10/10/16 3:30pm
Greenlight Bookstore pairs pages and pints.  Credit: Brokelyn

Greenlight Bookstore pairs pages and pints.

With fall back-to-school themes inundating all areas of life, October is that time of year to transition your outdoor drinking routine to something more erudite and sweater-worthy. But as working hours grow longer and daylight peters out earlier, making the time to explore new haunts gets harder. A local happy hour is always an option, but the potential for mind-expansion is limited when you’re downing well drinks while watching your buddy karaoke to Ariana Grande.

Enter book readings, the best cover for taking the edge off while engaging in light brainwork since trivia nights and nerdy bingo.

Our borough is home to both some of the best authors and independent bookstores in the country. You’ve Got Mail may have been set in Manhattan, but we have our own local Fox Books and Meg Ryans to root for. And since this is Brooklyn, after all, we show our support by pairing intellectual curiosity with alcohol (be it free boxed wine at the event itself, or a quick trip to the local wine store across the street).

Here’s a selection of boozy book events the month of October has in (book)store for Brooklyn readers: (more…)

10/10/16 9:43am
Time for some Bayou Bingo fun via. Instagram

Time for some Bayou Bingo fun. via Instagram

Ahh, bar bingo. It’s not just your granny’s game anymore. These days, bingo is just a great way to gamble, drink beer, and swear a lot when the person next to you screams out their win as if an alien is erupting from their chest cavity.

Bar bingo took Brooklyn by storm around ’08, but has sadly died down with new fads like bar trivia and the never-ending comeback of karaoke. And while many local spots like Union Hall and Bell House do host bingo-related events once in awhile, demonic websites like Yelp and other internet info sources are usually out of date.

Now B4 you freak out, we here at Brokelyn dug deep into the ball basket and found out where you can still feed your bingo addiction on a weekly basis! So grab your bingo markers and remember the ‘ole saying: Try not to take your bingo too seriously, because at the end of the day you will find that it’s just a load of balls. (more…)

10/05/16 11:40am
Let me live my damn life Sidney via. Quotesgram

Let me live my damn life Sidney via. Quotesgram

Throw on the Psycho theme, because we’re ready for the ultimate spook. You could stay in bed and watch a scary movie (probably with the lights on, wimp) but what will you do about the lingering shadows keeping you up at night?

If haunted houses aren’t your cup of blood, watching a scary movie in a theatre is the next best scare: that slight chill from the air conditioning, the hushed whisper and focus of everyone waiting for what happens next, the swell of suspenseful music that inevitably leads to someone starting to scream profanities at the screen.

In that spirit (get it?), here’s Brokelyn’s spooktacular roundup of scary movie showings all around the borough. We’ll keep updating this list with additional series as they are announced. In the meantime, head to these movies, and keep the creepy clown costumes at home (also burn them). (more…)

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…)