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…)

05/20/16 2:03pm
The hot dog wars return! Nathan's and Feltman's renew rivalry with super cheap showdown May 28

How many hot dog wars will the next administration involve us in? Photo via Flickr user Angela Rutherford.

Coney Island is basically the equivalent to an Americanized Birthright for hot dogs (despite what Detroit may think). Though a little less kosher than we’d hope for, Coney Island is a historical motherland to the birth of our beloved franks, home to not only Feltman’s (the man, the legend, who started the frank craze in the United States), but to Nathan’s Famous since 1916.

On May 28, Nathan’s is celebrating their 100th anniversary by going old school and selling their famous weiners for the original 5 cents each! From 11am-2pm (and limited two per customer), you’ll be able to enjoy a piece of Brooklyn history (and get a fancy commemorative certificate) joining swarms and crowds of people looking to grab some weiners. Seems innocent enough, right? Patriotic even?

Sure, Nathan’s Famous is THEE hot dog hot spot on Coney Island and quite frank(ly) the planet, but let us not forget how Nathan Handwerker originally got his start: working for Feltman’s, who is widely considered the inventor of the hot dog. But did you know that Feltman’s is in the midst of a comeback? Steeplechase Beer Garden (a mere two blocks from Nathan’s) will be hosting a Feltman’s pop up selling their historic weenies for 10 cents each from 2-4pm on the same damn day of Nathan’s Famous Centennial. (more…)

05/12/16 9:45am
Personally, I think American is trying too hard. Via Facebook.

Personally, I think American is trying too hard. Via Facebook.

The warm weather finally hitting us brings with it thoughts of Coney Island and hot dogs. But for me, I’m not talking about the ones in Brooklyn. You see, for me, you can take the girl out of Michigan, but I still got a lot of Midwest quirk when it comes to adapting to the BK lifestyle. My hand still makes the perfect map of Michicgan to show people where my hometown is. Once at a Checker’s, I accidentally referred to wanting a Coke as “pop” without realizing it and was given Pip’s because that’s what the employee thought I meant. Prepping for brunch at work, I misspoke referring to the bodega across the street as a “party store” and was met with confusion and questions from my coworkers from what exactly makes it a “party.” I’m constantly craving Detroit Made BBQ Better Made Potato Chips, Faygo Red Pop and Ghettoblaster from Motor City Brewery, I have strong opinions on Motown and a love/hate relationship with “Don’t Stop Believing,” and though my love for Zetterberg’s beard is eternal while love for sports limited, I lose interest in the NHL season soon as the Red Wings are out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But what I’ve been finding myself pining for insistently lately (mostly when drunk) are Coney Dogs from D1 (Detroit One) Coney Island in Detroit. That’s right, both hot dogs and diners where they serve the hot dogs are called “Coney Islands” in Detroit.  (more…)

05/06/16 3:00pm
Skaff stands for Coney.

Skaff stands for Coney.

As The Brooklyn Museum was kind enough to remind us earlier this year, no place in Brooklyn remains as mystical as Coney Island. Home of the Cyclone, 800 of the best summer jobs, our beloved Freak Bar and, more recently, Times Square mascots, Coney Island imbues true meaning into that saying about “letting your freak flag fly.” Heck, they’re the authority on the subject.

Recently, genderqueer BK rapper Uncle Meg (aka Meg Skaff of Hand Job Academy) took up with some of Coney Island’s most iconic freaks to film a music video for her new song, “Big Daddy Margaret Rose.” The video used the set of Eric Rivas’ Vamp Bikers Tres in Bushwick, but its heart was obviously in the People’s Playground: Skaff’s video features everyone from the Coney sideshow barker to the strait jacket escape artist to that woman who impossibly survives having a bed of nails pressed into her chest multiple times a day. See for yourself below; it’s pretty excellent.

We caught up with Uncle Meg to ask her just what made her want to shoot the freaks for this video, and what “Big Daddy Margaret Rose” says about a city that feels less and less “freaky” every day. (more…)

via flickr user EITico68

Ride, ride, ride that Coney. via flickr user EITico68

Ever wanted to run away to the circus when you were a kid? Here in New York, it’s only a train ride away. And you can actually get paid to do it.

Coney Island businesses are currently hiring for their summer season, and those include some of your favorite games, rides and restaurants on the People’s Playground: Luna Park needs game operators, Nathan’s Famous needs hot dog hawkers, Deno’s Wonder Wheel needs that joker who asks you if you want “swinging” or “non-swinging.” The list goes on, and there’s certainly something for everyone.

