06/06/16 9:31am
Photo by Flickr user Jazz Guy.

Photo by Flickr user Jazz Guy.

As this summer’s self-appointed Hot Dog Princess of Brokelyn, my responsibilities have ranged from educating the masses by shining light on the myth of my beloved Detroit Coney Dogs to exposing the salty underbelly of the return of the Coney Island Hot Dog Wars last month. But the time has come to get something off my chest, for I have my own dirty water secret: this Michigan girl has never had a New York City Hot Dog. And frankly, it’s a relief to finally type that out loud.

Upon making the move from Detroit to New York more than a year ago, I’ve abstained from all-wiener consumption outside of Michigan state lines. I’ll admit, I’ve dabbled with some local artisan sausages here and there (you should check out Jake’s Handcrafted in Park Slope = yum), but my harsh reality is that I crave what I can’t have: My beloved Coney Dogs of Detroit.

The time had come for me to put my stubbornness and fear of meats unknown aside, suck it up, and eat a NY hot dog. (more…)

03/29/16 3:40pm
Dramatization: actual soap used not shown (but does it matter?) Ahmed Sagarwala / Flickr

Dramatization: actual soap used not shown (but does it matter?) Ahmed Sagarwala / Flickr

Wake up, America. While we busy ourselves debating Wall Street, immigration, healthcare and gun control, Big Soap is walking all over us. We go through life thinking we need one soap for our hands, one for our body, one for our face, our hair, our clothes, our dishes, our apartment. But why? Are they really that different from each other?

No, they aren’t, and I’m the living proof of it. Because in a recent pit of frugality, I put Big Soap to the test and found that even $1 dish soap can pretty easily handle all of your basic needs (given that your standards aren’t “high”). Being a groomed, sanitary adult in New York is already expensive enough — you’ve got rent, pizza, alcohol and a therapist to pay for. So why waste your money on five different versions of the same thing? Granted, if you value a long-lasting washing machine, soft hands, durable clothes and rash-free skin over convenience and savings then sure, throw your money away on soaps or spend up on a fancy $14 multi-use cult soap. But if you’re a garbage-person like me: Forget it! Dish soap works just as well, and I’ll tell you how I figured it out. Heed my story and then lather, rinse, repeat. (more…)

02/18/16 12:26pm
Via Flickr's Jessica Moore.

Via Flickr’s Jessica Moore.

In case you’re thinking you pay New York premiums on everything, it turns out an eighth of weed goes for $50-60 in Sarasota, Fla., about standard price in New York too. That price point was good news for Joanna*, a Sarasota native who saw a hole in the local marijuana market she could exploit — namely, everyone at the restaurant she worked at kept asking her for weed. She had harbored dreams of leaving the small beach town and moving to New York for years and was living in her parents house to try to save money, but it was slow going. So instead of saving her restaurant paychecks, she got creative and started selling weed. It only took one month to save up $5,000. She bought a plane ticket to the city, packed a suitcase and found a place in Bed-Stuy with no job. She had enough to put down three months rent.

“I’ve got to get out of here and move to New York,” Joanna, 25, recalled to Brokelyn. “I just moved with my little suitcase.”

She struggled through tough jobs and long hours her first few years in the city. Now she’s got a 2-year-old son, a place in Sunnyside, Queens and a good job working in social media. She doesn’t sell weed any more — or smoke it, thanks to the kid — but she’s happy she’s got a Brooklyn origin story that involves her own brand of hustle. (more…)

02/06/15 10:01am

It’s been fun, but…  All photos by Jeni Magana

We all know what it is to wake up next to someone the morning after getting down, see them lying there, and panic. Regardless of whether the person sharing the bed is a familiar face or a total stranger, a winter-warmer or a one-night stand, it’s safe to say that we’re always faced with the same decision: should we “ghost” outta there, or stick around until they wake up?

If you’re suddenly getting images of a partially-nude Patrick Swayze, let us clarify the term (hint: you’re not entirely off-base). “Ghosting” is the Brokelyn-approved slang for fleeing the scene of a sexual encounter the following morning, leaving no trace of your presence from the night before. Straightforward enough, right? The thing is, not all of us agree about whether the sleek, cat-like disappearance of a sexual partner is a good or bad tactic to employ. In fact, two of our resident writers land at opposite poles on the topic. Here, Gabby “The Vapor” Westfield and Sam “The Billboard” Corbin go head to head to defend their morning-after techniques. Whose side of the bed are YOU on? (more…)

01/08/15 3:54pm
de blasio pot

Would you want to see this face close up?

Is the mayor of our fair burg a dope smoking drug friend? So say rumors that are probably being fed to people by police who are SO MAD at Mayor Tall. The answer is almost definitely no, because you don’t spend half your life planning to be the mayor of New York City just so to see it all fall apart because you want to take some bong hits before watching Broad City.

Rather than focus on the how the police rebellion under Bill de Blasio is starting to get nasty and weird, we’d rather focus on the important question at hand: Would you get high with Bill de Blasio if given the chance? I would do it, considering I’m not that discriminating about who I smoke weed with. I also think it would start to get a little weird because at his core, de Blasio seems like a nerdy policy wonk and not a guy who’ll watch Sealab 2021‘s “Uh Oh” scene over and over with you. Would other Team Brokelyn members do it though? Let’s see! (more…)

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…)

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.

10/02/13 12:09pm

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…)