09/30/16 11:30pm
Beth dances for Gatsby's love. via screenshot

Beth dances for Gatsby’s love in his doggy fantasy. Via screenshot

Well, fuck. I thought I had this series figured out. But episode 3 of High Maintenance just defied almost every convention set up by the series to date.

As we’re only three episodes into the season this statement may not bear much weight, but: “Grandpa” is the best and most beautifully complex episode so far. This week’s story introduces us to Gatsby, the dog who moves to The Big City from Indiana.

We had to know a transplant story was coming — it’s the tremendously incisive High Maintenance, after all — but this was an especially refreshing and original take on it (literally from a dog’s perspective) and there are some honest to god real emotions there. With that dog, man. That fucking dog has gravitas.

Gatsby is a listless dog who gets into trouble around the apartment, but only for lack of any real attention or affection from his owner, Chase (Ryan Woodle). Chase’s first response to the dog’s unruly behavior is to get him a dog walker, Beth (Yael Stone of Orange is the New Black).

Beth made brief cameos earlier in the web-series as well, selling mushrooms to Chad and The Guy in “Sabrina” and then buying weed from The Guy in “Esme.” In a stunning fantasy sequence that emerges through Gatsby’s patient gaze while he watches Beth drinking from a water fountain, we see the dog falling hopelessly in love with her (the way she “presents” herself to Gatsby in that erotic dance will always be the kicker for me).

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09/30/16 4:00pm
Every debate is a chance to play.

Every debate is a chance to play.

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Brooklyn was declared the Most Unaffordable City in America.

Shots were taken (and taken again) in the Brokelyn presidential debates drinking game.

We told you about 5 cool jobs you could get in BK.

We introduced you to the six types of NYC cyclists you’d meet in a bike lane.

Some dummy paddle boarded the Gowanus Canal without dying.

Buzz off Lucille told us about landing their dream job making feminist comedy.

Local experts weighed in on how to lock your bike so it doesn’t get jacked.

The Bushwick Film Festival gave us cause for excitement.

We learned how New York’s laziest millennial voters were eating.

Ample Hills came out with Donald Trump-flavored ice cream.

09/30/16 1:30pm

Papa Brokelyn and son aho’ how it’s done.

Shanah Tovah! The year 5777 is almost here, and Rosh Hashana — the Jewish new year, for the unfamiliar — marks the beginning of not only a new year but also an entire series of Jewish high holidays that give the “Chosen People” ample excuses to drink Manischevitz.

Since they can’t pass a plate around, most NYC synagogues pay their bills in part by charging non-members for High Holiday tickets — to the tune of $150-250 in NYC.

But paying for services is so 5776. If you don’t have the dough to davin, here’s our annual list of places where you can pray freely for free, whether your pleasure is reform, orthodox, or modern Grindr Shabbat-only. This year, Heaven’s gates open the evening of October 2 for Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur begins sundown of October 11. Note, this article first ran in 2009 and has been updated for 2016. (more…)

09/30/16 12:00pm
Dogs light up your life, but the job isn't always easy. via IG user @the_dog_walking_network

Dogs light up your life, but the job isn’t always easy. via IG user @the_dog_walking_network

There are two relationships essential to every stressed-out New York City office drone: a reliable dog walker and a reliable weed dealer. In many ways, these services are similar: both provide invaluable peace-of-mind, both require you to allow otherwise total strangers into your home and both require a good referral from a trusted friend.

With so much overlap between drug dealers and dog heelers, it was only a matter of time before their worlds collided on television’s most incisive portrayal of contemporary New York life, HBO’s High Maintenance.

This Friday’s episode connects The Guy with a dog-walker whose passion for pooches rivals most folks’ religious convictions or bodega loyalty. It’s our favorite episode of television about walking dogs since Ilana nearly killed Judith Light in season one of Broad City.

Of course, walking dogs isn’t all leisurely strolls and puppy kisses. And in honor of tomorrow’s episode of High Maintenance, we wrangled a handful Brooklyn-based dog walkers to share stories of their job at its most, er, dogged. (more…)

09/30/16 10:30am
Dance it all out at Papi Juice (#5)

Dance it all out at Papi Juice (#5)

1. It’s practically October — say “Prost!” to the first Oktoberfest celebration of many this month, with Bavarian-inspired food and plenty of beers. (Friday, Brooklyn Bavarian Biergarten, FREE)

2. Steep yourself in Shakespeare at Dzieci Theater’s immersive, interactive Makbet performed inside a recycling center. (Friday through Sunday, Sure We Can, $10)

3. Do some creative shopping at Shwick’s Artmart, with arts and crafts, performances and visuals, fashion and installations. (Friday through Sunday, 395 Johnson Ave., FREE) (more…)

09/30/16 9:00am
The Black Black is Jonathan, Tomo, and Sean. Courtesy of Facebook.

The Black Black is Jonathan Daily, Tomo Ikuta, and Sean McRee. Courtesy of Facebook.

