Saturday, June 30, 2007

Other Weekend Events (Besides Impromtu K-town Bike Tour)

A few are non-Kensington but easy enough to walk or bike to. (When you bike, wear a helmet!)

1. Sat. Sun and Monday Anne at Sustainable Flatbush is having an electronics recycling event. See info here.
2. Sat. night at Prospect Park Bandshell see The Stills! (Support Celebrate Brooklyn!)
3. Sunday from 10-1 at 40 Tehama St. a building wide stoop sale.
4. Bergament Sale (3621 13th Ave.) - 20% off the entire store except electronics, healthy and beauty, cleaning and paper goods. Through Weds. July 4th

CSA - If you picked the leeks

This is a recipe that we found in the NY Times food section a few years ago. We've since made some tweaks and most quantities are adjustable.
(Note - This batch pictured has more Roma tomatoes then usual as there weren't enough leeks)
3 or 4 leeks
salt and pepper
olive oil
2 to 3 cloves of garlic (more if you like)
2 to 4 Roma tomatoes
handful of pine nuts
5 or 6 dried red chilies (available at Mexican store on East 2nd off Church)
1/2 pound Orzo pasta
some fresh chopped parsley

1. Trim off all hard green parts of leeks and root. (Leave only light green and white part). Chop remaining parts of leeks into thin slices but not too fine. Toss in colander and try to separate while washing carefully (they collect lots of fine dirt).
2. Chop garlic and tomato to your liking
3. Coat skillet w olive oil to your liking and on medium heat toss in dried chilies, garlic and pine nuts. When garlic is brown remove chilies and add leeks. Let leeks cook until they wilt (approx 8 to 10 minutes). Toss in tomato and continue to cook until leeks turn a very light brown.
4. In separate pot cook orzo and when draining save approx. 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.
5. In dish combine orzo, cooking liquid, leek mixture, a bit of olive oil (if you like), salt and pepper to taste. Top it with the fresh chopped parsley.

Impromtu Kensington Bike Tour - Sunday

We saw this posted in the comments section of two threads...

Seems like many people didn't know about Regina while it was open. There might be many other places in the neighborhood that people dont know about. A way to explore was suggested in the post about bike stores, if people would like to do a bike tour on Sunday, meet at Thai Tonys from 12:30-1, we leave at 1. Bring a helmet, lock and some cash for a snack/drink at neighborhood places. Weather should be nice, route should stay off the major Avenues, Coney/Church. Lets tour, see houses, interesting eateries that are closed and anything else.

Who is organizing this and who's riding?

Chester Ave featured in NY Times SketchPad

A 3-family house that has been listed with Corcoran for a few weeks now is the subject of this Sunday's SketchPad in the NY Times. Although we think the description for Chester is pretty drab since it and the surrounding blocks are some of our favorites, the overall article and accompanying slide show is very interesting.

Brooklyn by Way of ‘Twin Peaks’ (NY Times)

They said they had arrived at 20 Chester Street in Brooklyn, only to find a juvenile detention complex, across the street from vacant and deteriorated buildings. They called for directions, and the woman who is selling the house at 20 Chester Avenue gave them a landmark: Green-Wood Cemetery, only half a block away.

Sheila McCarthy, the real estate agent for the sale, suggested that “for those who like celebrities, Rudolph Valentino is buried there.” The 4,000-square-foot red-brick house is priced at $1.15 million.

Side note: We're pretty sure there is no juvenile detention center on Chester or abandoned buildings! In fact, Chester may be one of the cutest blocks around (as is that whole little section past Dahill). They may have been further down in Borough Park when they got lost. The cute row houses on Chester are all filled and *sigh* typically get bought up in an instant.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Rumour of the Day

Have over-zealous health department officials closed down Reginas? We can't seem to find the report on the NYC page for health inspections but heard this from a few tipsters. Regardless of why its closed its closed which is disappointing to many who enjoyed their lattes. Now the question is, what will replace Reginas?

In the comments section we heard mention of another Thai restaurant. We'd welcome another restaurant but another Thai place? How many can Kensington support? (We got two already!) Oh well, it may just be a rumour but what would YOU like to see in the space? We're all for a place that would serve coffee, lattes and tea plus offer some free wi-fi for the work-at-homers and a comfy space for parents to gather.... have we mentioned that before?

News on F Express Rally

F express plea picks up speed (metro NY)
Brooklyn Commuter Wages Campaign For F Train Express Service (NY1)
F train straphangers urge MTA to add express service (News 12)

Local Unitarian Church Celebrates 100 Years

The All Souls Bethleham Church, a Unitarian congregation located here at 566 East 7th Street will celebrate its 100th anniversary this Sunday.

Special 100th Anniversary Service: join us for a music-filled worship service Sunday, July 1st in the afternoon beginning at 4PM. The service will be held at Trinity Lutheran (just a few blocks away from the Parsonage at the intersection of E. 8th Street and 18th Avenue). A potluck meal and informal reception will following the 90 min. worship service. Several of our own musicians (Terris Krueger, Rev. Matthew Fox, Tom Peters, Erika Kulnys and others) will be participating in this special event.

Alternate-side Complaints

Ok so we didn't take this picture within the borders of Kensington but found it a little shocking all the same. The note read "How nice for you that you didn't get a ticket. How sad for us that the street remains uncleaned where you stayed parked". Can't this handicapped person get out w the rest of the double parkers at 7.55am and move their car across the street for a little cleaning? Gosh! (We wonder if the person who wrote the note would have felt better if this person had gotten a ticket...)

