Yes, you read that right, the leader of the free world, the commander in chief, the big kahuna himself Barack Obama will be sitting down with us to talk about any and all issues related to urban living in the 21st century. In the waning months of his presidency, we’ve seen President Obama step down the ladder to grace smaller publications and figures like Buzzfeed and Anthony Bourdain with a little one-on-one time. And now, by a few small miracles, it’s our turn.
What can the federal government do to help out with mass transit? Gentrification? Fair policing? We’ll be talking with the president about all that and more on our Facebook Live broadcast, while also sharing any questions you’ve been dying to ask Obama, tomorrow at 1:40pm. So tune in and get ready to make some Brooklyn blog history with us.
Brooklyn’s vegans have long been lamenting a dearth of junk food options in the borough — sure, we have kale-infused sunflower butter milkshakes and cilantro-rubbed seitan spring rolls, but where are the un-chicken fingers? Why no vegan frito pies? What about mock-olate candy bars? Truly, a vegan’s deepest and most simple wish is to enjoy the same privileges of terrible food decision-making as their carnivorous friends.
So if you, like your trusty Brokelyn editors, are vegan and left wanting, then you’ll be as thrilled as we are to hear that the Champs Jr. in Greenpoint (620 Manhattan Avenue), which mysteriously closed last month, is re-opening this Monday as an ALL-VEGAN PIZZA BY THE SLICE JOINT in partnership with Philly-based company Blackbird Pizzeria. The micro-Champs will now be a late night mecca of cruelty-free, hot n’ crusty gooey junk known as Screamer’s Pizzeria. Open daily, 11am-midnight.
Pizza traditionalists and meat mongers, it’s safe to say stay far away; this place is going to infuriate you.🍕 (more…)
Grlcvlt may be a secret, but they’ve still got merch. via @beckannephoto on Instagram
By now, you’ve heard about the case of the Stanford rapist, Brock Turner, and the absurd leniency of his recent sentencing — a mere six months in jail — by the judge presiding over his case, Aaron Persky. And the case hasn’t stopped there. From the release of the powerful letter Turner’s victim read to him aloud in court, to that of the letter Brock Turner’s dad wrote in his son’s defense, to that of the band member’s misguided character reference of Turner that got her band booted from Northside Festival, news of the trial’s unfolding and its central players has occupied the unseen chyron of the internet this week, updates ticking across our Facebook news or Twitter feeds at an unrelenting pace.
What you might not know, however, is that there’s a 3,000+ member secret society in New York that’s working to unseat the judge who sentenced Turner.
An event surfaced on Facebook this week, titled “Grlcvlt’s ‘F**ck Rape Culture’ event to unseat Judge Aaron Persky.” It’s hosted by Bed-Stuy resident Remy Holwick, Ford photographer and model, and local leader of a secret online feminist group who currently goes by Grlcvlt.
Brokelyn spoke to Holwick to get a feel for her movement, its members, and what she hopes to inspire in today’s feminist Brooklynites.
“Rape culture is problematic, rape culture is being formed and maintained by the patriarchy,” she said. “And [Judge Aaron Persky] is an instrument of the patriarchy that we can unseat.” (more…)
Ticket bots are smarter and faster than you, but maybe there is hope.
We’ve had some funpoking at the Hamilton hype, mostly because we’re jealous we can’t see it. Plus, we have no way of knowing whether it lives up to its reputation without paying so much money for scalped tickets that we’d have to buy into the hype (it’s like Schrödinger’s musical). But for all his exposure, Lin-Manuel Miranda seems like genuinely a good human who knows that it sucks you can’t get tickets to his groundbreaking show.
Part of the reason for that is because everyone in the whole world wants to see it and the human actors can’t physically do more shows per week without bending the laws of physics; but one of the bigger problems is the scalper ticket bots who scoop up tickets to every hot show, from Hamilton to Springsteen, as soon as they become available, before you, Jane Q. Showfan, even navigate the captcha on the Ticketmaster site. The shitty ticketing systems that let bots lock out regular fans have been the bane of the average showgoer for years. But Miranda has a solution, and wants you to help make it happen. (more…)
Would your rather have this or $500? Via Flickr user carnagenyc.
