08/12/16 1:07pm
CaptainRealAmerica_MOwens2016_Brokelyn

Comic by Madelyn Owens.

Prospect Park on Wednesday unveiled its very own viral Marvel advertisement in the form of a 30 ft. statue of Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. We here at Brokelyn propose a monument celebrating the real heroes of these here United States — the residents of New York City! Whether you were born here or moved in from somewhere else, you are already at least 20 percent better and more interesting than the rest of the country. We’re constantly degraded by politicians for not being “real America,” but between leaving one of the smallest carbon footprints, to paying more into the federal government than we get back, to bringing America a proper slice of pizza, to living in a diverse city of eight million people who mostly get along, New Yorkers deserve their own champion. So we present to you the statue Prospect Park needs: Captain Real America. (more…)

11/24/15 11:37am
MegabusHell-640x380

Welcome to your doom. Photoshop by Madelyn Owens

Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays. It’s a day of overindulgence, football, casually racist uncles, loose fitting pants…and hours spent in gridlock traffic on our crumbling highway system. Maybe you have the income to book a flight or a train on the Biggest Most Expensive Travel Days of the year, but most likely you will be braving a budget bus trip back to your homeland.

The low price tag comes with hidden costs: there’s the chronic back pain from the cramped seats, or a seat mate who packed their own tuna salad, of course. Sometimes though, things are much worse. A fellow passenger who won’t stop singing, a chugging contest in the back of the bus and threats of violence. Even worse, sometime YOU’RE the problem. To help you through the long journey ahead, our Brokesters share their most harrowing tales of bus life struggles. (more…)

10/19/15 8:30am
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Look! The Pulp & the Bean has even more Fall flavors than Starbucks!

We fought it as long as we could, but it is officially, undeniably autumn. And with closed-toed shoes and denim-covered limbs comes the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Look, I get it. They taste like caffeinated pie, complete with whipped cream and a stomach ache later. As Donald Trump would say, “They’re great!”

Another thing that the Donald thinks is great is the corporate takeover of Brooklyn. You know who I’m talking about. That venti grande adult-contemporary-pumping purveyor of Oprah-branded tea products. Crown Heights got its first Starbucks last year, nestled between a Capital One branch and a beloved local coffee house just outside of the Franklin Avenue station. People saw its opening a harbinger of gentrification gone off the rails, the Disney-fication of Brooklyn, but mostly a slap in the face to the already vibrant coffee scene in the area. Politics aside; Starbucks’ coffee is just not that good, you can do better. So, this fall if you find yourself in the vicinity of Franklin Avenue and in need of an an autumnal treat, we’ve compiled this handy list of 6 fall alternatives from Crown Heights coffee shops to make caffeinating great again! (more…)

09/08/15 1:56pm
Smile! Its the party of the year!

Smile! Its the party of the year! Photos by Madelyn Owens

The West Indian American Day Parade is like no other in NYC. It’s family friendly, as evidenced by the troupes of adorable little kids with impressive drumming skills, or babies on fathers’ shoulders sporting their country’s flag with pride. This is not a 5th Avenue, Manhattan-style parade. The festivities pour outside of the police barriers onto the sidewalks crammed with vendors hawking jerk chicken, Shark & Bake, sorrel punch and roti. It climbs up the fronts of the stately buildings of Eastern Parkway; from old ladies waving Jamaican flags from the 3rd floor window, to shirtless bros dancing with proud beer bellies from the fire escape.

The centerpiece, of course, are the elaborate costumes that parade participants spend all year creating. Glitter, feathers, bold colors, the energy is matched only by the music (every float worth its salt has at least a drummer or three and a wall of amps). (more…)

05/19/15 8:29am
All pink everything. Photo by Madelyn Owens

All pink everything

Summer is coming. Springs blossoms have turned to lush greenery, windows are open, pasty legs are making their annual debut, and everyone is craving their preferred warm weather libation. Maybe you can’t wait for the season’s first Brooklyn Pennant Ale. Perhaps your summer doesn’t start until you’re sipping a margarita poolside. For me, warm weather means one thing: rosé.

I’m not the only one. The blush stuff is blowing up Instagram feeds everywhere. Last summer, the fancy folk summering in the Hamptons guzzled so much rosé that wine stores had to start rationing bottles toward the end of the season. “It’s definitely a summer thing,” says Young Jung, owner of The Winey Neighbor in Prospect Heights. “People are more open minded [about rosé] than when we opened 3 and a 1/2 years ago. Everyone always asked me, “Is it sweet?”