Speaking of double parking on alternate side days... With the exception of the Ocean Pkwy service road its a common occurrence for cars to just move across the street and double park for the two hours of street cleaning. The problem comes when one of the legal parkers needs to get out. This is something we struggled with years ago when we were in another borough (and before cell phones) so although people left notes we would find ourselves trekking back home to ring them or looking for thier apt. to buzz them. Now that most everyone has a cell phone you'd think this double parking thing would be a whole lot easier. But oh no! It seems people aren't leaving notes with a number or an address at all and lots of legal parkers are getting blocked in! This problem is becoming so rampant in the hood its been brought to the attention of the 66. Leave notes in your windows with your cell phone number if you double park! It's just common courtesy.

SilverRod now Walgreens?

We haven't been out to see this for ourselves but got this tip in the inbox...

Walking by at 9:30 last night - Silver Rod was closed, gates were down but the backdoor loading area was open. Large trucks with bucket lifts and guys pulling the big S I L V letters off the outer wall.

Is the Walgreen's rumor true after all? More to come on this!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

F Express Press Conf.

All the big wigs came out as well as the man of the hour, Gary from Brooklyn Streets. (Joint Press Conference: DeBlasio, Felder, Recchia . . . Reilly?) It was great to see so much support and momentum! Be on the look out for reports on NY1, Channel 12, WNYC and in print at Metro. More commentary on this to come...

Events in Kensington Today

Brooklyn Expresses: F-Train Frustration
WHO: Council Members Bill de Blasio, Simcha Felder, and Domenic Recchia; Community Activists
WHAT: Rally to Support Petition to Restore Express Service on Brooklyn’s F line
WHEN: 2 pm, Thursday, June 28, 2007
WHERE: Church Avenue Station; Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Kensington Call to Action
WHO: Interested residents who'd like to take part in volunteer work to beautify Church Ave.
WHEN: 7.30pm, Thursday, June 28, 2007
WHERE: 531 Ocean Pkwy (corner of Church Ave), Pkwy Pharmacy (if it's raining we'll be at Old Brick)
(Join the Friends of Church Ave Google group by emailing

Ocean Pkwy Streets

Avenue C Clam
Cortelyou Road Cod
Ditmas Dolphin


We created this blog as a means for neighbors to be involved in conversations and changes (or lack of) within our community. It is regrettable that because the blog allows anonymous comments people choose to abuse this option and be thoughtless and rude. Although some recent commentary has become "spirited" we believe the comments section to be one of the most valuable 'resources' (if you will) of the blog. We've elected to not edit individual comments. Everyone is allowed their opinion but we encourage general decency and courtesy among those posting.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Suggested Menu Items at Old Brick

We don't know jack about Balkan food but when we've visited Old Brick we liked the coffee as well as the decor. Thankfully, for all you non-vegetarians, we received some information on items to order at the Old Brick. From a local:
Try the cevapi (grilled minced lamb - similar to sausage), burek (savory pies, filled with meat or cheese), and mixed salad (cucumber, tomato, onion, feta). My husband also enjoyed their pasulje (sp?) & beef (beans & beef), fresh warm bread, and a delicious macchiato.

Go, eat, enjoy!

F train Express Rally in Kensington!!!!!! TOMORROW

It's happening here, kids! Come out and support our elected officials at a press conference for the F express on Church Ave!

Brooklyn Expresses: F-Train Frustration
WHO: Council Members Bill de Blasio, Simcha Felder, and Domenic Recchia; Community Activists
WHAT: Rally to Support Petition to Restore Express Service on Brooklyn’s F line
WHEN: 2 pm, Thursday, June 28, 2007
WHERE: Church Avenue Station;
Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn, New York—Council Members Bill de Blasio (D-Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Kensington), Simcha Felder (D-Midwood, Bensonhurst and Boro Park), and Domenic Recchia (D-Coney Island, Gravesend, Bensonhurst) will stand with community activists and representatives of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Transportation Alternatives tomorrow, Thursday, June 27, 2007, to rally in support of the restoration of express service on Brooklyn’s F line.

“To let existing transportation infrastructure go unused is a disservice to the Brooklynites who rely on mass transit every day,” says de Blasio.

An online petition in support of restoration launched by community activist Gary Reilly has generated 2,500 signatures in two weeks. “Investments in transit pay off in increased quality of life for everybody,” says Reilly. “Let's get this done.”

“A remarkable shift in conscious is happening in New York City, with a renewed commitment to strategic planning for the future,” says Felder. “But let’s not allow our focus on the future to distort our sight of what’s right in front of us. The MTA plans to restore F express by 2012. We think it can happen sooner than that.”

“Our communities have been clamoring for expedited express train service for years, and the time has come to listen and respect the needs of the City’s subway riders, who are average, every-day New Yorkers,” says Recchia.

F train Petition submitted to MTA

Go to First and Court to read the rundown, here! We'll give you a little tidbit....

Albert: I'd like to second what Mr. Reilly said about restoring the F express train in Brooklyn.
Kalikow: Was this something that was always intended when the express was shut for repairs originally?
Albert: Yes it was, but after the horrible fire we had at the Bergen Street station, it was put on the shelf.
Eliot Sander: We're looking into it.

Ocean Pkwy Streets

Yesterday we brought you the Ave C clam. Today its the Cortelyou Road Cod. Oh what will tomorrow, and Ditmas Ave., bring!? We love summer.


For many NY City kids today will be the official start of summer. The last day of school is today! Yeah! We too are on the NY City school schedule and will take some time over the next couple weeks to re-group and relax. Here we are though in quite a quandary... how to maintain this hot bed of Kensington culture and happenings? Well, that's where all of YOU come in.

