08/25/16 12:20pm
A new mini-golf course has opened in Coney Island. Photo via @anthony_0358 on Instagram.

A new mini-golf course has opened in Coney Island. Photo via @anthony_0358 on Instagram.

Recently, we recommended Shipwrecked, Brooklyn’s first indoor mini-golf course, as a fun, air-conditioned diversion on a hot day. Since opening in Red Hook a couple months back, Shipwrecked has filled a huge hole in the summer fun market, since there isn’t much else in the way of mini-golf in Brooklyn. But now, a new course called Brooklyn Miniature Golf opened last week in Coney Island, according to Gothamist.   (more…)

08/16/16 3:50pm
Beat the heat idea: This new (air conditioned!) mini golf course is a cheesy fun tribute to Brooklyn

Brooklyn was the treasure the whole time! Photos by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

You know that scene in The Sandlot where it’s just too damn hot to play baseball, and they have to skip their favorite activity to seek refuge from the heat? That’s been the past week here in Brooklyn, where even your summer-addicted Brokelyn staff needed a respite from the punishing heat that comes with our usual summer trifecta of outdoor drinking, beach bumming and outdoor drinking while beach bumming. In these situations you usually turn to a movie theater with its industrial air conditioning but the cinemas are currently offering up late-summer dreck along the lines of Suicide Squad and Hillary’s America. So yesterday, while enjoying a day off from work, me and some friends tried instead a new kid in town, the first of its kind really: mini-golf, specifically Shipwrecked, the first indoor mini golf course in Brooklyn.

Mini golf is all about nostalgia — the boardwalk nights where you dad showed you how to hold a club, the camp field trips where you had to fish the ball out of the water hazard over and over again, the birthday parties where you spent $10 trying to beat the Simpsons arcade game. In this brutal heat burn of a summer, when we’re suffering from a heatstroke of temperatures and a daily onslaught of hot wind out of Donald Trump’s mouth, it’s also a form of cheesy escapism.

Brooklyn doesn’t offer much in the way of mini golf (the one in the backyard of Bushwick Country Club baaaarely counts), so Shipwrecked opened a few months ago to fill a huge hole in the summer fun market. It’s not a particularly unique or challenging course, but what it lacks in windmills and obstacles it makes up for in production values – there are several “interactive” (read: coin-operated) features that spit steam and talk to you with dialogue awkwardly crammed with pop culture references and digs at the G train. It’s all wrapped around a narrative where you’re rescuing a pirate’s lost treasure, but it ends with a surprisingly sweet reminder that (spoiler!) Brooklyn was the treasure all along. Consider this a Brokelyn Letter of Recommendation for a place worth a few bucks for a place to escape the heat, and appreciate the endless treasure that is Brooklyn.  (more…)

08/12/16 1:07pm
CaptainRealAmerica_MOwens2016_Brokelyn

Comic by Madelyn Owens.

Prospect Park on Wednesday unveiled its very own viral Marvel advertisement in the form of a 30 ft. statue of Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America. We here at Brokelyn propose a monument celebrating the real heroes of these here United States — the residents of New York City! Whether you were born here or moved in from somewhere else, you are already at least 20 percent better and more interesting than the rest of the country. We’re constantly degraded by politicians for not being “real America,” but between leaving one of the smallest carbon footprints, to paying more into the federal government than we get back, to bringing America a proper slice of pizza, to living in a diverse city of eight million people who mostly get along, New Yorkers deserve their own champion. So we present to you the statue Prospect Park needs: Captain Real America. (more…)

08/09/16 11:55am
Express train to the Upside Down: How to live out your 'Stranger Things' fantasies in Brooklyn

The upside down awaits ….

