12/13/13 11:25am
5 Pointz is gone, but street art like this TK off the Classon Stop is still all over Brooklyn. Photo by Brittany Allen

5 Pointz is gone, but street art like this mural off the Classon Stop is still all over Brooklyn. Photo by Brittany Allen

If you’re even a marginal fan of street art or have ever had cause to ride the 7 train, the whitewashing of the graffiti behemoth 5 Pointz likely struck a chord. The place was meant as a mecca, a museum, and a hub for five boroughs worth of aerosol-spun talent. Even though we all know graffiti is ephemeral by nature – as it’s usually illegal – this is a big loss. Sucks to your ass-mar, gentrification.

But! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel! Or more specifically, various lights adjacent to the G and L and M subway tunnels! In honor of 5 Pointz’ passing, we’ve compiled five fantastic walls in four neighborhoods that merit a trip from any graffiti fan. This tour is one of a thousand one might take through Brooklyn – the other great thing about quality street art in our borough is that once you start looking for it, it tends to materialize. So for all those days when paying a price of admission for one at the MOMA feels like trading in meals for a week, do yourself a favor and look around. Look up! Up first… (more…)

12/09/13 7:00am
big brooklyn toy drive

The Big Brooklyn Toy Drive is just one way you can make a kid as happy as this one this Christmas season. Photo by Kathryn Suellentrop, via Facebook

It’s easy to get sucked into a holiday spending bubble, especially when bombarded with shiny knick-knacks and long gift lists. But before we drink gallons of spiked seasonal beverages, make questionable decisions at the company holiday party and buy expensive electronics delivered to us via drones, let’s reflect on our blessings and do some unselfish things this season.

You can commit small acts of kindness to help the New Yorkers who are living on less than what you have. From donating coats, toys and food, to spending time with animals and humans who can really use the attention, here are a few ways you can give back. (more…)

12/04/13 7:00am
loft 594

No furniture at Loft 594, but it’s still nicer than a lot of Bushwick lofts. Photo by Charles Benton, courtesy of Loft 594

So much art, so little time…

There are a ton of art galleries in Brooklyn’s multifaceted art scene, displaying work from a magnificent variety of artists. With galleries all over the borough though, which ones are worth visiting? Most of the artists I spoke with said the art galleries that matter are the ones with the right vibe, one that’s “open, friendly and informative,” according to Pratt instructor and Loft 594 artist Jennifer Shepard, detailing what she looks for in a  good gallery.

A good place to start when exploring Brooklyn’s art galleries is my favorite area of them all - Bushwick. Even though the neighborhood is becoming more and more gentrified, the proximity to Pratt and absolute fierceness and freedom of expression of artists living and working here has made its impact on the art galleries. One thing, all of these art galleries have in common is their accessibility to art students, art lovers and virtually EVERYONE interested in the artistic side of the neighborhood and what it may offer. At the end of the day though, it’s about the work on display, and these seven galleries always deliver in that regard.

(more…)

11/22/13 10:03am
etsy handmade cavalcade

A scene from an Etsy Handmade Cavalcade of Christmas past. via Etsy NY Flickr

It’s almost holiday time everyone, which is personally my favorite shopping time of the year. It’s so exciting, and everything sparkles! Sugar and spice and everything nice! Lights! Trees! Of course, the holidays also means making a list of who you need to buy presents for; family, friends, bosses, significant others, your local bodega cat, your favorite bartender, your future New Year’s make-out partner… etc.).

Let’s make that shopping list easier to fill out by shopping local at the many Brooklyn markets this year. Who needs the crowds of tourists in Manhattan when you can take a leisurely stroll and attend many of these instead. Craft fair crawls are highly encouraged; bonus points are given if you can beat my record of going to five of these in one day. Plus this year there are added extra things do if you need a rest, such as playing black-light mini golf at The Brooklyn Night Bazaar and ice-skating at McCarren Park. Ready! Set! Shop Local!  (more…)

11/18/13 8:00am
Assorted bruschette. Via FB.

