Monday, April 30, 2007

Ballin’ The Jack

What can we say besides, wow! Only wish things like this happened more around these parts. I'm envisioning our own concerts in the park at Greenwood Playground/ Ball Field this summer... You think we could convince some of our neighborhood musicians to play a few?

Thai Tonys on Fort Hamilton

Though it's still in the construction phase we spoke to (who we think may be) an owner recently who said the new Thai restuarant on Fort Hamilton will include indoor and outdoor seating. I'm not sure about opening dates or menus but the sign went up today!

On a side note it looks like the hair salon next door to Thai Tonys also got a floor recently. We're not too sure what's happening w the space neighboring the hair salon since the 'For Rent' sign is still up yet our calls on rent price went unanswered.

More on Trader Joe's Not...

....coming to Kensington. In line with our earlier post on TJ's (the rumor) Curbed reported the following on TJ's planning a store near the Heights.
Racked is reporting that the condo conversion at One Brooklyn Bridge Park (formerly 360 Furman Street, aka that Jehovah's Witness Building) might be scoring the ultimate in amenities (at least as we think of these things at Curbed)—Brooklyn's first Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's to One Brooklyn Bridge Park?! (Curbed)

If you're really that into TJ's don't let this news disappoint you! Gather your friends and request a location by YOU! Be sure to include that rents in lower Brooklyn have got to be cheaper then the Heights (although maybe not on Church Ave!). And that there have to be a million Brooklynites down on this end who don't want to go to Brooklyn Heights for groceries. While you're asking if you could also add a note about our location including a wine store. Okay, fingers crossed!

General Real Estate Brooklyn

Brooklyn quarterly home sale prices rise
By: David Jones
Published: April 30, 2007 - 3:13 pm
From: Crain's NY Business

The market for residential real estate in Brooklyn remained strong in the first quarter, according to a new study by appraisal firm HMS Associates.

The average sales price for Brooklyn home rose 9% to $757,000 during the first three months of the year, according to the report, which included data on single and multi-family homes as well as condominiums.

Single family home prices rose 13% to $688,000 from a year-ago, while four family homes rose 18% to $1.16 million. Condominium prices rose 26% to $551,000.

HMS said that despite the rising sales prices, the number of home actually being sold has declined. Officials said the disparity points to the unwillingness on the part of sellers to drop prices, and the patience of buyers, willing to wait for better deals.

"Home prices can be expected to come back down to earth somewhat with transactions up moderately," said Sam Heskel, executive vice president of HMS, in a statement.

Average prices rose in Williamsburg, Bay Ridge, Park Slope, Crown Heights and Boerum Hill, while prices dipped in Greenpoint, Carroll Gardens, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn Heights and Sheepshead Bay. HMS officials said that Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick and Brownsville were not included in the study, as a large number of subprime loans were noted and could therefore skew the overall results.

A March study by the Real Estate Board of New York showed that sale prices for apartments and family homes surged in 2006, with median prices for one, two and three-family homes rising 16% to $570,000. Coop and condominium prices rose 6% to $343,000

amNY: Darfurians in Kensington

Interesting piece in amNY on Darfians living in Kensington. Included the link to the photos also.

Brooklyn's Darfurians worry about home (amNY) 4/30/07

Photos: Darfurians in Brooklyn (amNY) 4/30/07

Bay Ridge Tunnel

Considering the unrest over the truck traffic on Caton Ave. I thought many of you would be interested in the following article....
Bay Ridge Tunnel Could Solve City's Traffic Problem (NY Daily News)

I guess the question is whether this tunnel would help elevate some Caton Ave. truck traffic if it really does get put to use... Photo above was taken at about 4pm on Monday (4/30) you'll notice three trucks on Caton near E2nd St.

Jazz Concert @ WT Library Tonight!

Jazz Concert, Monday, April 30th 6:30pm
Windsor Terrace Library — 160 East Fifth St. (@Ft Hamilton Parkway)

Ballin’ The Jack
Matt Darriau - sax(es)
Frank London – trumpet
Curtis Hasselbring – Tbone
Andy Laster – Bari Sax
George Schuller - drums
Joe Fitzgerald – bass
Barney Mcall - keys

This is a benefit concert for the WT library.
$5 Suggested Donation

The Friends Group of the Windsor Terrace Library exists to assist the WT Library. Money from fundraisers is spent on books and programming for library users.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


A short walk from home...

Noticed this swan keeping it's eggs warm amongst the reeds behind the skating rink.

Unlicensed Vehicles - Part 3

Above is a picture of a garage on Church Ave b/w Chester and Story Streets. All six of the vehicles pictured are without plates (and three parked on the sidewalk). Story Street also had about six unlicensed vehicles parked on it at around 6pm Sunday evening. Usual suspects included - white Chevrolet mini-van, blue Chevrolet mini-van, grey Camery, purple-ish Dodge Caravan, plus a black car (4 door) and a white Nissan (similiar to an Expedition) both with tickets. What was interesting here was the two vehicles that were ticketed were at the very end of Story closest to Church Ave. None of the other unlicensed vehicles were ticketed and I did not check tickets on either vehicle to make sure they were legitimate.

Kosher Cream: A Taste Test

I spotted Klein's Kosher Cream a few weeks back but got the chance for a taste test over the weekend. What you see here is a non-dairy mint chocolate chip and a dairy mint chocolate chip. Can you guess which one is which?* Even if you don't care about dairy or non-dairy we found the cream and non-cream enjoyable and delicious! Plus at $2 and $2.50 neither cone broke the bank (although I'm sure Weds. at Carvel's 2 for 1 is a bit more economical). My friend here and I both recommend it! (Side note: My friend said it helped with his hangover... it was someone's birthday and the celebration might have lasted longer then expected on Saturday evening).

Klein's Kosher Ice Cream
3614 15th Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11218

*(Non-dairy on left, dairy right)

Neighboring 'Hood Contemplates Gentrification

Across the Park and Planet PLG are blogs out of neighboring Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Both contemplated the neighborhood's hype and status yet still unrealized expectations...

Why does PLG fly below the radar? Is PLG destined to be the perpetual "next" hot neighborhood? PLG, arguably, has been slower to develop than other Brooklyn neighborhoods - but why?

Hmmm... sounds kind of familiar. I think Kensington's been the next neighborhood since about '03 when the word started getting out that real estate was afforable and a short distance from 'fashionable' eating & shopping areas. Things have changed a bit in the last couple of years as prices on real estate have increased, along with the rest of NYC. We also contine to see many new faces on the streets and even recently begun spotting the swankiest stroller being wheeled down Ocean Pkwy.