Rosé is not, as I’d previously imagined, what happens when you pour Chardonnay into the same glass from which you drained the party’s last drops of Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s actually a huge variety available, not just the cloyingly sweet Franzia that you drank straight from the bag as a lousy teenager. So how do you find the right rosé for you? “Always ask,” says Jung. “Otherwise you are judging a book by its cover. For me personally, I want a rosé that’s light, crisp, refreshing. Just ask for what you want.”

You can also take our word for it, since we gathered up a panel of rosévanglists, a few staunch anti-blushians, and one token Bro-sé, and did a blind taste test of 11 bottles under $10, while listening to The Pink Print #onrepeat. The panel rated each wine on overall taste, smell, drinkability, and dryness so you can make your summer wine season cheap but tasty.  (more…)

02/10/15 11:10am
Is this Brooklyn's next Royal Family?

Is this Brooklyn’s next Royal Family? Photo by Madelyn Owens.

As you know, Beyonce and Jay-Z are leaving New York, so its time for someone new to ascend to the throne. If you’re looking for royalty, it only makes sense to swing by the nearest palace, so we stopped by Park Slope’s Grand Prospect Hall. You probably recognize owners Michael and Alice Halkias from their iconic commercial, which airs at least 35 times a day, 365 days a year in the New York Metropolitan area.

“People recognize my wife and I at restaurants, they already treat us like celebrities. We have round-bellied Wall Street guys come here, and they are so excited, they are running up and down these stairs saying ‘We make your dreams come true!”‘ says Michael Halkias of the iconic commercial.

Local notoriety and luxurious digs are must-haves for any royal heir-apparent, but do the Halkias have what it takes to be the next regents of Kings County? On a tour of the Grand Prospect Hall, they told me why they should be crowned King and Queen of Brooklyn, and let me in on some of their history, the hall’s history and a brokester-friendly wedding tip involving flying sandwiches. (more…)

Make friends, win prizes!

Make friends, win prizes!

Calling all transit nerds: are you the Baroness of the B48? The Wolf of the Wall Street 2/3 station? A Franklin Avenue Shuttle shark? Or just a straphanger with a mind for useless facts? Well, you’re in luck, because the New York Transit Museum is hosting its 3rd annual Transit Trivia Night.
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10/15/14 7:00am
pumpkin beer

For journalism! All photos by Patrick Phillips.

Ahhh, autumn. The satisfying crunch of leaves under your favorite boots that you’ve missed wearing all summer. The existential crises that result from seeing literal death all around you. And, of course, the influx of pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING. Your local bodega may have been stocking pumpkin beers since your last few summer Fridays, but it’s finally seasonally appropriate to indulge. Like it or not, autumn is here to stay (for the next 3-4 weeks until we enter the next ice age that will last for goddamn-ever-ugggghh-winter-you-are-the-WORST), so it means that pumpkin beer is too.

There has been an explosion of pumpkin beers in the last couple years, so to determine which (if any — ed.) one was worth your hard-earned drinking dollars, we gathered a group of 11 beer experts, appreciators and self-proclaimed PSL-loving #basic bitches to test seventeen of these autumnal brews we rounded up at Prospect Heights Beer Works, the NSA Supermarket on Washington Avenue, Covenhoven and the Park Place Deli. In a blind taste test, we rated the beers on a 1-5 scale by “pumpkiny-ness,” overall taste and drinkability. Here are our findings. (more…)

bill de blasio mermaid parade

Mayor de Blasio bravely dressing exactly the way the tabloids have been framing him. Photo by Tim Donnelly

Ah, the Mermaid Parade, where a metropolis’ worth of grit and glitter converge at Coney Island for an afternoon of music, muscle cars, and of course, mermaids. This year’s parade kicked off with Chiara and Dante DeBlasio, looking… rather blue as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, followed by Mayor Bill d’yarr Blasio decked out as a pirate, plundering a small percentage of wealthy New Yorkers’ income for the benefit of swashbuckling pre-K children. The marchers included everyone from adorable tykes in homemade mermaid tails, to grown adults in little more than body glitter and a few strategically placed seashells. Low-brow and high-energy, The Mermaid Parade offers a glimpse of Coney Island’s freaky past for one afternoon each year, and I can’t think of a better way to kick off the summer. (more…)