Friday, August 31, 2007

Impromtu Kensington Get Together - TONIGHT

We've kept abreast of the plans and wanted to give a little shout out to tonight's plans for a Kensington MEET UP at DENNYs b/w 9.30 and 10pm. Your fearless blogger may be on the road but if not we'll see you there!

Update on F Express... Boo Hiss!

From 2nd Ave Sagas:

It’s my understanding that crews will be working not only on the tracks but around and underneath them too. With the recent attention to track worker safety, the MTA isn’t, rightly so, about to start screwing around with train bottlenecks on a large viaduct. With the current F and G trains relying on just two tracks for their routes and turnarounds, the tracks simply cannot support adding more trains.

To me, it sounds like the folks along the Culver Line are in for a rough ride. The project is scheduled to take four years, and it will probably result in delays and trains crawling over the Gowanus Canal.

Getting to the root of the Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation plan (2nd Ave Sagas)

For the Students

Since the former retirement home on McDonald Ave. converted to a student dorm we thought we'd help out the incoming Fall students by linking to an article from yesterday's NY Times Metro on proper student etiquette. Welcome, Students. Now Watch It. The article details lots of DON'Ts so we're gonna also give you some Kensington DOs.

1. Do hang out on the front 'porch' and study, smoke, hang. The locals like the young folk.
2. Do drink the fine selection of Bud or Bud Light down the block at Denny's.
3. Do try the Bengali restaurants further south on McDonald. We hear the outdoor kiosks also sell Betal Nut.
4. Do sign the F express petition.
5. Do go to Foodtown for your snack needs and for the late night munchies Golden Farm is open 24 hours.
6. DO try STD on Church (near Subway and Faro's dinner). Its a liquor store even though the name makes you think otherwise.

Young and in Kensington! What to do? How to meet?

This is the most frequently asked question we get so we wanted to share and get others thoughts on coming together.

From the inbox:
I have recently moved to Kensington. I happened upon this blog while I was searching for a nearby grocery. I have really enjoyed learning about the neighborhood, and this community blog made the transition a little bit less imposing. Anyway, I am in my early twenties, and I was wondering if there were any people close to my age around this neighborhood. (It doesn't really seem like it!) I am also wondering if anyone has suggested a meetup scheme in addition to this blog, where young-ish members of this community can get together for related interests (environmental, career oriented, or just to hang out). New York justs seems such a lonely place sometimes!

First off we think there are lots of twenty-ish kids in the hood (we see 'em all the time at Golden Farm). The problem is invariably that we don't have a lot of hang out places in Kensington. Also its mostly the families that find a connection through their kids unlike say us 20 and 30 year olds who don't just bump into one another and ask to chill. Anyway, we've been very lucky with our building which has changed to include lots of young couples since we moved in. (We have lots of impromptu evenings sharing pizza in each others apartments and got a backyard BBQ this summer). Others we hear are fans of Sheninigan's karaoke on Saturday nights at 10pm. The recent Artist Socials held monthly at various locations within walking distance have been a hit and you don't have to be an artist to go. (We went to Thai Tonys and we have no artistic talent). What do other suggest?

On a side note we've been kicking around the idea of organizing a Kensington softball game at Greenwood field but have no bats, balls or team organizing abilities. If there is interest it might be fun (and way easier) to do a get together at Denny's and finally dispel all the myths. We still owe Jake and Noisejoke drinks anyway!

Kids Concert This Sunday at Greenwood Playground

Free Kids Concert in Greenwood Playground with Joanne Riehl!

Come and join Joanne for singing and frolic this Sunday, September 2 at 10:30am.

Her past playground concerts were big hits with the neighborhood children and they won't want to miss it!


At Ocean Pkwy and Ave C service road (east side).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Waiting on details... de Blasio meeting w MTA

Local rep. Bill de Blasio met with MTA officials on the F express as well as the planned extension of G to Church Ave. on Weds. No word yet on the details of the meeting but we're imagining no new news...

New Development?

We saw the cute house at 265 Ocean Pkwy be demo'd awhile back and are sort of wondering what the next step is for this spot. As of now we can't see past the fence so have no idea if concrete is being poured or what but it looks sort of quiet to us. Any info out there?

Old Brick now selling Smoodies

Old Brick makes us feel a little better about our various spelling errors by adding summer SMOODIES to thier menu! All kidding aside we're kind of excited to try a mojito smoothie!

Local Acupuncturist

We're huge fans of acupuncture and have learned about its many healing qualities over the years. How lucky for us we have a Kensington local practicing right here! Check out Mary Wight, Acupuncturist.

Recent Ocean Pkwy Accident

A Brooklyn man was indicted yesterday on manslaughter charges for running down a good samaritan who was helping a fellow livery cab driver in Kensington, Brooklyn.

Alexey Bushuyev, 22, is charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated, driving while impaired, speeding and reckless driving. If convicted of the top count, he could face up to 15 years in prison.

Manslaughter Charged in Brooklyn For Fatal Good Samaritan Crash (Brooklyn Paper)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New 'Moms' Group!

Join some new parents this Thursday, August 30th at 11:00 at Lonelyville (154 Prospect Park Southwest). All parents with newborns/infants are welcome to join, whether this is your first baby, second, or more!

On a side note we suggest anyone looking for some local parenting tips or info to join the KWT neighbors yahoo group.

CIA - Vinnys?

We saw this old sign for Vinnys Cafe on CIA and are super curious about what exactly Vinnys was. Anyone out there in the Kensington community got any info?

CIA Focus - Bikes

Brooklyn Bicycle Center is moving locations (just a little further north on CIA). We've talked about them before and are still pleased w our $45 tune up though the range of bikes in store we find so-so. Give 'em a try since they do make special orders and seem to carry road bikes for less than $1200 unlike some stores up the slope.

CIA Focus - Massage/ Facial

Who knew amongst the many car parts places you could also get a facial! This place seems to have lots of interesting packages and our favorite, Thai massage (though it is blacked out on the sign). They also have a website. To be honest we've never gone but it sure looks interesting enough to try. New York Thai Aroma - 732 Coney Island Avenue

CIA Focus - Food

For some yummy Indian lunch or dinner try MADINA on Coney Island Ave near Beverly. We especially dig the $4 veggie lunch w naan bread.

