06/09/14 9:47am
summer reading

Kind of like this, but at a much louder, more crowded beach. via Flickr user Haceme un 14

Yep, it’s the season for beach reads and summer reading lists. We may be stuck in our cubicles but our minds are on a tropical island somewhere, Singapore Sling in one hand and sexy summah romance novel in the other. Or if you’re like me, you’re in the shaded backyard of a bar hoping that cute girl drinking a beer one the table over there will inquire about your Norton Critical Edition of Don Quixote (the Ormsby translation, naturally) and reveal that she’s a learned scholar in all things Cervantes and would certainly love to get together for drinks and talk about 17th century European literature how’s Tuesday sound perfect here’s my number.

So what’s the rest of team Brokelyn reading this summah? (more…)

04/08/14 11:14am
The tax police are coming for you.

The tax police are coming for you. In Russia, maybe.

I finished visiting my tax guy last night and, sweet doubloons of Rangoon, I actually don’t owe the government money for the first time in years. In the year since Uncle Sam last held me upside down to shake the beer money out of my jorts, I got one of them full-time jobs that does things I was apparently incapable of doing, namely paying taxes for me throughout the year. So even though I waited until a week before tax day, you’ll see me rolling into the bank like this before long, and you might even catch me in Rockaway with a long-overdue new stick this summer. Let’s do a tax day check in with the rest of the gang: are we any better than these hipster minstrel show ads? Team Brokelyn, how your taxes is?  (more…)

02/13/14 3:23pm
"What? You said you wanted cookies for Valentine's Day and you wanted me to be honest." via Pamela Cooks

“What? You said you wanted cookies for Valentine’s Day and you wanted me to be honest.” via Pamela Cooks

People like talking about love on Valentine’s Day, as if it always works out and doesn’t involve massive amount of pain for people. Sure sometimes it works out for you, but just as often, you get hurt and you stay out drinking until 6am to feel better, and wind up in a bar where someone is throwing up and being louder then a jet engine. Anyway, getting dumped: it sucks!

The worst one that happened to me hurt so much because it was so unexpected. I’d been hanging out with a girl for few weeks and thought everything was going just fine. That is until one night after a night of drinking capped off with dinner at a Bushwick falafel joint, I asked her if she wanted to go to a show later that week. Only to have her start with the “I really really want to just go back to being friends” shpiel while we stood in cold outside the food place. That one is tame, especially compared to these other horror stories from Brokelyn contributors, but if you’ve never been dumped out of freaking nowhere in the middle of winter while the fluorescent lights of a cheap falafel place shone on you, you should consider yourself lucky. Because that shit hurts. But maybe not as much as these stories. (more…)

12/30/13 7:00am
new year's eve disaster

New Year’s has a way of doing this to us all

Ah, New Year’s Eve, that old FOMO incarnate. It’s the day where your worth as a human is gauged by where (and with whom) you end up at midnight (provided you last that long). My cherished memories of New Years’ past include: vomiting out the side of a moving cab, throwing myself at someone who had below-zero interest, cuddling up to an ex over a tallboy of Four Loko and one blessed year of no recollections at all, waking up on a stranger’s Tempur-pedic next to a box of cold Little Caesar’s, which became that day’s breakfast.

So, with the fated eve approaching and the palpable anticipation growing—making our best-laid plans for that singular instant when a ball drops in Times Square—we were moved to compile our most cautionary tales from past New Year’s celebrations, for your enjoyment, pity and maybe a roadmap for what to avoid. After all, if you can’t have a great New Year’s, you can at least avoid one of these fates.
(more…)

10/02/13 12:09pm
Demerit-Badges

Duty to God and Hungover Regrets. via Demerit Badges.

