07/20/16 2:36pm
Fight your phone addiction. Photo via @tobybartlett on Instagram.

Fight your phone addiction. Photo via @tobybartlett on Instagram.

Are you and your phone inseparable? Do you believe the adage that man can live a week without food, a few days without water but not 20 seconds without a wifi connection? You and technology may need an intervention or at least some time apart.

But it’s not all your fault. Social media regularly oversteps boundaries to the point of even trying to unduly influence your vote. Some studies have linked extended and frequent use of cell phones to increased anxiety and depression. While some people think they have an allergy to electromagnetic fields or electromagnetic hypersensitivity (a disputed disorder that may just be psychological), taking a break from tech every now and then can definitely recharge you mentally and physically — or at least give you a respite from Pokemon Go players. 

So what can you do about technology over-saturation? You could just completely unplug and move to the Radio Quiet Zone in Green Bank, West Virginia, where there is no cell service and wifi is banned. But then you’d have to live in West Virginia. You could just leave your phone at home when you go out, if you can weather the anxiety that might cause you, as well. Split the difference and take the occasional forced mini-vacation from the Internet. Here are four places in Brooklyn (and one in Queens) where you can temporarily escape from the information superhighway.

07/20/16 12:57pm
Get ready for the DNC next week with our affordable trip tips. Photo via @philadelphia_independents on Instagram

Get ready for the DNC next week with our affordable trip tips. Photo via @philadelphia_independents on Instagram

After this week, national plagiarism scandals and speeches from orange-tinted offspring will have receded from our minds (hopefully), and we can look forward to the Democratic National Convention, which takes place Monday July 25-Thursday July 28 in Philadelphia. Considering 50,000 people are expected to head towards Philly way in the next week, chances are at least one of you reading this right now is planning to do so, and could use a couple Brokester tips for your trip. National conventions aside, Philly has much more going for it than Cleveland.

Here’s our affordable guide for how to get there, where to stay, and a selection of free or cheap parties and events to check out while you’re celebrating the hope of a non-Trump presidency in America’s birthplace. (more…)

07/06/16 1:00pm
Blend in with nature in one of these grass-green tent rentals from Traverse Outdoors. Image via Twitter

Blend in with nature in one of these grass-green tent rentals from Traverse Outdoors. Image via Twitter

One time I wanted cool outside gear so badly I got a job at a Patagonia retail shop. On my first day, the floor manager told me that I got hired because I didn’t ask about the employee discount during the interview. Score. We commenced a training activity that involved learning all the special features of a $600 ski parka. Six hundred dollars? I asked about the employee discount. It wasn’t enough to come anywhere close to me being able to afford the ski parka.

Outside gear conjures tantalizing fantasies of fresh air escapes to the Catskills, living life to the fullest while on a kayak on the Hudson, taking in a breathtaking view on a high peak in the Adirondacks, but it can come with a hefty price tag. Anyone who has spent a night in a leaky tent on an even-leakier air mattress knows that good gear makes all the difference, but how do you procure it without taking a part-time job telling rich people about hidden zippers? Lucky for us, New York is a city of renters, and that applies to camping gear too! Check out these Brooklyn-based outfitters that will rent you great gear for a steal. (more…)

07/01/16 9:00am
Soak up the sun: Brokelyn's 2016 ultimate guide to Brooklyn outdoor bars!

Soak in the sun all summer long at (clockwise from top left) Bar Chord, Our Wicked Lady, Margarita Island and a bunch more bars in our guide.

Y’all, we did it. We survived a blizzard, Ted Cruz, a weird season of Broad City, and that one night in May when we had to pull our coats out from under the bed again. Dreams of a margarita-soaked Brooklyn summer kept us warm through those cold nights— but wake the fuck up, it’s finally here! Now is your chance to fling off your comforter, don your mom jorts and man-spread all over the most wonderful time of the year: outdoor drinking season.

Eager to suck down a pitcher of sunshine but not quite sure where to go? Waste no time in the group text: Team Brokelyn has compiled a comprehensive list of nearly 175 spirited spots across the borough where you can drink outside. From wine bars to dives to every sidewalk seat in between, we’re passing along our notes on each bar’s vibe and spilling our secrets to navigating the drink menu without spending your summer allowance all in one place.

Don’t spend the prime of your young adulthood watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix — get out there and get tequila drunk! Outdoors! Simply click the ‘hood you’re headed to and let us be your patio spirit guides (and don’t forget to cop one of our new Brokelyn tank tops so you can be your best summer self).  —Meghan Stephens (more…)

06/20/16 1:52pm
How to spend every single moment of the day — and night — outdoors on the cheap this summer

Show the sun how much you truly appreciate it by never leaving it. Via Flickr user gigiwannaflickr.

This is it, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: The first day of summer. That magical time of year when all pants end at the knee, all drinks include coconut and you finally get to spend some time outside. All winter you’ve been staying inside for your movies, music and alcohol like a rube! Well not anymore — summer means barbecues, lawn games, outdoor concerts, long bike rides and of course these strict guidelines for fun. Now normally people just do one of those, maybe two if they’re a true innovator and then retreat indoors, but why? If you’re like me that’s just not enough to quench that summer thirst, summer’s short, your AC isn’t strong enough and you need to spend as much time outside as humanly possible before the next snowstorm.

Well, we’ve laid out the ultimate guide to making the most of your summer, soaking up the optimum sun and staying outside for fun all day long, and all night long too. That’s right, you’re an adult now, nobody can scare you with threats of sun damage and if you want to stay outdoors for maximum summer without breaking the bank, here’s how:  (more…)

06/14/16 4:08pm
Photo by Hope Morawa/Brokelyn.

