04/05/16 5:22pm
Taxes? But I paid those last year.

Taxes? But I paid those last year.

Hello and welcome back to weekly(ish) lifehacks, a recurring series where we share a simple tip on how to make your life just a little bit easier (and we promise not to overuse the word “hack”). 

Say you are one of those people who every year vows you’ll get your taxes done earlier, and every year you end up putting it off longer and longer, and by time you finally call your tax guy, he’s all booked up until tax day, even though tax day is a few days later, on April 18, this year. This definitely a hypothetical situation that has not affected a certain blog editor who should certainly know better by now, but maybe you’ll come across it in your life because we’re all busy and who can keep track of all those receipts from last year anyway. But you don’t have to fret that the Obama tax hit squad will be coming to knock down your door any time soon. It’s really easy to get for more time to file and pay your taxes. You basically just have to ask. (more…)

03/30/16 12:33pm
Photo via DNAInfo.

Photo via DNAInfo.

Some kids try to make money delivering newspapers, but, you know, print media and all; others try to set up a lemonade stand, but the city’s health department is probably a real jerk about that. Nine-year-old Alex Roth Chesin instead decided to start his own detective business out of his parents’ Carroll Gardens home, according to DNAinfo. He went all the way for it with the look: houndstooth fedora, trenchcoat and inquisitive, just-the-facts gaze (as seen above). He charges 25 cents a case but hasn’t had a single customer yet since this sign went up outside his home office. Please, someone give this kid a case to solve immediately. (more…)

03/18/16 3:15pm
You can make your DMV trip a lot nicer, though not quite this nice. Via screenshot.

You can make your DMV trip a lot nicer, though not quite this nice. Via screenshot.

OK, so maybe making jokes about the DMV is about as original as a character “that’s gonna leave a mark!” when they are hilariously hit upon the with some sort of object that is so big it hurts. But Broad City tackled the subject decently enough on this week’s episode. They did however bring up a very important NYC lifehack that’s worth mentioning in its own post: Yes, you can in fact make a reservation for an appointment at the DMV so you don’t have to wait in a line to figure out which line you have to wait in before you wait in another line.

It’s pretty easy to do: just go here, pick your location and your time and you’re good. Other things you can make an appointment for that will help you skip some lines: Chipotle (order online), Chop’t (Seamless pickup), Grimaldi’s (call in your order and pick it up), Shake Shack (cook it at home). Lines: They’re for suckers. (more…)

03/18/16 8:46am
bike tune up tips

Practice fixing a flat tire at home so you’re ready when the real thing comes along.

This post is brought to you by Sorta Outdoorsy, a weekly newsletter full of ideas for outdoor adventures around New York City. Like what you see? Subscribe to Sorta Outdoorsy.

The spring temperatures mean it’s time to tune up that bike you left chained to the light post all winter. We got a head start last night at a free bike maintenance class hosted by Gowanus bike shop 718 Cyclery. The class was only an hour but it was packed full of useful information and how-tos: you can sign up for the next free class on Wednesday (March 23). Here are our the three key tips we picked up to pull your bike out of hibernation and tune up for the season: (more…)

03/16/16 11:37am
The GOP rat king is coming for New York after all. Illustration by Madelyn Owens.

The GOP rat king is coming for New York after all. Illustration by Madelyn Owens.

“It looks like it’s coming our way,” WNYC’s Andrea Bernstein said on the Brian Lehrer show this morning. What she’s talking about, unfortunately, is not the sweet release of eternal oblivion or the gaping maw of Cloverfield-like creature here to swallow the next eight months. No, she’s talking about the giant rat king that is this presidential primary race, which has somehow churned and chewed its way through the sewers of America’s lesser states and may actually arrive in New York with some fight left in it. That means New York might actually get a say in the political process for once! Who, us? Aw you shouldn’t have. You only use the imagery of our terror attacks and our banking systems in all your campaigns but ignore all the issues that are important to us. Anyway, the primary is on April 19 and you still have time to register. As Bernstein said, “They’re coming to New York, and they’re going to make a fight of it.”

Here’s how to register (more…)

03/01/16 1:56pm
Use this trick so you won't be stuck in your bike lock all day long.

Use this trick so you won’t be stuck in your bike lock all day long.

Hello and welcome back to weekly lifehacks, a recurring series where we share a simple tip on how to make your life just a little bit easier (and we promise not to overuse the word “hack”).

