07/23/14 12:00pm

shiba-inu-biting-teethTaro the Shiba Inu via Flickr

Sponsored By Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc.

Let Gotham show you how getting NYC home insurance is fast, friendly, affordable, and easy.

Created By BlankSlate

Apartment insurance can help cover your belongings in case they get stolen, or damaged by flood or fire. That’s not the only thing apartment insurance is good for. What about Rusty?

Let’s say you’re getting cable TV installed and Rusty gets excited, jumps up to greet your guest and knocks him over. Cable guy decides to go to the hospital (workmen’s comp!) and sends you his medical bill.

What now?

Hopefully, your dog is more obedient than Rusty and this will never happen to you. (Plus, who actually needs cable?) But if it did? Our friends at Gotham Brokerage can help find the right insurance to cover you and your belongings in case of life’s little disasters. It’s super-fast to get a quote, and costs a lot less than you would probably think.

07/21/14 12:00pm

Sponsored By New York Aquarium.

The New York Aquarium is building a world-class shark exhibit set to open in 2016.

Created By BlankSlate

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that New York is a city of islands. It has 520 miles of coastline — more than Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco combined. Brooklyn alone, projecting outward from the Southwestern corner of Long Island, is mostly surrounded by water: the East River, the Upper and Lower New York Bay, Jamaica Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Three things you might know about the waters surrounding Brooklyn:

1. The waters around Brooklyn are rich with marine life. In fact, they were once, like, buy-a-brownstone rich, with 12-inch oysters and six-foot lobsters.

2. Back when explorers like Giovanni da Verrazzano and Henry Hudson (of bridge and river fame, respectively) sailed into New York Harbor, sturgeon were so abundant that the fish were considered hazardous to boat passage.

3. Today, despite decades of unchecked use, the New York seascape still hosts everything from whales, to seals, to more than 338 species of fish.

Most New Yorkers don’t even think about this rich marine life living just off their shores. The New York Aquarium is trying to change that, helping residents and visitors understand these vital waters, and protecting them from growing threats, including expanded shipping, dredging, overfishing, and energy development.

Back on its feet (or flippers) after Hurricane Sandy, the aquarium is also working on transforming itself for the future, and you can be a part of it. Check out the plans, which include a thrilling new exhibit, Ocean Wonders: Sharks! You don’t have to be buy-a-brownstone rich to lend a hand. Donate today.

07/09/14 12:00pm

Sponsored By New York Aquarium.

The New York Aquarium is building a world-class shark exhibit set to open in 2016.

Created By BlankSlate

Every day, we hear about all the cool stuff Brooklyn has to offer. You know what it doesn’t have enough of, though? Sharks.

Fortunately, there’s something we Brooklynites can do to rectify this situation. By donating to the ongoing renovation of the New York Aquarium, you will be helping to bring to Brooklyn a massive shark exhibit called Ocean Wonders: Sharks! The plans for the exhibit call for a jaw-dropping, 500,000-gallon tank that will allow visitors to watch several species of sharks and rays. How cool is that?

The transformation of the aquarium won’t be confined to the interior. Outside, a gorgeous, ocean-inspired art installation will wrap the building in a “shimmer wall” made up of tens of thousands of reflective tiles that ripple with the wind like waves on the sea.

You can help make this vision a reality by donating a personalized tile on the virtual version of the shimmer wall on the New York Aquarium website. With your donation, you will be joining your Brooklyn neighbors in helping to bring the aquarium to the next level. More importantly, you will be doing your part to bring sharks to Brooklyn — finally.

06/10/14 12:00pm

brooklyn-pizza-pieWait for an NYC pie or get your apartment insuredm01229 via Flickr

Sponsored By Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc.

Let Gotham show you how getting NYC home insurance is fast, friendly, affordable, and easy.