CIA Focus - Eyebrows

If you like to have your eyebrows threaded a great place to try is Sahiba Salon on Coney Island off Beverly Road. It's a ladies only salon (sorry guys!) and an eyebrow threading will run you about $5.

CIA Focus - Dogs

The following classes are scheduled at "It's a Dog's World", 593 Coney Island Avenue
Check out Marion's website, (under classes) for more information.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kensington Artist Social - Last Week's Re-cap

From Scott at donje' photography:
Calling All Artists kicked off its second event featuring Adam Norcott on the guitar and Leela Corman providing a belly dancing performance not to be forgotten. Thanks to both for there time and energy! Kitty and the staff at Lonelyville dedicated the entire back garden for the event and provided several exclusive drink specials and supported the raffle with a generous gift certificate of $25. Also, a special thank you to Animal Fare and Bene for there support of the raffle!! Please continue to support them.

A preview of what's to come. I am exploring locations and opportunities. Any business that wishes to be considered should contact me. I am considering a pot luck/BYOB jam session at the pavilion near the parade grounds. If there is an interest it would be a chance for everyone to bring their work, play an instrument, read a poem, perform a monologue etc etc etc. Everyone would bring there own picnic and beverages and hang for the day. I have to check into permits, power and barbeque in that area. Then for October I am approaching Shenanigans. This event will include scheduled performances some featured artists and writers to show and perform and a jam session for anyone interested. I'll probably include some food and drink specials and have invited the Foodbank for NYC to participate to raise money, food and awareness.

Coffee Plus

This little coffee shop is on Cortelyou off Coney Island Ave near E9th St. Its sort of what we envision for a central Kensington joint on Church Ave. or Fort Hamilton. We know Coffee Plus has been open for at least a year or so and heard it gets a lot of traffic from teachers at IS62. We kind of always go back to the fact that Church Ave (anywhere b/w Ocean Pkwy and McDonald) or Fort Hamilton (same cross streets) would get tons of day traffic from local teachers at PS130, PS130 Annex, PS230, PS 179, IHM as well as the post office and MTA workers all located within in 3 blocks of these areas. We've also heard lots of parents on the way to Greenwood or Albemarle Playground hoping for a stop this side of Prospect Exwy. Anyway, we heard this place is much cheaper then other coffee shops on the other side of CIA with pretty good bagels and sandwiches. With the 2 postings we did on E7th and E8th today we thought this little place might be of interest.

New Development - E8th St.

This new development is going up on E8th St. right off Cortelyou kind of behind IS62. We hadn't noticed it before b/c we don't make it to this area much. Regardless the windows look kind of nice and seems there will be balconies. Not sure we'd want to be directly behind a school, dismissal has got to be loud, but what do we know! No postings on the fence re: brokers listing the properties.

Less Than $300K

This 1 bed is listed by Corcoran so the $265K is probably a little high. There are also no interior photos and its a sponsor unit (10% down ok!) which probably means up until now its been a rental and will require some work. Also to take into consideration is the location is a few blocks from F or a longer walk to the Q .... its sort of in the middle but there is a bus on Cortelyou. The good news is this building has a blog! (515 E.7th St.)

New Store for Church Ave - Sneaker Drama

A new store has popped up on Church Ave b/w E5th and E4th Sts. The store, Sneaker Drama, replaces the old Optical store that has been vacant for quite some time. In seems they are in the mist of making renovations but already have a few pairs of those new neon Nikes in the window. We are excited for the new addition!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Local Blogger Focus

We tend not to write about our general life events and such... it is a neighborhood blog! Regardless doesn't mean we don't have musings or opinions about things other then a local coffee shop or say, littering. One thing we've tended to think about quite a bit these days are babies and play dates. We don't have babies but since almost everyone we know is having (or had) babies we're always wondering how to arrange our play dates (cough cough drinking) with or with out friends said babies. We also have gotten into many a conversation w the new parents about meeting new friends w babies. Anyway, we read the following post on a local neighbors blog and it made us laugh. Pretty sure you can apply it to most new 'relationships' and its funny to think that even once married or partnered we all still have anxiety. Enjoy!

They're Just Not That Into Us (What Kind of Emergency Happens at the Gap?)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gone Fishing

We'll be on vacation until August 28th. No internet access for 4 whole days! See ya Tuesday. (Please send ideas though for Tuesday as it'll be hard to catch up w getting back to the normal grind!)

Greenwood Playground Kid Events

Sunday Morning
August 26th, 10:30 a.m.
Join Joanne Riehl for an end of Summer children's concert at GreenwoodPlayground.

Monday Morning
August 27th, 11:00
Prospect Zoo Programming - Learn all about Sea Lions!
Ages four to ten. There will be a sea lion story, sea lion skulls, a sea lion training game and a fish craft to bring home. Find Audrey Lucas up front by the chess tables.

And don't forget crafts for kids with Rene every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00 and Wednesdays at 3:00.

Need Info... Fall Church Ave Street Fair

We're looking for a contact for the Church Ave Merchant Assoc., anyone got one? Specifically we're thinking about the upcoming Church Ave street fair in the Fall and want to explore local artists and musicians contributing to the local festival. Personally we'd really like to see less tube socks and random crap and have the street fair really highlight some of our local flavor and talent.
So.... first off anyone got that contact info? Second, anyone want to set up a booth? We'd love to see local photographers, painters etc w/ their wears on sale!

Kensington Contributors Needed

In response to Bloomberg's 311 Scout Program comes recently launched People's 311. This things seems like it will essentially be a flickr photo pool documenting 311 conditions around the city. (Check out the very beginning stages here). Anyway, the project doesn't have any contributions from Kensington and could really use some help from us. Here's what they need:
* street potholes
* dead or dying street trees
* illegal outdoor advertising
* peeling paint in public places (subways)
* damaged or open fire hydrants
* missing or dangling traffic signs
* sidewalk hazards
* fallen over newspaper boxes
* illegal dumping
Seems like we got some of this stuff happening pretty close by... carry the camera around and upload to the pool! Maybe we'll get a pothole or dead tree filled/ replaced.

