02/24/17 4:26pm
Everybody is welcome to pee at Sunny's. Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

Everybody is welcome to pee at Sunny’s. Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

The biggest and most immediate rebuttal to the idea that a bathroom is some sort of magical gender island and not just a hole in the ground to collect your recycled Miller High Life happens in New York City bars every single night. It’s in the back of those bars in long lines of people desperate to evacuate their bowels and get back to the party that any concerns of gender roles break down in favor of the only gods New Yorkers believe in: convenience and speed. This has been the case for some time, and you’re seeing more and more bars give up the idea that anyone really cares about anything about the bathroom other than how long the line is.

A few months ago, I was standing in line for the restrooms at Sunny’s, Red Hook’s beloved bar at the end of the world, where the Saturday night bluegrass jam had drawn in its usual large crowd. The bathrooms at the time were labeled “His” and “Hers” in charming vintage lettering. But they’re single-occupancy rooms so I always use whichever one opens first. That night, the Hers room opened and I pointed out to the guy in front of me in line that if he didn’t use it, I would. His face glowed with revelation: “Yeah, I could right?! It’s 2016, right? I’m going for it!” This guy seemed to think he was making some enlightened, revolutionary stance. He was not. A bathroom is just a place to pee and occasionally do drugs in.

Sunny’s recognized this: it recently added the words “+everybody” (which I snapped the above picture of on Tuesday) to the signs to clear up any confusion, because who has time to care. Like most social debates that embroil red state America, New Yorkers are too busy to care about where you pee and do your drugs, so long as you’re not slowing them down.  (more…)

02/22/17 12:54pm

The Levee is one of the last true old (as in, from 10 years ago) bars left in Williamsburg, where you can still get piss drunk on cheap beer at 1pm on a Tuesday while sitting on a cigarette-covered picnic table as a guy with ratty metal hair digs around in a vat of communal cheese balls to provide you with a non-nutritious but free bar meal of cheese dust with a Twizzler chaser. You know, the good ol’ days of the recession before any of us had jobs.

Anyway, the bar we check on every week out of fear it’s finally being turned into an M&M Store/Lexus dealership mega complex is still holding strong, and is still at it with the great street art. The bar just unveiled a new mural yesterday (above) on its North 3rd Street-facing side created by Damien Mitchell. It shows a winking Vladimir Putin taking off his Trump mask, which is to date the worst cosplay to wear to a party. Not even in your most strung out nights in the old Kokie’s days would you imagine a world where this art would be necessary in 2017.  (more…)

02/17/17 2:35pm

2016 ended its reign of terror by taking one last icon from us: BookCourt, the beloved Cobble Hill bookstore closed its doors after 35 years on New Year’s Eve. But packaged with that gloomy cloud was a tantalizing silver lining: author and former BookCourt employee Emma Straub announced she and her husband would pick up the mantle and open a new bookstore in the neighborhood. And now it’s really happening! Straub posted on Instagram yesterday that the new store, Books Are Magic (aw), will open at 225 Smith St. at the corner of Butler this spring. There’s no official opening date yet but construction is well underway according to Instagram pictures. We’ll keep you updated on an official date when we hear more. (more…)

02/16/17 3:29pm
Photo by Steve Sherman/Brownstoner.

Fort Greene’s Pequena joined the Day Without Immigrants protest today. Photo by Steve Sherman/Brownstoner.

Let’s check in on the latest tally of groups that have struck out against Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-sanity attempts to solve problems that don’t exist since being in office: the bars revolted, the bodegas took to the streets, the restaurants took a stand and the laundromats rode into battle. Now today, a variety of businesses joined the fight as donut shops, Mexican restaurants and fruit stands went on strike for the Day Without Immigrants protest. Across Brooklyn, those businesses included Fort Greene’s Pequeña, Dough donuts in Bed-Stuy, Blue Ribbon in Park Slope, Sociale in Brooklyn Heights and many more, according to Brownstoner.

Up next in huge protests, women take the streets again March 8 for “A Day Without A Woman,” organized by the group that created the Women’s March on Washington. So basically, soon you should be expecting a protest every day of every week until the end of time, which is probably only about two months away anyway. Here’s what the Day Without Immigrants looked like in Brooklyn today.  (more…)

02/14/17 11:35am

Perhaps you’re finding it hard to feel much in the mood for lurve today, seeing as the state of national politics presently falls somewhere between wilted three-week-old-bodega-flowers and a heart-shaped box full of carob-covered bed bugs and chlamydia. So if you’re not in the mood to make DIY chocolate treats, no one would blame you. Instead you might just want to consider the activity that truly matches what’s in our hearts right now: drinking heavily in a dimly lit dive bar.

Last year, Bushwick’s Bootleg Bar celebrated its second anniversary by releasing a truly amazing and outrageously bonkers retro-style commercial mashing up 80s-style car dealership spots and local TV ads. This year it’s back to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the above video, which it describes as “Eraserhead meets a 1-900 commercial.” It’s disturbing and dark and a little unnerving, making it the perfect video to watch on Valentine’s Day 2017. Damnit, I need a drink already. (more…)

02/09/17 4:57pm
Here's why Brooklynites lined up at 10am yesterday for these Planned Parenthood tattoos

A patron gets “choice” tattooed on their arm during the Part to Protect Fundraiser yesterday. Photo by Tony Falcone.