Created By BlankSlate

New Yorkers walk fast, talk fast, and do business faster than anyone else in the world. Which is why it’s so frustrating that everything in New York seems to takes longer than it should — whether it’s your commute, getting approval from your co-op board, or the line at Starbucks. For example:

— Average travel time from Midtown to JFK: 90 minutes

— Wait for a pie at Di Fara pizza: Up to one hour

— Average wait for cable guy: $#%& @#$

Fortunately, you can get some things checked off your to-do list in no time at all, like getting apartment insurance through Gotham Brokerage. They can usually line up insurance for a client in as little as 20 minutes.

Gotham Brokerage is a New York-based, family-owned company, and they know NYC apartment owner and renter needs better than anybody else. This means they can quickly determine the right kind of plan and coverage. If you’ve been meaning to get your apartment insured, but thought you didn’t have the time — you probably have 20 minutes, right?

It’s nice to know that sometimes things in New York can be easy, affordable, and fast.

05/13/14 12:30pm

3760176073_a4036d6118_bCasey Fleser via Flickr

Sponsored By Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc.

Let Gotham show you how getting NYC home insurance is fast, friendly, affordable, and easy.

Created By BlankSlate

New York City is expensive, we know. You save your money for important things, like paying off your student loans, and beer, and cable. You don’t have time or money to think about something like renter’s insurance.

That’s where you’re wrong. Renter’s insurance from Gotham Brokerage is more affordable than most of your other expenses. For example, that cable/Internet bill you get every month? That’s about the same as what you would pay for renter’s insurance from Gotham for the whole year. And that’s without the premium channels! So you can’t watch Game of Thrones and everything you own is uninsured. What if your apartment is attacked by dragons or ice zombies? Or, more realistically, water damage?

Renter’s insurance at Gotham starts at $125 for the year, and covers you against theft (imagine if your laptop got stolen!), property damage (imagine if your upstairs neighbor’s bathroom flooded and destroyed your furniture!), and accidents in your apartment (what if your idiot friend Mike tripped over your dog and broke his wrist?). It’s also super-easy to get started, and the peace of mind you’ll feel for the rest of the year is more than worth the cost of one cable bill. Besides, didn’t you say you wanted to read more?

05/12/14 12:30pm

Sponsored By Explore Brooklyn.

All of Brooklyn in one place.

Created By BlankSlate

The hottest borough in NYC finally has the tourism website it deserves.

On May 9, 2014, at the BKLYN Designs fair, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Brooklyn technology firm BlankSlate, officially launched Explore Brooklyn, Brooklyn’s first dedicated tourism site. ExploreBK.com brings together a dynamic, front-page directory of every business and attraction in Brooklyn, an events calendar, and a blog about don’t-miss destinations written by the area’s best local writers — all designed to serve as an invaluable resource for visitors and residents alike.

Explore Brooklyn kicked off its blog with the post “What to do after you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge,” a question many of you may have answered for visiting friends, or tourists wandering around Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo. This is followed by posts telling visitors where to find great coffeeoutstanding museums, and souvenirs that are actually cool.

“We don’t want all those visitors walking across the bridge to turn around and go back to Manhattan,” explained Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, Carlo Scissura. “We want them to stay a while and get to know the Brooklyn that we know and love.”

05/06/14 12:30pm

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Sponsored By Theatre Development Fund.

TKTS Discount Booths offer discount tickets to Broadway and Off Broadway at up to 50% off.

Created By BlankSlate

Broke and looking for a fun date night? It’s your lucky day. Theatre Development Fund (TDF) wants to help you take a friend to that Broadway or Off Broadway show you’ve been itching to see. Enter below for your chance to win $200 worth of TKTS gift certificates. (Forever alone? Take your mom!)

