08/04/15 11:08am
Allison Stuart, on one of her rare days spent away from the coffee shop.

Allison Stuart, on one of her rare days spent away from the coffee shop.

The air is cool and the sun is more forgiving, but we’re still in the heart of summertime. And what better way to soak in the season, than with our Perfect Summer Sundays series? Here’s how it works: we bring you a local personality from the borough who shares how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you get to try it on for size! Tourists, too. Gone are the empty brags of having “been to Bushwick,” or the misguided attempts to hang out where the locals do. This way, you get a taste of what the neighborhood’s all about from someone who actually lives there, and you can leave satisfied.

This week, we’re hanging out in Bed-Stuy with Allison Stuart, owner of Bedford Hill Coffee Bar. Since 2010, Bedford Hill has been shaking up the coffee scene at the border of Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant by serving up a taste of the midwest with Milwaukee, WI’s own Anodyne Coffee. Affectionately termed a “cozy sinkhole” by Stuart herself, BHCB is a neighborhood haunt for everyone within a half-mile radius. Some trek even farther to get a taste of the shop’s infamous egg sandwich. Today, Stuart tells us all about her Bed-Stuy bliss on a Sunday.  (more…)

07/30/15 2:02pm
A water slide in the middle of the street in Manhattan is just one of the awesome ways to spend time in August. via Facebook

A water slide in the middle of the street in Manhattan is just one of the awesome ways to spend time in August. via Facebook

Holy sunburns and iced coffee spills Batman, it’s August! The summer has reached its halfway point, which means that we’re half a summer away from fall and the end of Daylight Savings. Soon we will wear shirts that go below our elbows and we won’t have to worry about stinking up an entire train car because we forgot to apply deodorant before leaving the apartment. While some of you may already be thinking that summer is over, it is not. To prove it, we have events for you every day of August, so you can still have some wonderful and hopefully not traumatic experiences around this wonderful, crazy city of ours.  (more…)

07/29/15 9:28am
You can make great art at Pioneer Works for not so much money.

You can make great art in a place like this for free. Photo via Pioneer Works.

There’s plenty to kvetch about if you’re a self-employed artist living in BK. The most oft-heard complaint is the one about paying for two spaces with one non-salary. On top of struggling to monetize your artistic talents, the Man is expecting you to pay for not one, but two spaces a month?

We know, you tried to find a creative solution. I’ll just live in my workspace! you said. I’ll shower in the slop sink. Then you said OK, I’ll just paint in my living room! The smell of chemicals won’t suffocate my cat! But then it did.

You need a place to work and a place to live. Separately. As with our indispensable Brooklyn coworking guide, we’re happy to do the snooping for you. Here, we present the layman’s guide to scoring cheap studio space in Brooklyn, starting with the very best kind of all: free.  (more…)

07/28/15 1:13pm
Enjoying Gowanus isn't a pie in the sky idea if Emily Elsen is guiding you through it. (Note: Miss Rosa isn't always there) via Instagram

Enjoying Gowanus isn’t a pie in the sky idea if Emily Elsen is guiding you through it. (Note: Miss Rosa isn’t always there) via Instagram

It’s Tuesday all over again, and you know what that means, Brokesters? Heck yes, it’s another edition of our Perfect Summer Sundays series. Remember? First, we bring you a local personality from the borough who shares how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you get to try it on for size! Tourists, too. Gone are the empty brags of having “been to Bushwick,” or the misguided attempts to hang out where the locals do. This way, you get a taste of what the neighborhood’s all about from someone who actually lives there, and you can leave satisfied.

So today, we’re headed into Gowanus with none other than Emily Elsen. Along with her sister Melissa, Elsen co-founded Four & Twenty Blackbirds, the famed pie shop and subject of Whoopi Goldberg‘s acclamation. Since 2010, the shop has been serving up lovingly handmade fruit and custard pies with their signature all-butter crust. The sisters, in turn, have become tastemakers of the borough, consistently featured in food and lifestyle magazines for their perspectives on artisanal trade. Emily Elsen also helped found the Gowanus Studio Space, a non-profit organization that offers subsidized rates on workspace for artists.   (more…)

