09/21/16 11:34am
No bike lane? No problem. One bike dad in Park Slope is here to fix that

No bike lane? No problem. One bike dad in Park Slope is here to fix that.

It’s hard out there for a bike.

New York cyclist deaths are up 25% this year, according to the Mayor’s 2016 management report. Earlier this summer, the Times reported Brooklyn as the most dangerous borough for cycling in the city, and Vision Zero doesn’t seem to be helping people not die at the hands of reckless drivers.

And yesterday, one cyclist enthusiast in Park Slope was so exhausted with the dangers of the city that he painted his own damn bike lane in his neighborhood. (more…)

09/07/16 2:46pm
Nitehawk is taking over the Pavilion Theater, giving hope not everything will become condos eventuallyNitehawk is taking over the Pavilion Theater, giving hope not everything will become condos eventuallyNitehawk is taking over the Pavilion Theater, giving hope not everything will become condos eventually

Andrea Dezsö, “Community Garden”, 2006, is found at the Bedford Park Blvd station. The MTA is seeking new artists for Brooklyn stations. Via Facebook.

You might not appreciate it in between bouts of playing tunnel peekaboo with the R train or gaping at these mind-numbingly pandering advertisements, but subway stations can be great places to take in some art. And by that we mean both the creatively graffitied subway billboards that turn Kevin Can Wait into Kevin Can PENIS, and also the officially sanctioned subway art like the kaleidoscope in Dekalb Avenue tunnel or the tile murals, lights and sculptures you see elsewhere. How do that art get there? It comes from creative and attractive people like you!

The MTA is currently seeking submissions for artists who want to see their work adorn five Brooklyn subway stations. The opportunity means your art can become a permanent part of the city infrastructure, and you’ll get paid a few thousand bucks too.  (more…)

06/28/16 8:19am
Via Facebook.

C’mon, you wish you went to a tutoring session in a superhero store when you were a kid too. Via Facebook.

Today you’ll walk outside and feel a tingle of freedom in the air, an echo of mischief bouncing off a widening chasm of unstructured, no-homework time, because it’s the last official day for school for all students in New York City. I don’t care what age you are in official years right now — if you can’t share that sense memory of freedom (no matter how much ruckus it causes on the subway car right after school is let out) maybe you were never a real kid to begin with.

Anyway, school can be a bummer for even smart kids because learning isn’t always fun in a rigid environment that shares the same architectural design features as Litchfield prison. But one of the groups that’s out there making learning way more fun, even in the summertime, is 826NYC, which runs the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. in Park Slope and does lots of tutoring and writing workshops to help stoke kids’ imaginations. This summer, 826 is extending its programs and is looking for more than 100 new volunteers to help staff the programs. Maybe that’s you? There’s an info session tonight if so.  (more…)

05/25/16 12:23pm

And all you gotta do is hand out programs and crack a smile once or twice.

I bet you’ve been reading our posts about summer for the past few months and thinking, why does Brokelyn love suummer so goddamn much? Well, besides all the obvious reasons I’ll tell you another one, which is that summer favors the broke. It’s one of the few times in the year when you can save on gym memberships by exercising outdoors, when you can find social activities under the stars that don’t cost a dime, and when you can actually fathom sleeping in parks if turning your entire life into a performance art piece doesn’t pan out.

And on this, the nicest day of the year so far, here’s yet another opportunity to claim summer 2016 as the Season of Not Paying for Stuff: BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is looking for volunteers to help run their summer programming, which includes over 25 concerts featuring the likes of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Violent Femmes, Jon Batiste and the Stay Human, and includes Benefit shows with Tame Impala, Ray LaMontagne, Beirut and Herbie Hancock.

In exchange for volunteering your time, you get to see every show, even those fancy paid shows, for free. Bet you’re starting to love summer even more now, huh?  (more…)

05/24/16 3:37pm
Don't let us tell you, let this quiz tell you. Chris Ford / Flickr

Don’t let us tell you, let this quiz tell you. Chris Ford/Flickr

Whether you’re new to town or you’ve been around for a bit, you know the one local issue that keeps popping up, and won’t be going away any time soon, is gentrification. Neighborhoods and demographics in those neighborhoods change, and while real estate agents love to employ the terms “transitioning” (aaaaaaaahhhhh), the reality is that long-time residents are being pushed out.

(It’s worth checking out WNYC’s new podcast on gentrification to hear just how that pushing out is happening; pretty scary stuff.)

