All the Brooklyn references from Orange is the New Black season 1

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Piper and Larry in their Park Slope home, failing at a juice cleanse, like so many before them.

Who’s ready to go back to prison? Happy Orange is the New Black season 2 day! All 13 new episodes of the majorly binge-able hit Netflix dramedy dropped overnight, giving you lots more Piper and Alex, Taystee and  Poussey and Pornstache and Crazy Eyes to destroy your weekend plans. The show mercifully shatters stereotypes about women characters on TV, giving us body and sexuality types that would only appear on a network show if all TV executives were actually thrown in SHU.

Of course, the show is based on the memoir of real-life Park Sloper Piper Kerman. While season 1 gave us lots of flashback scenes to Piper’s yuppie life in Brooklyn — and plenty of digs at Brooklyn idiosyncrasies, from juice cleanses to a writer character who lives off his parents — it also contains some full on references only people who know the borough would appreciate.

1. Nick the bartender (episode 1)

This one is just a personal favorite bit of trivia, but did you know that Nick Stevenson, the actor who plays Pete, used to be a bartender at Crown Heights bar Franklin Park? He worked there for years, slinging drinks for Wednesday trivia nights and beyond. Nick was a good dude there who handled the crowds well. On OITNB, he’s the lovable husband and baby daddy to Piper’s best friend Polly, who handles her cold feet well.

Lauren Lapkus, former Fairway employee, current C.O.
Lauren Lapkus, former Fairway employee, current C.O.

2. The Fairway bagger (episode 7)

Officer Fischer (the v. talented Lauren Lapkus), the sympathetic new correctional officer at the prison, wracks her brain trying to figure out why she recognizes Piper (Taylor Schilling). They start talking about Brooklyn when it hits her: Fischer used to bag groceries at the Fairway in Red Hook, where Piper used to live.

The scene is meant to signify the how prison can seismically shift social strata. But, speaking as a retired Brooklyn grocery professional (Trader Joe’s army, 2008-2011), I can attest that this is a sort of thing that happens all the time in Brooklyn. Yep, I  recognize so many of you around town from seeing you on grocery day, and I know all of your food secrets.

Larry and the many copies of the times he bought. Just get the NYTNow app, guy.
Larry and the many copies of the times he bought. Just get the NYTNow app, guy.

3. Brooklyn home brew battle (episode 8)

Larry (Jason Biggs) finds out his Modern Love column is going to run in the New York Times, and the show’s writers take a little jab at Brooklyn’s obsession with all things artisanal. He tells Piper on the phone: “So, apparently they pulled Randy’s story about, uh, the surge in home breweries in Brooklyn because The New Yorker is running one on the surge in home wineries in Brooklyn.” ZING you makers!

Floyd bar, right by the jukebox. Not pictured: bocce.
Floyd bar, a Brooklyn Heights stalwart. Not pictured: bocce.

4. Floyd bar (episode 8)

This one requires an eagle eye, but the well-seasoned bar goer will recognize Atlantic Avenue’s Floyd bar as the spot where Larry and friends go to celebrate his column. For some reason, Larry references a shuffleboard table instead of the real-life bocce court the bar offers, but hey, he’s heartbroken, we’ll let it slide.

Park Slope slam!
Alex with the Park Slope slam!

5. “Park Slope narcissist” (episode 8)

The sexual tension between Alex (Laura Prepon) and Piper is so hot it could melt the Van Leeuwen ice cream truck. It starts to sizzle even more when Piper shows up to fix a dryer. After some chatting, Alex quips: “I’m not suggesting that I want you back, you Park Slope narcissist.”

RIP Zebulon.
Flashback to when Piper and Larry first meet (RIP Zebulon)

6. Zebulon (episode 10)

When Piper first meets Larry, she was on her way to a show at Zebulon. For those who can’t remember the ancient Brooklyn history before 2012, Zebulon was a Williamsburg venue that closed almost two years ago, because Williamsburgers just ain’t the same anymore. The reference is a deep enough of a cut that it means at least one of the writers knows what they’re talking about when it comes to Brooklyn. And the band she was going to see there was ….

The Hungry March Band, as seen in the 2011 Mermaid Parade. Via the band's Flickr.
The Hungry March Band, as seen in the 2011 Mermaid Parade. Via the band’s Flickr.

7. The Hungry March Band (episode 10)

Piper was headed to catch the fairly legendary Brooklyn brass ensemble. The band started in 1997 as a Coney Island Mermaid Parade act. Larry was supposed to go to that show too, but “then I sat down,” and thus, destiny.

Cal do you flannel shop at Beacon's or are you more of an L Train Vintage guy?
Cal, do you shop at Beacon’s or are you more of an L Train Vintage guy?

8. Hipster grab bag (episode 12) 

Ok, this one isn’t exactly a direct Brooklyn reference, but Cal’s (Piper’s brother) fiance tells him: “Without me, all you’re doing is smoking pot in a forest in a flannel shirt and hipster beard, like a fat Bon Iver.” The triple beardo lutz! Judges? They’re calling it for Brooklyn.

Red is not having a good Christmas.
Red is not having a good Christmas.

9. That’s what Sheepshead

The flashback scenes for Red (Kate Mulgrew) mostly take place in Queens. But in the finale, she tells Nicky that her son’s wife, aka Sparkle Tits, “took the kids and the tits and the Guinea pigs and moved to Sheepshead Bay.”


-Red’s restaurant is in real life Rosario’s Deli in Astoria.

-The paths where she tells the infamous “he’s not an eggplant, he’s retarded” joke is around the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria Park.

-Not far away is the bar where Piper and Alex first meet: The Sparrow Tavern, which is a friendly little pub across from the big beer garden. The manager told me that Jodie Foster, who directed the episode, personally came in and scouted it out for the shoot.

Did we miss any Brooklyn references? Would you throw your pie for us? Tell us in the comments below! 

Follow Tim (but don’t expect any non-OITNB tweets for the next three days): @timdonnelly

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