Sometimes the Brooklyn music scene is like its own small town scene in a big city. I don’t mean ‘small town’ in the sense of car pool moms and soccer teams and next door neighbors who call the zoning board saying that your mother is building a meth lab in your back yard when she tries to renovate the garage into an apartment to rent to acupuncture students. Okay, so maybe that’s just my experience. What I mean here is that, when you go to shows in Brooklyn, and you have a lot of friends who are in bands in Brooklyn, you end up talking to somebody you’ve already met without realizing that you’ve met them.

That’s exactly what happened with this week’s New Music Friday, when I interviewed Jonathan Daily of Bushwick post-punk band The Black Black. It turns out that Daily and I had already met when he was working the door at Pet Rescue, which is an incredible DIY venue in Bushwick. When he’s not playing shows there with The Black Black, he’s there supporting the local scene, both at Pet Rescue and elsewhere. I talked to Daily about local bands, what a garage party might be, and what’s exciting about their new album, Adjusted I.

Adjusted refers to the idea of conforming to behavior that fits within the guidelines of society,” Daily said. “Not so much in a classic sense of conforming to fashion or speech or tastes,” he continued, “but more about adjusting your human instincts to modern day society and asking if you really have a choice not to adjust. ‘I’m just so carefully adjusted’ is a line in (our song) ‘Meticulous.'” (more…)

09/29/16 4:20pm
The GGRD All-Stars are flexing to welcome you. via Instagram

The GGRD All-Stars are flexing to welcome you. via Instagram

This ain’t your daddy’s roller rink. The Gotham Girls, New York’s all-lady roller derby league and a founding member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), are holding try-outs this weekend for their 2017 season. They’re calling all bad-asses with double X chromosomes, skates and an appetite for competition to come and get their wheels dirty. I mean, derby.

This Saturday October 1 from 10am-3pm, anyone interested in trying out for the Gotham Girls should skate on over to GGRD’s practice space in East Williamsburg and show the Gotham Girls what they’ve got. Tryouts will include skating basics and demonstration of specific derby skills. If you make the cut, callbacks continue on Sunday, October 2 from 10am-1pm with more skating and a brief interview.

Of course, there’s more to becoming a Gotham Girl than just the skills (though they’re super helpful for staying on your feet)! The group will be looking for enthusiasm, charisma, willingness to work and athletic potential, all of which can separate you from the rest of the pack. (more…)

09/29/16 3:00pm
The ladies of Buzz Off Lucille, a feminist comedy group that gets to work for Lady Parts Justice.

The ladies of Buzz Off Lucille, a feminist comedy group now with Lady Parts Justice. Credit: Alex Schaefer Photography

In case you’re hearing for the first time, we happen to be in the middle of a pretty important election year. I know, it snuck up on me, too. And as if the usual white noise of platforms and spin weren’t enough, we’ve been forced to deal with the absurdity of candidates who literally refute recorded evidence of their actions and accusations of “coughing prevention machines.”

In all the ridiculous chatter it’s hard to remember that there are actual issues that people care about, such as women’s health care and abortion rights. That’s where Lady Parts Justice comes in. The organization was founded by Lizz Winstead, who also co-created The Daily Show. LPJ is committed to shining a light on the fight for abortion rights through comedy, writing, videos, and even apps.

Working in comedy while in service of a worthwhile cause, not to mention in direct contact with Winstead herself, sounds like a dream for any performer or comedy writer. Fortunately, Lady Parts Justice representatives and comedy group Buzz Off Lucille — Jenn Roman, Julie Rosing, Abby Holland, and Molly Gaebe — have some advice on how they “yes, and”-ed their way into a gig, how the moon provides, and how everyone can take part in the conversation about reproductive rights. (more…)

09/29/16 2:10pm
30 years later, the film is getting a Netflix TV reboot.

30 years later, the film is getting a Netflix TV reboot.

“I hear Spike Lee’s shooting down the street!”

No really, Spike Lee is really shooting down the street. The actor and director recently announced a 10-episode Netflix update to his cult film She’s Gotta Have It on Instagram, with an open casting call this coming Monday, October 3 at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple (317 Clermont Ave.) from 5 to 8pm.

If you’ve ever wanted to be in a Spike Lee movie, or you just vibe with his sharp views about gentrification, now’s your chance to get up close and personal with the auteur, and rack up a television credit while you do it. (more…)

09/29/16 1:04pm
Get a good look at these brownstones, because you'll never own one. via josh c. jackson on Flickr

Get a good look at these brownstones, because you’ll never own one. via josh c. jackson on Flickr

Well, that settles that.

We already knew that way too much of our income was going to rent. Just last year, New York City came in as second-most expensive place to raise a family. But those statistics suddenly pale in comparison to Brooklyn’s latest crowning yearbook superlative, Most Unaffordable Place to Live in America.

Real estate data company ATTOM data solutions released their third 2016 quarterly report today, which ranked cities on a scale of unaffordability by comparing incomes with market rate housing and closing deal costs. Brooklyn won out by a landslide, with 123.5 percent of median income being the going rate for a house. Santa Cruz came in second, at 111.1 percent.

Marketwatch, who first reported ATTOM’s findings, put it in laymen’s terms: “A person earning the average salary in Brooklyn cannot afford the average home there — even if he or she could spend his entire salary (and then some) on housing.” Well, guess we’d better start commuting from Cleveland. (more…)