08/26/16 1:53pm
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Isa Del Bello with a porgie she just hooked. Photo by Peter Park

Isa Del Bello, the director of education at Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, may have grown up in the desert, but she loves working on the water.

The Sante Fe, NM native taught elementary school in Albuquerque for three years, but she moved to New York in 2010 to pursue a graduate degree in developmental psych with the intent to do academic research, instead of teaching. While in grad school at the Teachers College of Columbia, she worked as a per diem teacher at Brooklyn Bridge Park and as an educator with Solar One’s Green Design Lab. That’s when she realized teaching city kids about nature was what she really wanted to do.

Whether lecturing about the history of East River oysters during a Wednesday night tour, wading out into the river with groups of volunteers to catch fish with a 20-foot seine net, or showing a class of elementary school kids what critters lie beneath the surface of the East River, Del Bello is passionate about educating kids and adults alike about the Brooklyn waterfront.

“A lot of city people look at the water and they don’t think there’s anything living in it, when in fact it’s a thriving ecosystem that is becoming stronger and stronger as time passes,” she says. The 33-year-old, who lives in Clinton Hill, joined Brooklyn Bridge Park full-time in 2013.

Isa Del Bello is today’s focus of Brooklyn Wild, our series where we talk to Brooklynites who have found a way to make their living by working in nature.

We spoke with Del Bello about jonesing for the ocean while living in the desert, her love of fishing and boating, and which upcoming Brooklyn Bridge Park events we should put on our calendars.  (more…)

08/23/16 2:48pm
Torontoke? Via Flickr user Cannabis Culture.

Torontoke? Via Flickr user Cannabis Culture.

Here’s a job weed like to apply for. Canada, the country that’s high above us, both geographically and in terms of moving its drug laws into a progressive, kind new era, has had medical marijuana since 2001 and is now on the path to full legalization, which is a cannabis-do attitude America lacks. Rolled up in that newly budding marketplace is a whole new stash of jobs. Today our Canadian bureau chief Sam Corbin passes us the news that could bowl you over if you’re looking for a freelance gig (though it may involve a few red-eye flights to get to work): Toronto-based NOW Magazine is hiring a freelance marijuana writer to “tackle Canada’s rapidly changing marijuana laws, industry and culture.” You’d be writing about law and politics, medical and recreational communities, retail and business angles, plus writing how-tos and FAQs, which, let’s be blunt, sounds like a kush gig. (more…)

08/12/16 2:30pm
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Dave DiCerbo, founder of Destination Backcountry Adventures, takes New Yorkers on day and overnight trips to the Catskills. Photo courtesy of Dave DiCerbo.

This must be quitting-your-desk-job inspiration week at Brokelyn. For the second time this week, here’s a story about a guy ditching his corporate job to follow his dream. There is hope for the rest of us!

Dave DiCerbo, the 41-year-old founder of Destination Backcountry Adventures, used to work as a sales manager at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the educational publishing house. (Dunder Miflin? we joked.)

“Believe me, the number of times I was doing that analogy is part of what made me decide to quit,” DiCerbo says. “I was like come on, even Michael Scott is telling me that this is a nightmare!”

While DiCerbo had been fantasizing about quitting his job for years, he stalled because he didn’t have an exit plan. In 2008, when the company was bought, DiCerbo was offered a two-week severance package and the opportunity to reapply for his job under the new ownership. But when he did the math, he realized the severance package was the equivalent of five and half months pay.

“I was a 33-year-old single man in NYC who wanted nothing more than to be out of a job. It was a no brainer, I took the severance package and I went hiking for five and a half months and when I got back to NYC I said, I’m never working inside again. These last five months have been the most alive I’ve felt in the last twenty years, so there’s gotta be something to this.”

The Danbury, Conn., native got licensed as a New York state outdoor guide and in 2011, founded Destination Backcountry Adventures, which is based in Park Slope, where DiCerbo has lived for 19 years. Now, along with his team, he leads New Yorkers on day and overnight trips to the Catskills nearly every weekend, weather permitting, for his job.

