10/13/16 3:38pm
You might be paying way more than you should be. via flickr user {jeannine}

You might be paying way more than you should be. via flickr user {jeannine}

Brooklyn may already be the most unaffordable place to own, but many renters are still holding out for a better future. They’re not wrong to do so— there is certainly a possibility that the rental boom in Brooklyn reaches its glut in the coming years, and simmers down to provide more affordable housing options.

But what if, unbeknownst to you, you’re not subject to market fluctuation? What if you’re just being flat-out gouged on rent?

Here’s the deal: Market value has little to no bearing on what you should be charged if your apartment is rent-stabilized. But it’s easy for landlords and management companies take full advantage of how little research you’ve done on their property’s history. They might be overcharging you on rent by the hundreds, or even thousands.

But this time next week, you can start fighting back. On Oct. 20 at 7:30pm at the Central Library (10 Grand Army Plz.), the Brooklyn Public Library and ProPublica are co-hosting a forum called “How to Fight Back if Your Rent is Illegally High.” Oh, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  (more…)

09/27/16 1:17pm
Bork via @Barkbud on IG

Bork via @Barkbud on IG

With the changing season comes changing career moves, and Brokelyn’s got your back. We love to hook ya’ll up with the latest and greatest opportunities out there, because how else are you going to be able to afford all the new seasonal pumpkin beers coming out?

We’ve scoured the internet to bring you some rad Brooklyn-based job listings. Now it’s up to you, the reader, to fulfill your destiny. Whether it be as a dog walker or as a hot shot media director, your TIME has come to get hired (you’ll get that joke in a second). (more…)

08/31/16 4:03pm
If your laptop is working, this makes a great work space, but the public computers are there to catch you if you fall. Via Flickr user Sam Saunders.

If your laptop is working, this makes a great work space, but the public computers are there to catch you if you fall. Via Flickr user Sam Saunders.

For yet-to-be-determined reasons that may or may not have to do with spending a few blissed-out, half-working days at a surf house in Rockaway last week, my laptop stopped working suddenly. The Geniuses at the Genius bar couldn’t figure it out so they sent it off to Apple sleepaway camp, where it will either get fixed or have its first kiss with a girl named Planned Obsolescence. Freelancing and otherwise working from a laptop is a glorious feeling of freedom: your computer screen essentially turns into a mobile command center for all the aspects of the internet/life you need to keep tabs (literally!) on all day long. But what do you do when that command center goes on the fritz? And you need to keep working to do things like eat and not get thrown out of your home?

When this happened to me, instead of digging one of the lugubriously slow old laptops out of the bag I am for some reason saving in my closet, I instead decided to try out the Brooklyn Public Library’s free computer work center at the Grand Army Plaza brand. The library, as you already know, is a fully loaded center for helping you get shit done, but would it work for the hectic, crushingly busy, bouncing-from-page-to-page life of a freelance writer? It can, if you do it correctly! Here’s some key tips for how to pull off a full work day on the public computers.  (more…)

08/29/16 3:59pm
2016 eagles lit prize landscape 1200px

The 2016 Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize Shortlists were announced today.

Brooklyn is probably second only to Manhattan when it comes to literary cachet — though you’ll find plenty who say Brooklyn has taken over the top spot in recent years. The borough is crawling with literary stars and wannabe authors who are clearly writing what they know. Brooklyn is so woven into the fabric of modern letters that almost everyone knows what you mean when you call something a “Brooklyn book”. Or do they? What makes a book très Brooklyn? Is it just using the borough as a backdrop? Is it the anxious internal ruminations of Ben Lerner’s characters or mysterious foreboding of Paul Auster’s Cobble Hill? Or is it the autobiographical Williamsburg novel à la Tropic of Capricorn and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

Today the Brooklyn Public Library announced the short list for the 2016 Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize, which takes on the challenge of answering that very question. Now in its second year, two prizes are awarded to the “most Brooklyn” fiction and nonfiction books recently released. The winners each get a $2,500 prize and bragging rights for being most in tune with the city’s most populous borough.

We asked the shortlist committee chairs, Krissa Corbett Cavouras (fiction) and Mark Daly (nonfiction) what they thought made the books on their list deserve this distinction. Both are Brooklyn Public Library librarians, both serious readers, both lovers of Brooklyn, and both well-qualified to know the essence of a Brooklyn book. The two committees Corbett Cavouras and Daly chaired were made up of Brooklyn librarians who volunteered for the task of choosing three books for each short list. They read all 13 books nominated by Brooklyn bookstores in their category and convened to debate which ones should move on to the final judging.