Photo by Hope Morawa/Brokelyn.

I always hated the smell of DEET. Mosquitoes and I have never been BFFs, and as a semi-popular band/theater/show choir socialite in high school, my social life over the summers was shrouded in a dark cloud of bug spray. It was a bite or be bitten way of life, and being slightly allergic to such bites, I wasn’t one to risk walking out of the house without a can in my backpack/fanny pack.

But I’m a part-time adult in my 20s now, and recently, when on a date at King Tai with a handsome 6ft-something ginger, this boy had the privilege and horror of seeing me in my truest form as I smashed a mosquito to smithereens, smearing it’s/my blood over my face while maniacally cackling. I knew better: it was a warm night, the doors of the bar were propped open, but Date Hope opted to smell like sexy coconuts rather than bug spray, making Date Hope a stupid, sitting duck who gained a bunch of bug bites in under a hour and no boyfriend. Enough was enough. Hence, my search for a more natural alternative to getting mosquitoes to bug-OFF had begun. (more…)

06/06/16 4:00pm
Don't go it alone: A guide to Brooklyn's community arts spaces for emerging artists

Follow the party animals to the Barn. via Instagram

Solitary suffering needn’t be a rite of passage for a life in the arts, especially not if you reside and produce artworks in Brooklyn. Here, you can avail yourself of a range of free and low cost resources borough-wide without ever resorting to ramen or giving up your dating life (though occasionally, we encourage you to do that anyway). Do you seek a gallery for your sriracha bottle installation? A windowed rehearsal space for your choreo? An audience for your jazz sax? There are art-loving professionals who will take your dreams seriously, and it’s time to befriend them.

While the following list can’t hope to encompass all of Brooklyn’s incredible arts initiatives, this guide corrals arts organizations and community spaces that 1) support emerging Brooklyn-based artists of all disciplines and 2) operate as nonprofits. These groups provide creatives with a spectrum of resources — from teaching artist and residency calls to O-1 visa consultation. Whether you’re after a grant or a grant-writing workshop, a DIY playground or industry tips, the diversity of services represented by these top five picks reflects the great diversity of the borough itself. Read on to find your next creative oasis in a Brooklyn near you!  (more…)

06/02/16 12:05pm
And on the first day, God said, let there be Summer Fridays: here are the 10 commandments of summer

For God so loved the world that he gave them his only Summer. Edit credit: Sam Corbin / Brokelyn

Memorial Day has come and gone, which means the God of all seasons is upon us: summer. Over the next few weeks you’re going to see a lot of lists that tell you what to do this summer, but none of them are going to tell you how to do it. Wouldn’t it be great if there were some kind of ancient book that had guidelines for living as well as weird stories about grown men living in the stomachs of fish?

Never fear. I’m here to inject a little Judeo-Christian wisdom into your world with The Ten Commandments of New York Summer, passed down to me by the God of Summer himself —who, in case you’re wondering, looks like a giant can of beer wrapped in a Brokelyn™ koozie.   (more…)

05/27/16 12:57pm
Note the blanket.

Note the blanket.

With last minute picnic plans in the works for the holiday weekend, and summer fast approaching, it’s high time to start honing your chops in the art of the all-important summer picnic.

Picnics are the ultimate way to get outdoors with food and drink in your hand in the summertime; they cost less than dining on a patio; you can take breaks from the food to play frisbee, stickball, soccer or just take a sunny nap; and best of all, you can bring your dog.

Of course, in order to go full picnic you’ll have to stock up on essentials, so you aren’t just that sunburnt dummy with a wilted salad in a plastic bag, lying on the grass over an unwashed fitted sheet. You need a basket, you need a blanket and you need food. And while it certainly doesn’t take a six-figure salary to picnic, those elements can add up if you don’t know where to look.

Brokelyn to the rescue! We’ve put together a roundup of picnic blankets, baskets and edible bundles for every budget so you can have your picnic and eat it, too. From DIY PB&Js to prix fixe picnic deals, this list is sure to make your Memorial Day weekend one to be remembered. We’ll bet your dog agrees.  (more…)

05/23/16 1:10pm
The 2016 ultimate guide to Governors Island, which reopens for this summer this Saturday!

Slide Hill will be part of The Hills when it opens in July and will include the city’s longest slide. Rendering via website.

While the weather is having a hard time coming around to it, the opening of Governors Island (spelled without the ‘s) on Saturday (May 28) is the definite sign that summer is on its way. The sprout of land between Manhattan and Brooklyn has been undergoing enormous renovations that will include giant, sloping hills rising as high as 80 feet and a slide park that has NYC’s longest slide (57 feet!). And while you wait in the inevitable slide line, you can marvel at the spectacular views new and old.

The designs were put in place by Dutch design firm, West 8, and echoes back to the 1600s when the island (really just a glorified rock then) was “discovered” by a boat full of Dutch people. The native Americans they “discovered” it from called it Paggank, or “nut island,” for its plentiful nut trees. The name changed to Governors Island for all the British Governors that stayed there in the coming years. Several wars later, the name did not change. And only in the early 2000s did Governors Island open to the public.

But enough about history. The time is now! Well, actually, the time is May 28, when the island will reopen to a flood of visitors like you, wondering if alcohol and slides is as good an idea as it sounds. Plus, you can grill on the island for the first time! (more…)