Rider Report Card - F train!

This summer, MTA-NYC Transit instituted a Rider Report Card, distributing both at subway stations and online. The first Rider Report Card was distributed for the #7 line and now the MTA-NYCT just announced that the L line is next in line. However, if you visit the MTA-NYC Transit website, you can complete an online Rider Report Card for any subway line. Here's links to our fabulous (cough cough) F line and the soon to be extended (when!?) G line.
F - Rider Report Card
G - Rider Report Card
Fill 'em out or at least the F since the G won't affect us til who knows when (even though the darn thing rolls into Church Ave but doesn't open its doors!).

Weedend To Do - Pistolera!

Lincoln Center Out Of Doors presents: La CASITA : A Home for the Heart
PISTOLERA performs on: Saturday, August 25th
Lincoln Center South Plaza
Look for the colorful stage. 3pm, FREE

Accident Heightens Need for Bumps

A livery cab driver was killed early this morning at the corner of Church and Ocean Parkway (not Ocean Avenue as the article states).
A 22-year-old driver was arrested and is facing DWI charges after a crash early Wednesday morning in Brooklyn that killed a man, who had stepped out of his car to assist another driver. The multi-car accident happened around 1:20 a.m. when police say a green Lincoln Town Car from the Concord Limousine Service was disabled at the point where the Prospect Expressway becomes Ocean Avenue.

This is the exact location local residents have proposed for speed bumps. You can sign the ipetition for these speed bumps here.

Brooklyn Dragons (Youth Rugby)

Youth Rugby, started by a Kensington local, is looking for kids to join the league. Second season of the Brooklyn Dragons will begin in Prospect Park on Sept 9th. Check the site for more details.

Babbo's Books presents The Ezra Jack Keats Story Hour

WT biz but independent book store so we post their events and support 'em all the same.

Every Thursday, Juliet Furness (a local mother, teacher, and actress) will read 1 Keats book and 5 or 6 others. Juliet is very lively and keeps the children interested for the entire time! So, if you are interested, come down to Babbo's Books at 242 Prospect Park West between Prospect Ave. and Windsor Pl. this Thursday from 11am - 12pm. It's $6 for one child and $8 for two. Call Leonora at (718) 788 - 3475 with any questions.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

F Express - Update from the blogosphere...

Our pal Gary (F express petition writer) over at First and Court just did a very information packed post highlighting some updates on that darned F express. Guess there is also an article in NYC metro about blogging and the MTA. Seems they read 'em but darned sure we haven't gotten a reply from MTA rep Andrew Ingsby about when the G should start opening it's doors on Church Ave. (oh yeah and we wrote him over a month ago). Anyway, for your information read the posts listed below. (We're away ok!? Give us a break!)

The MTA and the Blogs (First and Court)
The MTA is listening…to me! (2nd Ave Sagas)
MTA in the blogosphere (metro)
Oh and one more for the road... Quit Stalling on the Express (Gotham Gazette)

Abandoned Bikes... The reason why we post 'em

So we know our abandoned bike posts (I and II) got some flack but here's an article we hope you all find interesting.... Giving Abandoned Bikes New Life So Students Can Ride (NY Times)
On a side note the 2 bikes we posted both had rusted chains and flat tires.

To-B-Thai... The Interview

Left to Right: Manit, Mi, Wat Charee holding Johnathan [Wat and Manit's baby].


126 Beverley Road


Amid the 99 cent stores, nail salons, and plethora of Chinese take-outplaces, Kensington has attracted a number of Thai restaurants to the area lately. We started with AM Thai Chili Basil on McDonald Ave, then Thai Tony's on Ft. Hamilton Parkway. We now introduce To-B-Thai on Beverley. There's been a lot of talk about whether we need another Thai and that spray painted sign. I decided to find out, at the same time meet the new owners (and their adorable baby) and get a scoop of what they're all about. The friendly couple, Manit and Wat Charee, and their partners were kind enough to set aside some time (after several days of little sleep) to welcome me and talk about their journey to Kensington. (On the side, they are looking for a 2-bedroom apartment in Kensington. If anyone knows of one, stop by at the restaurant and talk to either one. I don't know of the price range, but I'd guess something affordable.)

So first, welcome to Kensington!
Wat: Thank you!Do you live in Kensington? No, we will move from the Bronx to be here. Hopefully in a couple months. We are looking. But before, we lived in Washington, D.C. We move here 2 years ago.

How did you hear about this location or decide on this spot?
We are poor. We do too much work in a restaurant. And we have an idea. We want to open the restaurant. And we don't have much money.

So how did you decide on this Kensington location?
It was just an accident! A friend walked past here and saw the sign. And we always talk about opening a restaurant.

Have you ever run a restaurant?
No, only my husband's family has a restaurant in Washington, DC. After my friend saw the sign he called me and said, "The pizzeria is wanting to rent. Do you want to take a look?" We come over, my husband liked it.

What did he like about it?
He liked the location. He thought, it's on the corner, a lot of people walking. The stores around it. And we thought, there are no Thai restaurants.

Ah. And I assume you now know there are two other Thai restaurants?
After we did everything, we walked [around] and, oh, we saw them!So does that make you nervous? Nooo.. because they [AM Thai] only have one table.

Also, all the Thai locations are spread out in Kensington.
Yes. And in the end, after we know there are Thai restaurants out there, we know we have to make the price cheaper, good quality, clean, and really good service. First thing we want is really good service!

That's fantastic. Good service is a plus!
Mi sits down with us (a partner in the restaurant).

Hi! Thanks for joining us! So I noticed when I arrived, a couple of you were pointing to the sign. Is that changing soon?
Mi: Oh yes! We are changing that very soon! But as you know, a lot of money to open a business!

Yes I know! And you opened earlier than planned because you were starting to pay rent.
Wat: Yes. A lot of things we didn't know we had to spend money on. Because when we rent it, we just put money to landlord. We have to deposit for gas, deposit for insurance, equipment!