Monday night I turned 32 years old and got kicked out of a bar for the first time in so many years that I was surely a didn’t-know-better 20-something the last time it happened. To make it worse, it was Hank’s, my local musty dive where the bar for getting kicked out is so high I’ve seen blasted regulars limbo under it while shadowboxing the voices in their heads. Yet Monday, a spilled drink escalated into a shouting match with the bartender which escalated into the throwing of water and mad accusations about tipping, and then the ol’ angry 86. Demerit badge achieved! (more…)

09/23/13 8:00am
at least it's not Jersey

On the Westside Highway, looking across that other river. Photo by Garrett Paknis.

“What are you doing here?” a confused Evan asks me at Doris, the new Clinton Hill hot spot. He is my barista at the Chelsea Cafe Grumpy that I frequent on my way to Vinyasa yoga class. For more than a year, Evan has seen me in my natural West  Side habitat, making my soy cortados and engaging in pleasant/flirty conversation. His surprise at running into me in his Brooklyn stomping grounds puts what I have feared all too long into perspective: Manhattan has turned monochromatic. It is stagnant, boring, and a nightmare, which is why four to five nights a week I get on the train at some ungodly hour to the leave what is globally deemed the epicenter of the most desired city in the world to sip pale ale at an establishment made of reclaimed wood on the other side of the river.

I tell him I’m there for a friend’s party, worried that I have been recognized as an impostor. I’m some endangered creature still gripping on to my past. What’s a Manhattan girl to do in the era of Brooklyn’s turn as the star borough? (more…)

01/16/13 2:00pm
Oven in the time of cholera.

Oven, the time of cholera.

Sometimes those things happen in your apartment and you’re like, “Well, that’s future Tim’s problem.” Like when someone decided to install a spice rack tenuously perched shelf of spices above the stove, leading to an almost weekly incidence of fumbling something that drops down into the inky abyss between stove and wall, not to mention all the spills thrills and chills that come with the kind of extreme, splatter-prone cooking we practice. But then! All the rodents of Brooklyn decide to gentrify your apartment at once and suddenly Future Tim is Present Tim and you’ve got to clean it all out to try to cut down these cheap eats so attractive to critters. And so, we excavate. (more…)

07/29/10 10:09am
bike hauling

Photo courtesy of Outside Jane

The subway’s a great way to travel—for a day at the Rockaways, an occasional night out, that elusive paying job in the city—so many things. But, let’s face it: The $2.25 adds up. Quick. And now, new rules are looking to make it almost impossible to borrow your neighbor’s unlimited card and ride for free. So, Brokelyn’s gotta ask: What’s the furthest you’ll go to avoid a subway fare? As we massage our bike-weary legs, let’s toast to war stories like hauling gigantic mirrors in heels, balancing six blinds on your handlebars over pot-holes or walking miles because you just couldn’t justify the expenditure. How far will you go to save a swipe? Dollar van? Hitchhike? Hang glider?

07/23/10 2:35pm

unemployedThe Federal fount of unemployment benefits has been turned back on. Yesterday, President Obama finalized the restoration of unemployment checks to millions of Americans who’ve been out of work for at least six months. For some (whom we might or might not know), this means that long-planned PBR-can model of  Washington Crossing the Delaware will finally come to be. For others, it’s just on with the grind of Monster-ing/Craigslist-ing/Linking-in for that next job, 24/7. What about you? If you’re on unemployment (or you’re about to be), is your fully-funded sabbatical about earnestly sending out resumes every day, or something more creative?

06/16/10 9:04am
One of our own, done-in by Ikea. Photos by Eric Reichbaum.

One of our own, done-in by Ikea. Photo by Eric Reichbaum.

To a large set of our country’s undergraduates (of whom we know a few), Brooklyn these days is seen as the holy grail of post-graduation locales—a sort of hipster paradise of bloggers, vegans, flannel shirts and facial hair. Misguided and idealistic? Maybe. But surely these future Brooklynites can’t be entirely naive. On some level, they must know that all’s not perfect in their dreamland of outdoor concerts and roving gourmet. And if they don’t, well, then it’s our job to educate them—not to turn our future readers away (never), but to keep it real—to prepare them for the worthwhile hardships they might just face on the way to enjoying all of Brooklyn’s splendor. And we need your help. (more…)