Sunday, November 15, 2009

From Pizza to Heroes

Two Brooklyn police officers, Sgt. Edward Kraemer and Officer Timothy Stines stopped off for a couple of slices of pizza on Cortelyou Road in Kensington when they suddenly heard a woman crying for help.
Kraemer explained that, “A bunch of people started screaming that there was a fire," so they raced outside to see a building with smoke pouring out of the third floor.

They rushed into the apartment building and together helped a woman and her one-year-old baby out of the building and to safety, according to the police.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Collapsed wall on Expressway!

So this is basically a picture from outside my window last night. Yes, now you all know where one of us lives, sort of. It sounded like thunder when it happened, and I looked out the window to see if it was an accident, but couldn't really make out what happened until it got dark. Emergency crews, news crews, and rubberneckers galore were milling around the overpass and Ocean Parkway service roads for hours until they got it cleaned up, but I wasn't able to gather any information on how it happened: whether it just collapsed or if someone hit it. The only news story I found online was The Yeshiva World News which, if nothing else, provided a much cooler picture:

Sweet, Sweet mayhem!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


What're These Fliers??

These are ALL OVER the neighborhood. Any ideas?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tire thefts/car vandalism on the rise?

The local mailing lists for Kensington/Windsor Terrace is crawling with folks complaining that their tires are being stolen. Currently, the problem seems to be the worst right on the gray area between the two neighborhoods.
Another Car Break-in
September 17 in the mid afternoon! Location: East 5th between Vanderbilt and Greenwood (yes, next to the expressway.) Our Honda was pried into via front engine and window - we don't know what was taken - all the knobs to our heating and air conditioning are missing - we're not sure if some internal parts are missing. Waiting for police after calling 911. Whatever is decided about trying to stop these thefts, we're in.

Car Broken into on the corner of E4th & Caton
A Lexus was broken into on the corner of East 4th and Caton (Windsor Terrace side of the intersection) sometime last night. We live right there and heard nothing. No alarm, nothing. It's already been reported to the police and the owner knows.

Tires stolen in Windsor Terrace last night
Last night, around 3am, I saw two guys steal two tires off a handicap equipped minivan on E. 4th St. (near Greenwood). I was unable to tell if they were changing their own tire or up to no good. They had pulled up next to the minivan and were working in between their own car and the minivan. I was in the house in front of the cars (but on the minivan side). As soon as I realized they were in fact stealing, I yelled "Hey!" and called the police. They got two tires and drove away. The cops came by a little later. They took the info I had and said the owner would need to file a report when they woke up and found their car in the morning.

This is just a sample of some of the messages that have flown back and forth over the past three weeks. While there's plenty of blame to go around here (many folks seem ready to blame practically non-existent police presence) the question is, what can be done to curb or stop this?
The 66th precinct will have a representative at the next ANA meeting, THIS thursday, according to folks on the group:
I URGE, URGE, URGE concerned Kensington residents to come to the next ANA meeting to discuss crime with a representative from the 66th precinct.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR, THIS THURSDAY September 24th at 7:00 p.m.

The meeting is just ONE HOUR LONG and is right here in the neighborhood in the basement of the Flatbush & Shaare Torah Jewish Center (the synagogue on the corner of East 5th Street and Church Avenue). Just go down the ramp and you'll find friendly neighbors AND refreshments!
Whether or not you own a car, an increase in this type of crime does absolutely nothing for anyone. If this concerns you, and it should, please make your concerns known this thursday.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Come show your stuff at a Kensington talent show.

The always busy folks at the WKAG are back with a plan celebrate the new green space in Kensington for which they were instrumental in having created.

Hello, everyone! After a long, hot, very busy summer, it would be great to get together and have some fun. We are looking for local talent to perform at our first annual Green Triangle Talent Show!

Do you Sing? Dance? Juggle? Play the Accordion? Guitar? Banshi?

We know our neighborhood is full of talent. Come show us yours! Please limit performances to 10 minutes or less. We encourage people of all ages (kids welcome!) to perform. Please contact us at:

very soon to get on the sign-up list. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and have some fun!

WHEN: Saturday, September 26th, 2-4 p.m.

WHERE: the GREEN TRIANGLE at Church Avenue and 35th Street
(35th street will be closed off to all traffic)

WHY: To have some fun, get to know your neighbors, and show us your stuff!
Sounds like a wonderful idea to us. Come on, Kensington, we know you're talented. I just wish we had some of those Tuvan throat singers living in the area. Now that's talent.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Skaller and Zuckerman

Ogden C. Kellogg
Political Correspondent
Seems as if there's only two candidates left to tell you about before tomorrow's big primary... We do hope we've been helpful in the process. As I said before, politics ain't exactly our thing. I was only promoted to Political Correspondent early last week. Prior to that I was mainly in charge of mindin' the Pot Still and doin for the fellas a bit of cleaning up.

Firstly, Josh Skaller, someone we've all seen in the neighborhood lately:

A word about Mr. Skaller: Of all the candidates, Josh is the only one we've met personally outside the context of a rushed pitch and literature transfer outside of the subway. He was kind enough, last year, to attend Festivus and introduce himself to the folks of Kensington in a more personable setting. We don't know much about Mr. Skaller's politics, so if you're looking for that sort of endorsement, try the Brooklyn Downtown Star or Howard Dean. But we do know that Josh Skaller is a regular guy who you can sit down with and have a beer... and how many politicians not named Teddy Roosevelt can you say that about?

The final candidate is one Mr. Bob Zuckerman.

Mr. Zuckerman is somewhat of a mystery. His NBC video is non-embeddable, so you'll have to click that link to see it. Secondly, he is the only candidate on this NY Times page for whom there is no fundraising information. Thirdly, we suspect Bob might be an alter-ego of Joey Slotnick.

Update: We've been contacted by the Zuckerman campaign with a link to his site, his financials, and this highly amusing video:

Lander and Reilly

Ogden C. Kellogg
Political Correspondent
Hello again, friends. The return of gridiron this Sunday last found me, as they say, soured on beer and given to claims. It also found me in a state not quite capable of continuing the flow of information on the impendin' city council race. Now we find ourselves only one day away from the donkey primary and a whoppin' four candidates left to tell about. So we'll do two now and two later and then tomorrow, the Democrats among you can all use the wits the Lord gave you to make the best choice for you and your family.

