Tuesday, July 31, 2007

E5th Car Break-in? Curious Plates!

Our friends at the building across the street from the 'abandoned' /'vandalized' VW Jetta on E5th rang to inform us that mysteriously a North Carolina plate was placed on the car. Weird since there were no plates on the car yesterday! If you look at the picture in the previous post there are no plates and we specifically watched as the officers wrote down the vin#. We called the 66 again today and got a less helpful officer (we had to explain the situation twice) on the phone who told us she'd send out a car (we even gave her our name and number) yet no car. We're starting to wonder if thieves are dumping here for a nearby chop shop to pick up when they're ready. We've had problems with the two car shops way down on Church Ave before so it certainly wouldn't surprise us if this was related... opinions?

Upcoming Foodtown Focus Group

The Albemarle Neighborhood Assoc. will be sponsoring an event with the owners of Foodtown to discuss what residents would like to see in the store as well as the upcoming renovations. We'll be doing a post on the details later but as of now know the date for this is set for September 6th at Shaare Torah Jewish Center on the corner of E5th St and Church Ave. Dan (dankatz@sprintmail.com) and Noah also seem to be replying directly to emails and checking the comments section for products we'd like to see in the store. We'd like to see Ives soy hot dogs and Smart brand soy taco 'meat'.

Kensington Wikipedia page, WEAK!

We heard that if you google Kensington + Brooklyn or any sort of combination the blog is #2 behind... you guessed, the Kensington Wikipedia page. The page is so weak! Here's your chance as a local artist or neighbor or historian (cough cough Ron) to add on and get us up to date. And for goodness sake someone please update that awful snowy picture - yuck! For inspiration check out Park Slope's Wikipedia page. (Thanks Marcus for the heads up!)

Graffiti Update - Computer Store Cleans up!

The side of the Church Ave computer store, across from Golden Farm, was literally covered with tags and graffiti. The entire wall was just a blur of paint. We'd dropped a removal form in their mailbox one day but for weeks and weeks no change until all of a sudden a clean wall appeared last week! Unfortunately some tagger got in one sign on the newly cleaned wall after the removal but we're pretty pumped that unsightly mess is gone. Now if we could just get them to request a replacement for that dead tree off to the left of this picture (behind that white car)....

Monday, July 30, 2007

Another car break-in?

Sunday afternoon we were walking the dog and noticed a VW on E5th St that had its driver side window broken in. We figured someone got hit but when we went to investigate noticed the car had no plates. We yelled up to a friend who lives in the building next door and called 311. Just gotta say sometimes 311 sucks. Because the plates were missing the operator told us this was a sanitation issue. But what about the broken window! It was obvious this was something beyond just a sanitation issue. Minutes after we made the report we logged in a call to the 66. Officer Hernadez took the call and not 10 minutes later the car pictured above responded. The officers took the vin # and left. Car is still there probably waiting on sanitation but we're impressed with the quick response from the 66.

On a sidenote when we first moved into the nabe a few years back heard that Kensington was often the dumping ground for stolen cars. We guess the low crime rate discourages the 66 from patrolling side streets with any regularity. Wondering though if it means the thieves live close by?

We'll post an update when the car is towed.

Foodtown - The Meeting

We met w Dan Katz from Foodtown Saturday morning. Besides being a little po'd at us for the post and really upset by a comment or two (which was understandable considering one in particular that we've deleted!) the meeting was really constructive. He is not skirting any of the issues that were made on the blog and seems to be generally ready to get the store up to expectations.

The store has a pretty big renovation in the works and Dan wants some feedback on what locals would like to see. He was kind enough to bring along some photos of another store that recently got an upgrade down on Ralph Ave. We were impressed. Dan noted that many of the things we pointed out would be included in our store - a cheese section, larger deli area, baked goods bin etc. While we talked about improvements/ additions we reminded him that there are a lot of people shopping at the store that don't read the blog and hope that changes (or lack of some) fit the entire community. Regardless, already in the works are some organic products and and a stroller accessible entryway.

Dan specifically asked we give out his email (dankatz@sprintmail.com) and that people email him with what they'd like to see in the store (be specific people! brand etc). He also would like that if there is an issue with a cashier or employee you make note of their name or number (can be found on bottom of receipt) rather then making blanket statements in the comments so he can deal with employee. That only seems fair especially since when we've shopped there most of the employees have been kind and helpful. Let's try and remember that one underwhlemed cashier does not mean that every Foodtown employee is awful!

We felt the meeting was really constructive and are hopeful to have a full service grocery store very soon. Personally we'd love to not have to shop outside of the hood for certain products. We think with bad comes good and now having met Dan and seen how involved he is in the process are pretty confident in Foodtown's future.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rainy Kensington

G train... When when when?!

So now that the announcement has been made we're just sort of wondering when? We'd love to see the darn thing introduced sooner rather then later since it stops here anyway! Also interested in what the stops will be? Will the train begin at Church Ave and run 'express' to Smith/ 9th then Carroll, Bergen, Hoyt/Schermerhorn? This could be a real positive for those folks in need of a transfer to the A/C since they can take the F or G depending on what hits Church Ave first. This is also sort of a bonus for those of us who have friends in North Brooklyn (Williamsburg/ Greenpoint) or would like to do stuff off the line like Clinton Hill which we rarely ever visit b/c of its inconvenient location. We plan on seeing this G thing as a positive but obviously are a little skeptical.

Kensington Missed Connection .... sort of

We always troll through missed connections when we have some time to waste. We did a Kensington search and found this one. How great is this!?

Cool couple contemplating a brew at Shenanigan's (Kensington) Sunday

You guys were like me when I moved to Kensington six months ago. Like, it's a bar . . . and it's open . . . and . . . beer is beer, right? Then you're like, o . . . this is dive without the faux . . . and then you get used to it and it's actually really funny in there. All I got to say is if folks like us keep hitting the place the dude is bound to start selling something else besides Bud! Welcome to the 'hood.

Construction unnerves K Stable's horses

We've been following the construction near the Kensington Stables for some time. This little piece came out in the Brooklyn Paper yesterday.

Horses: ‘Neigh’ to development (Brooklyn Paper - 7/28/07)

Ch ch ch changes....

As you can see we've changed the background and colors of the blog. We'd gotten some comments awhile back that people were having a hard time reading the white on black. We had an hour on our hands after the computer glitches seemed to work out so here's what we came up with. Let us know what you think... easier to read, more visually appealing, hate it etc.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

G extends to Church

Seems the official word came from MTA yesterday but we're a little behind b/c of computer issues. Riders Will Benefit From MTA New York City Transit's Planned Service Upgrades in 2008

Longer hours of weekday service on the B and W and extended service (on the G) to Church Avenue, Brooklyn

Where is the news on the F express?!?!?

