11/04/16 10:50am
This is the last time you'll have to make a real phone call ever probably. Via Hillary Clinton's Facebook page.

This is the last time you’ll have to make a real phone call ever probably. Via Hillary Clinton’s Facebook page.

Before we nervously drink ourselves to literal death on Tuesday night, there is still, somehow, one more weekend of this interminable election campaign to endure. And sure, it may turn out we’ve been dead this whole time are actually have been trapped in a Shining-style campaign photo for 100 years, but until then you do still have a chance to help bring this thing home for Hillary and make sure Trump doesn’t go all Redrum over our entire country.

Here’s the last batch of GOTV and phone banking efforts you can take part in here in NYC this weekend, including some celeb-studded events (if you consider Jack Antonoff a celeb, at least) and ways to help without leaving the house.  (more…)

11/03/16 12:21pm
Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

The problem of “transplants” is a major gripe for Brooklyn natives, or anyone who thinks they’ve lived here long enough to earn the chance to sneer at the latest batch of college graduates who just hatched in Bushwick. New York is big, too-crowded and complicated, and we feel defensive about who has earned the right to criticize it, explain it to outsiders or rep some provenance of “Brooklyn-ness” when out in the world.

City Point is one of the most anticipated developments in recent history in Brooklyn, and it’s full of both transplants and locals. The 675,000 square foot, five-story complex right off the Dekalb Avenue stop is one of the things that’s turning that part of Downtown Brooklyn into a destination, not just a collection of office buildings and parking garages. Earlier this month, the Century 21 opened on the ground floor; last week, the long-awaited Alamo Drafthouse finally opened its dine-in theaters and bar upstairs. A Trader Joe’s, Target and a food hall are coming soon.

Scoping it out last week, we noticed the above sign with what City Point has adopted as its slogan: “You don’t have to be born in Brooklyn to be Brooklyn born.” This motto seems risky, poised to trigger that kind of anti-transplant attitude that mocked Budweiser’s ham-handed attempt at local authenticity earlier this year. What made City Point go with this message? I called up Paul Travis, managing partner of Washington Square Partners, which is developing the site, to find out.

“Brooklyn is not one of those places in America where people have lived there forever, where if you come back 100 years later it’s the same family,” he said. “Brooklyn is a county, or city, you can call it, of immigrants. The idea that you can identify as a Brooklyner even if you weren’t born there is very strong.” (more…)

11/02/16 11:09am
RIP Pavilion: Paying tribute to the best worst theater in Brooklyn on its final day

An appropriate memorial made of literal trash . Photos by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

A funeral should be a somber occasion meant to pay respect to the dead, and not, say, poke around inside the corpse to catalog all the places where it had fallen apart before its passing. But the farewell to the Pavilion Theater in Park Slope last night was definitely more of a party, as visitors paid their respects to the sorta-beloved, much-reviled old moviehouse by picking apart its still-warm body (literally: I saw someone walk away with what looked like sconces they took off the wall). A DJ station was set up on the second floor arcade, so people were literally dancing on its grave; a brass band outside gave it the feel of a New Orleans funeral. Theaters ran a few black and white movies to entertain guests, who watched from cracked leather seats on floors still crackling with stickiness. The whole building was open for exploration, like a body in a medical theater, showing us how bad it got before the major surgery begins.

The Pavilion, opened in 1996 in an existing old cinema, showed its last movie six days ago. It’s the rare closing of a neighborhood institution that was actually welcomed with open arms. That’s because it did something incredibly rare: Instead of developing the property into condos, the fate of so many old buildings in the city these days, the theater is being taken over by Williamsburg’s Nitehawk Cinema, an art house known for dine-in theaters and themed events. It’s hard to find anyone who has a problem with this.

“What they wanted to do here, demolishing, putting towers, was the wrong thing to do,” said Orlando Lopes, 60, a theater buff who lives in Ditmas Park and has been coming to the theater since he was about 10 years old. “You can’t get rid of all these theaters.”

We got one last look at the Pavilion last night before it gets a major makeover. While we didn’t see any of its infamous bed bugs or rats, we did see what could set this theater apart as it goes into competition with the new Alamo Drafthouse and other dine-in cinemas in flashy new buildings: No amount of refurbishment can completely scrub the long history from these walls.  (more…)

11/01/16 12:14pm
Via @marinaspindler.

These pumpkins are RIGGED. Via @marinaspindler.

Take a moment to remember that New York City does Halloween probably better than anywhere else in the world. It’s a holiday with distinctive lanes for kids and adults, both of which were lit last night despite the holiday falling on a Monday. Trick or treating in brownstone Brooklyn is basically kid Mardi Gras. Tiny skeletons, Elsas, Reys and Batmans tear through the sidewalks in pre-adolescent bacchanal, guzzling candy like they were channeling the spirit of a mini-Dionysus. Elsewhere across the borough, in DIY venues and the backrooms of bars, adults wearing pink dresses and clutching Eggos or donning baskets of deplorables/adorables listened to cover bands or embraced the true spirit (alcohol) of the season.

We must all appreciate that it is only the ghouls, undead creatures and sexy witches that create a bulwark stopping Christmas from bleeding into the summer, so before we go head long into two months of Best Buy commercials and reigniting the War on Christmas, let’s look back at the best Brooklyn tweets from Halloween 2016. (more…)

11/01/16 10:21am
You're on notice, fucker. Via Flickr user Dave Winer.

You’re on notice, fucker. Via Flickr user Dave Winer.

Nothing quite symbolizes the tensions between drivers and cyclists in this city like a car illegally parked in a bike lane. It’s the ultimate act of dismissive disregard by a driver, who sees it as free parking to use while they pop into the store to grab a bottled water in a plastic bag, instead of the active and crucial throughway bikers rely on to get around. Cops do it too all the time, forcing you to actually break the law in front of police officers as you exit the bike lane to get by. Can you imagine a reverse world where cyclists just locked their bikes up in the middle of a lane of car traffic on a busy street while they were waiting to meet a friend?

