05/18/16 1:20pm
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This could be us but u playin.

Us: A Brooklyn-based website in love with finding ways to make life easier and more fun in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Likes include bar deals, hustler success stories, exploring Brooklyn and smart service journalism; we have a particular soft spot for hot scoops and smart takes (and we love a good joke). You: A sharp writer with good journalistic spider-sense and an ability to harness the Brokelyn state of mind; plus proven leadership skills and a strong writing voice that can match us punch for word punch.

Is this you? Then swipe right, because Brokelyn is hiring a full-time editor for the summer! (more…)

05/17/16 2:00pm
cowork-feature

Bat Haus is just one of Brooklyn’s many options for your home away from home office

It makes sense that Brooklyn — with its large creative class and outsized rents for small apartments — is seeing a boom in coworking spaces, a concept that was unheard of just 10 years ago. Neighborhoods all across Brooklyn now have their own places to rent a desk, or sometimes a spot at a communal table, alongside other freelancers, startup hatchers and gig-hoppers. To keep track of all the options, we compiled a list of every Brooklyn coworking space we could find, along with answers to the most basic questions (sorry, we can’t tell you whether you’ll bump elbows with your soulmate at the coffee machine.)

Each place has a different personality, from living-room casual to corporate, which is summed up in the “vibe” section. Under “perks” you’ll find what they offer beyond a desk and an electrical outlet, and here they really vary, with amenities including everything from copy machines to backyards, event spaces, bring-your-pooch-to-work policies, free ZipCars, receptionists and more. [Post updated on May 17, 2016]. (more…)

05/13/16 9:50am
All the jobs I ever had: Comedian, author, furry journalist and former eyeball courier Dave Hill

Dave Hill visited NYC with a duffel bag and never left. Photo by Mindy Tucker.

If it hadn’t been for a trip to New York to visit friends, Dave Hill might still be transporting a tub of eyeballs on the floor of his car around rural Ohio. That was one of the many odd jobs Hill had during a prolonged finding-himself phase that lasted from after college through his 20s until he finally stumbled into some TV writing gigs, stand up shows and an eventual full-fledged comedy career both in front and behind the camera. That phase included moving back in with his parents in Cleveland, who also hired (and paid for) a life coach, getting a record contract, then having to take a blue-collar job when that ride ended. He eventually found himself in New York having beers with authors David Rakoff and Malcolm Gladwell.

“I think I’m a great example of just moving to New York or L.A. or somewhere where things are happening and there’s a lot of activity and you just see what happens,” Hill, who lives in the West Village, told Brokelyn. “I came here for the weekend with zero plans and now I have this career that I never would have expected.”

Now you might know him from any number of places: He’s a regular on @Midnight and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, a contributor to This American Life, a regular on the New York standup scene and his band Valley Lodge wrote the theme song for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He’s also an author, whose second book of essays, Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, came out Tuesday. This is all the jobs he’s ever had: (more…)

05/05/16 11:08am
Charley Layton and Jenny Harder, seen here not working for a real estate company.

Charley Layton and Jenny Harder, seen here not working for a real estate company.

Jennifer Harder is a performer, actor and musician who’s been in a rotating stream of projects that would fall under the “alt,” “anarchist” or “steampunk” categories ever since moving to the city about 18 years ago. So she was surprised to find her picture on Brokelyn the other day under the headline “Here are some signs you’re about to gentrify a building” (Note: the headline has since changed for internal reasons). The post, written by me, called out an event a real estate company working for a landlord with a shady past used to help sell some Crown Heights units that had recently been flipped from apartments into pricey condos. The company lured buyers by throwing a steampunk/vaudeville party on April 20, with magicians, music and a bourbon tasting. Harder, 35, was upset at being pictured as the literal face of gentrification: “All of the entertainers are pros who were doing our jobs,” she tweeted at us. “The real estate agents should have been pictured instead.”

Harder and her fellow performer in the picture, Charley Layton, both consider themselves starving artist types: they’ve been in the city since the 90s and and have balanced intense creative pursuits — Harder plays in the legendary Hungry March Band and has toured with Gogol Bordello — with day jobs, side gigs and the occasional corporate event. The real estate job fell right on the the fault line many New York artists and musicians tiptoe every day: When should you take a gig just for the paycheck and when does a higher value demand you say no? There’s no easy answer, so I sat down with the two at Dixon Place on the Lower East Side the other day to talk about how they ended up taking the job and how they balance a career in the arts with the need to survive in an increasingly expensive city.  (more…)

via flickr user EITico68

Ride, ride, ride that Coney. via flickr user EITico68

Ever wanted to run away to the circus when you were a kid? Here in New York, it’s only a train ride away. And you can actually get paid to do it.

Coney Island businesses are currently hiring for their summer season, and those include some of your favorite games, rides and restaurants on the People’s Playground: Luna Park needs game operators, Nathan’s Famous needs hot dog hawkers, Deno’s Wonder Wheel needs that joker who asks you if you want “swinging” or “non-swinging.” The list goes on, and there’s certainly something for everyone.

