Articles by

Kelsey Solywoda

05/19/16 9:46am
These ancient gates lead to a pretty sweet pile of modern resources. David Berkowitz / Flickr

These ancient gates lead to a pretty sweet pile of modern resources. David Berkowitz / Flickr

Movies and TV shows would have us believe that the library is nothing more than a boring place to get books and be shushed by angry librarians, but here in Brooklyn, our library system is the exception to the rule. The Brooklyn Public Library is essentially the Narnia of libraries, and if you look beyond the stacks of books, you’ll find a wide array of programs, classes, and resources that can help teach you to do some really cool things, or even help you achieve your dreams.

“The era of shushing at libraries is long gone,” added BPL spokesperson Madeline Kaye. “Libraries as institutions have moved well past the old transactional relationship which had patrons checking out books and reading them in a carrell or at home. Libraries now are home to immigration services, idNYC, bike the branches, art classes, jazz concerts, Pharrell even made an appearance at the Dweck Center this year. They’re cultural hubs that extend well beyond the stacks.”

Perhaps a young, savvy Brooklynite like yourself wasn’t aware of the mighty power that lay behind the doors of the Brooklyn Public Library? Well, let us help you out. Here are some cool things the library can help you do, and some equally cool people who did them. (more…)

05/12/16 11:25am
Review: Does the workout match the view at Dumbo's new outdoor climbing gym?

In the words of Miley Cyrus, ‘It’s the climb.’ via Instagram user @waji_h

Living in NYC as a person who loves the outdoors can sometimes be challenging, which is why I’m always on the lookout for activities that give this concrete jungle some semblance of the actual “jungle” part. I was insanely excited when I heard that the city’s first outdoor rock climbing facility was opening in Dumbo. A lot of people use the city’s indoor rock climbing gyms as a way to get their faux nature fix, and the arrival of The Cliffs’ new DUMBO Boulders facility may have brought our fair city one step closer to that illusion by letting us climb fake rocks outside. Progress!

Now, the only question remains: is this rock climbing spot actually worth your time? Bouldering gyms can be restrictive in their costs, questionable in their cleanliness, and crowded to the point of turning what was supposed to a quick workout into a half-day excursion. So, do the new bouldering walls Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (Dumbo, duh) rise to the occasion? We got a chance to check them out this past weekend, and here’s what we think. (more…)

05/02/16 10:57am
Stay Lassie: 5 ways to hang out with dogs in Brooklyn (if you can't actually own one)

This person is not being weird. She is merely sitting *near* the dog. via Instagram user @sourayajureidini

I want a dog. Bad. I’m suffering from retriever fever; I’m not sound without a hound; I’d be merrier with a terrier. I long for a pup of my own, but I know I can’t get one. I’m too busy to give him the attention and exercise he needs, and too broke to afford a dog walker. Plus, the idea of keeping a dog locked up by himself in my apartment all day just sucks.

I know I’m not the only one in this predicament, because I talk to lit’rally everyone I know about it. They all want dogs, too. And why shouldn’t they? Dogs are happy, silly, fluffy bundles of unconditional love. You’d have to be crazy to not want one! Dogs have health benefits too, including lowering your stress and blood pressure levels. Maybe our hectic New York lifestyles and tiny, non-pet friendly apartments won’t allow us to be happy dog owners, but we can persevere. There are plenty of ways to get your daily dose of puppy time even if you can’t adopt one yourself. We’ve compiled just such a list of ways to seek out temporary canine companions in the city (and tips on how not to come off as a creepy weirdo while doing so).  (more…)