Still, despite the surfeit of homes on the market -- and despite the fact that PLG seems to be the only neighborhood within a mile of the park where gorgeous single families can be had for between $900,000 and $1.25 million -- there remain many people who've never even heard of PLG...and meanwhile, broken-down brownstones much further from the park (and from transportation) and in more dangerous neighborhoods regularly command prices that are 20 percent.

Obviuosly Kensington doesn't have a ton of brownstones but the homes here are certainly in the range quoted above and many areas have tons of charm. Certainly we've had our influx and many newer residents have come together with older residents to make improvements on playgrounds, form a CSA, and partake in neighborhood associations yet we're still without a sit down restuarant (except for the diners), a coffee shop, or a wine store.

The reasoning...
Slow rental turnover is probably another reason - most neighborhoods that have taken off, like Williamsburg (cited as an example by Mr/Ms. PPLG), are full of small buildings that are not subject to rent stabilization laws. We have a hunch it's new renters who generally bring new vitality to an area, as they're typically younger and less tied to their home by things like kids. Also, the first people to move into a transitional neighborhood (often leading the transition) are younger creative types. We hypothesize that without rental turnover, you don't get a whole lot of change.

Maybe we'll get those shops and cleaner streets with renters? Seems like lots of new developments are going rental and certainly the rents in Kensington along Ocean Pkwy and beyond are much more reasonable then all of North Brooklyn. Many of the people I know who do rent though are concerned if the neighborhood improves rents will go up and they'll be forced to move out even further. It seems you can never really win, right?

There's also the notion that PLGers like where they live, like they way they live, and don't particularly feel like cheerleading. The other evening, as five families (and their nine kids, all between two and ten) gathered on the sidewalk after work and before dinner, one of the fathers (a musician with two of the aforementioned kids), said that he often felt as if he didn't like New York...but that he loved PLG. It wasn't hard to understand what he meant. Many of the neighborhoods we've lived in -- from Williamsburg to Boerum Hill, from the Lower East Side to the West Village -- have gone from being vibrant and wonderful to being overrun and annoying...oftentimes within four or five years (less if said neighborhood is featured on the Sex and the City tour). Maybe the real reason PLG hasn't seen more wholesale change is as simple as the fact that the people who live there are happy with things the way they are...

Wow does this sound familiar!? Even with the garbage pile up on certain corners, Church Ave's cosmetic deficiences and lack of a coffee shop (which PLG has) lots of people love it here (me included) and don't see the need for things... I've heard lots and lots of rumblings about Kensington being just fine the way it is and if we want said coffee shop to hop on your bike (or the train etc) and go to one. Certainly the beauty is in the people and we have made many wonderful friends here. That being said I still would like a few things be a little different (as many of you would) while maintaining our roots but wonder... is it a real possiblity considering we're in a less popular district for our elected officials and the commericial rents (I've heard about) on our major commericial strips are as high as those popular districts.

Don't go changing to try and please me (Son of Planet PLG)
Born Again Blog Ponders PLG Popularity (across the park)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Historic Kensington - Childhood Edition

Kenny's Toy Store by Ronald Lopez

Long before Park Slope was pretty and “Little Things” was cute, we had Kensington, Church Avenue and Kennys toy store. Kennys toy store sat on the corner of East 3rd street and Church avenue. Just about where you would open the door to enter RiteAid, back in 1963 you would be walking into Kennys. And you would usually have a dollar in your pocket.

As you walked in the first thing you would notice is how dark it was. Mr. Kenny who looked something like Albert Einstein sat behind a small counter on the left as soon as you walked in. He had wavy grey hair and a thick mustache. He was short and stubby with a large stomach. “Good morning to you young man”. The wood floors would start squeaking uncontrollably as soon as you started walking around in Kennys. And the floors were dark and dull and looked like they were there forever. Mr. Kenny usually worked with Mrs. Kenny, she too was short like Mr. Kenny and had long grey wavy hair. The squeaking floor was probably a way the Kennys kept tabs on their customers, because no matter where you were in the store Mrs. Kenny always seemed to be watching you.

The aisles of Kennys were very narrow and the toys always seemed to be covered with dust. And as far as the selection, it seemed that the Kennys sold toys that were popular in the 50’s rather than the 60’s. But still when you were granted the opportunity to go to Kennys with a dollar in your pocket you never said no.

“Oh, do I have something for you” said Mrs. Kenny. “This is something that just arrived” Mrs. Kenny held up a cardboard package with something that looked like a red egg in it. It said “Silly Putty”. Now when you find a toy in Kennys without a layer of dust on it you knew it had to be something special. “Would you like this” said Mrs. Kenny holding the strange looking package with the red egg. I nodded my head in agreement as I walked to the counter. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my dollar bill, I handed it to Mr. Kenny.

Mr. Kenny had this thing for Scotch taping ripped dollar bills, even if they had the slightest tear in them Mr. Kenny would tape them in what seemed like slow motion. Today would be no exception. “Oh, we have a tear, so we must fix” Mr. Kenny usually looked at me as he said this, I guess he thought I ripped them for a hobby. His fixing of dollar bills was a surgical procedure, and his process was slow, deliberate and exact, every time. First, came the close examination of the dollar and the tear. Mr. Kenny would always pull down his eyeglasses at this point. Second, he would lay the dollar bill on the counter and hold it with one hand. Now ever so slowly he would reach towards the scotch tape dispenser pulling off the length he needed and gently tape the bill. And when he was finished with one side this whole routine would start all over again for the other side of the dollar. When it was over he would put the dollar in the register and hand you your change. But the torture was still not over. The toy was then put into a small brown paper bag, the bag was layed on the counter, the top was folded over twice, the receipt (usually hand written) was attached to the bag and then stapled. All this within what seemed like hours to the mind of a little boy. “Thank you young man” said Mr. Kenny.

As you opened the heavy wooden door the cowbell on the door would cling and the sunlight usually blinded you from being in the darkness of Kennys so long as the bill was being taped. But as you walked home along Church Avenue you knew it would not be long before you would be at home playing with a new toy from Kennys and also taping all your mother's dollar bills before you go there again.

Historic Kensington

Neighborhood Crime Stats

Our local:
66th Precinct Crime Stats (
70th Precinct Crime Stats (

F train schedule

F (and V) Timetable (MTA)

I never knew there was a published timetable for trains. I mean I knew there was a schedule but I guess I doubt that they stick to it enough to want to make it public. I challenge you to try it out and see how reliable it is.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Albemarle Playground - Update

Turf is down and courts are being painted! The new garden was even being utilized by kids from 230 to sketch still life.

Story Circa 1964

The old black & white street signs, circa 1964, still stand at Story St. & Story Ct. See a post on Forgotten NY with a picture of Story Ct. sans unlicensed vehicles.