We don't know how it happened exactly but on a normal weekday we get b/w 1000 and 2000 hits. We guess lots of people are interested in the old K-town and what exactly will happen to Church Ave and its surrounding blocks. So we're making an official call for contributions and photos from all of you to post. That's right you can have a say in all this nonsense! It's as easy as an email to

That being said here are some hip and happening upcoming Kensington events!

June 28th @ 7.30pm - Kensington Call to Action Meeting
Join us in front of 531 Ocean Pkwy (Parkway Pharmacy)
(Bring a chair though we may re-locate to the Old Brick depending on turn out. For info. or to become a member of Friends of Church Ave email

July 17th, 7-9pm - Kensington Artists Social
Calling all Local Artists! Join other local writers, musicians, performance artists, actors, painters etc. etc. at the first Kensington Artist Social. Come to eat, drink, meet and network!Tuesday, Thai Tonys - 3019 Ft. Hamilton Pkwy
$10 to include - hors d'oeuvres, glass of wine, photo exhibit by donje' photography, live music and other entertainment.Please pre-buy tickets at Thai Tonys or by emailing Scott at

Ocean Pkwy Architecture

A little birdie told us there may be a two bedroom available for rent in this building soon for the sweet sweet deal of $1500 a month.


Local Bike Shop

Since summer is upon us we want to give a little info. for all those that may be biking along Ocean Pkwy and Prospect Park soon. There is a great bike shop on Coney Island (down the street a few blocks from the new pet food store), Brooklyn Bicycle Center. Although we're not a fan of the bikes they sell we thought the tune up was good for the price and respect any place that'll give you a delivery basket within an hour (we tend to carry a lot of stuff). Just a word of warning in case you're afraid of dogs, they got two big pit like dogs in there protecting the merchandise.

Brooklyn Bicycle Center
(718) 941-9095

715 Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11218

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

F train Petition - Final Push

We were disappointed to see the F train not specifically mentioned in the NY Times, Some Subways Found Packed Past Capacity, today... Is that weird? Well we wanted to see it mentioned for a good push to get that F Express and more people signing the petition! The graph to the left did show us at 100% capacity. And the good news is we have the tracks to alleviate this problem. Now all we do is wait for word from the MTA.

Gary at Brooklyn Streets makes some great points on this issue today so check out his thoughts here. More importantly, he'll be presenting the petition to the MTA Weds. morning at 9am so get signing or pass it on to all your friends (they visit you don't they!)

Last hours to sign the F train petition (2nd Ave Sagas)

Ocean Pkwy Streets

Most every street down Ocean Pkwy is named with some sort of water life. We plan on taking the camera all the way down to Brighton Beach soon to discover what each street stands for. It'll be our summer project. We start here with the Avenue C clam.... anyone out there know any others?

Why is Church Ave continually ignored?

We can't help but be a little jealous after stopping by Cortelyou the other day and noticing it's new health food store. The food co-op on Cortelyou has been around for some time but other fun shops have opened recently making it the main drag on this end. Now a new health food store and a Connecticut Muffin to come! Why all the attention on that end? We know residents have worked for years and years to get these amenities and were successful in getting a green market and the recent re-development of their street complete with cobblestone sidewalks, benches and new trees.

Our side of Coney Island has been experiencing huge amounts of residential growth yet our main business strip continues to be ignored by retail and business. We're not quite sure why businesses flock to Cortelyou since the rents there don't seem so much cheaper then Church Ave rents. We recently found a VoxPop blast in the inbox with a 300 sq. ft. space for $1000 a month. That's approx $40 a foot which is in the range (if not a little more) of the current vacancies on Church Ave. Even with rents in this range we think Church Ave could do well considering how many residents would like a few little shops and restaurants plus we think there is great potential for day customers. Church Ave is within walking distance of five schools (IHM, PS230 Annex, PS 230, PS 130, PS 179), a post office, two bus lines that end pretty close to McDonald (so lots of MTA on break), and many residents working from home as well as a growing parent contingent.

We want everyone down on this end to do well but we're just wondering why businesses haven't discovered our little enclave? Wouldn't it make sense to put a health food store or a coffee shop on a block that doesn't already have one?

iPetition for Kensington Post Office

Considering the success of the recent F train petition it only makes sense to get one for the Kensington Post Office! Below is from de Blasio's office which has been instrumental in supporting residents in thier concerns for better service at KPO.

We have already collected thousands of names and are asking for everyone who has not signed the petition to now do so. If you have not signed the paper petition to increase money for the post office in 11218 we made it a little easer for you by putting it online. Make sure you sign the petition today!

Sign the Kensington Post Office petition here!

Local Artist - Solo Show

Local artist Julie Peppito will have a solo show at the Heskin Contemporary Gallery until June 31st. She is also part of a show at Peer Gallery, Locations of Elsewhere Artists, showing until June 30th. We just got word so hope people can still go out to support this Kensingtonian.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Kensington Call to Action - 2nd Meeting!

It's been two weeks since our last meeting and we're ready to do some serious planning for the graffiti removal and tree sign up campaign for Church Ave. Interested? Join us this Thursday (June 28th) at 7.30 in front of the Parkway Pharmacy (531 Church Ave).

Also a Friends of Church Ave group has been set up. To become a member of the group please email to be 'invited'.

Bengali Fair on McDonald

Yesterday was packed with festivities south of Church Ave on McDonald. It was the annual Bengali Fair and tons of people were out to enjoy the day. At the end of the fair near Ave. C was a huge stage with musicians playing through out the day. Along the fair you could buy many items including saris and shirts that said "Bengali boys don't bite". We wished we would of known of the event to post on Friday but only ran into by chance. Regardless, we were able to grab a yummy samosa and listen to a few songs.

