12/11/14 9:20am
Hey, things could be worse at the airport.

In a rush to see your son’s pizza-themed cover band this holiday season? These tips will help.

Once upon a time in 2012, my bus ride home was snowed out. Greyhound invited all the passengers on its five Toronto-to-NYC buses to arrive at dawn to compete for standby seats. What a happy holiday! Instead, I found a flight. But when I asked Greyhound about a refund I was redirected from Toronto, to corporate, to the NYC branch, with nothing resolved. I bought the flight, which was overbooked, as was the next flight I was transferred to.

These are the moments when it pays to be a scrappy, native New Yorker with some travel hacks on autopilot. After a little persistence, I was having a free dinner, lounging in my comped hotel’s sauna, and sent two carefully worded emails to get a refund from Greyhound. It’s important to know the weak spots in the travel system. These tips are quick, easy things you all can do to save some dough and keep last-minute travel feeling holly and jolly. (more…)

12/05/14 2:58pm
Why, they'll fit right in, won't they? via The Guardian

Why, they’ll fit right in, won’t they? via The Guardian

Roll out the hand-stitched red carpets! Put on your finest tweed cap, then doff it! Honk your cab horns in majestic awe! His royal highness Prince William and his wife, Princess Kate Middleton are coming to visit Brooklyn this weekend! As much press as Brooklyn has gotten over the last few years, the Royal Family might not be up on what the best things to do and see while they’re on our side of the pond. So, we thought we’d use our expertise to give the royal duo a guide to show the Brooklyn good time they deserve.  (more…)

12/03/14 9:26am
brooklyn supreme court

Your time will come, so make sure you’re ready. Photos by David Rosado

Jury duty: it might not be as fun as say, almost any other thing, and people usually don’t wake up hopeful that today’s the day the summons arrives in their mailbox, informing them that it’s time to head over to the courthouse in Downtown Brooklyn. But it is your civic duty to serve, so you might as well just suck it up and go. The courthouse has WiFi so you can do things like read Brokelyn, catch up on Serial, write posts about surviving jury duty for Brokelyn, or non-computer things even. All of that is until they call your name. Then it’s time to work – and pretend you make up 1/12th of a GOD to someone.

Plus, jury duty time away from your regular job, and if it’s been a while since you’ve been to Downtown, consider it a great opportunity to check out some fun food and drink spots you might otherwise have missed. So, in the service of encouraging doing your civic duty without losing your mind, here’s your jury duty survival guide. (more…)

11/17/14 1:55pm
flu season

No need to resort to this, when you have things that will make you feel better just hanging out in your pantry. via Flickr user Edgar Antonio Villaseñor González

Well it’s that time of the year again. The first round of fall colds has already claimed victims as Brooklyn gears up for flu season. It won’t be long before you have to choose between standing on the subway or sitting next to that sniffling person who you know will manage to cough all over you. Now you can always go the preventative route with affordable flu shots at Rite Aide or Duane Reade, but you’ll inevitably wake up with a tickle in the back of your throat before Spring.  Instead of turning to overpriced meds (they only manage symptoms anyway), try these five home remedies. (more…)

10/27/14 9:10am
anna jane grossman school for dogs

And of course, always make sure your dog wears a helmet

I love Amos, my Yorkiepoodle, oodles and oodles. But I’ve never known him to be able to hold down a job. Sure he is cuddly (sometimes), lets me know when someone is at the door and provides good Instagram fodder. But ours is largely a parasitic relationship, as dog poop sucks as a form of currency. Fortunately, poverty isn’t so bad when you have a roommate to lick your tears.

I work as a dog trainer at the School for the Dogs and am surrounded by a lot of nerdy dog types, all of whom don’t skimp when it comes to their doggie pals. But that doesn’t mean we spend a bundle. There are many, many things you can do to be a great dog owner without going broke. Here are some tips my scrappy dog-professional pals and I have come up with over the years. (more…)

09/23/14 8:00am
To the left to the left.

Drag your friends to the left to the left.

When you get the obnoxious call your college buddies want to spend the weekend in New York, you’re almost tempted to say, “No.” You might already forced to go into Manhattan five times a week, and Saturdays are meant for relaxing — not showing your friends a glamorized version of the city. Why should you spend two days shuffling your friends across the East River just to spend money on things you hate?

There’s no reason to give up your hard-earned time and money. It’s time to show your friends they don’t have to spend a fortune to have fun in this city. Here’s your guide showing them how Brooklyn is just as good as those overdone tourist spots, if not better. (more…)

09/22/14 7:00am
diy business cards

If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear these cards were bone. With Silian Rail lettering. Photo by Fikriyyah

With modern technology and the advent of social media you’d think that business cards are dying a slow death, but just like Blackberry, someone’s always forecasting their demise only for them to keep on keeping on for another year. Even if you do connect with your new acquaintance using LinkedIn, Twitter, or heck even email business cards still have the aura of “Hey I’m an accomplished, competent and professional adult who you’ll want to contact again.”

Business cards from any provider will normally take two to three weeks to arrive, though. To speed that up to express delivery is a small ransom. Three day shipping ranges from $20-$35 at Vistaprint and Moo.com is merciless charging $27-$61, which is money better spent on a few hot toddies. Here’s a tip though: you can get ditch the steep price of rushed business cards by printing your own DIY business cards. (more…)

09/05/14 9:11am
Now that's what I call a cash encounter.

Now that’s what I call a cash encounter.

With rents in Brooklyn ridiculously high, student loan debt killing your joie de vivre and dim prospects for a raise, promotion or even a job with benefits, I don’t blame you for not giving a toss about saving for some mythical day far off in the future when you no longer have to work for a living. Pretty much everyone has been writing about how young people today are either unprepared for retirement or are being told there’s a fat chance they might actually get to enjoy any retirement at all, meaning no shuffleboard in Florida or matinee movies are in your future. It’s easy to be cynical about  promise of “retirement.” But even for Gen Y, who consider “saving” on par with the likelihood of finding a  one-bedroom in Brooklyn  under $1,000, retirement should still be a goal and with a little planning it could be doable. So let’s reframe it. (more…)

09/04/14 7:00am
hailo

Which cab app will leave you happiest with your trip? via Hailo’s Facebook

We’re not big cab people, but those times when you’re late for a flight after oversleeping because you set your alarm clock for PM not AM, the extra dough is well worth it. Now that there’s a whole slew of cab apps (yay capitalism!), going from Downtown to your sister’s wedding or other urgent destinations need not be so cumbersome-on your wallet. Do all the cab apps offer the same thing just in different packaging? And how do they compare to the tried and true livery cab? We decided to find out for you. (more…)

08/18/14 2:58pm
rippers rockaway

Does it make a good office or not? Photo by David Colon

If you’re a freelancer, or someone who works from home, the idea to work not just outside but at the beach might pop in to your head at some point in the summer. Should you do it? Obviously we here at Brokelyn are never ones to argue against a beach trip, but given that it already takes discipline to work at home and get things done, surely there are drawbacks to working at the beach that surpass the usual challenges one finds working from home or at a coffice. As a public service, we’ve spent the day at Beach 86th Street compling the pros and cons of a beach office. (more…)