Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Travel baseball for the youngins

I wish someone would tell us about an adult baseball league around here (neighborhood blog league anyone?), but if you're looking to get your little slugger in the batter's box, checkout the SFX Huskies.

Here's the (3-2) pitch from Steve Reiser:
Kensington resident and SFX Youth Sports board member, Steve Reiser, is pleased to announce that the SFX Huskies will begin trying out new players aged 7-15 for its travel baseball program beginning next Saturday, January 10 at the SFX gym located at 752 President St, off of 6AV. Click here for info or email me directly at for more details. SFX Youth Sports also has an instructional program for all players that do not make one of the Huskies teams. No child is turned away!
Getting your own kid involved in a competitive baseball team now is probably our only chance at grooming some players for a successful Mets pennant bid in 10 years. So please, for the good of the city, consider this.

Monday, December 29, 2008


So we've been getting a lot of your emails asking us to help peddle your used lawn chairs. On the internet, there's no shortage of people looking to take stuff off your hands, but let's face it, no one wants to shlep out to Greenpoint to trade commemorative plates for a sockful of nickels.

Enter KensList. Keep your eye on the new box on the right for local classifieds. Want something posted to KensList? Drop an email to the address below and let us know. Your ad will see facetime from real locals, just like you. You should use this feature to buy, sell, or trade goods or services, to meet people for specific purposes, or really, for anything you'd use any other classifieds service for. Except this one is all Kensington, all the time.

Click through if you see anything you like, and drop us a line if you have anything you think people would like to see.

UPDATE: Send listings to

UPDATE 2: The address above is now correct, thanks Greg.

Restaurant Wars: Round 4 Wrap-up

After a bit of a holiday break, we're back on task and ready to wrap up Round 4.

Operators of Yen Yen Chinese Restaurant: on behalf of the food-eating people of the village of Kensington, we order you to accept this worthless bauble graciously, and furthermore to display it prominently for all to see. Failure to comply will result in a shunning the likes of which has not been seen since the original Persian Restaurant Wars of the early 7th-century. Congratulations are in order.

Next up: Continental Indian. Nominate in the comments. Restaurant wars continues. There can be only one.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Whichever of the many available holidays you observe, not the least of which is Festivus, may we wish you a peaceful and happy one. No matter how you celebrate the season, or even if you don't celebrate it at all, you can probably still appreciate this clip, which sums it all up pretty perfectly.

From the good folks at the Kensington Blog, Happy Festivus.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gallerie du Kensingtön

As you can see, there's a slideshow with a couple of neighborhood pictures going on the right hand side now. This is the new Gallerie du Kensingtön.

Here's the deal - email neighborhood photos to the address at the top right and we'll add them to the stream. Get your name in lights! We'll turn this into a hood full of Ansel Adamses yet. Thanks for contributing!

Kensington: Now and Then

Church Avenue East West (thanks, Jeff) from E5th.

(click pictures to see enlarged versions. See for more vintage brooklyn photography!)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Restaurant Wars, Round 4: Chinese Food

Chinese Food in Brooklyn can run the full gamut from succulent strips of Peking duck to Ramen Noodles microwaved in Soy sauce. Somewhere in between lies the options we have available in Kensington. Vote in the poll on the right for your favorite Chinese Restaurant in Kensington. Turnabout is fair play, so it's time for us to read their fortunes for once.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ask Kensington: Can you recommend a good real estate broker?

It's that time again. A new Kensingtonian is about to join our ranks... but he needs your help.

Jason asks:
I'm looking to move to Kensington next month... I'm wondering if you can recommend one or more good brokers for apartments in the area.
So we're putting this one up knowing full well that we're opening the comments up for lots of shameless self-promotion and possibly some pretty scathing complaints. Please, behave yourselves.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Skating at the other Wollman Rink.

People new to the area may not know that there's a second, lesser known Wollman Rink in NYC and it's right in the heart of Prospect Park, between the lake and the concert grove.
Regular Schedule
Mondays 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tuesdays 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursdays 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fridays 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturdays 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 – 6 p.m.; 7 – 10 p.m.
Sundays 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 – 6 p.m.

Holiday Hours
Christmas/New Year’s
Dec. 24 -25: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 – 6 p.m.
Dec. 26 - 27: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 – 6 p.m.; 7 – 10 p.m.
Dec. 28 -31: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 – 6 p.m.
Jan. 1: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 – 6 p.m.
Jan. 2 - 3: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 – 6 p.m.; 7 – 10 p.m.
Jan. 4: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 2 – 6 p.m.
For more information on this most hallowed of incredibly dangerous passtimes, visit Let me know how it goes. I'll be inside next to the fire. Wrapped in 6 blankets.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ask Kensington: Any good gyms in the area?

Here's another question we couldn't answer (and we're feeling pretty guilty about that).

Emily asks:
I'm looking for a good gym in Kensington - I know of Curves on McDonald Avenue and that's pretty good but what else is there in the area? Suggestions, please!
Please, help a neighbor out. Put down your dumbbells and head to the comments section.

Weekend F Service

179 St-bound F trains skip Ft Hamilton Pkwy, 15 St-Prospect Park, and 4 Av
Weekend, 12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon, Dec 20 - 22

For service from these stations, take a Coney Island-bound
F to 7 Av or Church Av and transfer to a 179 St-bound F.

For service to these stations take the
F to 7 Av or Smith-9 Sts and transfer to a Coney Island-bound F.
This seems to happen a lot.

Festivus (or how I learned to stop worrying and love Kensington)

(Duncan airs a grievance on the Festivus pole)

Festivus was a big hit! About 60 people came through Visions throughout the night and it was great to meet everyone. The Festivus pole allowed residents to air various and sundry grievances about Kensington and affairs in their personal life. Many thanks to everyone for coming out, and also to the staff at Visions for accomodating us (especially Jill who we know does not read this blog, despite assurances otherwise). Hopefully our next event will be even more successful! Any late winter holidays we should be celebrating together? February 24th is International Pancake day, a breakfast-themed Kensington event may be in order. Any thoughts?

Click here
for more Festivus pictures at Flickr.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Festivus is upon us!

Oh day of days! Festivus is here! Please join us at Visions Bar and Restaurant at 8pm tonight and meet everyone!

We are expecting a great turnout and are looking forward to meeting some folks in the neighborhood. We hope you are too. Be prepared to air your grievances about your family, friends, neighbors, and Kensington at large.

K-town hits NY Post houses of the week

From NY Post:
Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 1½ Square feet: 1,200. This Avenue C duplex co-op might be far from Alphabet City, but with plenty of space, a new washer/dryer and a convenient location near public transit, it has a lot to offer. There's also a spiral staircase and a lower-level rec room. Agents: Gina Castellano and Matthew Powers, Prudential Douglas Elliman, 718-840-2006 and 718-840-2000

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Restaurant Wars, Round 4

Restaurant Wars, Round 3 was sort of like watching a bunch of third-graders take on Usain Bolt and a cannonball in the hundred meter dash. Yummy Taco and El Gavilan practically crossed the finish line before the other runners were done clumsily tying their shoes. But Kensington has spoken. Yummy Taco, who narrowly defeated the more authentic (and more expensive) El Gavilan, is apparently the favorite on this list. May they wear their beautiful one-of-a-kind badge , recast from the bronze codpiece of Hector of Troy, with pride for the rest of their days.

And now, on to the nominations for Round 4

There's no shortage of Chinese options within the boundaries of Kensington, so there's probably no need to branch out. Sound off in the comments with your nominations for local Chinese restaurants!

Local Library Round-up

Basic Computer Classes - Kensington Library
We all know someone who needs this class. Intended for adults with little or no experience operating computers. It can be anyone from your hunting-and-pecking Aunt Ethel to your literally-afraid-of-the-machine Grampa Bill.

Tuesday, Dec 16 at 6:30 PM
Wednesday, Dec 17 at 10:30 AM
Tuesday, Jan 20 at 6:30 PM
Wednesday, Jan 21 at 10:30 AM
Tuesday, Feb 24 at 6:30 PM
Wednesday, Feb 25 at 10:30 AM
Resume Writing Workshop - Windsor Terrace Library
If you're like most people (read: me), your resume probably needs work. This class can't hurt.

