12/06/16 4:03pm
Now it's a bookstore, bar, coffee shop, AND a place to get involved. via Facebook

Now it’s a bookstore, bar, coffee shop, AND a place to get involved. via Facebook

There isn’t a lot of good news these days, and this morning proved no different as beloved Cobble Hill bookstore BookCourt announced it was closing after 35 years of serving the neighborhood. But not all indie bookstores are facing extinction just yet, and one such bookstore in Bushwick refuses to let the death march of 2016 portend a four-year sentence in Trump’s America.

Molasses Books (770 Hart St.), the bookstore that doubles as a coffee shop by day and a bar by night, announced a rolling weekly fundraiser wherein 10 percent of the bar’s profits on Friday nights are donated to a different cause or organization. These have included Standing Rock, Planned Parenthood and the American Immigration Council. This Friday, Molasses will donate 10 percent of the bar to Black Lives Matter.

You’re gonna be drunk until the end of 2016, anyway, and this way you’re getting drunk for a good cause. (more…)

12/06/16 1:41pm
Don't ever forget it, NYC. via Hollaback on FB

Don’t ever forget it, NYC. via Hollaback on FB

Open hate is on the rise. Last week, a Muslim woman was attacked on the 6 train. Yesterday, a Muslim transit worker was pushed down the subway steps. These incidents stand out not merely as a reminder that everything is terrible (which it is), but as a study in contrasts: In the former, no one intervened. In the latter, a good samaritan reportedly stepped in.

The difference between standing by and standing up may be just a few seconds’ difference in the event, perhaps an extra slur avoided, but remember that it affects victims disproportionately to how it affects you where trauma is concerned. Plus, the effect of bystanders who do nothing is well-documented in history.

But with a 35 percent spike in hate crimes in NYC, standing up for a stranger feels like a zero sum game. How can you de-escalate a situation where someone is getting violent? How do you know whether they’re armed and looking for a fight? In other words, how can you save someone from getting hurt without getting hurt yourself?

Luckily, there are courses for that being offered both in-person and online! It sucks that we need this kind of training, but them’s the breaks. And if you count yourself among the fragile white majority, you definitely owe it to yourself to study up. Start by listening to WNYC’s segment on what to do if you witness a bias attack, and then let the real training begin, young grasshopper. (more…)

12/05/16 4:31pm
And isn't it ironing, don't you think?

And isn’t it ironing, don’t you think?

The art of ironing is lost on most millennials, many of whom grew up with parents doing their laundry in spiffy machines and are just learning to “adult” themselves. But much like the sobriquet of “Papa” that Brooklyn dads are newly embracing, ironing is having a renaissance in Brooklyn.

The North Brooklyn Ironers’ Union, est. 2016, is an organization of “journeyman-level ironers” with their own boards and bags which “seeks to promote the act of ironing as a public service provided for free to the people of North Brooklyn.” The description’s whimsy smacks of Brooklyn Pogs, but the union is real — they hosted weekly free ironing events at Pete’s Candy store in October.

Now, the NBIU (assuming that’s their acronym) is inviting all you budding ironers to join up with the union, which spans the “Local 278″ district of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. And just to be clear, don’t confuse this for the irony union, another mainstay of self-organized BK activism. (more…)

12/02/16 3:56pm
Keep making monkeys fuck, not war, Brooklyn.

Keep making love, not war, Brooklyn.

Like us in website form? You’ll love us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list!

We gave you creative ways to tag over hate graffiti and turn it into a friendly Roboctopus.

Your holiday shopping list got easier with our roundup of the best winter markets in Brooklyn.

The Gowanus Canal threatened to become as shit-filled as Trump’s America.

The old Domino Sugar factory became a place you could afford to live.

The most novel idea, a book about pun competitions, finally became a reality.

NYC was declared the third most expensive city to get a tattoo.

Brooklyn dads loved it when you called them Big Papa.

