The Year in Broketown: Our most service-y, angriest, introspective and popular posts of 2015

We saw the future this year, and it was pretty popular
We saw the future this year, and it was pretty popular

Hoo boy, 2015 is just about over, and if there’s one thing we can say about it, it was a year that exists in the linear structure of time. In some ways it was good, like all the food deal collating and journeying we did, and in many ways it was bad like any time there was a real estate story, our insistence on turning animals eating garbage into hot #content and a bunch of places closing (though not as many as in 2014, but every venue everywhere can’t close all in the same year every year). Take a look back with us at some service-y stuff, some thing we got angry about, the interesting people we met along the way and the stories that turned out to be the most popular ones of the year.

Survive. Illustration by Madelyn Owens
Survive. Illustration by Madelyn Owens

As per usual, we tried to provide some service for you in whatever ways we could. Sometimes it was explaining how not to fall to your death down a basement sidewalk door, or what exactly goes into making a bike lane or how to root for YOUR NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST CHAMPION NEW YORK METS and sound smart doing it. On the entertainment side, we suggested some ways you might get yourself some cheap Broadway tickets and how you too can go on tour with a band despite not having a lot of money. We also laid out the venues in Brooklyn that won’t make you pay to play there, so keep that in your Pocket all you struggling young next Cat Powers out there and we gave you a guide to Brooklyn’s co-working spaces since who even has an office these days. We made you a (legally binding) quiz so you could 100% figure out which NYC beach you should spend your summers at (which you were then ordered to go there by a court of law) and did our best to arm you with knowledge on how to survive a Santa encounter. We laid out some good local trips, like how to do Rockaway in the winter, how to get the most out of Arthur Avenue and the Brooklyn waterfront and how to have fun collecting museum memberships with your NYC ID. And of course, there was plenty of food, since you need food to live. What fancy Prospect Heights pizzeria is best for date night? Where are Brooklyn’s best burger and beer specials or best hard cider or Williamsburg’s best free food? Can you find better fancy chocolate than the Mast Brothers’ offerings or a great local coffee shop replacements for a Pumpkin Spice Latte? Yes and yes.

Photo by Margaret Bortner
Photo by Margaret Bortner

There was some animal stuff, because there always is. The Gowanus rabbits we all loved turned out to be full of rabbit STDs like syphilis, and a commenter told us that the good news was you could still have sex with the rabbit and not catch a cross-species STD. And of course there were the famous garbage eating animals we loved to know, that famous Pizza Rat and Milkshake Squirrel, who if they could talk would probably as us not to dump our dumb human shit on them and just let them eat garbage in peace. There were cute animals too though. Brooklyn got a cat cafe for a little while, and we were there. Also this cool bird came to Prospect Park and managed to be international news despite the fact that it can be found in the great swathes of the Earth we call Not New York City.

The plastic baby that almost changed public drinking forever. Photo by David Colon
The plastic baby that almost changed public drinking forever. Photo by David Colon

We met some interesting people this year, as Brooklyn is full of all sorts of cranks and characters. We met Simon Philion, who explained to us his crazy dream of changing the face of public drinking in New York City with The Cool Baby, a drink container in the shape of a baby. Our dreams came true and we met Michael and Alice Halkias, the owners of the Grand Prospect Hall, who taught us all about football weddings. Comedian Myq Kaplan told us all about polyamory, Joel Kim Booster tried to make people understand that telling jokes about gay sex doesn’t make you “alt” and Eugene Mirman told us all about crying and how he spends his Bob’s Burgers money. And of course, we met Walker Blankinship, the mysterious horseman of Franklin Avenue, who ably defended riding a horse in the bike lane (a horse that met Terry Crews).