Toy Drive for Greenwood Playground

Are you tired of packing up your stroller with large toys your child insists on taking to the playground? How about the multiple stops it takes to get to the playground because the unwieldly toy keeps falling out or jams the wheels?

The Friends of Greenwood Playground has put together a communal toy collection that can be checked out with the Parks Associate. We are looking for donations of large push toys such as doll strollers, ride on toys and wagons (no bicycles/tricycles), games and toys in good usable condition.

Support your local playground by donating toys to Greenwood Playground!

July 31 - August 5 during regular park hours
Drop off toys at the Park House with the Park Associate

Rumour of the Day

We have no idea if there is an validity in the following... we got a tip and are posting it. Another rumour (cough, cough Naidre's) turned out to be exactly what we title these posts, a rumour, so take this as you will.

Payless Shoes coming to the vacated grocery store on Church Ave b/w McDonald and Dahill. (At the moment the name of the old store is escaping us, Red Hill?, but the location is next to STD liquors).

Historic Kensington

Webster Avenue - 1968

Local Musician Plays Googie's Lounge - Tonight

Local neighbors and pop/folk duo Sharon Goldman and Nina Sokashow tonight at Googie's Lounge.

Friday (July 27th) at 8.30 pm
at Googie's Lounge (upstairs at The Living Room) 154 Ludlow (between Stanton and Rivington)
The show is free, though there is a one-drink minimum and they'll be passing the hat!

Greenwood Playground - Upcoming Kid Events

Sing-A-Long with Gina
Thursday, August 2nd, 11am
Gina Samardge will be performing in the toddler area of the Greenwood Playground. Come give Gina a big welcome to our side of the expressway!!

Prospect Park Zoo Programming comes back to Greenwood Playground!
Saturday, August 4th, 2pm
Owl Pellet Dissection for ages 7-12. Be an archaeologist and detective by digging through Owl pellets with zoo programmer Audrey Lucas. Reassemble bones with her to investigate and determine the owl's last supper. Look for the Zoo banner for location.

More Prospect Park Zoo Programming
Tuesday, August 21st (Time to be announced)
Animal Wheel of Fortune! Come test your animal knowledge and win zoo prizes with zoo educator Audrey Lucas.

End of Summer Concert
Sunday, August 26th, 11am
Come join local musician Joanne Riehl for her end of summer concert in the park.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Local Musician Plays Barbes

Sam Bardfeld's "Up Jumped the Devil" (a Stuff Smith tribute)
Sam Bardfeld - violen
Ben Waltzer - piano (as special guest)
Curtis Fowlkes - tbn, vocals
Sean Conly - bass

Thursday July 26th , 8pm
barbes - 376 9th st @ 6th Avenue, Park Slope

Update on Foodtown! A Good Thing

Well, we're really surprised and honestly, very pleased. We received two things on Weds. evening... one a phone call from longtime Kensington resident and 25 year Albemarle Neighborhood Assoc. president, Larry J., and the other an email from an owner at our local Foodtown. First off, Larry heard about the Foodtown post and wanted to let us know that he shops at Foodtown 3 times a week and has never had an issue. He also gave us the extensive history of Foodtown in the neighborhood and their support of the community. Lastly, he explained a major renovation Foodtown had been planning to make until the current MTA construction got them off track. The email from the Foodtown owner was an invitation to call and discuss the issues with the store. We tried to call but probably because it was after hours only got to leave a message. He later responded with an email and we plan on getting in touch with him tomorrow. His email also extended an invitation to meet him so we're aware of what the plan is for the store and address concerns we have.

It became very apparent to us after our conversation with Larry that Foodtown is a supporter of the community and would like to see residents happy. Personally we like having a big store in the neighborhood and would love to see improvements and renovations done at this location. Since representatives from Foodtown are obviously listening to our concerns we think it is very important we voice clear constructive suggestions. Although at the time of this post we didn't get to speak with the Foodtown owner we did receive another very extensive email from him where he mentioned going through the entire store to verify the freshness of all products on the shelves. He also detailed their continued work with many people in the community supporting local functions and organizations. Here is another bit from his email "we hire associates from the neighborhoods that we operate in and teach them entrepreneurship and the importance of customer service. Many of our associates go on to higher positions in the company and to other companies as well". (From his email we also found out Foodtown's are independently operated and this is one of two stores they own).

Here is your chance tell them what you'd like! Okay, we'll start with some of our suggestions....
1. expired merchandise to be promptly removed from the shelves
2. more registers open at key times (like after 5pm when many people exit the train and run to Foodtown for the evenings groceries)
3. a cleaner Foodtown
4. more availability of organic merchandise especially baby food
5. more soy products like Morningstar, Ives etc. (in fairness they use to carry many more of these items so maybe they didn't sell and had to be discontinued)
6. some outside beautification - a mural on the wall that overlooks PS230 and cleaner front sidewalks
Now it's your turn, post in the comments section. We'll be logging in a call to the owner late afternoon on Thurs.

Broken Hydrant

If its broken does it still work? This hydrant has been like this for over 3 weeks in front of the Yeshiva on Ocean Pkwy off Church.

Recent Car Break ins!

We got word a car was broken into on E2nd St b/w Albemarle and Church Ave two nights ago. Before that we heard another car was broken into on Albemarle near E2nd. Walking the dog about a week ago we noticed broken glass on the street on E5th near Albemarle. Is this little corner of Kensington experiencing a sudden crime wave? If you've had a problem or break in, please comment so we can figure out if there is a pattern here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thinking of renting in Kensington?

The picture above was taken at Legacy Realty Corp next door to Walgreens (Which by the way will be painting the wall in the back ground very soon. We asked and they want to remove the graffiti as well as wash the building). On the sign were a bunch of local moderately priced rentals. Our point is besides craiglist and the Park Slope Realtors there are other alternatives out here. Legacy (on Beverly) and Kensington Realty (on Church Ave) seem to have some inventory and we recently heard of a realty corp at 330 McDonald Ave that deals with the 5 or 6 buildings near McDonald and Caton. Rent away!

Vanderbilt Playground Planning Update!

The playground is really located in Windsor Terrace but since many local parents walk to it we wanted to give you the update we spotted on the KWT yahoo group.

$1.8 million has been allocated to this project, much of it raised by Council Member Bill de Blasio. Several designs were presented, all of which will retain the same exterior entrance to the Park on Vanderbilt (although the entrance to the playground varied) and repairing of the sidewalk, keeping the vegetative perimeter and all healthy existing trees, keeping the same type of swings (bucket-style only) and possibly adding seating, and incorporating new and larger play equipment with an area for older kids on the West end and for toddlers at the East end (each with a water feature). Proposed were a woodland theme as well as a lake theme. Some of the plans included wooden decking. The BBQ area currently right next to the playground will be moved somewhere else in the park.

