09/15/16 1:00pm
These guys never get old (even though they probably did age in real life)

These guys never get old (except for real life, they’ve definitely aged in real life).

Once a year, in an attempt to placate New York’s bike commuter population and keep its membership base intact after things like this happen, Citi Bike hosts a bike-in movie night in Prospect Park. It’s a real fun way to spend an evening, so long as you don’t mind a little spatial negotiation with all the other folks looking for prime picnic spots.

Next Thursday, September 22, you can bike yourself and your gear into Prospect Park to watch The Goonies — a somewhat uninspired choice, considering it’s a regular on almost every outdoor movie series in Brooklyn. But at least it’ll get you a dose of 80s nostalgia straight to the veins. And is it just me, or is there something about Sloth that eerily resembles Donald Trump? (more…)

09/14/16 10:12am
Photo by Cathleen Casacelli, via website.

Photo by Cathleen Casacelli, via website.

Healthy competition is good for all of us, and healthy competition among our city’s beaches only means we have more summery love to spread around to this city’s eight million people. Coney Island and Rockaway are very different kinds of places — the latter is of course more of a boardwalk amusement park, with amenities trending toward Times Square-ishness lately, while Rockaway is embracing its arty, grungy surf vibe. And now, as of last year, they both have parades featuring the march of sea creatures. Coney Island’s famous Mermaid Parade kicks off summer every June; now Rockaway has its own Poseidon’s Parade to close out the season in September on the boardwalk, which this year finally finished its post-Sandy rebuild.

The event, held this Saturday, is inspired by the peninsula’s annual in the Mermaid Parade, which means it’s a family friendly art-parade full of costumes, creativity and floats, and celebrates the Queens neighborhood’s resilience after the storm destroyed many homes (many of which are still not rebuilt btw). And since it’s a new event, it probably won’t be filled with #brands trying to get your attention just yet. (more…)

09/12/16 3:28pm
Do the write thing: 10 things not to miss at the Brooklyn Book Festival this year

Bring on the books! Via Flickr user Betty Tsang.

The Brooklyn Book Festival is necessary methadone that helps wean us off quitting summer cold turkey. The day-long event on Sunday reminds us why fall in New York is pretty great too, as we put away the tank tops and jorts and instead pull up our big pile of books and don our best reading flannels. The annual festival is Bonnaroo for Brooklyn book worms and Lollapalooza for lit lovers, an all-you-can-eat buffet of free readings, talks and author appearance that takes over downtown Brooklyn, jam-packed with stars and illuminati of the printed word. With dozens of events on the docket this year that include heavyweights like Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie and Jacqueline Woodson, it can be a bit overwhelming if you’re unprepared.

We made a guide to help you navigate the vast library of choices. Here are Brokelyn’s top 10 picks for what not to miss at the Brooklyn Book Festival this year so you can take in the best of the fest, from important discussions of gentrification and voting to a fun journey into the intersection of literature and comedy. All the events are free and entrance is first-come, first-served.  (more…)

08/31/16 1:26pm
Yas queen(s): volunteer at the Bushwig drag festival and see all the shows for free

A family photo from Bushwig 2013. via Facebook

At a Celebrate Brooklyn! show in Prospect Park last year, performance artist Taylor Mac described drag as “taking everything you feel about yourself and the world on the inside, and wearing it on the outside.” With Bushwick’s fifth annual Bushwig drag festival coming up on September 10, Mac’s definition feels 2016 essential. There has never been a more important time to watch New York’s drag artists wear and perform their respective worldviews.

Bushwig’s price tag is steep — even earlybird weekend passes are $40 — but if you’re still keen to see the queens, there’s a way to get into this year’s festival AND see all of the shows for free: volunteer! Bushwick Daily reports that Bushwig is still looking for a few able-bodied helpers to lend a hand next weekend.

If you’ve never heard of Bushwig before, here’s a taste of what to expect. It’s a raucous, two-day festival in Bushwick that draws attendees in the thousands and promises all kinds of wild, whoop-inducing drag performances. Due to re-location this year’s venue is, somewhat fittingly, in Queens. (more…)

08/22/16 1:00pm
Bard it all: Female Shakespeare troupe bringing a free, all-nude Tempest to Prospect Park

Naked actors from the Torn Out Theater troupe during a previous performance of The Tempest. Via website.

Shakespeare in the Park is a great free summer thing to do, but tickets are impossible to get and you’ve got to go all the way into Manhattan to sit in Central Park theater for hours, where you run the risk of losing you WNYC totebag among all the other WNYC totebags in attendance. Brooklyn has a few of our own versions; now we’re getting a new one that definitely feels more at home in our borough than tony enclaves of the Upper West Side.

A troupe of female actors is doing a run of all-nude performances of Shakespeare’s The Tempest starting Sept. 7. As the Brooklyn Paper reports today: “The show’s male director says that the stripped-down show is designed to promote body positivity — but he also knew that using unclad actors would create some conversation.” Director Pitr Strait told the paper: “We asked ‘How do we work nudity into the play so Shakespeare doesn’t get swallowed up and so the huge, distracting thing works for us?'” And while nudity is illegal in NYC (but not toplessness!), the city makes special exceptions for performance art. In short, these ladies will really bard it all for you. (more…)

08/19/16 3:42pm
When it gets to be the picture on the left, you'll wish you took more advantage of the one on the right.

When it gets to be the picture on the left, you’ll wish you took more advantage of the one on the right.