Well it's a tough business! And I applaud you. There are many people who feel it's too expensive and difficult to open a store here. Even myself! And here you are, almost having to send your baby back home to Thailand so both you (Wat and Manit) can work to make it here!So I was telling Wat about the other Thai places here.
Mi: Oh yeah! In the middle [AM Thai], that's my friend. They were the first Thai opened here. Because my friend live around here, he walked past every day, to the subway, he saw this place [Regina's pizza]. But we weren't sure because everything was so expensive. But we asked. And we got a nice landlord. They want to help us.

That's fantastic! (Mi is called away to cook.)You mentioned there were future changes, including the sign.
Wat: Actually we want to do something very nice. We will move in the counter a bit further to have chairs there. Move the other counter back for more room. We'll have really nice lights that shine up, light candles. I don't like too bright . But we want everyone to see us working. That's why everybody has to think about clean! Sometimes the kitchen closed, you don't know how dirty [it is]. I don't like it. I worked in the kitchen before. Sometimes, with a closed kitchen, something drop to the floor and they [other restaurants] pick it up and use it. You don't know that. But we want you to know! I say, if they can’t see you, you won't have anymore customer! I make it clean and clear. I like everything organized. Even my house!Manit arrives to sit down.

Nice to meet you! So you're both commuting from the Bronx?
Manit: Yes, subway is one hour and half. Every day, every night. Come and come back, 3 hours. Tired!
Wat: We're going to move soon here. Difficult with the baby and stroller to find a seat.

How do you like the neighborhood?
Wat: This area is very nice! I will take a walk a couple blocks with my baby. It's really quiet. Seems like everybody is friendly. Not like the Bronx! Everybody is noisy, yelling. You will know you are in the Bronx!

I was here with my friend and your desserts are amazing! Very unusual for an Asian restaurant to have desserts like chocolate cake. It's usually just some fruit or ice cream.
Wat: I was very afraid! Why you put chocolate cake on the menu! They're not going to eat your chocolate cake!

No, I really think it's a good idea! It makes you different and stand out. So what other things do you think helps you stand out?
Manit: I think our prices. We want customers to be happy and come back to eat. And we want good prices. Also our dishes have many herbs.

That's true. I had the Crispy Duck Salad and loved the mango and herbs. It was very fresh! You also have a great location. Big windows, good foot traffic to help you stand out.
Manit: Yes, we have been open 4 days and every day is busy! We opened 7 pm on Thursday and it was so busy! And the next day, it was raining, so it was busy again. But we worry about the customer. Because we want every customer to be happy. We don't want expensive food.

So what are your favorite dishes? Appetizer?
Wat: He thinks we have really good Pad Thai! And the Crispy Basil Duck. The Chicken Satay too. And the Thai Beef Jerky.

Thank you so much for your time! Welcome, and I wish you the best success! I think you will be doing well!
Thank you!

From Kensington coorspondent Mindy! Thanks Mindy for introducing us to To-B-Thai!

Dishes from To-B-Thai

Support Local Speed Bumps

A neighbor sent us this petition awhile ago and it got lost in the murk of the in-box. Here is his petition and the jist of why it needs your support.

We are residents and friends of Kensington, Brooklyn, concerned about the welfare and safety of pedestrians and cyclists, children and adults, on the block of Ocean Parkway between Church Ave and Caton Ave, on the East side of the Prospect Expressway. Due in part to the unusually long traffic light at the corner of Caton Ave, motorists are constantly speeding down this narrow street, which is lined with residential buildings full of kids and the elderly, and dense parallel parking on each side. This is an incredibly dangerous situation, and there is currently nothing to prevent it from continuing. It is only a matter of time before someone is injured or killed.

Ocean Pkwy Speed Bump Petition (Sign it!)

Can I get a Woot, Woot!

Breaking News: Car-Free Hours Extended in Prospect Park (Streetsblog)

From DOT:
City transportation and parks commissioners today announced the extension of weekday recreational hours in Prospect Park as part of a citywide effort to encourage outdoor activity and cleaner air. Beginning on Monday August 27, 2007, motor vehicles will only be allowed to use the park’s East Drive from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and its West Drive from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The announced change discontinues evening vehicle access to the East Drive (currently permitted from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Slavic Soul Party!

Got nothing to do tonight? Check out Kensington neighbors Slavic Soul Party! at Barbes in Park Slope.

You'd think with all the musicians and artists living here we could get quite a festival together for next summer or a hip stage and some cool 'for sale' tables at the next Church Ave bizarre.... just an idea!

Halal Delivery

Artist Social - August 22

Be there or be square! The first one was a HUGE success. Though this one will be held up in Windsor Terrace local donje photographer and Kensington neighbor Scott is putting it all together. Come out to Lonelyville to meet up with local artist folk or just cool people. Oh and let us just take this opportunity to say Scott wouldn't have to organize this all the way up in WT if we had more things here in Kensington proper.... oh well, Lonelyville is fun and the new back deck is pretty kick ass.

Date: Wednesday, August 22
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Lonelyville Coffee - 154 Prospect Park Southwest between Vanderbilt and Seeley
Cover: $6.00
Private Garden with Cash bar and menu, entertainment, and raffle.
Email Scott at

Ch ch changes... at Foodtown

We got an email from Dan and Noah at Foodtown with pictures showing what they hope to include in the renovations at Foodtown. (We can't post pics from our out of town location, sorry!) The changes seem impressive and quite fancy. In the meantime the place seems to be much more clean and organized. Also there have been some additions to brands! We stopped by the other day and noticed a whole new freezer selection on Morning Star products as well as Smart brand soy products by the produce. We personally think this is pretty exciting stuff! We hope besides the inside Dan and Noah work on the look of the outside (a few planters and a mural on the wall facing PS230) as well as making the entrance more stroller/ granny cart accessible.

Golden Farm to Add Organic

On Saturday we saw a small sign on one of the register's at Golden Farm that said "Organic Produce Coming Soon". We asked one of the cashiers and she said everyone has been asking for organic produce! She didn't think it'd be that much more expensive though they won't carry too much since it rots more quickly then treated produce. We also noticed a small deli style container at her registrar asking for suggestions. We think its great GF is taking suggestions from local folks but hope the additions don't take away from the variety. We like the local breads, sabra selection, cookies and low cost of produce.

