05/24/16 1:00pm
I see your spring chill and raise you #Netflixandchill. via Instagram user @cuptureusa

I see your spring chill and raise you #Netflixandchill. via Instagram user @cuptureusa

It’s no secret that living in New York can take a toll on your mental health, but fickle weather can also lend a hand. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for tragic acronym short, affects a large percentage of the population in cities and countries prone to fluctuating weather patterns (or just generally shitty ones, like Ireland). New York is certainly one of those cities. And if this spring’s rain, grey gloom and yo-yoing temperatures has been getting you down, then you might suffer from it. It’s not just a cold weather condition, either—SAD can take a toll even in the summer months. Just look at Lana Del Rey.

But whether you’ve been diagnosed with a clinical condition or you’re just feeling generally terrible under cloudy skies, we’re here to help. How do you adjust to the changing seasons? The same way you deal with, lack of money, lack of romantic prospects and any long day at work, of course: by binge-watching your blues away.

Studies show that we’re wired to binge watch, and that it may even help makes us more empathetic as humans. Watching a series can educate and entertain you while you get you out of your own head, and there’s immense diversity in online entertainment these days, on a multitude of platforms and at varying price points. We’ve pegged a few different types of melancholia to some lesser-known series that might help you overcome each. Some shows require a paid subscription (or a free trial!), and some are free on YouTube. Either way, read on to find out which series best complements your seasonally-affected psyche. (more…)

05/18/16 2:42pm
Hey, instead of Cards against Humanity, play this New York-specific alternative at your next party

Soothe your ‘only in New York’ woes with this creative new card game.

Early last year, Brokelyn editor Tim Donnelly said that it was finally time to declare Cards Against Humanity a “basic” party game, and that we ought to renounce it in favor of slightly more evolved entertainment. And we haven’t laid a finger on it since then, because we really were holding out hope for a better alternative.

Now there’s a Punderdome home card game, but that’s mostly for word nerds and happy people. Brooklyn’s mass population of gripers and grousers (who drink) still need to be entertained with a game that feels less twee and more “Why me?”

Naturally, a 20-year-old kid at Pratt has the solution: enter WTF, NY?, a party game created by Pratt undergraduate Krysta Parisi. Like most of Brokelyn’s favorite things, the concept is straightforward and the legality is questionable! It’s just a Cards Against Humanity spinoff where cards have New York-specific questions and answers, so lewd sexual acts are replaced by… well, lewd sexual acts. This is New York, after all.

Parisi, a communications design major with a focus in illustration, explained that the game started as a class homework assignment.

“They told us to reinvent a game for millennials and make it modern, take a twist on it,” she told Brokelyn. “And I decided to go with Cards Against Humanity and make it more specifically New York. I felt like it was something that needed to be done.” (more…)

05/06/16 3:00pm
Skaff stands for Coney.

Skaff stands for Coney.

As The Brooklyn Museum was kind enough to remind us earlier this year, no place in Brooklyn remains as mystical as Coney Island. Home of the Cyclone, 800 of the best summer jobs, our beloved Freak Bar and, more recently, Times Square mascots, Coney Island imbues true meaning into that saying about “letting your freak flag fly.” Heck, they’re the authority on the subject.

Recently, genderqueer BK rapper Uncle Meg (aka Meg Skaff of Hand Job Academy) took up with some of Coney Island’s most iconic freaks to film a music video for her new song, “Big Daddy Margaret Rose.” The video used the set of Eric Rivas’ Vamp Bikers Tres in Bushwick, but its heart was obviously in the People’s Playground: Skaff’s video features everyone from the Coney sideshow barker to the strait jacket escape artist to that woman who impossibly survives having a bed of nails pressed into her chest multiple times a day. See for yourself below; it’s pretty excellent.

We caught up with Uncle Meg to ask her just what made her want to shoot the freaks for this video, and what “Big Daddy Margaret Rose” says about a city that feels less and less “freaky” every day. (more…)

05/04/16 1:13pm
Trans theatre. No braids attached.

Trans theater. No braids attached.

If you’re tired of seeing cis performances, reading cis thinkpieces and doing things that generally rely on binary gender constructs, then drag yourself over to New York’s first ever trans theatre festival, courtesy of The Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Tucked unassumingly behind a red door at 579 Metropolitan Avenue, the Brick is a burgeoning theatre venue known for its support of underground artistry (especially attractive, single ones). They regularly host ‘niche’ theater festivals about sex, clowns and comic books, but the trans theater festival marks a step toward a more sobering issue facing New York’s theater community today— namely, the lack of trans artists and trans stories onstage.  (more…)

04/22/16 9:03am
Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 7.45.20 AM

Every date is a third wheel when there’s only one bed on Full Disclosure, starring Katie Baker (left) and Corrie Nance.