New York City is at its best when it’s unpredictable, which means the artistic side of it can assault you at any turn. You get on the subway and the showtime dancers are actually really great, pulling off vertical balancing-on-the-pole moves that should earn them a shot on one of those TV talent shows, if not the Olympics. You pick up a free book on a stoop and end up discovering an author who speaks to you in new ways; you check out a comedy show on a whim and Ilana Glazer or Louis C.K. are doing a drop in to work out new material. It’s on this fault line of coincidence and street-level art where graffiti exists: Some of it is the spraypaint equivalent of an overturned trashcan, blowing unsightly tags and crude messages down your street in a chaotic jumble. Some of it is awe-striking works of of majesty, big burners of intricate designs that turn a bland wall into “how the fuck did they get up there?” feats of color and imagination.
Cities everywhere have been battling graffiti for decades, and New York has long tried to shed the image of the 70s and 80s crime-ridden metropolis where tag-covered subway cars were a symbol of urban decay. But did you know you can get $500 for snitching on graffiti to the NYPD? Would you do it? (more…)
Smorgasburg still thrives, but its offshoots are having a harder time. Via Flickr user Terry Jinn.
About five years ago, when I would wonder what gifts to bring people from Brooklyn on holidays, my thoughts suddenly always went to food. McClure’s bloody mary mix for mom, NuNu Chocolates for grandma, a bottle of Kings County Distillery corn whiskey to encourage my sister to drink more. This seemed like an easy way to carve off a slice of Brooklyn and dole it out as a unique gift, a missive from the mini world within the world we call home. It was also a sign of the marketing success of the Brooklyn artisanal boom (for lack of a less gag-inducing phrase), when every month we were treated to new success stories of an entrepreneur who started out with just a mixing bowl and a tiny kitchen. It was a sign that the local economy, here in New York City, Real America, where we buy each other’s pickles and tickets to each other’s concerts, was doing just fine.
But the Brooklyn artisanal bubble might finally be popping in one big, locally sourced, non-GMO bubble. The narrative about the small businesses that attract celebs to far-flung neighborhoods or sprout from a small batch of offerings on a flea market table is evolving into a typical New York story: Real estate prices stand in the way of all our dreams. (more…)
The Crown Heights post office sure is a welcoming place. Photo by Andy Beaudoin/Brokelyn.
In the pre-internet, pre-home computer era of my pre-teens, I wrote a lot of letters. At my peak, I was courting 11 different pen pals, filing their correspondence in a shoebox. My grandparents would give me stationery sets for most birthdays and holidays, which I would use to send them thank you notes and ask for Barbies. Sending and receiving mail was a hobby, a pillar of friendship, and the only way to express your deepest desires (e.g. Jem!) to the people who could fulfill them. Flash forward our current age in which communication with your loved ones is so easy that you can do it by accident with your butt, and my sentiments persist: a letter is worth a thousand likes. The only problem is that actually getting your mail in Brooklyn can be a maddening experience, and it’s not getting better anytime soon, because in case you haven’t heard, the post office is broke.
Here’s how that translates down to the local level: In late fall 2015, a week went by where I didn’t receive any mail at all. Not a single bill from Time Warner, campaign postcard for Lincoln Restler, or baby wolf calendar from the Sierra Club. Something was amiss. I called my Greenpoint post office and they told me that the mailman was on vacation for three weeks.
“So, is there like a ‘substitute’ mailman?” I asked.
“Yea,” the mail lady said. “But he doesn’t have a key to your building.” (more…)
Powerhouse Arena, home to stadium-style book readings with plenty of room for browsing, is closing in June. Via Facebook
You know this script too well by now: beloved New York City neighborhood staple announces it’s closing, there’s much hand wringing about “there goes the neighborhood” and everyone gets sad. This one feels a little bit different though: Dumbo bookstore staple powerHouse seemed as ingrained in the neighborhood as the cobblestone streets themselves. Watching readings from its huge concrete seating steps made cozy book readings feel like the high artistic combat of a Roman coliseum, and we were all better for it. The 10 years it’s been open have seen dramatic change (and increasingly expensive rents) in the booming neighborhood. Today the huge bookstore and event space announced via email that it’s shutting its doors at the end of next month after landlord Two Trees wanted to increase the rent to more than twice the $20,000 per month they were already paying.
But it’s not gone for good: Owner Daniel Power told us they’ll move to a smaller pop-up location a few blocks away this summer and open it as a full bookstore soon after, but gone will be the 10,000-square-foot “arena” space. Nothing is planned to move into the space after they leave, Power said.
“We’re not paying that,” Power said of the rent. “I can understand if it was someone coming in but personally would rather stay there until they had someone.” (more…)