From a reader:
In case you missed it, today's (Sunday, June 24th) Bangladeshi Street Fair on McDonald between Church and Avenue C was something to behold. A full-color spectacle featuring around one hundred booths vending native foods, dress, tchatchkas and music, interspersed with a handful of service businesses and a major presence by one local HMO plan. And how about the full-size sound-stage stretched out where the "F" rises near Avenue C? To be sure, this was Bangla-town's finest hour and gave today's annual Smith Street Festival a run for the money.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunburst at PS230

The playground at PS230 seems to finally be up and running! We saw the installation of the final piece (a fabulous sunburst gate) go up last week. Sunday we spied a bunch of kids playing ball and out on the turf. The garden and benches were also being enjoyed. Now, when will the neighboring play area get new equipment? Well according to today's article in the NYPost (Green Machine) Albemarle Playground (we all refer to as the playground at PS230) is one of the sites to get an overhaul in the city's big $400 million push to improve recreation (map of plan)!

Friday, June 22, 2007

F Express Petition Gaining Steam

2nd Ave. Sagas has a great post on the petition, check it out.

Petition for F express service picking up steam

Too Close for Comfort

This new construction down Tehama looks a little close to the two buildings its sandwiching, no? How exactly are the people at 40 Tehama gonna be able to see out their windows (on right) when this thing gets taller then its current one story? We don't know exactly how someone is allowed to build like this... what do you think?

Prospect Park Zoo at Greenwood Playground

Please join Prospect Park Zoo outreach educator Audrey Lucas for the first Prospect Park Zoo program at Greenwood Playground: Tuesday June 26th at 11:00 a.m. at Greenwood Playground

This first event is entitled: Zookeeper Math and is a puppet show for 3-6 year olds featuring poetry, movement, and three "hungry" puppets.

Other ther Zoo events this summer:
August 4th--2:00 p.m. Creature Feature (7-14 year olds)
August 21--11:00 a.m. Animal Tales (5-11 year olds)

Local Artist "Dino Pets"

It's kind of related to next week's zoo thing at Greenwood plus we just think its cool. Local artist Gideon Kendall just illustrated a new book from Penguin, "Dino Pets".

F train Petition - Giving Credit where Credit is Due!

'A' to idea of F as express train (NY Daily News - 5/22/07)
Online petition urges extension of V train to Brooklyn for local stops

Today's article in the NY Daily News incorrectly credits us as the creator of the on-line F train petition. In fact it was Gary over at First and Court blog. He got some info. on a post we did back in May but has certainly been the go to guy on this issue. In fact he was recently written up in the Metro article and the Brooklyn Eagle!

Solstice Shout Out - June 23rd Shhhhh!

On June 23rd as part of the Stoop-endus events happening in Park Slope OTBKB reports there will be a Solstice Shout Out. To ring in the official start of summer at exactly 8.31pm on June 23rd people are encouraged to go out in the streets and make some noise - woot! We think we should organize a little east of slope quiet to see if we can hear them down on this end.... Any takers for a real quiet cocktail at about 8.30 pm on the 23rd outside your building or home? Organize a party and invite us!

Just Sold - East 7th Street

We heard this just went for $600k and it looks like it needs some work.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

House of the Day - 237 E4th St.

237 E4th St. (between Caton and Albemarle). Certainly one of our favorite blocks and this one family is charm filled plus these cuties rarely come on the market. Billed as a 3 bedroom with 1 full and 2 half baths for $725K. Does the asking price seem a little aggressive for a fairly small one family house that does not have any parking or drive? Just wondering...

Local Building Blogs/ Sites

So is this a new trend that co-op and condo buildings create their own sites? We knew Caton Towers had a site but heard of another big building with a blog (515 E7th St.). We use a yahoo group at our place. How do others disseminate info? Are there any other Kensington buildings out there with sites?

Ft. Hamilton Construction Moving on Up!

So sort of related to the new construction at Ft. Hamilton... we heard the gals from Crossroads were handing out free coffee and pastries yesterday morning down by the Ft. Hamilton train stop on our side of the bridge. A local res passed on how they wished these ladies would expand over to our side. This would probably be a whole heck of a lotta work but we'd welcome them with open arms which got us to wonder... what will be available, in terms of commericial space, at the new building on Ft. Hamilton? We heard a while back the commercial rents for this location would be competitive and we sure think with the Greenwood park and playground so close by that anything on Ft. Hamilton would get some traffic. We've said it before and we'll say it again, we'd like a coffee shop! And in case you're listening prospective coffee shop owner (and there seems to be plenty of commercial property available on Church Ave too) we'd like some beer taps and wine choices as well. What would your wish list include for *new* local business?

MTA Meeting Next Week

Gary from Brooklyn Streets sent us a little info on an upcoming MTA meeting that will detail capital improvement projects. He may be there to get some comments on record regarding the F train. If you feel passionately about this F train issue affecting all of us we suggest you attend and get your comments on record as well. (Petition still going! Sign it here.)

MTA Public Hearing - June 27th
Starting at 4.30pm (registration to speak closes at 6pm)
MTA Headquarters
Board Room, 5th Floor
347 Madison Avenue

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Kensington Artists Social - Clearing things up!

The comments on a recent post on the upcoming Artist Social got a little snarky which was unfortunate b/c this event was planned with the truest of intentions by some great people. We'll let Scott do the explaining but hope you all choose to attend and come out to meet some locals!

