10/21/16 1:31pm
Drink and eat all you want and just pay by the hour at Glass Hour. Via Facebook.

Drink and eat all you want and just pay by the hour at Glass Hour. Via Facebook.

Loitering has been a problem for coffee shop owners for so long that we’ve gone through several cycles of addressing it in New York City. First came limiting laptop hours and eliminating outlets, then things like timed wifi. Britcom hit Fleabag skewered the annoying laptop camper in its inaugural season this summer, which means it’s far from just an American thing. It’s a tough balance for businesses to strike between enabling the long, languorous cafe afternoons that can be good for productivity and community while also limiting the freeloaders who just want your wifi and free coffee refills while they turn a table into their personal office space.

But what if a cafe embraced lingerers instead of chasing them out? That’s the premise of Glass Hour, a new “anti-cafe” and “new-age working space” that opened in Williamsburg on Aug. 26, where customers can eat, drink and play their games as much as they want; they pay by the hour they spend there, not by what they consume. It’s a hybrid of a coworking space and a coffee shop. But will it work?  (more…)

10/21/16 10:38am
The bot form of Jimmy McMillan wants to help you find an apartment.

The bot form of Jimmy McMillan wants to help you find an apartment (Archibald the parrot helps too).

Jimmy McMillan has an enduring allure to him, especially at this moment in history, perhaps because he reminds us of a time when our, let’s say, more unorthodox candidates weren’t seen as a direct threat to democracy and everything we hold dear. Most people started seeing McMillan’s Chester A. Arthur mutton chops and pro wrestler swagger during his notable bid for governor in 2010, when he ran on the Rent Is Too Damn High ticket, which also happened to be his catchphrase and only memorable platform. It was the “make America great again” for a kinder, simpler age. We’ve seen a decent amount of him since then: he talked about running for mayor, dropped a fairly fire anthem (for a politician, at least), traveled the world in doll form, occasionally shopped at Trader Joe’s on Court Street and announced in December he would retire from politics. This month he’s back in a new role, though along the same theme: Helping you find an apartment in a city where the rent only keeps getting higher.

Apartment hunting startup Joinery worked with McMillan to create Jimmybot, a free Jimmy McMillan-inspired Facebook bot that helps you search for apartments in your price range. McMillan appears in videos for the service, including one where he advises that if you had your own apartment, you wouldn’t walk in on him having sex with your mother to the tunes of Teddy Pendergrass.

“A lot of it was completely just ad libbed,” Joinery cofounder Julia Ramsey said of the videos. “He was totally into the idea, he’s been sort of in and out of politics for so long. His central platform that the cost of living is too high in New York, and I would tend to agree.” (more…)

10/20/16 3:00pm
One of these raving pizza lunatics could be you. Via Facebook.

One of these raving pizza lunatics could be you. Via Facebook.

Odds are that there are very few people reading Brokelyn who are fans of Pizza Hut, seeing as eating chain pizza in New York City is basically violence, or college sports, because we’ve tried to serve you guys sports content before and you nerds aren’t into it, we get it. But there are definitely lots of you who love money and travel, so we’re going to tell you about this gig anyway. Pizza Hut, home to one of Donald Trump’s first publicly shameful moments, is looking for a “Pizza Hut All-American,” a sports fan who is willing to go to as many NCAA Division I championships they can this school year while doing some social media for the Hut. With 90 games in all, that means everything from the Final Four and the Frozen Four to the College Baseball World Series and the beach volleyball championship. And you get $50,000 for it. (more…)

10/20/16 11:18am

hillary clinton benghazi brush your shoulders off brush yo shoulders off brushes shouldersMercifully, the final presidential debate is over but cruelly, there are still 19 days left until the actual election because it turns out there’s no mercy rule in politics so they can’t call this thing early and let everyone vote now. The problem with Trump’s likely defeat at this point is how much carnage he’s willing to create on his way to the loser’s circle, how many mangled carcasses of decency and American political decorum he’s willing to leave by the roadside in his kamikaze last few days.

Election burnout is real; we have in some sense been in this campaign since for a staggering 14 months already, as the first Republican primary was held in August of 2015, if you can even remember a time that far back. That’s not even factoring in the actual physical and mental stress this election is creating, with therapists reporting a spike in Trump-related anxiety and survivors of sexual assault being forced to relive their own trauma over and over again just by watching the news. I have seen several female friends, more than half seriously, ask whether you can sue a presidential candidate for emotional distress.

You deserve a day off, we all deserve a day to breathe after this election and remind ourselves there is a real world outside of politics and tweets and just batshit weird tweets about politics. So let’s dub Nov. 9 a new Adult Skip Day and give ourselves a break; you’re probably not taking enough vacation days anyway.  (more…)

10/19/16 9:32am

A photo posted by Monet Cruz (@lifeauthentica) on

Sometimes you see some graffiti that’s just so … [Italian chef kiss] mwah.  It is easy to clown on people who move to Brooklyn’s luxury buildings, since we’ve turned those ever-present newly constructed buildings into too-shiny, too-expensive glass totems of what’s wrong with Brooklyn’s development. It’s particularly easy, however, to dunk on the people who are moving to 365 Bond St., the first luxury rental building built on the Gowanus Canal, with apartments that cost up to $7,200/month that offer a view of the notoriously toxic waterway. The apartments are being marketed to people as if the waterway were a picturesque riverside, with marketing materials that say it’s “located on the newly created waterfront esplanade park.” They included a photo of people dangling their feet over the fetid waters.

