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…)
Full Circle Bar 318 Grand St. (between Havemeyer and Marcy)
What it is: The national home of Brewskee-ball, the first-ever national competitive skeeball league, with an epic canned beer selection and no shortage of good times.
Why we love it: It’s a mix of Brooklyn cool and boardwalk fun. Even if you’re not on a Skee-ball league you can roll your luck on one of the four Skee-ball lanes. the fun vibe at the bar is helped by the decorations made of reclaimed old skeeball machine parts and a staff so dedicated to the game they’ve got Skee-ball tattoos. Tuesdays and Thursdays are some of the best cheap nights out in all the land: not only is Skee-ball free those nights, but you get a hot dog or pretzel with every beer purchase! If you live locally, take advantage of the special “sip codes” nights every month, which is an open bar for people in the Williamsburg zips. Bring boardwalk-loving buddies, competitive friends, lovers of canned beer, pun-masters for creating clever Skee-ball team names (ie: M Skee A, the Beaskee Boys, etc.)
What to order: Try one of the copious amounts of rotating canned beers selection or the all-the-time specials like a $6 Genny and whiskey (aka Whiskee).
Regular tip: The Full Circle gang is responsible for all sorts of summery fun shenanigans, including the annual National Skee-Ball Championship tournament which takes over Knitting Factory, cornhole contests and a summer long deal that lets you hop on a bus and check out a Brooklyn Cyclones game (with some beer included) for a low price. The name of the bar is a reference to a skee-ball term where a player sinks all 9 balls in the 40 point slot.—Tim Donnelly
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).
Got a lot of work to do; gonna need some more Mountain Meow Code Red.
If we know anything about the future, it’s that it will be inherited by those who know how to code, and that people will forever love looking at cats on a computer. You get to combine the two next week at a free coding workshop at NYU: the Kitten Coding Club on July 15 will be an introductory coding class, and it’s all based around the theme of cats.
The cats “are adorable and already an intrinsic part of the internet,” founder Ieva Urbaite tells us. “They set the tone for our fun, accessible, and supportive group. Every project will involve lots of adorable cat pictures while teaching solid coding skills.” No experience necessary; just bring a laptop, and at least a functional tolerance for cats. (more…)
It’s America weekend, and as we all know, Summer America is the Best America. Summer America means drinking cold cheap beer in the hot outdoors. We’re suckers for clever beer can branding in the summer time, the kind that plays off our patriotism, our nostalgia or our desire to at least not look like your average frat bro/basic bitch when guzzling mass market hops. So using our expertise as cheap beer consumers, we present: Brokelyn’s definitive ranking of the throwback and AmeriCans of summer 2014. (more…)
Film Biz Recycling, as you might know, takes used clothes from film and TV shows that would normally go in the garbage and resells them to you for cheap. On Friday, the Gowanus shop is having a big sale on 80s clothes, after getting an “enormous wardrobe and material selection from a recently canceled show that takes place in the 80s.” The store isn’t allowed to say where it gets the stuff from, but we’re just gonna use our super powers of journalistic deduction and say that it’s from The Carrie Diaries, which just bit the dust. Hey, Carrie Jr.’s loss is your gain! The night is going to be a whole 80s party with karaoke, videos and free fuzzy navels too. (more…)