05/25/16 4:00pm
The Art Walls are returning to Coney with new artists this summer. Photo via Facebook.

The Art Walls are returning to Coney with new artists this summer. Photo via Facebook.

If you are currently sitting comfortably or reading this on your phone while standing in one of NYC’s famous cold brew lines, take a second to stretch your free hand around and pat yourself on the back. There, you deserved that, reader, because despite all odds, you did it: You made it to goddamn summer. You survived being snowed in with your sexy roommate, you considered fleeing to New Orleans, maybe you even thought about leaving the country, but you didn’t and now Memorial Day weekend is here and you can finally live your best Brooklyn life again (by that we mean the one that’s outdoors and in jorts, of course).

It also means it’s time to get down to Coney Island if you haven’t already. Coney Island’s renewal has been a mixed bag in the past couple of years: for every cool new ride or bar, there’s a tacky chain restaurant. But this summer sees the addition of lots of new things to be excited about, including a new beer garden and a huge outdoor concert venue where you can see the Beach Boys on July 4th weekend or Vanilla Ice in September, if you’re into that.  (more…)

05/25/16 2:06pm
You don't need to tap out as early as you thought, after all. via Soft Spot FB

You don’t need to tap out as early as you thought, after all. Soft Spot / Facebook

Why a late night happy hour? I say, why not a late night happy hour. It’s only right that after spending the better part of an evening patronizing an establishment, we ought to get some sort of reward for our endurance, or just a kickback to keep us buying until last call. The late night happy hour is both a thank-you to customers and a fuck-you to curfews, gathering the night owls for one last surge of drinking before the night’s truly questionable decisions unfold.

Since we first rounded up Brooklyn’s late night happy hours in 2012, at least half the spots we had are now defunct. Some have shuttered, and others have simply realized they can afford not to offer cheap drinks past 8pm anymore. But much like we believe in your right to wear jorts, we also believe in your right to save money on alcohol this summer, especially since you’re going to be spending it on all those dumb music festivals and bottomless brunches. So we’re championing the late night happy hour once again, with these seven spots where you can still get an affordable drink after dark. (more…)

05/25/16 12:23pm

And all you gotta do is hand out programs and crack a smile once or twice.

I bet you’ve been reading our posts about summer for the past few months and thinking, why does Brokelyn love suummer so goddamn much? Well, besides all the obvious reasons I’ll tell you another one, which is that summer favors the broke. It’s one of the few times in the year when you can save on gym memberships by exercising outdoors, when you can find social activities under the stars that don’t cost a dime, and when you can actually fathom sleeping in parks if turning your entire life into a performance art piece doesn’t pan out.

And on this, the nicest day of the year so far, here’s yet another opportunity to claim summer 2016 as the Season of Not Paying for Stuff: BRIC’s Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is looking for volunteers to help run their summer programming, which includes over 25 concerts featuring the likes of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Violent Femmes, Jon Batiste and the Stay Human, and includes Benefit shows with Tame Impala, Ray LaMontagne, Beirut and Herbie Hancock.

In exchange for volunteering your time, you get to see every show, even those fancy paid shows, for free. Bet you’re starting to love summer even more now, huh?  (more…)

05/25/16 11:00am
Ikea is fine but ugh who has the time or energy.  Via Khalid Ahmed/Flickr

Ikea is fine but ugh who has the time or energy. Via Khalid Ahmed/Flickr

The problem with shopping at Ikea — besides the couples counseling you’ll need and the literal stereotype of yuppie adulthood you’ll be snapping together like so much Grundtal pieces — is that your apartment ends up looking exactly the same as everyone else’s in Brooklyn. This is an understandable trade off for low-cost, accessible, one-stop shopping that comes with a side of cheap meatballs. The same could be said of shopping at Target or any other assemble-at-home furniture seller, the ones you find scattered around the city or huddled in gangs at the opposite ends of vast oceans of parking lots in the suburbs. The one-stop shopping angle is enticing: you buy a piece of furniture, that matches other furniture, and goes with that accent wall, and, after a few frustrating grunts and screaming at the instruction manual, you screw together a bedroom set that looks like a lot of other bedroom sets, bing bang boom.

