected kicks collecting dust under your bed or at the bottom of your closet. Why not put them to better use? NYC Urchin (a site for NYC surfers) is partnering with clothing line Loomstate to host a used bike and shoe drive this Sunday at the Brooklyn Flea on the Williamsburg waterfront, with a special bonus for Brokelyn readers who volunteer to help out! Your donation of new or lightly used shoes (and $1 for shipping costs), will help folks in need, especially in disaster relief areas, through Soles 4 Souls.

And if you can spare a used bicycle — in at least repairable condition, with no major missing pieces — Pedals for Progress fixes up and distributes them in developing areas of Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, where self-powered, reliable transportation is essential for survival. (It costs $40 to get a bike to someone who needs it, so NYC Urchin is asking for a minimum $10 donation with each bike.) And about that special offer: (more…)

03/16/12 11:09am

O'Neal with some of the actual bees in question.

Do beekeeping and sustainability hold a special place in your heart? Did you think Macaulay Culkin got what was coming to him at the end of My Girl? Do you look up to this guy? Big Apple Apiary is looking for 12 volunteer apprentices to tend brand new hives on a Brooklyn Navy Yard roof during the 2012 bee season, April through October or November. Applications are due March 21. “This apprenticeship isn’t for the faint of heart,” Borough Bee’s Timothy O’Neal told us. “The time commitment is a serious one, and it takes some real passion to be willing to stick your hands in a box of 80,000 stinging bugs.”

The apiary is a joint project of Brooklyn Grange Farm and O’Neal. Their goal? To become the city’s largest treatment-free apiary.  (more…)

12/12/11 10:05am

Michael Showalter has some wet hot American gift ideas. Photos by Doug Campbell.

What do local authors and lit celebs Emma Straub, Michael Showalter and David Rees think you should give for the holiday? If you were at Greenpoint’s Word Bookstore this weekend, you would have found out in person. But if you missed it, we were there to collect their suggestions; plus we asked for some cheap gift ideas, for your non-bookish friends, and — in one case — got a lesson in artisinal pencil sharpening. Book suggestions ranged from classics to new releases, and cheap gift ideas ranged from the free (a sonnet) to the practical (batteries) to the awesome (gift certificates to a bar) to the creepy (cat hair crafts). (more…)