04/15/15 3:46pm
broad city accountant

And it’s not that they’re not paying taxes because they can’t find a good accountant

It’s Tax Day. Most of you have already filed, which means you’re reading this with at least a general sense of relief. Some of you haven’t filed, and if you’re reading this then stop! Go do your taxes! But there are other people who are just sitting comfortably and watching tax day whoosh right past them: people who don’t pay their taxes, and don’t seem to be bothered too much by it. Curious who these people are? So were we, so we tracked down two Brooklynites who haven’t paid their taxes in a few years.

For obvious reasons, we’re giving them pseudonyms. You might have conjured up some image of money-eyed corporate tycoons who defraud the government year after year, but these women who decline to file fall on the opposite end of the fiscal spectrum: they’re broke. Each one has lived on taxed salary, and each one has lived on freelance income. And both have failed to file in both instances.

Are these two warriors against an unjust tax system, or just lazy? Read their stories and decide for yourself. (more…)

04/02/15 1:47pm
The only piece of unexpired  photo ID left in my wallet.

The only piece of unexpired photo ID left in my wallet. by Sam Corbin

When we first ran that post about how to get the NYC municipal ID, it was just a roving blip on everyone’s radar. There were only a few enrollment centers around the city, and all that paperwork was enough to deter anyone who already had a driver’s license. Now, though, it’s a bigger deal: a piece of government-issued identification that doesn’t require immigration info or the ability to drive, and doubles as a library card? Everyone’s lining up for these sleek, snappy and free NYC IDs. I was in that lineup—for a surprisingly short amount of time, considering the heavy backlog—and I’m here to tell you that it’s totally worth it. (more…)

03/25/15 11:23am
Photo by Flickr user carnagenyc.

Right? There is, isn’t there? Photo by Flickr user carnagenyc.

Brooklyn may not be where I was born and raised, but eight years, six jobs, five apartments, three ER visits, and one Brooklyn Bridge tattoo later, it’s where I belong. I’ve been in love and had my heart broken here. I’ve trained for a marathon here. I’ve woken up to water bugs crawling out of the drain, dead rodents, and roommates’ random hookups. I’ve made friends, lost friends and attended funerals. I vote here. My nephew was born here. I’ve dipped my toes in the Gowanus, kissed on the Brooklyn Bridge, and volunteered after Hurricane Sandy. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.  (more…)

03/24/15 8:44am

A typical March day in Venice. (Photos by Dan Cerruti.)

Jay-Z. Lena Dunham. Dan Cerruti. What do all these incredibly important cultural figures have in common, besides zeitgeist-capturing appeal with legions of fans? They–we–are all native New Yorkers who have decided to move to a land of gritty authenticity where only the savvy and cunning survive. I’m talking, of course, about Los Angeles.

The name of this blog being a pun on Brooklyn, I suppose I should do what I can to make you stow away your pitchforks and torches and stymy your cries of “traitor” and “heresy” and “You’re wearing shorts in March? Go fuck yourself.” The internet is lousy with “Why I’m leaving New York” essays, but I figure I should do my best to explain why this phenomenon has claimed so many New York peeps. (more…)

03/17/15 9:29am
trash bar brooklyn

Goodbye to all this. via Flickr user All-Nite Images

The Trash Bar.

I realize that there are only a couple of dozen or so people to whom the name evokes something more than a mild nostalgia, or else a wrinkled-nose pang of disgust, if it evokes anything at all.  Say you’re new to town, a fresh face out in Bushwick or Bed-Stuy, you’ve likely never been. And that’s fine, too. Never hip, always dirty, perpetually falling apart, it’s the place with the name tourists giggle at, sticking out like a sore thumb in 2015 Williamsburg. But if you’ve been around, say, the last decade, and been at all into music here in Brooklyn, or karaoke or free alcohol, then chances are you feel one way or the other about it.

I’m a bit different. Trash is closing at some point this year, sometime before August, and after working and hanging out there for eight years, I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around what this means to me and has meant to my life. (more…)

03/10/15 12:56pm

Speaking up meant getting some justice for that cabbie violation (NOTE: not the taxi in question). via Flickr user Matt Green

If you remember, towards the end of 2014 I wrote about a groping incident that happened to me in the back of a green cab. In that post, I said that I planned to testify in court in order to see that this cabbie have his license revoked. A lot has happened since then—but most importantly, the TLC handed the driver an actual sentence, bringing me some much-needed peace of mind. So today, I’m writing as a reminder that reporting assault of any kind is the best thing you can do for yourself and for others. (more…)

02/02/15 1:11pm
dollar vans

Not the place you want to suddenly have to dole out relationship advice. Still, fun!

Recently, while already late to work, I opted to take a dollar van instead of a bus. It means paying a second time for the train, but I needed get the Long Island Rail Road which only comes once an hour, so drivers who even vaguely pay attention to traffic laws weren’t going to cut it. Little did I know my desperate attempt to catch a train would be almost derailed by the driver’s emotional breakdown. (more…)

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…)