11/14/16 3:37pm
If you don't hate women, cool it with the 'grab her by the' anything jokes

Haha! Everything is so, so terrible! via Rachel Eve Stein (left) and Strong Place on IG (right).

Hey Brooklyn, we (women) get it. President-elect Donald Trump says dumb things. So dumb, in fact, that within seconds of saying them the internet is suddenly flooded with satirical merchandise quoting it. But it’s one thing to wear “Nasty Woman” proudly on your chest — a self-identifying moniker women happily sport in order to reclaim the bogus litmus test of “likability” they have to endure in their everyday lives — and entirely another to repurpose Trump’s admission of sexual assault as a marketing scheme.

This past weekend, Brokelyn writer Rachel Eve Stein spotted a sandwich board outside Littleneck, a seafood restaurant in Gowanus, advertising a special on clams and recommending that you “Grab ’em by the … Shell.” We also spotted a “Grab ’em by the Pint” Trump special on a sandwich board outside Strong Place, a gastropub in Brooklyn Heights.

Brooklyn businesses, let me be clear. “Grab ’em by the pussy” is an incredibly violent phrase. And your using it in jest is the same thing as Jimmy Fallon ruffling Trump’s hair, i.e. it normalizes the behavior of an accused rapist and makes women feel unsafe. Also, this is New York fucking City, you can find a better joke.

Littleneck has since apologized to Stein and removed the sign, and the world goes on despite triggering instances like this. The only mildly appropriate pun on this phrase I can recall in recent memory was the Grab ‘Em By the Ballot movement to rally the vote of working women in America — and remind me how that turned out, again? UPDATE 11/15: The owner of Littleneck sent us a respone to the sign; see below. (more…)

10/28/16 11:09am
This is a test. Do not leave New York for Toronto. THIS IS ONLY A TEST.

Romanticize Toronto all you like, but don’t actually move there.

Last week, a Huffington Post contributor by the name of Cori Carl penned an article telling New Yorkers to abdicate the city that never sleeps for a city that actually sleeps just fine: Toronto.

To Carl’s surprise, I imagine, the post drew guffaws not from New Yorkers but from Torontonians themselves — so much so, in fact, that Carl published a followup essay called “Torontonians don’t know how good they have it.

We’re all tired of blissed out expat essays about why such and such city is infinitely more “zen” than NYC, but in this case, it’s personal. As Brokelyn’s chief Canadian correspondent, having lived in both Toronto and New York City — the former for 18 years of my life and the latter for 7 — I’ve got at least a decade’s worth of memories and experiences to refute any viable arguments about moving from this city to the 6ix. (Did you know Drake makes us call the city that now? Did you know our patriotic t-shirts mix numbers and letters together like some kind of Captcha password for citizenship bots?)

I just can’t bear to lose perfectly decent New Yorkers to my Canadian hometown, as nice as it would be for the US dollar exchange. And frankly, anyone considering moving out of New York after reading an essay like Carl’s needs a hard reset and a reality check (with GIFs):  (more…)

04/20/16 8:00am
Here's the part where you have to walk instead of bike. Via Flickr user Marc van Woudenberg.

Here’s the part where you have to walk instead of bike. Via Flickr user Marc van Woudenberg.

May, the amuse-bouche of summer, is soon approaching and with it comes the annual TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour. For 39 years running, the 40-mile tour through all New York’s boroughs has billed itself as “the largest charitable bike ride in the U.S.” On May 1, a stampede of 37,000 riders will shut down the automobopolis (I’m trademarking this) that is our city for half the day as they ride freely in the middle of streets, across bridges, and even on some highways. I’ve done it five years consecutively, and this year, I cannot wait to skip it.

Sure, on the surface the Five Boro sounds great: you get to tour New York on a bicycle alongside thousands of other cyclists (evincing varying degrees of enthusiasm), and go where no bicycles ever get to venture on any other day: the FDR Drive and the BQE. You’re biking 40 miles, so it feels healthy and you get to have a sore ass at the end. There’s even a festival in Staten Island at the finish line, in Fort Wadsworth, just at the foot of the Verrazano Bridge. And all of that would be great! Except you’re actually walking a lot of the time, and you only really ride through three of the boroughs, and it will cost you $94.  (more…)

04/07/16 3:21pm
The author's actual Playbill from a real-live Hamilton performance.

The author’s actual Playbill from a real-live Hamilton performance. Photo by Sam Kite/Brokelyn

$96,000. $96,000. If you won the lottery, would you invest in protest, and never lose focus, ’til the city takes notice? Or would you change the station, then teach ‘em about gentrification?

Nah. Be honest. That shit is for poor people! You’re rich now! Time to get yourself a ticket (just one, you didn’t win the Powerball) to Hamilton! You haven’t seen a Broadway musical since the tour of Rent back when you lived with your parents in San Antonio. But you’re a New Yorker now! This is your shot! You even get to post that Facebook picture (above) of your hand holding the playbill right before the curtain. “Finally seeing Hamilton, you guys! #greatestcityintheworld #blessed”

Don’t worry if you can’t get tickets, though. Unless your daily routine consists of skipping town from the teachers strike on your private jet to sweet-ass VIP house seats, you can wait for the tour. I got lucky, spent three hours sardined in the overheated Richard Rodgers on a Friday night and have some news: it’s truly not worth the hype (or price). (more…)

03/22/16 8:47am
How about living somewhere you can actually afford instead? Photo by Sam Corbin

How about living somewhere you can actually afford instead? Photo by Sam Corbin

If you’ve been riding the New York subways lately, then you’ve probably caught sight of the heavy banner advertising campaigns that both Seamless and StreetEasy — food delivery and apartment hunt companies, respectively — have been running. In the former, slogans like “The role of ‘Your Mom’ will by played by us” and “Let people who can spell ‘Baba Ganoush’ make it” adorn the overhead space on the train. In the latter, indie-aesthetic doodles depict various living factors as math equations, e.g. Manhattan apartment + English Degree = Guarantors Accepted.