Netflix’s new offline streaming called for some subway watching etiquette rules.

“Professional feminist advocate” became a real job description you could brag about.

Seamless subway ads just kept getting worse in NYC.

All we want for Tipsmas is your tips: tips@brokelyn.com

12/01/16 8:38am
In case you didn't realize you needed a book about pun competitions. Screengrab via Amazon

In case you didn’t realize you needed a book about pun competitions. Screengrab via Amazon

The dire times we’re living in call for desperate pleasures, and the Gilmore Girls revival isn’t cutting it. Why not turn to puns? Brokelyn is biased, of course— both your editors are committed to puns in journalism, occasionally using them to pack a political punch. But we’re also like most of Brooklyn, for whom any mention of puns will incite the question, “Have you ever been to the Punderdome?”

Punderdome 3000, for those unfamiliar, is a pun competition invented by comedian Jo Firestone and her dad Fred Firestone. Once just a humble, loosely-attended affair at the now-defunct Southpaw bar in Park Slope, the ‘Dome has since grown into one of Brooklyn’s best-loved events, now held at Littlefield in Gowanus with a monthly attendance of more than 500 pun-lovers who gather to watch witty wordsmiths using punny nom de plumes deliver their best puns on a given topic. The show got so big that it even released its very own home card game (and the world lost its mind when we broke the news). Indeed, Brooklyn has become a haven for punsters and a lighthouse for pun-lovers worldwide. It’s enough to make you want to write a book about it.

That’s just what Joe Berkowitz, a 36-year-old writer from Crown Heights and occasional Punderdome competitor, finally did. His new book, Away With Words, currently on pre-order before it hits shelves on June 13, 2017, looks at “the bizarre and hilarious world of pun competitions from the Punderdome 3000 in Brooklyn to the World competition in Austin.”

“I think people who are obsessed with language will find it,” Berkowitz told us, “and I hope some people who hate puns will buy it for a friend as a prank only to have that friend read it and enjoy it.” (more…)

11/30/16 2:41pm
So long as these BK papas don't revert to 1800s ways of treating the women in their life, we're OK with it. via Flickr user @ AKA EmCJay

So long as these BK papas don’t revert to 1800s ways of treating the women in their life, we’re OK with it. via Flickr user @ AKA EmCJay

Cultural trends come in waves, returning every few decades to remind us that we’re doomed to repeat history (2016 has been perhaps the best example of that). But Brooklyn has long held to its especial fondness for Ye Olde ways of life, from the artisanal food boom to the horseback commuters. Just last week, I happened into an espresso bar in Prospect Heights that sold both surf wax and hunting knives. Hate or love the gentrifying forces that caused the cultural retrograde, this is us now.

Today, that old-tyme propensity reaches new heights. The Daily Beast tells us that an increasing amount of Brooklyn dads are asking their kids to refer to them as “Papa” instead of “Dad,” attributing the trend to fathers wanting “to set themselves apart from the all-American, Leave it to Beaver dad.”

On the one hand, Brokelyn’s content mill churns in wait for moments like these. But at this point, the state of the world being what it is, any trend that splits us off from the baby boomers who voted for Trump and created the economy we’re suffering in now is a welcome one. Whereas “Dad” connotes modern-day memes of a dopey, dog-like husband who wheels the baby stroller breathlessly after his powerful woman of a wife, “Papa” evokes French romance, stories of the Old Country, and Anastasia. Hey sure, why not. (more…)

11/28/16 2:17pm
Drop everything and start making $35/hour as a professional feminist advocate

Be the voice of feminism wherever you go… and get paid for it. via website

“Art” and “feminism” are words you don’t often hear used to describe professional work sectors, let alone in the same job description. But here’s one that combines both for budding organizers seeking an epic feminist career move: Art+Feminism is currently seeking a Program Coordinator to “support the exponential growth of their global initiative” in 2017. And the pay’s not bad, either.