Monday, Jan 5 at 1 PM
Skills Training and Employment Project - Windsor Terrace Library
Get help with job and career information, resumes, cover letters and interview preparation. Note: this is not an actual job. You will not be paid.

Tuesdays, 11 AM
No session on:
December 23, 2008
December 30, 2008
For a full list of events at the local libraries, click here! From what I understand they also have rooms full of books that you can just take home for free? Anyone have any more information on this? It sounds too good to be true.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ask Kensington: Which drycleaner won't ruin my clothes?

It's time for another installment of our award winning* Ask Kensington series!

Liam asks:
So after having yet another dress poorly pressed (you could see the marks) and a hem ripped open at our 3rd attempt at a drycleaner... I'm wondering if you could post a recommendation forum of some kind so the good citizens of kenisngton can recommend a good spot?

Thanks very much!
Anyone have a particular drycleaner with which they've had continued success? Let Liam known in the comments!

* Most awards pending and/or completely fabricated

Kensington: Now and Then

Northeast corner of Church & Coney Island Avenue.

(click pictures to see enlarged versions. See for more vintage brooklyn photography!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Opossum Kingdom?

So word on the street is we have an opossum population right here in Kensington. Local Brendan tipped us off to these cute little marsupials after snapping a shot of this critter on Albemarle Road. Though this photo looks a little gruesome, in all likelihood this thespian of the animal kingdom is very much alive and out rummaging through your garbage or chasing tasty rats into the safety of your home right now. I, for one, welcome our pointy-snouted overlords.

Friday, December 12, 2008

NYC Icy on thin ice?

A reader writes:
NYC ICY is offering soups for the winter because NOBODY is going in there. Let's not let another great local business fail. They offer gourmet ices and sherbets. They have sophisticated flavors like Grapefruit basil ice, Apricot Ginger etc but also stuff kids like such as Fire Engine Red Ice. The Sherbets are really good too but no Ice Cream per se. They sell it by the pint which is great to bring to a dinner party and the flavors change all the time. The owners live in the neighborhood. Business has been SO SLOW that they are thinking of closing for at least the season. I heard they are offering soups. It would be great to get people to start going there before we lose yet another business over here.
I personally stand guilty of not patronizing this local business, but it was only due to ignorance. I only saw it for the first time three days ago and got this email yesterday. It sounds delicious, different, and the sort of thing we should support. Yelpers seem to agree that it's a fine establishment. So go buy some water ice! Or some soup! It is your civic duty to bolster the local economy in this time of recession.

NYC Icy can be found near the corner of Church Avenue and Coney Island Avenue.

Proactively solving the graffiti crisis

No one likes graffiti.

Well, graffiti 'artists' like it. But their opinions don't count much. Train robbers like robbing trains too.

Back to graffiti, we have to ask ourselves why we hate it so much. It's annoying, illegal, and can make otherwise nice places look like dumps. When we see it, we rage inside. Why, we wonder, would anyone waste their time with such a thing? Who, we ponder, might this Vegeta person be? And what, we muse silently, can we do to stop him?

Almost nothing.

You can hope to stop defacers in the act by attempting to be in the right place at the right time, but unless you're armed with something stronger than harsh language, you may find yourself alone and freshly mocked. There's nothing less threatening to the average criminal than the phrase "Hey, you! Cut that out!"

Alternately, you can fill out a Graffiti Report form that the city of New York has so kindly made available to us. I have no personal experience with the effectiveness of said report, but in the best case scenario, someone comes along a couple weeks later and makes a new blank sheet of paper for someone to tag.

Or you could accept the fact that, like jaywalking and music piracy, graffiti is here to stay.

There's an upside to this. Qualified acceptance allows us a measure of control. Why should we be content that the surfaces throughout Kensington be covered in meaningless scrawls? If we must have it, then we should demand the best. Let the journeyman can-wielder drift down to Midwood to ply his lesser craft. In Kensington, we should settle for nothing less than art. This can be accomplished by fillling out this Graffiti Report Card and taping it up next to local defacements. If we can't stop them, we can at least shame the bad ones into leaving the best urban easels open for their betters.

Brownstowner gives the Facebook group a shout

From Brownstowner:
A few weeks ago, the NY Times did a story on 30-something native Park Slopers who found one another through Facebook. Well, that's not the only nabe represented in that digital world. Kensington residents have started their own Facebook group, with 578 members (at the time of this posting) celebrating "Brooklyn's best kept secret." Discussion topics include best restaurants in the area, doctors and "that guy that walks backwards," in which 19 people posted 42 comments. (Read whole story)
Hey, how about that! For the record, we're at 650 members and counting. Looks like we have a lot more people in our group than other neighborhoods. Good for us. Here's hoping we all get to meet each other at Festivus.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Free Flu Shots Next Week

From Councilman de Blasio's office:
Free Flu Shots Available at Councilmember de Blasio's District Office Next Week

Brooklyn – Flu shots are an important safety precaution as we head into winter. Free flu shots will be available on December 15th from 10am-1pm at Councilmember Bill de Blasio's District Office (2907 Fort Hamilton Parkway). Please email Sarah Figuereo-Rey at to sign up. Please RSVP to ensure enough flu shots will be available. Must be 18 years or older to receive the flu shot. Open to all Brooklyn residents. Please contact Sarah Figuereo-Rey at 718-854-9791 if you would like more information.
So if you're younger or older or just can't pass up a deal this good, contact Sarah now!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Restaurant Wars, Round 3

In a bout reminiscent of Wepner/Ali, Korner Pizza went the distance against Little Tonino's but couldn't hang on for the win. Congratulations to Little Tonino's, who, for their trouble, will take home this valuable bronze star graphic , a form of currency in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

And now, on to Round 3!

Break out your giant nacho hats, Kensington. Restaurant Wars just went south of the border. Vote in the poll on the top-right of the page on your favorite Mexican food option in Kensington. Don't let anyone tell you that you have to go for the most authentic option, either -- if Yummy Taco is your thing, then vote your conscience. But make sure you tell us why in the comments section.

Kensington: Now and Then

Northeast corner of Church & McDonald.

(click pictures to see enlarged versions. See for more vintage brooklyn photography!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

News of the Boring

Through our many clandestine sources (namely, the facebook group) we have discovered that the boring 99 cent store that took over the lot formerly rented by Joe & Joe's Pizza will reopen as an even more boring T-Mobile store.

Hopefully this information is wrong and we'll discover in a week that it's really going to be a combination Tatoo Parlor/Burlesque House.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Meet Ali

You may have noticed something shiny and new in the heart of Kensington. 46 days ago, a man named Ali trundled his stainless steel cart to the northwest corner of Church and McDonald and set up shop. Smiling widely while grilling his chicken, he opines that his native Afghanistan offers the best food in all of Asia, because they keep their recipes simple and cook more of the animal at once. Ali has spent much of his 2 years in the United States working at Middle Eastern restaurants (including Gyro King), but recently decided that going into business for himself was wiser. We have to agree. The lamb and chicken were both succulent and flavorful, the pita was fresh and grilled ever-so-lightly to add that crucial razor-thin layer of crispness, and the white/hot sauce combination was perfect. At $3.50 for an overloaded gyro or $5 for platter with rice and a drink, the one-two punch of taste and value is pretty extraordinary. So the next time you're emerging from the subway at Church & McDonald, wondering, as we all do, what you're going to do for dinner that night, swing by and see Ali. You may find yourself coming back for more than just the food.

Stay connected with the Kensington Facebook Group

At around 600 members and growing, the Kensington Facebook Group is a great way to stay in touch with locals. It will be used to announce and remind about upcoming events and you can use post threads of your own about whatever might be on your mind. You may even see a few of your neighbors on there. Post neighborhood pictures and news (don't forget to let the blog know too, though!), questions, comments, or just say "here I am!"

If you're already a Facebook member, click here and then click 'join this group'. If you aren't a Facebook member, now is a great time to sign up. It's a free and useful way to stay in touch with folks you know and meet ones you don't.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Kensington Kitties adoption wagon world tour

If you're in Park Slope today buying christmas ornaments made out of recycled hybrid mopeds, stop by the Kensington Kitties wagon and meet some of the cats and kittens they have available for adoption. They need good homes, but a dollar or your pocketful of change always helps too. Click here for more information.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Volunteer with GALLOP

GALLOP, a New York City-based nonprofit corporation offers therapeutic riding lessons to individuals with disabilites at the historic Kensington Stables in the East Windsor Terrace section of Brooklyn, near Prospect Park.