Netflix’s hit Stranger Things is the rare show that makes you want to crawl inside it and live in that world, even if that world is full of mysterious disappearances, faceless monsters and an extra EXTRA creepy Matthew Modine. The world the show depicts is long gone, rolled up and tossed in the hamper of time with the rest of the ’80s and its bad haircuts. But we rounded up how you can do the next best thing and create your own tour of Stranger Things type experiences, right here in Brooklyn. Grab your bikes and go on an ’80s flashback ride across the borough while you search for Winona and try to find out where El (or the L, at least) disappeared to. We even found a way to access the Upside Down in Brooklyn (no, it doesn’t involve taking a lot of drugs).  (more…)

08/04/16 4:49pm
Barstool sports: 6 spots to watch the Olympics in Brooklyn, while drinking

Celebrate the Olympics with your own rings…beer glass rings on the bar. Photo via @olympics2016_rio on Instagram.

Tonya Harding taking out Nancy Kerrigan’s knee with a crowbar in 1994. Kerri Strug, nailing that one foot landing dismount off the vault in ’96 in Atlanta. Jackie Joyner-Kersees’ speed, and nails! These are just a few of my most vivid memories of watching the Olympics as a youth, before I knew anything about the rampant corruption and doping scandals on an international scale.

The Olympics are not just for kids. As an adult, you can sit back and get drunk and be entertained, and impressed, while thankful you’re not the one putting your body through that kind of physical, or chemical strain. The 2016 Rio Olympics are upon us, and here are five places you can passively partake of the games while actively drinking beers in Brooklyn, from Friday night’s opening ceremonies through the final day of competition on August 21: (more…)

08/01/16 3:57pm
Don't Think Twice is about living the broke artist lifestyle--and why there's nothing wrong with that

The comedic head-cases of Don’t Think Twice put their heads together. Photo via Don’t Think Twice on Facebook.

[mild spoilers ahead]

There’s a line in Don’t Think Twice, Mike Birbiglia’s new film about a scrappy improv comedy group from Brooklyn, that resonates with anyone who’s pursued a creative career without (yet) reaching the traditional benchmarks of success: “Your 20s are all about hope. And your 30s are all about how dumb it is to hope.” It’s delivered by Bill, a dead-pan, diffident guy in his early thirties who can kill on the improv stage, but whose day job entails handing out hummus samples at Whole Foods. (Ironically, Bill is played by Chris Gethard, one of the more successful comedians to come out of Brooklyn’s alt-comedy scene.) “Without improv, I’m kind of a loser,” he says in another scene.

These sentiments are shared by his fellow improv members, who drink together, complain together, live together (a few of them bunk up in Bushwick) and perform together in a UCB-esque improv group called The Commune. They’re each riddled with anxiety and self-doubt about their talents and what the future holds for them in comedy, but they know how to hold each other up, as the tenet of improv would have it: the group is greater than the individual.

That is, until one member, Jack, played by Keegan-Michael Key, gets hired by Weekend Live, (read: SNL), and the group unravels into a messy bunch of individuals with fragile egos and given to petty resentments. It doesn’t help that the news comes soon after they’ve learned that the lower Manhattan theater where they perform has been bought by Trump Towers and will be replaced by an Urban Outfitters (sound familiar?).

Yet, Birbiglia’s film, a coming-of-age tale for aging creatives — staunchly in their thirties, unlike the characters in similar tales of this ilk, like Frances Ha — isn’t about either hitting the big time, or giving up and doing something more practical. It proposes a more fluid notion of success, one that means different things for different people.

Don’t Think Twice — which, unitalicized, is another improv principle that applies to life — is a celebration of living in the moment, pursuing your passion, and finding the path that’s right for you. Success is self-defined; each character, although initially devastated by Jack’s big move, slowly begins to chart their own path forward. (more…)

07/26/16 4:54pm
So was Panorama worth the money? New York is dangerously close to reaching music festival glut

Inside the Despacio tent, a James Murphy curated igloo of dancing. Photos by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn

We were deep in day three, stuck firmly under the heat dome among the festival crowds at Panorama this weekend, when a Ghostbuster appeared. Sia was on stage in her signature oversized two-tone wig with a gigantic bow when she brought out noted celebrity ghost enemy Kristen Wiig wearing a similar wig (get it? Kristen … wig?) to dance around on stage. This caused great commotion among our festival crew and the crowd in general, especially since Sia’s show also featured celebrity appearances by Paul Dano, Tig Notaro and a bunch of extremely talented dancers. This was a rare moment of surprise during an otherwise by-the-books festival — except it wasn’t actually happening. The celebs on screen were just part of Sia’s tour video; the stage was full of actors reenacting the video, which wasn’t immediately clear to anyone not in the front rows.

Panorama was billed by many as the East Coast Coachella, a chance to bring a truly regal lineup of music and the brand of a highly successful festival team to New York City’s competitive music scene. The fest tickets were steep — too steep for many people it turns out, in a summer that’s already packed in a handful of music festivals. But it was loaded up in star power not seen elsewhere, with Kendrick Lamar, the freshly reunited LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire, plus a killer undercard featuring FKA Twigs, Run the Jewels, The Julie Ruin and a lot more. So was it actually worth the money, or is New York becoming victim to festival bloat? (more…)

07/21/16 3:00pm
take part in the fight to recall Judge Aaron Persky by attending Grlcvlt's fundraiser at Baby's All Right.

take part in the fight to recall Judge Aaron Persky by attending Grlcvlt’s fundraiser at Baby’s All Right.

Back in June, we spoke with the leaders of the New York chapter of Grlcvlt, the national feminist secret society that has been campaigning to recall Judge Aaron Persky since he sentenced Brock Turner, the Stanford rapist, to a mere six months in jail. The semi-secret group — they have a private Facebook group, which is invite-only and is listed under changing monikers — puts on events and fundraisers to galvanize support and raise money to unseat Persky.

And hush-hush as they may be, they’re certainly not lacking in support: the local NYC chapter has more than 3,000 members, and 1.4k people RSVP’d on Facebook to an event they held at Holyrad Studio on June 15.

Now, Grlcvlt is taking it a step further, and partnering with the official Campaign to Recall Judge Aaron Persky. Their first collaboration is a fundraiser, “Fuck Rape Culture: A Benefit to Unseat Judge Aaron Persky” that will take place at Baby’s All Right on Aug. 1. It’s part fundraiser, part party to rock the patriarchy into submission.  (more…)

07/20/16 11:00am
You missed Ghostbusters on opening weekend — how much cultural value are you missing out on?

You missed Ghostbusters on opening weekend — how much cultural value are you missing out on?

We’re in the thick of summer movie season and if you’ve fallen behind, you’ve got to start spending your dollars wisely. Summer movies aren’t especially known for their nuanced character portrayals and poignant storytelling (there are notable exceptions of course: Pixar crushed it last summer with Inside Out)But those are the exceptions to the rule: roll out the “serious movies” in the fall just in time for their stars to land on the red carpet in winter. Summertime is when you release movies with mass appeal. You know the type: explosions, naked ladies and several epic fight scenes.

And honestly? Bravo. Some days you want to take in a trenchant analysis of the suffrage movement, and other days you just want to watch teens in Los Angeles steal from famous people (Bling Ring, I love you forever). But, with so many blockbusters out right now, how do you know which one is worth shelling out anywhere from $15-$30 to see? You can’t look to your regular standbys, like Rotten Tomatoes, to guide you; this isn’t the time to care about character arcs! What you want to know is if this movie is worth seeing right now — both for its escapism and its place in the cultural conversation — or if you should wait two to six weeks to rent it on iTunes and watch from the comfort of your couch with a Bud Lime Light and a square slice of Ellio’s.

I get it, and, I’m here to help. I have no credentials, but lots of opinions, so if you are trying to decide what to spend your money on, scroll through the list below for a quick synopsis and a totally scientific calculation of the cultural currency each movie is worth.  (more…)