Losing your bike key is a New York City terror on par with having a rat run over your foot in your sleep or accidentally putting your subway hand anywhere near your mouth. It can basically be the equivalent of forfeiting your bike, sacrificing it forever to the permanent landscape of the city, never to be rescued. It’s like your bike got a very literal locked-in syndrome: you can see it, you can touch it, but you can’t free it from it’s U-lock prison. We saw this issue tackled in Broad City‘s premiere this season, where a key dropped down a drain trapped Ilana in a bike chain of oppression all day. Some of the many bike carcasses you see hopelessly latched to street signs and lamp posts around the city have surely been victims of lost-key related abandonment.

Losing your key is demoralizing, and there’s no way to rescue your bike without also looking like you’re stealing it (you can’t exactly walk up to a bike rack with a mini power saw). But there is one way to ensure you get your bike back: register your keys.  (more…)

02/23/16 11:35am
You should never have bought Waterworld to begin with. Via Flickr user Will C. Fry.

You should never have bought Waterworld to begin with. Via Flickr user Will C. Fry.

Hello and welcome to weekly lifehacks, a recurring series where we share a simple tip on how to make your life just a little bit easier (and we promise not to overuse the word “hack”). 

It’s strange to think now but there was a time in all our lives when we were concerned with gathering stuff. You’d go to the mall, browse the overpriced selection at Sam Goody and come home with more stuff to put on the shelves. At Christmas you’d ask for stuff to put in your VCR and then a few years later you’d ask for Blu-Ray editions of the same stuff. You’d keep old stuff from your childhood because where else are you going to get that tape with Captain N episodes on it or the cassette that documented your high school Hans and Frans comedy bit? Now all these years later, all the stuff in the world fits and boy don’t you look stupid with all that stuff taking up space in your apartment. We, as the cheapest generation, definitely don’t need stuff any more, and that’s great. But you can still keep your old media and whatnot without paying for expensive digital conversion services. And the answer is at the wonderland that is the Brooklyn Public Library. (more…)

02/12/16 10:51am
Good bagel shop, bad vestibule etiquette. Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

Good bagel shop, bad etiquette. Vestibules are one of our best defenses against the cold. Don’t ruin them. Photo by Tim Donnelly/Brokelyn.

We’re about to go into a bone-chilling, frozen-pipes-warning, the polar-opposite-from-summer, they-even-cancelled-an-ice-festival-because-it’s-too-cold weekend. So let’s take a moment to appreciate some true heroes of the season: winter vestibules. Those little pop up chambers act like an air lock between the bitter cold of the frozen tundra outside. They are crucial elements of city life, one more safeguard that makes sitting inside a bar absorbing whiskey to thaw your bones seem like the only way to wait out the cold (I wrote an appreciation and brief history of the vestibules for the NY Post last year).

But there is a problem with this system that is ruining it for all of us and rendering them ineffective: terrible vestibule etiquette. It occurs when you hold the door to the outside open, letting winter into our sanctums, violating the social contract meant to keep us all warm. Please refresh yourself on the proper way to use them this weekend.  (more…)

01/14/16 3:20pm

You no longer have to feel bad whenever you throw out the clothes your roommate of eight months ago left behind and never came back to get. Or deal with taking all of your old, now unfashionable clothes through our shoddy public transit system and wait for the person working at the thrift store to get to you.

With re-fashioNYC, a partnership between the city’s sanitation department and Housing Works, the sanitation department will pick up last seasons wardrobe, so the people at the thrift store won’t secretly judge you. You could put all of your old clothes, shoes and and ever your ex’s cut up clothing, which you may or may not have chopped to pieces once you found out they were still on Tinder (as well as other rags, towels, linens and bedding). It’s part of the city’s zero waste initiative, with the hope of cutting down on the 200,000 tons of this stuff New Yorkers throw out each year. And you can do it right from your home or office for free.  (more…)

01/05/16 10:53am
Hey look, it's you, and this is now. via Flickr user Jerry Donhal

Hey look, it’s you, and this is now. via Flickr user Jerry Donhal

Winter temperatures are finally upon us, which means it’s time to start enjoying our second wind of summer. What? But it’s not summer. Yes it is. Summer is basically just a time when you are always warm and you do beach things. And we’ve rounded up a number of inexpensive ways you can do all the beach things this season, like walking in the sand, day-drinking, playing boardwalk games, going swimming and more.

Caution: activities below should not be attempted if you have other things to do. Because much like an actual summer day spent at the beach, these things are mostly lazy, will take all of your time, and will inevitably end with you getting drunk.  (more…)