Broke-Ass of the Week – Tim Donnelly from Brokelyn
Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit'probably not.
Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week? Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.
Tim’s a funny guy, a good writer and a contributing editor to Brokelyn.com. The dude knows all about being broke in Brooklyn, something I’m sure many of you can empathize with. When I asked Tim if there was anything he’d like me to mention in this here intro this is what he said, “Maybe mention something along the lines of how we at Brokelyn selflessly commit our unpaid time to plowing the roads of financial impediments for our fellow broke Brooklynites, but that we will gladly accept donations in the form of cash or veggie burritos.”
You heard the man. Seek him out and buy him a veggie burrito. And while you’re at it, I’ll take a carne asada one. Thanks.
Name: Tim Donnelly
Occupation: contributing editor to Brokelyn.com; freelance writer; Trader Joe’s grocery jockey
What neighborhood do you live in?: Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, though our apartment is really located on the nexus between Fort Greene and Park Slope, creating a new neighborhood we’ve dubbed “BoFoPa,” a neutral zone that will never get its own annoying identity like Williamsburg or Park Slope, until they build the Nets stadium and we’re turned into a Hooters, in which case it will be renamed “Boerum THRILL.”
What are you listening to these days?: The sputtering and gagging of my hand-me-down laptop as it pleads for euthanasia; the Godfather-theme-spewing horns of the dollar vans on Flatbush Avenue; Ted Leo + The Pharmacists’ new album; WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show.
Best money saving tip: Don’t go to Manhattan, ever. When impossible to avoid (birthdays, concerts, naked subway rides, etc.) order from the appetizer menu and bring your flask. If the bar catches you and throws you out for bringing your own booze, good for you, because the guy trying to charge you $9 for a Bud Light is not your friend and probably never will be.
Oh, and having six roommates helps.
What do you refuse to spend money on?: Snacks at a movie theater. And condoms. They’re FREE EVERYWHERE.
Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: College education.
How’d that feel?: Save the fact that my degree in print journalism would soon be as valid as a degree in VHS repair or phrenology, best investment I ever made.
Favorite cheap eat: Falafel from Damascus Bread and Pastry Shop on Atlantic Ave., or from any hole-in-the-wall Middle Eastern place. Falafel should always be $3, $4 max. If anyone tries to charge you more than this, denounce them as a military dictatorship and shut off diplomatic relations immediately.
Favorite dive bar: Alibi in Fort Greene. Decent beers, pool table and harmoniously diverse crowds in a hidden spot. In fact, forget I mentioned this. My favorite bar is Applebee’s on Flatbush Ave. where I get a goldfish bowl full of daiquiri garnished with chicken fries.
Best deal you’ve ever gotten: After visiting my sister in London last summer, I got bumped from my return flight to Newark onto a flight five hours later. The lovely people at Virgin Airlines offered compensation of 600 euro (about $800 ‘merican) for my troubles, which, little did they realize, was actually no trouble at all, seeing as broke people often lack a set schedule. While the angry business-class passengers doused the airline employees with buckets of their inconvenienced furor, I took my sack of cash (yes, they actually gave me a sack of cash, but no dollar sign on the side) and sat in the pub reading every paper in London and getting pleasantly soused. Then … when I finally got on the plane, I got bumped up to first class too, which meant more free booze and a hot cloth I didn’t know what to do with. I realize I now have no more liquidity in the karma account, but that’s OK.
Favorite free thing to do: The Rev. Vince Anderson and His Love Choir’s free show every Monday at Union Pool, where you too, gentle sinner, will believe You Are the Miracle.
If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: A huge effing dinner for everyone who floated a meal or a drink for me during my despondency. After debts were quieted, I’d buy a sweet new surfboard and winter wet suit.
Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: I am a firm believer in the cleansing power of brokeness, which allows you to filter out the distracting chaff of consumerism and focus on the essentials. Before I moved to Brooklyn last year, I had a full-time decent-paying job at a newspaper in South Carolina, and I was miserable, and bored. So I’d rather be struggling in New York City than be comfortable anywhere else. Not having money never holds you back in New York, so life is good indeed.
Do you own my book?: The concept of “ownership” is such a bourgeoisie term in an possession-obsessed society, man. Can you really “own” anything like a book? Well, yes … I suppose you can, and in that case, no, no I do not.
Best hangover cure: Soy chorizo wrap with sriracha sauce, crinkle-cut wedge fries, salt and vinegar potato chips and prescription-grade migraine medication.
Are you a hipster?: I dunno, but I’m only answering this question because I hate it.