The older kids area: Their play structure will probably be made of a cord-like material which is custom-ordered with bridges, areas for climbing, etc. Also proposed was a flat disc which is installed on a tilt and kids can climb on it and spin it, and a large orb which children can climb on. The older kids area water feature will probably include a large bronze structure (similar to the structures at the 9th Street and Imagination playgrounds), spraying structures, and a shallow canal where the water will funnel and which can be played in.

The tot area: This will probably have a traditional tot structure and a gate enclosing the area. Their water feature will probably have a 30” high bronze wall which drips water and has textures built into it. It possibly will have holes cut into it so children can stick their hands through as the water drips on them.

There will not be any sand (which damages the surfaces and is hard to keep clean) nor swings for older kids (not enough room). There was a request for interactive aspects, similar to what has been installed at Greenwood playground, but there is a problem with those kinds of features breaking. Also there is a possibility of installing game tables.

The project is planned to begin mid-Winter 2008/2009. Since the park is landmarked, there are extra reviews which the project must pass. The Alliance designers will do a schematic design and in mid-October will come back to the community with plans as well as video of the proposed play equipment being used. If you wish to notified about that meeting, please contact Jackie Medina (718 965-8946), the Alliance’s Community Outreach person.

F-express Blog!

We found this blog dedicated to the F-express in the comments section. There is not much on the site yet but it asks for comments so share your stories and requests for F express service!

Favorite thing for Fitness

We'll probably take a lot of abuse on this because its not in Kensington proper but its a recent discovery and we wanted to share. Anyway, as many of you know we recently joined the Kensington Aerobics and Fitness. We can't say enough good things about KAF. We know there are people out there w complaints but for $40 a month you really can't beat it. Regardless, we wanted a little change on top of the gym and the park. Someone recently told us about night owl swim at the Red Hook pool but in all honesty, the Red Hook pool is a hike unless its Saturday or Sunday and we know there is a cheese papusa for an after bathing snack. We knew the Sunset Park pool was closer so went to NYC.gov and discovered, depending on where you are located in Kensington, it's less then 2 miles away.

Last night we hopped on the bike taking 12th Ave to 43rd Street and pedaled up to 7th Ave. All and all the ride took approx. 15 minutes. We walked into the park, filled out our night owl swimming card, locked up the helmet, hit the shower, did some laps, repeated the process and were home within the hour. It was great! We found the pool and locker rooms clean and the staff friendly. The night owl swim was pretty packed, there were four to a lane circling, but it seemed to work out. There it is kids! If you're looking for a little change to the fitness routine try Sunset pool!


Sorry about today's absence of posts. Last night we were on the phone for an hour taking up some one's very precision time about our wireless issues and all finally connected. This morning get up to do our thing and it's gone again. Not only is the wireless gone but the hard connection. An hour on the phone w cable provider then an hour on the phone w computer support and nothing! Then randomly connected after a re-start an hour or so later. (Mother truckin' technology!) We're gonna get on the stick and type up some posts now. Many many thanks to the kind Kensington soul who helped us through our connection last night. We owe you drinks! (We don't know if you want to be named since you're a regular poster and other people might try and take advantage of your skills but we know who you are and thank you very very much. Just goes to show how neighborly we are in the K-town.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Foodtown Warning - Expired Food!

We generally don't shop at Foodtown but heard from a few sources that they've bought items there only to return home and realize the product was expired. In the interest of honesty we don't shop at F-town but tend to stick with Golden Farm and hike to specialty shops for things they don't carry. Regardless, we do pop in on occasion for a can of olives or loaf of bread and once for baking supplies. Even though we don't really go there we like having a larger supermarket nearby until we heard this! A local Mom in a pinch stopped in to buy baby oatmeal cereal. Knowing of F-town's reputation checked the date and it was expired! Now we get selling expired things to adults but babies! Has anyone else had this experience? Even if they just announced a new Brooklyn location (Court and Atlantic) let's all try to request a TJs for Kensington (again!). In every other Long Island suburb there is a TJs location, why should Brooklyn only get one?

Straphangers Subway Report Card

Just an FYI if you'd like some info on how our fabulous F-train fared against the other lines. The straphangers report is based on timeliness, cleanliness, schedule etc. It seems the F-train was sort of a mixed bag. The F was at the bottom for cleanliness, our breakdowns increased although our scheduled arrivals improved and finally our announcements were less audible. Check out this chart which gives a very confusing picture of all the factors each line was rated on.

State of the Subway Report Card 2007 (Straphangers Campaign)

NY metro gives props to Kensington

One of us got a call from NY metro a few weeks back. We gave a long and thoughtful interview and here's the bit that they printed. Seriously, big props to Paul of Englishment in NY for his taking his time to talk to us.

Blogarithms: The next Park Slope? (NY metro - 7/23)

Come out and Meet Bill!

We got the following announcement from Bill DeBlasio's office about tomorrows meet and greet. If you're around try to pop in and tell Bill your feelings about garbage, Caton traffic and whatever else is on your mind!

When: July 24, 2007 3PM-7PM
Where: Bill de Blasio’s district office, 2907 Ft. Hamilton Parkway (F train to Ft. Hamilton Parkway)
Come meet the council member, his staff and talk to caseworkers that will be able to help you with your questions and concerns.
Friends of Fire Fighters will provide BBQ style refreshments

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sign Request - It Works!

Recently we posted how you can request a sign if you know of one that looks like the one above. We requested one for Chester off Church Ave and just wanted everyone to know it worked! We got a call from Jack at Sanitation to confirm the request then a follow up call from a supervisor letting us know it had been replaced. For full disclosure the sign was not exactly replaced but a decal taped over the existing sign. We're ok with that. To do it yourself follow the directions below.

You can request a sanitation sign here (http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/maildos.html )Select 'complaint', then 'sign requests'
Fill out at least your first name, last name and email address.
Request sign(s) in the message box.

Kid-a-Palozza - Dan Zane Plays Celebrate Brooklyn

We stopped by the Dan Zane concert at Celebrate Brooklyn Sunday and were literally the only people there without kids. In all fairness we went with people who had kids but would have stopped by regardless, cause we dig Dan and the family band. The turn-out though was literally out of control. We're pretty sure we haven't seen a crowd this large since TV on the Radio played last summer. Check out the stroller parking!