What’s more, gentrification tends to be an uncomfortable us vs. them conversation that a lot of folks have trouble participating in, because they don’t always know which side they land on, or would rather not hear. So, for your benefit, we’ve come up with a quick and dirty quiz so YOU can see whether you are, in fact, part of the problem. (more…)

05/19/16 9:46am
These ancient gates lead to a pretty sweet pile of modern resources. David Berkowitz / Flickr

These ancient gates lead to a pretty sweet pile of modern resources. David Berkowitz / Flickr

Movies and TV shows would have us believe that the library is nothing more than a boring place to get books and be shushed by angry librarians, but here in Brooklyn, our library system is the exception to the rule. The Brooklyn Public Library is essentially the Narnia of libraries, and if you look beyond the stacks of books, you’ll find a wide array of programs, classes, and resources that can help teach you to do some really cool things, or even help you achieve your dreams.

“The era of shushing at libraries is long gone,” added BPL spokesperson Madeline Kaye. “Libraries as institutions have moved well past the old transactional relationship which had patrons checking out books and reading them in a carrell or at home. Libraries now are home to immigration services, idNYC, bike the branches, art classes, jazz concerts, Pharrell even made an appearance at the Dweck Center this year. They’re cultural hubs that extend well beyond the stacks.”

Perhaps a young, savvy Brooklynite like yourself wasn’t aware of the mighty power that lay behind the doors of the Brooklyn Public Library? Well, let us help you out. Here are some cool things the library can help you do, and some equally cool people who did them. (more…)

04/11/16 3:38pm
Give your instruments to these kids now and you can say you knew them before their song was in that car commercial. Photo via Facebook.

Give your instruments to these kids and you can say you knew them waaaaay before they got famous. Photo via Facebook.

We’re sorry to hear that your band didn’t quite make it. We heard you got a sweet guitar/timpani set for your birthday this year, with plans to create a breakout brand of Brooklyn-based nu-jazz discocore grunge, but it didn’t work out because hey, bands are tough, or maybe you weren’t very good, or maybe just Scott was so bad at avoiding parking the van in a tow-away zone in Bushwick that you were like ahh forget it already.

Your music ambitions may be on an indefinite hiatus, but there are plenty of kids out there who are just getting a taste of their musical dreams but lack the instruments to make them happen. Luckily, there’s an easy way to connect your old instruments to those kids: WQXR, New York’s classical public radio station, is holding a big used instrument drive this week for underprivileged kids in New York and New Jersey schools. You can drop off your busted gear too: they’ll fix em up before giving them to kids, and if you go to one of the drive locations tomorrow, you can meet some of your favorite WNYC personalities. Here’s how: (more…)

01/27/16 1:00pm
Trade that old hoodie for some sweet arm muscles. Via BKB Facebook.

Trade that old hoodie for some sweet arm muscles. Via BKB Facebook.

The weather and snow are real issues the city is still dealing with this week, but the growing homeless population is something that is going to take longer to fix. In the meantime, you can help some of those homeless people stay warm this winter, and get some free sweet arm muscles out of it. Brooklyn Boulders is partnering with Hoodies for the Homeless through Feb. 20: drop off a new or gently used hoodie at the climbing gym and get a free day pass, or half off a day pass and gear rental. If you’re a member already, you get an additional guest pass for your hoodie. And you’ll need those climbing skills to get over those huge snow mounds that won’t go anywhere for awhile. (more…)

12/01/15 11:42am
Horses! Kids love horse toys, give the one of those. via Facebook

Horses! Kids love horse toys, give the one of those. via Facebook

Christmas is on its way, and that means everyone trying to be nice and listening to Bob Dylan’s phlegmy version of “O Come All Ye Faithful” and thinking about the brotherhood of humakind and of course, presents. Some kids aren’t as fortunate as others though, and rather than just treating them as the collateral damage of capitalism left to fend for themselves, you can help make sure they have a decent Christmas by donating some toys to a toy drive. And because sometimes you want an immediate reward for your philanthropy, the Big Brooklyn Holiday Toy Drive will gladly give you things, useful things, in exchange for giving them a toy this holiday season. (more…)

11/12/15 2:06pm
No, thank you. via Flickr user Bonnie Natko

No, thank you. via Flickr user Bonnie Natko

Unbeknownst to you, moments after you threw off your coat in your new apartment and sank into the couch thinking, “This is the last time I’ll ever have to move,” Brooklyn’s luxury realtors were already planning their revenge. You thought no one could possibly hike the rent on your 5th floor walkup, a 20-minute from the nearest G train stop? Think again.

The very terrible executives-only brand RealInsight is hosting their 6th annual Brooklyn Real Estate Summit on November 17 at the Brooklyn Museum, where the elite retail, condo and multifamily brokers will gather to eat the bones of children discuss ways in which they can further capitalize on the booming market.

Now if, like us, you don’t want to keep seeing folks get priced out of their homes, and you’ve got a vested interested in not being priced out of one yourself, then check out Brooklyn Anti-Gentrification Network (BAN)’s rebuttal: they’re picketing the event on November 17. And you can, too! Here are ways to get involved.  (more…)