The Brainery has been getting a lot of press lately—from places like the New York Times, Brooklyn Based, GOOD, and Brokelyn—and deservedly so. It’s a perfectly wonderful idea: pair people who are passionate about a topic—anything from urban forestry to microwave candy to beekeeping to Haitian Creole—with an audience who wants to learn about it. Plus (and very importantly these days) classes at the Brainery are super cheap, as low as $5 for an evening’s worth of learnin’. That’s what I paid for The History of the New York City Subway, an interactive lecture that included tons of fun facts, passed-around books with photos of old train cars and subway graffiti, and of course YouTube clips of subway scenes from Saturday Night Fever and The Warriors. That was my first Brainery class, and I plan to take a whole lot more. You should too; it would be impossible to look through their course list and not see something you find fascinating. But before you click over, check out my interview with Brainery founders Jen and Soma, who happen to be some of the nicest, most animated, funniest people I’ve interviewed yet.
brooklyn spaces: Give me a quick history of how this got started and why.
Jen: I think one of the reasons we started this was to give us an excuse to learn more and research more. Soma and I are both just really curious; we had been going to all these classes and lectures, and it just started getting really expensive.
Soma: We were going broke, basically. When you drop $300 on a class, there’s only so many times you can do that before you can’t pay rent.
brooklyn spaces:Yeah, I would say one time.
Jen: I guess we were richer back then.
Soma: What amazing days! So we decided that there had to be a way to offer classes more cheaply. We wanted to take classes on things like welding or shoemaking, but I mean….
read the rest here: Brooklyn Spaces: Brooklyn Brainery