Rents on Retail/ Commericial Space

It makes sense that Church Ave is littered with 99 cent stores and nail salons (not that there is anything wrong with that...) the current rents charged by the owners seem to attract only businesses that can make a quick buck. As stated in previous posts the rents for a 500 sq. foot space go for approx. $2200 a month. I've done a little more investigating and found the rents for anything more sizable seem to vary but hover in the $3000 to $4000 range. A small store front where perhaps a cell phone business is run can go for about $1600. I was told today that many of these renters must also kick in for the owner's yearly taxes. For a small independent run business to stay on top of rent alone they must generate at least $125 per day... this does not take into account employees, necessities for business etc. And well let's not even talk about renovation costs which don't seem to be factored in. Let's not also talk about the fact that these rents are in line with more affluent and established areas.

What will rents like this attract? Typical commericial businesses that can take on the overhead until they turn a profit... banks and established commericial business like say Starbucks or chain pharmacy.

If you were at all like me (and many of you have made it very clear you are not) you moved or choose to live in Brooklyn because of it's small town feel. Doesn't it sometimes seem as if parts of Manhattan have turned into one big shopping mall? Here, in the BKLYN we still have our independent run bakeries, coffee shops, restuarants, home good stores etc. I'd like for some of that independently owned business to be on Church Ave. not because I want to turn it into anything but because I think the idea of a Main Street is a positive for all within the community. Yes, yes I can get on train but wouldn't it be nice to have the option? If rents for store fronts and commericial spaces stay in this range independent business won't come here.

The bigger concern and honestly one that truly seems like an unfair practice is that the owners aren't concerned with the fact that the rents they are charging can't be met... why did the hardware store on Church Ave close it's doors so quickly? Why does the cell phone store front or bodega change 'management' so frequently?

While the current renters struggle to stay on top of costs they can't be involved with the community and improving it's cleanliness or overall appearance because who knows how long they've got here. Building owners don't care because they've got their money and go home some place else. We, although there is a call for some diversifacation while maintaining our roots, are left with the same.

Neighborhood(-ish) Weekend Events

70th Precinct Community Council Street Fair (via
Sunday (4/29) 9am-6pm
18th Avenue bet East 2nd Street and Ocean Parkway

Friends of Windsor Terrace Library
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Concert: 1-2 PM
Toy Sale: 12:30-2:30 PM
Windsor Terrace Library, 160 East Fifth St.
Gently used and new toys for sale! Raffle prizes, including autographed Dan Zanes' CDs! All your favorite sing-a-long songs PLUS Kaleidoscope favorites! Concert Suggested Donation: $5 per family Proceeds benefit the Windsor Terrace Friends Group, which in turn assists the library by purchasing books and funding programs.

Cynthia King Dance Studio presents:
at Flatbush Tompkins Concert Hall
Dorchester Rd. at 18th Street
Saturday (4/28) 2pm & 5pm
Sunday (4/29) 3pm & 6pm
tickets $16 in advance & $20 at the door

Family Disco
at Honeydew Drop Playhouse
1113 Church Avenue (between Stratford and Westminster)
Saturday (4/28) 5-7pm

Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Sakura Matsuri: The 26th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival
Saturday, (4/28) and Sunday (4/29) 12-6pm


Preserving Fossil Fuels and Nearby Farmland by Eating Locally (NY Times)

KWT CSA blog (
(CSA ='s Community Supported Agriculture)
Garden of Eve Farm
(Farm CSA is working with)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lovely Day by Dahill

Taste of Kensington (kinda)

I've never been here and to be honest just found this review a few minutes ago at NY Mag.
Café K
4110 Eighteenth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11218
near 4th St.

Here's a blurb from the review:
This kosher, dairy- and meat-free restaurant focuses on salads, fish, and pasta. The limited but fresh catch is served simply—grilled, with salt and pepper, and an optional squeeze of lemon.

Home Sweet... Van?

Took a tip from a comment in yesterday's unlicensed vehicle post and found this van (to the left) full of blankets, pillows and other essentials (cigarettes and coke cans) parked on the sidewalk of Church Ave. between Chester and Story. This picture should also give you a good view of the various other vehicles parked on the sidewalk. Why I wonder do the cops and public officials turn a blind eye to this?

Unlicensed Vehicles on Story St. - Part 2

Took a walk over to Story St. today and found another 4 vehicles without plates. All 4 are pictured above... white and blue vans from yesterday and 2 Toyota Camrys which is interesting because aren't Camrys the most stolen vehicle? I decided to take a right off Story onto Church and there were two car shops side by side there (one I think is 42 Church). On Church between Story St. and Chester there were about 15 vehicles all without plates parked on the street and sidewalk. It's sad that these businesses are allowed to abuse the neighborhood in this way because it's a beautiful residential enclave over on that side of Kensington.

More 'Luxury'....

Luxury at affordable prices! That's the hook for a new complex at 702 Ocean Pkwy (technically Parkville not Kensington). Here's the NY Times listing and the website for Parkville Promenade Condo's . If you check the 'Prices & Floorplans' seems 8 out of the 15 units are already sold and a storage unit is a cool $7,500. And in case you didn't know "Ocean Parkway address for Brooklynites is comparable to a Madison Avenue address for Manhattanites".

Old Coney Island F-express

Found this from Arrt's Arrchives which includes many images from the old Kensington Junction.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Forget Earthday ....

let's cut down the bushes!

I was sad to see the super at 114 Albemarle took a hatchet to the bushes surronding the building today. (I know it was the super b/c I have a friend who lives there). Seems the irony is only lost on me one day after earth day and the day Bloomberg announces plaNYC for a greener NYC. Seems to me this guys time could have been better spent painting the walls of the building that are littered with graffiti.. *sigh* let's hope it was just spring pruning.

Unlicensed Vehicles on Story St.

I decided to take a different route to Scotto's today and walked down Story St. from McDonald on my way over. By chance I noticed a van with no plates so I started taking a look around and noticed three more vans and a car with no plates! Besides the black Mitsubishi, the white and blue vans (pictured) there was also a purple Dodge on Story St. without plates and a white Escalade looking vehicle on McDonald without plates. I plan on taking a second look tomorrow but any ideas on why these vehicles would be allowed to 'park' here without plates? I don't want to make any incorrect accusations here maybe these vehicles are waiting for parts from a local garage but it all feels a little suspicious. Any ideas on why unlicensed vehicles are allowed to 'park' on a residential street?

F Train Shout Out!

After a frustrating and slow F train ride to 14th Street on Saturday I decided to email the representative ( I met at Bill de Blasio's town hall meeting back on March 29th. I asked Andrew about the announcement he had eluded to at the meeting and who I should contact about F train service issues... Here's what I received:

"We should be informing the affected elected officials and Community Board 6 about the Culver Viaduct rehabilitation, which will affect subway service from Smith-9th Street to Church Avenue, by the end of this year. The construction project’s contract will be awarded in August 2008 but we always try to let the affected community know as far in advance as possible.

