10/20/16 12:59pm
Get nasty.

Get nasty.

When life gives you lemons you make lemonade. It follows that when life gave us the current election cycle, many tried to turn a profit on it. Ample Hills kept things chill with candidate-themed ice cream flavors; a number of New Yorkers tried to profit in a different way by putting up Craigslist hookup ads for debate-watch sex; and all over the internet, people started churning out anti-Trump merchandise faster than you could say “bad hombre.”

Because we defend your first amendment right to shout “Trump sucks!” from the rooftops, Brokelyn has rounded up the best of said joke merchandise on the web right now. If you have a few dollars to spare, donate them to Hillary! But after that, buy yourself one of these neat items. You deserve it for sitting through last night’s presidential debate without imploding. (more…)

10/18/16 9:00am

Once more into the breach: go ahead and down a few drinks while watching the final debate on Wednesday.

Finally, after what feels like a campaign that has lasted since before most of you were born and will still drag on until most of us are dead from exhaustion/rising sea levels/Trump internment camps, we have reached the presidential debates. The final debate of this election goes down Wednesday Oct. 19 at 9pm, and it should be a hell of a blood sport: it’ll either be Hillary Clinton’s chance to prove that she’s the only actual adult running for president who has at least read one or two books about international politics, or the chance for everyone in the nation to collectively face palm while thinking “I can’t believe she’s really going to blow this.” Either way, being out and about among your fellow Brooklynites with a drink or two or 13 in hand is recommended.

Here’s our roundup of bars showing the debate on Wednesday, including bars with drink specials, debate bingo and free Cheez-Its (because of the orange guy). Most are also showing the subsequent debates, and all are free. We’ll update the list as more roll in too. And don’t forget to bring our Brokelyn debates drinking game with you too! (more…)

10/10/16 1:00pm
So you've got bed bugs. Who do you need to tell? An infestation etiquette guide

Bedbugs: Not just a game. via Flickr user Mike Mozart

We’ve been talking a lot about bed bugs here at Brokelyn this month (an interview with Brooklyn’s bed bug queen, Brooke Borrel; a first-person account of getting a fancy hotel to pony up for a bed bug extermination), and we have one final important piece of the bed bug puzzle to add today: Who do you tell when you get bed bugs?

A lot of people who’ve had them say that finding out you have bed bugs is like finding out you have an STD. But are we talking HPV or HSV2? Who do you need to tell and why? Are you morally obligated to lock yourself in a clothes dryer until the menace dies down so that you don’t spread the infestation to others? Should you call out of work? Let’s break it down. (more…)

10/04/16 12:51pm
Pack, pray, move: a Brokelyn guide to making your next apartment move (relatively) painless

I’m already exhausted looking at this via. Instagram

Bringing up the topic of moving usually elicits groans and horror stories from all. It’s stressful, nobody likes it and since Brooklyn has been decreed the “Most Unaffordable Place to Live in America,” you’re probably pushing your luck anyway. But if the apartment you had once fallen in love with is now mouse ridden, and your current landlord has been ignoring your calls, and you’re nowhere near any good bars to make this all worth it, then it’s time to be movin’ out.

For something that sucks so much, we all keep doing it. But it doesn’t have to be completely unbearable. Brokelyn here, ready to share some insightful wisdom, reminders of the little things, and tips and hook-ups so you don’t have to go through these trying times of pre-move anguish alone. We’ve all been there, and we’re ready to help you pack up and move on to bigger, better places— ideally with a working toilet.  (more…)

09/29/16 9:15am
Even the U-racks aren't thief-proof without the right locking technique. via Rawle C. Jackman / Flickr

Even the U-racks aren’t thief-proof without the right locking technique. via Rawle C. Jackman / Flickr

Thanks to 15 new miles of bike lanes this year and half a million New Yorkers getting on their bicycles each month, it is becoming somewhat safer to bike in the city. It is, however, substantially more dangerous to be a bicycle here. In three years, I have been the dysphoric victim of four bike thefts. The vast majority of big city cyclists can regale you with similar tales of woe. There’s even a Bike Batman in Seattle who makes it his mission to return over 20 stolen bicycles a year to their rightful owners.

Until Gotham gets the bicycle-saving hero that it needs, how can you keep your bike safe? The NYPD has taken a greater interest in bike theft recently, but unless your theft was on video or your ride was equipped with some nifty GPS tracker, there’s not a ton they can do. The good news is that if you take some minimum precautions you can almost always avoid getting your ride jacked in the first place. We spoke to a few bike shops around the city and provided our own Brokelyn Bikers’ local knowledge on how New Yorkers can best secure their wheels against a five-finger discount. (more…)

08/31/16 4:03pm
If your laptop is working, this makes a great work space, but the public computers are there to catch you if you fall. Via Flickr user Sam Saunders.

If your laptop is working, this makes a great work space, but the public computers are there to catch you if you fall. Via Flickr user Sam Saunders.

For yet-to-be-determined reasons that may or may not have to do with spending a few blissed-out, half-working days at a surf house in Rockaway last week, my laptop stopped working suddenly. The Geniuses at the Genius bar couldn’t figure it out so they sent it off to Apple sleepaway camp, where it will either get fixed or have its first kiss with a girl named Planned Obsolescence. Freelancing and otherwise working from a laptop is a glorious feeling of freedom: your computer screen essentially turns into a mobile command center for all the aspects of the internet/life you need to keep tabs (literally!) on all day long. But what do you do when that command center goes on the fritz? And you need to keep working to do things like eat and not get thrown out of your home?