First, Meet Brad Lander and his Big Book of Ideas:

Next up, Gary Reilly:

Later today: Josh Skaller and Bob Zuckerman.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another big idea from the West Kensington Action Group

Maggie and the other kind folks at the WKAG (you may remember them from this recent victory) have come up with another grass-inspired caper to expand greenery in the 'hood:
WKAG writes:


Do you think Kensington needs more green space? Now is your opportunity to make our needs known! National (PARK)ing Day is around the corner! Friday, September 18th, join in the fun and set up your own temporary park at any metered parking spot. All you need are a few quarters for the meter and a little sod (astroturf will work in a pinch) to transform your Park(ing) spot into a Park! Then sit back and relax, have a picnic, read a book, fly a kite, whatever you want to do in your port-a-park! Just don't forget to plug the meter! Look for West Kensington Action Group's Park somewhere along Church Avenue, west of McDonald of course! For more info. contact

For pictures of past parks and guidelines, click here.
You're reading that right. On September 18th, WKAG wants you to find a metered spot, feed the meter, and turn it into a park. This plan involves having sod on hand, but you could also build a sandbox, fill it with rose petals to provide walking space for visiting dignitaries, or just set up a hammock and nap. We at the blog plan to steal 10 consecutive spots and turn them into a bowling alley. Good luck, WKAG!

On the race for City Council

Ogden C. Kellogg
Political Correspondent
We're not much for politickin' at the Kensington Blog. We're simple folk, with simple ideals and simple values. Our simpleness... why, it simply seethes selfless salt-of-the-earthiness. But we hear tell that the coming election is of particular interest to those of us who have grown soft and complacent durin' the long reign of Bill de Blasio. Truth is, such times have been known to usher in madmen while the less fortunate are busy livin' and the rich dine on fine cakes and city-wine. Before we were consigned to a life of aimless bloggin', we sold cornbread along the whistle-stop campaign trails of days past, so we know a thing or two about the business of people. Between now and ballot day, we're going to do our part to help spread the word about the who's who's and the what's what, on account of it bein' our civic duty and all. So without further pomp or preamble allow me the pleasure of introducin' to you the very first candidate (alphabetically speakin', that is) on the ballot: one Mr. John L. Heyer, the second of his name, of Brooklyn.

Seems this Mr. Heyer has some big ideas for our little section of the city. Do you agree with what he's got to say? Here at the Kensington Blog, everyone has a voice. If you think Mr. Heyer is a sterling candidate for the job, well go on and let us know. If you think he's a bum for this, that, and t'other reason, well you stand right up and say so. This is your hour.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Village Voice keeps eating in Kensington

Some of us were a bit disappointed to see Ambrosia on Church Avenue close a couple months back, as it was one of the few places within the borders to get a half-decent veal parm. I took it so personally that I boycotted its successor, Bangladeshi joint Zaffran, out of pure spite. Luckily the Village Voice was there to take up the slack and tell us all about the place.
Hidden under the fluffy, oiled rice, this biryani was replete with chunks of bone-in lamb (suck out the marrow!), long-cooked onions, prunes, and small green chiles. A faint slick of neon yellow on the bottom of the plate gave away the presence of mustard oil. With the deluxe addition of a boiled egg, this is truly a feasting dish. (read more)
That sounds almost good enough to take them off my blacklist. I'm also rather fond of their No Politics policy, as evidenced above. Has anyone gotten around to eating here? Tell us about it in the comments.

Monday, September 7, 2009

66 Square Feet profiles Kensington

The folks (folk?) at 66 Square Feet, a Brooklyn blog about "gardening in tight spaces", took a trip out to Kensington the other day, a neighborhood they had previously never heard of (shocking, I know.)

66SF snapped a few shots of the local flora and had a lot of nice things to say about what she saw during her excursion.
On the cement sidewalks of Kensington were old Ukrainian ladies in sandals and knee high natural stockings, ladies in saris, in burkas, men in kurtas; yarmulkes, kufis, Hasidic hats.

I liked it.

Even before I saw the people, I knew from my recent BBG judging experience that the mosaicly bright gardens in front of the houses signified an "ethnic" population. The adjective amuses me. Am I ethnic? And why is an Indian family ethnic? Anyway, folks were growing things. Food. (read more)
We're glad you made it out! If you ever get tired of the rent in Cobble Hill, We'll find at least 66 more square feet for you here.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Catching up - Bloomberg wants F Express

One of the items we missed from early in August was this piece from the Brooklyn Paper about the oft-discussed F Express. This time around, Bloomberg is voicing support for the F Express as part of a larger plan to ease commutes that would include expanding service to underserved neighborhoods like Red Hook and Greenpoint.
Express trains could stop at currently an unused platform at Bergen Street beneath the existing one, but they would skip Carroll Street, Smith-Ninth Streets and Fourth Avenue before stopping again at Seventh Avenue in Park Slope. From there, they would bypass the Prospect Park and Fort Hamilton Parkway stations en route to Church Avenue in Kensington. (read more)
As a former user of the Church Ave stop but recent emigrant to the Fort Hamilton stop, I vehemently oppose this move for reasons that are in no way selfish.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Craigslist Round-up

Multi Family Garage Sale on September 6th!

If sitting still once a week for a year is your kind of thing, contact this photographer.

Customer service job available in Kensington. Lord knows we need more of it.

Unpaid 'Green' internship available for the idealistic and independantly wealthy

If your ear has been talked off about the city council race in an elevator recently, this man would like to speak with you.

El Gavilan rumor round up

During the hiatus we received a several emails about the bizarre developments at El Gavilan through July and August.
Mark writes:
Fresh scoop for you... About to enter El Gavilan restaurant on E5th and Church to take out food at about 8pm tonight. Police car pulls up. Officers go to kitchen door and front entrance. Three or four more officers crossing Church and enter restaurant, and then even more follow. I tell the cop waiting outside that I was about to go in and order dinner. He says to me "Not tonight." They finally were going in to shut them down after numerous complaints regarding music. He said they play loud music at four and five in the morning and they certainly don't have a cabaret license either.
Wow, I'm sorry for everyone who is affected by this, but that sounds awesome, Mark. Did you ask if you could mess with their taser?
Jessica writes:
It would be worth writing a post about El Gavilan. At one time it was a nice neighborhood restaurant. In the past couple of months, it has become a problematic nightclub complete with a knife fight out front, alleged prostitution vans coming and going all night, defecation on a local's front lawn and general loud, unruly behavior which winds down around 6am. Needless to say, it has the east 5th street block all worked up. It is currently closed due to 'unlicensed bouncers' until 9/11 when the owners will have their next court date.
The first two times I read this email I sort of glossed over "defecation on a local's front lawn", but this time it's sticking out a bit. Did some poor homeowner watch this actually taking place? Truly terrible. Multiple news sources confirm that they are closed for at least 30 days and are under probe from the NYPD and Liquor board. According to the signage on the restaurant itself, a judge heard the case on August 28th, but we haven't heard anything further.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

NYC Icy NOT closing!

I spoke with someone at NYC Icy the other day and asked if there was any truth to the rumors that they'd be closing for the season and possibly/probably not opening again. She informed me that they wouldn't be closing at all! Lemon Basil Ice in December!

This is wonderful news for a great local business that has struggled a bit since arriving in (well, near) Kensington. If you still haven't made the trek, you really are missing out. It's some of the best water ice I've ever had, and for $5 they make a pretty mean shake too.

