04/26/17 11:49am
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Brooklyn’s hip and all but like, when you’ve been in Manhattan for over a century moving sucks especially hard. Photo via Industry City

Despite having seriously curbed our crime, scrubbed our subways, gentrified Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and the Brownstone Belt beyond recognition, created such Instagrammable Kodak moments as Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Coney Island boardwalk, perfected our boho-chic laid-back hair and expensive but broke aesthetic, still the fashion industry doesn’t want to move to Brooklyn! But then, does Brooklyn want the fashion industry to move here?

“Brooklyn may be New York’s hippest borough to live or start a business. It just doesn’t hold that much cachet for the city’s fashion industry,” begins a Bloomberg Politics article on Mayor de Blasio’s agenda to “lure” apparel makers out of Midtown, across the river and into cheaper manufacturing centers in Sunset Park, where there is already a small but growing fashion-making community. The most contentious aspect of de Blasio’s plan is that it would end a 1987 law restricting use of Garment District real estate so manufacturers can afford to remain in the area. (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…)

The view from Sunset Park's Bush Terminal. Photo via Scott Steinhardt /Brokelyn

The view from Sunset Park’s Bush Terminal ain’t too shabby. Photo via Scott Steinhardt /Brokelyn

In 2014, a major revitalization project began to change Sunset Park. Next to the neighborhood’s decommissioned piers and shipyards, new occupants started to replace the multitude of adult video stores and industrial warehouses near the shore. Industry City opened, and along with it came a rash of expensive food options with odd operating hours. Micro Center, a Best Buy competitor, opened its doors (with a Bed Bath & Beyond due to join it in the coming months). Once-occupied buildings were being reoccupied by newer, hipper tenants willing to pay a lot more. For a place that kept quiet for the last decade or so, it sure was making its fair share of noise.

Among the new retail chains and makeshift EDM venues, however, was a small piece of heaven tucked away behind condemned warehouses and leftover trolley tracks. After decades and planning and two years of building, Bush Terminal Park quietly opened its gates in November of 2014 on the corner of 43rd Street and 1st Avenue. Yet nearly two years later, residents living in proximity to the park still do not know of its existence. (more…)

05/18/16 9:51am
Bridget of Owney's Rum, talking rum

Bridget of Owney’s Rum, in Williamsburg, talking rum. Photo by Fikriyyah George

There’s a self-guided booze tour called the Brooklyn Spirits Trail boasting some impressive liquor makers. Too bad when we say self-guided it’s basically “Here’s a map with the locations, figure it out yourself.” No times, duration or clue as to what the tour consists of. Well, we decided to make life a little easier by letting you know when you can visit and just what you get.

The greatest part about this self-guided tour is that you can mix it up however you want (hit up all the free ones, the ones in Red Hook, by type of spirit, etc.). The way the tours are scheduled you can draw it out visiting a distillery every weekend or go hardcore and visit two a day. Sorry, leave your flagon at home: no matter where you go by law they’re not able to pour more than 1oz of liquor for imbibing without a liquor license. As for me? I’ve never been happier to be a lightweight. (more…)

04/29/16 3:10pm
How I watched a Brooklyn start-up sellout: The downfall of MakerBot as seen from the inside

The author in front of one of the locations of the MakerBot store — which all closed. Photo via Isaac Anderson.

Once upon a time, MakerBot Industries was the darling of the Brooklyn start-up world. I’d know, because I worked there.

The company this week announced its productions are being outsourced to China, so it’s come a long way from a hackerspace in Boerum Hill. But let’s start at the beginning: MakerBot was the brainchild of a few 3D printing enthusiasts and unabashed nerds who wanted to contribute to an open-source hardware community founded by an eccentric British professor enamored with the prospect of self-replicating machines. It turned out a lot of folks wanted to get their hands on a thing that made things, and it also turned out that the community that made the original MakerBot possible greatly facilitated MakerBot’s rapid expansion, offering useful feedback and oftentimes original design work that was ultimately integrated into the company’s core product.

