Friday, September 28, 2007

66 Postponed BUT.....

We got word the meeting w the 66 was postponed due to the Holiday. Regardless, we hear there will be some cars on Church Ave near Story and Chester being towed! And, de Blasio's office is looking for a volunteer to lock the playground at PS 230 in the evenings.... Anyone out there know a local resident being driven crazy by the nighttime shenanigans who wants that responsibility? (e-mail us off blog if you'd like some info about the locking of PS230).

Atlantic Antic - Visit Jonathan

Brooklyn's biggest street fair happens Sunday - Atlantic Antic is here. If you're going (and we will be!) make sure to visit local resident, and painter, Jonathan Blum. Jonathan will be between Hoyt and Bond. Any other locals representing at the Antic on Sunday?

Local Artist Open Studio

The annual DUMBO Arts Festival is this weekend. The Festival runs all weekend (September 28th - 30th). Local Kensington resident (and painter) Adam McGalliard and his studio mates will be hosting an informal reception on Saturday from 4 to 6 at 20 Jay Street #304.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Upcoming 66 Meeting

One local reached out to us b/c they'll be meeting w the community rep from the 66 precinct as well as a member of de Blasio's team. We are looking for local quality of life issues he should address w these representatives. From what we've heard we suggested he mention the following items:
1. Sidewalk parking and unlicensed vehicles on Church Ave b/w Story and Chester
2. Late night crowds and ball playing at PS230
These are the major disruptions to quality of life in Kensington that we repeatedly hear about but let us know if you have any others to pass on. The meeting will take place on Friday so get 'em in quick to include.

New Bangla Market

Previously the spot at 87 Church Ave was a market. There was a rumour it'd be turned into a Payless but... we got another market. This new one seems much cleaner then its predecessor and carries a wide variety of spices and rices.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kensington Real Estate Bargain

A six-story apartment building with 63 units covering almost 49,000 square feet at 483 Ocean Parkway in the Kensington section of Brooklyn, N.Y., sold for $12.4 million.

Save the Date! Greenwood Playground Fall Fest

Friends of Greenwood Playground presents...
Greenwood Playground Fall Festival!
Saturday, October 6th
10-11 Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre (teaching puppet making)
11-12 Puppet show presented by Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
Stay tuned for more details but there will certainly be food and music.

More on Buzz-A-Rama

Not sure why the 'hood is called Besonhurst in the title then Kensington in the article but whatever. Thanks Luke for the link in the comments section!
From NYTimes - Aug. 2000
NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: BENSONHURST; 35 Years Later, Mr. Slot Car Remains in the Driver's Seat

Monday, September 24, 2007

New Corner Store Alert!

A local resident has just purchased the lease on the corner store at Albermarle and McDonald. Previously, he operated a grocery in the Fort Greene/BAM area. Anyway, he is interested in hearing from the community about what we would find most beneficial to the area. Plans so far include gourmet coffees available by the pound, organic products like milk, cereals, juice, and eggs. We hear he is also expecting to have homemade soups, stuffed grape leaves, and cookies.

We think this is great news and would love to have a place to grab a healthy sandwich with some homemade sides. We really think this neighborhood would do well w something like an Olive Vine that would include falafel and Mediterranean salads even if it was only take out. We're sure if this new owner added easy lunch fare people would come in droves.

Walgreens Gets New Facade

As many of us know SilverRod recently changed hands and is now Walgreens. It seems Walgreens is taking steps to clean the inside and outside little by little. Recently, the outside
got a brand new facade which we think looks good. When we met the new Walgreens manager at the recent ANA meeting he talked a lot about trying to get the store up to Walgreens standards. We know many residents were upset with the change and loss of things they liked in the store (spices, variety of greeting cards) but sort of hope other surrounding stores will catch the cleaning bug. Personally we feel the addition of the two garbage cans to that corner was a great step as is the new facade.

Update on Astoria Trees!

From the local who started the ipetition for trees in front of Astoria Federal (, an update!
I spoke with Erin Roche from the Dept. of Forestry who agreed to put Church and McDonald Avenues on the list for a city block planting in the spring program. This new program supercedes what landlords want and just comes in and plants big stretches of trees.

We think this is great but still urge you to sign the petition for trees in front of Astoria Federal since b/c of the nearby subway the DofF may not be able to plant there. What we're hoping is Astoria would add planters or something. We're up to 60 signatures please sign!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Petition Astoria Federal for Trees!

