09/15/15 12:24pm
This adorable photo is actually part of the Self Portrait Project, a unique photobooth at Passenger Bar. via Facebook

Aubert, showing off the Self Portrait Project photobooth at Passenger Bar

For some of us, the start of the academic year means trading in towels for textbooks, and happy hour cocktails for by-the-hour class schedules. For others, this time of year is just an excuse to take advantage of the deals at Staples. But whatever our respective Septembers hangup, we can all agree on one thing: weekends. Yes, those glorious two days where you have full license to ignore emails, laze around the house, and eat meals at odd hours year-round.

And we’re here to help the cause. It’s time for another installment of Perfect Summer Sundays, the Brokelyn profile series in which we bring you a local personality from the borough who shares how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. This week, we’re talking to Melissa Aubert, a Jill-of-all-trades in Williamsburg.

In addition to owning the popular Passenger Bar, Aubert also runs a music management company, and does licensing music for film & TV with Playup Music. But her bar is her real crowning achievement. “I’ve worked in the service industry since I was 14. I always wanted to open a bar, as far back as I could remember. I’ve had so many themes and ideas over the years! I settled on this one for Passenger, but I want to open another one.” (more…)

08/25/15 12:38pm
Her smile's contagious. via website

Her smile sure is contagious.

Summer is waning, the daylight hours are getting shorter, but a good lazy Sunday is timeless. In that spirit, here’s another installment of Perfect Summer Sundays, the profile series in which we bring you a local personality from the borough who shares how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Gone are the empty brags of having “been to Bushwick,” or the misguided attempts to hang out where all the locals do. This way, you can get a sense of the neighborhood from someone who actually lives there, and then try it yourself!

This week, we’re headed to Kensington with Colleen A. F. Venable, author and designer of graphic novels for all ages. Today, Venable sits down with Brokelyn to talk shop about why she loves living in a relatively un-yuppiefied area south of Prospect Park, even though it means walking a mile or so to get to her destination spots. “Friends don’t understand why I love Kensington,” Venable tells us. “They say it’s ‘too quiet.’ All houses, barely any bars or stores, and it’s a long train ride from the city. But in my mind, Kensington’s a heart with real people! Nobody’s fake. It also helps that my rent is 1/3 the price of a trendy neighborhood.” (more…)

08/18/15 10:51am
Her name was Lola (and it still is)

Her name was Lola (and it still is). Photo by Andrea Chu

Holy smokes, brokesters, it’s already the second day of the week! Which also means that only four days stand in between you and this coming Sunday. And when Sunday comes around, you’re going to know exactly what to do, because you’ll have read this latest installment of our local-savvy neighborhood walking tours, known as Perfect Summer Sundays. Brokelyn brings you a local personality from the borough who shares how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you try it! Gone are the empty brags of having “been to Bushwick,” or the misguided attempts to hang out where the locals do. This way, you get a taste of what the neighborhood’s all about from someone who actually lives there, and you can leave satisfied.

This week, we’re bringing you back down to South Brooklyn for a taste of Coney Island with Lola Star, the face of Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Disco at Lakeside in Prospect Park (where you can find us hanging with her on August 28 as we take over the Splashpad for a wet and wild hair metal party). Star is everyone’s disco dream—a living, breathing, spinning entrepreneur whose roller rink has expanded into something of an empire. This week, Star talks to us about the magic of the People’s Playground, Coney Island.  “As soon as you set foot onto the sandy shores, it’s all magic and inspiration. It really will capture your soul. No matter what the adventure in Coney Island, it’s sure to liberate you from whatever rut life has gotten you into.” (more…)

08/11/15 10:46am
Shannon holds court at Glady's. Photo by Liz Clayman

Shannon holds court at Glady’s. Photo by Liz Clayman

Can you believe it, brokesters? It’s already the middle of August, and that also means you’ve already had plenty of Sundays to wile away with neighborhood recommendations from Bushwick brewers, Prospect Lefferts and Gowanus pie potentates, the future old-timers of Sheepshead Bay, Bed-Stuy coffee mongers, and Fort Greene comedians alike. It’s not over yet, we’re just letting you know that if you haven’t yet gotten to try out any of our perfect summer Sundays, you’ve only got a handful of Sundays left in the season to do so!

With that said, we’ll get right to it with a latter-day saint of Crown Heights, Shannon Mustipher. With the help of her beverage savvy, Glady’s (788 Franklin Avenue) has become a neighborhood staple, nailing a combination of tiki kitsch and Caribbean authenticity. Mustipher’s business is booming, but for her, Crown Heights has always been about the people and the scenery. “Folks from the islands, new transplants from all walks of life – we all peacefully coexist. Then there’s the architecture, the greenery…I just love walking around and taking it all in.” (more…)

08/04/15 11:08am
Allison Stuart, on one of her rare days spent away from the coffee shop.

