04/25/17 9:47am
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Photo by Ruthie Darling

On my walk home from the Morgan Ave. station I passed a wall that is usually covered in flyers. People looking for roommates, the ubiquitous Dan Smith offering his endless guitar lessons, posters promoting local comedy nights and all manner of other things. One particularly chilly night in February, I was hurrying along the street and glanced at the wall as usual. (more…)

04/18/17 9:00am
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Photo via BBQ Films / Facebook

You know that acquaintance on Facebook, the person you don’t know too well, but their life is too interesting to ignore? Well for me, that person is Leah Taylor Dunbar. We met years ago when her husband and I worked together on Manson The Musical – yes, a musical comedy about Charles Manson that surprisingly never made it out of off-off-Broadway. Leah has, for the past few years, been posting photos of her involvement with an immersive cinema company called BBQ Films. After seeing her post photos from their latest Mean Girls event in Greenpoint, I decided it was time to ask Leah what this BBQ Film thing was all about.

Leah couldn’t wait to tell me about the company and invited me to her office at Flavorpill in Soho to discuss. “The production company started out as a casual rooftop cookout and film screening in Spanish Harlem,” she told me, “and developed into a pop-up cinema club and then to the fully experiential production company around today. Their goal is to use storytelling to create community and bring an element of surprise and excitement back to movie fans.” (more…)

04/07/17 9:00am
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Photo by Ruthie Darling

British cuisine seems to have a bad rap in America. When I tell my friends I’m making some traditional English fare for dinner, there tends to be a collective nervous glance around the room followed by, “we could just order pizza.” Britain is really a nation of comfort food eaters. Butter, cheese and meats are the main component of our diet. It’s a miracle the Empire lasted as long as it did considering how sleepy we all must have been after lunch. As an English transplant in Brooklyn, I often find myself craving the traditional foods from home: scones and tea, Marmite on toast, a big old Sunday roast. Also, some of our dishes have fantastic names, such as toad in the hole, spotted dick and Eton mess (don’t worry, I will provide a glossary at the end of this article). In desperate need of a decent cup of tea last week, I began a one woman quest to find the Best of British in Brooklyn. Here are the results. (more…)

03/28/17 3:57pm
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They wouldn’t be able to flail nearly as freely if they were holding beers. Photo via Daybreaker / Facebook

Trying to scrape a living together by working several jobs, keeping up with friends and attempting to find a little time for ourselves can lead us to live functionally alcoholic lives. Thursday, as we all know, is the real start to the weekend and getting trashed with your squad on Friday is the norm. We make no apologies for it. We are over-worked and underpaid millennials and we need to let off steam. But as we find ourselves crawling to yet another Sunday brunch, raging hangover in full swing, we might start to hear people say phrases like “booze fast” or “dry month” and they may even start to sound appealing.

After drinking like the British fish that I am for the last ten years, (I’ve probably put the children of the Bombay Sapphire gin empire through college with my love of G&Ts at this point) I have of late, taken a more sober approach to my NYC life.  I decided to stop drinking four months ago to see how my life would shake down. This began my journey into sober living in Brooklyn. (more…)

03/24/17 3:02pm
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Photo by Ruthie Darling / Brokelyn

New month, new me is all well and good until you step outside of your apartment and onto the snow-saturated sidewalks. Then, new cup of coffee, new Netflix series seems much more appealing. 

This month I had made a decision to learn to love myself. Not my boyfriend, not my family, Me. A worthwhile pursuit certainly, but resolutions of this kind have a fatal flaw, the problem being that no one really holds you accountable to them. There is no line manager for resolutions. It’s up to you to make the salads, book the yoga classes, buy the journal. No one will do it for you and no one will notice if your decisions never really come to fruition. The get-out is just too easy and with a project as intangible as self love, I was already concerned that I was on a path to failure.

Unsure of where to start with this, I began by asking my friends if they had any suggestions. One friend replied by saying, “you know what I’m going to say and I hope you’ll join me this time, please look at their website.” Alas, I did know to what she was referring and so last Sunday night I braced myself for the face-melting chill to meet her at a Women’s Rejuvenation Circle I had been promising her, for months, that I would attend. Learn to love yourself, the website assured, by participating in their “co-created experience of women supporting women through guided meditation and an emotional check-in”. It had New Me written all over it. My desire to cancel was off the charts. (more…)

03/21/17 12:26pm

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Now opening up his third business on Bushwick’s Wilson Ave., 32-year-old Cuban-American Danny Teran’s entrepreneurial skills are prolific to the point that he has earned the moniker The Wolf of Wilson. I sat down with him at his restaurant, The Wheelhouse, to discuss how he started out on this road to Brooklyn domination.

So, how’d you get started as an entrepreneur? 

My parents are Cuban-American immigrants and when I came back to Jersey after college, my brother said “Let’s open up a Cuban restaurant together.” At that time food trucks were very popular so, instead, we did that for about three – four years. It was very successful, but after a while it became a little tiring and when our permits were about to expire, my brother and I said, “let’s start thinking about a new project.”

(more…)

03/14/17 2:54pm

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Last week an invitation landed in my inbox for Dirty Panties The Musical at Bushwick’s House Of Yes. “Fancy the theatre this week?” I called out from the kitchen “Sure, Sondheim?” my innocent boyfriend replied from living room, “Er, not quite.”

Written and produced by current and former sex workers, Dirty Panties The Musical was not a musical at all, but more a series of emotional and abstract vignettes covering many aspects of working in the ‘business’. Some scenes were funny: for example, the jaded sex worker whose inner monologue was all about which pizza she should eat later as her john whipped her. Some were raw – a moving and daring dance and aerial piece performed by Joshua Oates hit that note. The finale made a point about how one decision can lead to the next and how the instinct to survive is the driving force. I won’t ruin the ending for you, but I will say it’s pretty spectacular. (more…)

03/08/17 10:59am

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To celebrate International Women’s Day I met up with some female entrepreneurs who are changing the face of business in Greenpoint. Vintage fashion dominates Manhattan Ave., creating a community of fashion loving business women who truly support each other. Female owned ventures are gaining ground in Brooklyn with a 39 percent increase in the last five years, according to a study from the Center for an Urban Future. If you are interested in starting up a business, read below to see what these inspiring woman have to say and check out the links at the bottom to organizations that help women and minorities start their own businesses in New York. Good Luck! The future is female. (more…)

03/03/17 4:46pm
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Photo by Ruthie Darling / Brokelyn

The Unruly Collective, located at 200 Cooper St. in Bushwick is kind of like a WeWork for artists, but so much better. Founded by Hillary Mégroz and Charlie Pastore, Unruly is paving the way for individuals to create, collaborate, & cohabitate, while driving social change through innovative, immersive creativity. I visited their brownstone right off the Wilson Ave. L train to see for myself what the collective was offering. (more…)

03/01/17 4:55pm
Photo by Ruthie Darling / Brokelyn

Photo by Ruthie Darling / Brokelyn

The weather in Brooklyn this week has been a little bit of a drama queen. Blowing hot and then cold, like every bad Tinder relationship we’ve been in. The oscillating temperatures have made the streets of Brooklyn home to many different looks and styles. One theme I saw emerging though was color. It’s not a rainbow out there yet, but little pops of color were springing up all over the place.

Above, these three were grabbing a smoke outside of a coffee shop and looked like something from the East Village circa 1960. They are all rocking the vintage vibe perfectly. “I have to”, the girl in the center told me, “I’m a barista – I make $10 an hour”.

Check out these other stylish kids spotted around Bed-Stuy and Bushwick. Fashion escapism, this way