04/18/17 9:00am
bbqfilms

Photo via BBQ Films / Facebook

You know that acquaintance on Facebook, the person you don’t know too well, but their life is too interesting to ignore? Well for me, that person is Leah Taylor Dunbar. We met years ago when her husband and I worked together on Manson The Musical – yes, a musical comedy about Charles Manson that surprisingly never made it out of off-off-Broadway. Leah has, for the past few years, been posting photos of her involvement with an immersive cinema company called BBQ Films. After seeing her post photos from their latest Mean Girls event in Greenpoint, I decided it was time to ask Leah what this BBQ Film thing was all about.

Leah couldn’t wait to tell me about the company and invited me to her office at Flavorpill in Soho to discuss. “The production company started out as a casual rooftop cookout and film screening in Spanish Harlem,” she told me, “and developed into a pop-up cinema club and then to the fully experiential production company around today. Their goal is to use storytelling to create community and bring an element of surprise and excitement back to movie fans.” (more…)

04/13/17 3:21pm
Photo by Sam Howzit / Flickr

Photo by Sam Howzit / Flickr

Break-ups: they happen to us all, and it happens to our besties. So what are we (as good friends) supposed to do? Distract. Nothing really heals a broken heart like time. So while they are counting down the hours to happiness, let’s bring in the fun (with optimal spaces to cry openly in public when needed)! (more…)

10/04/16 12:51pm
Pack, pray, move: a Brokelyn guide to making your next apartment move (relatively) painless

I’m already exhausted looking at this via. Instagram

Bringing up the topic of moving usually elicits groans and horror stories from all. It’s stressful, nobody likes it and since Brooklyn has been decreed the “Most Unaffordable Place to Live in America,” you’re probably pushing your luck anyway. But if the apartment you had once fallen in love with is now mouse ridden, and your current landlord has been ignoring your calls, and you’re nowhere near any good bars to make this all worth it, then it’s time to be movin’ out.

For something that sucks so much, we all keep doing it. But it doesn’t have to be completely unbearable. Brokelyn here, ready to share some insightful wisdom, reminders of the little things, and tips and hook-ups so you don’t have to go through these trying times of pre-move anguish alone. We’ve all been there, and we’re ready to help you pack up and move on to bigger, better places— ideally with a working toilet.  (more…)

09/30/16 1:30pm

Papa Brokelyn and son aho’ how it’s done.

Shanah Tovah! The year 5777 is almost here, and Rosh Hashana — the Jewish new year, for the unfamiliar — marks the beginning of not only a new year but also an entire series of Jewish high holidays that give the “Chosen People” ample excuses to drink Manischevitz.

Since they can’t pass a plate around, most NYC synagogues pay their bills in part by charging non-members for High Holiday tickets — to the tune of $150-250 in NYC.

But paying for services is so 5776. If you don’t have the dough to davin, here’s our annual list of places where you can pray freely for free, whether your pleasure is reform, orthodox, or modern Grindr Shabbat-only. This year, Heaven’s gates open the evening of October 2 for Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur begins sundown of October 11. Note, this article first ran in 2009 and has been updated for 2016. (more…)

09/29/16 1:04pm
Get a good look at these brownstones, because you'll never own one. via josh c. jackson on Flickr

Get a good look at these brownstones, because you’ll never own one. via josh c. jackson on Flickr

Well, that settles that.

We already knew that way too much of our income was going to rent. Just last year, New York City came in as second-most expensive place to raise a family. But those statistics suddenly pale in comparison to Brooklyn’s latest crowning yearbook superlative, Most Unaffordable Place to Live in America.

Real estate data company ATTOM data solutions released their third 2016 quarterly report today, which ranked cities on a scale of unaffordability by comparing incomes with market rate housing and closing deal costs. Brooklyn won out by a landslide, with 123.5 percent of median income being the going rate for a house. Santa Cruz came in second, at 111.1 percent.

Marketwatch, who first reported ATTOM’s findings, put it in laymen’s terms: “A person earning the average salary in Brooklyn cannot afford the average home there — even if he or she could spend his entire salary (and then some) on housing.” Well, guess we’d better start commuting from Cleveland. [NOTE: This post has been updated.]  (more…)

02/24/16 3:25pm
NYC's first Alamo theater is finally opening in Downtown Brooklyn soon. Via Facebook.

NYC’s first Alamo theater is finally opening in Downtown Brooklyn soon. Via Facebook.