I would like to take this opportunity to address the negative assumptions and impressions derived from the event. My name is Scott Allinson. My email address is I am the organizer and a local photographer. I want to extend an invitation to everyone that commented to write me directly to discuss any issue posted here. There is no malicious intent or desperation as implied in some comments. We just want to meet like minded people and get a positive word out for Thai Tony's.

Let's be clear. I approached Thai Tony's to host this event. This is my idea and I am responsible for it. I have lived here for over 3 years and have had a very strong desire to meet other artists and make new connections. I finally got the courage and saw an opportunity to organize a casual event with my new friends at Thai Tony's. Angie was gracious and willing to host. We thought a nice menu and a glass of wine and some music might be a nice way to bring us together.

To address some of the specifics of your concerns I would offer the following:
-In order to keep the event simple for organizing and implementation a set price and menu was the best option.
-Setting up an event for free, spending money out of my pocket and hoping that people buy food just isn't possible or fair. I hope you consider that $10 pays the servers and other hard costs but does not mean profit. If free were an option, I'd do it.
-The wine was my idea and is a break even proposition at best. Thai Tony's does not have a liquor license but I thought it might be nice to have it. If you still want to come, buy tickets from me for $7 and I can nix the drink for you. Does that help?
-Also, this is a private party and the restaurant will not be open to the general public. That has to be worth something.

We think that says it all so come on now people... $1o bucks! We're going so come out and give us all those snarky anon comments to our face : )

Kensington Artists Social
Calling all Local Artists! Join other local writers, musicians, performance artists, actors, painters etc. etc. at the first Kensington Artist Social. Come to eat, drink, meet and network!
Tuesday, July 17th
Thai Tonys - 3019 Ft. Hamilton Pkwy
$10 to include - hors d'oeuvres, glass of wine, photo exhibit by donje' photography, live music and other entertainment.Please pre-buy tickets at Thai Tonys or by emailing Scott at

F train petition... More press, did you sign it?

Yes, yes we're probably beating a dead horse here.... But, if you didn't sign the F train petition do it now, here! Its been getting a wee bit of press but don't think it's a done deal! Keep this thing going by getting all your neighbors and friends involved (even if they don't ride the F regularly they may want to visit). Thanks Gary!

F for frustration (Metro - 5/19/07)

House of the Day

Here's the listing for this one family priced at $949K. We have no idea where it is or the state of interiors etc. We are genuinely surprised at the asking price but imagine it must be pretty large. Coincidentally you can rent a 2 bedroom at 81 Ocean Pkwy for $1800 a month. There is an open house for the rental this Sat. and Sun from 10 - 6, ring 5p. (We have no idea about the state of things on the rental either.... yeah, we're full of information today!)

Student Housing in Kensington - An Update

We were the first to 'report' that the old Savoy had been turned into dorms and the Courier Life was hot on our tail (Old Savoy to become new dorms).... No new news to report on this one although a few neighbors have spotted summer students out on the front steps smoking. There was also the alleged incident of a student taking a pee behind the building where local E2nd residents in their backyard called over 'Hey, we can see you!'. So far all residents have been using their toilets and been generally quiet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Met Opera

The opera probably got a less then stellar turn out b/c the weather was so iffy... Regardless, it was great and really a wonderful evening. We cut out when we saw lightening and made it home before the rain although we were very sorry to miss the final act. NY Philharmonic plays July 10th!

Upcoming: Kensington Artists Social

Calling all Local Artists! Join other local writers, musicians, performance artists, actors, painters etc. etc. at the first Kensington Artist Social. Come to eat, drink, meet and network!

Tuesday, July 17th
Thai Tonys - 3019 Ft. Hamilton Pkwy
$10 to include - hors d'oeuvres, glass of wine, photo exhibit by donje' photography, live music and other entertainment.

Please pre-buy tickets at Thai Tonys or by emailing Scott at

423 Greenwood Ave.

The house demo'd on Greenwood Ave and posted here back in April could be a mess for neighbors. It seems the architect, no the developer, no the.... well whatever he is, is none other then Mr. Henry Radusky from Bricolage Designs.

A "disgraced" architect rammed through plans for three south Park Slope condo buildings allegedly riddled with violations and the Buildings Department allowed it, a state official has charged. Assemblyman James Brennan (D-Park Slope) fired off a scathing letter last week to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes and Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn about alleged "irregularities" between the Buildings Department and architect Henry Radusky of Bricolage Designs. Officials from both law enforcement offices said they were probing the allegations. Brennan charged the Buildings Department routinely "rubber-stamps" allegedly illegal plans submitted by Radusky. (From Brownstoner)

Here are a few articles profiling this guys shady practices....

We plan to keep a close eye on the site but hope all of you do too. Email de Blasio representative, Tom Gray at, with any concerns etc.

New Pet Food Store for Coney Island!

For all those out there as attached to their dogs as we are your life got a whole lot easier! Saturday riding down Coney Island we noticed a pet food and supply store. That's right, a well-stocked and clean pet food store on Coney Island! During that down pour we got a little shelter from the storm and were able to talk to the owner Marion about the store and her pet philosophy.

The store has only been around a month but was filled with many popular brands like Wellness and Solid Gold (and soon to include raw food). She also carried some fancy leashes and collars. Besides food Marion is also a dog trainer and is thinking of adding other services to the store if there is a need (we're all for doggy day care!). The store has its own website (It's a Dog's World) and boosts free delivery to surrounding Flatbush (we're sure that includes Kensington). Support this new local business! Help let other prospective business owners for Coney Island Ave (and Church Ave and Fort Hamilton) know that we are willing to spend our money in our neighborhood.