One Kensington resident stopped into Astoria Federal on Thursday and reached out to the branch manager, Martine Kimmey, about adding some trees to that bleak corner. Ms. Kimmey was unaware that trees could be planted and explained she would need to discuss it with marketing. She also suggested local residents ban together and request the trees from Astoria so the Kensington resident started an i-petition! Sign the petition for trees in front of Astoria Federal here ( You can also cut and paste the bit below and send Ms. Kimmey a letter via post (Martine Kimmey, Astoria Federal Savings Bank, 101 Church Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11218).

Dear Ms. Martine Kimmey
We would like Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association to consider improving the corner property on Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue. As a large business serving the community, we hope you will lead the way in helping to make our part of Brooklyn greener.

After the loss of so many trees from the recent Tornado, it became apparent how valuable trees are to our community. Homeowners of course can request trees from the parks department, but this takes time to process. A large local business like Astoria Federal, can of course request free trees from the parks department or, in a gesture to your local customers, Astoria Federal can plant park approved trees at their own expense in order to improve the area more quickly. We hope you will consider planting trees and making your corner property greener.

Student View

The MTA construction that has seemed to overtake McDonald Ave the last year has given the students at the old Savoy quite a view! We're sure the kids love walking out the door to take in the call-a-head which is almost on the front lawn. We hear the construction is almost done but aren't holding our breath.

Office of Sustainability Presentation Update

Gary from Brooklyn Streets just posted some commentary from tonight's CB6 meeting that involved a presentation from the Office of Sustainability. Seems our neighborhood came up! From Gary:

There I learned that the City has identified 24 problem neighborhoods, where an inordinate number of people drive into the Central Business District. One of those neighborhoods? Kensington! I pointed out that there is a simple, eloquent solution to that issue: restore the express service on the F line that services Church Avenue in Kensington. PlaNYC only provides for an additional bus route through Kensington; the correct solution is to restore the Culver Line (that's the F for non-transit geeks) to its former glory.

Read the full post with important dates here, March 31, 2008: Congestion Pricing, MTA, Enhanced F/V/G

Weekend F Service

F train: Manhattan-bound trains skip Fort Hamilton, Prospect Park, and 4th Avenue.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Upcoming Church Ave Bazaar! Get your table now!

Luckily we know long time local and ANA president Larry Jayson pretty well who was able to point us in the right direction for the upcoming Church Ave Bazaar! (You don't even want to know how many community board people and politicians we reached out to who were clueless!) The annual Fall Church Ave celebration will be October 7th. We also got the contact information for the guy who puts it all together!

We're of the opinion our little 'ole fair could use some updating among the many tube sock sellers and pony rides. We'd love if a bunch of our local artists or musicians banned together and collaborated on a table to sell their wears! (Maybe Scott who organizes the Kensington Artist Socials could reach out to the people who have attended and get a group table?) While we're at it.... What about the KWT CSA doing a table or the Friends of Greenwood Playground group or the Friends of WT library or the KWT yahoo group folks or a Facebook table (right in front of Denny's so we can all have drinks after?). If you're interested in getting a table (w or w/out some other folks) leave an email in the comments OR email us directly at to get the info for the organizer. We'll do our best to connect people if that's called for.

Local Editor's Film at Cinema Village

As many readers of the blog know we like to profile local artists and thier events whether they happen within the Kensington borders or not. This one is no exception!

One local Kensington resident was the co-editor on a film currently showing at Cinema Village. The film "Milarepa" is now playing through the weekend. It's the story of the Tibetan Saint Milarepa and was at the Berlin, Pusan and Bangkok film festivals last year. Support your neighbors and Independent Cinema!

Sidewalk Parking on Church Ave

We've gotten a bunch of emails about the two garages on Church Ave b/w Story and Chester parking licensed and unlicensed vehicles on the sidewalks. We've dealt w this issue before and will pass on the information we received back in June when six cars and two vans (all unlicensed) were towed from that area.

At the 66 precinct there are two detectives specifically for issues like this. Both Detective Milici and Detective Galeno are within the Community Affairs Unit and can be reached at (718) 851-5601. We urge residents to call them w complaints. Lastly, all conversations w CAs are typically confidential. Basically they convey the complaint but not who it comes from.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brownstoner Profiles Park Circle

How ironic! The same day we get an email from a local wondering about the Park Circle condo's on CIA Brownstoner profiled 'em.
Condo of the Day: Park Circle (Brownstoner)

New OP Condos

New Ocean Pkwy condos for sale! The location is pretty good (right off Church Ave on east side of Ocean) and the Juliet balconies are a nice touch although a bit of a stretch unless you like to view the swoop of traffic w your morning coffee. Regardless the listing agent Kings Realty Group (917 864 3797) has a big sign on the front but we can't seem to find anything on-line. Anyone know the prices or layouts for this new OP construction?