NYC Icy is located near the corner of Church and Coney Island Avenues.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Heroes of Popular Wars - Church and McDonald

We're having trouble figuring out if this band is actually FROM Kensington or if they're just big fans of the intersection, but the band Heroes of Popular Wars released an album called Church and McDonald in August, with some awfully familiar cover art.

Quasi-legendary music website Fingertips features a free, legal cut from the album. The track is called A Bus Called Further. Take a listen and tell us what you think!

If you like what you heard, check out more tracks from Heroes of Popular Wars right here, and if you really like what you heard, give them money here to support this kind of pay-what-you-like model.

Three reasons we hibernated this summer

It wasn't a good summer for the Kensington Blog, was it? We had a whopping 13 posts for June, July, and August, and let's be honest, none of them are going to shortlist us for a Pulitzer (well, maybe this one). During that time we have received many comments and emails that ranged from smug (Hey, Rosesman!) to accusatory (We're looking at you, Muhammed), to downright distressed. We've even gotten a couple emails from people giving us stuff to post! We'll use one email in particular to sum them all up:
DATE: Aug 29 (3 days ago)

last update is july 29th...did you guys give up on the blog?
Nope! But allow ourselves to explain...ourselves. Between June 1st and August 31st,
1. One of us got burgled
2. One of us got married
3. One of us moved
Of all of these, the one most directly impactful on the blog was #1. It was a serious burglary, it happened while my wife (fiance at the time) was actually home, and a lot of stuff was taken. No one was hurt, thankfully, but confidence in the building and the neighborhood at large was temporarily shaken. So event #1 affected everything, including planning for event #2, and ultimately led to event #3.

As of September 1, we are in a newer, nicer, off-the-first-floorier, and altogether better place on Ocean Parkway (whose opulence is evidenced by what appears to be a solid gold front door). The wedding went off without a hitch. The trauma of home invasion is in the rear view mirror. The United States doesn't seem to be collapsing like we all thought it was going to 9 months ago. Things are far from perfect, but I think most experts will take this blog coming back in force as a positive indicator of economic recovery.

We missed a couple interesting stories (El Gavilan shut down?) but for the most part it was a pretty quiet summer in the 'hood. We'll try and post anything important-sounding that we missed as we dig for new stuff to post.

I won't over-impress this point, as I've made it many times before, but please, please send anything in, however mundane. I know at least three of you have sent stuff in over the last 4 months and not all of it got posted, but we weren't exactly posting anything ourselves at the time. But alone, there's only so much content we can squeeze out of google and our own four eyes. The more you send, the better the blog can be.

And now, for the few of you who haven't fallen asleep before getting this far, I'd better stop typing.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

amNY: A Food Lover's Guide to Kensington

Reblog: see
This stretch of Church Avenue may be low-key and scruffy, but wedged between dental clinics, discount stores and beauty parlors are restaurants and shops representing a dozen nationalities, including Polish, Albanian, Thai and Bangladeshi.

Take the F or G train to Church Avenue. Start at McDonald Avenue and walk toward Coney Island Avenue.
Follow this link for the rest...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fatal hit and run accident on Ocean Parkway

Sadly a local man was killed late last night in a hit-and-run accident.

From ABC's
Police say 67-year-old Juan Sifuentes was struck by a dark-colored car while trying to cross Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn.

He was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital following the accident.
If you have any information that may help the NYPD investigation, please contact the proper authorities. If you have nothing but conjecture and wild speculation, please post in the comments area below.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I can haz new home in Kensington?

Okay, so we don't encourage encouraging the strays, but these homeless pets were just too furry to ignore. If you're interested in adopting a kitty or three, checkout the info below.

Jonathan writes:
I recently came across a litter of 3 kittens and took them in. The problem is no, no kill shelters are accepting and I already have 3 cats of my own.

They're about one month old. They haven't been checked out but we're willing to get that done if anyone is interested. The one in the first picture (view here) is a little stand-offish (he was on the street about a week or 2 longer than the other two kittens) He just needs some love forced on him to get him used to human contact, I don't believe he's beyond saving, there is hope with him. He's gotten better since we found him but he's not quite there yet.

The other 2 seen together in the pictures are male (the dark grey) and female (the light grey). They are inseparable and sleep on each other. They are very sweet and if anyone is interested in one of the greys they must take both.. The light grey female is definitely the sweetest one of the bunch and will make a great pet.
Hit the comments section if you're interested in contacting the keeper of the kittens.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hipsters vandalize statue; local coffee shop gets famous

We've been hearing an awful lot about the shameful theft and apparent destruction of the mini Statue of Liberty from Vox Pop over on the other side of Coney Island Ave. In our opinion the video looks more like 'art' of the most tasteless, not to mention illegal, variety. I can't imagine terrorists would pay so much attention to lighting. That said, hopefully whoever is responsible gets pinched and has to pay for a new Lady Liberty. Speaking of attention, whoever the perps might be, Vox Pop now has an article on the front page of If anyone has info on this most heinous of crimes against iconic plaster, please contact the proper authorities.
Thanks to everyone who has been nagging us about this. We kid, we kid.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


While such things have been rumored for years, starting tomorrow those pesky G trains will no longer pass us by on their way to hipper places. Click the image for the details, if you haven't seen these posted already.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in. Even more thanks to those of you who notice when we end sentences in prepositions, but don't bother to complain about it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Heee Hee Hee!

For the sake of possibly saying something that will undoubtedly offend someone for either making too much fun or too little fun out of recent news, I'm simply going to say this. There's an event tomorrow evening in Prospect Park that looks like it will be at least quite a spectacle. Here are the details:

One-Gloved Run: A Run/Walk Tribute to Michael Jackson this Tuesday
Please join us this Tuesday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m., for a loop around Prospect Park to celebrate the music of Michael Jackson. Glittery costumes and/or wigs and makeup are encouraged (some of us will be going with the simple white t-shirt/black pants/black fedora combo), boomboxes playing the greatest hits will be carried, and when we reach the end of the loop we will organize a mass Thriller dance. Let's do right by MJ and make a spectacle!Don't worry if you're not a runner; we'll take it slow.
We'll meet at Prospect Park West & 9th Street, the same entrance you'd use for the band shell.
We'll go for drinks afterward, of course, where we'll dance... on the floor... in the round.
Thanks, Melody!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by these San Marzano Plum Tomatoes. With the KWT Winter CSA you can get your fruit on alllll winter long. Sure, it seems like it's a bit early for this info, but farmer Evan (I have no idea if Evan is a farmer) needs to know how much green stuff you require to make it through those long, cold nights. See his letter below.
I know it's way too early to think about winter, BUT the time has come, not yet
to sign up, but just to drop me a line if you are interested in being part of
the KWT Winter CSA. There were 32 shares for us last year and they need an idea
of how many to put aside this year.
Visit the website for details:, click on "what's in a
This is a wonderful mini-csa to carry you over through the cold months
(dec-march) with blanched/frozen local delicious veggies, berries, etc. You can
also order cheese, eggs, and other farm products. Pickup is just once a month at
the Oak and the Iris cafe, 4 times total. Cost is $128. It was a big success
last year, and the company that does it is expanding like crazy. The frozen
stewed heirloom tomatos are absolutely incredible on pizza or pasta - so much
better than any from a can.
Sign up and collection of payment will be in July.
Please let me know if you're interested, and spread the word.
So email Evan at to discuss all things Bok Choy and, most of all, your Winter share.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kids art free -- Thursdays 'til 1:40.