Friends of WT Library Meeting

Friends of WT Library Meeting
This Monday, July 23, at 6:30 p.m.
Group is looking for your input regarding book purchases and feedback on upcoming events.
WT Library located at E5th St. off Fort Hamilton Pkwy

Oh and one more thing... We saw a comment noting we rarely mention the Kensington branch down on Ditmas Ave. We don't know of any events or meetings for the Kensington library which is why there is an absence of posts on that location. If you have info to share email us here! Regardless, we noticed there is in fact an on-line calendar for the branch that includes baby readings and movies plus arts and crafts! We'll do a better job of incorporating these into our calendar but would appreciate a note from anyone out there who utilizes this branch to confirm.

2007 Siren - Some Thoughts

We took our annual bike ride down Ocean Pkwy to the Siren Festival on Saturday. We started going to the Siren six years ago and have decided its become something we don't enjoy as much as in the past. Sure, we were younger when we started going but this year felt surrounded by high school kids from Long Island. There was one group who sat near where we rested our feet in between sets and sipped off a flask and chain smoked. That being said on the Stillwell stage noticed the surrounding noise level was much quieter. Usually the water bumper cars are rolling by but due to the impending Thor construction those cars were no longer breaking our concentration since there was only blue fences in there place. We're not sure what'll happen to the Siren next year so even if the kids got on our nerves a bit were glad we made the bike ride down. Friends even took a quick ride on the Cyclone! The Cyclone, by the way, is landmarked so there is no chance of that being replaced by blue fence.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wireless Help!

Anyone out there savvy w wireless networks and securing them after they have been left unsecured? We think someone may have secured our unsecured wireless Netgear network... We can get the hard connection from the modem but can't connect wirelessly anymore. Anyway, if you know this stuff and wouldn't mind helping out we'll give you the run down when you contact us, kensingtonbrooklyn@gmail.com

Cheapest 2 Bed Ever!

A friend of ours is looking for a rental so we've been surveying the craiglist adds and found this one for a 2 bed rental in a private home noted to be on E2nd in Kensington. What got us was the low low price of $1250! We're not sure if the low price is to find a nice couple/mates (it is a private house) or b/c its a shit hole. Either way totally worth checking out.

More Thai for Kensington

It's official, Regina's will soon be a Thai Restaurant. Don't any of these entrepreneurs take a little look see around the hood before deciding on a focus? Chinese, Thai, 'Indian', and pizza are taken care of on this end of Church! Plus, after Angie's hospitality at the recent Artist Social we're feelin' pretty loyal to Thai Tonys.

Final Garden Workshop This Saturday

Saturday, July 21, the final garden workshop of the summer from 9-10:30 am. Free and open to the public. Kensington/ Windsor Terrace Community Garden on E4th St. b/w Ft. Hamilton and Caton Ave.

No Natural Trees!

Last Saturday we saw a parks worker finally clean up the median between the Ocean Pkwy Service Road and Ft. Hamilton Pkwy. What we thought was weird is he tore out about 5 trees that had sprung up naturally along the fence. Yup, it had been that long since they tended that little area.! Personally, we liked the trees and are sure keeping them would eventually save Bloomberg a couple bucks in the PlaNYC green movement. Why did the trees have to go?

Miss Cyclone tosses first pitch

The newly crowned Miss Cyclone, burlesque superstar and Kensington resident, Angie Pontani will be throwing out the opening pitch Saturday, July 21st at Key Span park for the Cyclones vs. Tri City Valley Dogs game on Siren Music Festival Day.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ocean Pkwy Architecture

From the inbox - a crime question

Maybe it was spurred by the recent shooting in PLG or this scuffle over in Ditmas Park or maybe b/c we've profiled a house or two with some bars on the windows....

You rarely talk about crime on the blog. I noticed one of the Kensington t-shirt slogans mentioned something about how Kensington is where criminals come to hide. Was that a pun or is crime really not a sore spot for K-town? Bottom line, is there really that little to report?

We generally think there is a very small issue with crime in Kensington. However, we always mention stuff when he hear about it and did a post on the peeping Tom and when a few delivery guys were robbed of cash at two buildings near Ocean Pkwy. Before we started the blog heard a women was asked for her bag outside the F on Church Ave (yeah, that's right he asked) and also know years ago there was an issue with apartments being robbed. That's really it. We've never walked home from the train alone and felt nervous and never seen anyone hanging on the corner with a group that we felt uncomfortable walking by. Sure, we have some obnoxious teenagers who drink in the playgrounds late night and some less then desire able drunks stumble out of Denny's on occasion. Overall most of the issues from people who email us tend to be that Church Ave needs some cleaning up and graffiti. Ok now everybody sound off in the comments and let us know how wrong or right we are....

Boo to Brennan

The Daily News did a piece on the F express today, F train not on track for going express. The title is a bit misleading b/c the MTA has made no announcement about the petition or the continued coverage for an F express. Essentially it was a small bit on how local official Jim Brennan thinks they need to do some studies on the feasibility of an F express due to the following:

There have been many issues with severe noises and vibrations adjacent to the F train tunnels," said Assemblyman James Brennan (D-Park Slope).

Prospect Park and Park Slope are the highest points in Brooklyn and trains gather extra momentum going downhill, causing further damage, he said.

"The F express could be a significant option for the public, but needs to be implemented with careful testing," Brennan said, noting some F train tunnels were not built deep enough and many homeowners' basements are right on top of them.

What's the deal Brennan? Why the public wait and see? We're trying to think of other trains that run down from the high points with an express and oh yeah, it's called the Q! (except its on the other side of the park!) Are any one's houses getting vibrated from the Q running quickly down hill? Whatever, dumb article dumb reasoning.... The F train is running at 100% capacity and has the ability to run express from Church Ave to Jay with very little cash input from the MTA.

To Do

Things to do in and around Kensington... just in case you got some time on your hands. (Thanks to ululations for compiling)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

SilverRod's Transition to Walgreens

We stopped by the new Walgreens today to get a sense of the transition. Its clear they are moving the aisles, re-stocking the shelves and generally cleaning up the place. For what its worth the new addition of two shiny garbage cans at the entrance thrilled us. We all know how garbage collections on Church Ave so are sure glad they're stepping up to the plate to help keep the neighborhood clean. (For some reason, Astoria Federal has decided to forgo a can at their expense though many residents have addressed them about the need).

We'll soon see how well the new pharmacy fits in but we're hoping it takes some of the rest of the Church Ave businesses to task. Keeping a can, hosing their sidewalks and starting to remove graffiti that litters the side of the building sure seem like good signs to us though we do hope the mass of discarded cardboard boxes (seen on the left of the above pic) are recycled.

Upcoming Events!

Cutie Park Cleanup! CANCELLED!

