Years ago while working at Trader Joe’s, I saw my friend D get in a tiff with another girl, both of them native Brooklynites. After the fight, D walked over to me and said, “That girl must be from Williamsburg or something because she is HARD.” She was of course speaking of the historical Williamsburg, once known as a rough-and-raw high-crime area, not so much the home of jokes about skinny jeans and PBR it had become. Of course, even in the years since that tiff, the fear in the neighborhood has changed: people don’t worry so much about being mugged, or being plowed under by a penny farthing, they worry that they’ve accidentally wandered into Midtown East, thanks to the chain-washing of Jay Crew, Urbo Outties, Hole Foods, Starsbuck and now an off-brand Microsoft store.
We can only guess it is this latest iteration that most terrifies Brooklyn native Michael K. Williams, who played Omar on The Wire, Albert “Chalky” White on Boardwalk Empireand now lives in Williamsburg. He said to the New Yorker this week, of the neighborhood: ““Sometimes, when I see, you know, antics on the weekend, I’d feel safer in the Vanderveer projects, where I grew up.” (more…)
Photobooth photo by Bibi Booth in 2012′s party, returning this year!
It’s time to rifle through your laundry pile and find some pants, freelancers: the No Office Holiday Party is this Thursday! Sure, the annual tradition, which we co-host with our buddies at the skint, is a chance for the freelancers, work-from-homers, unemployed and otherwise itinerant workers of Brooklyn to gather to feel appreciated and get drunk on holiday cheer (and cheap drinks). But even if you have a real, adult office type party, we think the odds are pretty good that our party will be more fun. Find out why, and see what else is in store at the party, in this 10-point memo below. For one, we can tell you this party definitely does not require an etiquette guide of any kind. (more…)
2014: The year podcast listening parties became a thing. Serial, the mega-hit podcast from the producers of This American Life, has legions of fans sitting at home listening to the voice of Sarah Koening as we try to figure out the big mysteries: Was Adnan’s defense boned because his attorney was so annoying? How did so many 17-year-olds have cell phones in 1999? WHAT THE CRAP ARE YOU HIDING, JAY?? Well you don’t have to sit around thinking this over by yourself any more more. Williamsburg’s Videology has started holding free listening parties every Thursday until the show ends, featuring drink specials and group discussions. Sounds better than a shrimp sale at the Crab Shack. (more…)
Your office was never this sexy. 2013 photo by Yucca Miyata
Office culture is the actual worst sometimes. Those awful K cups of coffee that taste like they were boiled from rat bunghole; those magic midtown lunch spots that can turn 12 whole dollars into a single unfulfilling salad, not to mention CAROL IN ACCOUNTING who you’re pretty sure is the world’s leading expert on Real Housewifery. So instead of pining for an overrated office gig this holiday season, come party with the freelancers, under-employed and non-office-drones of Brooklyn. Brokelyn and our buddies at the skint are back hosting the fourth annualNo Office Holiday Party at Littlefield on Dec. 11!
We’ve got live-band karaoke so you can sing like a rock star, mistletoe, comedy, a photobooth, sexy santas, food, presents, dancing and more! All for just $5, the same as a roundtrip subway ride to whatever awful midtown venue those real office parties happen in. Details below, buy your tickets now here! (more…)
An empty warehouse filling with tiny sparks of dreams is a strange place to spend a Sunday morning. To boot, it was a warehouse on the far west side of Manhattan way up in the 50s, the nearest signs of life being the Larry Flynt Hustler Club and Terminal 5, a place I try to avoid as if it were an active Ebola volcano (though the upcoming Sleater-Kinney show broke my boycott).
This is where New York got its chance to audition for America’s Got Talent which is, ostensibly, a nation-sized version of the talent shows you saw in high school. Or it’s a new version of the Gong Show, or basically like an American Idol but with magicians and puppeteers, or whatever (surprise: I don’t have a TV). The point is, the show drags its tuna net countrywide and sucks hopeful participants into the vortex that says “you, yes you!, could be the One to make it.” The prize is a million dollars, a chance to headline a show in Vegas, and all sorts of teevee. So in preparation for the 10th season, the show held auditions on Sunday that drew thousands of people. Here are your dreamers, America. And I was there too. Even more bizarre, I was asked to come by the producers. (more…)
Franky doesn’t give a shit if you know what a bodega is.