You might remember Art+Feminism from a post we ran earlier this year about their famed Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon, the patriarchy-smashing annual event where women and allies edit Wikipedia articles to remove instances of misogyny and to better document women’s contributions around the world and in history. Three years into the Wikipedia project the organization is bigger than ever and growing fast, but you still have a chance to work with them at a grassroots level.

At $35/hour, you’ll get to to “play a key role” in the development and success of their Wikipedia initiative, and to promote women in the arts. You’ll get to manage communications, project pipelines and social media platforms. Best of all, when people ask you what you do for a living, you’ll get to say “feminism” and mean it. (more…)

11/28/16 11:39am
In the wake of the election, Seamless ads are really not helping

Sorry, how does this help anything? Photo by Sam Corbin/Brokelyn.

Have you been seeing more subway ads pushing food delivery on you lately? No surprise there. Every year as temperatures cool down in NYC, #brands can be relied on to swoop into our advertising spaces to 1) remind us that we are animal creatures born to hibernate, and 2) seduce us with modern-day arguments for never leaving the house.

We can easily point to Seamless in the police lineup as one of the most frequent offenders. It’s the food delivery company whose enabling convenience everyone loves to hate, and in a city like New York, where there are at least as many food options as there are pigeons, it’s insulting that Seamless has managed to sink its toothy cleats into our foodie turf.

But now, it’s a problem. Earlier this year, we pointed out how Seamless’ subway ads were turning New Yorkers soft by recommending they order in rather than engaging with the outside world or, god forbid, cook something. We’d hoped that a stern public censure, along with the horror of Donald Trump, might encourage these foodie tycoons to embrace our New York values and promote the city’s love of its own citizenry. Instead, much to our dismay, Seamless subway ads are worse than ever. (more…)

11/23/16 2:27pm
Meet the 'Nasty Women' artists trying to topple the patriarchy before Trump's inauguration

They don’t want you to be nasty. via IG user @bir_gi, edited by Sam Corbin

The nation’s artists have gradually been picking themselves back up since the election, aware that they’ve got real work to do in a Trump presidency — but the nation’s women artists are feeling especially nasty. And in NYC, a group of Brooklyn-based women have gone so far as to create a “Nasty Women” arts initiative, “calling all Nasty Women artists” for a group exhibition right here in New York City with the hopes of inspiring similar exhibitions in cities around the world.

Armed with the label Donald Trump once used to insult Hillary Clinton during debate season, the initiative, co-founded by Bushwick ceramics artist Roxanne Jackson and Crown Heights-based curator Jessamyn Fiore, hopes “to demonstrate solidarity among artists who identify with being a Nasty Woman in the face of threats to roll back women’s rights, individual rights, and abortion rights.”

Brokelyn chatted with Jackson about the show’s inception, what exactly makes a “Nasty Woman” artist, and the growing need for political art leading up to a Trump presidency.

“It’s a way to bring people together,” Jackson told Brokelyn. “To let people know that we’re not gonna forget about this, we’re not gonna stop protesting, this is not OK, we don’t agree.” (more…)

11/22/16 1:44pm
Don't faint! via IG user @fit_alix

Don’t faint! via IG user @fit_alix

If you don’t feel like arguing politics with family this Thanksgiving and your last-minute Friendsgiving plans have fallen through, there are still ways to get into the holiday spirit, none of which involve spending $35 on a prix-fixe turkey meal for one.

At Brokelyn, we know that you’ve gotta give a little to get a little, and Thanksgiving’s less-than-proud past makes it a perfect time to put those karma pennies back into the piggy bank with some volunteer work or community service. Plus, it feels good to help other people!

Here are five fun ways to give back over the holiday in five different BK neighborhoods. If you happen to live in one, even better — you can meet your neighbors and gain a real sense of the community you’re going to be rallying with when shit gets real after the presidential inauguration in January. (more…)