You can let me know about any problems on the F train in the interim".

Here's what I'm thinking... Use the comments section to voice your concerns and issues with the F train and I'll forward them to Andrew in one compact email (or you can send him your own email or you can do both. I say bombard him, we need an F express!) Let the games begin!

Bloomberg Hearts Trees!

I'm a huge fan of trees. I wish everyone who knows of an empty tree spot would request one. I also wish Coney Island Ave, McDonald Ave, and of course, Church Ave. would get some more trees. I guess Bloomberg likes trees too so request a tree today and Mike and I will both be happy!
Mike: Apple to Limb-er Up NY Post 4/22/07

Non-Kensington News

Vox Pop profiled in an article in the NY Times today. In Brooklyn, Hipsters Sip ‘Fair Trade’ Brews NY Times 4/22/07

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Top 5

I've met representatives from both diBlasio's and Brennen's offices at various community meetings and soon I'll be meeting with both individually. I'd like to get input on YOUR concerns and issues with the neighborhood. What would you like to change? What drives you crazy? What are the things you wish could be different? Mine are garbage and graffiti as well as developing business along Church Ave but now's the time to put in some constructive input. Add to the comments section and later this week I'll compile a top 5.

Ola Podrida

Local Kensington neighbor Ola Podrida is having a record release party at Union Hall this Thursday night! Here are the details:

April, 26 2007 at Union Hall - RECORD RELEASE PARTY
702 Union St., Brooklyn, New York 11215
Cost : $8.00

Come celebrate the release of our debut album with us, Sara Lov (Devics), and Ben Crum (Great Lakes)!

Demo at E5th & Greenwood

Anyone know the deal on this one?

Church End Fashion Looking for New 'Owner'

Saw this add on Craigslist this morning for 92A Church Ave business "Church End Fashions". Interesting b/c it's another 500 foot space for $2200 per month which seems to be expensive for the drag.

Friday, April 20, 2007

TJs (ending the crazy rumour)

So, if Trader Joe’s is really looking at Brooklyn, where are they likely to set up shop? Bartolomeo said, “I don’t think they’d go outside downtown Brooklyn or Park Slope.
Beep Anticipates Trader Joe's Brooklyn Debut (Courier Life) 4/5/07

Weekend Events

Pistolera at BAM cafe 9pm (free)

-Celebrate Earth Day in Prospect Park 12-5
-Go to Shenanigan's on Caton near E7th for Karaoke (starts at 10pm)

- Flea Market at Shaare Torah 10-3
- KWT CSA meeting at 4
(Meeting will be held at the community garden on East 4th Street, between Caton Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway)

It's Earth Day on Sunday so celebrate it by doing a little on your own... pick up some litter, plant a few plants or a tree, pick up some dog poo that's on a sidewalk (even if it's not your dog's poo!). Better yet write a letter/ email to our local representatives (di Blasio or Brennan) calling for prompter (and more regular) garbage removal.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Local Plays BAM Friday!

One of our neighbors, a member of Pistolera, plays BAM cafe Friday for free!

Taste of Kensington

Interested in a little Pakistani or Bengali food? Jhinuk and Sugandha on McDonald Ave off Church are great places to try. We dig the samosa and lentil bread (we're veggie) but the steam tables are yummy too (and frequently replenished as you'll see from the mass of clients in and out) and you'll get a little side salad with your meal. Be sure to ask for the green sauce.

Many days after this post found a review of Jhinuk at NY Mag

Flea Market at Shaare Torah

This Sunday! (April 22nd)
10am - 3pm
Flea Market at Shaare Torah Jewish Center
327 East 5th St. (corner of Church Ave.)
All Welcome!

Ocean Architecture

ANA meeting Recap

Interesting meeting tonight at the ANA. Besides learning about fire and CO2 detectors we also had an interesting conversation about the Bricklane cafe. The school and synagogue both opposed the Bricklane. The ANA and the school representatives feel it is an establishment that would simply be a bar and not a cafe or an establishment that would serve both alcohol and food like say, a restaurant. All involved were very clear that they would have welcomed a cafe if it had in fact been a cafe as it was billed. However, the set up of the 'cafe' leads all involved to feel there is no way to really serve food and the bar running the length of the space (and only two 4-top tables) are indicators a cafe is not its main objective. On a side note it is also against the law to have an establishment serving liquor 200 feet from a school or place of worship.

I also had the pleasure of meeting a few 'older' members of the community (and not as in age but as in time spent living here!) who would welcome some newer establishments on Church Ave. (Of course, I'm only highlighting that because it seems as if a revitalization of Church Ave. isn't only in the interest of newer residents as some of the commentors like to believe).

Why can't old and new businesses co-exist?

just wondering....

Demolition K-style

House on Ocean Pkwy near Beverly has been demo'd rather quickly. In fact so quickly I've missed the process the last 2 days as I've gone by without the camera... wonder what's coming? Any guesses? I say another nice new construction complete with *luxury* amenities.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Shannon Florist & Greenhouse

In the interest of supporting local business thought I'd recommend Shannon Florist and Greenhouse on Ft. Hamilton Pkwy. They did our wedding a few years ago and are currently helping us update our garden. Joe Sr and Jr are always polite and helpful and the plants and flowers always beautiful plus delivery is very reliable.

Shannon Florist & Greenhouse
Fort Hamilton Pkwy
718 436 4521

Albemarle Neighborhood Assoc. Meeting Thursday

ANA's monthly meeting will be held Thurs. April 19th at Shaare Jewish Center. All concerned citizens should attend!

Upcoming Meetings:
Thurs. May 17th 2007
Thurs. June 14th 2007

Held at:
Flatbush & Shaare Torah Jewish Center
327 East 5th St.
Starting at: 7.30

PS230 Playground Update

First off it’s actually the Albemarle Playground. Regardless, I found three contractors and a parks department employee on site today. I spoke to the contractors they said the basketball court and new turf would be ready by next week. I guess the weather has been a factor in the delays. When I asked about the equipment and playground side they told me that was a separate job and they weren’t sure. I attempted to ask the parks department employee and she did not respond.

Feel like doing a little investigating of your own? Call the Parade Grounds office at 718 438 3435 and ask for construction details on the Albemarle Playground. I called earlier today and was told the person who handles the AP was out but to try back in the morning. On a side note the small garden added to the area is very cute with trees and various flowers.

KPO Showing Improvements (yeah, I was shocked too!)

Could it be? Sources say the Kensington post office might actually be (*shock*) improving.

