Broke-Ass of the Week

Broke-Ass of the Week – Dena Stern

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

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.

Dena is the shit.  I first met her back in 2006 when I was looking for some extra work and a friend hired me to work in the after school program at the JCC.  The job was super chill and mainly consisted of helping kids with homework, playing games with them and getting them hyped up on sugary food just in time to hand them off to their parents.  Hell, I think Dena was even technically my boss, but when your job description leads off with “putting out snacks for middle schoolers” it was a pretty easy gig.  I think the hardest part was resisting calling 12 year olds “assholes” when that’s exactly what they were being.  So anyway, the lovely Dena and I have been friends since then and I’m excited to have her on as Broke-Ass of the Week.

These days, Dena working at and instead of managing raging preadolescents, she manages content for the website.  She’s also a fairly prolific tweeter and you can check her out here.  Now let’s see what she has to say about being a broke-ass:

Name: Dena Stern

Age: 27

Occupation: Content and Community Manager at

What neighborhood do you live in?: Just moved from the Inner Richmond to a house with 3 hot blonde girls in the Marina.

What are you listening to these days?: Souls of Mischief, Next, Biggie… My ipod thinks it’s 1993.

Best money saving tip: Pack a Lunch. Seriously, the amount of money people spend on a quick convenient meal which they eat hunched over their computer depresses me. Go grocery shopping and pack a lunch everyday. It takes 5 minutes. The average cost of a home prepared meal is about $2 and it’s usually healthier, free of crap, not fried, etc…

What do you refuse to spend money on?: Plain Water. Seriously, we have the most delicious, clean water on the planet coming right out of the sink for free…

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: The most expensive thing I’ve ever spent money on was to make the decision to move out of my Mama’s house . Rent in SF is killer.

How’d that feel?: Amazing. I love my mama, but being 25 and living at home was seriously cramping my style.

Favorite cheap eat: Asian Noodle Soup. I alternate between Rare Beef Pho (with the raw beef on the side) and Chicken Karaage Ramen. For about $8 you get a massive, fresh hot meal. You really can’t beat that. Asian Noodle soups literally fix everything from hangovers, to boredom, to broken hearts.

Favorite dive bar: Buckshot. They have $2 Tecate and PBR all the time, plus pool, ski ball, big buck hunter, shuffle board, and chicken fried bacon. They also have a shot called the Ike Turner, and yes, they really will smack you in the face.

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: $40 for 2 tickets right above home plate for Barry Bonds Home Run #756.  My friends’ parents had season tickets and were out of town during the rush for the record so they sold me their awesome seats at face value. Go SF Giants!

Favorite free thing to do: Lie in a park and read a book.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: A house. Well maybe a down payment on a house, not sure a million dollars is going to get you very far in this town.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Yes, absolutely. You don’t need money to be happy. I have the best friends in the world, I live in the best city in the world and I could not be more blessed.

Do you own my book?: Yes. Both of them. And I love them. You are a genius Stu. Is this where I get to mention I knew you before you were famous, way back when you worked for me chaperoning in the teen center?

Best hangover cure: Asian Noodle Soup (see above).

Are you a hipster?: Absolutely not.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.