Stable Brooklyn Fall Event

In case you didn't know it was out there Stable Brooklyn is a group committed to sensible neighborhood development. Obviously born from the drama over by Kensington Stables and some very obnoxious development going up on Caton Place these guys have their roots the upzoning battle. We're down w the activism and recently got a little note from them on an upcoming Fall Event. Here are the details:
We've got a big block party coming up on Sept. 15th--"It's so easy being green" on Kermit Place--we'll have square dancing and pony rides, games for kids, music, food, and green-themed participants--worm composting, recycling, etc. Also the local branch library and Prospect Park zoo are participating. This is a joint effort of our neighborhood group, the Kensington Stables, GALLOP (therapeutic riding), and the Windsor Terrace branch of the library. We will also have an exhibit of our "vision" from the community planning workshops we conducted last year.
Be there or be square!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Local Council Members Support F express

We haven't heard much on the F express since the petition and subsequent rally but last week we got a letter that local council member Simcha Felder sent to the MTA and President of NYC Transit. Mr. Felder's letter in brief notes that he and council member Recchia will not support the considered fare hike without an F express!

The MTA has said that an express F train cannot be considered until 2012, upon competition of the Gowanus Viaduct restoration. As you know, in addition to the two unused express tracks between Bergen St. and Church Ave., a single unused track exists thereafter up to Kings Highway. Anyone who has ridden the elevated portion of the Culver line has seen the single express track between Church Ave. and Kings Highway used sporadically despite the scheduled Gowanus Viaduct project. We fail to understand what relevance the Viaduct has to the elevated express track between Church Ave. and Kings Highway, or, for that matter, the underground express tracks beyond the Viaduct, from 7th Ave. to Church Av. Additionally, we remain unconvinced that the MTA's 2012 goal is reasonable timeframe for the completion of work on the Viaduct, and, transitively, full restoration of express service.

The MTA has also cited insufficient demand as an argument against restoration of express service on the F line. Based on the community's loud voicing of their concern over this matter, including an online petition with more than 3,500 signatures, we believe the demand will be particularly evident when service is improved, and the MTA is offering its riders a more reasonable commute. At a time when the city's leadership is attempting to convince more New Yorkers to step out of their cars and into mass transit, a fare hike without tangible improvements would severely undermine this effort.

We think this is a great demand and wish all our local representatives would send similiar letters to the MTA. Go F express!

Cafe Sim-Sim

We just found this menu in the foyer.

Cafe Sim-Sim - 312 Ditmas Ave. (E3rd St. and Ditmas Ave)

Menu boasts Caucasian, Russian and European Cuisine. Yeah, we know caucasian cuisine is from the Caucasus but it was sort of funny.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Less Than $300K

100 Ocean Parkway - Apt: 2G
1 bed/ 1 bath $285 maint: $453 (10% down ok)

We like this building and looked at an apartment here years ago. The problem for us was it faced the highway/ Ocean Pkwy. The constant hum from the traffic was sort of a turn off. However, if you're in the back of this building or noise like this isn't a bother well then could be fine. The fact that this apartment is on the 2nd floor could also mean it doesn't hear a lot of the traffic noise (vs. the higher floors). Regardless, worth it to check out especially since its listed w Corcoran so we certainly wouldn't offer the ask. Open house Sunday (8/19 2.30 - 4)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Guest Bloggers/ Ideas for Posts

A lot of your posts are wackily petty. Sure, I want the city to replace the trees and I think Backfat is a doofus. BUT, I think there are issues in the nabe worth blogging about that are more important than cars w/out license plates and possibly-abandoned bikes. IMHO, of course. Kumera

We hear the gripes and read the comments so now is your chance (cough cough Kumera)! That's right we're going on vacation for a much needed rest from bloggin', city life and all things Kensington. All next week you can send us emails with complete posts (include pictures if possible) and we'll post 'em! You can sign the post or have us put it up anonymous, your choice. We'll need posts for all next week and the following Monday August 27th.

On a side note we always take and welcome (with open arms) your suggestions. The contact info is posted on the upper right hand corner of the blog. In our defense we heard from residents about the trees, the unlicensed vehicles and the graffiti. Though we 'man' the blog we're really simply a filter and post what we get. We'd love to know what other ideas people have that are worth bloggin' about here.

Catch and Release

We got a tip but are unable to confirm that the ASPCA will be in the neighborhood today doing a catch and release neutering and spaying stray cats. Got info on this one?

Local Stores Carrying Organic

We've noticed local favorite Golden Farm has started carrying a variety of organic products like Alba, Tom's from Maine, and Avalon. Foodtown seems also to be in the mist of scrubbing down the place and they now carry some organic nuts and a few other things. Anyone else know of any places along our stretch of Church Ave showing a broader variety?

Bicylce, Abandoned (II)

This one is on the fence by Greenwood playground at E5th and Ft. Hamilton Pkwy. The entire chain is rusted (as is the lock) from the amount of time its been sitting here.


Old Regina's is in fact forming into another Thai restaurant. We haven't been over with the camera but saw some guys moving in equipment and the new *fancy* sign. Also noticed will trolling the K-town listings that the entire building is for sale. We can't seem to locate the listing at the moment but hopefully we'll have it up soon. So, how do we all feel about yet another Thai place?

The New Yorker

Anyone else think this New Yorker cover is sort of similar to Kensington demographic? Obviously, we run a much wider gamut but all the same...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

How's Kensington's Walk Score?

McBrooklyn had a link to a site, Walk Score, which gives you a neighborhood's walk-ability score. From our address we got a 75 out of a 100. Interesting... Seems the site doesn't take into account public transport or quality of sidewalks etc. simply what from your address you can walk to like schools, libraries, restaurants, coffee shops (duh!) etc.

Kensington Dorm - Full for Fall

Looks like the students will return in the Fall!

One developer, White Acre Equities LLC, solved that problem by opening a dormitory in Brooklyn in a former assisted living home that had been deserted for several years before the developers proposed a dorm.

"Certainly neighborhoods don't like vacant buildings," said Jesse Hertzberg, vice president of development and acquisitions for White Acre. "I've read the Community Board heard rumors there was going to be a methadone clinic in the building. With rumors like that, a dormitory sounds fantastic."

