03/17/17 10:58am

Hark, castle: wutchu doin in the middle of Atlantic Ave.? Photo by Sam Weiss / Brokelyn

Welcome to the Brokelyn Files where our resident unlicensed P.I. Sam Weiss answers the local questions you never thought to ask. Got a lead on a Brooklyn mystery? Write us in the comments below.

If you’ve ever found yourself wandering through Brooklyn, fed up with the subway and terrified of the bus system, you may well have encountered a massive, castle-like building taking up an entire block of precious New York City real estate and, often, seemingly empty. No, there wasn’t a secret Brooklyn monarchy you didn’t know about, that building and several others across the borough are armories, left over from the 19th and early-20th centuries. This week, the Brokelyn Files (having previously reported on the mysterious, all-Hasidic B-110 bus) investigates Brooklyn’s proliferation of former armory buildings: Why were they built, why do we have so many and for what are they being used now? (more…)

03/02/17 2:02pm
The B-110, MTA's white whale, in Borough Park - via Wikimedia

The B-110, MTA’s white whale, in Borough Park. Photo via Wikimedia

Have you ever noticed a 1970’s-era city bus cruising through Brooklyn carrying exclusively Hasidic passengers? That’s the B-110 bus, the MTA’s white whale and the subject of the inaugural edition of The Brokelyn Files, our new series where we investigate local mysteries. This week’s mystery: What’s the deal with the most mysterious bus line in the MTA’s fleet, the B-110? (more…)

02/13/15 3:00pm
green-wood cemetery clown


You might remember that last year brought us joy in the form of captivating Brooklyn-based mysteries. They made us ask questions related to the security of our landmarks and whether living in a building with a garbage chute was really worth the convenience after all. A couple of them even made us consider the paranormal, if it weren’t so obvious that all of them were some lousy art thing. There were the white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Prospect Park Brooklyn Nets skeleton and, of course, the clown just hanging out in Green-Wood Cemetery last summer.

Sometimes mysteries remain unsolved, eventually becoming local lore and capturing the imaginations of generations to come. But sometimes, you just have to consider Occam’s Razor. No, it wasn’t the incorporeal spirit of a dead clown haunting the grounds he would no longer ever get to leave, because come on. It was some jerk who was performing a piece of what he really wants us to call “art.” (more…)

09/02/14 10:51am
green-wood cemetery clown

Yeah wait…what was the deal with this feaking clown?

We here at Brokelyn are sadly aware that Summer ’14 ended in spirit yesterday, on Labor Day. This year’s summer was known for two things: the temperate weather which we’re sure we’ll pay for with a winter hellscape, and the mysteries surrounding a group of events which have captivated us all of Brooklyn, probably.

The biggest mystery Brooklyn was scratching its head over this summer was the pair of white flags sitting atop the Brooklyn Bridge, put there in place of the American flags that adorned the top of one of the most beautiful structures in America. We’re not fans of freelance decoration of the Brooklyn Bridge in general here, but we have to admit, there was something sort of interesting about those flags. Who put them there, and why? Random jokes on Twitter claiming responsibility for the flags were also met with an outsized reaction by the authorities who were clearly frustrated with the lack of information they were able to unearth themselves. We had a bonafide caper on our hands.

Then we found out some German artists did it, and after we got over our relief that there wasn’t some sinister reason for the flags being put there, we settled in with the disappointing fact that it was some silly art thing. Anyway, we’re not getting burned by a mystery’s uninteresting resolution again. We already saw the last season of LOST. But hey, that was only one of the many mysteries swirling around our fair borough. We still have others, and we want answers. Interesting answers. (more…)

08/12/14 3:49pm
brooklyn bridge white flag

Mein Gott, it was ze Germans all along. via Mark Weprin’s Twitter

Hey, everyone remembers the Brooklyn Bridge white flags, right? We hope you do, it was only the biggest story of the summer for five minutes until we all moved on to people tying their garbage to the bridge. The question of who done it has been a great parlor game, with everyone from jokey twitter accounts to stoned activists taking responsibility, but the New York Times talked to a couple German artists who claimed responsibility. The artists also gave with some actual proof, a video taken from the top of the bridge that shows the white flag proudly flapping in the breeze. We shoulda known it was ze Germans. (more…)

07/22/14 11:00am
Good idea, Brooklyn Bridge. via Mark Weprin's Twitter

Good idea, Brooklyn Bridge. via Mark Weprin’s Twitter

Move over, brown goo in Gowanus, New York City has a new mystery to be collectively baffled by: Why has the American flag that proudly waves on top of the Brooklyn Bridge been replaced by the white flag of surrender? City Council member Mark Weprin spotted the flag and began asking questions this morning, and according to DNA Info, police are baffled and are looking at surveillance footage to see who could have pulled this off. Our theory? The Brooklyn Bridge, after standing tall for 131 years, is finally throwing in the towel. (more…)