Vanderbilt Street Playground Community Meeting
Monday, July 23rd from 6:00 - 7:30
Litchfield Villa, located at 95 Prospect Park West
Prospect Park Alliance is in the process of designing a renovation plan for the Vanderbilt Street Playground, which will match the excellence of our award winning Harmony and Imagination Playgrounds. We expect construction to begin in April 2008. The community is invaluable to us through this process.
Contact Jacqueline Medina (Director of Community Outreach) at 718 965 8946 with questions.

Councilmember Bill de Blasio’s Open House
Tuesday, July 24, 2007 3PM-7PM
Bill de Blaiso’s district office, 2907 Ft. Hamilton Parkway (F train to Ft. Hamilton Parkway)
Come meet the councilmember, his staff and talk to caseworkers that will be able to help you with your questions and concerns. Friends of Fire Fighters will provide BBQ style refreshments. (Also the office is hoping some attendees can contribute a covered dish, pasta salad etc., to the event.)

Brooklyn Dirt

Unbeknownst to us Brooklyn dirt is quite rich in whatever it takes to grow veggies and fruit. If you have a patch of it toss down some seeds and water. Our friend, and long time resident, grows tomatoes, cucumbers, arugula, basil and variety of other things in her backyard. This cuke is about 2 weeks away from being incorporated into a salad.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Kensington Artist Social - Success!

First off many thanks and congratulations to Scott at donje' photography for coordinating a stellar event! Thai Tonys was standing room only, quite a crowd. We had grabbed some of the cards lined up of artists attending then conveniently misplaced them in the back and forth of meeting so many people. We met a few local cartoonists and painters and musicians as well as a couple people who just came out to hang. If you were one of the artists (and we hope Scott will forward the list so we can post links here) please post your name and website in the comments section! Also many thanks to Angie and her staff at Tonys for the great spread. There was plenty of food and appetizers kept making their way around to us so there was no skimping on the spread. The photo above doesn't give a good sense of the crowd since there were so many people we couldn't position ourselves to get a good angle. Regardless, we continue to have a lot of faith in the community here and were thrilled that people made the effort to attend.

Look for an upcoming post on the August Kensington Social (Artist and us hangers on welcome) which we hear will be at Lonelyville.

First Kensington Artist Social!

Be there or be square! Tonight's the night to get down w the local artists and the rest of us! Oh and we'll be there in case you can't stand the blog and want to let us know... whatever gets you out.

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.

WTs Babbo's Books host story hour

This announcement landed in the inbox today and although its not in Kensington we try and support all local business especially bookstores! (Read the Naidre's Rumour post comments from yesterday!)

Babbo's Books at 242 Prospect Park West (between Windsor Place and Prospect Avenue)
A reading of books by Juliet Furness every Tuesday from 11am-12pm.
Juliet is a performer, teacher, and mother of two who has led children's story hours and theme play for years in New Zealand before coming to America.
Occupy your kids for an hour and feel free to browse for books or relax!
The reading is probably best for children between the ages of 2 and 5.
Call Leonora, (718) 788 - 3475 with any questions.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Media Misc

Local resident and journalist, Paul LaMonica, did a piece today on CNNMoney.com that mentioned the site. Loco for local!

Rumour of the Day

We got a tip that Naidre's has 3 locations in mind for their next store and that Kensington is one of the finalists! We would be thrilled with a Nairdre's in the 'hood. In fact its our little opinion that a dessert/ sandwich/ coffee/ smoothie place is exactly what we need. (It'd also be nice to get beer taps like they have at the Carroll Gardens location).

We're gonna try and not get our hopes since this isn't the first time we've heard people scouting out the 'hood! We will however, go on record and bet that the first coffee 'like' house to set up shop here will certainly have a following. Recently, we were talking to some real Park Slope old-timers who remember when CT. Muffin started serving on 7th Ave. It was the first coffee spot for 7th Ave (and only a walk in place at that!) and they remembered the line in the morning would stretch around the block. Back in the day no one really thought home grown businesses could be sustained on 7th (or 5th) and now look! Considering the unaffordable real estate in other sections of Brooklyn and the fact that we're one of the last safe places of the affordable sections we sure hope business owners will start to take notice of the little business sections on Church and Fort Hamilton!

Ocean Pkwy Streets

Avenue C Clam
Cortelyou Road Cod
Ditmas Dolphin
18th Ave Anchovies
Webster Whale
Lawrence Leatherback
Parkville Puffer
Newkirk Needlefish

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Greening Your Home!

Local resident and architect, Ellen Honigstock, will be hosting seminars on being green in the home. From Ellen:
"The seminar will be 60-75 minute talk with the focus on the various types of effects that houses and apartment buildings have on the environment at large. In each case I’ll talk specifically about what problems are affecting the environment and what you can do about it.

To live “green”, there’s no one silver bullet, but there are a wide variety of things you can do, some of which are very easy and inexpensive, that can improve your health and quality of life, reduce your impact on available resources, save money and make you a better neighbor."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 7pm
LONELYVILLE CAFE, 154 Prospect Park Southwest, Windsor Terrace

Friday, July 27, 2007, 7pm
VOX POP, 1022 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park
Monday, August 6, 2007, 7pm
PERCH CAFE, 365 5th Avenue, Park Slope

Thursday, August 16, 2007, 7pm
WEST ELM, 45 Main Street, Dumbo

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Newest Kensington Resident

Welcome Amelie!
6 lbs, 11 ounces
19 3/4 inches
Born: 7/12/07 5.38 pm

Today's post takes on a very personal tone. We welcome our newest neighbor Amelie.

When we moved into our building 3 short years ago we met Amelie's parents as they were in the process of renovations. We were too! So as good neighbors we helped each other through the tiling and painting and cleaning. Who would know then how much we would have in common! Our neighbors soon turned into our friends and as the renovations came to an end started a weekly tradition of pizza Fridays after the long work week. We felt lucky to have met people in the building who were at that same point - beginning their lives together as a pair, trying to create a home and begin a family. As many non-native New Yorkers do we created a little family in our friends plus had people close by to help out with the little things - walking the dog when we were running late, keeping the keys for when we were locked out, picking up an extra at the grocery etc. Although the four of us were sort of the first here, as the building sponsor sold his units, others followed and now there are many here who have become a part of our lives as well as each others. This is actually the fourth baby in the building this year and two more is on the way. Recently, we got a community grill and been able to commiserate over a hot dog and beer about life's ups and downs or morning sickness or the pitfalls of renovations! Many of us have been able to come together as friends in this little corner of Kensington and for this we feel very lucky. But today is Amelie's day - welcome Amelie, we are so happy you are here.

503 Beverly Almost Done

Anybody got the skinny on who's listing these?

Street Lights... How to get one! What happend to one?

