01/27/15 10:00am
heavy metal yoga

Breathe, release and hail Satan. All photos by Dayvid LeMmon

I find that going to yoga is a lot like going to the post office: Sometimes you just can’t avoid it, but you know you’ll hate everyone involved.

After overhearing one too many conversations about juice cleanses while positioning my yoga mat – invariably next to a drop dead gorgeous Bendy-Wendy who warms up with effortless handstands, and contemplating murdering twosomes doing couples yoga whenever I see them tantric dry humping in the park (seriously guys, get a room), I thought maybe I was done with it. Even if I can’t deny there’s nothing like a good sweat and a good stretch, and an hour to allow yourself to just be…away from your smartphone, there’s just so much baggage. Or so I thought, until I found heavy metal yoga in the back of a Bushwick bar. (more…)

12/29/14 9:53am
sexual harassment taxi

Rider be ready to file charges? The author was groped in a green cab, but not this one via Flickr user Matt Green

Let’s get one thing straight: cabs aren’t cheap. While the reasonably wealthy may enjoy them on a daily basis, we of the lower income brackets resort to metered rides only when we are concerned with time-is-money urgency or personal safety—like after a rowdy night out in the far corners of the borough. But it’s worth it, right? Because despite all the slaps on the wrist we give ourselves for over-spending on a night out, the drunken cab hail is beyond reproach. That’s when you don’t give yourself a talking-to.

So when you can’t see straight, you’ll relish that first-world privilege of having enough money to get from A to B. You’ll say your intersection, climb into a dark backseat somewhere in Brooklyn, and then find yourself home in a warm bed. Sometimes you’ll even catch a little shut-eye along the way. And all of this will be afforded to you because cabs are the safe, door-to-door alternative to public transportation.

That is, unless a driver decides to slide his hand up your thigh. (more…)

11/13/14 11:52am
America's Kids Got Singing

America’s Kids Got Singing

An empty warehouse filling with tiny sparks of dreams is a strange place to spend a Sunday morning. To boot, it was a warehouse on the far west side of Manhattan way up in the 50s, the nearest signs of life being the Larry Flynt Hustler Club and Terminal 5, a place I try to avoid as if it were an active Ebola volcano (though the upcoming Sleater-Kinney show broke my boycott).

This is where New York got its chance to audition for America’s Got Talent which is, ostensibly, a nation-sized version of the talent shows you saw in high school. Or it’s a new version of the Gong Show, or basically like an American Idol but with magicians and puppeteers, or whatever (surprise: I don’t have a TV). The point is, the show drags its tuna net countrywide and sucks hopeful participants into the vortex that says “you, yes you!, could be the One to make it.” The prize is a million dollars, a chance to headline a show in Vegas, and all sorts of teevee. So in preparation for the 10th season, the show held auditions on Sunday that drew thousands of people. Here are your dreamers, America. And I was there too. Even more bizarre, I was asked to come by the producers. (more…)

09/04/14 9:00am
Recreating the Warriors' famous trip, leather vest optional.

Recreating the Warriors’ famous trip, leather vest optional.

I am not a bike messenger and I have never touched a “fixie.” When one of my tires goes flat, I stare at it for a while, and then I take it into the shop and pay a professional to repair it. So why did a girl like me pay $5 on a recent Saturday night to ride in a three-borough, 30-mile, sundown-to-sun-up Warriors-themed bike ride? Because it sounded like an adventure, and an excuse to stay up really, really late.

The Warriors is the 1979 cult action film that follows New York City gangs in an overnight chase from a park in the Bronx all the way down to Coney Island. For its 25th anniversary, Track Or Die and Cycle Hawk organized a ride that more or less replicated the film’s route, only on bikes, and with checkpoints and challenges along the way. The city we live in today is not quite the dystopian crime world depicted in the movie — for example, in real New York, turns out you can’t throw a baseball bat at a cop’s knees and then just walk away like it never happened — but one thing the movie gets right is that this city has secrets you can discover only if you get out of your home turf. Here’s some of what I discovered on the ride: (more…)

08/29/14 12:32pm
The sun sets on another brilliant summer. Photo by Tim Donnelly

The sun sets on another brilliant summer. Photo by Tim Donnelly

Whether we like it or not, summer is moving on without us. Sure we could point to the fact that it’s still technically summer until the Autumnal Equinox, or that summer is as much a state of mind as a season (no it isn’t). Did you use it to its full potential? Or did you sit on your couch binge watching OITNB over and over again with the shades drawn? Well now, the days are getting shorter, outdoor concerts and outdoor movies are an endangered species, kids are going back to school, and suddenly, you have to work the whole Friday. But no summer is long enough to do it all.

