Eight Guys You Might Meet in Brooklyn: An Illustrated Guide

Read this before dating one

  • Illustrations by Emily Niland

    The Brooklyn male is an elusive specimen, best understood through dedicated observation in his natural habitat—his neighborhood. You glimpse him on his way out the coffee shop, speeding round the corner on fixed gear, or walking down the sidewalk with a bemused expression on his face—alas, out-of-reach. These exhibits freeze him in time for you to analyze, and we hope you’ll consult them next time you find yourself out in the Brooklyn wild with a hunger for a man-(child).

  • Greenpoint Lonely Boy

    He’s proud to live in the north Brooklyn nabe with more street cred (Polish population) and actual blue-collar charm. Even if it’s because he got priced out of Williamsburg, the way he tells it, he’d never live somewhere so trendy and high profile. He rolls his eyes: of course McGolrick is the nicer park. He romanticizes GP’s old man bars and its end of the world industrial waterfront wasteland feel. He doesn’t suffer fools who bitch about the G train. Never reads the Times links his mom sends him about the neighborhood. He’s kind of a loner, in and out on bicycle, thrives on being slightly out of reach. After a long day at the office, he just wants to be left alone. Hides out by the Newtown Creek, wedged in between the treatment plant and the water, unable to suss out what he’s actually feeling, maybe because the stench is so strong. He hates his job, but he can make it sound sufficiently like the perfect combination of inspiring and stable to get him laid by the artsy neighborhood girls, like that ceramics chick from thePencil Factory. They didn’t use a condom.

  • Prospect Lefferts Gardens / Ditmas Park /Kensington: Total Jazzer

    See him at the coffee shop Tip of the Tongue (R.I.P. K-Dog), no earlier than 2 p.m., still bed-headed and sexy sleep-eyed—don't judge, he was gigging late last night! He lives out there because a musician he knew who knew another musician who knew another moved out there first. It's cheap and low-key, doesn't harsh his mellow. If he wants to practice in the park, nobody bothers him. Hard to make plans with him ‘cuz he's either booked playing or too spaced out to check his phone, BUT if you're free when he's free, he's down for some straight fuckin' and chillin'.

  • Bed-Stuy: Work-in-Progress

    The Bed-Stuy guy lives there because he’s trying to make a living as a freelance ____ and it’s still cheap. Hangs out at Bedford Hill most days, petting other people’s dogs. He reads a handful of articles about gentrification, wrinkling his brow as he thinks hard about the points being made, but at the end of the day, he’s just trying to live his life. Like, he probably has band practice to get to. He likes the trees, and the brownstones—he doesn’t live in one, but it’s nice to walk by them. He’ll talk to you for a good five minutes about which bodegas to hit up for the best bacon egg and cheese (G Line Deli) or craft six pack (actually just hit the beer distributor on Bedford and Gates) or loosies (he’ll never tell). He has opinions about which of the new white people bars are actually pretty cool (Dynaco). He’s trying to figure it all out, and depending on his mood, he feels closer or farther way from where he wants to be.

  • Gowanus: The Maker

    Don’t ask him about the new Whole Foods. But sure, let’s play some shuffleboard. After cocktails at Lavender Lake (where you tried to make fun of all the beautiful people, but you’re pretty sure he thought he was one of them) you were hoping for a kiss on the Carroll Street Bridge—instead you got laid in a junkyard below the Smith and 9th stop, hoisted up on an actual kitchen sink, like a discarded ’50s housewife. Dates with him are half earnest high school sneak around, half curated urban exploration. It’s hard to keep a straight face when he gesticulates at a floating sculpture, which you assumed was bubbled up waste, and says, “In this neighborhood, we make things.” You’ll know he’s into you when he takes you for pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds.

  • Park Slope: The Gamer

    Kind of a nerd, knows it, compensates by prioritizing FUN. Gives great date—always suggests a comedy night or trivia at Union Hall or the like rather than just drinks. Steadily and squarely employed, he dabbles in creative side projects and at least one sanctioned sports league to counteract boredom. He’s a little embarrassed about living in the Slope, defends his choice when it comes up by saying he got a pretty good deal on his place, and have you been to any of the great dive bars out here (waxes nostalgic about Jackie’s 5th Amendment, then takes you to South)? Has solid Dad potential.

  • Williamsburg: The Manhattan Transplant

    Dude is down to party. Come by in the summer cuz he'll be throwing some epic roof barbecues with his siiick skyline view. He used to live in a closet on the Lower East Side until he and his best buddy snagged a two bedroom off the Bedford L (only $5K a month!) They got the Meatball Shop over here now too, and the girls are more DTF—he tells you, leaning in after the third pickleback (just discovered, can't get enough) at The Whiskey. He's so enthusiastic about everything, he acts like he died and woke up in adult Disneyland. You're just happy he's paying, and you're having a pretty good time playing the gamut of bar games with him (bros live for this shit), because games are fun and this way you can avoid actual conversation. He's really excited to bring you back to his pad, beyond the obvious reason. Ginuwine's "Pony" comes on later while you're having sex.

  • Crown Heights: The Do-gooder

    He’s lived in Brooklyn a little while (north of 3 years). This isn’t his first rodeo. It took a few neighborhoods for him to realize south of Atlantic Ave is where it’s at. You know, where the families live. He likes being able to run to Prospect Park; he heads down Eastern Parkway, past the pre-war buildings and the museum and then loops around, 5 miles on a day he’s feeling strong. He either has a dog or wants a dog. He either has a girlfriend or wants a girlfriend. He’s serious about coffee. He buys the good bread at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket. Volunteers at the community garden on his block, concentrating on self-improvement, every weed he pulls. How do you tell someone his problem is he’s trying too hard? If you blindfolded him and dropped him off in any Franklin Ave bar’s back patio he’d be able to tell you which one it is. He goes to Williamsburg “like maybe once a year.”

  • Bushwick: Bobo

    You know he hits Wreck Room at 3 a.m. on his way home trolling for a last ditch strange. He’s got friends in every studio space in Morgantown. His gait is slow and steady down Bogart Ave., rocking a denim jacket, (purchased at Urban Jungle, where else) a hipster cowboy in Brooklyn’s great eastern frontier. Your face is the perfect combination of contempt and boredom as he splays his arm across the table where you’re drinking at the Narrows and tells you, in meticulous detail, his grand plan for filling in the rest of his sleeve. You wonder where the fuck he gets the $ when he wouldn’t even buy you this beer (meanwhile he’s sipping Caulfield’s Dream). Call him an L train Peter Pan, catch a twinkle in his eye before he looks away.

  • Fort Greene: The Mellow Man

    Takes you to Dick and Jane’s for cocktails, then follows up with the Alibi to prove he’s legit. You both get sloppy and then he tells you his Spike Lee story. He’s been around a little while, finally rents a one bedroom he’s pretty proud of, likes the calm of the neighborhood and the convenience—close to so many train lines, and any movie worth seeing will prolly come to B.A.M. Has a collection of vintage coffee table books about Brooklyn that would be gathering dust, except he probably dusts them. Pays good money for green. You want to lounge together on a blanket in the park, he’ll indulge you, but only because he knows you’ll put out after.