GALLOP is always in need of volunteers to help out with our program in ANY way! No horse experience is necessary, but it does help. We provide all the training you will need. We need people to help out at the stable with the horses and riders during lessons. Also, we have tons of "behind the scences", such as office work, fundraising, grant writing, etc. (more info)

A Festivus for Kensington Facebook fiasco

For anyone who is a member of the Kensington Facebook group and received multiple annoying invites to this event, we apologize on behalf of the sad, lonely Facebook software engineer who was playing Minesweeper instead of doing proper quality assurance. This event is still happening, and there seems to be quite a bit of interest, but the RSVP list keeps resetting and then it re-invites everyone to, I am sure, their extreme annoyance.

So, we removed the event from Facebook and are re-adding it. We hope that A) this will be the last invite you receive and B) you still plan to come out and meet everyone!

Update: Deleting and re-adding the event seems to have worked out the kinks. See you at Festivus!

Holiday Fundraiser for Sean Casey Animal Rescue

The Sean Casey Animal Rescue invites you to join them and the Open Mic Project for a night of live music, raffles and contests at our holiday party. Come celebrate a successful year of rehabilitation and adoption of a record number of orphaned animals.
We rescued over 2,000 animals in 2008 and we are aiming high for 2009. But we need your help and support to continue our work. 100% of the $20 cover charge will go directly to the rescue.
Join the Sean Casey Animal Rescue for this event at 9pm on Friday December 12th, 2008 at The Old Carriage Inn - 312 7th Ave (between 7th & 8th St.) in Park Slope.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

F-trains getting makeover?

From Control Geek:

I was waiting for the F subway at 15th Street/Prospect Park Brooklyn this morning and a brand new train came in! Apparently they were testing it, it had the automated announcements and everything: To keep people from boarding, they were opening the doors on the wrong side. (More, including pictures)

This is a little old, but it's news to me. Apparently they've been testing these on occasion for a little while now. They have the automated announcements and light-up maps and the whole shebang. Anyone else seen these or have any more info?

Ask Kensington: How safe is the 18th Ave F stop?

We've been getting some questions in our inbox over the past week or so that we probably aren't the most qualified to answer. We're hoping you can provide some insight to others in the community. So here's looking at you in our first installment of Ask Kensington.

April from Bushwick asks:
I am really struggling with a decision about where to move and am looking for advice on whether living on Ocean Parkway and 18th ave is ok. I live in Bushwick now so don’t expect perfect safety. I’m just wondering what the F train at 18th ave is like during normal times of day on into the evening around 11pm.
Sound off in the comments section and help a fellow Brooklynite out.

Update: April has decided to move to the area. "Thanks for responding! It is so hard moving into a brand new neighborhood, but I like what I see so far."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Festivus for Kensington!

People of Kensington, clear your schedules for Thursday, December 18th, 2008.

From 8pm to 12 Midnight, please join Frank, Estelle, Steve, and Jake for A Festivus for Kensington at Visions Restaurant and Bar on the corner of Cortelyou and Coney Island Ave. This will be a no cover charge holiday event for locals and anyone else who wants to come.
  • Half-price beers, 2-for-1 martinis, 20% off appetizers
  • Feats of Strength
  • The Airing of Grievances
  • Festivus Miracles both big and small
Bring your friends. Bring your neighbors. Bring that old guy that lives on E.2nd with the big train-robber moustache that keeps trying to get my girlfriend to come inside for coffee. (Seriously, I love that guy, does anyone know him?)

Let's wrap up 2008 with a bang.

Thursday Bar Trivia

Any Quizzo fans out there? A fortnightly pub trivia event kicks off tomorrow night (12/4) at 9pm sharp at Visions Bar & Restaurant, near the corner of Coney Island and Cortelyou. Come alone to meet people or come with a couple friends and play as a team. General knowledge questions will be pop-cultural as well as scholarly, so everyone can contribute something to a team. As veterans of many bar trivia nights, we challenge each and every one of you to come out and prove your worth for the chance at no less than a $50 gift certificate and a round of polite applause for the winners. The flyer I'm seeing here also says half-price beers and select apps for the duration of the game, so it shouldn't put too much of a dent in the old wallet. Also, if you've been looking for a good burger in Kensington, this is your place. Manny (the Monday bartender) tipped us off to this fine slab of Salisbury and I haven't stopped thinking about it all week.

Our brains are booked for Pete's Candy Store tonight, but I think we'll have something left in the tank for any and all local challengers.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What, the F?

For the second year in a row, the MTA is asking for feeback on the various subway lines so they can analyze the resulting report, sort of shrug, half-smirking, and throw it into a drawer marked "ignore at all costs."

It's that time of year again. Grab a report card at your F-train station of choice and complain about crowded, late trains. Of course, there's always the chance you're happy with F Service. If this is the case, lavish praise at your discretion. No matter what we all write, you can count on it resulting in a fare hike.

Update: reader Joy points out that rather than spend time filling something out and then not bothering to mail it, you can opt to fill the rider report card out online, by clicking here. Thanks Joy!

Restaurant Wars, Round 2

The votes are in and the tribe has spoken. After meeting some stiff resistance early on from To B Thai, Am-Thai pulled away from the pack and is now worthy of being coronated "Best Thai food in Kensington." Congratulations, Am-Thai! Allow us to present you with this bronze star graphic which can be bartered for fresh water in the event of nuclear apocalypse.

We'd also like to note that this week's Yelp - Brooklyn newsletter included some nice words about runner-up To B Thai.
If you happen to be kicking around Kensington, Marcus V recommends 2 B Thai for "inexpensive, awesome Thai food on a quiet corner in an unpretentious neighborhood."
And now, on to round 2.

Best neighborhood pizza is a topic of conversation that has historically lead to fisticuffs in taverns and brothels the world over. We expect nothing less now. Vote for your favorite pizzeria in the poll on the right and then use the comments section below to arrange times and places to fight about it. I personally prefer Little Tonino's and will meet anyone who says different in front of Walgreen's at 3pm. Bring nunchucks.

Nominations for Restaurant Wars, Round 3

We need your help. As we look toward round 3 of Restaurant Wars, we're realizing that we can't decide which establishments should be included and which should not. We need you to comment with your nominations for notable Mexican restaurants in the Kensington delivery area.

Make your nominations for the Mexican restaurant category in the comments section now!

Falafel Fizzle?

Falafel Fusion appears to be out of business after less than a year.

From Andrea @ Local birding:

Falafel fusion is out of business. Saw a "for rent" sign on the gate today. So bummed!! They had the best food.

The food here was pretty good in our opinion, and they put some effort into branding and menus, etc. It's a shame to see it go, when plenty of inferior restaurants seem to just keep chugging along. Let's hope something decent takes its place!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Won't someone please think of the horses?

From Brooklyn Paper:
City seeks ‘stable-izing’ effect in Kensington
By Sarah Portlock
The city moved forward with rezoning an eight-square-block area near the Kensington Stables — a move that concerned locals hope will protect the area from large-scale development encroaching on their turf. (read whole story)
So it seems like the folks at Community Board 7 have scored a pretty major victory for people who want to see a limit on building heights in this 8-block area. Apparently large-scale development has been spooking the horses at the stables. Then again, maybe they just need to teach their horses to not be so scared all the time. Maybe some sort of alfalfa-based hypnosis regimen.

End of the boom?

Two years ago, the Windsor Terrace/Kensington section of Brooklyn was one of the brightest spots in the emerging Brooklyn real estate market.

The neighborhood was fast becoming a magnet for writers, artists and growing families priced out of more established areas such as Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights.

However, the wave of speculative residential development that started in Windsor Terrace/Kensington during the boom has now been stopped in its tracks by the squeeze on lending. The financial meltdown has — at least for the near term — left several half-built condos and empty lots in its wake. (read whole story)
What do you think this means for the rest of us, other than a bunch of unfinished eyesores dotting the neighborhood?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Remembrance of Turkey Days past

Happy Thanksgiving, Kensingtonians. Watch out for that tryptophan.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Restaurant Wars

Over the next couple of weeks, we're going to try to get definitive answers to some of the most important questions in all of our lives: Where can we get something to eat around here?

