01/20/15 2:49pm
Zach, laughing at the craziness of a landlord who won't give you your money back

Zach, amused by the landlord who won’t give you your money back

Unless you ‘move’ like Jagger (i.e. hire movers, do a few lines of coke and take a limo to your new apartment), changing your living situation is the WORST. No, let’s have none of that “out with the old, in with the new” optimism: everything about moving truly sucks, not the least of which involves actually paying for your new place when you still have a big chunk of money caught up in the old one.

Now, we’ve run a few posts about housing law before, but 31-year-old Zach J. Liszka is a trained professional. And since he’s using his chops to offer up low-cost legal services for helping folks get their deposits back, we figured he’d have some insight to offer on what you can do in case a landlord tries to rip you off. (more…)

01/14/15 7:00am
16069988699_b686ef623b

You can still get your beach-day kicks this winter, a train ride away. All photos by Vince Catalanotto

The holidays are over, and gone with them are all the opportunities for free food and drink. As a plentiful December recedes, the reality of a New York winter starts to set in. Shake off the claustrophobia and satisfy that craving for some open sky by heading out to Rockaway Beach. And bring your South Brooklyn and Rockaways Beer Book (now 20% off), because Whit’s End, Sayra’s and Playland Motel are open, and the beach will be all yours. (more…)

01/07/15 3:10pm
prospect park sledding

It’s winter, so get out to Prospect Park with a garbage can lid and have some damn fun. via Flickr user Atomische * Tom Giebel

Before we get started here, we first have to ask you a question: Why and when exactly have you become so terrified of the snow? Is the reason we all freak out at the mere mention of snow because of last year? Just because it was a bad winter last year doesn’t mean that we need to cower in fear at the very idea that Brooklyn might be covered in the wintry powder. Don’t stay inside all winter and whimper whenever it snows outside; make that stuff work for you, before it becomes horrible grey slush, anyway. It’s not only suburbanites that got to enjoy a good day of sledding while growing up; even lifelong Brooklynites like this very author hit the slopes up.

So go on, get your very own Rosebud, or just use a garbage can lid, whatever. We’ll see you at the park. We remember what it’s like to be kids, and so should you. Forget for a moment the fact that snow in Brooklyn has about a 30 minute shelf-life before it comes a slushy horrible mess that’s covered in dog piss. Embrace your inner kid (or take an actual kid with you) and actually have some damn fun at Brooklyn’s best sledding spots. (more…)

01/06/15 9:35am
Denmark don't care. Denmark is kicking our ass, all while enjoying a higher average quality of life than us. DENMARK, guys. They're like 1/100th our size. Step up your game, America. via Copenhagen Cycle Chic

Denmark don’t care. Denmark is kicking our ass, all while enjoying a higher average quality of life than us. DENMARK, guys. They’re like 1/100th our size. Step up your game, America. via Copenhagen Cycle Chic

Conventional wisdom in America holds that the only time for biking is when the weather is nice. Biking may be downright delightful from April to October, but you don’t have to listen to conventional wisdom and give up your two-wheeler when the snowflakes start a-fallin’. After all, conventional wisdom once held that the Earth is the center of the solar system, and look how THAT turned out.

Point is, conventional wisdom is hardly the end of the argument, and you should keep riding bicycles everywhere forever even in the cold, because they’re wonderful, they’re cheap and they keep you in shape. We’ll even tell you how to beat Old Man Winter and keep riding until it warms up. (more…)

12/11/14 9:20am
Hey, things could be worse at the airport.

In a rush to see your son’s pizza-themed cover band this holiday season? These tips will help.

Once upon a time in 2012, my bus ride home was snowed out. Greyhound invited all the passengers on its five Toronto-to-NYC buses to arrive at dawn to compete for standby seats. What a happy holiday! Instead, I found a flight. But when I asked Greyhound about a refund I was redirected from Toronto, to corporate, to the NYC branch, with nothing resolved. I bought the flight, which was overbooked, as was the next flight I was transferred to.