Whether or not you end up winning, you should know that you don’t have to fight your way through a zombie horde of tourists in Times Square to get discounted tickets. TKTS has a Downtown Brooklyn booth right by the Jay St-Metro Tech Station. As with other locations, TKTS Downtown Brooklyn sells discount tickets of up to 50% off full price to evening performances on the day of the show, but unlike TKTS Times Square, matinee tickets are sold only the day before the performance. The Downtown Brooklyn booth also sells tickets to performances at Brooklyn venues. For Brooklyn venues charging $30 or less, TKTS sells at full price to help those companies thrive.

For iPhone, Android, and Windows users, TKTS created a FREE app that shows you what’s available at the booth. Or, if you prefer, TKTS also lists all of that day’s deals live on their website. If you don’t think all of this is enough (really?!), they also offer an online ticketing service through TDF Membership. This membership gives eligible individuals access to even deeper discounts of up to 70% off full price. (There are specific eligibility requirements, though, so be sure to read through the full details.)

Have you entered to win yet? Did you download the app yet? Are you a TDF member yet? Is it that you hate live theater, or you just love paying full price?

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04/16/14 9:14am
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Mention Brokelyn through May 15 for 20% off a cut and/or color at Beehive Salon in Williamsburg

Spring in Brooklyn is about drinking outside, in as little clothing as possible, charged with a sense of renewal and possibility about life. Especially after all these rough winter months, we might need a little more than cold beer and sun on our faces to recover. Brokelyn is here to help by offering three springtastic Wiliamsburg beauty deals between now and May 15. Here are three spots to freshen your skin, brighten your hair, and soothe your muscles before venturing out and attempting to mingle with other humans again. Starting today through May 15, first time clients can mention Brokelyn at Beehive Salon, Massage Williamsburg and Skin by Molly to receive big discounts.

The Beehive Salon
115 N. 7th St. (between Berry St. and Wythe Ave.), Williamsburg
718-782-8376
Appointments only
Deal: 20% off haircuts and color treatments for new clients who mention Brokelyn through May 15

This Williamsburg hair salon for men and women has a retro rocker vibe that translates into hair cuts that are sassy and skillful. Owner and “Queen Bee” stylist Maleina is as down to earth as she is experienced, with more than 20 years working in NYC salons. Many of the stylists have done hair for fashion shoots and Broadway productions, lending an added flair and a bit of glam to their cuts. Curly-haired girls will be happy with stylists Carla, Li and Eileen who are all Devachan certified. The salon’s open space with high ceilings and ample windows letting in natural light opens up into a backyard where you can relax while you’re waiting for your highlights to set. On Thursday nights, the ‘hive offers complimentary drinks, which have ranged from beer and wine to pina coladas and pomegrante margaritas. Check out the Beehive’s Down Time Spa downstairs, where you can book a facial, wax, massage and mani-pedis.

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Yes, please. photo via Massage Williamsburg

Massage Williamsburg
169 Wythe Ave. (between N. 5th and N. 6th Streets), Suite 202
917-538-6560
By appointment only
Deal: $20 off any massage for new clients who mention Brokelyn by May 15

This therapeutic massage studio offers Swedish massage, deep tissue, prenatal and a signature one hour back, neck and shoulder massage, so you can select which type to best target your sore spots. For each one you can choose between lavender aromatherapy oil or unscented grapeseed oil. The impressive team of NY-state licensed massage therapists has worked with physical therapy clients, cancer patients, dance companies, and has training in practices like acupuncture, reiki, yoga and pilates, in addition to their range of individual specialties. Clients cite their personable and knowledgable approach as reasons to keep coming back. It’s a good idea to get there a little early to talk with your massage therapist about what in particular ails you so he or she can tailor the massage accordingly. Owner Rachel Beider says one of her favorite parts about her job is seeing a client who comes in cranky or stressed but leaves smiling and relaxed. That could be you!

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Let Molly clear out those pores so the sunlight can get in!

Let Molly clear out those pores so the sunlight can get in!

