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…)

10/01/15 9:14am
Aw, pretty. How can we make it even prettier? via FGP

Aw, pretty. How can we make it even prettier? via FGP

Maybe you never pictured yourself as a budding urban designer, but Fort Greene Park’s pathways are getting a makeover, and you could be the Nick Arrojo to the Parks Department’s Stacy London. As part of the People Make Parks initiative, the Parks Department is committed to incorporating community suggestions about how parks should look, feel and move. FGP just got approved for capital funding, so there’s a meeting tonight to talk about those pathways.

Lucky for you, this meeting is about a public park, and not our ever-dwindling faith in the MTA, so it might be bearable—dare we say even productive? (more…)

09/21/15 12:35pm
Getting paid should not cause the same stress as paying bills. Via Facebook

Getting paid should not cause the same stress as paying bills. Via Facebook

Tonight from 6-8pm New York City based freelancers will join together to launch the #FreelanceIsntFree Campaign at the Brooklyn Town Hall Meeting.

Sara Horowitz, founder of the Freelancers Union, wants the non-traditional workers to know “you deserve to get paid.” If you’re a freelancer who is tired of feeling “economically vulnerable” from unfair or lack-there-of payments, unstable working conditions, or unsupportive employers join Sara, Brooklyn City Coucil Members and hundreds of other freelance workers tonight at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

RSVP here. Take control of your life by joining the #FreelanceIsntFree campaign today.


09/21/15 11:14am
BPL brining knowledge to the masses. Via Flickr

BPL brining knowledge to the masses. Via Flickr

Exciting news from the BPL this morning.

Today, Brooklynites will gather at Bedstuy’s Macon Library to receive free MiFi hotspots. The 4G, wireless devices are part of the Library HotSpot Program, which is dedicated to “bridging the digital divide” for patrons without at home internet capabilities.

In a press release today, Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library said: “The internet has changed the way people learn, seek employment and engage with their community.We are proud to offer Brooklynites free internet access not only in our 60 branches, but, with the Library HotSpot program, in their own homes.”

With grants from Google, The Knight News Challenge, and The Robin Hood Foundation, the program intends to put internet in 10,000 households and the BPL will loan around 3,000 of those 10. Twenty-two Brooklyn library branches currently participate, and the BPL has already distributed nearly two-thirds of the MiFi hotspots.

The devices will allow families to connect their desktops, laptops, tablets and up to ten mobile phones to the internet; and Sprint hooks the families up with free, unlimited data for a year.

Users of the BPL without access to internet at home are eligible to borrow devices for one year if enrolled in an adult education or inclusion program offered by the Brooklyn Public Library. Programs include: ESOL, Adult Basic Education or a Citizenship Preparation Class.

06/26/15 11:45am
You want some falafel from Cachaco? Get to pickin. via Facebook

You want some falafel from Cachaco? Get to pickin. via Facebook

[UPDATE: The organizers have emailed us to let us know that bad weather has pushed back the clean up to a later date]

We don’t think it’s impolitic to point out that there’s a lot of garbage in New York City. You got a lot of people, you’re gonna have a lot of garbage. However, you can do something about some of that garbage this weekend, by joining up with the Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce for their Curb Your Litter: Greenpoint cleanup effort on Saturday. Is doing it for the sake of being a mensch not enough? That’s fair. Just know that you’ll also get free lunch if you help them out. Oh sure, NOW you’re interested. (more…)

06/24/15 9:10am
nyc street trees

First test: How many trees are in this picture. via Flickr user David Thompson

You might recall a couple weeks ago when we alerted you to the city’s need for volunteers to count garbage floating in the ocean off our beaches. Maybe it appealed to your love of counting, but you’d like to count something a little more vibrant. You’ve got that shot now, because the Parks Department is looking for volunteers to count all of the city’s street trees. (more…)

06/04/15 9:50am
nyc beach

Quick: count all the bottles. via Flickr user megananne

We love our beaches here in the city, but let’s be honest, they don’t always have a reputation as being the cleanest places to romp in the sun. You can help do something about the occassional mess though, and you don’t even have to get your hands dirty: per the Brooklyn Daily, the city is looking for volunteers to record beach garbage every week. We’ll start! This past weekend, we saw an abandoned baby diaper at Jacob Riis. (more…)