And, so, Restaurant Wars. We all have favorites, so check the top right-hand portion of the page each week for a chance to make your voice heard. We'll start off with Thai Food, something that is widely available in Kensington.
Vote away, and defend your vote in the comments section!

New Management

Hey everyone.

As you might have heard, the Kensington (Brooklyn) blog has changed hands. Some of you may know us from the Kensington Facebook Group we started last year, and now we've been given the chance to mind the store here at the blog for a while. The new address for submissions, requests, and queries is

A blog like this can't work without contributions from the readers. No tidbit is too small. If you know of something taking place in the neighborhood, it is your duty as a citizen or near-citizen to inform us. If you see someone spray-painting 'Vegeta" on the side of Gyro King, you should take a picture and send it to us BEFORE calling the cops. If you're having people over for fondue, contact us immediately, although I think we're busy that night.

One of the best parts of this blog is the very active and colorful comments section under each post. We have no plans to change this. Please continue posting frequently and under multiple names to give the illusion of strength in numbers. You're free to say anything you want as long as it's not about cheap v1agra.

In short, the only thing that is changing here is the volume, content, and tone of posts, plus a complete aesthetic overhaul.

I think we all owe a thanks to the previous operator, Jen, for all the hard work she put into keeping this blog going for almost two years now. We hope she'll continue to contribute content in one form or another in the months and years to come.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

As many people have noticed the blog posts have become few and far between. There has been a ton happening in the 'hood with no coverage here... Kensington coffee wars, recent events (Hamilton Dog House Halloween party), Church Ave lot has been cleaned up!, etc. etc.

Here's the deal - we got a new job and are working A LOT. There is very little time for much beyond work so we think its time to officially take a step back and wondered... IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO WANTS TO TAKE OVER Kensington Blog? If so, we'd be more than happy to link to you here and/or give up the blogspot address. Just email to discuss

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Autumn Chill at Greenwood Playground

Saturday, October 18, 2008, 11AM
- 11:00AM - Miss Cindy's Fall Storytime
- 11:30AM - Live Music from Dan Schorr and the Good Boys with the PS 230 Singers
- Arts & Crafts
Awesome Raffle Prizes:
- Yoga Sessions
- Toys from Rich Frog
- Dinner at Thai Tony's and Maki Sushi
- Music Classes
and more!

Treats Provided by:
- Foodtown Market
- The Oak & The Iris
- Thai Tony's and more!

at Greenwood Playground (East 5th Street and Greenwood Avenue)

We need volunteers to:
- Donate a folding table or two
- Help with set-up and clean-up
- Help with Arts & Crafts and other activities
- Anything and everything!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

WKAG - Mural Success!

The West Kensington Action Group's mural painting event was a great success Saturday afternoon. Dozens of people dropped by the empty lot at 31-35 Church Avenue to lend a hand and paint a flower or two. The day provided a wonderful opportunity to meet other people in the neighborhood also concerned about the future of Church Avenue. The group hopes that the event sends the message to local politicians that west Kensington must no longer be ignored.
Paints by George provided paint and brushes, canvas was paid for by Shannon's Nursery, Foodtown brought over snacks and drinks, and Dahill Halal Pizza fed the starving artists free pizza. Free children's books, voter registration cards, and a petition to usher in more green jobs with the next administration ( were also provided.

Though the owner of the lot and city officials have been contacted for years about the rat and garbage issue, the problem still persists. The community feels that the entire west end of Church Avenue is anchored by the deterioration of this huge space that has sat empty for many years. As one neighbor put it, "Its' a real shame. The only green space over here is locked up behind that gate and littered with garbage!".

The mural is a painting of an idealized version of the lot with the abandoned buildings transformed into an community center and a cafe; the surrounding gardens bursting with flowers. On the far end of the mural is a statement:
"Dear Neighbors, this mural represents a dream of what our neighborhood could be if we came together as a community and turned this lot into a green vibrant part of a thriving Kensington. 31-35 Church Avenue has been neglected by its owners for years. We have tried to enlist the help of our city officials to no avail. The time has come to take back our neighborhood but we need your help!"

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oak & Iris Cafe

How are people liking the new hours and new menus? When we walked by on Saturday or Sunday mornings the place has been crowded. Opinions?
Rain date for 31-35 Church Avenue Mural project rescheduled to Saturday Oct 4th (because of the rain last Sat. and Sun!)
From a reader: Our local CB description from the "About" section. Do you think it represents the mix we have here in Kensington?

About Community Board 12 Brooklyn
Community Board 12 Neighborhoods: Borough Park, Mapleton, Kensington, Ocean Parkway, and Midwood Borough Park is a formidable Jewish melting pot of immigrants from Israel, Russia and Europe, plus members of more than 20 Hasidic sects, such as the Satmar, Bobov and Belz. The air is filled with a babel of English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian and various Eastern European languages. This is no accident -- Borough Park is reputed to have the highest concentration of Orthodox Jews outside Israel. The focus here, where four or more children per family is the norm rather than the exception, is on family life. Numerous hat and wig shops reflect the Orthodox requirement that Jewish men and their wives cover their heads. In the weeks before Passover you can watch a centuries-old matzoh baking tradition being carried out at the Shmura Matzoh Bakery (36th Street, end of 13th Avenue). There is even a small hotel, the Park House Hotel (1206 48th Street), that caters to the orthodox visitor. If you want to feel the pace of the Orthodox Jewish lifestyle, visit Borough Park early on a Friday afternoon. During this pre-Sabbath rush hour, bearded men in black coats wait in line to buy foot-long challahs. Women with seven or eight children in tow rush to finish their food shopping. From the start of the Sabbath on Friday evening until its completion on Saturday evening, this community does not drive, turn on electricity, carry or use money, or conduct business. What does all this mean for the visitor to Borough Park? Don't even think of coming here on Friday night or Saturday, because nothing is open. On Sunday, on the other hand, welcome to discount paradise, where you'll find everything from clothing to electronics to jewelry to stuff you didn't know you needed but end up buying because the price is right. Come early, because parking along 13th Avenue between 39th and 54th streets -- that's where the majority of stores are located -- is difficult. And don't forget to put money in the meter: Sunday is very much a normal business day in Borough Park. Even the post office, the Blythebourne Station is open on Sunday -- which is good to know if you don't want to trek to the main post office. Borough Park is also host to the small neighborhood of Kensington, which extends along Ocean Parkway from Caton Avenue to Avenue H and was originally part of the Dutch township of Flatbush.
Meetings: Fourth Tuesday of the month, 7:30 pm 5901 13th Avenue, 3rd floor

Saturday, September 27, 2008

WKCAG - Mural Painting TOMORROW!

Mural Painting TOMORROW at 11 am.
Please stop by!
We would really appreciate your support today 11-3 p.m.
31-35 Church Avenue, between Story and Chester Ave.
West Kensington Community Action Group

Church Avenue Beautification Project
September 28th, 11-3 p.m.
31-35 Church Avenue, Brooklyn (3 blocks west of McDonald)
West Kensington Community Action Group is a group of concerned citizens that live in (or the vicinity of) the area just below Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY. Our mission is to unite as a community and address issues together to improve our neighborhood.Many of us have voiced complaints to 311, the Dept of Sanitation, and Greiner-Maltz (broker of lot) for years about the filthy lot at 31-35 Church Avenue to no avail. We are now ready to take matters into our own hands and invite you to come partake in the fun!On Saturday, September 27th from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. we will be making a beautiful mural, "Kensington Gardens", to hang on the front of the locked lot and hopefully grab some attention from the media. Our ultimate goal is to get that lot cleaned up. It is time for us to take back our community and not let the absentee owners allow the RATS and GARBAGE to continue to multiply. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Please bring all of your family, friends, and neighbors by and paint a flower or two. It will be a great way to get to know some neighbors, do something good for your community, and have fun!!! Refreshments and paint provided!!!!!
P.S. 230 is having their fall festival fundraiser on Sunday, October 19th

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Local Community Board Meetings