I've been to the Post Office several times since the meeting, and it has improved significantly (and the changes actually began a week or so before the meeting). Many of the major complaints seem to have addressed. The place is clean, there are more workers staffing the windows, the supply areas are all well-stocked, and there's often an employee on the floor answering questions and directing customers to the proper place.

For example, I was there last week to mail a small package via Priority Mail. Right after I entered, the worker on the floor came over to me, asked me what I needed, and after I told him, he walked me to the counter and pulled out a Priority envelope and mailing label for me. Once I had the package ready, I got in a longish line, but since there were four workers behind the windows, I only waited a couple of minutes.

I decide to take a swing by and noticed a rather short line with not one not two but three windows open as well as a person at the package pick up window (so for all the mathematicians out there that’s four windows!). I also noticed a variety of supplies on two tables, return receipt envelopes etc. Lastly, the stamp machine had a note on it that said “only takes $1 dollar bills” so could that mean it actually takes money and distributes stamps?

Non-Kensington News

Conneticut Muffin coming to Cortelyou. Interesting... Wonder how business will be considering neighborhood favorite Vox Pop is about a block away from the soon to be opened location?

Updated Celebrate Brooklyn (Still Unofficial)

I feel like this is little late since Gowanus Lounge posted it yesterday from Bumpershine so in case you missed it.

06/14/07 - The Neville Brothers (Opening Night Gala)
06/16/07 - Joan Osborne
06/21/07 - Richard Thompson
06/22/07 - Ralph Stanley & the Cinch Mountain Boys, James Reams & the Barnstormers
06/26/07 - Manu Chao
06/27/07 - Manu Chao
06/29/07 - Ravi Coltrane, Groove Collective
06/30/07 - The Stills, Sam Roberts Band, Malajube (Canada Day Concert)
07/05/07 - Isaac Delgado
07/15/07 - Yiddish Fest w/ Frank London, Fyvush Finkel, the Klez Dispensers
07/18/07 - Ani DiFranco (Tickets)
07/19/07 - Morley, Blackmail with Alloy Orchestra
07/20/07 - Catherine Russell & Bobby “Blue” Bland
07/22/07 - Dan Zanes & Friends
08/09/07 - The Hold Steady, The Big Sleep, The Teenage Prayers
08/11/07 - African Festival w/ Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars
TBA - The Jazz Passengers - The Supremes Project
TBA - Brave New World Repertory Theatre - Whitman’s Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
TBA - Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company 25th Anniversary Performance
TBA - Noche Flamenca (Madrid-based Flamenco Dance Company)
TBA - Brooklyn Bollywood with DJ Rekha (Indian Gangster Film with Dance Party)
TBA - REwind: a Cantata (100 Voice South African/Brooklyn Choir)
TBA - Brooklyn Philharmonic with Mark O’Connor and Maya Beiser
TBA - Kassav (from French West Indies)
TBA - Laurel & Hardy / Millennial Territory Orchestra

More on Trees

Maybe Only God Can Make a Tree, but Only People Can Put a Price on It (NY Times)

If you know of a space that is slated for a tree but without one email me and I'll request one using the Parks Department website or you can do it here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Development Watch

For all those people out there who think new developments mean dollars for the 'hood I'm just not so sure. I distinctly remember this building being billed as the new 'IT' residence by Corcoran about a year ago. The amenities included Bosch appliances and individual terraces. Now the Corcoran signs are gone and replaced with a generic "Luxury Apartments For Rent" sign. Just because they build it does not mean they will come ...

Anyone got scoop on this place? It's on the east side of Ocean Pkwy at Cortelyou.

Weekend Open Houses

Just to give you an idea of what's out there and the asking prices. All these listings were found today in the NYTimes and are showing this upcoming weekend.

150 Ocean Pkwy, 4C $515K (2bed 2bath + balcony)
150 Ocean Pkwy, ? $499K (2bed 2 bath + ground level "balcony")
New building sandwiched in between older ones. Located b/w Albemarle & Caton.

30 Ocean Pkwy, 6C $470K (2bed 1 bath corner unit)
this apartment is listed by Corcoran so I'd bet the price is a little inflated but the property and building seem nice and well-maintained

399 Ocean Pkwy, 7K $299 (1bed 1bath)
This building is beautifully maintained... I walk by it daily and never see a streak on the window or a piece of liter on the lawn. It's between Cortelyou and Ave C closer to Cortelyou.

415 Beverley, ? $289K (1bed 1bath)
This building has a 24 hour doorman and is also nicely maintained. Short walk from Church Ave. F.

370 Ocean Pkwy, 12C $225 (1bed 1bath)
Listing says it has a terrace so you gotta wonder what kinda shape it's in b/c the price seems low for a one bedroom...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Brooklyn Paper, Kensington Article

I missed this as it was published when I was on vacation but here it is.
Faithful Flourish in Kensington's Melting Pot (Brooklyn Paper)

It's my blog and I'll post what I want to....

My new best friend kensington gal posted the following on the comments section of Brooklyn Record in re: Kensington's Park Slopization.

"What should be more important than preserving the supposed 'character' of sketchy, dirty Church Ave and its plethora of nail shops and 99¢ stores is the rampant Fedder-ization of the neighborhood. If you want to talk about a loss of character, try looking at the absolute crap that's being put up in the 'hood. Check out the number of Stop Work Orders that a bunch of these places have had and you can gauge the quality of said crap. The more brick behemoths that get built, the more people, more congestion, less parking and a real decline in the old feel of a sleepy town of quaint 100 year old frame houses. That's what I'd be worried about, since awful, cheap, out of context buildings are really what's changing Kensington now".

Serioulsy, I don't know kensington gal but it summed up most of what I've been trying to communicate re: development in and around our area.

Kosher Cream!

Behind that large building on Church Ave there is a small ice cream parlour next door to it's distributing center. This may be Boro Park but it's close enough... I think the address is like 36th St. and 15th Ave but I gotta check it again. Anyway, kosher ice cream is worth a try and they even have vegan cream (is that an oxymoron?) check out the site!

Klein's Kosher Ice Cream
3614 15th Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11218

Artist Studios?

A reader passed on a great idea … Besides lots of apartment buildings along Ocean Parkway and homes from Fort Hamilton to Dahill off Church Ave down McDonald, there is a small alcove of an industrial zone that includes a bunch of hardware stores, a concrete/ brick site and lots of stuff in between. Over by the infamous Bergament are two large buildings. One houses a teacher supply store in a small corner and I’m not sure what the rest is while the second seems to have some mattress and blind (as in vertical) distributors. When I walked by I noticed a majority of both appeared to be empty. While I am unaware of the rent prices or overall appearance of the spaces I for one think it needs some more investigating especially considering the current situations occurring in the artist enclaves of Brooklyn… I mean how bad an idea is it especially considering how many artists I know that already live in the ‘hood?