To avoid this trap of sameness, maybe instead you can turn to the internet to try to order things, but then there’s the searching, and the pretending not to search when your boss walks by your desk, and the waiting, and the hoping to be home at the exact right moment to catch the UPS guy, who makes his rounds with ninja assassin levels of sneakiness. You can try Craigslist, but then there’s the fear of bed bugs or being sex murdered over a futon, which seems like a hassle. (more…)

05/25/16 9:00am
All photos by K. Hartnett / Brokelyn

Just like a wrestling match, but cleaner. All photos by K. Hartnett / Brokelyn

Dishwashers: they clean among us, unseen.

Whether you’re a concerned roommate tidying up at home, a guest helping out a party host after things clear out or a professional sudser working back-of-house at a restaurant, you know that “doing the dishes” is thankless endeavor. It’s tedious, silent and occasionally gross, depending on whose dishes you’re doing. And yet, the need for proper dishwashing becomes absolutely clear once you’ve pulled a plate from your cabinet and seen the remnants of your boyfriend’s lasagna from Tuesday night.

The best dishwashers marry finite technique with maximum efficiency to get the job done. And this past Sunday, The Diamond Bar in Greenpoint set out to find the best of the best at a Brooklyn Dishwashing Duel.

Billed as “a high-octane domestic event staged in the glory of the only beer bar left in the once-thriving neighborhood of Greenpoint,” The Diamond’s dishwashing duel pitted neighborhood restaurants Le Gamin and Motorino against one another, and each restaurant put forth their champions for a three-round battle that would measure the dishwashers’ skill, efficiency and artistry.

While the competing teams got into pre-match mentality, dirty dishes from the morning’s $5 brunch were rounded up and placed in separate dish soakers. Host Jamie Hook kicked off the event by sharing a heartbreak and trumph-filled story of his time as a dishwasher in Maine, canonizing the unsung heroes of the service industry.

“Without dishes we’re not having a meal, we’re just having food,” said Hook.  (more…)

05/24/16 3:37pm
Don't let us tell you, let this quiz tell you. Chris Ford / Flickr

Don’t let us tell you, let this quiz tell you. Chris Ford/Flickr

Whether you’re new to town or you’ve been around for a bit, you know the one local issue that keeps popping up, and won’t be going away any time soon, is gentrification. Neighborhoods and demographics in those neighborhoods change, and while real estate agents love to employ the terms “transitioning” (aaaaaaaahhhhh), the reality is that long-time residents are being pushed out.

(It’s worth checking out WNYC’s new podcast on gentrification to hear just how that pushing out is happening; pretty scary stuff.)

What’s more, gentrification tends to be an uncomfortable us vs. them conversation that a lot of folks have trouble participating in, because they don’t always know which side they land on, or would rather not hear. So, for your benefit, we’ve come up with a quick and dirty quiz so YOU can see whether you are, in fact, part of the problem. (more…)

05/24/16 1:00pm
I see your spring chill and raise you #Netflixandchill. via Instagram user @cuptureusa

I see your spring chill and raise you #Netflixandchill. via Instagram user @cuptureusa

It’s no secret that living in New York can take a toll on your mental health, but fickle weather can also lend a hand. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for tragic acronym short, affects a large percentage of the population in cities and countries prone to fluctuating weather patterns (or just generally shitty ones, like Ireland). New York is certainly one of those cities. And if this spring’s rain, grey gloom and yo-yoing temperatures has been getting you down, then you might suffer from it. It’s not just a cold weather condition, either—SAD can take a toll even in the summer months. Just look at Lana Del Rey.

But whether you’ve been diagnosed with a clinical condition or you’re just feeling generally terrible under cloudy skies, we’re here to help. How do you adjust to the changing seasons? The same way you deal with, lack of money, lack of romantic prospects and any long day at work, of course: by binge-watching your blues away.