Mmm... free art.
Free art classes on Thursdays for children ages 4-14 starting July 2. These will take place right in Greenwood Playground and run every Thursday for the month of July. Classes start at 10:00 a.m. and run for approximately 40 minutes each with a limit of 10 children per session (sign up Thursday mornings in the playground). Last class is at 1:00. Children must be 4 to participate.
Printmaking, watercolor, clay construction and self portraits are some of the areas to be explored.
This program was funded by Partnership for Parks and from generous local donors Brooklyn Real and Cynthia King Dance Studio (and of course The Friends of Greenwood Playground—your local parents who donate time to their playground).
Click here to view the official flyer in all its PDF goodness. Thanks, Clarice!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Brunch: Now we're talkin'

So Visions just sent us an email letting us know about their new brunch special. UNLIMITED bloody marys, mimosas and bellinis! Finally I don't have to go to Park Slope or downtown to get soused early on the weekends.

From Visions:
Visions restaurant & bar invites you to join us every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am till 4pm unlimited mimosa, bloody mary or bellini with any of your choices from our brunch menu.
Visions restaurant & bar 752 Coney island ave @ Cortelyou Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11226 718-282-3388
I've heard the brunch food is good too, but hadn't tried it myself because of the [previously] expensive cocktails. Has anyone had brunch there yet?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Oak, Iris, Photovoltaics.

Having a hard time getting your green on? It happens to everyone, but Sustainable KWT is trying help ease the pain of figuring out what's good, what's not and how to juice the grid with sunshiny current. Here are the details:
An Energy Conservation Teach-In: Solar Panels and Weatherization
June 17th, 6:30-8:30 PM
Come to the Oak and the Iris Café (2826 Fort Hamilton Parkway on the corner of East 4th Street)
Learn how you can make your home or apartment building healthier, more energy efficient and environmentally responsible.
  • Waste less energy through window upgrades, attic insulation, and other weatherization techniques
  • Learn if your building is a good candidate for installing solar panels and start making your own electricity and hot water
  • Find out about the latest government incentives and tax rebates to pay for it all.
Guest Speakers will include local residents who have weatherized their homes and installed solar panels and representatives from local contractors and providers including AEON Solar, A.S.K. Construction, Solar 1, and 1BOG (One Block Off the Grid).
We hope you will arrive at 6:30 to chat with our presenters and your neighbors before the formal presentation at 7:00. We encourage you to purchase a delicious cup of coffee, muffin, sandwich, or dinner entrée from our lovely eco-minded hosts.
Ellen Honigstock (East 4th Street) & Sarah Goodman (Vanderbilt)
Sustainable KWT is a project started by two Brooklyn homeowners, Sarah Goodman of Windsor Terrace, an environmental educator, and Ellen Honigstock of Kensington, an architect specializing in sustainable strategies for existing buildings. Our goal is to build community through education and actions focused on reducing our local environmental impact. Contact or with any questions.
Please send in some followup details after this event. We'd love to hear about some eco-home projects going on in Kensington.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Street Fair!

Yes, it came and went once again. Does anyone ever see any notices about this [in Engish] around the 'hood? It always seems to come as a surprise. Anyhow, love it or hate it, it went down on Sunday and local Flickrer Jon grabbed some nice shots of the action. Take a look at his photostream here.

Thanks, Jon!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Meet your Brooklyn Cyclones in Prospect Park

Our local minor league ball club is about to start their short season, but first you should bring out the kids and get some autographs from the team.

From the Brooklyn Cyclones:
Come and meet the 2009 Brooklyn Cyclones baseball team on the Long Meadow at Prospect Park! The players will sign autographs and there will be giveaways and fun for the whole family. This special event takes place just three days before opening day of the 2009 season at KeySpan Park on June 19th.

Location: on the Long Meadow, just off the path leading to the 9th Street and Prospect Park West entrance to Prospect Park (near the Tennis House). Interactive map at
The meet and greet goes down this Tuesday, June 16 from 6pm to 8pm. See you there.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Some people are going to the Rocky Horror showing tonight

and you should too. Here's the info:
Flatbush Flicks Presents
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Friday, June 12 at Midnight
Kent Movie Theatre
1170 Coney Island Ave
Q to Ave H.
$13 @ the door
Meet us (well, some of us) for pre-show drinks at Sycamore on Cortelyou Rd. and, apparently at 773 too... not sure if it's both at once or a crawl. View the flyer here. Anyway, there's the post. Are you satisfied, Laura?! :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Meep! Meep!

If you see a blur zoom by you today as you stroll Ocean Parkway, it's probably the New York Road Runners. Their Half-Marathon Grand Prix's 7th mile will run through the hood on its way down to Coney Island. So if you are out and about, try not to trip anyone. If you're running, we'd appreciate it if you printed " -- Your semi-monthly news source" on your number tag. K, thnx.

Thanks to Laura for sending this in. *waves* Hi Laura!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mmm... green fruit.

I usually don't like it when my lemons turn all green and fuzzy, but apparently that's good now. Doesn't that picture look yummy? That's all the stuff you can pickup right now in Sunset Park's (courtesy of Green Market. If you'd like to have a market full of green edibles right here in our back yard, check out this online petition and vote your green pants off.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Students at local Yeshiva tumble through broken grate

From the Daily News:

Students posing for class pictures outside a Brooklyn Yeshiva took a terrifying fall through a shaft Friday after a grate suddenly collapsed, police sources said.

The children, ages 10 to 12, were standing outside the Yeshiva Shaare Torah at Ocean Parkway and Church Ave., when the grate inexplicably gave way, officials said.

The 15 to 20 students students tumbled some 15 feet down the apparent airshaft, sources said.

Two students were rushed to Lutheran Hospital with possible fractures. The other studens suffered minor injuries, and were taken to Maimonides Medical Center and Methodist Hospital.

The Kensington school is the elementary and middle school of the Yeshiva Shaare Torah.

Yikes. Hope everyone is ok.

Illegal gambling? Now we're talkin'!

The Village Voice ran a blog post today about how the slow economy has lead to a rise in back-alley gambling joints throughout the city. Today we can all be proud to call Kensington a major offender.

