04/12/17 11:32am
01-The-Islands-Caribbean-Brooklyn-Restaurant

Photo via MightySweet.com

In a tiny restaurant with an impossibly small kitchen, two business owners are closing up for the night. The Islands, a neighborhood Caribbean restaurant near the intersection of Washington Ave. and Eastern Parkway, has become a staple of a rapidly changing section of Brooklyn and, in some ways, a reflection of Washington Ave. Yesterday, the doors closed on the famous location to make room for a new condominium. The owners, Marilyn Reid and Shawn Leitchford, plan to reopen a much larger location a few blocks down Washington.

“This street right here is the end of Crown Heights and where Prospect Heights begins. Washington is unlike any other street in the neighborhood.” Marilyn says, when asked about why they stayed on the same street when opening the new location.

For 16 years, Marilyn and Shawn have been cooking sumptuous Jamaican dinners in a restaurant only 220 square feet in total, and that includes a dining area upstairs which seats about 20. During past summers the front have doors remained open and a few tables were placed outside for additional space. The restaurants’ tiny size has, in part, lent to its word of mouth popularity, a factor which helped keep the doors of the establishment open for nearly two decades. I tell Marilyn that when I moved to the neighborhood several years ago The Islands was often listed as one of the primary highlights right behind Prospect Park. (more…)

03/14/17 11:44am
Bushwick, $825/month. Someone lost their security deposit, but at least they had fun

Bushwick, $825/month. Someone lost their security deposit, but at least they had fun

Brooklyn’s rental market is way scarier than the blizzard: we’d deal with Stella twice a week every week if we could only rent in Park Slope for under $1,000 a month. Alas, times are tight, but check out these picks we found, and don’t forget to try out Brownstoner’s listing service before you go sloughing through Craigslist. (more…)

02/06/17 3:15pm
Date night on a budget: A comprehensive list of Brooklyn's best BYOB restaurants

Enjoy the shinobi ramen at Shinobi Ramen with your own hand-selected booze. via Facebook

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could go out to dinner and be certain that your favorite alcoholic beverages were available, for around $3 per drink? Have we got news for you: Brooklyn has some awesome BYOB restaurants, so going out to eat and drinking cheap doesn’t have to exist only in your dreams.

A BYOB restaurant is a beautiful, cost-effective option often overlooked in a city where you’re constantly stuck $12 for something you already have in your fridge and could’ve poured into your own mason jar. We’re obviously not taking any kind of anti-bar stance here, but if you have a few odd beers at your apartment and want to get rid of them, why not take them out for a night on the town at at one of Brooklyn’s best BYOB restaurants? (more…)

04/27/16 5:27pm
Dance the dance of gentrification. Via LVM Group.

Dance the dance of gentrification. Via LVM Group.

There is nothing inherently wrong with steampunk on its face, other than how ridiculously loud a crowd of steampunks can get outside the Way Station every single goddamn night of the week. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with magicians or whiskey tastings either, nor even anything inherently wrong with condos, to be honest (they’re just little houses stacked on top of each other, an efficient way to live, and efficient living is one of the reasons New York is great). But throw all these things together in a cauldron of real estate and they start to emit an odor that smells a lot like gentrification.

This is what happened in Crown Heights last week, at a party celebrating “condo conversion:” aka turning a pre-war apartment rental building into much less affordable condos starting at half a million dollars. The party “kicked off with a splash at a Steampunk/Vaudeville-themed launch party,” according to a press release. If a real estate agent is trying to get you to buy their property by throwing you a steampunk party, there’s a good chance you might be a gentrifier. [UPDATE: We talked to the pair in the photo above about why they took the gig; read that interview here]. (more…)

02/12/16 3:00pm
It's a supermarket sweep!

It’s a supermarket sweep!

I like supermarkets. I really do. They often make their way into my dating life, and I’ve been asked more than once, “For our next few dates, can we go someplace that isn’t a supermarket?” It’s not like I want to go to every Key Foods or Met Food in the borough. And It’s not like I’m trying to map out every humdrum faux-organic-natural-food market full of overpriced kale and coconut smoothie supplements. I just really like going to supermarkets.

And I especially like going to ethnic ones. Often, I’ll try and find a restaurant nearby so that I can eat some ethnic food and then hunt down ingredients from that dish. I’ll get a little culture. I’ll ask some questions. Maybe I’ll find something questionable, like the place that sells pig uterus. Or the spot that has almost-expired dairy products for 50 percent off.

Either way, I’ve been to a lot of spots, and racked up a repertoire of gems that I’m ready to share with the world. So, here they are: the best ethnic supermarkets worth the train ride, and then some. (more…)

01/05/16 9:15am
It's hotter than you know. Photo by Daniel Lahr, via LiveScience

It’s hotter than you know. Photo by Daniel Lahr, via LiveScience

It’s Tuesday, the fifth day of the year, and we’re finally leaving things like 2015’s extended summer and Charlotte Flair being a face and staying home and being boring behind. The easiest way to avoid that last one is to look at the Brokelyn Events Calendar, but especially these awesome things I found on it, which are not just the best picks from the events calendar but the best picks for how to spend your night in general. (more…)

12/23/15 9:12am
The year is so far gone, but you've got one last chance for a Drake party. Illustration by Oli Holmes, via Complex

The year is so far gone, but you’ve got one last chance for a Drake party. Illustration by Oli Holmes, via Complex

Okay guys, here we go, Christmas Eve Eve, the last full day of the week and it’s only Wednesday. Get through this one and you’re pretty much home free until next week. Unless of course your situation in life requires that you work on Christmas or being around your family feels like a job. I can’t help you in either case there, but when I can do is look at the Brokelyn Events Calendar and find you some fun stuff to do tonight, whether this is the end of your week or just another day. (more…)

12/22/15 11:59am
Say goodbye to 2015 in style at any of these great parties. via Facebook

Say goodbye to 2015 in style at any of these great parties. via Facebook

There are only a few more days of 2015 left! Whether you are filled with hope, melancholy or dread for the upcoming year, don’t let the old one go out with a whimper. Even if you didn’t get invited to any killer house parties this year, you don’t have to schlep into Manhattan to find an awesome party. From booze to burlesque and food to fireworks, there are plenty of Brooklyn New Year’s Eve events and activities in every neighborhood to fit any-sized budget. (more…)

12/14/15 8:44am
You could give Negin Farsad a hug, but she'd probably rather you just laugh at her jokes tonight. via Facebook

You could give Negin Farsad a hug, but she’d probably rather you just laugh at her jokes tonight. via Facebook

Welcome to another warm spring Monday. The blossoms are blossoming, the grass is getting green and life is returning to a planet devastated by winter. Hmm, what’s that? It’s December? And it’s 60 degrees again? And winter temperatures haven’t happened here, much less fall ones? Well, rather than worry about that, best to worry about making plans in the here and now using some cool stuff from the Brokelyn Events Calendar. We can all worry about the consequences of a spookily warm late fall and early winter some other time. (more…)

12/07/15 8:48am
muppet christmas

No matter how fun your family is, their Christmas is probably more fun

It’s Monday and you’re feeling bad. I get it, it’s normal. On the other hand, think about this: the Brokelyn/skint No Office party is next week, and then the week after that is when the annual “Fuck off from everything because Christmas is this week” begins and then after that it’s New Year’s Eve, the best day of the year. Take the long view, but also take the short view, today, right now, because there’s great stuff to do on the Brokelyn Events Calendar. (more…)