Never underestimate the allure of cheap tattoos in Brooklyn, especially when those tattoos are killer feminist designs that benefit Planned Parenthood. Dozens of eager tattoo subjects lined up outside Magick City in Greenpoint yesterday for the Tattoo to Protect Your Parts fundraiser yesterday. The event didn’t start until 2pm, but if you weren’t in line by noon, you were out of luck. About 80 people total got the chance to pay $40 for a tattoo, with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood NYC Votes. The event was the brainchild of Party to Protect, a group founded in the post-election malaise to help raise money for things under attack during the Trump administration like reproductive rights and basic human decency.

“I think we’ve all spent a few nights just on the couch with a blanket just crying about the state of the world,” Laura Matthei, one of the group’s organizers told us. “This is obviously something that’s not a conspiracy theory anymore. The framework is being laid out. I thought we were immune to stuff like that and we’re no longer immune. And that’s really terrifying and we want to do everything we can to combat this.” (more…)

02/08/17 11:39am
This Greenpoint laundromat charges double to wash your filthy Trump clothes

Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

It’s been three months since the election and we’ll still probably never get used to seeing the occasional Make America Great Again hat on the subway. Its presence seems like a glitch or a fleck of dirt on your laptop screen you keep trying to rub away. Greenpoint in particular is not exactly a hotbed of Trump support, but if you do see any Trump-boosting clothing, you can take pleasure in knowing they might be very dirty.

Greenpoint’s joke-loving, pinball-obsessed Sunshine Laundromat has posted the above sign, which I spotted last night, pledging to add a 100 percent surcharge on any laundry containing the Trump name, and donate an equal amount to the American Society for Muslim Advancement. This sign is more joke than threat: it’s doubtful any Trump fans are coming into the pinball speakeasy laundromat in Greenpoint, or if this would actually even be legal (and there are lots of other laundromats nearby anyway). But it’s a further sign of where we’re at as a country: first the bars revolted, then the bodegas took to the streets, then the restaurants took a stand, and now the laundromats are joining in. Nutcracker Salesman Against Trump can’t be far behind.  (more…)

02/03/17 5:07pm
Lining up for prayer at Thursday's bodega strike rally. Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

Lining up for prayer at Thursday’s bodega strike rally. Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

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Our new 2017 Beer Books went on sale! We know you’re gonna need beer this year.

You heard the words “citywide Yemeni bodega strike” for the first time in your life.

Then thousands of bodega owners rallied in front of Borough Hall (with great signs too).

And we learned the rest of America doesn’t know what a bodega is.

These tattoo artists offered cheap feminist tattoos to benefit Planned Parenthood.

Smunion, the beloved, maybe mafia-tied, Smith Street bodega, got its own T-shirt.

We finally got the Nazi-punching film festival we needed.

The affordable housing lottery for units in a Downtown Brooklyn building opened.

Grand Army Plaza emerged as the center of BK’s Resist Trump movement.

Union Hall kicked off a fundraising Resistance Comedy series.

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02/03/17 12:27pm
hmmm

Your loss, the rest of the country.

As you know, thousands of Yemeni bodega workers across the city yesterday fed their cats, turned off their coffee pots, shut their gates and went on strike at noon to protest Trump’s Muslim travel ban. The strike and subsequent rally at Borough Hall were met with cheers of solidarity by most New Yorkers. But as New Yorkers asked their Yemini neighbors what they can do to help, the rest of the country was asking: “What the hell is a bodega?”

Twitter users across the country (and some abroad) were stumped when hearing news about the bodega strike yesterday, because they had never heard the word before. Merriam-Webster, better known as the official dictionary of the resistance, reported a spike in people looking up “bodega” yesterday too. We know we’re in our New York bubble here, with our own languages and habits and various ways of telling people to get the f outta here, so let’s take a minute to appreciate the parts of the country that have never known the joy of a store where you can get a hot sandwich, a six-pack, condoms AND mysterious endurance pills at 4am, even during a hurricane. We doubt any of you took your bodega for granted, but you’ll appreciate it even more now.  (more…)

02/03/17 9:59am
Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

Meow he’s gone and done it. Photos by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

We’re just 14 days into the Donald Trump presidency and we’ve reached the point that bodega owners — and, presumably, their cats — have risen up in open revolt. Thousands of Yemeni bodega owners and supporters rallied in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall last night in protest of Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, capping off an unprecedented eight-hour citywide bodega strike. The strike shuttered an estimated 1,000 Yemeni-owned bodegas, groceries and others stores across the five boroughs and drove home the point that Trump’s Muslim travel ban wasn’t just reverberating in far-off lands; it affected the family and friends of the people you get your coffee, Modelo and Hi-Chews from every day. And we already know what happened when someone tried to come for the bodega cats.

This above was our favorite sign from the rally, so let’s take a moment to digest what it means: The words of a man who bragged about sexual assault on tape but still became president are being used against him by New York City bodega owners in protest of his racist and knee-jerk outrage at Muslim countries around the world. Good luck with this stuff, writers of future history textbooks.  (more…)