Allison Stuart, on one of her rare days spent away from the coffee shop.

The air is cool and the sun is more forgiving, but we’re still in the heart of summertime. And what better way to soak in the season, than with our Perfect Summer Sundays series? Here’s how it works: we bring you a local personality from the borough who shares how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you get to try it on for size! Tourists, too. Gone are the empty brags of having “been to Bushwick,” or the misguided attempts to hang out where the locals do. This way, you get a taste of what the neighborhood’s all about from someone who actually lives there, and you can leave satisfied.

This week, we’re hanging out in Bed-Stuy with Allison Stuart, owner of Bedford Hill Coffee Bar. Since 2010, Bedford Hill has been shaking up the coffee scene at the border of Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant by serving up a taste of the midwest with Milwaukee, WI’s own Anodyne Coffee. Affectionately termed a “cozy sinkhole” by Stuart herself, BHCB is a neighborhood haunt for everyone within a half-mile radius. Some trek even farther to get a taste of the shop’s infamous egg sandwich. Today, Stuart tells us all about her Bed-Stuy bliss on a Sunday.  (more…)

07/28/15 1:13pm
Enjoying Gowanus isn't a pie in the sky idea if Emily Elsen is guiding you through it. (Note: Miss Rosa isn't always there) via Instagram

Enjoying Gowanus isn’t a pie in the sky idea if Emily Elsen is guiding you through it. (Note: Miss Rosa isn’t always there) via Instagram

It’s Tuesday all over again, and you know what that means, Brokesters? Heck yes, it’s another edition of our Perfect Summer Sundays series. Remember? First, we bring you a local personality from the borough who shares how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you get to try it on for size! Tourists, too. Gone are the empty brags of having “been to Bushwick,” or the misguided attempts to hang out where the locals do. This way, you get a taste of what the neighborhood’s all about from someone who actually lives there, and you can leave satisfied.

So today, we’re headed into Gowanus with none other than Emily Elsen. Along with her sister Melissa, Elsen co-founded Four & Twenty Blackbirds, the famed pie shop and subject of Whoopi Goldberg‘s acclamation. Since 2010, the shop has been serving up lovingly handmade fruit and custard pies with their signature all-butter crust. The sisters, in turn, have become tastemakers of the borough, consistently featured in food and lifestyle magazines for their perspectives on artisanal trade. Emily Elsen also helped found the Gowanus Studio Space, a non-profit organization that offers subsidized rates on workspace for artists.   (more…)

07/21/15 10:27am
Alt-humor incarnate, in Fort Greene. Photo by Eric Michael Pearson

Alt-humor incarnate: Jo Firestone. Photo by Eric Michael Pearson

July’s almost over, but summer’s in full swing with another installment of Brokelyn’s very own Perfect Summer Sundays. Here’s how it works: each week, we bring you a local personality from the borough. They tell you how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you try it on for size. Tourists, too! Gone are the empty brags of having “been to Bushwick,” or the misguided attempts to hang out where the locals do. This way, you get a taste of what the neighborhood’s all about from someone who actually lives there, and you can leave satisfied.

This week we’re taking you to Fort Greene with a household name in the Brooklyn comedy scene, Jo Firestone. Jo creates and hosts some of the borough’s quirkiest nightly entertainment: pun competitions, drunk debates, live-dubbed sitcoms… you name it, the self-proclaimed “goat-woman” has probably made it. Today, Firestone rattles off an exhaustive list (more…)

07/14/15 12:44pm
Carlino with the family paddle

Carlino’s all business at the pizzeria

Happy #NewHorizons, brokesters. Now that you can see Pluto, you may as well expand your horizons here in the borough, too, by checking out Sheepshead Bay. That’s right! It’s time for the latest edition of Perfect Summer Sundays, Brokelyn’s original profile series where we bring you a local personality from the borough. They tell you how they like to spend a Sunday in their neighborhood. Then, you try it on for size.

This week, we’re taking you to Sheepshead Bay with Sal Carlino, the once-son and now-owner of Papa Leone Pizzeria. Established in 1974, this family-owned pizzeria boasts the authentic “mom and pop shop” status that old Brooklyn—or what little is left of it, anyway—is famous for. They’ve been making the same tantalizing homemade sauces for decades, and they’ve got a full bar with $2 anytime beers.

“My father opened Papa Leone’s in May of ’74,” says Carlino. “41 years later we’re pretty much the same place, but with me at the helm.” (more…)