Photo by Nick Youssef
Dec 19, 2021
We played the new Brooklyn edition of Monopoly so you don’t have to
The game itself stays true to the original, with some added shoutouts and Easter eggs for locals only
Just in time for the holiday season, here comes Monopoly Brooklyn Edition, by Top Trumps USA. What better way to celebrate the re-opening, then partial re-closing and the now re-I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-is-happening of our fine city than with a classic board game that gives you those same rage filled feelings about the world, but towards the people you know and love?
I brought Monopoly Brooklyn to an early Christmas dinner party in Williamsburg. I placed it on a table, and in typical New York fashion, a guest immediately began pointing out geographic errors. “Actually, The Box Hotel isn’t actually next to Coney Island,” said the type of killjoy who usually asks to be the banker.
And yes, thank you J. Prick Morgan, we know they’re on polar opposite ends of the borough so let’s pump the brakes on the know-it-all express.
“Monopoly isn’t supposed to be realistic. It’s a board game,” said another guest, Williamsburg resident and illustrator Lindsay Van Kampen.
She’s right! Operative word: game. Before Netflix, these were our primary modes of escapism. To myself and many others, they still are (as well as modes of spreading Omicron at dinner parties in Williamsburg, so get tested and mask up everyone).
Monopoly is frustrating. The last thing I want is Chance cards that say “street sweeping” and “your landlord is keeping your deposit because you hung a picture with a tack.” TopTrumps did a good job here. Chance and Community Chest are cute and fun. They kept classics like ‘Advance to Go’ and added Brooklyn-centric perks like “You’re hired to DJ a rooftop party.” Fun, right? RIGHT?
We didn’t get around to playing the game at the dinner party due to the potency of the edibles and ecstasy that were going around. By the time everyone’s pupils became flying saucers, they had decided free market capitalism was evil and the main currency in any board game should be love. I was then accused of bringing bad Bezos vibes to their fifth-floor walkup utopia.
The following day, I played a quick game (six hours) with my girlfriend. I don’t recommend a one-on-one unless you’re actively looking to end a relationship. Fortunately, the quarantine has forced us to be better communicators. Once the tension went from simmer to boil we sold all our houses and hotels to my dog who spent the entire game patiently waiting to steal and eat the playing pieces that vaguely resemble his treats. He was declared the winner and a really, really good boy.
Before the pandemic, my competitive nature would’ve adopted a scorched Earth policy that drove me to play until I was declared emperor, but after this shitstorm nightmare of a year, I was pleased that love and togetherness prevailed. For the first time in my life, Monopoly kept my holidays happy.
If you’re stuck looking for a last minute holiday gift and you’ve already gifted Metallica Monopoly and Monopoly Sephora Edition (yes, that’s real), could do worse than the Brooklyn edition. It’s one of the few variants that stays close to the roots of the game and celebrates the one thing that simultaneously binds America together and tears it apart: money.
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