One More Church Ave Commercial Space...

The old 'Simply The Truth' hip hop store at 53 Church Ave is up for grabs. Anyone got the juice on this one? The for rent sign (718 757 6332) doesn't list a realtor just a number. We're not sure how much foot traffic this side of the Ave. gets but hear Faro's, one block away, gets a pretty good breakfast and lunch crowd. We're of the opinion that any local store that fills a need will get people off the beaten path.

CB6 DOT meeting - Go in Support of F Express!

We got word from Gary at Brooklyn Streets that there is an upcoming meeting to get out to if you're in support of the F express. (CB6 Transportation Meeting Thursday: Congestion Pricing and 4th Avenue) The CB6 Transportation Committee is meeting this Thursday in Park Slope. Gary is hoping to be there giving each committee member a document on why congestion pricing needs to be balanced with the F/V proposal. It would be great if people who feel passionate about the F express could join Gary at the meeting. Here is the info:

Thursday, September 20th @ 6.30 pm
at Middle School 51, 350 5th Avenue (Park Slope) Auditorium

Briefing by representatives for the Department of Transportation on the Mayor's PlaNYC 2030 Transportation initiatives, which includes a proposed Congestion Pricing pilot program. The Transportation section of the plan can be reviewed in advance and is available at:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Letter to the Brooklyn Paper Editor Re: F express

In defense of the F Express plan (2nd Ave Sagas)
From Ben:
Last week, Gersh Kuntzman’s Brooklyn weekly The Brooklyn Paper ran a scathing (and, in my opinion, very short-sighted) editorial entitled “Who needs an F express?” As you may have guessed from the non-too-subtle title, Kuntzman, supposedly a champion of Brooklyn, isn’t in favor of this added train service on tracks that have existed since these subway lines opened in the 1930s.

In response to this outrageous editorial, I wrote a letter to the editor. The letter, co-signed by the other two major proponents of the F Express Plan, Gary Reilly, the driving force behind the F Express and author of Brooklyn Streets, Carroll Gardens, and Kensington (Brooklyn), disputes every contention made by The Brooklyn Paper in its editorial. While we hope the letter will appear in an upcoming issue of the paper, here it is in its entirety:

We were dismayed, surprised and saddened by your Sept. 15 editorial entitled “Who needs an F express?” Chock-full of misconceptions, gross oversimplifications and simply wrong information, the editorial provides a disservice to residents of not just Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill but to all Brooklynites who stand to benefit from express service along the F line and an overall increase of service along the Culver Line.
First among your charges is that due to a supposed bottleneck at York St., “there may not be enough capacity to add trains.” This is an unfounded claim. Elsewhere in the system – the 7 line comes to mind – where express and local tracks feed into one, express service and increased train capacity have led to a lessening of crowded trains. If our greatest concern is one focusing on a scheduling issue past Jay St./Borough Hall, the real location of the bottleneck, then we have nearly won the battle for express service.
Next up is your claim of “simple populism” levied against our local politicians. These politicians are signing on to the research we have conducted that shows our proposal is more than just “simple populism.” As we have stressed over and over again, we don’t need to build new subway tracks to increase service along the Culver Line. The express tracks – the only unused express tracks in the City – were built with the subway line in the 1920s. We don’t need the hard work, vision or money to build new subways; we just need an MTA willing to utilizing underused tracks.
With our plan encompassing V service into Brooklyn past its current Second Ave. terminus and F express service into Kensington and beyond, we fail to see how Brownstone Brooklynites won’t enjoy any benefits. The V will, in our plan, service the current F stops, and the F will service the express stations. Both trains will run frequently, and both will be less crowded.
Overall, it is true that Brooklyn – much like New York City on the whole – needs a bold vision to bring about the next generation of transit enhancements. But we can’t afford to ignore or dismiss the solution right under our noses. Brooklyn needs a restored F express and extended V local, and everyone will benefit from that service.

Graphic T's $2 at Warehouse Outlet!

If you're a certain age or just like to dress like a someone who shopped at Urban Outfitters two years ago local merchant, Warehouse Outlet (117 Church Ave), has the deal of the century. A wide assortment of hilarious (or should we say HIGH-larious) graphic t's for the low low price of $2 each. If you like to wear stuff w a picture of the state of Ohio smokin' a j and says 'oh-HIGH-oh' or 'Oh Ship' (w a picture of a ship) or just a plain 'Mr. Right... now' get your booty shakin over to Warehouse Outlet. The t's are prominently place on the outside rack and seem to be flying off the shelves inside too. Maybe Church Ave ain't so bad after all.

