12/05/16 3:38pm
A huge fire consumed Oakland's Ghost Ship over the weekend, leaving more than 30 dead. Via Flickr user Julianna Brown.

A huge fire consumed Oakland’s Ghost Ship over the weekend, leaving more than 30 dead. Via Flickr user Julianna Brown.

Oakland’s artistic community, and by extension every DIY arts community around the country, is reeling after a fire consumed a beloved arts space over the weekend, killing more than 30 people in one of the nation’s deadliest building fires in the past 50 years. In an already widely circulated piece, KQED writer Gabe Meline warns that “it could have been any one of us,” the “us” there being any of us who regularly hang out in DIY, quasi-legal and makeshift art spaces that hang on to the fringes of otherwise oppressively expensive cities.

It’s not hard to see the parallels between Ghost Ship and the DIY spaces in Brooklyn, which both exist as a haven for fringe, under-represented and emerging artists that have been increasingly pushed to the edges of unaffordable cities. Thankfully, NYC’s spaces have been free of tragedy on this scale but are constantly facing troubles with regulators, neighbors, real estate and Vice. So NYC’s arts community is already stepping up with some fundraisers for the victims; find out how you can help below: (more…)

12/05/16 1:37pm
Remember the kneady.

Remember the kneady.

$230, if this report from the NY Post today is to be believed. The Post’s Brad Hamilton went undercover at a suss new “massage parlor” on tony Smith Street in Cobble Hill. He confirmed it was “a bordello barely masquerading as a massage spa,” with several online sex-seeking ads that also pointed to the location. Hamilton paid $50 for an hour-long massage, and then $180 for the, uh, bonus service that involved nudity, breast touching and a condom. At least it’s not another bank? (more…)

12/05/16 10:36am
You'll still find plenty in bloom in the Botanic Garden throughout the winter. Via Facebook.

You’ll still find plenty in bloom in the Botanic Garden throughout the winter. Via Facebook.

Two things are true right now: unseasonably warm temperatures are making this December a more tempting time to embrace the outdoors; and also the horrifying onslaught of news since election day makes you just want to stay inside and in bed forever. Don’t give in to the bed (all the time, at least). Your body needs fresh air and a walk in nature to center yourself and take a break from reading Twitter dot com every now and then.

You’re in luck because one of the best nature walks in town just became free for the winter: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is now completely free to enter on weekdays through late February. And there’s plenty to do there, even if the trees are in winter hibernation. (more…)

11/30/16 11:31am
New etiquette rules now that you can watch Netflix offline on the subway

Via Flickr user randombydefinition

Today Netflix came to the rescue of people with long commutes who hate reading books (or are maybe too hungover to read on the way to work because girl we’ve been there) by finally letting you download videos for offline viewing. The streaming service now allows you to save certain episodes and movies on your mobile device (iPad or iPhone, for instance, but not your laptop). Now you can crush some eps of Stranger Things or the entirety of Minions while underground or on an airplane or at your weird relatives’ house that doesn’t have wifi over Christmas.

As with every new upgrade of commuter technology, we must embrace new etiquette rules for being a respectful subway rider while still enjoying your entertainment. Here then is your comprehensive etiquette rules for watching Netflix on the subway: (more…)

11/30/16 10:26am
A man swimming the Gowanus Canal in 2015, a simpler time in America. Photo by Dave Colon.

A man swimming the Gowanus Canal in 2015, a simpler time in America. Photo by Dave Colon.

Political news right now is a vast, flowing, torrid and seemingly neverending river of shit, so it only makes sense that our own river of shit in Brooklyn may only get worse under an upcoming Trump administration. From DNAinfo today:

The long-awaited federal cleanup of the Gowanus Canal could come to a near-halt during the Donald Trump administration, but state environmental officials vowed Tuesday that their agency stands ready to step in and fight for the blighted waterway.

President-elect Trump said on the campaign trail that he wants clean air and clean water, but also claimed that global warming was a “concept” created by the Chinese and vowed to dismantle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

That last promise is one that has Gowanus worried.

(more…)

11/28/16 9:55am
Apply now: The lottery for $596/month studios at the old Domino Sugar factory site opens today

A sweet deal at the old Domino sugar factory site. Via Shop Architects.

Years ago, when the spread of waterfront development in Williamsburg momentarily seemed containable, a group of residents and decay-junkies led an effort to preserve the old Domino Sugar factory complex. The ill-fated goal was to preserve the historic, hulking ruins of the old sugar factory, whose vast abandoned charm and industrial aesthetic reminded the neighborhood of its pre-hyper gentrification days. The effort failed of course, and the massive development project pictured above is under construction. So you can’t live in lofts carved out of a 130-year-old sugar factory, but you can at least live on the land instead: Today, the lottery opened for $596/month studios at 325 Kent Ave., the first building on the site.  (more…)

11/22/16 2:11pm
Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

New York City: The worst place to live, except all those other places that have been tried. From DNAinfo yesterday:

[A]lmost 40 percent of New Yorkers say they can’t afford to live here, the Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found.

Sixty-five percent of New York City voters said they’d rather remain here, while 32 percent say they would move out if they had the chance, according the poll.

…. Brooklynites felt most burdened, with 52 percent saying they can’t afford it here. In Manhattan, only 38 percent said it was too expensive.

So why do we stay? Oh right, because the rest of America is terrifying right now.

(more…)

11/22/16 12:15pm
The final piece of Bushwick Inlet Park is in place. Via Flickr user Kbrinker.

The final piece of Bushwick Inlet Park is in place. Via Flickr user Kbrinker.

de Blasio says he’ll stand up to Trump in NYC [Politico]
The city finally acquired the final piece of Bushwick Inlet Park [Gothamist]
I can’t believe America is racist, says employee of all-white startup [Reductress]
Remembering the Queen of Bedford Avenue [Bedford + Bowery]
The city is getting ready to enforce Airbnb fines [Brick Underground]
The Gowanus rabbit abuse case ends in conviction [DNAinfo]
Four & Twenty Blackbirds is making a big expansion [Grub Street]

11/21/16 2:01pm
via Flickr user randar.

via Flickr user randar.

Some campaign promises may still come true even though Hillary Clinton lost the electoral vote. From Bloomberg today:

In the presidential election, food carts became a symbol of immigrant rights after Marco Gutierrez, founder of Latinos for Trump, warned on MSNBC that a win by Democrat Hillary Clinton would lead to “taco trucks on every corner,” a threat some Mexican food lovers took as good news.

City lawmakers now bet that increasing the number of cart permits will curb the illegal market. The price would jump to $1,000. The measures also would establish an agency to conduct sanitary inspections and ensure the vendors don’t encroach upon the community.

(more…)

11/21/16 10:46am

Since the election, we’ve seen lots of calls to arms rallying writers, activists, artists and whomever to tap into their personal superpower to help oppose Trump’s plans to make America hate again. Yesterday, Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys called on people to “take what you’re good at and what you truly enjoy and lend your services to the causes you are most about.”

For our own managing editor Sam Corbin, that superpower is punning, so Sam — the current reigning Punderdome champion — and co-writer Ally Spier came up with a video that turns the names of 50 famous women into anti-Trump puns. And woah man, is she swinging for blood on this one: She warns “the election wasn’t the Gladys Knight in American history” and that though the future isn’t “Albright,” we all need to “Toklas about making the art and actually make it.”

In all my years of competitive punning I’ve never seen anyone pun with such a steely look in their eyes. We’re declaring a new trend here: puns for social justice. It’s a brave new word.  (more…)