08/19/16 11:56am
Via Flickr user verseguru.

Kenneth Hubriston on his way to his new home. Via Flickr user verseguru.

Welcome to the Fox Hunt, Brokelyn’s new column inviting you to tag along on a totally relatable story about trying to purchase a New York City home. 

It was last December when Kenneth Hubriston realized he needed to change his neighborhood, or else go insane. Engaged at the time in the fourth revolution of his “gap year” between an undergraduate degree and finding a job suited to his interest level, he had been paying month-to-month living in the uppermost hidden apartments of Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, and it was clear why he hadn’t signed a lease. His downstairs neighbors were constantly playing their music too loud, particularly in the evenings, and there’s only so many times one can hear The Nutcracker in its entirety before admitting that, while beautiful and signatory of Tchaikovsky’s genius, one needs peace and quiet when watching Survivor.

And of course, there were “those vagabond cellists, hanging out every day after rehearsal,” Mr. Hubriston said. He wasn’t aware of the actual figures of the rent he was paying, but the board members in charge of his trust consistently informed him it was prohibitive. It was time for a move. (more…)

05/24/16 3:37pm
Don't let us tell you, let this quiz tell you. Chris Ford / Flickr

Don’t let us tell you, let this quiz tell you. Chris Ford/Flickr

Whether you’re new to town or you’ve been around for a bit, you know the one local issue that keeps popping up, and won’t be going away any time soon, is gentrification. Neighborhoods and demographics in those neighborhoods change, and while real estate agents love to employ the terms “transitioning” (aaaaaaaahhhhh), the reality is that long-time residents are being pushed out.

(It’s worth checking out WNYC’s new podcast on gentrification to hear just how that pushing out is happening; pretty scary stuff.)

What’s more, gentrification tends to be an uncomfortable us vs. them conversation that a lot of folks have trouble participating in, because they don’t always know which side they land on, or would rather not hear. So, for your benefit, we’ve come up with a quick and dirty quiz so YOU can see whether you are, in fact, part of the problem. (more…)

04/20/16 8:00am
Here's the part where you have to walk instead of bike. Via Flickr user Marc van Woudenberg.

Here’s the part where you have to walk instead of bike. Via Flickr user Marc van Woudenberg.

May, the amuse-bouche of summer, is soon approaching and with it comes the annual TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour. For 39 years running, the 40-mile tour through all New York’s boroughs has billed itself as “the largest charitable bike ride in the U.S.” On May 1, a stampede of 37,000 riders will shut down the automobopolis (I’m trademarking this) that is our city for half the day as they ride freely in the middle of streets, across bridges, and even on some highways. I’ve done it five years consecutively, and this year, I cannot wait to skip it.

Sure, on the surface the Five Boro sounds great: you get to tour New York on a bicycle alongside thousands of other cyclists (evincing varying degrees of enthusiasm), and go where no bicycles ever get to venture on any other day: the FDR Drive and the BQE. You’re biking 40 miles, so it feels healthy and you get to have a sore ass at the end. There’s even a festival in Staten Island at the finish line, in Fort Wadsworth, just at the foot of the Verrazano Bridge. And all of that would be great! Except you’re actually walking a lot of the time, and you only really ride through three of the boroughs, and it will cost you $94.  (more…)

03/04/16 11:49am
Governors Ball: Like Coachella you have to look at this instead of mountains. Via Flickr user Mike Cicchetti.

Governors Ball: Like Coachella but you have to look at this instead of beautiful mountains. Via Flickr user Mike Cicchetti.

If the groundhogs and the occasionally warm days haven’t been enough of an indication that summer is soon upon us, let us look to the one faithful sign of warmer days: the music festival lineup announcements. This week gave us a new entry into New York’s festival scene, Panorama, and people collectively lost their shit. The three-day festival features headliners Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, the reunited LCD Soundsystem (long may they live), and 50+ other acts. Our own Dave Colon provided the high service Panorama vs. Governors Ball breakdown, and as tickets go on sale today, people will no doubt be jumping online at noon and frantically coordinating with friends to nab passes. To all those people, and, even more so, to the people wondering if they should take a chance on the new Panorama Festival or the more established Governors Ball, I have one piece of advice: DON’T. Neither of them are worth your money, because music festivals actually are a scam for your hard-earned concert cash.

At this point I can already hear people scrolling to the comments section to put me on festival blast, but let’s run through the myths of why people think they enjoy festivals, and the facts of why they actually end up having a miserable time.  (more…)

02/17/16 10:36am
Naomi Ekperigin, one of the behind the scenes broads.  Photo by Mindy Tucker.

Naomi Ekperigin, one of the behind the scenes broads. Photo by Mindy Tucker.

Rejoice, friends, because Broad City Day is now officially upon us! As many of you can attest, it’s been too long without Ilana and Abbi (whose new season debuts tonight at 10pm on Comedy Central) but behind every good pair of women on TV is a whole crew that works tirelessly to bring you all your memes and gifs for the coming year. And in celebration, we spoke to Naomi Ekperigin, a staff writer on the show and your new comedy crush.