“It’s the closest wilderness to NYC, and it constantly blows the minds of people that can’t believe there’s this much green and this many trees two and a half hours from New York.” (more…)

08/12/16 9:25am
Make America Lifestyle Brands again.

Make America Lifestyle Brands again.

Media jobs are few and far between these days so we’re happy to point you to a sweet gig opportunity when it comes along, especially one that fits so well with our Brokelyn ethos. This super hip lifestyle brand, kinda like a Goop but for real people ya know, is hiring an editor and graphic designer. The site is run by little-known media entrepreneur named Ivanka Trump, who we predict you’ll be hearing a lot about in coming months as her rags-to-internet-riches story gets some attention (if the liberal media and their anti-lifestyle brand bias will ever give her some attention, that is). Her website already tackles the hard-hitting, comfort-the-afflicted coverage such as “What Does an Office and Project Manager Do?” “5 Tips for Negotiating Your Severance Package” and “Unveiling the New Trump Spa Suites at Trump National Doral Miami.”

The only downfall to this job is that Ivanka Trump and her most recent Plenty of Fish date recently outed themselves as one of those consummate “millennial” “hipsters” you always hear so much about (at least the liberal media don’t overlook this disturbing trend), lurking around McCarren Park probably getting her daddy to pay her rent while she spends her days acting like “blogging” is a real job ( ugh the worst). You should definitely apply to this job not as a joke or as any form of minor protest against her father, an equally obscure real estate developer and advocate for the rights of people afflicted with tiny, like really embarrassingly small, hands. (more…)

08/08/16 12:42pm
Via Flickr's Chris Devers.

Via Flickr’s Chris Devers.

You don’t get into the creative fields because you value things like money, health insurance or an apartment larger than a Zappos.com box. Your low income level is your badge of honor you hold over your friends who have to tuck in their shirts and sit in an aggressively air conditioned meeting rooms eight hours every day to earn their six-figure paychecks. Whether your artistic lifestyle is actually honorable is the subject of another debate, but surely every creative person has had visions of mixing the two, getting a high-paid job that also pays well, that possibly chimerical mix of passion and income.

DNAinfo yesterday ran a story on a report from PayScale showing the highest paid creative jobs in New York. And — surprise! Even the top ones are not that high paying. So it looks like there’s a limit on how much you can sell out, even if you really want to! Here is the list of the six highest-paid creative jobs in the city: (more…)

08/03/16 4:42pm

Everyone — you, me, your coworkers, your boss, the faceless old CEO who secretly lives in your home — uses coded language in work emails. We all also interpret those coded words when we read them: we know that “circling back!” is code for “fucking reply to me already” and a PR pitch that starts with “Hope your back to school season is going well” is code for “delete this person from the earth and take away all their electronics forever.”

The folks over at Fast Company have made the above funny video showing you how the words you use in your email are actually being read — use it as a cautionary tale next time you’re about to fire off some trite language to someone. (more…)

07/29/16 12:00pm
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Do you know your food? Michelle Cashen, farm manager at Brooklyn Grange. Photo via @esynyc

Michelle Cashen didn’t always know she wanted to work at a farm. The 25-year-old Rockaway native studied environmental policy during her undergrad years. She knew she wanted to be some kind of environmental advocate, so she got a job right out of college as a paralegal at a law firm.

But after a couple years, she realized the sedentary, office lifestyle wasn’t for her. “I did not enjoy sitting at a desk every day and for the majority of my week being inside, sitting down, not using my body,” she told Brokelyn.

While pondering a career change, Cashen, who now lives in Bushwick, looked into opportunities at Brooklyn Grange. She had been on a tour at the farm’s flagship location in Long Island City, and knew they had a farm crew and training program. “My interest in rooftop farming originated from my love of healthy food and my desire to green the city,” she says. “After Hurricane Sandy, I kept thinking, I want to help make NYC a greener place.”