When this happened to me, instead of digging one of the lugubriously slow old laptops out of the bag I am for some reason saving in my closet, I instead decided to try out the Brooklyn Public Library’s free computer work center at the Grand Army Plaza brand. The library, as you already know, is a fully loaded center for helping you get shit done, but would it work for the hectic, crushingly busy, bouncing-from-page-to-page life of a freelance writer? It can, if you do it correctly! Here’s some key tips for how to pull off a full work day on the public computers.  (more…)

08/25/16 2:00pm
Free books abound — if you trust your neighbors' selection. Via Flickr user Squid Ink.

Free books abound — if you trust your neighbors’ selection. Via Flickr user Squid Ink.

New York City is expensive … if you actually try to pay for everything you need. The city is a giving tree that will help support your basic needs, if you know where to look, and save you the hassle of paying for stuff that is freely available everywhere: Moving boxes, magazines, condoms and more. Here are 10 things you never have to pay for in the city; add your own picks to the comments. (more…)

08/17/16 11:16am
Cheap shots: 5 affordable alternatives to attending SummerSlam in Brooklyn this month

Jon Stewart traded fake news for fake wrestling at SummerSlam at Barclays Center last year. Photo via WWE.com.

If you’re watching the Olympics, you’ve probably realized that mat wrestling isn’t all that exciting. Sure, it involves a certain kind of physique and expertise that requires years of practice, hard work, and determination. At the same time, there’s no flair or showmanship, and the only steel chairs involved are the ones athletes sit on between matches. Where’s the excitement? Where’s the danger?

Why, in pro wrestling, of course! In bingo halls, basements and arenas across the country, competitors of various genders, builds and backgrounds gather to “fight” one another in 20′ x 20′ rings and tell enthralling (and oft-bizarre) stories in the process. Unlike Olympic-style wrestling, these surly men and women often eschew trivial things like rules and form, opting for more spectacle-based moves, gravity-defying stunts, and the occasional “foreign object.”

Best of all, you don’t have to travel all the way to Rio just to see the top pro wrestlers compete. This coming weekend, WWE brings SummerSlam — its second-biggest wrestling event of the year — back to the Barclays Center for the second year in a row, and they’re bringing wrestling stars like John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Sasha Banks along with them. At the same time, some of the most popular independent wrestling organizations are taking advantage on the ‘E’s presence with their own area shows this month for less than the cost of a Pay-Per-View, and with more of an emphasis on authentic, South Brooklyn-style underground wrestling events.

If you can’t afford a ticket to SummerSlam (spoiler: you probably can’t), these five action-packed events are well worth your time thanks to impressive match cards, equally impressive guest appearances, and more insanity than you’ll ever get out of a Mets game, no matter how well they’re doing this year. (more…)

08/11/16 12:37pm
Photo via @markedanimation on Instagram.

Glorietta Baldy’s pinball machine pay tribute to the rock n roll gods. Photo via @markedanimation on Instagram.

Ever since I was a young girl, I played the silver ball. But really, my grandparents had two pinball machines in their basement where I’d spend countless hours being terrible during my elementary years when they’d babysit. Then in high school, my friends and I would road trip an hour to Ann Arbor, Michigan to Pinball Pete’s, where I’ve broken their South Park machine at least six times.

Now, in the prime of my life, I’m not only able to play pinball, but now I can drink alcohol while doing so! In the year that I’ve lived in Brooklyn, I’ve tipsy stumbled into a surprising number of bars with pinball, and left with more recommendations of bars to check out. I wanna be the very best, hence, I’ve decided to switch from aspiring Pokemon Master to Pinball Master.

To begin my journey, I’ve been hitting up my favorite spots to play in “middle Brooklyn,” namely Crown Heights, Park Slope, and Bed-Stuy. (Up next: I’m compiling a list of the best in “North Brooklyn” neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick.) I’m not an expert when it comes to playing, but I am quite good at appreciating the older machines from the 80s on and fan-girling over the more recent models. Check out my list of eight favorites. (Note: keep in mind that bars regularly rotate their pinball machines, in case you don’t see one from this list.) (more…)

08/10/16 3:40pm
I've heard of spotting someone in the weight room but this is ridiculous! Via @acusvida on Instagram.

I’ve heard of spotting someone in the weight room but this is ridiculous! Via @acusvida on Instagram.

This is certainly the worst summer of your life if you happen to be a super fan of Olympic sports who also suffers from trypophobia. All your favorite athletes are covered in spots! The hot look at the Rio games right now is definitely DalmatianCore thanks to the popularity of the practice known as “cupping” lots of the athletes have adopted. It’s got roots in ancient Chinese healing practices, similar to acupuncture. The process involves placing cups on your body, adding heat or suction to pull the skin away from the muscles. As the Times wrote, “Athletes who use it swear by it, saying it keeps them injury free and speeds recovery.” Michael Phelps does it, Hope Solo does it, Natalie Coughlin does it, and certainly a lot more people who believe in Mercury in retrograde and juice cleanses are going to try it after its moment in the spotted-light.

Should you try it? I don’t know! Definitely don’t take medical advice from us, but if you are into trying things that are labeled “pseudoscience” on Wikipedia, who are we to stop you. Maybe you’re wondering: is this some super fancy treatment you can only pay for using coins made out of smelted gold medals? No, it’s actually pretty cheap, and you can do it at lots of places in Brooklyn. It’s not for everyone though, apparently.

“With cupping, it depends on the constitution of the person,” one practitioner in Greenpoint told me. “We don’t always recommend it depending on what the person is coming in for.”

Here’s a price check of what cupping costs around Brooklyn. (more…)