07/22/15 9:27am
It's just a nice place to be. via Flickr user dumbonyc

It’s just a nice place to be. via Flickr user dumbonyc

Gone are the days of abandoned warehouses and empty piers lining the Brooklyn waterfront. Wegman’s has replaced the ghostly buildings on Admiral’s Row in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and it’s hard to imagine Red Hook without Ikea. Beautification efforts in the early 2000s replaced miles of industrial sites with the Brooklyn Bridge Park and rejuvenated the waterfront as a popular space for cultural events. Now with businesses like the Brooklyn Barge Bar which offers a range of water sport programs nestled comfortably next to art galleries and restaurants, Brooklyn’s shoreline has become a playground for nature enthusiasts and urbanites alike. Here’s our recommendations of the 50 best ways to experience Brooklyn’s waterfront. (more…)

07/21/15 10:27am
Alt-humor incarnate, in Fort Greene. Photo by Eric Michael Pearson

Alt-humor incarnate: Jo Firestone. Photo by Eric Michael Pearson

July’s almost over, but summer’s in full swing with another installment of Brokelyn’s very own Perfect Summer Sundays. Here’s how it works: each week, we bring you a local personality from the borough. They tell you how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you try it on for size. Tourists, too! Gone are the empty brags of having “been to Bushwick,” or the misguided attempts to hang out where the locals do. This way, you get a taste of what the neighborhood’s all about from someone who actually lives there, and you can leave satisfied.

This week we’re taking you to Fort Greene with a household name in the Brooklyn comedy scene, Jo Firestone. Jo creates and hosts some of the borough’s quirkiest nightly entertainment: pun competitions, drunk debates, live-dubbed sitcoms… you name it, the self-proclaimed “goat-woman” has probably made it. Today, Firestone rattles off an exhaustive list (more…)

07/16/15 2:01pm
Photo by Alexa Hoyer

Everybody Zumba! Photo by Alexa Hoyer

For most of us, summer is already in full swing. Beach days on fleek, early-morning runs, rooftop yoga, patio drinking galore and a sweet racerback tan. But if you happen to fall into the category of folks who still haven’t gotten out of bed this season, we’re here to wake you all up with two words: beach body.

Just kidding, don’t worry about that. But do worry about all the sunshine and endorphin-releasing benefits that working out will have on your body. If you’re not sweating this season, you’re sorely missing out. And with that said, here’s all the completely FREE fitness you can check out this summer that takes place under the sun! Stay hydrated, and don’t forget sunscreen.  (more…)

07/15/15 12:42pm
We aren't fooling you, this is in Staten Island. Image via Flickr user Bobby Bradley

We aren’t fooling you, this is in Staten Island. Image via Flickr user Bobby Bradley

It’s summer in New York City, the perfect time to go explore all five boroughs. And you might forget, but “all five boroughs” includes Staten Island. We know what you’re going to say, “but there’s nothing to do in Staten Island,” well, you’re wrong, there is stuff to do, one of them is visiting The Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. The place is huge (83 acres), like crappy blockbuster budget huge. So huge in fact, it may be a little intimidating for a novice such as yourself. So let us guide you through your visit there. (more…)

07/14/15 12:44pm
Carlino with the family paddle

Carlino’s all business at the pizzeria

Happy #NewHorizons, brokesters. Now that you can see Pluto, you may as well expand your horizons here in the borough, too, by checking out Sheepshead Bay. That’s right! It’s time for the latest edition of Perfect Summer Sundays, Brokelyn’s original profile series where we bring you a local personality from the borough. They tell you how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you try it on for size.

This week, we’re taking you to Sheepshead Bay with Sal Carlino, the once-son and now-owner of Papa Leone Pizzeria. Established in 1974, this family-owned pizzeria boasts the authentic “mom and pop shop” status that old Brooklyn—or what little is left of it, anyway—is famous for. They’ve been making the same tantalizing homemade sauces for decades, and they’ve got a full bar with $2 anytime beers.

“My father opened Papa Leone’s in May of ’74,” says Carlino. “41 years later we’re pretty much the same place, but with me at the helm.” (more…)

Pie potentate Pels poses for a pic

Pie potentate Pels poses for a pic

Hey folks, welcome back to the second installment of Brokelyn’s newest profile series: Perfect Summer Sundays. Each week, we bring you a local personality from the borough. They tell you how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you try it on for size. Tourists, too! Gone are the empty brags of having “been to Bushwick,” or the misguided attempts to hang out where the locals do. This way, you get a taste of what the neighborhood’s all about from someone who actually lives there, and you can leave satisfied.

This week we’re taking you to Prospect-Lefferts Gardens with Alison Pels, newly-crowned pie potentate of central Brooklyn. Since opening her own shop in the area, Pels has discovered all there is to know about this unassuming little neighborhood tucked in next to Prospect Park, and she’s brought all her “secrets of the garden” to Brokelyn! (more…)