Church Ave Commercial Rent Scam

We were on Church Ave today and noticed the old podiatrist space was up for rent. (Don't worry the podiatrist just went across the street). Luckily for us someone already investigated the rent.
I called the number listed on the old foot doctors office today and got a quote for the rent there. I'm shocked. The women I spoke w at Kaloshi Realty quoted me $3800 a month for an 1100 sq. foot space. That's over $41 a sq. foot! Are these people outta there minds?! A similar space is up for grabs on Fort Hamilton for $14. Seriously, I have a friend in commercial realty who said this would be unheard of even in a trendy part of town.

This isn't anything new. We've heard it before and are convinced Church Ave will stay the dump it is (w quick turn over and/ or easy money businesses) until the landlords change their ways. The likely hood of a bunch of property owners deciding to charge fair rents on an Ave. that has historically been outta wack is slim to none. That being said if the stores stay vacant long enough (cough, cough old optical store at 211 Church Ave - $1100 for 500 sq feet) maybe one of 'em will get a clue.

Local Blogger Focus

Local Kensingtonian, Joyce, gets her Callaloo picked.... for soup! Joyce didn't even know she had Callaloo but that's not the point.

Crazy Daisy (Bad Girl Blog)

Monday, September 17, 2007

KWT CSA in the News!

We've joined the CSA and have so far had a great experience with it. We truly are amazed at the core groups commitment and have enjoyed meeting some neighbors through the group. We are also really surprised at the amount of people who joined this year and think its a real testament to the changes happening in the neighborhood. We hope some of those vacant shop locations take notice of this growing group too!

Neighborhood groups buy shares in a farm's harvest (NY Daily News)
Gina Duclayan, founder of the new Kensington-Windsor Terrace CSA group in Brooklyn, said the trick is making sure your share isn't bigger than your stomach.
She and her husband signed up for a half share this year. "If we got a full share, we'd have things rotting," she said.
Her group has 101 members in its first year - a success that shocked even the farmers, who found themselves caught short in their henhouse.
Their excuse was one you wouldn't likely hear at the corner store or at Whole Foods.
"They asked for people to sell back egg shares," Duclayan explained. "They weren't producing enough - and there was a weasel attack."

Kensington in the Media

Couple articles in the papers this weekend mentioned Kensington in a round about way....

Four tales of city dwellers who fled New York (Daily News)
Bonnie and Josh Bogen used to live in Kensington, Brooklyn, in a one-bedroom apartment for $750 a month. They joined a church and planned to raise a family. But after thier son was born realized they could not afford to stay on the salary Josh, 28, made as an NYU computer programmer. They moved in December 2006 and are about to buy a house in Nashville, Tennessee.

University Blues (NY Times)
Tasmim Atahar - Kensington, Brooklyn
International High School at Prospect Heights - Born June 11, 1990
“I plan to go to Lehman College. I don’t want to go away, because my family’s here and I’m very close with them. I don’t know what I’ll study yet, but I want to do better than my parents. I don’t want to struggle. But I’m not worried; I’m good at what I do. College is important because you make more money.”

New Parents Meeting - Tuesday 11am

This is a casual gathering of parents with new babies. This Tuesday, 11 am at Lonelyville Cafe on Prospect Park SW & Vanderbilt, across from the Vanderbilt Playground. If it's rainy we'll meet inside; if it's nice out look for us in the backgarden.

Kensington group on Facebook

Kensington Brooklyn Facebook Group has grown to 92 members! Seems people are trying to organize some Denny and Shenanigan evenings out on the group. Good to see people uniting here in little K-town!

House of the Day

This house has been on craigslist for quite some time. From our point of view the price would need to come down a bit to make it attractive since its currently split into what we assume are 2 or 3 rentals. Regardless, if you have the time and expertise plus a little negotiating prowess this could make a nice home. Located on E8th St. near Beverly.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Less Than $300k - Weekend Open Houses

1 bedroom on Beverly b/w 4th and 5th Sts. $240k, $485 maint.