Brooklyn Grange, the world’s largest rooftop soil farm, which grows 50,000 pounds of organic produce yearly, is not a bad place to start. The two farm operation wholesales produce to more than 40 restaurants and retailers across Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, operates a CSA, and sells at farmers’ markets. They also host classes and workshops, support nonprofit education initiatives, maintain more than 30 beehives across the city—the list goes on. It’s a truly mind-blowing example of what hard work, horticulture, and a little ingenuity can accomplish within the limitations of an urban setting.

She applied to the training program and was accepted, working on the farm crew for her first season at Brooklyn Grange. “That was the first time I had done any actual farming,” she says. “I had never even done gardening before. It was all learning as you go.” (more…)

07/21/16 12:19pm
Drinking this could be considered research if you get a job as a writer for VinePair. Photo via @vinepair on Instagram

Drinking this could be considered research if you get a job as a writer for VinePair. Photo via @vinepair on Instagram

On this hot July day, as you’re going through the motions at your desk, thankful at least that you’re inside in the A.C. (hopefully), has it occurred to you that there could be a different life out there awaiting you? A job is only one facet of a life, sure, but since most of us do them for several hours every day, they tend to define us, whether we like it or not.

Here are eight intriguing hirable situations, full and part time, we dug up online, ranging from a boozy staff writer at VinePair, to a digital marketing assistant at BRIC, to a bartender at The Wilky in Bed-Stuy, to a journalist for a three month cross country road trip: maybe one appeals to you? Have a gander: (more…)

07/15/16 2:17pm
Brooklyn Wild: Meet the founder of Doggie Day Trips, who gets paid to take city dogs hiking

John Bingaman, founder of Doggie Day Trips, with pups on the Appalachian Trail in Vernon, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of John Bingaman.

Living in NYC is rarely associated with having an active, outdoorsy lifestyle. High stress levels, too many hours spent hunched over a computer screen, not enough time to exercise or eat healthy — a general lack of work-life balance. And yet, we’re in relatively close proximity to nature. We’re surrounded by water on all sides! We’re less than an hour away from the nearest beach, an hour and change from the nearest hike!

There are plenty of people who live in Brooklyn, but have found ways to engage daily with, even make their livelihood from this nature that feels so elusive to most of us. For some, it’s within the bounds of the borough: they may work on the Brooklyn waterfront, or atop a rooftop farm, or in city parks. Others go a bit farther: wilderness guides taking New Yorkers on overnight trips, graphic designers building tree houses upstate every weekend, for fun. Our idea was to talk to some of these folks and ask them how they do what they do, not only to satisfy our own curiosity, but also to find inspiration to get out there more, ourselves.

Brooklyn Wild is our new series where we tap the more rugged residents of Kings County and ask them to share some of the adventure. Every Friday, we’ll post a new interview that will hopefully inspire us, at the very least, to have a more active weekend, even if it’s just cutting down on the Netflix intake and fitting in one trip to the green space closest to our apartment. Up first is John Bingaman, founder of Doggie Day Trips. (more…)

07/07/16 1:42pm
No skills required, just mediocre looks and a great personality

No skills required, just mediocre looks and a great personality

Times sure are tough out there for white male actors, but luckily every now and then somebody throws them a bone. If they’re extra lucky, they don’t even have to have any acting talent or experience, as is the case with this call from Gotham Casting, which only requires its contender be pale as a plate of mashed potatoes, “hipster style” bearded, and evidently, simultaneously bemused yet also possessing a great personality.

If you or anybody you know looks like this sad sack, pictured above, you could get paid $125 for four hours of what appears to be a gig related to the filming of the Air Sex Championship at Warsaw in Greenpoint. Even if you’re not quite the type, you can still get paid $40 to be in the audience of the show. (more…)