One of the entrances to the building pictured above notes the address as 3611 which couldn’t be Church Ave since at that end it should be single numbers however a sign on the building noted “Office Suites, Small Business, Now Renting from 200 to 25,000 square feet will divide. Call office: 718 972 2861”

Got Flooding?

Do you notice storm drains by your house or apartment clogging? Do you keep an eye on these catch basins collecting mainly trash? Fellow blogger and neighbor Popular Logistics is trying to collect drain data and considering we just had a storm why not log on and help the cause!

Posting on Poo

We all know how some of our lovely streets are littered with dog poo, right? Yeah, like you could of missed it! Well, I think someone in Carroll Gardens has got the right idea. Taking the Legalistic Approach on Dog Crap.

Anyone want to join forces create, laminate and post some signs?

Kensington got some press....

NY Mag's blog and Brooklyn Record posted our discussion today...

Hopefully, one quick comment won't deter old and new residents from coming together to form some postive change. I also hope that people continue to comment since it seems to get the ball rolling and people interested. My only concern is these sites are focusing on resitance and I'd like for our community to join together and create some positive press.

On that note, we are in the early discussion of planning a graffiti clean up day and I'm just wondering if we could get enough people to sign up and work... any takers?

BKLYN 1/2 Marathon Causes Traffic Nightmare

On Saturday mornings I usually wake up to birds chirping the occasional child playing and maybe a dog barking. This past Saturday I woke up to car horns honking and lines of cars along my usually quiet street. Ahh the Brooklyn 1/2 Marathon! I love the marathon don't get me wrong, but the closing of Ocean Pkwy causes major traffic to be directed to quiet side streets. All side streets running north (E5th, E3rd, and McDonald) were a mess as was Church Ave & Albemarle. What gets me is that there were no foot cops directing traffic... not one! Even the intersection of McDonald & Church was left cop-less! Now I ask you, would this ever happen in a more posh 'hood?

Later on Saturday I saw a good friend who's lived in the hood for over 30 years and basically he said I should just get use to it, that's the way it's happened for 25 years. I'm not sure why I have to get use to it since it's not right! Traffic cops during events like this should be slotted for the major intersections not ignored. Also the honking is obnoxious and completely unnecessary! Cops should of also been on hand to ticket these stupid drivers!

Playground at PS 230

I've heard a lot of runblings about the plan for the playground at PS230. I guess about a year ago (give or take a few months) the city (or parks department?) layed the new concrete but since nothing... anyone have an updates or info?

(I have a picture of the current mound of tarp that is the playground but the technical issues...)

KWT Toddler Soccer

Got a toddler in Kensington or Windsor Terrace who likes to kick the ball around? KWT neighbors has formed a toddler soccer group.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Technical Difficulties

Of course the minute we return from vacation the computer and internet connection have decided to turn againest us. An updating of both is long, long overdue so we'll be doing lots with that over the next week. While posts will be sporadic at best please email me with any ideas or news.
Thanks for your patience!


- Albemarle & McDonald F entrance re-opened
- MTA substation work at E2nd & Caton to begin (behind Immaculate Heart of Mary)
- Missing garbage can along walk in Greenwood Playground. And we wonder why people don't pick up after their dogs!
- House on Greenwood & E5th demo
- Street light on Ocean Pkwy b/w Church & Beverly finally replaced
- Store front at 4?? on Church to become Doc office (podatrist from across the street to move)

More news or things to share? Please contact me!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Setting The Record Straight

A comment was posted under “Update to Retail Space” that I feel the need to respond to. I’m not planning on making a practice of this since although I am the keeper of the blog only created it as a forum for discussions. That being said I took some offense to a few of its points (I guess I have to grow a thicker skin) and think it’s important I clarify some of my intentions.

When I initially began this blog it was because I was sick of the neighborhood being lost in the shuffle and ignored. I was also disgusted at some of the services (and lack of) that we receive. For instance, why can’t we have twice daily garbage pick up along Church Ave? Or why aren’t our shop keepers better maintaining the sidewalks in front of their stores (i.e. hosing off the walks and sweeping them daily as required). Why is Bricklane allowed to only serve a select client? Regardless, here are some of the ideas I had in mind that I hoped would change as more people in the neighbor gathered together:
1. More trash cans and better pick up service
2. Better maintenance of streets and sidewalks
3. Prompt graffiti removal by business and building owners
4. More diversification of business
5. Greener spaces
6. Prompt (and maybe express) train service
7. Better representation from our council people and community board

Lastly, I don’t have a vision of turning Kensington into the next Park Slope. I moved to the neighborhood because it wasn’t Park Slope but wanted to be close to Prospect Park. I have no hidden agenda to raise my real estate value in fact, I’d like to keep the neighborhood affordable (see my development comments). And I have no need for a bar since I don’t really drink. My only true vision is improving what I call home.

Friends of WT Library

The Friends Group of the WT Library is looking for some volunteers to assist on:
Saturday, April 21 (after our meeting), to assist with pricing toys for the toy sale (to be held April 28)

Saturday, April 28—volunteers are needed to assist at the toy sale and children's concert

They are also accepting donations of gently used toys to sell at the toy sale. Please contact or if you have items to donate.

Upcoming Events
Saturday, April 21, 1 to 3 pm. – Friends Group Meeting
Update on activities and help plan upcoming events. Volunteers and ideas welcome!

Saturday, April 28, 12:30 to 3 pm – Toy Sale
Money from fundraisers is spent on books and programming for library users.

Saturday, April 28th, 1 to 2 pm—Children's Concert--
Back by popular demand, Alex and his Kaleidoscope band! Suggested donation: $5/family.

Monday, April 30, 6:30 to 8 pm – Jazz concert –Ballin'The Jack--
New and "avant" interpretations of classic swing, featuring: Matt Darriau – saxes; Frank London – trumpet; Curtis Hasselbring – Tbone; Andy Laster - Bari Sax; George Schuller - drums; Joe Fitzgerald – bass; Barney McCall – keys. Free concert with suggested donation $5 to benefit Friends Group of the Windsor Terrace Library.

Monday, May 21, 6:30 to 8 pm – Friends Group Meeting

CSA ... A Meeting

Meet the farmer and learn about the new KWT CSA

A wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day -- come to the East Fourth Street Community Garden to help us kick off the first season of the Kensington/Windsor Terrace CSA.

There will be a community-wide organizational meeting for the new KWT CSA (community supported agriculture) at 4:00, Sunday April 22nd -- that's Earth Day -- at the community garden on East 4th Street, between Caton Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

Eve and Chris from Garden of Eve Farm will be there to answer questions and talk about the locally grown, organic produce that will be available. We'll discuss the way the CSA will work, this season's prices, pickup location and times, great additional opportunities (fruit, flower, egg shares and more), and how to lend a hand to make this a great and successful season.