Taylor Swift was elected mayor of Times Square last week and we don’t remember voting for her but whatever. Despite the rage aneurysm Dave gave himself, I can’t spend much time worrying about what a lady who released her album through a Target exclusive has to say about New York, because talking too much about these things only makes them stronger, like some sort of blonde X-Man whose mutation is the power to summon a smothering tidal wave of thinkpieces.
Anyway, we asked you last week what your real NYC anthem was, and you came through big time, with a greatest hits collection of jams so good, we put them into a Spotify playlist to share with you. It runs the Gotham gamut, from Sinatra and Gershwin to Jay Z and the Beasties, from LCD Soundsystem and the Ramones to Black Star and the Julie Ruin. Pump it through your headphones the next time you’re stuck behind tourists with Target bags on the Manhattan sidewalk and need to remember that the city is big enough to have a song for every person. (more…)
The New York media varsity internet outrage squad was in full effect this week declaring the new Taylor Swift song “Welcome to New York” as alternately the gentrification anthem no one asked for and the wispy blonde straw that finally made loving New York “basic.” But for us, arguing that a song by a 20-something white pop lady ruins a city of 8 million diverse people seems about as useful as declaring that Disney’s Frozen has slandered the Norwegian blue collar labor market beyond repair. It’s an empty, pretty thing by a lady who makes empty, pretty songs.
So this is not going to be your New York City anthem, unless maybe you’re a 22-year-old college grad whose visions of moving to the city are all frozen yogurt shops and Chop’t salad lines. But it brings up a good point: we all do have a New York City or Brooklyn anthem of some kind. Whether you grew up here or moved here to do the dream-chasing thing, everyone’s got a song they cue up on the iPod for that tracking shot while your plane is pulling back in over the city skyline after a particularly torturous family or business visit in some Other State, the song’s refrains drilling into your head the question with no good answer: “why did you ever leave in the first place?” So what’s your anthem? (more…)
We’ve got spirits yes we do we’ve got spirits and some brews.
Happy birthday to us! Brokelyn has had so many swashblogging adventures over our five years that we could only celebrate with a big ol’ Homecoming-themed party tonight at the Bell House. In keeping with our mission to help you enjoy the best of the borough on a budget, we’re bringing you $1 Brooklyn Brewery beers (while supplies last, so get there early) and the chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes — including a brand-new bike, a BAM membership, tattoos and a high-end couples vibrator. Plus we’ve lined up a talent-show’s worth of entertainment: Scott Rogowsky, Danny Tamberelli, the Hungry March Band and DJ Brian Blackout spinning your favorite high school jams. Study up on your Brooklyn words and you can walk away with even more prizes in the spelling bee and dress your high school best so you can show your mom your photobooth picture.
Doors open at 7:30! You can still buy tickets ahead of time or nab them at the door. Here are our quick pro guide on how to ace the party arrival. UPDATE! We’ve got $5 After School Special cocktails until 8:30 AND free rides home from Lyft too! Details below. (more…)
Not sure about you guys, but the only gifts I ever walked away from a high school dance with was the gift of listening to “Nights in White Satin,” which was our prom song for some reason. So high school dances were probably kinda lame for most of us, but now we’re adults and it’s time to retcon all that history: we’re celebrating Brokelyn’s fifth birthday at the Brokelyn High Homecoming Dance on Oct. 16 at the Bell House, but we’re giving you the presents. We’ve rounded up a selection of some of the finest things Brooklyn has to offer, including meals, tattoos, shuffleboard, classes and, of course, a BRAND NEW BIKE from Ride Brooklyn! Each prize is worth an average $100 or more. It’s enough to make you earn a varsity letter in “Free Swag.” See the full list below! (more…)
Five years ago, Mike Bloomberg was still just a two-term mayor, mayonnaise didn’t have its own artisanal store, 285 Kent hadn’t even opened (or closed) yet and The New York Times only mentioned Lena Dunham in 1 out of 10 stories, as opposed to 1 in 3 stories. Also in that long-ago Brooklyn era, a new site called Brokelyn crawled onto the blogging shores. And my how we’ve grown since then (thanks to our great readers).