CB 12 (Kensington) meetings are held most often at the AMICO center (5901 13th ave, 3rd floor) which is across the street from the CB office. The entrance is on 59th street.
Meetings are usually the 4th Tuesday of the month from Sept to June

Community Board 14 (Kensington)
Meetings are the Second Monday
810 East 16th Street
Where the Bobos Now Buy In Brooklyn
Take the train to savings! Sheepshead Bay, Bay Ridge, Kensington—the first-time buyers are flocking there

For first-time buyers, the trade-off between convenience and environmentoften leads to longer commutes but quieter home living. Julie Seltzer, a33-year-old transportation planner, and her husband bought a house inKensington in 2004. Ms. Seltzer travels 45 minutes to and from midtownManhattan every day.
After renting a house with her husband in Bensonhurst for four years, Ms.Seltzer knew she wanted to buy a home in a similarly quiet Brooklynneighborhood.
She and her husband live in a three-bedroom postwar co-op, and it tookthem two years and countless trips to Bay Ridge, Fort Greene and CarrollGardens to find it. They paid $313,000 for their apartment back in 2004,and similar units in the neighborhood are now on the market for over$500,000.
“We like the neighborhood a lot,” Ms. Seltzer said. “We like that it issafe, close to the train and a five-minute walk to Prospect Park.”
Back in her postcollege years, Ms. Seltzer, who was born and raised inQueens, thought about living in Manhattan, but she’s happy where she isnow. “It’s nice not to have 100 people running outside your door everyday. It’s quiet and more relaxing in Brooklyn and it feels moreneighborhoody here than in Manhattan.”

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Oak & Iris - Extended Hours plus Dinner

The Oak & The Iris, on Ft. Hamilton & E. 4th is now open on Saturdays! They're also starting with a limited weekend dinner menu. We hear there are four pre-fixe dinners (beef, chicken, pasta,and fish) plus their thypical salads. Dinner hours are from 6-10pm although we're not sure if this includes Sat.

Just an FYI... There is children's play corner that and free Wi-Fi is in the works.
Rosesman says,

How about we stop focusing on what is not here in Kensington, for a moment.
What's everyone's opinion on:
The best Chinese place in Kensington/or maybe even best on Church?
Best Italian?
Best Thai?
Best "other ethnic" i.e. Faros, Falafel Fusion...?
Which is better Denny's or Shenanigan's?
Who loves Old Brick?
Why.... we have a lot of newbies who may not even know these exist...

ANA Meeting - Sept. 25th

The fall meetings of the Albemarle Neighborhood Association will be held on Thursday, September 25; Thursday, October 23rd; and Thursday, November 20th.

All meetings are scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. Currently, all meetings will be held at the Flatbush &Shaare Torah Jewish Center, 327 E. 5th Street (corner Church Avenue) but may be subject to change. Foodtown will supply refreshments.

Richard Chin, Manager of the Kensington Post Office, will be the guest speaker. He will discuss programs that have been and will be implemented to make this branch more community friendly. The By-laws Committee met during the summer and will present a new document to the membership at the September meeting. The Communications Committee met during the summer to bring the ANA onto the "information superhighway" and will report at the September meeting.

Church Ave Bonanza

Kensington Merchants Association Church Avenue Bonanza
Sunday, October 5th, 10 am-6 pm
Church Avenue from McDonald Avenue to Ocean Parkway
Rides! Food! Bargains!
For more information, call 718-444-6028

Traingle Below Greenwood - Sept. 27th

Triangle-Below-Greenwood (Tri-Be-Green) had its very first meeting yesterday. We are a group of concerned citizens that live in (or the vicinity of) the area just below Greenwood Cemetery. Our mission is to unite as a community and address issues together to improve our neighborhood.

As you know, many of us have voiced complaints to 311, the Dept of Sanitation, and Greiner-Maltz for years about the filthy lot at 31-35 CHurch Avenue to no avail. We are now ready to take matters into our own hands and invite you to come partake in the fun!

On Saturday, September 27th from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.we will be making a beautiful mural, "Kensington Gardens", to hang on the front of the lot and hopefully grab some attention from the media. Our ultimate goal is to get that lot cleaned up. It is time for us to take back our community and not let the owners allow the RATS and GARBAGE to continue to multiply. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Please bring all of your family, friends, and neighbors by and paint a flower or two. It will be a great way to get to know some neighbors, do something good for your community, and have fun!!! Refreshments and paint provided!!!!!

Where: In front of the lot at 31-35 Church Avenue (between Story Ct. and Chester Ave)
When: Saturday, September 27th, 11-3 p.m.
- Triangle Below Greenwood

Please feel free to pass this on!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oak & Iris OPEN!

What are the reviews of our new cafe?

Church Ave Retail

Recent Additions/ Changes:

Joe & Joe's to be a 99 cent store
Furiniture Store (that lasted approx. 2 months) to be a nail salon


VV reviews AM Thai

Going Coco-Nuts at Am-Thai Chili Basil Kitchen
Brilliant Brooklyn Thai is awash in the thick white stuff
Sometimes, the smaller the place, the bigger the menu. Such is the case at Am-Thai, where the elephantine bill of fare extends to 130 dishes in 11 categories—and that's not counting the options multiplier, by which any dish can be made with shrimp, fried tofu, chicken, beef, whole or filleted fish, duck, or even mock duck, making over 1,000 choices in all.
1256 Prospect Avenue (bet. Reeve and Greenwood)

New Toddler Dance and Adult Ballroom, Salsa, Swing & Tap!
Visit for a Full Schedule or call 718.437.0101 for more details.

Open House
Saturday, September 6th 10am-2pm
Followed by a Special Performance at 2pm!
CKDS presents an innovative curriculum that embraces traditional to emerging styles, inspiring dancers to strive for both technical excellence and meaningful artistry. Teachers are deeply in tune with children's perspectives, creating dances that capture their enthusiasm, depth and humor.

Nearby Yoga Options

YogaSole to Open Yoga Studio in Early September Windsor Terrace
Brooklyn is about to get a lot more flexible with the opening of YogaSole. The Yoga studio will be opening its door early September and will be welcoming the entire community with wide-open arms! YogaSole will strive to be different and make Yoga an accessible and enjoyable experience for everyone of all age groups and expertise.

1. House of Yoga with Elyce, on Ditmas
2. Yoga w/ Lauren, in lower WT (very near Kensington)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Free Sing-a-long!

Michael from Playground of Sound is hosting a music class in Greenwood Playground on Sat. at 10.15.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oak & Iris Opening?

We heard from 2 emails that the Oak & Iris will be opening this weekend or early next week depending on the inspection. We've walked by a few times and seen a fancy cappuccino machine and lots of tables as well as a vibrate paint job. We are excited to see the selection and stop in!

The Oak & Iris
corner of E4th St. & Ft. Hamilton Ave.
Playground of Sound is a mixed age music class for kids up to four years of age that creates a space for children and their caregivers to be music makers. Everyone is invited to actively participate in the music and movement, really reinforcing the fact that we all possess the capacity to make music, not just passively enjoy it. I use Rob Sayer's The Music Class curriculum and a wide variety of kid friendly instruments and props. More information about the materials can be found at

Here's the fall schedule:
Playground of Sound at Rory's Room
3003 Ft. Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11218
Saturdays at 9:15
September 6 - November 8
(make up classes will be offered on Nov 15 and 22 for illness, vacation or religious holidays)
Tuition is $250.00 (only $230.00 if you register before August 23) and includes ten 45 minute classes, The Giraffe Collection book and CD. Sibling discount: $30.00
Infants nine months and under may attend enrolled sibling's class for free.
To register, call 347-244-0436 or email

Michael will be doing a free demo class/sing along in the Greenwood Playground on Aug 30th as well. Feel free to come along and bring friends, even if you are already enrolled in the class.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hamilton Dog House missing 2-Headed Turtle

Missing Turtle Report: Watch for the Two Heads
A two-headed turtle was kidnapped from the Hamilton Dog House, an animal shelter and pet supply store on East Third Street in Brooklyn.