From Bill Tipper:
If you've been waiting eagerly for locally grown organic produce to find its way to the neighborhood, or are just want to know more about what a CSA does and how we're going to work, please join us for a fun and informative get-together. And its a great way to get to know more of your neighbors!

More info about the CSA at

If you think you're going to be there, it would be great if you could let us know by emailing If you're interested but can't be there, send us an email and we'll keep you posted.

Where: The E. 4th St. Community Garden,
on E. 4th St. between Ft. Hamilton Parkway and Caton Ave.
When: Sunday, April 22 at 4PM

Artist Space?

A reader passed on a great idea ... Besides lots of apartment buildings along Ocean Parkway and homes from Fort Hamilton to Dahill off Church Ave down McDonald there is a small alcove of an industrial zone that includes a bunch of hardware stores, a concrete/ brick site and lots of stuff in between. Over by the infamous Pergament are two large buildings. One houses a teacher supply store in a small corner and I’m not sure what the rest is while the second seems to have some mattress and blind (as in vertical) distributors. When I walked by I noticed a majority of both appeared to be empty. While I am unaware of the rent prices or overall appearance of the spaces here’s what our reader suggests “there is a lot of industrial pockets that would make for a great studio space for artists that have been priced out of other neighborhoods".

I for one think it needs some more investigating but knowing the current situations occurring in the artist enclaves of Brooklyn wonder how bad an idea it is especially considering how many artists I know that live in the ‘hood. One of the entrances to the building pictured above notes the address as 3611 which couldn’t be Church Ave since at that end it should be single numbers however a sign on the building noted “Office Suites, Small Business, Now Renting from 200 to 25,000 square feet will divide. Call office: 718 972 2861”

Kensington Aerobics & Fitness

I’m all for supporting local business... I get my vegetables at Golden Farm, my pizza at Joe and Joe’s and my mouth wash at MF. Lately I’ve been a little tired of Pilates and yoga classes and been considering a gym. I looked into NY Sports and Dolphin but my employer doesn’t have a deal so the best I could get would be over $70 per month plus a train ride. A neighbor told me about Kensington Aerobics & Fitness, that the hours were good (5 to midnight), the equipment diverse and a class list that was varied but generally only when she was at or traveling to work. I went today to check out the facilities and I’m not a big gym enthusiast but thought they had all the necessary equipment (5 stair masters, a bunch of ski machines and probably 15 treadmills plus lots and lots of weight machines) as well as a sauna (which I did not see). Most importantly the deal seems one of the best around! Monthly they’ll charge you $39 for one year or you can pay $439 upfront for a year (which is about $37 per month for all you mathematicians out there).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Update on Retail Space

Logged in a call to David at Kensington Realty re: vacant store at 211 Church Ave. Going rate is $2200 per month for approx. 600 sq. feet. He has another space available at the end of the month (much larger) but wasn't sure about other locations I listed.

I rang a friend who knows about retail rents and he was amazed at the $44 per square foot cost. He thought for the area prices should be more in the high teens to low 20s per foot and said by comparison commericial rents in lower Manhattan are in the mid 40s. He was also quick to note a specific space in Brooklyn Heights that rented for $46 per sq. ft. I'm left to wonder, was the $2200 the price or just the price I was quoted?

One more comparision, and I have no idea of it's size, but supposedly the old fabric place next to Farm on the A on Cortelyou was going for $3000 and needed a total gut renovation.

New v. Old Or Reno v. Move-In

To add to the on-going debate of new development vs. renovations Stay Free! is doing a series on the debate, Are old houses really built to last? One highlight, the stainless steel kitchen debate. A few people I know have maintained for years that stainless is the avocado kitchen 'it' appliance of the 00's.

Buying from a Sponsor - Avoiding 20% Down

One of the things that I hear a lot from relative newbies in the neighborhood (and yes, I'm included in the newbies) is that they would love some cooler places to eat, shop and drink BUT are nervous rents and purchasing prices of apartments will soar with the introduction of these places. A nice thing about Kensington is rents and apartment prices are still relatively affordable (although a little higher then amNY quoted) which was a major draw for me, and maybe some of you. While I'm not an expert I think apartment prices have come down a bit in the last year and because of the benefits and abudance of places I keep suggesting to those who rent to buy. When I make this suggestion I repeatedly hear the same thing, people can't afford what they expect will be a 20% down payment. While 20% is certaintly the norm in NYC I know a lot of my neighbors have bought through the sponsor and been able to avoid putting down the entire 20%. Typically unheard of in NYC I think it's still pretty doable in the neighborhood so here's what I would suggest (and please comment with information).

1. Get pre-approved for a mortgage just to be sure you actually have the ability to get one. (Please make sure it's a reputable company, no sub-prime craziness but if you don't have good credit you may be outta luck. The first place to try is always your bank and ask for the typical 30 year fixed for a co-op since the rate, type and lender of loan can change once you actually put in a bid).
2. Many buildings (especially along Ocean Pkwy) have co-op signs with a telephone number and usually this number is to the company which manages the building for the owner and members of the co-op. The management company typically (and not always) has an understanding of the rental properities and if the owner is willing to sell to individuals. Regardlesss, ask the management company if there are any properties for sale in the building. Ask what other buildings they manage and about properties for sale there. Ask who is the real estate agent for the owner of the building. And in this calling be dilagent and patient usually apartments become available when a renter moves so one day a building with no vacancies could have a few. You also may be in luck if you rent a property in one of these buildings currently... call the company you send your check to and ask if you could buy the place!
3. Finally two points of caution...
3a. When buying without a full 20% down usually the mortgage company requires you pay a small fee on top of your montly payment called the PMI. Usually in a year or two when the price of the apartment increases you can get it appraised for the new selling price and the PMI is dismissed.
3b. Also even if you can't do a full 20% you'll want to put something down and have enough cash for closing fees which can run a few thousand dollars since you'll need a lawyer and appraisels etc.

(Please note I am no expert! This advice comes from experiences of friends but it should only be seen as advice! Lastly, (more advice) never take on a mortgage you can not afford and get an understanding of the mortgage you're signing up for before buying.)

Ok and before I get a million comments I'm not saying everyone should buy, I'm simply making a suggestion especially for those (and I know a lot of these people) who've already lived in the neighborhood for a bunch of years and are committed to staying. This post should simply be seen as advice for people who WANT to buy but don't think they can because they don't have the entire 20% in the bank plus fees.