From the Village Voice:
And according to the Bangla newspaper Weekly Thikana, increasing numbers of Bengali immigrants are turning to gambling to supplement their income.

In the article translated into English by The New York Community Media Alliance, the paper claims illegal gambling joints have popped up in basements and the backs of grocery stores in Kensington, Brooklyn (also home to some great Bengali food) and various Queens neighborhoods, including Jackson Heights and Ozone Park. (read the whole story)

Being somewhat ignorant of Bangladeshi culture, I'm not sure what their preferred games of chance are, but if it's just guessing coin flips or something maybe I'll head down there and try and make back my rent.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Next ANA meeting tomorrow!

The Albemarle Neighborhood Association very kindly made their printed newsletter available at Foodtown (something they've probably always done), and it lists the time and date of their next meeting, which happens to be tommorow.
The Albemarle Neighborhood Association will hold its community meeting on Thursday, May 21st at the Flatbush & Shaare Torah Jewish Center, 237 E. 5th Street (corner Church Ave.). The meeting will start at 7:00 pm (sharp).

Our guest speaker for the meeting will be Assemblyman James Brennan, who will discuss a range of topics of interest to our community.

As during this past year, Foodtown will supply refreshments for the meeting.

We look forward to seeing everyone on May 21st at 7 pm.

Larry Jayson
This meeting is open to the public. Thanks to the couple people who sent this in.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Anyone lose a bowling ball?

Saw this little guy hanging out on the corner of Avenue C and East 4th. I think he was lost.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Signs of life at Connie's.

As you've probably all seen, Church Avenue Restaurant Cafe has become Connie's Cafe Restaurant and they had their Grand Opening yesterday.

KWT writes:
I spoke with Connie this evening, and she is starting with a standard diner menu, using all fresh ingredients. Each day she will have 6 specials and she plans to have a Sunday brunch menu as well. The hours, to start, will be 6 am - 6 pm. She understands the need for evening hours and plans to expand hours in a few months. The restaurant has a bright and inviting new paint job. Once she gets the permits, she plans to have outdoor seating on the E 5th St side of the building as well.

Please come and support this much appreciated newcomer to the slowly expanding Kensington-Windsor Terrace dining scene. Connie has lived in this neighborhood her whole life, and looks forward to meeting everyone, and hearing suggestions from her neighbors.
Other reports indicate that Connie is interested in possibly hosting some live music as well, which most people would find welcome. Personally, we'll be happy if the coffee and soup aren't cold, like some other cafe's in the area whose names rhyme with "Baroque Candy Virus."

Update! We got an on the scene report:
We had breakfast there on opening day, and enjoyed it very much. My kids had pancakes with apples and cinnamon, and with chocolate chips. Next time they want the banana pancakes. Thank goodness for choices! The adults had delicious eggs with all the accompaniments (potatos, toasts and bacon!) The staff is friendly, attentive, and it was wonderful to see so many people from the neighborhood coming in on the first day. - J
Thanks, J!

Connie's is located on the corner of Church Avenue and E. 5th Street.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

WKAG Rally an (indirect) success

We posted last Friday about the WKAG rally to have the Church Ave triangle turned into a small greenspace.

Many of you have noticed that work on digging it up began almost immediately after this rally.

Maggie of WKAG writes:
Actually it was a great coincidence...
I had requested it a few times over the last couple of years with no response, thus the rally. Unbeknownst to me, they just happen to be getting around to doing it this past Monday. Brilliant timing!!!

Also attached is a pic of some guerilla gardeners seedbombing our Church Ave nemesis at 31-35 Church Avenue. Stop by in a few weeks and see how we're bloomin'!


So the message here is that petitions and rallies work, as long as the outcome you're hoping for has been decided prior to the event. And everyone spraypaints their face blue first.

Craigslist Roundup

It was a slow week for Kensington, I think. Maybe everyone was too busy writing angry letters to TONY.

Someone has a real problem with Sean Casey Animal Rescue

If you're a guy with a Lonsdale Jacket, this young lady would like a word with you

Kensington is getting a Yoga studio and they need instructors

Free Kittens, sans sharpie-on-cardboard sign

40 Tehama St. Family Garage sale on Saturday

Auto Tech needed for local gig

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wonderful short documentary on Buzz-A-Rama

Local filmmaker Rahul Chadha wrote in to let us know that he made a short documentary about our local mainstay, Buzz-A-Rama.

I'll let the quality speak for itself.

The Buzz-A-Rama 500 from Gorilla Face on Vimeo.

Thanks for sending this in, Rahul. This is great.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kensington in TONY, Reporter is kind of a jerk

So we've gotten, oh, I dunno, about 670 emails about Kensington getting showcased in Time Out New York last week. We agreed at first that it was a nice article that more or less captured the overall feel of the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, the same guy who wrote the article disagrees.

In a separate piece written a couple days later for an 'edgy' news blog called The Exiled, this guy claims to have knowingly written what he considers an inaccurate representation of the neighborhood for Time Out New York.
I filed a smoothed over narrative of what I saw—Bengalis, Hispanics and Hasids, chattering away amongst themselves in ancient dialects. I left out the trash filled yards, chop shops and nasty eyed stares from the locals. But a questioning email came back from my editor: where are the boutiques, cafes and charming restaurants? My answer, that there weren’t any, didn’t cut it with him.
You'll notice he doesn't claim to have written an article preaching the truth about what he saw only to be denied by his editor. He fully admits to distorting what he saw, presumably because while he objects to the existence of the Real Estate Hype Machine, he doesn't mind profiting from it. Journalistic integrity, it seems, is in short supply at the Harvey Estate.

He goes on to persecute a similar article that ran in the Daily News a couple weeks ago, citing Kensington as a best-value neighborhood. I'm sure most of you remember it, and the fact that it mentioned this here blog. Although we were very appreciative of the exposure, the article characterized us as a "local watchdog", which I don't think we have ever tried to be. Matt Harvey took issue with this, and us, as well.
Even without the rebrand, The Daily News piece is dubious. It reads in part, “The neighborhood also has its own watchdog. Two friends run to monitor growth…” When I was scrambling for a cluster of hipsters to write about for Time Out, I had breathed a sigh of relief on finding a post on the very same. Entitled “where the cool kids go,” it seemed just what I needed to write about the alternative Kensington. The cool kids were all at “Jerbar,” a brand new hipster bar with a “speakeasy vibe,” right smack in the middle of Church Avenue’s Bengal grocers. It took me about a minute to realize that Jerbar was a turgid fantasia cooked up by the overzealous anonymous flaks [sic] behind the site. The bar doesn’t exist.
Matt, a simple click into the comment section would have revealed the truth: that Jerbar turned out to be an inside joke within the Yelp community and had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with this site. As far as anonymous and overzealous, our names are all over the comments area, and I personally don't recall showing even one iota of zeal about anything in my entire life, much less an overabundance of it vis-à-vis Kensington. Oh, and what in the hell is a 'flak'?