Sean is saddened by the whole situation and is willing to take the turtle back no questions asked. There is a $1000 reward being offered for the safe return of the turtle. Neighbors started putting up flyers around the neighborhood but someone has been malignant enough to rip them down just as fast.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Crafts w Shanise @ Greenwood Playground

This week Shanise will be doing crafts on Wednesday at noon--come make masks out of paper bags.

On Friday Shanise will be at her regular time: 11:00 to do pipe cleaner people!!

In addition, Shanise will help out Linda Z on Tuesday with her"Everyone is an Artist" program starting at 10:30. They will be working with clay.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stolen Bikes

We've heard some rumblings about locals getting their bikes stolen. We know of one on East 5th, another on Ocean Pkwy and got an email today about a bike stolen in front of Kensington Library. Anyone else have a bike stolen recently?

John Starks visits K-town Library?

FROM THE INBOX... a hoax?
Former NBA star John Starks will be at the Kensington Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on Tuesday (August 12) at 2 p.m. He will have a Cablevision News camera crew with him and may read a story. (That has not been confirmed). Some of our Kensington neighbors might be able to attend.

Kensington Library
410 Ditmas Ave. between East 4th & East 5th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11218
t. 718-435-9431

Monday, August 11, 2008

R.I.P Joe & Joe's

We got an email that Joe & Joe's Pizzeria is officially closed.... anyone know if this is true or the guys are just taking a vacation?

Also we've noticed the Furniture store on Church Ave b/w East 5th and 4th closed awhile back. There is construction and work permits for something new. Please tell us if you know what's coming?

Any other retail news out there?

This Week at Greenwood Playground

Tuesday: Studio in the Park with Sam Campbell
Limited to 10 kids (with caregiver) per session.
This week, making "magic gardens" in clay
Please sign up in the playground

Crafts with Shanise
Wednesday 11:00
Making Popsicle stick bunnies
Thursday 11:00
Water balloon toss competition
Friday 11:00
Making Beaded Bracelets

Sunday 10:30: Sing-a-long with Gina Samardge

Organized by Friends of Greenwood Playground (who incidentally need volunteers for next year or there will no longer be kids programming!)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Where the Locals at?

Local Band Pistolera has a new album and NYC show:

at Central Park Summerstage, 3pm, Free
with Kinky and others

The album is already #8 on the CMJ Latin Radio Charts and received the following review from Billboard Magazine!

"Pistolera frontwoman Sandra Velasquez has not given herself an easy assignment: write searching, often politically conscious lyrics in Spanish with traditional Latin music instrumentation.....the results are often glorious and galvanizing ("Guerra," a translation of Bob Marley's "War," couldn't be more relevant). The musicianship is superb here, and it's a pleasure to listen to a whole museum of brass, bongos, congas, caxixi, maracas and pandereta incorporated beautifully into a sound that doesn't fit neatly into any genre." - Billboard

PS we are HUGE fans so if you haven't seen the band go check it out!

Maki Sushi Tasting

Angie, owner of Thai Tony's, has invited everyone to come in and try the new place MAKI SUSHI! Angie reminds us that not all Sushi is raw so there's something for everyone!!!

Maki Sushi on Ft. Hamilton (between E 2nd & E 3rd)
Saturday August 9th from 3-6pm

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Graffiti Surveying

Jacob Stevens from Council member Bill de Blasio's office is coordinating Graffiti Surveying Tuesday, August 12th at 5:30pm. Any volunteers, please meet at the corner of Church Avenue and Coney Island in front of Rocky's Pizza.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Church Ave Accident

We heard the police activity on Church Ave is because a man got hit crossing the street. We hope the man is ok.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Falafal Fusion Gets Juicer

From the inbox:
They juiced the carrots on the spot while I was waiting for my falafel. At 5.00 for a large that price is about the average. The counter person said they would juice pretty much whatever a person wanted as long as they had it in stock or could get it from one of the local markets.

23 Caton Place - Any Future?!

Brooklyn developer to face bank in condo default case
Brooklyn developer Moshe Feller is scheduled to face off in court next month against Corus Bank, which filed suit against his Karl Fischer-designed Kensington condominium development about two months after contractors walked off the job. Corus filed suit in June against Caton on the Park, a 107-unit condo building that has sat idle since April 4, when the New York City Department of Buildings issued a stop work order.

As many of you know this development has caused a huge amount of tension in the area. The condos border on the stables and have been built right againest a building on Ocean Pkwy. At this point if the building is not complete what will happen? Here's a commentor from the article: As someone who lives across the street from this shell of a building, I can say this is a pathetic and sad situation. And it's the Kensington community that ends up suffering -- with a block full of debris, a building that looks like a vastly oversized pigeon coop, reduced parking on the block, security concerns and little hope of anything changing anytime soon.

Oak & Iris Cafe - Coming Soon

A bunch of you emailed us to post the note on the door of the old Jimmy's, soon to be the new "The Oak and The Iris Cafe."
Dear Bypassers and neighbors-
Soon (August) we will be opening a beautiful healthy cafe with full coffee/tea/juice bar, breakfast and brunch; sit down for delicious meal and your essential groceries all in one. The Oak and The Iris Cafe, here to serve our community.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Greenwood Playground Events

Friends of Greenwood Playground Events:
Hip Hop class next week FREE at Greenwood Playground. Cynthia King will lead a hip hop class on Weds, Aug 6 at 11am for 4-8 yrs old.

Studio in the School will continue on Tuesdays:
Next Tuesday at 10:00 will be Navajo Sand Painting with Sam Campbell. This class is limited to 10 kids because there is no assistant. (Thanks for understanding although they do need volunteers!)

And Crafts!
Shanise, the Playground associate, is doing crafts on Wednesday and Fridays at 11:00. This Wednesday is hat making and next Wednesday is craft stick bunnies. Come by and meet Shanise.

The Friends of Greenwood Playground are a huge contributor to our neighborhood and they are constantly looking for volunteers and contributors. Connect with a member and become a friend!

National Night Out at Greenwood Playground

Greenwood Playground will once again be the location of the 72nd Precinct's National Night Out event.
When: Tuesday, August 5, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Where: Greenwood Playground and Ballfields
What: Food (hot dogs!), Games (inflatable ride for kids!), Representatives from the 72nd Precinct (with information on crime and drug prevention), Windsor Terrace Alliance & Friends of Greenwood Playground (find out ways you can volunteer in our neighborhood)
Come and join local friends and neighbors for a fun evening and learn about crime and drug prevention in our neighborhood.
For more information about NNO go to:

Good 'Ole Days

From a Year in the Park a great story of a couple bars on Coney Island near Caton that had a fire on July 28, 1929. The great part isn't the fire but reading the article its clear there were a couple clubs in the nabe! Where are they now!?
Flaming gin joints and stampeding steeds
"Three night clubs in Coney Island Avenue, between Hermit [sic] Place and Caton Avenue, Brooklyn, were destroyed by fire soon after closing time yesterday morning, with a property loss of about $150,000. From the riding academy next door 135 horses stampeded from the fire into the Parade Grounds of Prospect Park across the street, where they galloped for four hours or more.
"The fire, of unknown, but, officials said, possibly incendiary, origin, apparently started about 4 A.M. in the Cat's Meow resort at 338 Coney Island Avenue. This place had been under padlock for several months as the result of a raid by Prohibition agents. The last of the patrons of the Caton Inn and the Barking Dog, adjoining the Cat's Meow, the other two places burned, had left an hour before. All were one-story frame structures.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Recent Car Vandalism

On Sunday morning, July 27, 2008 between 6:30 – 6:50 am, atleast 12 automobiles had their tires slashed. Location: Cortelyou Road, between Ocean Parkway and East 7th Street and East 7th Street between Cortelyou Road and Avenue C.
The Kensington Action Force is appealing to anyone who observed a group of 3 to 4 individuals, which included a woman/girl to send information to KAF at
Officers fromthe NYPD 66th precinct have taken the report and KAF will be monitoring the situation. It appears that auto vandalism has spiked recently in the Kensington community, despite NYPD parking equipment on local streets.
theres been about 20-30 car break ins usually 2-4 a night that i have seen personally around ocean parkway and cortelyou, along cortelyou, and on e7th by the side of the church and between the school, usually hit around midnight to 5am, since i walk my dog regularly at 6am. the best police have done is park unmanned golf cart decoys on the block. this regular occurance is an outrage since its obvious to me that they are targeting large suv's with out of state plates, always around the same time and always parked in spots that are not exactly in front of a residence or apt bldg.