Skin by Molly
169 Wythe Ave. (between N. 6th and N. 7th Streets), Suite #107
404-285-5652
By appointment only
Deal: $30 off any facial for new clients who mention Brokelyn by May 15

Founded by Molly Lamb, an Atlanta native with a great smile and a warm presence, Skin by Molly is the spot for a personalized, laid-back facial. Inspired to be an esthetician from her own struggles with her skin, Molly will listen to your concerns, without judging, and tailor treatment to your specific skin needs. All of her facials are conducted with natural-based peels and scrubs, like the “Radiance Facial” which employs a tourmaline-charged (mineral-based) mask or the “Back Facial” which implements a clay mask to exfoliate clogged pores. The “anti-aging facial” removes dead skin cells with a plant-based peel and re-moisturizes with a blend of herbs and oils. Edison bulbs and hard wood floors create an intimate setting for therapy with a skin expert who feels like an old friend. You’ll be in good hands at Skin by Molly. Think about it like this: if you can’t be nice to your face, how can you expect anybody else to be?

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Are you a  beauty venue with a deal to offer Brokelyn readers?  Contact Kate at mooney.katharine@gmail.com for more information.

03/27/14 11:30am

Sponsored By BRIC.

BRIC is a non-profit arts and media cultural organization. BRIC's brand-new 40,000-sq-ft cultural complex opened October 3, 2013.

Created By BlankSlate

How great would it be to have your own TV studio? Unfortunately, unless you suddenly inherit one from an eccentric billionaire uncle you never knew you had, it’s probably not going to happen. Don’t let that bum you out, though: the folks at BRIC are using the facilities at their brand new BRIC House to start a local cable channel. It’s called Brooklyn Independent Media, and it’s your very own cable channel.

Well, not just yours. You’ll have to share it with your 2.5 million neighbors. But BRIC is committed to democratizing mass media, and they’re ready for you to tell them what should be featured on New York’s first Brooklyn-centeric cable channel. There is a flagship news show, local music acts performing in-studio, local filmmakers showing off their latest works, partnerships with groups like StoryCorps, and… well, that’s up to you!

(more…)

02/19/14 2:38pm

brass taxes

Sponsored By Brass Taxes.

Brass Taxes was created to make taxes suck less for freelancers, artists, and other nice people.

Created By BlankSlate

Rus Garofalo is on a mission to help you feel better about yourself come tax time.

“Everyone thinks they suck at money things,” says Garofalo, the president of Brass Taxes. “85%–95% of people who come into my office apologize for not knowing any of this stuff, for being ‘a mess’ or ‘my worst client.’ I tell them not to worry, that almost everyone feels that way.

“Statistically,” he adds, “a lot of those people that think they suck at money have to be wrong.”

Garofalo tells his clients that needing help with their taxes doesn’t mean they suck at money. It means taxes are complicated. That’s why the accountants at Brass Taxes explain what they’re doing, so clients understand what they can do to make the process easier. They want their clients to be less stressed, more in control, and better prepared.

Taxes can be especially complicated for freelancers, as many younger people are today. They get out of college and suddenly they are a business without a support staff, responsible for keeping track of their expenses and paying taxes out of the checks they’ve been given.

Garofalo believes that a little financial education goes a long way.

“Your parents probably didn’t sit you down and tell you to save 25% of your profits for taxes,” he says. “Or to keep receipts organized by tax category so you can lower your profit margin on your tax returns. And most colleges don’t teach these practical concepts to anyone, even though their students are increasingly likely to need them.”

Garofalo started Brass Taxes with the goal of getting artists, freelancers, and “other nice people” comfortable with thinking about their money. He believes that it’s better to learn what you need to know and prepare for it than let taxes be a scary unknown that haunts your thoughts.

Brass Taxes has an extra incentive for you to get started on your taxes today: discounts for scheduling appointments before March 20. To get started, estimate your services here.

“Most of us don’t really like thinking money,” says Garofalo. “But when we have to, it might as well be
productive and useful. That way we can stop worrying about it and start thinking about more interesting things.”