The fully furnished four-story building at 385 McDonald Avenue in Kensington will house about 120 students in single and double units. Within three months, all of the units were leased to students from Brooklyn College, Brooklyn Law School, the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Polytech and others. About 60 percent of students are studying in Brooklyn, the other 40 percent in Manhattan.

Monthly rents range from approximately $900 to $1,000 -- and include utilities, high-speed Internet and cable. The building is now fully leased for the fall and almost fully leased for the spring, Hertzberg said."I think it's fair to say that given occupancy that rental increases are forthcoming for the subsequent school year," he said. "We also have a long waiting list."

From Real Deal - Dorm demand delights developers
In case you want a room, NY Student Housing

Request a Bike Rack

In honor of the neighborhood's abandoned bicycles we're sharing this tidbit. If you're a biker and would like a place to park your bike in the hood, request one! If you know of a spot outside a business you can request a rack then click here to access the form on the CityRacks. Keep in mind the rack will be installed on city-owned property on concrete sidewalks that are a minimum of 12 feet wide. They have to be out of the flow of pedestrians and at least six feet from other "street furniture" like signs, mailboxes, etc. and have to be 13 feet from fire hydrants and 15 feet from bus shelters. We think a rack in front of the lunchenotte or Foodtown on McDonald and Albemarle would be a great location! We'd also love to see some near Greenwood and Albemarle Playgrounds.

Yard Sale for Obama

A message from our Obama Kensington-Ditmas group!

It's a big week for Brooklyn and Barack Obama! First up is a local Kensington event -- the Kensington-Ditmas group will be having a yard sale this Sunday, August 19th, from 10 am to 4 pm, at 379 East 8th Street (between Avenue C and Cortelyou Road). If you have items that you'd like to contribute to the sale, they can be picked up from you in advance, you can arrange a time to drop them off, or you can bring them on yard sale day. For further information, to sign up to volunteer, or to arrange pick-up/drop-off of items, please contact Allison Make at

Next up.. the man himself! Barack Obama is coming to the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge (333 Adams Street), next Wednesday, August 22nd, 5:30-7:00 pm (doors open at 5:00 pm). General admission is $25, or $15 with a student ID. Tickets MUST be purchased prior to the event, and they WILL sell out, so be sure to get yours ASAP. Tickets can be purchased online at, or you can purchase paper tickets from Allison ( or at the Kensington-Ditmas yard sale (see above) this Sunday. For more information, please e-mail or call 212-763-4853.

B68 Coney Island Bus of Nations

What is it about Coney Island Avenue? How do so many different kinds of people live so closely yet so peacefully?

"The immigrants who live here get along not because they want to, but because they have to. It's not that they like each other, necessarily. … But they've learned to live with each other, because in order to get what you want here — education, economic prosperity, security, a decent place to live — you must live in cooperation with other people."

The bus is a metaphor: "They need to get from one place to another. To do that they all have to ride the same bus. If they fight, the bus won't move. But I almost don't want to say too loudly that this is going on, like it's bad luck. … Once you start bringing attention to this, it's almost like inviting someone to prove you're wrong. It's a challenge to people who think Jews shouldn't have anything to do with Muslims."

Brooklyn street proves yes, we all can get along (USA Today)
B68 (local service - Coney Island Park Slope) Timetable

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Prospect Park Car Hours

Its no fun to bike in the park when the cars are using it as a thruway on the morning and evening commute. For that reason we actually bike to and from work on the perimeter of the park. OTBKB (we're copy cats) posts a piece about a recent article in the Daily News, Prospect Park slighted by car ban. Email Marty ( to let him know you'd like Prospect Park car free.

Advocates charge the city's policies involving cars in the two parks were already unfair to Brooklyn and that the latest changes made the discrepancy worse.

Markowitz spokeswoman Laura Sinagra said the borough president was never given a formal proposal to sign off on but that his long-standing position remains unchanged.

"Our historical position has been that further limiting hours would result in unacceptable traffic backup," Markowitz said in a statement. "The current hours are appropriate to the needs of the many in our borough who must rely on these roads to get to work and school."

The flareup is the latest round in the ongoing battle among some neighborhood and transportation groups to ban cars altogether in both parks.

In Brooklyn, members of Community Board 14, which includes Midwood and Flatbush, have vehemently opposed banning cars from the park for congestion reasons.

Bicycle, Abandoned

Corner of Dahill and Tehama (behind Foodtown, catty corner to PS 230)

We noticed there are lots of abandoned bicylces in the neighborhood. We're gonna start posting locations and pics of the bikes in case you know how to break a lock and are handy enough to get these things running. Speaking of biking, we biked from Kensington to Williamsburg on Sunday and it only took 30 minutes. We found a pretty efficient and traffic free route just in case you're interested in using the cycle to go see OverCat tonight... (Take park up to Grand Army, down Flatbush to Carlton, hit Flushing then a left on Kent. Scenic waterway too).

We may not have coffee...

but you can get internet at the Clean Rite (big blue and yellow sign) on McDonald. Didn't check to see if its wi-fi, we don't it. We're assuming they have the pay machines. So, ifyou're in an internet pinch and need to do some laundry you can kill 2 birds w 1 stone.

Who is the Kensington buyer?

From the comments section...
The buyer for a Kensington apt or house is a person who wants more space for his/her dollar. They're probably not concerned with trendy areas but just want a safe, relaxed vibe of a hood to come home to...(they're also ahead of the curve in knowing that anywhere near Prospect park can only rise in value).

We certainly agree with this. When we were searching it was very important to us to be in a neighborhood that we felt safe in. We also wanted more for our money and were at a point where space was essential. An apartment further north for the same price was a studio or Junior 1 bed (unlike the 900 sq foot we got) in an area that was considered marginal or a very long walk to a train. We bike a lot so weren't concerned with fact that we didn't have a 7th Avenue like atmosphere. Actually we were thrilled to have a couple good grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores and laundry within a few blocks. That being said considering the influx of buyers and the changing demographic of the neighborhood many of our Kensington friends are surprised the area hasn't caught on to retailers.