Assorted bruschette at dell’anima, which you too can afford. Via FB.

For a person who loves to eat and is perennially broke, New York City is the best and worst place to live. It’s got possibly the highest concentration of excellent (and pricey) restaurants in the world. At times, it can feel as though you are doomed to a life of mediocre happy hours and obscure Chinese takeout joints, but not to worry. With a combination of careful ordering, sharing items and opting for smaller plates instead of large entrées, you can enjoy a meal at some of the city’s best restaurants for $20 per person (including drinks! Tax and tip are still on you though).

You still won’t be able to enjoy a meal at Per Se without being set back a few hundred dollars, but you can sample some great places without breaking the bank by bringing a friend along. Here, four ways to split the menu. (more…)

10/11/13 3:33pm
Way to go, guys

Way to go, guys

While writing my book How Not to Be a Dick, (now available in stores and online!), there were a lot of Brooklyn-centric situations that I couldn’t quite fit in. So, for all my loves reading Brokelyn, who already know how I feel about things like 2 Broke Girls, and firemen, I’m giving you a sneak peak inside the book, and some fancy fun extras that effect us in our very own borough, like my thoughts on raves. (more…)

Photo by Rachel DeLetto

Down the rabbit hole! Photo by Rachel DeLetto

Sponsored By Ideal Properties Group.

Nobody is better equipped to help you make your messy roommate history than Ideal Properties Group

Created By BlankSlate

Moving, be it from out of state or while you’re already living here, can be a real pain. What makes Brooklyn’s neighborhoods different from each other, aside from different levels of being expensive? We’ve got people who’ve lived all over this borough and are more than happy to share their insider neighborhood knowledge with you. Today we take a trip to land of food and more food, Carroll Gardens and the Columbia Street Waterfront District. (more…)

Photo by Carly Goteiner

After you move in, be sure to say hello to Sam. Photo by Carly Goteiner

Sponsored By Ideal Properties Group.

Nobody is better equipped to help you make your messy roommate history than Ideal Properties Group

Created By BlankSlate

Moving, be it from out of state or while you’re already living here, can be a real pain. What makes Brooklyn’s neighborhoods different from each other, aside from different levels of being expensive? We’ve got people who’ve lived all over this borough and are more than happy to share their insider neighborhood knowledge with you. Today we take a trip to Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill, land of grown person things. (more…)

09/06/13 7:00am
If you lived here, you'd be home by now. You'd also probably be doing pretty well for yourself. Photo by Mary Dorn

If you lived here, you’d be home by now. You’d also probably be doing pretty well for yourself. Photo by Mary Dorn

Sponsored By Ideal Properties Group.

Nobody is better equipped to help you make your messy roommate history than Ideal Properties Group

Created By BlankSlate

Moving, be it from out of state or while you’re already living here, can be a real pain. What makes Brooklyn’s neighborhoods different from each other, aside from different levels of being expensive? Well, we’ve got people who’ve lived all over this borough and are more than happy to share their insider neighborhood knowledge with you. Today we cover the bohemian Wonderland that was, but still kind of is, Williamsburg. (more…)

08/22/13 12:47pm
Why wait on a line for hours when you could just make it yourself in minutes? Photo by Dan Cerutti

Why wait on a line for hours when you could just make it yourself in minutes? Photo by Dan Cerutti

The ramen burger: New York’s latest attempt to combine two foods into one food. A limited edition burger sandwiched between buns of fried ramen noodles, it’s one of the more inventive ways to kill yourself out there, but jeezum crow it is tasty. Smorgasburg only sells like 100 of these a day and the line is always out of control, which means getting one of these is harder than trying to keep a cat calm at a bath convention. If you don’t want to get up early on a Saturday and stand around for two hours to eat noodles and beef at 10am, here’s how you can make your own on a very literal ramen budget. (more…)