The problem here isn't that we're insulted. Matt Harvey can feel free to call us as many misappropriated words as he likes. But one thing we can't brook is hypocrisy, and in this case, his knows no bounds. Matt, if you were that insulted by the assignment, you shouldn't have cashed your check. Since you did, you should have kept your mouth shut about it in other media.

If you're annoyed, feel free to contact the editors at TONY at to let them know they should be wary about procuring Matt Harvey's services again. There's no place in the world of journalism for a guy that can't even stand up for his beliefs. While you're at it, let them know that Kensington may not be perfect, but no one here is interested in trying to fleece TONY readers into thinking so.

For reference, the Exiled piece in its entirety is reproduced right here. We refuse to link to either of the pieces in question.

Friday, May 8, 2009

West Kensington Action Group needs your help!

The WKAG would like your help making this happen:

Come one, come all!!!! This Sat, May 9th at 10 a.m. SHARP!!! Meet us at the TRIANGLE in the middle of Church Avenue just 3 blocks west of McDonald (at Story Court) for a fifteen minute rally and photo shoot!

We need your support! Please bring all of your friends and family!!! The more the merrier!!! It will only take a few minutes to sign the petition and smile for the camera. Also, just for fun, we might seedbomb the lot! Hope you can join us. It will be short and sweet!
It's good to see people out there trying to beautify the neighborhood a bit. I know from observation that a lot of people use this triangle to turn around (by driving right through it), so this may tick off some agressive motorists, but that's ok. We can tell them they're welcome to come to our tiny bit of greenery and pick all the daisies they like.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mother's Day Ditmas Park Concert Series

In our continuing bid to slowly annex other neighborhoods until Kensington runs from the Verrazano to Cypress Hills, please allow us to present the Ditmas Park Concert Series, soon to be known as the East Kensington Jamboree:

The 2nd concert in the Ditmas Park Concert Series is this Sunday, May 10, featuring Janus, an intriguing trio who creates new sounds for the flute, viola, and harp. Thank you for listing this in your calendar and on your website or blog.

Sunday, May 10
4:00 pm Janus
Temple Beth Emeth
83 Marlborough Rd at Church Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11226
B/Q to Church Avenue

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jazz Jam Sessions, new menu at Visions

The folks at Visions contacted us, letting us know that they have revamped their menu and are starting Jazz Wednesdays.

Visions Restaurant/Bar writes:
We are excited to let you know about our New Menu featuring excellent new dishes and a vegetarian menu.
Please see the menu below.

Come and celebrate Mother's Day with your Friends at Visions. Excellent Brunch from 11am - 3:00 pm

Fixed Mother's Day Dinner Menu starting at 5:00 pm - Please call for reservations - 718-282-3388
See menu below

Starting Wednesday May 6th, 2009 Visions Restaurant will be featuring Weekly Jazz Jam Sessions

THE JUSTIN WERT TRIO, Justin Wert - Guitar, Dave Speranza - Bass, Nick Anderson - Drums
1/2 Prices Drinks from 9:00 pm - 1:00 am

We look forward to seeing you soon,
-Your friends at Visions Restaurant and Bar
We're not sure if "Jazz Jam Sessions" means anyone can show up with their accordion and go to town, but at the very least you'll see some talented musicians do their thing.

Visions is located at 752 Coney Island Ave at Cortelyou in beautiful Kensington, Brooklyn.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Craigslist Roundup

We've gotten wind that some people in the neighborhood are still using Craigslist instead of
KensList for their marketplace needs, which I'm sure you can all agree is a terrible idea. But until we get 100% adoption rate, we'll highlight items of local interest.

Can anyone out there fix sunglasses?

Someone is hiring a Vet Tech for evening and weekend hours.

Got a hankerin' to feed some feral cats?

Assistant Art Specialist needed.

Countless items no one else wants for sale.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Have you checked out KensList lately?

Exciting things are happening around Kensington. Lots of them are advertised on KensList, and everything else should be too. Need to give your vinyl collection a boost? Looking for a new dog walker? Here's just one of the deals you can find right now:
FS: 414 Albemarle Rd - Open house Sunday! - $289k
Sunday May 3rd, 12pm to 2pm
$289,000 1 br 1.0 ba 900 sqft Coop
This is probably the best Home for sale in Kensington today. The location is Perfect. Quite street, yet close to transport, 24 hour shopping. 10 minutes walk & you are sitting & watching by the lake in beautiful Prospect Park. This 4th floor corner home can be easily converted to a 2 bedroom, (I have done so in the past). There is lots of Pre-war detail...
See the rest of this ad and many others at KensList now.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Church Avenue Restaurant Cafe sold

From KWT Neighbors:
I just popped my head in and met the new owner, Connie, who is a lifelong resident of K'ton and used to manage Faro's further down Church. Betsy and Chris, the old owners, quietly sold to her. She's reopening in a few days.

Opinions on the place run the gamut, but hopefully injecting some new blood will bring improvement. I've always had a soft spot for Faros' pancakes, but I've noticed that this place always seems to be sparkling clean.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Banya Bathhouse Record Release!

From the Brooklyn Paper:

An indie supergroup has found a bizarre, but fitting, venue to unveil its new record — a Russian bathhouse in Kensington.

The acclaimed Brooklyn-based act the Sway Machinery — which includes members from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Antibalas, the Arcade Fire and Balkan Beat Box — will play tunes from its gypsy-tinged experimental album, “Hidden Melodies Revealed,” at a May 2 bash at the Coney Island Avenue spa Banya. (read more)

From what I understand, Banya is the generic name for any Russian bath house, but ignorance of Russian culture and general mistrust of vaporized water found me unaware of the joint's existence prior to reading this article (although the non-descript storefront isn't helping.)

As far as unusual, potentially entertaining events taking place within the borders of the hood, I'd say this one rates pretty highly. For more information on times and ticketing, click here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sean Casey Fundraiser 05/08/09

The purpose of this endeavor is to aid unfortunate animals in the interest of a higher quality of life. We take in rescued, confiscated, neglected, injured, ill, unmanageable, or otherwise unwanted animals from private owners, zoos, shelters, and other public organizations. These animals are cared for, and/or rehabilitated to the best of our ability and means until which time they can be found healthy, happy homes - whether it be through adoption to qualified candidates or legally released into habitats suitable to the specific species in conjunction with licensed wildlife rehabilitators. Sean Casey Animal Rescue took in over 2000 animals in 2007 and again in 2008 from the NYC Shelter system, the most of any private rescue in New York . We plan to continue to serve the animals of this city but we need your help and support. Kindly consider a donation to SCAR.
The folks at Sean Casey do fine work but, as always, they need our help to do so. We hope everyone can make it out on May 8th. Good Luck, SCAR!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Daily News calls Kensington "Best-Value Neighborhood"

The accolades for our little section of Brooklyn continue to roll in. In the recurring "Best of Brooklyn" feature, the News manages to insult Park Slope and compliment Kensington in the same article.