These are the moments when it pays to be a scrappy, native New Yorker with some travel hacks on autopilot. After a little persistence, I was having a free dinner, lounging in my comped hotel’s sauna, and sent two carefully worded emails to get a refund from Greyhound. It’s important to know the weak spots in the travel system. These tips are quick, easy things you all can do to save some dough and keep last-minute travel feeling holly and jolly. (more…)

12/05/14 2:58pm
Why, they'll fit right in, won't they? via The Guardian

Why, they’ll fit right in, won’t they? via The Guardian

Roll out the hand-stitched red carpets! Put on your finest tweed cap, then doff it! Honk your cab horns in majestic awe! His royal highness Prince William and his wife, Princess Kate Middleton are coming to visit Brooklyn this weekend! As much press as Brooklyn has gotten over the last few years, the Royal Family might not be up on what the best things to do and see while they’re on our side of the pond. So, we thought we’d use our expertise to give the royal duo a guide to show the Brooklyn good time they deserve.  (more…)

12/03/14 9:26am
brooklyn supreme court

Your time will come, so make sure you’re ready. Photos by David Rosado

Jury duty: it might not be as fun as say, almost any other thing, and people usually don’t wake up hopeful that today’s the day the summons arrives in their mailbox, informing them that it’s time to head over to the courthouse in Downtown Brooklyn. But it is your civic duty to serve, so you might as well just suck it up and go. The courthouse has WiFi so you can do things like read Brokelyn, catch up on Serial, write posts about surviving jury duty for Brokelyn, or non-computer things even. All of that is until they call your name. Then it’s time to work – and pretend you make up 1/12th of a GOD to someone.

Plus, jury duty time away from your regular job, and if it’s been a while since you’ve been to Downtown, consider it a great opportunity to check out some fun food and drink spots you might otherwise have missed. So, in the service of encouraging doing your civic duty without losing your mind, here’s your jury duty survival guide. (more…)

11/17/14 1:55pm
flu season

No need to resort to this, when you have things that will make you feel better just hanging out in your pantry. via Flickr user Edgar Antonio Villaseñor González

Well it’s that time of the year again. The first round of fall colds has already claimed victims as Brooklyn gears up for flu season. It won’t be long before you have to choose between standing on the subway or sitting next to that sniffling person who you know will manage to cough all over you. Now you can always go the preventative route with affordable flu shots at Rite Aide or Duane Reade, but you’ll inevitably wake up with a tickle in the back of your throat before Spring.  Instead of turning to overpriced meds (they only manage symptoms anyway), try these five home remedies. (more…)

10/27/14 9:10am
anna jane grossman school for dogs

And of course, always make sure your dog wears a helmet

I love Amos, my Yorkiepoodle, oodles and oodles. But I’ve never known him to be able to hold down a job. Sure he is cuddly (sometimes), lets me know when someone is at the door and provides good Instagram fodder. But ours is largely a parasitic relationship, as dog poop sucks as a form of currency. Fortunately, poverty isn’t so bad when you have a roommate to lick your tears.

I work as a dog trainer at the School for the Dogs and am surrounded by a lot of nerdy dog types, all of whom don’t skimp when it comes to their doggie pals. But that doesn’t mean we spend a bundle. There are many, many things you can do to be a great dog owner without going broke. Here are some tips my scrappy dog-professional pals and I have come up with over the years. (more…)

09/23/14 8:00am
To the left to the left.

Drag your friends to the left to the left.

When you get the obnoxious call your college buddies want to spend the weekend in New York, you’re almost tempted to say, “No.” You might already forced to go into Manhattan five times a week, and Saturdays are meant for relaxing — not showing your friends a glamorized version of the city. Why should you spend two days shuffling your friends across the East River just to spend money on things you hate?

There’s no reason to give up your hard-earned time and money. It’s time to show your friends they don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun in this city. Here’s your guide showing them how Brooklyn is just as good as those overdone tourist spots, if not better. (more…)