Picture it: you’ll get to spend your summer daze on one of the best beaches (personality dependent) in the borough, ride some rides for free, sun yourself on the beach during your breaks and listen to a pretty decent music lineup wafting over from Coney Island Amphitheater (a lineup we initially feared would just be terrible). Not to mention that given the current state of Brooklyn dating, the Coney Boardwalk might just be your best bet for finding this year’s summer fling.  (more…)

04/07/16 12:08pm
This eleven-year-old is living every Silicon Valley startup's dream. via Instagram

This eleven-year-old is living every small business owner’s dream. via Instagram

For the past week or two, I’ve been seeing stories about young kids getting what they want. I don’t mean in a bait-y, “This First Grader Had The Perfect Response To A Teacher’s Closed-Minded Math Question” kind of way. I mean in a career-minded, actually getting what they want kind of way. Last week, a nine-year-old boy in Carroll Gardens was making waves with his 25 cents a case detective agency. Meanwhile, an 11-year-old girl had just struck a multi-million dollar deal with Whole Foods to sell her own boutique brand of lemonade. And a couple days ago, DNAinfo reported that a four-year-old in TriBeCa had successfully lobbied to get a gumball machine re-installed in his neighborhood grocery store after the old one disappeared.

Call me crazy, but… should we be taking notes? Are these preschoolers the Silicon Valley startup CEOs of tomorrow? (more…)

03/29/16 1:08pm
The money isn't real, but the swagger is

The money isn’t real, but the swagger is.

Hey, you there. Sitting at your desk, pollinating the internet, wondering when people are going to listen to what you have to say. We’ve been listening, and we think you should join the Brokelyn team. Know of the coolest igloo rental steals this side of the East River? Got strong opinions about the fraudulent breakfast cereal empire or New Yorkers going soft? Want to smash the patriarchy with an infographic? We’d like to help you do it. We’re also looking for photographers to cover events and savvy Instagrammers to join our social media squad.

The perks of joining us here in Broketown include: great edits, chill vibes, lots of freebie swag, VIP status at some of the borough’s hottest shows and live events, a chance to hone your political journalism chops for a future field reporting gig with the Times or build up your humor clips for that sweet, sweet Onion internship you’re trying to land. Whatever your dream, Brokelyn can give you the boost you need to get there. And most importantly — in the words of editor emeritus and now happily cuffed Dave Colon — “Your byline can get you laid.” (more…)

03/28/16 4:20pm
Rock the vote or at least help it suck a lot less.

Rock the vote or at least help it suck a lot less.

Depending on how many Bernie supporters you’re friends with, your newsfeed is likely full of people complaining about the voting problems in the Arizona primary where long lines and and lack of ballots led to accusations of voter suppression. Whether it was actual fraud or just nincompoopery, we don’t know, but there is definitely a trend in this country where every single major election our voting system behaves like my winter wardrobe: perennially under prepared and almost immediately overwhelmed. Well, we’ve only had 16 years since Bush/Gore to sort this out and who can figure anything out in 16 years. Anyway, instead of clogging your friends’ feeds when the New York primary comes around April 19, you can do something to help the process. The Board of Elections is hiring poll workers, and you can make $200/day doing it! (more…)

03/28/16 2:44pm

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When you work as a freelancer, getting paid is often a matter of nagging your employers until the check finally comes in the mail. There’s no dignity in it, and it certainly shouldn’t be the accepted norm. Since it is, though — at least on the part of those lazy employers who refuse to pay up — you can do your part to condemn the practice by checking out The World’s Longest Invoice, a pulp horror-themed website by the Freelancers’ Union that’s tallying up all freelancers’ unpaid bills nationwide in order to spread awareness about how scary it actually gets. (more…)

03/25/16 1:29pm
Mindy Tucker, on one of her few moments in front of the camera.

Tucker, on one of her few moments in front of the camera. All photos in this article are by Mindy Tucker.

If you’ve seen a photo of a working comedian in New York City, then you’ve probably seen a photo by Mindy Tucker.

Credited adoringly in comedians’ Facebook profile pictures, named quietly beneath their press photos, and whispered about between them as the “angel” of their trade, Mindy Tucker has gradually become the household name for comedy photography in New York. Justly so: over the past decade, Tucker has amassed a staggering photographic record of shows, performers and parties in venues across the five boroughs. Since 2012, she’s documented “the year in comedy” with a photographic mosaic of places and faces the likes of Tig Notaro, Mike Lawrence, Chris Gethard, Sasheer Zamata, The Lucas Brothers and Nikki Glaser. Each portrait she takes is marked with her discernible signature — subjects wearing a warm expression, posed comfortably, almost fish-eyed in definition and bearing a striking luminosity.

Unless you’ve met the woman behind the lens, these photos won’t seem especially significant. After all, seeing a comedian’s picture online is just par for their publicity; it doesn’t offer up any meaningful metaphors. And to the uninitiated, Mindy Tucker is just “the press” who snapped the photo. But when we sat down with Tucker to talk about a life in photography, she revealed that she doesn’t see herself as press at all.

“I’m just a very extraordinarily lucky visual artist,” she told Brokelyn. (more…)