September is a stalking and devious predator, lurking just off the distance over the horizon, ready to pounce and ensnare you in its constricting flannels, outrageously long pants and infuriatingly pumpkin-spiced things as soon as a cool breeze rolls in. You may be looking at the temperature this past week and think a you would welcome a chill in the air, but your brain is deceiving you. Once the first cold snap tightens its grip around the city you will stretch the gossamer of your memory back to these days, these hot August weekends, and wonder why the foolish dolt that was Past You didn’t take more advantage of them.

Let us take this time to give you this public service announcement: Use these next few weeks to soak up as much beach time as you can and store it in your internal batteries until you need it later. It’s a good time to remember that our friends at the NYC Beach Bus offer the easiest way to get to the beach, without having to worry about train transfers, subway delays or crowded city buses: They’ll take you to the beach for just $15 round trip, and you get a free beer from Sixpoint or Sweetwater and other swag too. Plus, their Boerum Hill pick-up spot is selling homemade ice cream, AND you can now find our summer tank tops there while supplies last! Summer hard now, your future self will thank you.  (more…)

The view from Sunset Park's Bush Terminal. Photo via Scott Steinhardt /Brokelyn

The view from Sunset Park’s Bush Terminal ain’t too shabby. Photo via Scott Steinhardt /Brokelyn

In 2014, a major revitalization project began to change Sunset Park. Next to the neighborhood’s decommissioned piers and shipyards, new occupants started to replace the multitude of adult video stores and industrial warehouses near the shore. Industry City opened, and along with it came a rash of expensive food options with odd operating hours. Micro Center, a Best Buy competitor, opened its doors (with a Bed Bath & Beyond due to join it in the coming months). Once-occupied buildings were being reoccupied by newer, hipper tenants willing to pay a lot more. For a place that kept quiet for the last decade or so, it sure was making its fair share of noise.

Among the new retail chains and makeshift EDM venues, however, was a small piece of heaven tucked away behind condemned warehouses and leftover trolley tracks. After decades and planning and two years of building, Bush Terminal Park quietly opened its gates in November of 2014 on the corner of 43rd Street and 1st Avenue. Yet nearly two years later, residents living in proximity to the park still do not know of its existence. (more…)

07/28/16 2:36pm
Pokemon content just won't stop. All parties are Poke parties now.

Pokemon content just won’t stop. All parties are Poke parties now.

Years from now, when our world is a scorched earth landscape, the last known survivors will huddle for safety around Pokestops, sending scavengers out into the cold gray world to hunt the last remaining Pokemon for food. Gyms will be towering garrisons controlled by tyrannical Pokemasters, cruel potentates who mock your meager HP. You’ll warm your hands over a burning pile of incense and tell your kids there was a time before all things were Pokemon, when you could laugh and sing and dance without having to worry about catching yet another Zubat. They won’t believe you.

We’ve already seen Pokemon Go bar crawls pop up around the city. This Friday, rampant Pokemania continues with a Party at Bushwick’s Father Knows Best: it’s an all-things-pocket-monster party featuring actual Pokemon celebrity Ivy St. Ive, who went viral for her short lived professional Pokemon trainer service. The owners will drop some lures around the bar so you can keep catchin’ em all. And if all this sounds like not enough to get you there: The bar is offering free beer and shot combos to anyone who arrives in costume. (more…)

07/27/16 12:17pm
Don't be an L7 weenie: Go see The Sandlot for free.

Don’t be an L7 weenie: Go see The Sandlot for free.

What I love about The Sandlot is that it’s a movie about how stories of childhood told through the eyes of an adult are filtered through the thin vaseline of nostalgic distortion, something we’re all guilty of using. This is why the story of a bunch of kids playing ball on an empty lot is suffused with hyperbolic events and characters out of proportion. The neighbor’s dog, Hercules, was never truly that big and monstrous, the fence never really that towering; Benny was a star of the friend group but rode to levels of mythic neighborhood hero on amplified waves of reverence for someone who loomed so large in their imaginations. When you’re a kid and your world is the neighborhood, even the next yard over seems like a vast unexplored chasm of unchartered territory. You look back and think, man, everything was so big then.

The Sandlot is the perfect summer movie because it lives in the sweet spot of all our collective memories of our childhood summers, those days that probably we remember with sunny glee but maybe never quite existed, running through the streets without any cares except where to find a baseball.

The good news is you’re an adult now so you can be as carefree as you choose with your time: We suggest using some of that time to go watch The Sandlot for free outdoors at Fort Greene Park on Aug. 4. Your childhood self would be proud (bring s’mores).  (more…)

07/21/16 11:25am
Your new Ron, Hermione and their daughter from the play version of the Cursed Child.

Your new grown-up Ron and Hermione and their daughter from the play version of the Cursed Child.

Harry’s back! Sort of! The first official new Harry Potter story after the original septology comes out at midnight July 30. It’s a script based on the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play that’s opening in London at the same time. The play is basically the UK’s Hamilton, in that you stand no chance of getting tickets ever, so your best bet is to get the book. The plot has mostly been kept under wraps, and fans are nervous that J.K. Rowling is bordering on George Lucas levels of meddling with her own canon (the book is actually credited to three authors:  Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany).

But if nothing else, the release brings back the great Harry Potter tradition of midnight release parties. These are truly joyful affairs — when was the last time you’ve seen so many kids and people of all ages lined up at midnight to get their hands on a BOOK? You wait in line for a lot dumber things, New York. So here’s where to find the midnight releases and other parties in Brooklyn — start practicing your butterbeer pong skills now.  (more…)