08/11/16 10:02am

Our common experience of furniture as New Yorkers usually comes in two forms: 1) the kind you find on the street and hope beyond hope that it isn’t a Trojan Horse of bed bugs lying in wait to seize your apartment; or 2) the kind you get from Ikea, because it’s cheap and easy and they have those meatballs at the store and maybe if your relationship can’t survive a trip through the store it wasn’t destined to last anyway. The second one can either lead to a fun challenge if you like snapping together the adult LEGO set that is Ikea furniture, or can cause lose your mind and start stabbing things with an allen wrench while cursing in Swedish about all the goddamn pieces not fitting together.

Now imagine the fun/horror of trying to assemble that furniture while tripping your face off. That’s the premise of the new web series Hikea created by two Brooklyn-based filmmakers. The show gives willing participants hallucinogens, hands them a box of Ikea furniture to assemble and let’s them have at it. As you can imagine, it takes a lot longer than usual.

“It’s a struggle we all know,” co-creator Alex Taylor told Bushwick Daily. “And many people have probably attempted it under some mild influences like beer or weed. So it seemed naturally relatable to amplify the degree of difficulty with something a little stronger.”

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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…)

02/19/16 4:12pm
The man makes magic happen. Photo by Luka Fontana

The man makes magic happen. Photo by Luka Fontana

Tyler Fischer is a troublemaker. You might recognize this New Haven native from his subway sign parodies, or the recently-gone-viral “hidden camera” video in which Fischer pretends to be a Swedish couples’ therapist at the Red Hook IKEA, asking customers to assess the print art as though it were Rorschach blots and cutting deals on his rates in swedish meatball units. He jokes with one shopping couple, “A relationship is like IKEA: it takes forever to build, and then it falls apart in nine weeks.”

We’re all in favor of a good joke. And we’re especially fond of people who take jokes to their most absurd extremes, because life is one big joke anyway, so you may as well take the humor in it seriously. So we caught up with Fischer to ask him about his penchant for mischief, his quirky sense of humor and how he’s eked out a life as the kind of parody artist that Nathan For You’s host Nathan Fielder so desperately endeavored to be.

“I was definitely the class clown,” said Fischer, 28, who now lives in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. “I hated school, I hated rules, and I hated authority. I’ve always been pulling pranks, imitating people, and going to extreme lengths for a laugh.”
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02/05/16 10:23am
2017 .. what a time it will be to be alive.

2017 .. what a time it will be to be alive.

It’s been a strange and often disturbing few years in the Brooklyn food scene. We’ve seen Nutelasagna, cricket bitters, chorizo ice cream and pig-foot pancakes and, frankly, things are just gonna keep getting weirder.

While other publications speculate about this year, we here at Brokelyn are already getting a head start on 2017. After months of research, crystal-gazing and blind-guessing, our in-house R&D team/time scientists bring you our 10 best predictions for what you’ll be eating in 2017 (we hope you like horse).  (more…)

03/04/15 10:55am
kitchen equipment

A Myland knife, solid tongs and an excellent pan. Photo by William Widmaier

When it comes to kitchen basics, not everyone has the basics. Dollar store can openers, discount store knife sets, and that pair of tongs that digs into your hands but can hardly hold a drumstick — they’re all keeping you down. Stop buying cheap shit just because it’s cheap. If there’s a knife set with 7 knives in it for $25, there’s a reason why, and it’s because those knives are absolute crap. Same goes for spatulas, frying pan sets, cookie sheets and all manner of different kitchen utensils that you’re currently using as paperweights. If you’re going to buy something for your kitchen, you have to make sure it’s going to be quality. That doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. It just means you have to choose carefully.

Some things are worth spending an extra five or ten dollars on. It makes a difference. I’m not saying you need to go out and replace all the terrible equipment you have this moment, but here’s how to go item-by-item and upgrade your kitchen equipment until you’ve got stuff that will last and that works for just $78.  (more…)

11/10/14 4:10pm
red hook ikea

It’s hard out there on the Ikea streets. via Flickr user Ham Hock

A long time ago, we told you about the best ways to get your malms ‘n’ things back from the Red Hook Ikea. It was a useful article, but in keeping with the times, we’ll suggest you also keep your head on a swivel there, or show up heavily armed, because according to DNA Info, crime is on the rise at Ikea. With any luck, things will calm down before the Swedish government sends a crack team of super soldat to restore order to the furniture store. (more…)

06/04/14 12:00pm

Malm Dresser Azure

Attention Ikea shoppers: so great that you finally got those birch veneer shelves! What a bummer everyone else has them too! Want to pretend your particle board composite storage is something way more quirky and interesting? With Panyl, the grooviest home innovation since clap lights, your Malm dresser doesn’t have to be meh anymore — using giant stickers you can turn it any color you like. Or chevron. Or striped. Or polka dotted. (Here’s a whole mess of Panyl projects for inspiration.) Just for being a Brokelyn subscriber, you can win $50 worth of Panyl to help make your dresser look Odda dis world. Plus Brokelyn readers get a 10 percent discount all month long by entering Brokelyn at checkout. (more…)

05/12/14 11:00am
Put down that sledgehammer and try these upgrades instead.

Put down that sledgehammer and try these upgrades instead.

Moving into a new place is exciting. There’s a new location, new view, and new take-out restaurants for you to order from. But it can also be disheartening. I mean, I’ve wanted to hang up my Casablanca poster in every apartment I’ve moved into, but had to resort to taping it up (out of frame) so I wouldn’t get charged for the holes in the wall. I’ve also learned to buy dark, heavy furniture to give the room some personality to the white walls on white carpet. So while I have lots of ideas on how to spruce up  boring spaces, most leases put severe kink in those plans. Here are four tactics I’ve used that allow you to make your apartment shine, without worrying that your security deposit money will shrivel up: (more…)

02/14/14 1:51pm
Man, she did not like that valentine.

Man, she did not like that valentine.

As we learned yesterday, relationships crash and burn more often than they work out. If you’re currently unsatisfied and thinking of making a change in your life, you should at least be able to enjoy yourself after ending it with your formerly loved one. Or at least make it memorable for the both of you. And since we’re always here to serve, we’ve rounded up some of the best places for you to end your relationship. Happy Valentine’s Day! (more…)

07/10/13 4:20pm
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Avoid surreptitiously putting your unwrapped mattress far from your apartment thanks to IKEA. via Flickr user splorp

New mattress: a wonderful thing! With the only downside being that you need to do something with the old mattress. You could try giving it away on Craigslist, except people are getting wise to getting a mattress that way not being a great idea. If you don’t want to wrap it and drag it down the stairs yourself, good news: Ikea will take your mattress for you if you buy a new one from them. (more…)