The days are numbered: The American Apparel on Flatbush Ave. Via Dan Nguyen on Flickr.
Better stock up tights and slim slacks now. If you’ve walked by an American Apparel store in the past month or so, you’ve seen those big signs announcing everything in the store is 40 percent off, a discount big enough to make you not regret the price you pay for a simple, if undeniably comfortable, T-shirt. That was before the retailer was sold off to Canadian company and maker of uncomfortable T-shirts Gildan last week. Now, layoffs have begun and all 110 outlets of the retailer are set to close, including the ones in Brooklyn.
A worker at the Flatbush Avenue store last week seemed optimistic the store might stick around (it won’t, based on news reports; stores may start closing in 100 days). When I asked when the 40 percent-off sale is ending, she said “I don’t think it is.” That means the process of liquidating American Apparel’s stock of slim slacks and hoodies and unitards is well underway, and discounts are only going to get steeper as the days tick by. (more…)
One of the perks of living in New York City is that even bad news is met with a party. David Bowie died and 100 tribute dance parties immediately blossomed to pay tribute, Carnegie Deli closed and a line party grew outside so people could say goodbye. So this weekend, when America takes a big kick to the gut, New York City is marking the occasion not only with a bevy of protests, marches and rallies, but also with some parties to help dance away the bad vibes — and raise money for organizations that will help fight Trump and his merry band of racists and billionaires.
If you can’t make it to the big women’s march in DC on Saturday, here’s a rundown of the protests, parties and ant-inauguration events happening in Brooklyn and NYC this weekend; we’ll keep updating this list as more come in. (more…)
We know that freelancers are considered by many to be a pretty low rung of the job market, one that didn’t even warrant any attention during the recent 14-year long presidential campaign. But the workforce is growing, with 55 million people working as freelancers last year alone, making up 35 percent of the workforce. It’s only going to get bigger as people turn away from traditional office jobs in favor of making up their own patchwork careers.
We’re all going to have it a lot tougher in the coming year if Trump and his Cobra command squadron kill Obamacare and replace it with, who knows what, maybe just telling you to rub some dirt in it and get back out there. But there may be some good news on the horizon, at least in New York state. As part of his State of the State speech being delivered at several locations this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing a “Portable Benefit Task Force” that will be charged with recommending some creative ways for freelance workers and others get access to affordable benefits.
“New York City specifically has been named the ‘freelancer capital of the world’ because it is home to 1.3 million self-identified freelancers,” Cuomo said in the speech, which you can read here. “Many of these workers lack the core protections and benefits provided for in the traditional labor market, and the existing system for supporting workers is outdated.” (more…)
We are coping with the upcoming Trump administration by using an alternating mix of activist rage and absurdist comedy, because if we can’t spend an entire news cycle making pee-pee jokes about the president-elect on Twitter, are we even really Americans any more?
Comedian Scott Rogowsky today brought back his hilarious Taking Fake Book Covers on the Subway series (which we last wrote about in April) for a special Trump-shaming edition. This version features book titles like Wet Dreams From My Father by Ivanka Trump and Horton Smears a Jew by Steve Bannon. And it takes place on the L train too. Give it a watch and feel good having a laugh instead of being full of rage for a few minutes: All proceeds from the video will go to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. (more…)
Barring any sort of Crisis on Infinite Earths scenario that removes our world from the Darkest Timeline and returns things to their proper order, Trump becomes president in a little more than a week. The stark contrast between the outgoing and incoming administrations was in full HD display last night, as President Obama delivered his farewell speech full of calls for hope and the commonality of our purpose, while his successor had spasms of Twitter rage denying allegations that he and some Russian prostitutes created their own version of Wikileaks in a hotel room.
It can be hard to find any hope that things will get better in the near future, but for now we’ll point you to this section from Obama’s speech last night that we think can serve as a guiding light to any brokester who just wants to make something in the world or anyone trying to make a difference, or maybe just is trying to hold on to their little piece of New York City with all they’ve got: (more…)
We have lots of work to do in this country about reframing previously accepted social norms (and, no, that doesn’t mean making it ok to shout “WHAT IF NAZIS WERE ACTUALLY GOOD” in a crowded subway). Add to that list naps, the most perennially underutilized and oft-overlooked form of sleep. They’re tiny little miracles that are both good for your health and contain the magic of a fairy tale slumber that can jolt even the weariest lunch-bloated office drone back to life. We’ve come out in favor of naps before, and it seems Obama is leaving office without hearing our demand for more naps. So for guidance we must turn to foreign lands, specifically Japan, which has made great strides in nap normalization. As the New York Times reports:
“In most countries, sleeping on the job isn’t just frowned upon, it may get you fired. But in Japan, napping in the office is common and culturally accepted. And in fact, it is often seen as a subtle sign of diligence: You must be working yourself to exhaustion.”
We must also get to a place where our bosses will look on approvingly as we knock back a couple quick Zs at our desks. (more…)
It’s hack to get upset about Starbucks these days since the omnipresent, if not eternally boring, chain has become such a part of the background of NYC, like many banks, Vitamin Worlds and other things that pass through our vision like reused backdrops in old cartoons. So when the Starbuckses (Starsbuck?) arrived in Williamsburg in 2015, it was met with a sigh of inevitability: the neighborhood well on its way to being little Soho was of course a natural home to the coffee giant and its copy-and-paste coffee house furniture, soundtrack and food.
The problem with Starbucks is that it’s so unnecessary in a neighborhood like Williamsburg, which has long been filled to the brim with a bounty of coffee places surfing riding that coffee third wave. That means the only reason you’d choose to go to Starbucks is that you: A) don’t know about the other spots in the neighborhood or B) genuinely prefer it to a local shop (A is slightly more offensive than B to me for many reasons).
But shortly after opening, things got a little more intense in the Brooklyn coffee wars: The Starbucks off Bedford Avenue started selling beer and wine to attract the nighttime caffeinated drinker crowd, which put them in direct competition with many of the bars and coffee shops in the neighborhood. And guess what just happened? Starbucks lost. (more…)