We got a recent inquiry from a local about a street lamp that was removed on East 2nd St. We hear it makes the street much darker and neighbors are kind of wondering why it was removed. We don't know why but would suggest shooting a mail to one of de Blasio's reps since they seem to be on top of this stuff. We're also including the link to request a repair of a street lamp. We've seen first hand that the repair response is quick and crews usually come to fix the broken light within a day or two.

Sat. Family Event at WT Library

Come enjoy special Family Story Time! Join us for stories, songs & prizes for all!
Saturday, July 14th11:30 am—12:30 pm
Stories will be read by our special guests:
Christine Quinn - Speaker of the New York City Council
Bill de Blasio - New York City Council Member, District 39
Vincent J. Gentile - New York City Council Member, District 43
Domenic M. Recchia - New York City Council Member, District 47

Windsor Terrace (Branch 160)
E 5th Street (at Fort Hamilton Pkwy)
Brooklyn, NY 11218

Thought for the Day

Taken from a local home's front window.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vote for the best Kensington T-shirt Logo

We omitted a few contributions but here are some of the ones we liked. Vote on which one you like the best. (Thanks Ron!)

Kensington (Brooklyn)
1. Home of a thousand Nail Salons.
2. Where criminals are bored.
3. The parents here are only just beginning to get annoying.
4. Manhattan Studio = Kensington House
5. What happens in Golden Farm stays in Golden Farm
6. Peace in the Middle East ='s 11218
7. When did London steal our name?
8. Where Christians, Jews and Muslims live together without rocket propelled grenade launchers.
9. Where S.T.D.s means booze
10. Just blocks from the Ocean... Parkway
And finally, 11. Kensington (Brooklyn), where there's a Mosque on Church (Avenue)

Reminder: Kensington Artist 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 donjephotography@earthlink.net

LOCAL MUSICIANS! We need your help! Our musician got a last minute gig and we need one or two local musicians to play a half hour set at the social. Contact Scott if you're interested!

Get Involved with Greenwood Playground

Greenwood Playground Looking for Volunteers!!!!
The Greenwood Playground successfully fund raised last year and now have some money to spend on summer programming in the park. The problem? They absolutely need help and new members.

Do you have great ideas for fun programming to bring to our playground?

Do you know anyone who would like to teach some arts and crafts?

Can you devote some time and energy to a community toy drive or help create a "toy library" in the park for kids to check out games and balls to play with while there?

Do you like to shop at Toys R Us and help to purchase some games for the older kids to use? Would you like to help organize another neighborhood party with music and possible fundraising.

If so, the playground and kids need you! Please join the following list serve to find out more:

Philharmonic Plays Prospect Park

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

WT Library Summer Program Announcment

Windsor Terrace Library is happy to inform its patrons about extending hours of service. Starting July, 2nd the library schedule is the following:
Monday 1 – 8
Tuesday 9 – 6
Wednesday 9 - 6
Thursday 1 – 6
Friday 9 – 6
Saturday 10- 5

We're a little late on this but starting July 9, WT library has programs everyday. Below are just a few!

Story Time will resume on July 10, at 10:30 a.m.
July 10, Curious George (the new movie), 10:30 a.m.
July 17, 2:00 p.m. – Harry Potter`s Party for all fans regardless their ages. Come to celebrate the last and the latest book by J.K. Rowling "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".
July 18 and 19; 2:00 p.m. – if you are 11 and up, join us at 2:00 p.m. for the Bridge Making Workshop with our local artist and the New School Instructor on Architecture Phyllis Trout.
July 20th - a versatile entertainer Conroy Warren invites everybody for Reggae, Calypso and Folk Music Concert at 2:00 p.m.
July 23, 6:30 p.m.- Friends Group of WT Library meeting. Topic: spending money from fundraisers. New 'friends' welcome.
August 13, 6:30 – Mystery Writer Shelly Reuben will be reading and discussing her book "The Skirt Man" with adult audience.
August 16, 2:00 p.m. – don't miss our Summer Reading Closing Party with Annabelle Gonzales Dance Theater.

Ocean Pkwy Streets

Avenue C Clam
Cortelyou Road Cod
Ditmas Dolphin
18th Ave Anchovies
Webster Whale
Lawrence Leatherback
Parkville Puffer

Real Estate Trivia

Free t-shirt to the first commentor who can tell us where this is in Kensington. Craigslist ad as follows: $895000 2-family brick house

Semi-attached brick 2-family w/driveway. 4 br upstairs. 3 br downstairs.Full basement w/recreation room, laundry room, bathroom. 25x100 lot. Garden. Excellent condition. Close to transportation,shopping,schools. PRINCIPALS ONLY.

By the way, we joke about the t-shirt. We don't have Kensington t-shirts. Hey, but if we did what should be the Kensington tag line?

False Advertising?

This Citi-Habitats ad lists the new Parkville Condo's as a Post-War building 'style'. Now you tell us, what is so Post-War about this! (Notice the add does not give you any views of the facade of the building....

Monday, July 9, 2007

Commercial Real Estate - An update on the lack of new biz...

We've been noticing lots of the available commercial spaces on Church Ave are still available. Ones that come to mind - old optical store (next to the diner), 211 Church Ave (small space only 500 feet sq), the place that was a hardware store for like a minute, the old podiatrist office, two little spaces right off Church Ave (on East 2nd). A few of these places where for rent back in April when we did our first post on commercial properties. Interesting b/c one of our follow up posts wondered if places staying vacant awhile would bring rents down. Of course, finally we realized we were sorta in-line with Cortelyou after that Vox Pop blast email popped into the inbox advertising thier vacant space.

Ok, well we're ready for some new stuff! Bring on the business and by business we mean the kind of business that is not a 99 cent store, a nail salon or anything that sort of resembles the stuff we have on Church Ave now. We'd like a new/ used book store, yoga studio, a coffee shop, a sandwich store, a health food store with some take out items, a good bakery, a wine store that sells something other then Yellow Tail, a roti place, or any restaurant variation that is not Thai, Mexican, Chinese or Bengali.

Need a new sign? Make a request!

Need a new sign? If your street signs are unreadable b/c of graffiti or simply faded, like the one above on Chester, you can request a new one on-line! (We made a request to replace the one above!)

You can request a sanitation sign here (http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/maildos.html )

Select 'complaint', then 'sign requests'

Fill out at least your first name, last name and email address.

Request sign(s) in the message box.

You will receive an automated reply within 30 minutes. Within 2 weeks you should receive some sort of live reply from a borough sanitation official.

Ocean Pkwy Streets

Avenue C Clam

Cortelyou Road Cod

Ditmas Dolphin

18th Ave Anchovies

Webster Whale

Lawrence Leatherback

NYC Transit Insider Tip #2

We got a 2nd 'insider' tip under the 1st 'insider' tip. This one focuses on bus routes. Any interest in having the 'insider' here your voice about routes/ transport needs? Comment! (We have no idea if this 'insider' is for real!)