Anyway, the problem has gotten so bad, someone created a citywide registry to shame people who park in the bike lane. Now, those complaints have somewhere official to go: the city’s new 311 app update lets you snitch out cars parked in the bike lanes right from your phone (just don’t do it while actually biking). (more…)

10/31/16 11:29am
Un-fare! Uber has a huge racism and sexism problem, according to a new study

Uber is facing a new controversy over sexism and racism thanks to the results of a new study. Via Gilt City.

The days of cabbies skipping fares based on the color of their skin have (surprise!) not gone away with the deluge of car-hailing apps. Much like how Airbnb is dealing with a major racism issue when it comes to home sharing, Uber and Lyft are being called out for enabling drivers to avoid or cancel fares based on their race. A two-year study of ride-hailing apps that Jalopnik reports on today found that trip requests from black riders took up to 28 percent longer to be accepted by UberX and Lyft than white people. Those black riders also had a cancellation rate nearly twice as high. Uber doesn’t show you the photo of the rider until after the driver accepts a ride, at which point they can cancel; Lyft shows you the photo right away, which makes its discrimination practices even harder to track.

But wait, there’s more! Women had the opposite problem, and not in a good way: Drivers in the study were more likely to keep women in their cars longer, taking elongated routes and being “chatty,” resulting in 5 percent longer (and more expensive) rides. Racism and sexism are not problems Uber or Lyft created, but their technology apparently hasn’t helped address it.  (more…)

10/28/16 5:00pm
Just leave bodega cats alone please. Via Bodegacat.tumblr.com

Just leave bodega cats alone please. Via Bodegacat.tumblr.com

Like us in website form? You’ll love us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list!

Someone narc’d out a bodega cat on Yelp and the internet came for her hard.

And then someone started a petition to legalize bodega cats in response.

This official-looking MTA poster targeted Donald Trump’s sexual assault history.

We picked the 10 best (and not so good) things about the now-open Alamo Drafthouse.

This app hoped to one day replace Metrocards.

The perfect anti-catcalling, pro-Hillary horror movie arrived.

We picked the best Halloween events that won’t terrify your budget.

We  rounded up some cool jobs for book lovers, beer snobs and coffee addicts.

Acupuncture to treat election anxiety became a thing.

Rekha Shankar’s web series turned freelancing into an impossible video game.

Tips or treat! tips@brokelyn.com

10/27/16 3:49pm
The scariest Halloween fright for some people? Being forced to cater a party for a few minutes

Lady Liberty welcomes visitors to Doomocracy at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Photo by Will Star/Shooting Stars Pro.

This year, we’ve learned that the most terrifying thing some people can imagine is a clown slowly stalking them from a forest. For others (me), it’s the thought of this election being stuck in a Twilight Zone-ish scenario that actually doesn’t end of Nov. 8 and carries on forever until the earth is mercifully swallowed by the sun. But for others, the most terrifying thing they will face this Halloween is having a service industry job. [Warning: mild spoilers ahead if you’re planning to see Doomocracy.]

Being forced into a catering gig is one of the standout parts of Pedro Reyes’s Doomocracy installation at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, an immersive horror house that’s part dystopian political satire and part Sleep No More. At one point, you’re shunted from sitting around a table at a mock Halliburton conference table, forced to climb four flights of stairs and immediately handed an apron and serving tray as you’re berated by a catering manager in English and Spanish. Then, you’re shoved through a door into a mock art gallery party, where you’re forced to circulate among socialites, who, by design, treat you like animated furniture. The experiences is disorienting, humbling, slightly annoying — and too much to handle for some guests.

“The first night we ran people through was for patrons. People were really mad,” director Meghan Finn told Brokelyn. “It is strenuous to get all the way up to the top. … There are people who protest, refuse to serve.”

The idea is to flip the script on art patrons and drop their status from attendee to server. But thinking that some people being too freaked out to hold a catering tray for a few minutes is actually scarier than the scene itself. (more…)

10/27/16 2:39pm
Via Flickr user ianqui.

Via Flickr user ianqui.

From the NY Post today:

As residential buildings continue to replace parking lots and garages around New York City, finding permanent space for your car has never been harder.

But drivers looking to buy their own space now have a reason for hope.

The Parking Club, a renovated 130-space parking garage at 185-187 Pacific St. in Cobble Hill, has just launched sales with pricing from $185,000 per spot, The Post can reveal.

(more…)

10/26/16 4:08pm
Leave sleeping bodega cats lie. Via Bodegacat.tumblr.com

Leave sleeping bodega cats lie. Via Bodegacat.tumblr.com

It turns New Yorkers are willing to put up with a lot of negativity and cynicism in our city, except when it comes to bodega cats. If you mess with bodega cats, those lovable, mouse-chasing, not-exactly-legal mascots of bodegas citywide, the internet will come after you, and hard. So since we ran this story yesterday about someone taking to Yelp to complain about a bodega cat, we’ve heard from lots of people who have risen to the defense of the felines, and lots of tweets asking what kind of gentrifying monster would narc out a bodega cat on Yelp (and some who asked what kind of monster would use Yelp at all). One Brooklynite today decided to try to end the controversy once and for all by starting a petition asking the mayor to legalize the felines.

“As a long time New Yorker I grew up seeing cats inside of bodegas,” the petition’s creator Nicholas McMurry writes. “I would like to see it made legal to have cats in a bodega in New York City. Cats keep rodents out of food products and keep other pests at bay. You don’t want to see fecel [sic] matter from rodents in a bodega right? I don’t either.” (more…)