From the NY Daily News:
Called K-Town by some, Kensington combines an urban feel with row-house living. The chess players on Ocean Parkway give the neighborhood a feel distinct from its more upscale neighbors Midwood and Windsor Terrace. You get a lot for your real-estate dollar here. The neighborhood also has its own watchdog. Two friends run to monitor growth and highlight such things as local authors, new restaurants and real-estate moves. Like any good blog, it doesn’t take itself too seriously while keeping an eye out for what’s what. (read more)
Thanks for the plug! We like to think that the best part of Kensington isn't the bang-for-your-buck real estate, but the wonderful people who walk the streets. Oh, and Shenanigans. Mostly the latter.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kensington Synth Wizard seen in the wild

Who hasn't seen this crazy neighborhood goodness?

Seeing this is the final nail in the coffin for winter. Well, that and the fact that it hit 90 degrees on Sunday.

Hope everyone made it outside this weekend. It was good to see so many bikes out in the hood.

Thanks to Evan for sending this in.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Woodstock in Prospect Park?

As we look through the archives of our many mysterious repositories of information, we came upon this item that we missed while on hiatus.

From the Daily News:
Prospect Park may host Woodstock's 40th anniversary

Coming soon to a backyard near you.

The summer of Love could be coming to Brooklyn if a promoter from the original Woodstock music festival has his way, the Daily News has learned. Michael Lang, who helped put on the famous upstate 1969 festival, is hoping to stage a massive Woodstock 40th anniversary concert in Prospect Park's Long Meadow this summer -- if he can find enough sponsors. (read more)
Well I'm no expert on large-scale festival concerts, but I'm willing to bet that this would create a mountain of garbage so high, even Tommy Chong couldn't see over it. Not to mention turning our beloved long meadow into a giant mud wrestling pit. I'm sure you recall that the last time someone tried to throw a Woodstock, a bunch of angsty teenagers tried to burn the place down because they were being overcharged for Evian. I'm not sure turning Prospect Park into a tire fire is a fair price to pay just to see the surviving members of the Byrds trundled onstage in wheelchairs and forced to wheeze into their mikes for 45 minutes.

Thanks to Matthew for sending this in.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

F Train to get an extra car?

According to, MTA officials are running overnight tests of 11-car F trains to analyze the feasibility of lengthening the train permanently.


Transit officials want to see how the longer train will be accommodated by signals and stations. If trains cannot be safely run closer together, capacity can be increased with the extra car.

The test was done without passengers for planning purposes. (read more + Video)

It will be a welcome change if it comes to pass, but probably won't do much in the long term to ease the rush hour crunch.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

First 2009 meeting of the ANA

Gary via the Facebook Group writes:
The first meeting of the 2009 new year of the Albemarle Neighborhood Association will be held on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 (that's tomorrow! - Ed.) at the Flatbush & Shaare Torah jewish Center, 327 East 5th Street (corner Church Avenue). The meeting begins at 7pm sharp (ends 9pm sharp).

Assoication elections are on the list of things to be done; two of the executive board postions are vacant, and a third would like to be.

Nominations of anyone else wanting to run for office will be taken from the floor. Prior to that, contact the ANA president, Larry Jayson, at the Brooklyn Housing & Family Services (which he also runs) (718-435-7585) if you wish to run.

Events that took place during the winter, and future plans for the organization will be discussed.

Foodtown, as during the past year, will supply refreshments for the meeting.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend.
Thanks for the info, Gary.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

G&A Pizza exists, is for sale.

We came across this Craigslist posting today and were startled to discover that there's a pizza place called G&A here and that it's apparently available for purchase. Looking back a couple months to the Pizza iteration of Restaurant Wars, I see that only one person brought it up in the comments area. Congratulations, Alicia. Unfortunately we also have to inform you that your favorite pizza place isn't sticking around.

Anyway, if you don't feel like clicking, here's the essentials: G&A Pizza is on Fort Hamilton Pkwy, across the street from IHM. 60K gets you the joint and you're supposed to call a man named Eric about it. Don't be alarmed if he picks up the phone and just starts screaming uncontrollably, because apparently he doesn't believe in spaces or lower case letters and this habit might carry into his verbal communication as well.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Village Voice dares name Denny's a dive

We're beginning to suspect someone at the Voice lives in Kensington. First it was Am-Thai, then Cafe Sim-Sim, and now they've gone so far as to write-up our very own local mainstay, Denny's (Steak-free) Steak Pub. In a recurring feature called Real Dives, the Voice actively seeks out and showcases the diveyist of dive bars around and sends folks in to survey the scene. According to the writer, a real dive bar "may be characterized by low prices, clientele over 60, trucker hats only on actual truckers, ...and a sense that the place is not trying to impress you, or anyone else, ever." Sounds like Denny's to me.
From The Village Voice:

Today's Dive: Denny's Steak Pub

Clientele: White men, over 40

What to drink: Stiff pours of Jameson, $4.50, two for one during happy hour

Said to us, as we left: "Run away, this place is nothing but trouble." (read more)

So three cheers for Denny's! Still scaring people away after all these years.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

(Even more) scenes from the Church Avenue fair

The good folks over at the Brooklyn Voice put together this montage of pictures and video clips taken on April 5th, during the Church Avenue street fair.

Interspersed with strange plugs for the online paper and accompanied by possibly the worst song I have ever heard in my life, the video is nonetheless a great montage of scenes from the fair for anyone who missed it. Thanks to the (Brooklyn) Voice for putting this together!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Where the cool kids go

Rumor has it there's a hot new bar in the Kensington area called "Jerbar." Yelpers are talking about it but we haven't heard from any of you. I get the feeling like it has sort of a speakeasy vibe going. Maybe you need to know a password to get in. Have any readers been there? Let us know. We can't abide other people having fun and excluding us.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Local Author writes novel on F-Train

Commuting reeks. Yet amid conditions where I personally find it difficult to do much of anything other than sob into my neighbor's armpit, sufficiently determined people are able to create. Such a person is Kensington author Peter V. Brett, a man so hellbent on killing time between Church Avenue and Times Square every morning that he managed to churn out a 400 page fantasy novel. On a Smartphone.
From AM New York:

It was slow going at first as Brett became accustomed to writing on the portable device. The process started out as Brett jotting down notes and ideas so he wouldn’t forget them. Eventually, he was able to type faster and faster.

