09/23/16 4:28pm
Helping you know where not to die - via CarsInBikeLanes.NYC

Helping you know where not to die – via CarsInBikeLanes.NYC

Biking in New York isn’t all beach days, Prospect Park loops and Goonies screenings. It can also be incredibly frustrating, not to mention life threatening. Despite the city’s Vision Zero initiative and its promise of safer streets for everyone, drivers still seem to think it’s totally acceptable to double-park in bike lanes (even the DIY ones) and as a cyclist there’s little recourse besides swearing.

Well now, thanks to CarsInBikeLanes.NYC, bikers finally have an outlet to air their rage and, hopefully, eventually, enact change. As Gothamist reports, the interactive map allows cyclists to report cars in bike lanes, in an effort to alert other riders, collect information on violations and, maybe most importantly, to vent. (more…)

Spookarama today. Photo by  Sarah Ackerman.

Spookarama today. Photo by Sarah Ackerman.

It pains me to say this but the days of many of our nation’s beloved amusement rides are numbered. One way or another, beloved institutions that make up Coney Island and other boardwalks will go away, either due to time, the distractions of Pokemon Go-style games, conversion to condos or the ever-rising sea levels that will soon turn ocean-front property into deep-sea property (but keep arguing about parking spaces, everyone!). With this loss go our memories of youth and first dates and lovably cheesy rides that remind us of a simpler time before paying $20 to see The Smurfs in 3D. We got a taste of this in 2012 when Sandy whacked the boardwalk in Coney Island, damaging many of the rides; at my hometown boardwalk in Seaside Heights, that kooz of as storm sent an entire pier to amusement park heaven.

Among the most endangered of these kinds of attractions are what’s known as “dark rides” like the Spookarama at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, those single-cart rides that take you through a haunted house full of ghosts and scares. They’re prime for teenage making out, have been around for 100 years — and they’re disappearing. Only about a dozen of the old-school version are left in the United States, according to one count. Joel Zika, a 36-year-old art and design university professor in Melbourne, Australia, has been fascinated with the dark rides for years, reveling their connection to early horror effects in movies. So he decided to document them in the only way that would truly do them justice: Virtual reality. He’s crowdfunding his project now and planning a trip to Coney in October to record the Spookarama in all its old-timey glory.

“It’s not so much that these are amazing experiences, but that they’re really unique,” Zika told Brokelyn. “All this stuff that’s really immersive, 360-degree experiences, some of them up to 100 years old. That’s fascinating, that’s something that may be more valuable to me than looking at old cinema.” (more…)

09/22/16 3:00pm
Homeless Comedy makes a house call.

Homeless Comedy makes a house call.

For the single New Yorker, comedy shows are one of the best excuses to get out of the house. There are always free or $5 shows out there, and one or two drinks will suffice to round out the night. But once coupled, comedy night becomes a date night, and going to shows can rack up quite a sum. If you’re treating your s/o to a headliner show with tickets, drinks and maybe a bite to eat beforehand, you’ll quickly come to spend at least $50 for an evening out.

Enter Homeless Comedy, a “New York comedy club without a home” founded by 38-year-old comedian Will Mars. Homeless Comedy provides the same comedy club experience, but as DIY living room entertainment in your very own apartment. You can drink your own booze and cook your own food; all you’re paying for is the comedy.

“Just clear out a corner of your main room, turn the seats to face it, invite a bunch of friends around, and we’ll turn up to do the rest,” Mars said.

Mars spoke to Brokelyn about his idea for the group, and how he thinks it complements an already saturated comedy scene in NYC.

“I noticed that most of the exciting comedy clubs and things that were sprouting up had been comic-driven, one-off bar shows,” Mars told us. “Everything more exciting is in Brooklyn and Queens right now [because] it has more of a community feel. And I just wanted to take it a step further, like why don’t we see about putting shows on in an apartment? A bespoke comedy night, just the audience and the comedians.” (more…)