“Each of these books has something to offer, a new way of looking at the world, a new way of thinking about Brooklyn,” Daly said of the two long lists. Corbett Cavouras said “that in a couple of years [these lists] will be a mini collection of great books that speak to Brooklyn themes.”

The committees evaluated their books based on three criteria: whether the book is set in or about Brooklyn; whether the author a Brooklyn native or resident; and the most subjective: does it embody the “Brooklyn spirit?” None were absolute requirements, but Corbett Cavouras and Daly both found determining the Brooklyn spirit was the most important — and interesting — to consider. (more…)

05/19/16 9:46am
These ancient gates lead to a pretty sweet pile of modern resources. David Berkowitz / Flickr

These ancient gates lead to a pretty sweet pile of modern resources. David Berkowitz / Flickr

Movies and TV shows would have us believe that the library is nothing more than a boring place to get books and be shushed by angry librarians, but here in Brooklyn, our library system is the exception to the rule. The Brooklyn Public Library is essentially the Narnia of libraries, and if you look beyond the stacks of books, you’ll find a wide array of programs, classes, and resources that can help teach you to do some really cool things, or even help you achieve your dreams.

“The era of shushing at libraries is long gone,” added BPL spokesperson Madeline Kaye. “Libraries as institutions have moved well past the old transactional relationship which had patrons checking out books and reading them in a carrell or at home. Libraries now are home to immigration services, idNYC, bike the branches, art classes, jazz concerts, Pharrell even made an appearance at the Dweck Center this year. They’re cultural hubs that extend well beyond the stacks.”

Perhaps a young, savvy Brooklynite like yourself wasn’t aware of the mighty power that lay behind the doors of the Brooklyn Public Library? Well, let us help you out. Here are some cool things the library can help you do, and some equally cool people who did them. (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…)

01/22/16 10:21am
No more sitting around the Barnes and Noble forever. Via Flickr Lloyd Fuller.

No more sitting around the Barnes and Noble forever. Via Flickr Lloyd Fuller.

“You’ve got to read this story!” Your friend yells at you through the internet, only to send you a link that’s blocked by a paywall, leaving you forever wondering ugh will I ever get to know if Obama is going to close Guantanamo or what? As writers and journalist types, we’re required to tell you that you that subscribing to your favorite magazines is a good way to support, but we know you’ve go to make tough financial choices sometimes, and there’s just so much to read.

But now you have a way to read almost every magazine you’d want for free, from the New Yorker, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Adbusters, The National Review, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Sports Illustrated to Yachting Monthly, Primitive Archer Magazine and Australian Dogs & Pets. And it’s all through an app from the Brooklyn Public Library.  (more…)

01/20/16 4:32pm
Toni Morrison is coming to town and you better have your library card.

Toni Morrison is coming to town and you better have your library card.

Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate, literary hero and one of the only good things you were forced to read in high school, is coming to Brooklyn. She’s doing a discussion and reading from her new book God Help the Child, at the Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope on Feb. 2. If you want to buy tickets, too bad, because they’ve been sold out for awhile. But the Brooklyn Public Library, which is cosponsoring the event has a few FREE tickets to raffle off this week. Find out how to enter below.  (more…)

11/04/15 12:07pm
Can you make this go viral? You're hired! via Facebook

Can you make this go viral? You’re hired! via Facebook

Despite the fact that fall has allegedly started and the leaves are dying on the trees, you don’t have to look on your employment prospects with a similar kind of despair. Take heart, there’s all kinds of hiring going on in this crazy city, so please don’t sell your blood for exploitative debit cards or take any other rash actions. Just apply for one of the jobs we found you instead. (more…)

11/03/15 8:57am

You could be sitting between Mikey Heller and Colin Burgess, just like Steve Whalen, “Mr. Jokes.” via Steve Whalen

We’re now two days removed from the Mets not winning the World Series, and it still hurts, so maybe you still want to sit in a dark room by yourself. I understand. Still, who knows how long this November heat wave will last (and if it goes on too long it’s just gonna be disturbing and not fun) so get out there using the Brokelyn Events Calendar and these five best picks from it as your guide. (more…)