In case you missed the joke, they’re saying that your parents can sign on as the liability on your Manhattan apartment because you were foolish enough to get a BA. Also, they aren’t joking.

Far be it from us to take issue with having your parents as pseudo-landlords in your first New York apartment. That’s a situation we can all relate to, and as long as they’re not your actual landlords, it’s fine by us. But where these subway ads are trying to be cute, they’re catering to a generation of soft New Yorkers by creating a virtual parents’ basement of apps — all dependency and convenience — where you’ll rot for the rest of your days. (more…)

03/17/16 3:25pm
This is actually a very seriously smart plan. Credit: DNAinfo

This is actually a very seriously smart plan. Credit: DNAinfo

Ever since they added a bar to their space to cater to the drinking populace of North Brooklyn, Greenpoint’s Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball has been making headlines almost weekly. It’s a practical date spot! It’s a uniquely vintage mainstay in a changing neighborhood! It’s one of the main reasons Chris Gethard didn’t move to LA! The laundromat made the news again this morning, when DNAinfo found that owner Pete Rose put Plan B and pregnancy tests in their vending machines, alongside the candy bars.

Apparently, Rose intended “purely for entertainment purposes.” He was browsing the aisles of CVS when, as he recalled to DNAinfo, “I saw [the PlanB] and thought, ‘That doesn’t belong in a vending machine,’ and so I bought some.”

Color me humorless, but I don’t get the joke. In fact, I think it’s a seriously great idea. There are tampon and pad dispensers in most public restrooms in America, and smart schools in NYC are going so far as to offer them for free to students. But bleeding into your underwear isn’t nearly as terrible (or difficult to resolve, I mean, it’s called toilet paper) as an unplanned pregnancy. So why shouldn’t we be able to buy Plan B in vending machines? (more…)

03/04/16 11:49am
Governors Ball: Like Coachella you have to look at this instead of mountains. Via Flickr user Mike Cicchetti.

Governors Ball: Like Coachella but you have to look at this instead of beautiful mountains. Via Flickr user Mike Cicchetti.

If the groundhogs and the occasionally warm days haven’t been enough of an indication that summer is soon upon us, let us look to the one faithful sign of warmer days: the music festival lineup announcements. This week gave us a new entry into New York’s festival scene, Panorama, and people collectively lost their shit. The three-day festival features headliners Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, the reunited LCD Soundsystem (long may they live), and 50+ other acts. Our own Dave Colon provided the high service Panorama vs. Governors Ball breakdown, and as tickets go on sale today, people will no doubt be jumping online at noon and frantically coordinating with friends to nab passes. To all those people, and, even more so, to the people wondering if they should take a chance on the new Panorama Festival or the more established Governors Ball, I have one piece of advice: DON’T. Neither of them are worth your money, because music festivals actually are a scam for your hard-earned concert cash.

At this point I can already hear people scrolling to the comments section to put me on festival blast, but let’s run through the myths of why people think they enjoy festivals, and the facts of why they actually end up having a miserable time.  (more…)

01/13/16 2:43pm
We have bigger subway problems than this little face. Via Flickr user TK.

We have bigger subway problems than this little face. Via Flickr user Seth Werkheiser.

These days it seems that we just can’t agree on anything. Did Steve Avery really do it or was he set up? Should we go to that one mediocre brunch spot we always go to, or that other mediocre brunch spot we sometimes to go? Now the issue of dogs on the subway is another of the countless things we can’t agree on. The New York Times focused an entire article on the topic earlier this week. MTA rules say a dog must be carried in an enclosed bag or container and “carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers.” But a lot of folks regularly ignore that (or just don’t know it), and these people who bring their adorable furry friends to brighten up the underground misery should be rewarded, not slapped with a $25 fine. Here are 10 real subway problems that should be banned before we worry about dogs: (more…)

08/27/15 3:28pm
You call this table service? via flickr user Wally Gobetz

Communal seating is a nice idea, in theory. via flickr user Wally Gobetz

Euro-inspired beer halls have been cropping up all over Brooklyn, with their appropriately import-heavy tap lists and their mostly pretzels signature food offerings. There’s Radegast, the Koelner Bierhalle, and Spritzenhaus to name a few. It’s also just been announced that Downtown Brooklyn is going to be getting a “massive” beer hall. But amidst all the hype, we’ve got a question: what’s so great about beer halls?

Hear us out: besides their sprawling size and trendy menu, beer halls aren’t all that welcoming. For one thing, the acoustics are terrible. In a large room made almost entirely of polished stone, you find yourself screaming just to be heard above the general din echoing off the walls. It’s like a community board meeting, that costs more money. (more…)