It's a Dog's World
593 Coney Island Avenue (near Beverly Road)
Brooklyn, New York 11218

Monday, June 18, 2007

Metropolitian Opera in Prospect Park Tuesday

As far as we know this is the first year that the Metropolitain Opera will be gracing Brooklynites with it's beautiful music in its Met in the Parks series. We're always glad to not have to leave the borough and are sure the crowd will be huge. That being said get there early with blanket and picnic gear!

Tuesday, June 19 - Faust at 8pm in Prospect Park
(We are assuming it will be in the ball fields like the NY Philharmonic is every year and not in the bandshell, can anyone confirm this?)

House of the Day

We love love love all the cute streets after Dahill. We often walk the dog that way and wish our lives were spread out on one of those porches on Chester Ave or Bills Place. We rarely see these places come up for sale but spotted this cutie on our Saturday morning walk. We rang the realtor and were stunned at the price of $699K for this 'two' family! (Two meaning one owner home and a little one bedroom unit off the garage). We love the style of the house but wonder, can this really be the range local homes are going for? We guess with PS 230 and PS 130 as zoned schools the area is a draw for familys (as is our low crime rate and proximity to the park and the Slope). However, we would think being on 12 Ave the B16 could become annoying and at the end of the day really think prices are getting out of control! We may need to move out of Brooklyn one day altogether if this continues.

Tot Stops at 7th Heaven

We were lucky enough to catch local Jessica Sequinot touting her Tot Stop t-shirts at Sunday's 7th Heaven Fair. We had no idea until very recently that half of this Mom team was outta Kensington and have always been huge fans of thier stuff. Defintly check out the little t-shirts at thier site, they make perfect gifts for anyone you know with a little one.

Maybe we can talk them into doing a Kensington themed shirt although we sure wouldn't know which of our many hot spots to pick! Maybe just the word Kensington like the Park Slope one, don't you think that just says it all?! (Park Slope shirt is shown all the way to the left in picture above).

Sunday, June 17, 2007

CSA Dilemma

What do you do with 2 stalks of rhubarb and over a pint of almost too ripe strawberries? Make a cobbler! No one would mistake us for bakers, we didn't even have flour until we got the bright idea for this, but it turned out great. We even shared it with some neighbors since didn't know what in the heck to do with all the cobbler. We did sort of a mesh a few recipes together but here's a basic one. (If we get this many strawberries next time we're gonna have to invest in an ice cream maker!)
Fruit mixture
1 cups rhubarb stalks cut into 1-inch pieces (Trim outside stringy layer of large rhubarb stalks; make sure to trim away any and discard of the leaves which are poisonous; trim ends.)
3 cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon of corn starch
1 teaspoon of grated orange peel
Cobbler crust
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter (cold in cubes mixed in at very end by hand)
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350°F
Put entire fruit mixture in casserole
Cover with crust as best as you can
Bake for 30 minutes

Dancing in the Garden!

Dancing in the Garden with Cynthia King seemed to draw quite a crowd! When we arrived to get our delicious CSA veggies and fruit the kids were starting an art project. We were excited to see so many little ones and neighbors out for such a beautiful day! Now, does anyone have any ideas on what we can do with only two stalks of rhubarb?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Update on F... Is the petition working????? Might Be!

According to the office of Bill de Blasio the MTA is looking into how to provide express service on the F line before they originally anticipated. We are hoping to have more information at the end of this month! Keep your fingers crossed and if you haven't signed the petition yet be sure to do so here!

The F train petition gained some major momentum this week with a post on Gothamist (Petition for More F in Brooklyn) and 2nd Ave Sagas (Brooklyn riders want some ‘F’-ing express service).
F&V Petition Closing in on 1,000 Signatures [First and Court]

Brooklyn Eagle did a little story on the petition here.

Weekend Events

* Dancing in the Garden with Cynthia King! June 16th will be the first Children's Garden Workshop at the East 4th Street Community Garden. It is free and open to the public (no need to preregister). All ages welcome. Please join Cynthia in the garden with your little one from 9:30-11:00 to dance, move and have fun! Snacks will be served as well an arts and crafts project.

* The Friends of the Windsor Terrace Library will meet this Saturday, June 16, at 1.00 pm in the meeting room of the library. All are welcome.

* Celebrate Brooklyn series opened last night. Gather friends and head to the park for the first Saturday night concert tomorrow at 7.30pm. Joan Osborne and The Jazz Passengers: The Supremes Project.

Graffiti or Art?

Elks - For Sale

We've been wondering about this WT building for a long long time. I doubt the 2.4 Million asking price would make it look good for a developer to tear down which is good. We'd thought once about converting it into some funky apartments but also doubt the asking price makes that an attractive option. Any ideas out there for what would work? I'd love to see a huge artist space but again... 2.4!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Free Coffee from ZipCar!

Get there early since its while supplies last but ZipCar will be giving out free coffee on Friday at Crossroads Cafe. For most on this side of the Prospect Expressway its a long trek for coffee before you've had your coffee but hey, it'll be free. (And yes we know its really Windsor Terrace).
1241A Prospect Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11218

A Kensington Beginning

Sure, the General Carton Company at 360 Furman Streetnear Atlantic Avenue and the East River wasn’t exactly a dream job for my grandfather Paco. But it sure beat the dark and deadly coal mines of West Virginia and Pennsylvania where he worked years before. And Miami, well, Paco’s specialty was plaster arches, and I am sure they still exist there in many of the Art Deco hotels he worked on while he labored there too. But as they say, only hard work fuels desire, and my grandfather Paco was an example for all of us t ofollow. And landing a job at General Carton was his dream come true. Now my Grandfather always had these wonderful stories to tell me when I was a kid. There was the one about the two crooked young trees and how a man tied a smallpiece of wood to one of them so it grew up straight. The other tree grew up crooked because no one used astick on it. I usually heard this story when I did something wrong…I guess I was one of the trees.