All New Yorkers are familiar with small spaces. It’s a way of life; it’s a point of pride; it’s the most aspirational sections of Ikea stores. Plenty of us have experienced teensy, tiny Williamsburg studio apartments. But what if you shared that studio space with your best friend? Like, what if you shared everything, including a full-sized bed?

Writing and acting duo Katie Baker and Corrie Nance lived the above scenario for two months — sleeping in the same bed, accommodating each each other’s dating lives and taking on the challenge of trying to sleep through the impossible cacophony of sounds that are a woman getting ready to leave the house in the morning. They made it out alive, and they’ve turned the experience into Full Disclosure, a hilarious new web series out now that’s part Broad City and part Three’s Company.

“Every episode touches on something that really happened,” Katie told us. “There was one particular weekend when the stories were just too good, and we were like — this has to be written.” (more…)

04/21/16 11:27am
So close to tampons, yet so far. Via screenshot.

Why is it so hard to get a tampon? Via screenshot.

Just in time for 4/20 and Passover, we have been given the bittersweet gift (yes, I know neither of those holy holidays involve gifts) of Broad City‘s season 3 finale and the somewhat-but-actually-not-that-thrilling conclusion of Abbi and Ilana’s “Birthmark” journey to Israel. Through the long flight to the promised land, we learned more about the inter-personal relationships among Jews and airline personnel (so that’s why they call it a cockpit…), but what we didn’t get was enough time celebrating the power of female friendship to keep us cozy until the next season. Ugh, they’re famous now. (more…)

04/19/16 9:02am
Finally, somewhere to find an ATM in Manhattan. Via screenshot

Finally, somewhere to find an ATM in Manhattan. Via screenshot

Among many bits of DNA that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt shares with 30 Rock, its spiritual predecessor, is a to-the-roots feeling of New Yorkiness. 30 Rock felt like an old-school version of showbusiness Midtown manhattan, riffing on the entertainment industry and apartment renovations; Kimmy Schmidt is pure uptown grit. You can look at them as two ends of the spectrum of New York that meet in the middle (or the subway train, the great equalizer). The villain of 30 Rock is often the city itself, its unwashed masses or aggressive homeless people. Kimmy Schmidt’s however, often chooses gentrification as its main foil, as seen in the above so-on-the-nose-it’s-perfect sight gag from episode 2 of the new season. The show is giving us good reason to laugh so we don’t cry.  (more…)

04/18/16 10:31am
Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 7.35.48 AM

A face of a generation

This is the story of a girl, except actually it’s becoming the story of a grown-ass woman, as Girls’ central protagonist actually showed some growth for a change.

In last night’s two-part season five finale Hannah took ownership over some of her less attractive traits, made peace with Adam and Jessa’s relationship and returned to writing with a reading at The Moth. (All it took to get her there was a day getting high with Jenny Slate.) Elijah tried to have a Meredith Grey “Pick me. Choose me.” moment with Dill, but it backfired, and they broke up. Marnie had a super strange “love dream” about Ray, so I guess they’re a thing now, and Adam and Jessa had the kind of fight that makes Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? look down right civil.

All right, so it doesn’t sound like a ton of progress when written out like that, but the penultimate season of Girls ended with each character taking at least a small step toward personal growth, if not a giant leap into genuine adulthood. (more…)

We can't wait to be here with Kelso beers and good friends. via Facebook

We can’t wait to be here with Kelso beers and good friends. via Facebook

Of all the free outdoor movie series in Brooklyn every summer, the one at Fort Greene’s Habana Outpost (757 Fulton St.) remains my personal favorite. Maybe it’s the convenience of cheap alcohol and foodstuffs (CORN PORN) next door, or the colorful decor of the courtyard that sits right on the street. Or maybe it’s just the rebellious feeling that watching a movie projected onto the side of a building wall offers to an otherwise waning weirdness in present-day Fort Greene.

Whatever the reason, the Habana Outpost movie series is, IMO, the one to get pumped about. This year’s movie selection is tops, as per usual: all pre-2000 classics, with cult New Yawk flicks like The Warriors and Ghostbusters alongside lesser-known gems like John Hughes’ Weird Science and Warren Beatty’s Bulworth. So between this, the Summer Screen series at McCarren Park and the movies in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the coming season is already jam-packed with excuses to leave your house. Stay tuned for our ultimate guide to all the outdoor movies in BK this summer! And in the meantime, mark these dates on your calendar.  (more…)

04/14/16 11:12am

Brokelyn

This week’s penultimate season 3 episode was a Broad City first: a cliffhanger! On the heels of last week’s emotional series of events, the bros are out of the picture and the broads are hustling to get the fuck out of town. Where, you ask, is a suitable vacay spot for two kweens such as these? Surely Tulum and Palm Springs aren’t the only places white girls go anymore, right? (Right.) It’s an episode about how the city can conspire against you, basically, but reinforces the Broad City family values: persistence, resourcefulness and creativity when hiding your weed in the face of the MTA and/or other evil forces. (more…)