“It reached a point where I had gotten so used to it that I’d get on the subway and just put my headphones on and just get in the zone,” he says. “Epic fantasy books are so long that ... you have to break it up into tiny little chunks or else you’ll never finish. I just trained myself to have those chunks be at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day.” (read more)

Now, from time to time we all find ourselves in situations where we have to type something more substantial than "Be there in 5" or "the cat is on fire" into our phones. It's an arduous process and fraught with errors. I'm sure many of you agree that it's not something you'd want to do on a regular basis. At 250 words per page over 400 pages, Peter V. Brett has typed over 100,000 words into his phone. The sheer enormity alone is impressive enough, but to string these 100,000 words into a novel that has garnered a 4.5 star rating on Amazon is another story altogether.

Luckily for me, Peter's publisher has done the smart thing and released this book on the Kindle. We'll see if reading it on the train is as hard as writing it was.

MTA/DOT keep on keepin on

We've received a few emails this past week referencing these new bus shelters on lines that are on the chopping block. As most of you know, the B23 has been scheduled for termination with extreme prejudice, but that has not stopped the MTA from building shiny new structures for people to wait for soon-to-be-deceased busses in.

From The Times:

Two bus shelters on Cortelyou Road in Brooklyn — one at Ocean Parkway, the other at East Fifth Street — were replaced this week with shiny new steel-and-glass structures that can keep passengers on the B23 bus line dry on rainy days and unmussed on windy ones.

But the B23 is one of six bus lines in Brooklyn that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it will eliminate unless it gets a financial lifeline from the State Legislature.

Asked why new shelters were being installed along a line that could soon disappear, Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the Transportation Department, noted that the proposed service changes were not definite. “But we will postpone any further installations on affected routes until the situation is clarified,” he said. (read more)
It seems a shame to waste that time and money on something that will soon be as useless as a bucket under a bull. Any proposals for what can be done with the shelters once the routes get the axe? I don't think we could fit a craps table in there.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Scenes from the Church Avenue fair

Yesterday, as most of you probably noticed, was the Church Avenue fair. It was a perfect day for all of us to emerge from our caves and shake the shackles of winter with a little help from some corn. Once I got past the sheer lunacy of being charged $7 for a hot dog, I managed to snap a few pictures. Unfortunately only one of them came out. The other we got from an associate.

It was good to see everyone out and enjoying themselves. The fleetness of foot required to dodge all the kids throwing Nitro Snappers at your bare legs was outweighed by the deliciousness of the roast corn and the amusement derived from realizing that the King Kong ride is operated manually. Children climb aboard something that looks like a modern ride but, in the end, a burly Baltic gentleman just swings them back and forth, looking bored.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Well our bid seems to have fallen through so it looks like we're stuck here with the rest of you. We might as well make the best of it. Blerg...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bigger and better!

So we've finally managed to score that sweet brownstone on 3rd street. We're really happy about our new place and think we should adjust our blog here too... hopefully you'll come with us. Well, everyone but Chris. The folks at our new food co-op already told us he's not welcome. Maybe you can all come visit our new home. It's even got a ramp to accommodate strollers and organic grocery carts. We're psyched.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Confined Nomad arrives in Bangladesh

The Confined Nomad, a local blog dedicated to, as they put it, "Eating the UN, A-Z, without ever leaving NYC" have made their alphabetical way through various national cuisines all the way to Bangladesh. They seem to try to stay local when possible, and this time around they hit Jhinuk and Abdullah Sweets and Restaurant on McDonald Ave.

The Confined Nomad writes:
Us: Excuse us, Mr. Proprietor, what is this delicious stuff?
Mr. Proprietor: Yohgart.
Us: Yohgart? How do you spell that?
Mr. Proprietor (Beaming): You spell it yohgart! (read more)
Keep those reviews coming, folks!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Matt Marks' The Little Death Vol. 1

Local musician Matt Marks has made us aware that he is putting on an opera this weekend
"Someone walking with someone, going somewhere, feeling something." -

We meet two characters, Boy and Girl. Boy then shoots Girl, and she sings an erotic Christian pop anthem through her pain.

Welcome to The Little Death Vol. 1, a new opera by Matt Marks that blends the avant-garde, Christian pop, and classic breakbeats into a show that will leave you singing his twisted pop creations in your head for days. Using decidedly limited, hypnotic lyrics, The Little Death Vol.1 tells the story of two clichéd, yet bizarre, teenagers, their journey through the world of Fundamentalist Evangelism, and their attempts to keep their relationship pure in the eyes of the LORD.

Featuring Matt Marks and Mellissa Hughes as "Boy" and "Girl".

and The Lil Death Band:

Caleb Burhans - Vocals
Wil Smith - Organ, Keys
Nathan Koci - Accordion
James Moore - Guitar
Peter Wise - Drums

Performances are:

March 20th and 21st @ 9:30PM
@ The Tank - 354 West 45th Street (in between 8th and 9th Ave.)
Tickets are $10

Listen to songs from The Little Death here:
Sounds pretty compelling. The name itself is open to interpretation... it may be a reference to the Litany Against Fear, but since I doubt anyone has time to write operas about dopey 60s Sci-Fi, I must conclude that he is referring to La petite mort.

Good luck Matt... we hope to see you out there!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ambrosia out; Zaffran in.

I walk past this place every day, but tonight is the first time I felt comfortable poking my head in the new Zaffran restaurant (located in what used to be Ambrosia). Ambrosia was a pretty nice place considering its location between a 99 cents store and a fish market and I'm really sorry to see it go. Somehow it seems the new restaurant that opened up this week seems to have actually done some sort of reverse renovation and actually made the place look worse, or is that just me? They serve Bangladesh, Indian & Pakistani cuisine for eat-in, takeout and delivery. They claim to have great hours and the prices seem okay. I decided to ask for a menu and was greeted with a smile by the woman closest to the door. The other person, not so much of a smile but the food smelled delicious so I'm willing to give it a shot this weekend. Has anyone actually tried the food at Zaffran yet?

If you're brave enough to order without a menu, the number is 718-686-6517. They're located at 90 Church Ave near McDonald.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tired of the trash?

Local Kensingtoner Debbie is, and I don't blame her. She tipped us off to this site:
You sign up and they put your name on a "do not distribute" list. It seems to be legit - somehow connected with a new local law aimed at stopping pollution in Queens.
I know my block is always covered with flyers and garbage from these advertisements which get blown all over the place. Thought it might be of interest to my neighbors.
Thanks for the tip! I know I'd love it if the corner at the Church F stop wasn't such a trash storm on a windy night.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I think our dogs deserve a run too...

...even if some of their owners do not. Orion tipped us off to a petition Sean Casey and the gang are working on to get the Kensington/WT area its own place for pups to hang with one another. Dogs like Frank here apparently feel the need to dress up like... well, something other than a dog in order to fit in around the 'hood. Perhaps a dog run would give him somewhere to feel more comfortable in his furry birthday suit. Word is you have to head over to the Animal Rescue to sign the petition. Sounds good, but if anyone knows of a nifty online version of that, we'd love to post a link.