22 Caton Exposed

In case you want some info about 22 Caton Place, the building being built next door to Kensington Stables, check out the attached proposal from Empire Equities. Page 15, pop. projections, and page 18, planned project at 701 Caton, we find especially interesting. In page 19, 362 Coney Island, is rumored to be a future White Castle. Empire Equities are the same guys who brought us Park Circle.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Comprehensive Tree List Needed ASAP

Good News! Check out the email sent to the KWT yahoo group from de Blasio rep, Tom Gray. We included our little list of trees below so please add in the comments section OR email Tom directly.

After speaking with the folks at the Parks Dept. it looks like we have a plan to get storm damaged trees replaced ASAP. I will need your help generating a list of locations that will need new trees. You can email or call me directly with the following information: Address where the tree was located, if there is a stump that needs to be removed and if the sidewalk was damaged.
I hope to get this information to Parks next week but need help, please spread the word.

Tom Gray, District Director, City Council Member Bill de Blasio, (718) 854-9791 (718) 854-1146 Fax

Replacement trees
3 trees in front of 135 Ocean Pkwy (sidewalk damage stump to be removed)
1 tree Albemarle Rd b/w E5th and OP service road (sidewalk damage stump to be removed)
2 trees on Chester b/w Louisa and Church Ave (stump to be removed)
1 tree 398 E.2nd St

Dead trees
west side E5th St. directly off Caton
Church Ave (in front of _____)

Tree spot without a tree!
2 spots in front of 531 Church Ave (Ocean Pkwy Pharmacy)1 spot on east side of E4th St. (side of computer store)1 spot in front of ___ E5th St. b/w Church Ave & Beverly
various locations down Ocean Pkwy
2 spots 535 Ocean Pkwy

Dead Man Near Park Circle

Someone had written us about this but we were hesitant to post anything 'til we got some info. Here it is...
Dead in Kensington A 35-year-old man was found dying from a head wound in a Kensington alley Monday morning, area cops said this week. As this paper was going to press, officials said that the medical examiner’s office was going to determine exactly what killed the unidentified male, although the head trauma he suffered may be a factor. The victim was found in an alley at 346 Coney Island Avenue just before 7 a.m. on August 6. Cops did not rule out that the victim may have committed suicide and jumped from the building.
Our tipster saw some police activity on the way to work and wrote us to get the scoop. This is all we could find. Anyone?

Local Drink!

Just a quick note since we stopped by Shenanigans for a drink last week and would certainly recommend it. The back deck area is great on a comfortable night and we've heard Saturday night's karaoke is quite the Kensington scene. Maybe we can connect with Scott to talk about Shenanigan's hosting one of the Artist Social events?

Shenanigan's Bar
Caton Ave b/w E7th and E8th Streets

Ft. Hamilton Development

New development on E3rd St. and Fort Hamilton is getting closer to completion. We noticed today that the glass is up and the banisters on the balconies. Some fine commercial opportunities await prospective business owners. We heard awhile back that at least 2 commercial spaces will be available as well as one space for something that'll benefit the community (doc's office etc.) upon completion. Hopefully we'll get another place to have the monthly artist socials!

OverCat Debut Weds

Local Kensington folks Roger Murdock and David Rick (current member of Wide Right and The Martinets and former guitarist of Bongwater and King Missile among hundreds of other bands) have finally put thier mouths where the money is with a new project called OVERCAT. Debut show will be committing improvisations preceding and in celebration of, THE SPECIAL PILLOW. The show is Wednesday at Williamsburg joint (managed by another Kensington local, Mark Lampert) Sound Fix record store and cafe.

The Special Pillow CD Release Show w/ Overcat
Wednesday, August 15
8:00 p.m. at Sound Fix Records
110 Bedford Avenue (at North 11th St.)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn All Ages, FREE

Construction on E5th

From a couple local E5th neighbors we got word that construction on the re-paving was through out the day causing dust and fumes. One local arrived home to find their entire apt. smelling of diesel since the many trucks lining E5th let their engines idle most of the day. Gross! Unfortunately when we rolled by after 4pm the crew was still working and imagine there is plenty left to do.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Channel 12 in Kensington

Check out the 7.30 channel 12 broadcast tonight for a segment on Kensington and the trees taken down by the recent Brooklyn tornado. One of us here at K(B) was interviewed for the segment.... Should be interesting. (Just in case you didn't catch it the Kensington segment will replay every hour at thirty past i.e. 10.30, 11.30, etc until tomorrow at 7.30).

Channel 12 News - Looking for Tree Huggers!

Channel 12 News will be in Kensington doing interviews on the downed trees from the recent tornado. They are looking for the following:
We are hoping that we can talk to someone from your community about any particular tree that was significant to them, or important to the neighborhood. I read the blog postings and a few comments seem to have concerns over this issue. Please get back to me as soon as possible since we are working on a tight deadline.
Anyone gonna be home today around 2pm that could do an on-camera interview? Get in touch with Connie,, ASAP. You can also email us at since we'll be meeting with the Channel 12 team.

Less than $300K

We're not sure if its because the NY Times recently got smaller but the recent sales column in the Real Estate section shrunk to 4 columns instead of the previous 5. More noticably the cheapest column went from less than 300K to now less than 400K. To prove some deals can still be had we plan on starting to list some local real estate thats less that $300K. (We take suggestions!) Looks like the sponsor is selling units at this Ocean Pkwy building and only 10% down is required.

285 Ocean Pkwy, 1 bed/ 1 bath, $269, maint: $424 Brooklyn Heights Realty
285 Ocean Pkwy, 1 bed/ 1 bath, $279, maint: $412 McNeill Real Estate

Kensington Artists Social - Take 2!

The first one was a HUGE success. Though this one will be held up in Windsor Terrace local donje photographer and Kensington neighbor Scott is putting it all together. Come out to Lonelyville to meet up with local artist folk or just cool people like us (since we attend but are not artists, ok we're also NOT cool!). Oh and let us just take this opportunity to say Scott wouldn't have to organize this all the way up in WT if we had more things here in Kensington proper.... oh well, Lonelyville is fun and the new back deck is pretty kick ass.