Here's the NYTimes article 'A Word of Advice During a Housing Slump: Rent'
Brownstoner has a great post on this article today. Oh, Inverted World

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ahhh Kensington Village

I don't know how I ever missed these signs but there are two of them on the south side of Church Ave b/w Ocean and E5th. Wondering... when exactly they where erected and what happened to the Kensington Merchant Association? My guess is these appeared with the failed BID many many years ago but it's just a guess. More importantly, I'm wondering how we revive the neighborhood pride and Kensington Village?

New Development Watch

Saw this popping up on Coney Island near Ave. C this morning... any ideas on what this is suppose to be?

More on Graffiti

For those interested home and building owners NYC does free graffiti removal and a request form can be found on Marty's website. In the meantime we are trying to compile a comprehensive list of BUSINESSES along Church Ave. that require graffiti removal for a organized (and volunteer) removal day. Please reply in comments with locations.

NYC Business 'Combating Graffiti'
Mayor's Program 'Anti-Graffiti'

Monday, April 9, 2007

Neighborhood Restuarants

New Diner on Church Ave (just west of McDonald)
Faros Restaurant

From a local "We went last Sunday and had a very good and reasonably priced breakfast at Faros. Great omelettes and pancakes, etc. coffee was ok. Big menu."

Kids & Kensington

Couple ideas from the local Moms and Dads. We don't have kids so I'm only going from suggestions.
Buzz-A-Rama (Slot car racing)
Contact: Frank (Buzz) Perri
69 Church Ave.
718-853-1800 (Only open Saturday & Sunday)

Crossroads Café
1241A Prospect Avenue
They have a children's sing along one or two days per week.

Cynthia King Dance Studio
1256 Prospect Avenue
Baby & Toddler Music Together plus pre-K dance for 3 and 4 year olds.

Honeydew Drop Playhouse
1113 Church Avenue in Kensington (Between Stratford and Westminster)

Kensington Stables
51 Caton Place
$2 pony rides, need I say more?

Train World
751 McDonald Ave (between Cortelyou Rd & Ditmas Ave)
718- 436-7072

Windsor Terrace Library
160 E. 5th St. at Ft. Hamilton Pkwy
Story time, kids events, very child friendly!

Greenwood Playground (E 5th St and Greenwood Ave, WT)
Newly renovated in 2006 with neighborhood input. Active 'Friends of Greenwood Playground" group. Has a designated toddler area.

PS 230 Playground (McDonald Ave)
Smaller, public playground, with some good equipment for younger kids. Slated to be renovated soon.

Vanderbilt Playground (Prospect Park at Vanderbilt)
Due to be renovated. Very near the lake in Prospect Park and has a sandbox.

Prospect Park!

East 4th Street Community Garden (formerly known as the Windsor Terrace Kensington Veterans Memorial Garden)
East 4th St. between Caton Ave. and Ft. Hamilton Parkway

Green-Wood Cemetery
Recently named a National Historic Landmark.
From a local Mom: My favorite place to bring the kids is Greenwood Cemetery. It’s gorgeous, quiet and you can see lots of wildlife plus they learn their numbers and letters from the tombstones.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Dead Horse... Beat It

Seems the Sunday NYTimes (Real Estate section) finally took a look at The Simone but not because of the prices or it's luxury status or it's troubled building past but since it's overlooking Greenwood Cemetary. I for one can't imagine living in The Simone (or 11 Terrace Place) will be like living in the country (as the article mentions due to its proximity to said cemetary) since it's on a super busy stretch of McDonald Ave. (hello, B67!). I also can't imagine that The Simone will be like waking up in the W Hotel every morning (no latte room service) but what the heck do I know! I'll tell you what I know, if I had 685K to toss down on real estate it sure wouldn't be on some newly constructed building 1/4 mile away from a train stop. A limestone (see Restore Me!) 1/4 mile away from a train stop well maybe...

Five People Living or Dead... (IMBY)
Views from Greenwood (Brownstoner)
Getting a Clue About 11 Terrace (Brownstoner)
Overlooking Death (Curbed)

Rent Me!

Discovered a couple vacancies along Church Ave. on the morning walk. May put in a couple calls to check on prices since I'd like some knowledge on prices but could take awhile since only one rental sign was posted (for 211 Church). Others may mean something is coming... Faro's (more on that later) was covered in brown paper for a bit before opening.

473 & 475 McDonald Ave (Work Permit in window of 475)
329 East 2nd St.
211 Church Ave.
405 Church Ave. (windows covered by brown paper)
418 Church Ave. (City Optical looked empty)

Real Deal Article on Kensington

I stumbled upon this article on Kensington from The Real Deal back in 10/06. Interesting in comparision to the relatively recent amNY article.

Neighborhood Restuarants

Gothamist reviewed the following in a posted entitled A Torta Grills in Brooklyn

Torteria Del Valle
727 Coney Island Ave.

Celebrate Brooklyn

Brooklyn Vegan got a primilinary schedule for Celebrate Brooklyns! 2007 summer concert series.

Prospect Park Band Shell, Celebrate Brooklyn
Thu 06/14 - The Neville Brothers (opening night)
Sat 06/16 - Joan Osborne
Thu 06/21 - Richard Thompson
Fri 06/22 - Ralph Stanley
Tue 06/26 - Manu Chao
Tue 06/27 - Manu Chao
Fri 06/29 - Ravi Coltrane, Groove Collective
Sat 06/30 - The Stills, Sam Roberts Band, Malajube
Thu 07/05 - Isaac Delgado
Wed 07/18 - Ani Difranco
Thu 07/19 - Morley, Blackmail with Alloy Orchestra
Fri 07/20 - Catherine Russell & Bobby "Blue" Bland
Thu 08/09 - The Hold Steady, The Big Sleep, The Teenage Prayers
Sat 08/11 - African Festival w/ Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

note: this is a preliminary schedule - nothing official yet & more shows and details surely TBA)

Update on Knifepoint Robberies

The following was passed on from a neighbor who had spoken with Larry Jayson (a resident of Kensington for over 30 years, President of ANA, and a member of Community Board 12).

Larry spoke with the commander of the 66th Precinct, Captain DiBlasio, regarding the robberies in the area. The commander was apparently solicitous of Larry's concerns, allowed that they have committed extra patrols to our general vicinity, and are
considering deploying undercover officers as decoy delivery persons.

In addition DiBlasio allowed that, overall, this type of crime is actually down precinct-wide, and that our neighborhood has been particularly "quiet." Larry had the strong impression that, while treating the incident with all due seriousness, the 66th is not looking at it as part of an evolving pattern, but rather as an isolated event.

A Detective Greer, from the 66th is doing the investigation and can be reached at 718-851-5603.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

amNY Kensington Article TODAY

For some reason I can't read the article from where I am (damn European internet cafes!) but this should link you. amNY City Living on Kensington, enjoy!