Studies show that we’re wired to binge watch, and that it may even help makes us more empathetic as humans. Watching a series can educate and entertain you while you get you out of your own head, and there’s immense diversity in online entertainment these days, on a multitude of platforms and at varying price points. We’ve pegged a few different types of melancholia to some lesser-known series that might help you overcome each. Some shows require a paid subscription (or a free trial!), and some are free on YouTube. Either way, read on to find out which series best complements your seasonally-affected psyche. (more…)

05/24/16 11:00am
The struggling Brooklynite's guide to turning your entire life into a performance art piece

Listen, mom, I’m an artist now, okay?

The life of a broke millennial is not particularly glamorous. Maybe you’ve got some service industry job to support your pipe dreams, maybe you just graduated and you’re working some internship that will never pay you, or maybe you work for a start-up and just spend a disproportionate amount of money on rent, bar tabs and Takis. You’re on a track, but from the outside looking in, your life isn’t particularly impressive and your parents are starting to ask questions about what’s “next” for you.

So what do you do? How do you bide your time, appease your family and fend off criticism to continue freely living the life of a Brooklyn 20-something? The answer is simple: Become a performance artist. Or, rather, retroactively declare yourself a performance artist. Ashamed of your choices? Well maybe those aren’t your genuine choices, maybe they’re your artistic choices. Are you undateable or is your singlehood a statement on the illusion of love and society’s need to fill a Freudian void? That’s up to you.

Celebrities have already been doing it for years. Shia LaBeouf rented out a whole movie theater to suggest that his so-so career was an act; Adam Sandler regularly just films his vacations and calls them cinema; Joaquin Phoenix got to try rap without looking dumb! To get you started on your personal rebranding campaign, we’ve got a few sample projects and accompanying customizable placards so that even the philistines know what’s up. (more…)

05/24/16 8:22am
Brooklyn Based's Immersion series comes to Long Island City on June 4.

Brooklyn Based’s Immersion series comes to Long Island City on June 4. Photo by Alison Brockhouse.

Long Island City is the next stop in Brooklyn Based’s Immersion series with Brooklyn Brewery, and like all of their neighborhood Immersions, it will be one of the cheapest days you’ll ever spend in NYC, drinking, eating and shopping.

The Immersion begins at LIC Bar at noon on June 4, where your hosts will be handing out free swag to those who check in before 1pm (and where the Queens Beer Book will be on sale too!). You won’t have to travel far for your next pint, as you head to Gantry Bar & Kitchen to Woodbines to Corner Bistro for all of your free Brooklyn beers (you get four in all). The restaurants where you can redeem your lunch are close and picturesque, too — you can eat in the backyard at L’Inizio, along the waterfront with drop-dead views at Anable Basin Sailing Bar & Grill, or at the new Gantry Bar & Kitchen.

Inside the envelope of “walking around money” you get to spend in Long Island City during the Immersion are bills that guarantee free gifts and discounts on sliders, souffles and other treats, jewelry, vintage finds, snowballs (yes, snowballs), and more goods at places like Sweetleaf, Pink Canary, and the outdoor LIC Flea & Food. The price for four Brooklyn beers, lunch, and all the deals below is just $25. (more…)

05/23/16 3:16pm
Thrash around with The Casualties (#8)

Thrash around with The Casualties (#8)

1. If you’re looking for some relaxing Monday-night fun, Bed-Stuy Bingo is an excellent choice. Hosted by famed drag king Murray Hill with special guest burlesquer Maine Attraction, there will be prizes, drink specials, and a cash jackpot. (Monday, C’mon Everybody, FREE)

2. We know this “spring” has been a little disappointing, weather-wise. But if you’ve been doing some seasonal cleaning nonetheless, get yourself over to Thrift On to trade your trash in for treasures. Expect fabulous finds, plus contests, games, and DJ Shakey spinning a perfect soundtrack to your rummaging. (Monday, The Keep, FREE)

3. If you’ve got even a casual interest in the sciences, get your learning on at the Pint of Science Festival, co-presented with Astronomy on Tap and Sexology on Tap. There are nine events at six venues over three days; tonight’s offerings include “Creativity in Science” in Industry City and “More than a Mouthful: A Guide to Aphrodisiacs” in Crown Heights (Tuesday, $5) (more…)