So let’s reflect: what didn’t you get to on your summer bucket list? What memories will you slink off into fall knowing you never had? Team Brokelyn shares some of ours below: use this list as a guide for next  year, because, as a wise man once said: the next summer is promised to no one. (more…)

07/09/14 1:54pm
crumbs bake shop

Taylor Swift’s anti-Midas touch strikes yet another national retail chain. via Facebook

As a budding journalist/writer these posts aren’t all that pays the bills, if at all. Like so many freelancers, I had a second job in the service industry, serving coffee and sweets, in this case, at Crumbs in Brooklyn. Emphasis on the had. This past Monday, after coming home from a shift, my boss called me to let me know that Crumbs was no more and neither of us had a job.

It happened so suddenly I was shocked, exhilarated even. One retailer who doesn’t appreciate its employees down, a bajillion more to go. For the whole company to go under is one of the most dramatic and epic of ways to lose your job. Not every day does a fellow employee get quoted in The Wall Street Journal. (more…)

07/08/14 10:03am
brooklynettes audition

You thought you could dance, until you wound up here. Photos by Gabrielle Westfield

When I originally heard about the Brooklynettes open tryout I knew immediately I had to see what it was like. I also wanted to see how far my background in gymnastics and collegiate cheerleading, and the 3.5 hip-hop dance classes under my belt, would get me in the process. My preparation for this tryout was simple: nothing but salads for the 2 days prior, attend Chelsea Piers adult gymnastics class to see if I could still tumble (flip), and watch videos of the Brooklynettes’ routines on YouTube the night before the tryout. This was about the most preparation I’ve ever done for a personal endeavor… and I felt like a well-oiled machine (cue the Rocky theme song).  (more…)

05/29/14 7:00am
bar brooklyn sweden

First sign somethings amiss: velvet ropes. All photos by Madelyn Owens

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – Tucked away on a dark waterfront street, there is a crowd of young men in beanies and skinny jeans smoking cigarettes outside of a dark bar advertising Brooklyn Lager. Its been several blocks since you saw the last local “micro-chain” cafe, and the area is starting to look a little shady. You appreciate the view of the city across the water as you walk under the bridge to approach the bar, but you’re not in DUMBO anymore, Toto. This is Bar Brooklyn in Stockholm, Sweden. (more…)

04/16/14 9:09am
pigeons

Meet your new roommates! Photo by Fikriyyah George

You know when you find roommates on Craigslist, you never know what you’re gonna get. In this case a beautiful loft in the northern reaches of Bed-Stuy with two artists and two cats eventually became a beautiful loft in the northern reaches of Bed-Stuy with two artists, two cats and two pigeons. Yes, PIGEONS. Pigeons brought inside my apartment, on purpose. (more…)

Rod Stewart shirt not included.

Jamie, this is your jacket. Rod Stewart shirt not included.

Hi Jamie – I don’t know your name or much about you but I assume you’re a girl because the keychain I found in your pocket said “Jamie” in big block letters on a plastic neon flip flop keychain and I feel like that’s probably a girl thing to carry. I also assume you were the one who took my coat last Saturday night at Death By Audio, which I’m not really that mad about because I’m pretty sure you didn’t do it on purpose. But that caused me to in turn steal your jacket, which I also don’t feel bad about, circumstances considered. This is all a product of my reliance on the practice of stashing my coat under chair, in a corner or wherever else I can find at a venue that doesn’t cost money to store a piece of clothing, due to a combined hatred of both winter jackets and carrying extra clothing. It’s part of the Brooklyn nightlife gamble, but here’s how this particular gamble played out: (more…)