Brooklyn Kid's Museum at Greenwood Playground

From The Friends of Greenwood Playground:
This Monday, July 28th, the Brooklyn Children's Museum will again bring their Sunshine Storytime to Greenwood Playground from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. We apologize that last week there was a mix up with the timing and they didn't get started until 11:00 a.m. But this week they will start promptly at 10:00 a.m. Museum staff will read stories, bring a live animal for your children to meet and engage the kids in a crafts project that they can take home, all for free! The event is most appropriate for ages 18 months to five years. Please join us!

More Praise for Foodtown upgrades

From the In-box:
Suddenly (over the course of the last week), they have begun selling a wide range of loafs and rolls from Zabar's, as well as a number of smaller local bakers. The Zabar's bread is supposed to be delivered fresh every day. There's good Jewish rye, brioche, Tuscan loafs, as well as a number of vegan and organic breads.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Filming on Dahill

We got a note that there will be filiming (read: no parking) on Dahill and 12th Ave on Tues. Our tipster looked it up and it seems the filming will be for a Bank of America commercial. Anyone else find that funny?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Construction at Old Jimmy's

We heard from a neighbor that although we've missed it that construction is coming along at old Jimmy's Deli. The rumour is it'll be a coffee shop but we don't want to get our hopes up. Anyone got any inside scoop?

Also the old M&A space on Ft. Hamilton and E4th is for rent. The space is HUGE! Another local spot for rent is the Furniture store that lasted all of 4 months on Church Ave b/w East 4th and 5th. We don't have any info at the moment on either space but there is a sign w a number at the M&A. What would be useful in these spots?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Maki Sushi is OPEN

Maki Sushi has a menu available on the door.
$5-10 rolls and an $8 bento lunch deal
Also a "chunky monkey" dessert roll!

UPDATE! Maki Sushi is OPEN for business
3011 Ft. Hamilton Pkwy
718 871 2540

(Min. $10 for free delivery)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kensington Stories

Lifelong Resident Ron Lopez posted a very poignent and funny Top Ten List on his blog Kensington Stories.

Top Ten Reasons why Kensington is better than Park Slope
10 Instead of the Pavilion, we have the Kensington Post office, and the shows are free every day.
9 If you loose your job as a television comedy writer, you can start your own construction business by simply walking to McDonald Avenue at eight in the morning.
8 You’ll always be able to walk off your meal from the nearest nice restaurant, because it’s not near at all.
7 When you shop lift at Golden Farms, you can immediately gain celebrity status by having your Polaroid taped to the cash register.
6 Our calves are smaller because we don’t have to walkup and down hills all day.
5 Dressing up as an Amish Farmer and re-selling vegetables bought at Golden Farms is always a “hoot” at the green market every Saturday morning in Park Slope.
4 We know that “ugly” train yard on Atlantic Avenue is actually ugly,and are not fooled by the “Develop don’t destroy Brooklyn” people.
3 Cousin Brucie and Albert Shanker can kick any of your celebrities asses.
2 We also use our Yoga mats to lie on when we steal the lithium batteries out of your hybrid cars.
1 Electro shock therapy is alive and well in Kensington and involves licking a live slot car track at the Buzz-a-rama for only twelve dollars an hour.

Foodtown Reno

Foodtown now has an olive station, a fish counter including sushi, a wider array of organic and veggie products as well as a coffee station with beans you can grind. They have also added to the outside some benches and flower pots lining the parking lot. Check it out!

Local Obama Event

I just wanted to let you know that my wife and I are having an Obama event at our apartment on Sunday evening at 6 PM, as part of the campaign's push to get rank-and-file Democratic voters' input for the party's platform for the national convention. We'd like to invite anyone and everyone from the community to attend, and take part in the discussion.
Our apartment is at 280 Ocean Parkway, #1C, between Beverley and Avenue C. Our apartment is directly accessible from the street- come to the left side of the building, with the small brick path leading up to a white door, and that's us. We're still relatively new to the area, and would love to meet other people in the neighborhood.

Comment of the Day

From Victoria:
I don't understand the anger at wanting amenities here. So having to go to other neighborhoods for certain foods and items rather than being able to support local business equals loving Kensington more? And thinking it would be nice to have a place to go sit with a friend and have a cup of coffee makes you a snob who settled? This attitude makes absolutely no sense. We live here because we really like it here--there were many neighborhoods that we looked at and could have moved to. We love the ethnic shops and the diversity of the community. Also thinking some more options within the neighborhood would be nice does not lessen that in any way. Frankly, if there is any elitism, it's from the attitude of "I love Kensington more because I don't want anything to change--nothing new or different moving in." Do you also hate the new falafel shop and the new toy store on Church? Do you hate that Foodtown is now renovated? Where do you draw the line?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Graffiti Cataloging

Jacob Stevens from Council member Bill de Blasio's office will be coordinating Graffiti Cataloging THIS Friday, July 18th at 5:00. Any volunteers, please meet at the district office of Council-member de Blasio, at 2907 Fort Hamilton Parkway.
We've gotten a few emails about Joe on Church Ave asking nieghbors about turning his deli into a coffee shop. Go give Joe your 2 cents. Here's one email:

Joseph who currently owns a deli on Church Ave next to the giant pharmacy on Ocean Parkway is telling anybody who will listen that he is planning on turning the deli into a coffee shop with fresh juice, outdoor seating and"the free internets".

New Elevator

Thank you for the picture!
Stephanie F. Black
myspace + facebook: blackfrances

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sunshine Storytime - Greenwood Playground

The Brooklyn Children's Museum's 'On the Go' Program will be at Greenwood Playground the next two Mondays (7/21 and 7/28) from 10:00 a.m.m to 11:00 a.m. with free programming entitled Sunshine Storytime. Best for kids ages 18 months to 5 years old, the Museum will bring a live animal for the kids to meet, help the kids create their own special craft and read them a story. Come out and enjoy this fun event!

Japanese for Ft. Ham! SOON!

We got word a Japanese restaurant, including sushi, is set to open NEXT WEEK in the space previously occupied by Estelle's.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Local Yoga!

Summer Yoga in Prospect Park
Enhance your health and enlighten your mind. YogaSole joyfully combines the classical styles of Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa flow to develop a safe, compassionate and playful yoga sequence. Beginners most welcome!
Please join us Wednesday Evening at 7:00pm and Saturday Morning at 8:30 am
Beginning July 9th and continuing through August 27th, 2008

Come to the PERISTYLE the Grecian Shelter Prospect Park (just across from the Prospect Park Tennis Center) Enter Parkside Ave & Parade Place or Enter Park Circle bear right Head North on East Drive (aprox 300 yards)
Please bring a Yoga Mat
Classes: $10 suggested donation gratefully accepted

Also Please join us for Evening Yoga at Caton Towers 135 Ocean Parkway Apt 15T Between Church & Caton
Monday & Thursday Evening at 7:00pm Beginning July 7th (Summer Schedule)
Please bring a Yoga Mat Beginners most welcome!
Classes: $10 suggested donation gratefully accepted

For More Information please contact
Evalena V. Leedy
NYC YogaWorks certified instructor
Visit our Website:
tel: 718 541-1382

Studio in Greenwood Playground

Studio in the Park continues at Greenwood Playground
Tuesdays 10-2:00.
Tomorrow: clay exploration
10 - 10:45 ages 4 - 6
11 - 11:45 ages 4 - 8
12:30 - 2:00 ages 8 - 12
(Tweens encouraged but the later session is open to all ages)
We must limit the classes to 15 children per class so please just sign up for the next session if the one you want is full. \

Thursday, July 10, 2008

23 Caton

Local blog i2 does a good job of showing the current conditions at 23 Caton.
Abandoned development of 23 Caton Place

Also noteworthy on i2 are the posts about garbage along the OP service road.

Kensington's Train World - Top 15!

Page 54 of the July 2008 issue of New York Family magazine mentions the Kensington store Train World in it’s list of “Top 15 Things Every City Child Should Do Before Turning 15,” calling the store a “model train heaven.”