We’ve been waiting with bated breath for the opening of a Downtown Brooklyn location of Alamo Drafthouse, Austin’s über hip bar and cinema, since they first started the buzz about it some four years ago. And while there’s been no official opening date announced, it’s clear that Alamo’s 445 Gold St. address is due to cut the ribbon any minute now, because they’re hiring for all sorts of managerial positions! (Hint: you should take one of them.) Alamo, for those not in the know, is a food-and-drink theater in the vein of Nitehawk or the new Syndicated theater in Bushwick. But it’s famous for holding elaborate events, including a screening of Jaws on a lake or showing Snowpiercer on a train. No word on what elaborate events they’ll bring got Brooklyn, but if you get one of these jobs, you can maybe pitch some ideas. (more…)

12/03/15 2:02pm
brooklyn.movie.saorise.ronan.michael.zegan

Then: a picture of love. Now: A picture of a drunk guy leaning on his patient girlfriend

Brooklyn (the movie, based on the novel of the same name by Colm Toibin) is a stunning portrait of Brooklyn in the early 1950s and a romance that blossoms between a young Irish immigrant and her Italian suitor. The beauty of their budding relationship against the backdrop of the city is a coming of age tale for its characters and Brooklyn alike, struggling to find their way and navigate the modern world while maintaining tradition.

Although our protagonist, Eilis, certainly has her own romantic struggles and heart-wrenching decisions to make, dating in 1950s Brooklyn looks a hell of a lot better than dating in 2015. Dating in any decade has its downsides of course, but when I look at my personal experience in the 2000s and 2010s, compared to dating in the Brooklyn of the 1950s, I’m clearly dating in Brooklyn in the wrong era. I was supposed to be here cavorting among the men of a simpler time, but someone messed up and plopped me in this atrocity known as the 21st century, amidst ghosters and Tinder. Just look at all the ways that dating in 1950’s Brooklyn was way better than dating in 2015 Brooklyn (extremely mild spoilers follow): (more…)

10/06/14 12:31pm

car2go-brooklyn-smart-car-new-york-city

Sponsored By car2go.

car2go is always a pleasure to drive: just take it, drive it, park it. It's fun, saves money and helps the environment.

Created By BlankSlate

Brooklyn is going through something of a transportation renaissance. Remember the old days, when it was impossible to get a cab, and you had to call for a dicey, fake-pine-smelling livery car? Now there are bike lanes, green cabs, and, coming this month, car2go. Soon, when you need a car, you’ll just find one parked nearby, drive to your destination, and leave it there for the next person to use.

If that sounds like something you might want to try, make sure to register for car2go before the October 25 launch date: for a limited time, you can sign up for free and you’ll get 30 minutes of free driving. There’s no monthly fee with car2go — you just pay for the minutes you use. So this is a free chance to drive the eco-friendly, two-passenger Smart Fortwo around your favorite borough (and to see how easy it is to park a car that’s 35% smaller than average).

Check out car2go’s website for FAQs on signing up, driving, and parking. And don’t forget to sign up now while it’s still free (Promo code: BKLYN), and get 30 minutes of free driving!

10/01/14 12:00pm

car2go-smart-cars-brooklyn-new-york-city

Sponsored By car2go.

car2go is always a pleasure to drive: just take it, drive it, park it. It's fun, saves money and helps the environment.

Created By BlankSlate

Who wants to own a car around here? Between insurance, gas and parking, car ownership is just one giant money and time suck in what’s already a stressful city life. That being said, using a car can be helpful sometimes, so fortunately, finally, there’s an easy way to use a car without renting one: car2go. Like Citi Bike but with cars, all you do is find a nearby car, climb in, and drive it to your destination. Then you leave it there, ready for the next person to use.

car2go is coming to Brooklyn on October 25. And if you sign up now, for free, you’ll get 30 minutes of free driving.

With car2go, there’s no monthly fee. Once you’ve signed up, been accepted, and get your card, you pay only for the minutes you use. You see one of their cars on the street (or find it with their app), you just get out your card, grab it and go. When you’re done, you park it in any legal, non-metered parking space in your Brooklyn home area and walk away. Check it out!

You can probably imagine the times it might be handy to grab one of these adorable, easy-to-park cars and hit the road. There are those neighborhoods that are not directly connected to each other by subway, like Carroll Gardens and Prospect Heights. (Or Red Hook and… almost anywhere.) Take an impromptu trip to Coney Island. Get your cat to the vet in no time. The possibilities are endless.

At this point, you probably have a lot of questions. Check out car2go’s website for FAQs on signing up, driving, and parking. And don’t forget to sign up now while it’s still free (Promo code: BKLYN), and get 30 minutes of free driving!

06/02/14 9:13am
martin amis

Someone get this man a friend. via Facebook

The last two summers, Brokelyn has been your go-to source for news about Martin Amis in Brooklyn. And, once again, we have an update as to what’s up with Martin Amis in Brooklyn. According to the Post, he’s not getting out much:

British novelist Martin Amis relocated to trendy Brooklyn in 2011 — but unlike literary ex-pats like Salman Rushdie, he has not become a regular on the city social circuit.

“Not often. I’m happy at home,” Amis declares in a Q&A with Hugo Guinness in Man of the World magazine when asked if he regularly dines out. “Quite lonely, isn’t it?” wonders Guinness, a resident of the borough.

This has been you update on Martin Amis’ life in Brooklyn. Stay tuned for your 2015 update next summer.

Previously in “Martin Amis in Brooklyn”: Martin Amis lives here! (2012), Martin Amis hates hipsters! (2013)