Then there was the story about the man who saved a penny a day and one day had enough money to buy a house for his family. Well, when it came to saving money my grandfather truly harvested the seeds that he sewed. The story goes that friends of my grandfather on East2nd knew a man that had to sell his house on East 4th. Apparently the man was a gambler who owed a lot of money to some local loan sharks. If he didn’t come up with some serious money very quickly, he would soon beat the bottom of the ocean getting to know the clamsat Coney Island real well. As I said, “the storygoes.”

In 1948, Kensington was a wonderful area where diversity lived. The diversity of Kensington protected those who were different, even back then. Including an immigrant from Spain who may have been the first Spaniard in the area to own a house. Well, my grandfather’s dream of buying a house for his family came true and before you knew it the entire clan was living in the house. Marriages were made and babies were born. Aunts and uncles became moms and dads and cousins became brothers and sisters. I don’t think we even knew what a babysitter was. All I knew was that there was always someone around to watch me if my mom had to go to the store. Imagine a time in Brooklyn when an immigrant from Spain who passed through Ellis Island as a mere teenager and worked as a laborer his entire life would be able to save enough money to someday buy a house in Kensington to call his own. Imagine the dream of homeownership in Brooklyn being within reach of both a bank president and the man who painted the walls there at night. This was the Brooklyn that my grandfather knew.
So what would my Grandfathers Brooklyn be today? Well, the parks sure are pretty. The people of Kensington and Windsor Terrace are as wonderful as before and those new kiddie playgrounds won’t find you picking a splinter out of your child’s leg at night—they’re made of plastic now. And The General Carton Company? Well, it closed its doors years ago and the building was recently sold to a developer. They are calling it “One Brooklyn Bridge Park” and I heard it's going Condo. So if you're ever on the BQE headed towards the city, check out the old factory on the left by Atlantic Avenue, remember General Carton and remember Paco. Because a long time ago cardboard box companies and minimum wages bought houses in Brooklyn, and really made dreams come true.

Above picture shows my entire family before I was born, and Paco with a child on his shoulders. The new development “1 Brooklyn Bridge Park” formerly housed the General Carton Company at 360 Furman Street, Brooklyn Heights.

Ron Lopez

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Call to Action - A Success!

First off sorry if you missed us!!! We were outside 531 Church Ave until about 7.40pm and then moved into Old Brick Cafe b/c of the rain. Even with the rain the turn out was good and just what we needed to jump start this initiative.

Thankfully we all joined together and have plans in the works for the graffiti removal sign up and tree planting campaign for Church Ave. Because we assumed the rain hampered turn out we've decided to have a real planning meeting for all those interested to take place on Wednesday June 27th at 7.30. There will be many more details to come on this meeting but hope you free up some time in your calendar to attend.

We will also be forming a Friends of Church Ave yahoo group in the next day or so! If you are interested in more then just graffiti clean up for our main commercial strip be on the look out for the info so you can 'join' the group and start addressing your concerns (or just follow its happenings).

Thank you for all who attended! For those who did not attend there is certainly much more to come so just be on the look out here! (On a side Old Brick Cafe was very accommodating and we look forward to having another coffee and appetizer there soon).

New Bus Stops for Kensington

We had gotten a tip a week or so ago that two of our old bus hubs had been removed. We waited patiently to see what came next and today up popped a new fancy shiny bus hub! We've heard the two new ones are requests via de Blasio so thank you to him and his very efficient staff. We could only be more thrilled if all the old ones were replaced instead of just the two but we don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Two new bus hubs are located at E3rd on Church Ave (in front of RiteAid) and McDonald on Fort Hamilton (across from Mobil station).

Abandoned Van Towed

We did extensive posts on the unlicensed vehicle saga over near Story St. and Church Ave. Thankfully after a very productive Dahill Neighborhood Assoc. meeting many of the vehicles kept illegally on the streets (crowding residential parking and ignoring their issued tickets) by the garages at 45 and 49 Church Ave. were towed.

We checked in recently and although we noticed lots of out of state cars and trucks parked in that area as well as vehicles parked on the sidewalk no unlicensed vehicles were around with the exception of the van pictured above. The last bone of contention for many of the nearby residents was of course the sidewalk parking and that van. Well, today we got an update from a neighbor that the final unlicensed van, rumored to be housing, was towed. While we certainly feel for anyone in this predicament realize to those who live in that area this is a welcome relief.

We praise the 66 precinct for staying on top of resident's concerns and hope local services were put into place if there was in fact someone living in the van. Our hunch though is the van was used as a night look out for these businesses.

Oh how times have changed...

If only we thought of buying back in 2002 when this NY Press Real Estate supplement was printed (Going the Extra Mile) focusing on the outer neighborhoods like Kensington. We too might have gotten a 2 bedroom (over 1000 sq. feet) for less then $160K! Now a 2 bedroom near us needing a near gut renovation went for $380K.... Total madness.

The X's paid $152,000 for their co-op apartment, which Emily estimates is 1150 square feet. (Prices listed in the April 19 New York Times for comparable apartments in Park Slope ranged from $269,000 to $639,000.) It is a comfortable home, with a huge master bedroom, parquet wood floors, a sizable foyer and elegant archways. The area in Kensington around the Church Ave. F stop has some conveniences, but where the Xs live, near the Ft. Hamilton Pkwy. stop, it’s very suburban.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Improve the F - Sign the Petition!