Picture it: you’ll get to spend your summer daze on one of the best beaches (personality dependent) in the borough, ride some rides for free, sun yourself on the beach during your breaks and listen to a pretty decent music lineup wafting over from Coney Island Amphitheater (a lineup we initially feared would just be terrible). Not to mention that given the current state of Brooklyn dating, the Coney Boardwalk might just be your best bet for finding this year’s summer fling.  (more…)

03/24/16 3:45pm
DJ REsy ready to rock the chocolate factory (#3)

DJ REsy ready to rock the chocolate factory (#3)

1. Check out awesome printed artworks at Bed-Stuy apartment gallery Gesamtkunst Werkshop’s Spring Flat File Event, with pieces on sale from $5 to $500. (Friday & Saturday, Gesamtkunst Werkshop, FREE)

2. Protect your neck at standup show Whiplash, featuring a killer lineup including Jon Glaser, Jermaine Fowler, Janeane Garofalo, and Aparna Nancherla. (Friday, Bell House, $10)

3. Get your groove on in a very sweet place at Junxion and the Chocolate Factory, with yummy tunes from DJ REsy, Davidson Ospina, MAMBISA, and 2melo. (Friday, Fine & Raw, $22.09) (more…)

03/23/16 11:00am
acidpolly / flickr

We’re going to be in line. Are you? via acidpolly / Flickr

Ever since the first hint of winter chill breezed past us late last fall, we’ve been gearing up for Summer 2016. You know this already because you’ve seen us trying to convince you that it’s summer even when it’s not. And if there’s one thing we can say for certain, it’s that a real Brooklyn summer always starts on Coney Island. Perhaps you too have been waiting all year for the day when you could once again survey your Brooklyn kingdom from atop a swinging car on Deno’s Wonder Wheel.

Well saints be praised, that day has finally come.

It’s time for the 31st Annual Blessing of the Rides at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, which also marks the official opening of Coney Island’s amusement parks and attractions for the whole summer season. From this Sunday (March 20) [UPDATE: Opening day was postponed due to the weather; now it’s on Saturday, March 26] on, you can ride the Cyclone, frolic along the boardwalk and rot your teeth on candy apples, soaking in the promise of another Indian summer that this joyous occasion brings. Too much? Nah, we don’t think so. The Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone are giving out free rides to the first customers too! (more…)

03/14/16 2:00pm
There's a long tradition of killing Republicans. But why? Via history.com

There’s a long tradition of killing Republicans. But why? Via history.com

This 2016 election is coming down hard, and shows no signs of lightening up. Where the Democrats’ cultural conversation remains even-handed in the debate on a viable presidency between Clinton or Sanders (even if Sanders has the official NYC comedy vote), the Republican arena is largely consumed by the ever-increasing absurdity of its forerunning candidate, Donald Trump. We’re not going to spend any words on that guy, though you should see how he’s making the news lately. Instead, we’re going to tell you about a play that might shed some light on why we all hate him so much.

Killing Republicans is a new rock opera musical coming to Coney Island in April courtesy of Dick Zigun, the neighborhood’s unofficial (but more or less democratically chosen) mayor. The show marks Zigun’s long-rumored return to the theatre after years of focusing energies on his neighborhood’s revival through Coney Island USA (the not-for-profit arts organization that produces The Mermaid Parade, among other things). And the show hasn’t even opened yet, but it’s already summoned a tweetstorm of vitriolic responses and inspired pundit controversy online.

What’s all the fuss about? Brokelyn wanted to know, too, so we talked to Zigun about his fascination with the Republican party’s notoriety and got the skinny on this new musical. You may not find any explicit political endorsements for 2016 in Killing Republicans, but here’s Zigun’s official stance on Republicans: “You don’t have to marry one, but you really shouldn’t shoot them.” (more…)

02/29/16 8:33am
Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 12.51.01 AM

Someone get Mr. Horvath on PrEP.

We’re back in Brooklyn for this week’s episode of Guys, we mean, Girls. Last night’s episode, “Good Man,” put the focus on the men. Finally, a show that gives a voice to white men. Adam wants love, Mr. Horvath wants sex and Ray wants lids. Fran probably doesn’t want anything except for like an easy to maintain haircut and probably a pair of Toms.

Ray confronted the new coffeeshop across the street over their refusal to give their customers lids, but ends up embarrassing himself. Fran’s psycho roommate forces him to move in with Hannah probably too soon. Hannah’s dad is in town to bareback some stranger he meets on the Internet, but he makes the rookie mistake to leave his wallet behind. He calls Hannah in a panic to retrieve his lost wallet. When she learns her dad didn’t use protection, she freaks and calls Elijah. Of course, Elijah isn’t excited to get involved in all that noob drama, so he ditches them for a nearby bar where he’s hit on by a handsome local newscaster (played by the great Corey Stoll).

Oh, also, Jessa and Adam keep being gross. (more…)

02/17/16 6:07pm
Boardie jobs mean you'll never be board. Via NYC & Company.

Boardie jobs mean you’ll never be board. Via NYC & Company.

Want a back pocket-full of Wet Hot American Summer-ish stories to regale your friends with? Well, here’s your chance, gang. Replace Camp Firewood with the hot little ticket that is Coney Island, and you’ve got yourself a summer job à la Adventureland—minus the awkwardness that is Kristen Stewart’s and Jesse Eisenberg’s forced on-screen chemistry, and plus all the hot dogs.

Today and tomorrow, you can check out a huge job fair with more than 500 spots looking to be filled: candidates will be screened for positions as ride operators, game operators and more at Luna Park, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, (run, don’t walk) Nathan’s Famous and El Dorado Auto Skooter. Living out your boardie dreams is always a good time, but this year, with the hot to trot amphitheater—a 5,000-seat concert, comedy, and “other” venue—opening in July, the good times will definitely be wild river flowin’. (more…)