Date: Wednesday, August 22
Time: 7-9pm
Location: Lonelyville Coffee - 154 Prospect Park Southwest between Vanderbilt and Seeley
Cover: $6.00
Private Garden with Cash bar and menu, entertainment, and raffle.
Email Scott at

Development on Dahill

This is very close to Church Ave on Dahill. We have no idea about the final plans but assume a commercial space in the ground floor with a few apartments. Looks as if the front units will have balconies. Anyone out there got more info?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

CSA Goodness

Please comment on ideas for fennel

Sunday Meditation at Babbo's Books

Every Sunday at Babbo's Books (242 Prospect Park West, between Prospect Ave. & Windsor Pl.) from 10:00 - 11:30am, practice breathing meditation and listen to teachings. It is $10.

We know it's not Kensington but a very short bike ride (or a few subway stops). Plus, its an independent book store and how can we NOT support that?!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pistolera in Rolling Stone Mexico

Locals Pistolera made it into the recent issue of Rolling Stone Mexico! In case you'd like to see these guys at work here at two free NYC dates.
8/25 3pm outside at Lincoln Center
8/29 6pm La Plaza Cultural (Ave C & 9th St)

Flea Market Today

Flea Market today from 9-5pm in front of Church of the Holy Apostles at 612 Greenwood Ave.

Sort of related the Kensington-Ditmas Park Obama group will hold a stoop sale next weekend and is looking for donation. Email Allison ( to get details as to where to drop off items or to make a donation.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Glenn Close in Kensington

It is being reported from multiple sources that Glenn Close is filming her FX show Damages in a home on E3rd St. Kensington t-shirt to the first neighbor who snaps a picture of her.

Trees - Lets get some new ones!

We are simply devastated about the amount of trees that were lost to the recent storm. Before elected officials can forget the devastation felt through out the area we plan on starting to bombard them w tree requests for replacement trees. Help us compile a comprehensive list to send to the 'powers that be' including the PlaNYC tree guy who someone tipped us to. (We hear through this program you no longer need to be the owner of a residence in order to request a tree for an existing spot, only a new spot). Also list other locations for trees in one of the following areas.

Replacement trees
3 trees in front of 135 Ocean Pkwy
1 tree Albemarle Rd b/w E5th and OP service road
2 trees on Chester b/w Louisa and Church Ave
Dead trees
west side E5th St. directly off Caton
Church Ave (in front of _____)

Tree spot without a tree!
2 spots in front of 531 Church Ave (Ocean Pkwy Pharmacy)
1 spot on east side of E4th St. (side of computer store)
1 spot in front of ___ E5th St. b/w Church Ave & Beverly
various locations down Ocean Pkwy

Also as a back-up or extra, request your trees on-line at here.

Celebrate Brooklyn Ends This Weekend

To us its sort of like the unofficial end to summer. Celebrate Brooklyn ends this Saturday w the annual African Festival. (Friday will be a Bollywood film and DJ). Tonight we headed up to see the Hold Steady which rocked the house! Quite different then when we saw them at the Mercury a few years back. They just got off opening for the Stones and Lollapolloza so it was a real treat.

Development - Kensington Stables

About a week and a half ago we got to meet Lumi from No Land Grab. We were surprised she'd care about little 'ole Kensington but made a good point. Basically she noted that the area is primed for development. And she followed with something we've thought all along... because we get so little press or attention here there is also the potential for a bit of development abuse. Of course, we're in the mist of some major development and couldn't help to think how right she was! Take for instance the building rising next to the Kensington Stables. Recently we posted a piece from the Brooklyn Paper on how the horses are becoming well sort of, crazy with all the noise and commotion. We don't blame them, we can't imagine living next door to this noisy mess. Anyway, it just got us thinking we need to be more proactive with this development stuff. So, anyone got any developments to watch?

Restaurant Change

We saw this was already getting some attention in the comments section. Dahill Pizza is changing to Dahill Halal Gourmet. Not sure what Halal Gourmet will include but hope its more then just pizza.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Tornado hits Kensington (Brooklyn)

Video was taken Weds. Aug 8th at 6.30am in Kensington. See we did have a tornado here even if we didn't get a mention in the NY Times article (it apparently only hit Bay Ridge and Sunset Park).

Todays Commute?

So, how was this mornings commute? The MTA announced the F is stilling running w some major delays! Give us the juice in the comments section.

Thurs. Parking

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) in conjunction with the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) today announced the suspension of Alternate Side Parking (ASP) regulations in Brooklyn Community Boards 7, 10, 12 and 14 for Thursday, August 9, 2007 to facilitate storm debris removal. However, parking meters will remain in effect throughout the City.


Making the Best of Clean up

Friends of ours live on Chester near Louisa. We rode by today b/c we heard a tree actually fell on a house over there. Wouldn't you know it, it is was pretty much on thier house. The neighbors seemed to have gotten the brunt of it but we're glad it seemed only the fence and some iron work was destroyed. There are many many blocks in these parts that look this way E8th St, Ocean Parkway, Albemarle off Coney Island. The area has really been devasted but luckily noone was hurt and most of the damage to property appears to minimial. The trees however are gone and that is devasting.

But moving forward! This post is about how neighbors have joined together to clean thier streets and well, become a bit more neighborly. The picture of the kids above was taken on a break! Here's the note we got... Here is a sweet picture of the neighborhood kids taking a break after a long day of cleaning up. We met many more of our neighbors today and all had a "We're in this together.." moment. It was actually a great day b/c everyone helped each other out. (The first picture is of the house and the down tree. Second, the kids on thier break!)

Parking Alert!!

Warning! Parking on Friday could be tough. On Albemarle there will be the filming of what we hear is a TV show. Also E5th St. b/w Albemarle and Church will be re-paved. Good luck!

Todays Kids Events

Craft time @ Greenwood Playground! (see above)

Ezra Jack Keats Story Hour
11am-12pm at Babbo's Books
242 Prospect Park West (between Windsor Place and Prospect Avenue)
We know its not Kensington but its close enough and an independent book shop so we support it!

Renting, the old-fashioned way

Taken from the window of a local restaurant.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Clean up begins

National Weather Service Confirms Brooklyn Tornado




Tornado Hits Brooklyn; Subway Back in Service (NY Times)

Surveying the Damage?

This helicopter has been circling the area around the Prospect Expressway entrance for about 20 minutes now. Is it news or could it be Mayor Mike surveying the damage?