City-wide bus changes also in works for 2008/09.
B23 might be shortened or eliminated due to years of low passenger counts. One plan is to extend B67 down 16th Avenue to 65 St. The B23 portion from McDonald to Flatbush Avenue has poor ridership. The portion through Boro Park is more heavily used.

Other plan to extend B67 to 18 Ave/49 St via Dahill Rd for connect w/B11. The B23 would then only run from McDonald to 16th/65th.

New routes? - B21-Avenue P, B32-Ft Ham Pkwy, B33-13th Ave, B34-Bedford Ave. All in study phase.

If you're out there, thanks for the padlock!

Be warned, the following has nothing to do with Kensington with the exception of a few random encounters.

It's hot and yesterday was hot too. We were deciding the days plan and contemplating the beach and a bike ride down Ocean Pkwy to Brighton but then thought of the new floaty pool downtown. We decided we'd be better off at the Red Hook pool considering the floaty pool only allows 175 people in per hour. On the bikes we headed up to the Hook excited for an hour or two of swimming and a little lunch at the ball fields. This being our first time at the pool this year we forgot our padlock. We tried to reason with the guard about how we only had one small bag to no avail so we headed back to the bikes discouraged. Not one second later a small voice called out "we have an extra lock". A Mom and her son gave us a small padlock for no charge just b/c they had one and heard our disappointment. So if you're reading this (and we wish we had gotten your name to send you a little note of thanks) you sure made our day!

On to the chance encounters. At the ball fields in line for our yummy papusas we saw not one but two nearby Kensington neighbors. The first a small family we've only come to know in passing b/c of the dog and another listed on the roll of neighbors who we met once at an ANA meeting. We also ran into two family's we know from our real job. Small borough or did we all just have the same good idea for a yummy lunch?!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

NY Times profiles F train petition!

More press for the F train petition that we've been going on and on about the last few weeks. Yesterday in fact we got a little treat after Smith & 9th and went express on the F to 7th then Church. We weren't surprised that the cars were pretty full and many riders stayed on until Church. The need is there! It's about time for the MTA to get on board and start providing a service that is already in place.

“It would cost billions of dollars to build those express tracks today,” he said, “and they’re sitting there doing nothing.”

Mud on the Tracks (NY Times, 7/8/07)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Free Burlesque! TONIGHT

For the first Kensingtonian who emails Angie Pontani (angie@pontanisisters.com) by 8pm (1/2 hour folks!) you can see the following show for free! (2 tickets)

Thirsty Girl Productions
Fridays @ Corio supper club
Friday July 6th
Hosted By Miss AstridPerformances by: Angie Pontani, Harvest Moon, Peekaboo Pointe, Ms.Tickle, Delerium Tremens, DJ Success & Pookie Patootie as our stagekitten
Join us for Dinner, Cocktails & Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Doors at 7:30 Show at 8:30

Pistolera Rocks Bandshell!

Even with the rain, which certainly put a damper on the crowd, Pistolera rocked the bandshell Thurs. night. Going on at exactly seven the band played a great set while those of us in the crowd huddled under umbrellas. The band is off to do some west coast touring but will be back in NYC in August to play Lincoln Center (outdoors) and La Plaza Cultural.

House of the Day

We noticed this pop on Louisa in the last day or so. Two family on a very quiet cute block west of Dahill. (Although true borders will denote this as Boro Park most of us refer to that little area of one and two family brick homes and tree lined blocks as Kensington). Listed for $789k by Bay Sun Realty. There is a similar home down the block listed by Neighborhood Realty in the same price range that we heard needs a ton of work. We haven't seen the inside of this so are unsure of the work required.

Kids Weekend Events

Children's Garden Workshop at the East 4th Street Community Garden
Saturday, July 7 at 9:00 am
Please note the time change, 9-10:30am

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bring the V to Brooklyn!

Ever been waiting for an F train at midtown only to be passed by an empty V which is then followed by a busting F and wonder why there is a V train? Yeah, us too. Well, the Daily News profiled the V on Monday (How do straphangers spell relief? With a V ) only making us all the more aware of how unused the train is.
Critics predicted no one would ride the local V when it was created in December 2001 to relieve overcrowding on the express E and F trains along Queens Blvd. Transit officials tried hard to popularize the route; it didn’t work. “I think it’s worthless,” commuter Victoria Carlucci said. “The stops are not helpful stops.”

2nd Ave Sagas fought back with a great bit on why the V should be extended to Brooklyn right in line with the recent F train petition (Brooklyn service would give meaning to neglected V train).
And that is where our F train petition comes into play. With the F train petition, the F would run express during the times the V runs from Jay St./Borough Hall out to Church Ave. (or possibly Kings Highway). The V would no longer be a lonely train; instead, it would ferry thousands of commuters through Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Kensington and Borough Park. While those riding in Queens would probably still enjoy their empty and spacious train cars, people riding in Brooklyn would finally have more room than they do on the F with its cattle-car-like conditions.

We think it would elevate a lot of the rush-hour congestion to get the V out here as a local and the F to run express, what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th!

Taken from the main window of a local house.

We'll be posting sporadically over the next week and half or so. Most posts will have to come from tips so be sure to send them this way at kensingtonbrooklyn@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

G train at Church Ave. What gives?!

On Saturday we were heading to Hoyt and Atlantic. As we're waiting at Church Ave for our local F to take us to Bergen we notice a G train on the local track to Coney Island. A few minutes later (the local G is still there) another G pulls in on the Queens bound express track. (You can kind of see the two Gs in the picture above). Both Gs are there for a few minutes until the Coney Island bound G train pulls out. A few minutes later the Queens bound G pulls out. (which annoyed us to no end b/c we could of taken the damn thing to Hoyt/Schermerhorn and saved ourselves a long hot walk down Atlantic). A few more minutes and the local F to Manhattan finally shows. So here's the question... if the Gs are there, why oh why can't we use them? This is not the first time we've asked ourselves this question (it was asked a lot during renovations when we needed to take a quick trip to Lowes). It could save lots and lots of people time so why not just open the doors? It seems like a pretty simple solution to us. Open the doors!

We got a note that 2nd Ave Sagas did a little something on this yesterday and had the same take(Watching the empty G train rumble by). Coincidentally this G train thing has been something the MTA has talked about, or around, for quite some time (’07 budget expands Brooklyn service)

One final side note. We've asked the G question to MTA representatives at least two times and never received a response.

Local Musicians Play Brooklyn - This Week!