So yesterday, DNAinfo reported on this graffiti that appeared adjacent to the building, reminding them that despite what marketing materials say, the Gowanus has a long way to go before it’s like the romantic canals of Venice, Italy (or even Venice, California, for that matter). (more…)

10/18/16 4:31pm
The long-awaited Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn is finally opening next week!

The lobby mural at the new Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn, opening Oct. 28. Via Facebook.

You’ve waited and waited so long for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Brooklyn to open, a waiting period that has stretched four years, several construction delays, a handful of Fast and Furious movies, a whole new Star Wars film. But the day is finally here for Brooklyn to get its outpost of the famed Austin dine-in theater chain known as much for its elaborate events as it is for its movies and food. The theater will open in the City Point development in Downtown Brooklyn on Oct. 28, just in time to show some Halloween films, the cinema announced today through a New York Times story. Tickets will go on sale at 8am tomorrow on the website. You can definitely feel the sense of relief from theater founder Tim League:

“It’s a lot more expensive and takes a lot longer than you think to do a construction project in New York,” League told the Times. “I’ve also learned, never put an opening date on a subway advertisement.” (more…)

10/18/16 4:01pm
A Freelancers Union event in December celebrated thriving in the gig economy. Will politicians pay attention? Via Facebook.

A Freelancers Union event in December celebrated thriving in the gig economy. Will politicians pay attention? Via Facebook.

One voter segment you basically never hear anything about during this or any election — well, not counting anyone who doesn’t live in a swing state — is freelancers. This isn’t surprising, as most of the freelancers have long been considered the “other” of the economy, less politically neat to categorize than middle-class America, unworthy (mostly) of demonization like the 1 percent, confusing to politicians who only slide talking points down well-worn tracks in speeches that don’t take into account the new economy where everyone has a few jobs.

But the amount of freelancers in the economy is increasing every year, growing by two million people in the past two years alone, according to the Freelancers Union, and sure to grow larger as more of us lousy millennials get sick of the boring offices, dress codes and rigid working hours that made our parents so grumpy for so long.

Here in New York, we’re on particularly fertile ground for freelancers. It’s a broad category mostly united by the constant fretting about checks arriving in time — writers, filmmakers, musicians, accountants, designers, costume makers, financial advisers, nannies and more all fit in. Maybe your go-to image of freelancers is someone blogging in their pajamas or camping out in coffee shops all day, but the category is much broader and less homogenous. They’re also very politically minded: even a slight shift in the economy can mean work dries up and the checks stop coming. So maybe that’s why freelancers vote at a way higher rate than the general population. So with an eye on the future, and the growing freelancer voter base, a report out this week gave us a look at how freelancers are voting. So why don’t politicians pay attention?  (more…)

10/13/16 4:14pm
Shady landlords abound in this city. Via YouTube.

Shady landlords abound in this city. Via YouTube.

Landlords occupy a rarefied position in American society, alongside lawyers, street canvassers and lousy journalists, in that the public always seems to think they are categorically a terrible class of humans. Everyone thinks their landlord is the worst, and many of them are, as they seem to be dedicated to squeezing every penny out of potential tenants without a whiff of concern for civic pride or maintaining a livable city. But is your landlord actually the worst? Here’s your chance to find out: Public Advocate Letitia James released the annual list of 100 worst landlords today and for the first time, the list includes Department of Building violations and Department of Finance data on tax liens. Ooh I can’t wait, it’s like the most depressing award show of all time (except for the Grammys).  (more…)

10/13/16 2:12pm
Via Flickr user Urban Bohemian.

Actually, millennials are very engaged in this election. Via Flickr user Urban Bohemian.

Tomorrow, the almost-spooky date of Friday the 14th, is the last date to register to vote in New York state for the presidential election on Nov. 8. Odds are you’re a smart, civic-minded New Yorker who has long been registered, and good for you! But hey, everyone gets busy, maybe you let it slip your mind by now, maybe you didn’t know how to do it and at this point were afraid to ask. It’s ok! Registering to vote is easy: Google even made a shortcut for you showing you the ways to do it online, in person or through the mail.

As long as you register by Friday, all is forgiven. But you might face some social stigma from your fellow Brooklynites for having waited so long, so just in case you need more backup, we have created a convenient list of excuses for why you haven’t registered to vote yet. Use them with more discretion than the current Republican candidate has ever shown around women. (more…)

10/12/16 1:27pm
Voting in Park Slope in 2008, a simpler time. Via Flickr user JoeHolmes.

Voting in Park Slope in 2008, a simpler time. Via Flickr user JoeHolmes.

We don’t know the outcome of election day yet, but we do know one thing for certain: the process of actually voting will undoubtedly be marred with problems, ballot shortages, long lines and all those other sticky problems with democracy we haven’t figured out in 200+ years. One of these years we’ll get it right!

This election day, you can be part of making sure things run a little smoother here in New York City seeing as there’s some KINDA HIGH STAKES at risk: the Board of Elections is hiring poll workers and interpreters for election day. You can make $200 a day plus the moral superiority of saying “well at least I tried to help” when everyone complains about voting problems this year. (more…)