For a while, MakerBot was equally generous in giving back to this community. They embraced the spirit of openness and freely shared their ongoing improvements to the public. Demand skyrocketed for a product that was improving in real time, so it made sense to double down on Brooklyn, and MakerBot built a full-blown factory for its products in Sunset Park. It was whimsical! The impossible was possible! In the early days, nearly everyone built printers as a rite of passage. They learned the machines inside and out and became ideal candidates for promotion through the ranks to engineering, repair, customer support, and sales roles. In an emphatically post-industrial city in an outsourced 21st-century world, MakerBot fearlessly bucked the trend by building physical things locally, hiring from within, and committing to the mantra that sharing was caring. It was hard not to like them; their fan base ranged from the obvious, like geeks to geeks who like open-source stuff, to hipster geeks, to, uh, local artists previously involved in Occupy Wall Street? Whatever it was they were doing, it was working. Neither MakerBot nor their affable CEO could do any wrong… until they did.

Everyone thinks riding the start-up wave is the ticket to noble success, a mix of idealistic principles and the cutting edge profitability of the new economy. But sometimes that wave crashes, and this is one of those stories.   (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…)

01/12/16 1:00pm
j'eatjet? brunch

At j’eatjet it’s more like moremosa, Photo by Dave Rosado

[We updated this list for January 2016 and added some new spots so everything is up to date!-ed.]

Brunch: it’s that magical meal that’s somehow both over- AND underrated. It’s a great way to start a weekend or coast through a Sunday morning hangover, a meal where you can order a boozy drink and loudly proclaim “It’s five o’clock somewhere, right? Who cares? It’s brunch o’clock here!” to the hearty enjoyment of nobody, because come on. Brunch can also be expensive, as day drinking is apparently a fancy affair once you introduce a fruit cup to the occasion.

Still, there’s no need to be one of the five richest kings of Europe to get your boozy brunch on. Instead of buying a sixer of Milwaukee’s Best to drink alongside some hastily-made scrambled eggs at home, class it up by heading to these eighteen restaurants (!) which offer the best Brooklyn unlimited brunch drink specials.  (more…)

12/02/15 11:50am
via Shwick Market

The Shwick Market is just one of the over 20 Brooklyn holiday markets where you can pick up cool things during Christmas season. via Shwick Market

Now that we’re all done stuffing our faces with turkey leftovers, it’s time for the gift-buying panic to set it. Are you suffering from an overwhelming pressure to buy everyone in your life the perfect present? Has your agoraphobia kicked in at the mere thought of fighting the hordes of Manhattan tourists?

Here at Brokelyn, we are all about minimizing holiday PTSD. Our number one tip: stay in the borough and shop locally! There are tons of Brooklyn holiday markets, pop-ups and fairs for you to find something fun and affordable for everyone on your gift list. (more…)

07/31/15 10:10am
red hook trolley cars

Maybe time to pull these off the scrap heap. via The Brooklyn Historic Railway Association

Time was, in the old Brooklyn, the really old Brooklyn, pedestrians didn’t just live in fear of being run down by horses or those newfangled electric horses that traitorous Hitler-lover and anti-Semite Henry Ford popularized. They also tried not getting run over by streetcar trolleys (this “trolley dodging” is where the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers got their name) that existed to move people around the borough.

As you know, we’ve got horses back on the street, so it makes plenty of sense to us that a coalition of transit advocates and developers now want to bring back our old-timey streetcars in order to bring more transportation options to the Brooklyn waterfront. After that? Maybe adding some pre-movie newsreels about our boys overseas and their brave fight against the hated Kaiser Wilhelm! (more…)

60,000 square feet goes a long way when all you need is a little corner of it. via Facebook

60,000 square feet at Industry City goes a long way, and all you need to be happy is a little corner of it. via Facebook

As coffee shops lose their luster for the cheaply-minded, ever-Skyping freelancer, coworking spaces are becoming more and more of an attractive long-term option. We want to know that we can go somewhere where there will always be wi-fi, where the coffee and tea is endless if we deem it so, and where no one will bother us if we need to have a quiet e-meeting.

Now, there are a few coworking spaces around Sunset Park, but nothing categorically useful in that neighborhood for laptop users. But soon, that’s going to change: Crain’s New York reports that courtesy of Milk Studios, Sunset Park will be getting a bonafide co-working space of its very own! (more…)