Goodbye to You
Goodbye to You

But we also said goodbye to things, because death is part of life. Fucked in Park Slope threw in the blogging towel and we also had to say goodbye to You, another Brooklyn institution replaced by a luxury condo. The Brooklyn Night Bazaar had to leave Brooklyn thanks to BMW, but at least they opened again in Queens. Robicelli’s closed and also had plans to reopen, but their plan was to do it in Baltimore, which was really far away. Film Biz Recycling closed because some things are too beautiful for this world, and Do or Dine mysteriously walked away as well. And we said a very emotional farewell to the Trash Bar, which in our eyes will always have been killed off by that greedy developer, Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Someone really did this. Photo by David Colon
Someone really did this. Photo by David Colon

There were experiences and life questions to ponder here as well. We found a Brokester hero and genuine anti-Taylor Swift in Kimmy Schmidt and we wondered why dating in now Brooklyn had to be worse than dating in 1950s Brooklyn. Someone wrote a love letter to what living in Brooklyn taught them and someone else clued us in to why so many NYC natives are ditching Brooklyn for Los Angeles (cocaine on tap, mostly). There were experiences to be had, like the disappointing one that was drunken ghost hunting, but there was also the spectacle of watching protesters try to levitate Vice HQ and another one when a guy willingly swim in the Gowanus.

Photo by Oriana Leckert
Photo by Oriana Leckert

And of course, there were things to be angry at and things people were angry about, because what is life without lashing out in anger? We learned about the dumb shit people say to female musicians and watched people angry at living, breathing chancre sore Donald Trump smash up a pinata shaped like him. We angrily stood up for men in shorts and drew a line in the sand against 90s nostalgia, Citi Bike thieves and a Pizza Rat costume that got every part of the rat completely wrong. We made a wanking off motion at people who still consider Williamsburg to be weird and wondered why developers thought it was a good idea to have what amounted to a “Bronx is Burning” party in an attempt to re-brand the South Bronx. Other people got made too though. Budweiser got mad at Brooklyn for preferring craft beer or High Life to their offerings, lots of groaning was done over Williamsburg reality show The Bedford Stop and people FREAKED OUT that the Mast Brothers haven’t had beards their whole lives. And in a rare bit of reversal, the Times trolled the world on purpose with a story about artisan bindles, as opposed to trolling accidentally with a tone deaf real estate story.

And of course, you might be wondering what Brokelyn’s 10 most popular stories of the year were. Well, here you go. Don’t like it? Click on different stuff next year:

10. Someone left a street memorial to poor dead Jon Snow in Williamsburg
Game of Thrones! Winter is coming! White Walkers! We don’t have HBO GO!

9. Fun new map shows you can’t afford a one-bedroom apartment
Two great tastes, real estate angst and maps, that come together as one.

8. Nightmare listing of the day: $450/month walk-in closet, “ideally for a female”
Things are tough out there in real estate land, but that doesn’t mean you should ever settle on living in a place where a guy jokes that your new roommates are gonna run a train on you.

7. Heavy metal yoga saved my soul
Heavy metal yoga sounds like a thing that would be a joke, but actually it seems pretty interesting and relaxing.

6. Fun new map claims only Park Slope, Sunset Park will survive our rising sea levels
Whether you’re morbidly curious about the angry ocean gaining strength every day or trying to make plans to survive it, this map appeals to many types of people.

5. The Brokelyn guide to Brooklyn’s outdoor bars
Hopefully you got more use out of this than you thought you would have, during our eerily unseasonably warm fall and winter.

4. Classpass: The 10 best workout you can try in NYC
Everyone wants to get swole or svelte or something in the realm of healthy, but no one wants to pay full freight for it.

3. Aw Hell, massive L train shutdown coming in spring
In a year of MTA fuck ups (so, a year basically) this was the one people who read Brokelyn hated the most

2. It’s cheaper to commute here from Cleveland than buy a Brooklyn condo
It was the premise so stupid, so ridiculous, so outlandish that people just had to click it and see the math. Which all checked out, of course.

1. Punks, hip-hoppers and Disco Stus: Martin Scorsese wants you for his new TV show
Everyone wanted to be in that Scorsese TV show, but we also think lots of people just wanted to let us know that actually those weren’t the right kind of punks we used for the picture.

And there you have it, your year through the eyes of Brokelyn. What will next year bring? Probably more bad stuff than good stuff, on balance.

One Response to

  1. Margaret Bortner

    I thoroughly enjoyed this, and also thought the Goodbye to You photo was a Kenji tribute… another fine thing of Brooklyn we lost this year!

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