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 WestKensingtonActionGroup@gmail.com

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.