Our friend at Brooklyn Streets has had the brilliant idea of starting an on-line petition to improve F train service! In case you're not sure why we need an express (or more regular service!) check out the following post from Brooklyn Streets on some research he did on a document we found. You can sign the petition here - do so and pass on to your friends!

Small Steps for Kensington - #1

We here in Kensington Brooklyn are all about the small steps. We realize things don't change over night and work hard to get the word out about our lack of services both business related and city supplied. The city supplied ones (or lack thereof) are the real kickers for us though! Don't get us wrong we know there are lots of other hoods who have problems with dog poo and garbage but if the can is full why do we only get bi-weekly pick up?! We digress... We've always maintained the reason for some of our garbage strewn streets and poo piles is because of our lack of cans and not just irregular pick up.

Well, welcome ole mighty cherished garbage can! That's right, we got a new one on the corner of East 5th and Caton Ave. (Rejoice dog owners!) Of course, this comes with a catch... Because this is not a bi-weekly pick up spot (which doesn't make sense to us 'cause its only one of our major tertiaries!) but a weekly pick up spot the can is only here on a trial basis. That's right people use the can sparingly cause if gets too full instead of making it a regular pick up spot sanitation will just remove the can. Oh 311 why oh why do you tease us in this way!

Small Steps for Kensington - #2

Just in time for summer our favorite guys at the Luncheonette and Deli on the corner of Albemarle and McDonald got iced coffee. We have to say we're not huge fans of their hot coffee but know some people who love it and for 75 cents can you really complain? Well, this bunch got hip to the heat and now besides your lottery tickets, smokes, gossip rags and friend egg and cheese you can get a cool iced coffee. For as nice and welcoming as these guys are we think you should all give it a try, especially since its right by the F train entrance making it the perfect location for the morning coffee stop.

Small Steps for Kensington - #3

Shameless promotion #3

Wednesday night's Kensington Call to Action! Be a part of a core group of motivated individuals to remove graffiti and campaign for trees on Church Ave! The informal meeting will discuss the sign up for city graffiti removal (and later organize a painting day) as well as getting all those empty tree spots down Church Ave filled. We're hoping this group grows into doing more local good works and ask people to bring ideas as well as developed plans on how to implement them! While writing this blog we've made quite a few city and non-profit contacts and will be sure to help in any way we can... you may just meet people who have the same ideas and form your own community plan.

Kensington Call to Action!

Wednesday, June 13th, at 7.30
Corner of Ocean Pkwy and Church Ave in front of the Parkway pharmacy (531 Church Ave)

One More on "Tom"

Gosh, our masturbating "Tom" has really gotten us on the map!
Exposure sought for nude man (Perversion in Kensington) NY metro

Monday, June 11, 2007

This Week - Community Meetings

Kensington Call to Action!
Join your neighbors in a campaign for trees and graffiti removal for Church Ave.
Wednesday, June 13th, at 7.30
Corner of Ocean Pkwy and Church Ave in front of the Parkway pharmacy (531 Church Ave)
(bring a lawn chair as none will be provided or be prepared to stand!)

Albemarle Neighborhood Assoc. (ANA)
Annual outdoor meeting
Thursday, June 14th, at 7.30
Albemarle Road b/w East 4th and East 5th (in the event of rain meeting will be held at Share Torah Jewish Center, 327 East 5th Street)
(bring a lawn chair as none will be provided or be prepared to stand!)

Don't Even Think About It!

More Press on Peeping Tom

We're pretty happy about the press our local peeping Tom has received. Because of the post done here both channel 9 news and Courier Life (June 8th print edition) have completed stories on the "Tom". We think its great that the word has gotten out and hope the guy gets caught!

For information leading to the arrest of the "Tom" or to report an incident call Detective Dawson at the 66th Precinct at (718) 851-5611

Post Office - A Redux

We just finished reading, The stamp of disapproval - Many say problems persist at Kensington Post Office (Courier Life), and wondered about the changes in our local post office. Have people felt there has been a change or are the lines still long and the service less then adequate? We admit we haven't been by to get our 2 cent stamps and just double up with the old 39 cent ones.... does that say it all?

If this is a hot topic for you be sure to run by de Blasio's office on Fort Hamilton to sign the petition or attend the Customer Advisory Council (CAC) with a representative member from each community board on June 21 at 11am at the processing center, 1050 Forbell Street.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

KWT CSA Kick Off!

We popped our heads into the KWT CSA today even though we're on a B pick up week and were amazed at all the participants! We got to talk to Bill really briefly as he was pretty swamped with opening day activities and found out the CSA had to cap its membership b/c the Garden of Eve farm couldn't supply us with any more produce/veggies etc. We thought this was pretty exciting although we felt for all those who got turned away and the organizers for the work it obviously took to get this thing together. (Thanks Eliot, Gina, Susan, and Bill!!!!)

For all of you picking up for the first time next week remember to bring bags! The CSA does not provide bags and the produce is essentially out on tables and you are trusted to take your allotted amount. Today we saw strawberries, asparagus, mesclun, radishes, rhubarb, some lettuce and a few other things... how exciting! (We've posted some pictures of the loot below, enjoy!)

Friday, June 8, 2007

See Local Artist

Local friend and artist, J. Adam McGalliard, will be showing in the summer group exhibit at New York Academy of Art. The show runs from June 7th through July 18th and is open daily from 1-7.