Monday, July 7, 2008

Kensington (DP?) Artist Meet Up

From the In-Box:
local artists meet Tues. July 8 at 7 p.m. @ Connecticut Muffin on Cortelyou

Hi all you creative souls out there!
Local artists who would like to shmooze/network with neighbors who know what they're talking about, come on down !We're abandoning first Monday this month in case people are still wending their way back from holiday frolicing.
Let's move East for a change and meet at Connecticut Muffin (1106Cortelyou)---- lots of room, very tasty looking stuff and an interesting lite menu. Hope to gather in some Beverly Square, PPS and Ditmas Park folks by meeting in their backyard.
Come if you can, some folks may arrive later, very informal, no demerits for late arrivals or here-and-there attendance .Bring samples, current work, small portfolios, suitable for smalltables.
Feel free to bring a topic. I'm wondering if we could borrow someone's block and have a September art & craft sale----small works, some of us do notecards, whatever. I picked up artist's business cards when I saw them at yard sales. Why not all art ?

TOMORROW at Greenwood Playground

Studio in the Park
Date: Tuesday July 8, 2008
Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Every week until Tuesday August 5, 2008.
Free New York Philharmonic Concert at Prospect Park
July 14, 8 p.m.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Studio in Greenwood Playground

Tomorrow join art educator Michelle Hinebrook and her assistant (local LaGuardia High School student Sam Campbell) for the first Studio in the Park. This is art programming for kids which will focus on using art to teach kids about sustainability and the environment. (And also just have fun with cool art supplies and new materials). The first session, starting at 10:00 a.m. will be for 4-6 year olds, the later session will be for older kids. There will be a limit of 20 kids per session so we will have some kind of sign up sheet.
Michelle Hinebrook is an art instructor through Studio in a School with over 7 years of art education experience. She has an MFA from Cranbrook and is currently an actively exhibiting artist in New York City and Denmark.
This is a free program sponsored by Friends of Greenwood Playground from a generous grant from Partnership for Parks. We don't have it all ironed out yet and have had some bumps with supplies arriving on time, so be patient as we figure it out as this promises to be a great program for the next 5 weeks for neighorhood kids.

Monday, June 23, 2008

NY Times Features Local School

And the Band Honked On
A professional musician confronts the real world at a Brooklyn junior high. (Our local Ditmas, IS 62)

Be sure to check out the multi-media photos and audio here:

Pet Adoptions

From our friends at Hamilton Dog House:
This is Annie. She is a Boston Terrier who was hit by a car and dragged. She was nursed back to health at the shelter. She is adorable and loving.

Color Conundrum at Greenwood Playground

ages 3-6
10:00 a.m
Color Conundrum Prospect Park Zoo Puppet Show
Starting JULY 1 on Tuesdays - Studio in the Park
Join Studio-in-a-school art educator, Michelle Hinebrook for art programming at Greenwood Playground. Children will learn about the environment and sustainability using paint, clay, collage and otherart materials. First session begins at 10:00 and will be geared for4-6 year olds. The afternoon session will be appropriate for tweens and younger. Sign up at the park will be necessary because each class will be limited to 20 kids. Note: this is NOT a drop-off class.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hamilton Dog House Summer Grand Opening!

155 E. 3rd St., Brooklyn, New York
Between Caton and Ft. Hamilton

Food, Games, Prizes & Raffles from Noon til 5pm!
Free treats for our 4-legged friends!
Hot dogs and hamburgers available for a $2 donation, the proceeds will benefit the Sean Casey Animal Rescue.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

ANA 6/12 Meeting Minutes/ Notes

Albemarle Neighborhood Association Meeting - June 12, 2008

MTA elevator installation: Installation of the MTA elevator on McDonald Avenue near Church Avenue is expected to be completed by the end of June.

Foodtown renovation: The renovation of Foodtown is expected to be completed by the end of July.

Kensington Post Office aggravation: The Kensington Post Office (KPO) has a new manager and a new delivery supervisor. According to the KPO, a lobby director is required to be on duty in the lobby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to direct people to the post office’s various resources, such as the stamp machine and the passport line, and answer customers’ questions about which forms to use and how to fill them out. If you are in the KPO between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and do not see a lobby director on duty, report it to 1-800-ASK-USPS.

At last month’s ANA meeting, an ANA member volunteered to attend the May 21st meeting of the Brooklyn Post Office’s Community Advisory Council (CAC) on behalf of ANA. The CAC, chaired by the Brooklyn Postmaster, was founded a year ago as a result of borough-wide complaints about Brooklyn’s post offices. Its goal is to be accountable to the public. The ANA member’s report included this information:

Report complaints, such as misdelivered mail, to 1-800-ASK-USPS.
The name and phone number of the KPO manager are supposed to be on view inside of the post office.
Based on the amount of credit card usage by customers, the KPO is not eligible for a self-service kiosk. However, an attendee at the ANA meeting stated that credit card usage is low because the credit card machines are broken.
KPO is eligible for scales for use by customers, foreign language posters, and passport fairs.
A Contract Postal Unit (CPU) will open in Kensington (a CPU is a privately-run kiosk that is inside of an existing retail store and has a person in attendance) if a retailer can be found who has an appropriate space and is willing to house the CPU.
The Brooklyn Post Office participates in the USPS’s Mystery Shopper project (

The manager of the KPO has been invited to participate at the next ANA meeting. Assemblymember Jim Brennan pointed out that zip code 11215 (Park Slope) has three post offices, but Kensington only has one. He said that Congress would have to designate money for an additional post office for us and suggested that Yvette Clarke, our representative in the House of Representatives, be invited to the September meeting.

Traffic congestion: An ANA member reported on a Department of Transportation (DOT) meeting about street traffic congestion on Church Avenue between McDonald Avenue and Utica Avenue caused by double parked cars, cars making illegal U-turns, bicyclists, and the lack of ten-second pedestrian phasing (which turns the WALK light on ten seconds before the green light goes on) and on sidewalk congestion caused by merchandise placed in front of stores. On Thursday, June 19th, DOT will conduct a walk-through of Church Avenue to learn about specific problems. We are invited to meet up with the DOT representatives at Church Avenue and Coney Island Avenue at 5:15, walk with them to McDonald Avenue, and point out the problems as we see them.

Express bus service elimination: The MTA’s Vice President of Planning and Operations unsuccessfully attempted to justify to the large number of aggrieved commuters the elimination of the BM1 and BM2 express bus stops in Kensington.

The major issues mentioned by the Kensington commuters are: 1) During the day, there is often a forty-five minute wait between buses because the staggering is “off.” This is detrimental to the community because the bus functions as a viable transportation alternative for the elderly and the sick. 2) Kensington commuters often see BM1 and BM2 buses that are only half-filled drive past them as they wait for the very full BM3 and BM4 buses to stop for them. As a result, some Kensingtonians have to stand up on these BM3 and BM4 buses (the MTA VP told us that that does not happen). It is clear that resources need to be allocated better.

The VP told us that Command Bus left a mess that the MTA has been cleaning up. We in Kensington are defined as part of that mess: When an express bus stops to pick us up, we make the commute longer for passengers who boarded at the beginning of the route. He promised that larger buses will be assigned to the BM3 and BM4 lines. He said that if those get overcrowded, the MTA will think about restoring some of our BM1 and BM2 service. If the MTA does change the schedule, it will not go into effect until September.

In response to requests for Sunday service, the VP told us that we have no Sunday service because we do not use the bus much on Saturdays. If you have problems with the bus and would like to complain about them, call:
James J. Harding, Jr.
Vice President, Intergovernmental and Community Relations
128-15 28th Avenue
Flushing, NY 11354
Work: 718.445.3100 x 3420
Cell: 347.203.8382
Fax: 718.961.2660

To complain about the F train, call 646.252.5800 and ask for:
Lois Tendler
Director, MTA NYC Transit Government and Community Relations2 Broadway, D 17.140
New York, NY 10004

The VP will report back to the ANA president in two to three weeks.

ANA committees and changes: Over the summer, the ANA will establish a committee to draft changes to the by-laws in order to address boundary issues for members, membership and membership dues, and streamline the officer core. Once complete and in effect, the ANA will nominate officers for the new positions and hold elections.

Next meeting: The next full meeting of ANA will be in September, date to be announced.