Naomi’s been involved in Broad City since Season 1, when she began there as a writers’ assistant. She was promoted to staff writer for Season 2 and worked on this upcoming season, but as eager as we are for the new season, she’s not sharing any surprises. Superfans of the show may also know her from the touring show Broad City Live, where she opened for Abbi and Ilana. Since and in-between, she also worked on Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner’s Difficult People, and most recently began developing a pilot she’ll be hosting for TruTV, Inside Caucasia. Catch her performing around the city and cohosting her own monthly show In Stereo at HiFi Bar in the East Village. The show has comedian duos (friends, couples, writing partners) perform together, giving audiences a glimpse of both bits and real relationships. We talked with Naomi about how she got her sweet gigs and the best uses for drink tickets (other than for drinks). (more…)

11/12/15 9:01am
Showgasm has been doing it for years now. via FB

Showgasm has been doing it for years now. via FB

Hey again. It’s me, Comedy Dad, bringing your Part II of Brokelyn’s two-part series on how to host a comedy show. In Part I, you learned why you should be hosting your own show, how to plan it, and where you should be looking for its home. Now, let’s get into the dirty details of producing it, and making it the hottest ticket in Brooklyn.  (more…)

11/09/15 11:26am

The Experiment Comedy Gallery is a perfect spot for Subreddit Live. Photo by Melton Sharpe

If you’ve been following Brokelyn’s series of articles on getting the nerve up to try an open mic and then killing it at said open mic, then you must have realized we’re telling you (yes, YOU) that Brooklyn always needs another comedian. You’ve been working on your material, getting up on any stage where you can get time, and rotating through all the bars in the metropolitan area. Maybe you’ve even met some people and gotten booked onto shows! And maybe now you’re wondering what the next move is? Contact the Tonight Show? Work on a TV pilot centered around your quirky life? Both of those will work, but you might also consider creating your own comedy show.

Sounds a little intimidating, you say? Don’t worry, Comedy Dad is here to help. (more…)

10/08/15 3:15pm
BYO vampire teeth. Please control yourself if you're a real vampire

BYO vampire teeth. Please control yourself if you’re a real vampire

New York Comic Con is almost upon us again, and among the standard convention panels, previews, cosplayers, and what we can only assume will be an overabundance of Star Wars exclusive trailers, comes an event that perfectly marries NYCC to the spookiest month of the year. BBQ Films, the folks behind this past April’s sold-out, multi-night Empire Records phenomenon, are bringing Marvel’s pre-Phase 1 cult classic, Blade, to life with a no-kidding vampire blood rave at Terminal 5. Yes, you heard right: There Will Be Blood.

The tribute to 1998, or as I like to call it, the year of Stephen Dorff (not counting 1987’s The Gate), will happen on October 9, and will feature a screening of Blade, but anyone who knows BBQ Films knows it doesn’t end there. They specialize in interactive movie experiences, which in this case means an actual rave headlined by The Crystal Method, among other electronic artists, actors roaming the floor re-enacting scenes from the movie, sword fighting demos, raffles, and mystery special guest appearances. Oh yeah, and there’s going to be a “splash zone.” The best news though, is that you can be there for free! (more…)

Swim in liquor at the Sea Witch Tavern

Swim in liquor at the Sea Witch Tavern

Sea Witch Tavern
703 5th Ave (21st & 22nd)
South Slope

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What is it: South Slope stand-out with unique seafaring décor and a maritime-tinged food menu that specializes in fried clams.

Why we love it: Sea Witch gains major points for its mythical name alone. But the bar manages to pull off a theme without buckling under its own kitsch. Highlights include a behind-the-bar saltwater aquarium and a large backyard featuring other sea souvenirs. Add to that a thoughtful menu and a kitchen with its own dedicated window, and you’ve got the kind of place that we could imagine Captain Ahab taking a comely wench for, like, the third or fourth date.

What to order: Select from 20 taps of American craft beers from the likes of Bells, Founder’s, Sixpoint and others. The $5 beer and shot special won’t disappoint. To eat, the fried clam belly sandwich is probably the way to go here, though they also have specials that grab your eye. The buffalo fried oysters with bleu cheese are pretty decadent and amazing. Obviously those who appreciate seafood will enjoy Sea Witch but their landlubber fare (especially the hamburgers) has been developing a stellar reputation.

Regular tip: The original Sea Witch was known as the fastest clipper ship to leave from NYC for China during the tea trade. It set a round trip record to Hong Kong of 74 days. So this bar really has fast food.

Enjoy 2-for-1 cocktails at Sea Witch with the Brooklyn Cocktail Book!

freddy's bar

What lurks behind the door tonight? Something cool we bet. Photo by Sarah Bibi

Freddy’s Bar and Backroom   
627 5th Ave., (between 17th and 18th Streets), South Slope, 718-768-0131

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What is it: A Brooklyn staple nestled in the South Slope, boasting both cult celebrity and a history stretching back to Prohibition. Freddy’s, with its trademark comfortable and casual flavour is friendly and endlessly interesting.

Why we love it: Whether you’re there for the acid-tavern experience (TVs run award-winning video montages 24/7) or to see a free music, comedy, or art show show in the back room, Freddy’s always has something to revive a sleepy night. This neighborhood favorite hosts a welcome mix of locals and far-flung visitors, thanks to its beautiful other worldly decor, bustling vibes and charming staff. Just a few reasons why it was voted one of the best bars in the country by the likes of Esquire and others.

What to order: Aside from the whiskey and craft beers, Freddy’s offers a solid menu of what it calls “Pan-Brooklyn.” This includes burgers, fish tacos, local Polish kielbasa (meaning that they’re actually made across the street by two great Polish butchers), a curious twist on a BLT sandwich, and much more. All tasty and cheap as hell.

Regular tip: The intoxicating video collages you’ll see all over the bar are actually edited/created by co-owner Donald O’Finn.