Local favorite Pistolera will be playing Celebrate Brooklyn this Thurs., July 5th, at the Bandshell. Here's a link to a recent article on the band, Real straight shooters: Pistolera to rock the Prospect Pk bandshell (Courier Life)

Texas native but Kensington resident David Wingo's Ola Podrida will be at Union Hall (702 Union St, Park Slope) this Saturday July 7th.

Other Kensington 'playing' this weekend....
Howling Vic! this Saturday, July 7th @ 7:30pm at Spice! A variety show Mo Pitkins 34 Avenue A (Tickets are $10, $6 for students w/ valid ID, 1 drink minimum)
Featuring: Red Sonja of Rosie Red Burlesque, La John Joseph (first male Miss. Galapagonza), The Luvely Rae, Lady Aye (blockhead artist and sword swallower), comedian Jonathan Randall, and live music by Dave Felipe.

NYC Transit Insider Tip?

We found the following in a thread on news on the F train rally. The commentor identified themselves as NYCT Insider.

Under News on F-Express Rally (received July 1)
Upon deliveries of additional R-160 cars enough R-46 equipment will become available for the F and G lines. Express service will become possible at that point. Service plan undecided at this early time. Most likely V extended to Church Avenue as the rush-hour local. G extended to Church in rush-hours also due to 4th Ave switches not available during rush times. Slight chance 18th Avenue may be used as turn back but new switch for this must be installed.

What does it all mean?!

Ocean Pkwy Streets

Avenue C Clam
Cortelyou Road Cod
Ditmas Dolphin
18th Ave Anchovies
Webster Whale

Parkville? Kensington!? $1.083M

Brooklyn Properties is listing the new Foster-East condos located in Parkville, ugh sorry Kensington.... We love how brokers are always clearing this up for us. We also love the panoramic views and juliet balconies and the fact that unlike most of Parkville damn, sorry Kensington these 2 beds are going for a whooping $470K. That's the cheap one folks!

We'll never understand how a kitchen and a living space in the same room will command these sorts of prices when you could easily buy a pre-war some place on Ocean Pkwy and do renovations that would cost less. Most pre-wars have smallish but still eat-in kitchens and separate living rooms which we find much more appealing. (We don't want to look at our kitchen sink every time we sit on the couch). Hey, what do we know! The real Parkville condos are actually almost sold out with only 2 (compared to the five we mentioned yesterday) still available. (Thanks to the tipster who cleared that up for us!)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Parkville Luxury

We did a bit on this back in April b/c the following tag line caught our eye. "Ocean Parkway address for Brooklynites is comparable to a Madison Avenue address for Manhattanites". Well the condos are ready for sale and only five are left! Check out the floor plans and prices at Parkville Promenade.

Brooklyn Parrots

We knew that Pale Male and Lola's kids have been hanging at Greenwood Cemetery but had no idea we'd see a wild parrot this far up. They tend to hang near Brooklyn College and a few places in Bensonhurst so we were surprised to see a pair on Ocean Pkwy and Ave. C.

Ocean Pkwy Streets

Avenue C Clam
Cortelyou Road Cod
Ditmas Dolphin
18th Ave Anchovies

KPO - NY Times

Talk Therapy for Postal Rage (NY Times - 7/1/07)
In Brooklyn, the United States Postal Service is hoping to improve service with a new advisory council made up of representatives from community boards.

The article provides a good segue since we'd actually planned on a doing a little something on the Post Office this week. Here are our current thoughts and some good news..

1. We went twice last week - twice! And neither time had the patience or stamina to wait out the long snaking line that was to the door. We were fair too so no snarky comments... We went once on Thurs. afternoon then pretty early on Friday morning. After that we gave up and headed to downtown Brooklyn where the train ride and wait in line and then following trip back home probably took us a lot less time (and aggravation) then the wait at KPO. Both times we went there was only one person at their station and another mysteriously gone while a customer waited at the window. We also needed a green return receipt slip and nothing was out at the tables so we weren't about to wait in line to then fill out our paperwork - just completely not efficient. Here's where we urge you to sign the petition posted by de Blasio's rep to get more funding for the post office. You can find it here. (Post offices are federally funded so we need to show a demand, sign it!)

2. The good news! From de Blasio via Yvette Clarke. We heard this was requested over a year ago and both offices supported this in big ways. Thanks!

The USPS Kensington, 11218, is going to receive an Automated Postal Center aka APC Machine. I don't know if you are familiar with this machine but it does it all. You can mail Express, Priority, Certified, Delivery Confirmation, First Class packages and purchase a book of 18 $.41 stamps. It works like an ATM Machine and its Debit or Credit Card only. It's a wonderful machine and the customers love them. We have fourteen machines throughout Brooklyn and I believe they are the future.

We think this machine will allow for some improvements but really feel we need more clerks for this location. A lot of the drag comes from people continually applying for pass ports and sending packages abroad. Our population demands a different sort of service level that is obviously not being addressed with a fancy stamp machine. Don't get me wrong it fills our needs but ya know we're here for the people!

The Kid and The Public Poo

So we understand when kids have to go they have to go but this one was a little too much...

Saturday night enjoying our picnic and waiting for friends and the next band at the Celebrate Brooklyn series we spied a little one under a nearby tree. And by nearby let me set this up for you... We were behind the fence (so not in the venue) kind of behind the beer stand on the right of the stage. Many people with kids or dogs or bottles of wine sit outside the fence and we often do and bring a large picnic and the dog. To the left of us is a large tree that you can't sit under as the branches are too low. Regardless, many people with their picnics are always gathered around it.

Back to the kid who is under that tree... We see him bent and not holding anything so we're thinking is this kid doing a number one, oh no no no its a number two! Yes, folks a number two bent over in clear view of at least 25-30 people while Dad watched. About half way through the poo Dad scampers off to their picnic site kid finishes up, pulls up his drawers and waits. Dad returns tells kid to pull 'em down and wipe then proceeds to curb his kid. Yeah, that's right picked it up and deposited it in the trash can next to us.

So while we certainly understand a kid has to go when a kid has to go this was not in the middle of the woods this was maybe 50 feet from a port-o-john and the bathrooms at the band shell. The kid was also pretty old (at least 2nd grade) so certainly could of held it a few extra minutes and did we mention the crowd of people! So although we've heard the public pee debate over in the Slope and realize with kids sometimes things happen does anyone else feel this a little tiny bit weird? Opinions, feelings, similar stories? Please share.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Cheap Gas Guy Nabbed in K-town

In case you saw this go down the other night (like our tipster) and were curious... A guy with a mini-van was selling cheap gas out of the back of mini-van that he brought over from New Jersey. In this case he was fueling a livery cab on McDonald near Ave C when the hose ignited. Luckily no one was injured and the man was arrested.

Man selling gas on the cheap sparks small fire (NY Daily News)
Gas Goofball's Terror Scare (NY Post)