1 bedroom (100 Ocean Pkwy, The Kensington) $285k, $453 maint. OH Sun, 12.30-2

1 bedroom (280 Ocean Pkwy) $269k, $425 maint. OH Sun, 1-3

We like the next building and know quite a few people and families that live there. We saw a few 2 beds in the building and our only hesitation w this is the open kitchen means no separate kitchen... at least in the ones we've seen.
1 bedroom at 409 Ave C. $255K, no maint. listed. OH Sun 1-2.30

The following property is a little over $300k but a 2 bed. Looks to us like they split kitchen but all the same could be helpful if you need a 2nd space. Its been on the market for some time and this (we believe) is the 2nd price drop.
2 bedroom at 36 Dahill Rd. $329k, no maint. listed. OH Sun 12-2pm

Greenwich House Pottery Fall Bazaar

Local Kensington artist and friend Adam Welch is the Assistant Director at the Greenwich House Pottery on Jones St. They are having their annual fire sale and open house Sunday Sept. 16th. We stopped by Saturday and really enjoyed the visit. Plus we picked up a few pieces for $5 and $10 each that we plan to gift at the holidays!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Kermit Place Block Party - TOMORROW!

Neighborhood Block Party on Kermit Place
(Its So Easy Being Green)
Saturday, September 15th (rain date, Sept. 16th)

11am-2pm: Crafts, face painting, games, High Noon Leap Frog Race, Giant Human Board Game, water balloon toss, Prospect Park Zoo animal games.
2pm: Story Hour sponsored by Windsor Terrace Library
3pm: Cynthia King dance studio performance
4pm: Open Mic showcase of local talent
4:30pm-7:30pm: Square Dancing (with instruction) with Dot and Don Coy
7:30pm: Raffle drawing and more open mic.
TBD: Pony rides and horse-related activities courtesy Kensington Stables

2pm on: Information and demonstration tables (groups represented:GALLOP, Kensington Stables, Stable Brooklyn Community Group,Transportation Alternatives, Windsor Terrace Library, Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Council on the Environment of NYC, Worm Composting Lady and others TBD).

9am: pancake breakfast
noon-8pm: hamburgers, hotdogs, veggie burgers, chips, drinks, bake sale

All day:
Free book table
Clothing Swap-O-Rama (bring your very good to excellent condition clothing that you no longer wear and trade it for something else)

We'll be there at some point in the day and definitely purchasing a cool Kensington Stable T-shirt!

Activities at IHM

1. Brownie and Daisy Registration - Friday September 14th 2007
3:00 pm- 5:00pm for Daises and Brownies
3:00ish- 5:30 for Juniors Cadettes and Seniors
Friday afternoons at Immaculate Heart of Mary School at Fort Hamilton Parkway.
ALL Girls Welcome!
Registration is $10 for the year. Dues are $10 monthly
All girls are required to have vest/sash/ smock (Depending on age group)
Uniform not required But Black pants and White shirt required for parade and award ceremonious. Included within dues are the projects the girls do at meetings and the snack provided at every meeting as well as badges, pins, membership card, etc....

2. Basketball registration - Saturday September 15th 10 am until noon.
Registration is for all teams and the Saturday morning clinic. Registration fees of $65 for team players and due at registration. Clinic fees $30 and uniform fees $45 will be collected at a later date. Parent must accompany child to registration. Birth certificate required for all new players.

Brennan Supports F Express w 'Conditions'

Gary has broken it down for you at Brooklyn Streets (Assemblyman Brennan on the F Express ). But here's the letter Brennan sent to the MTA and the official statement.

From Assemblyman Brennan's official statement (on his letter to the MTA) :
I support the concept of restoration of F express service and extending the G train to Church Avenue and V train service along the F line in Brooklyn. However, restoration of the F express must proceed cautiously,with extensive testing and review of track conditions. The property above the F train tunnel has experienced serious vibration and noise problems over the years, primarily in Windsor Terrace but also in Kensington and along the Ninth Street corridor. My office has intervened four times over the past 20 years to get the M.T.A. to spend millions in track renovation and repairs to protect adjacent homes and property from damage due to vibration. At this time we are sending a letter to the M.T.A. asking for extensive testing of F express service prior to the beginning of construction on the elevated platforms at Fourth Avenue and Smith-9th Street. Thank you for your efforts to raise this issue.

Brennan's letter:
Dear Mr. Sander,
Thank you for your response to my letter concerning F Line Express service. I do understand that the Culver Viaduct rehabilitation project will require use of the F Express tracks, beginning in 2008. However, the Culver Viaduct rehabilitation and bypass will have significant impact on service during the period of work and it is important for the community to have meaningful information about what to expect, especially in view of the longstanding vibration problems experienced by property owners along the F line in Windsor Terrace and Kensington.
I would therefore like to ask you to begin testing F Line Express service prior to the Culver Viaduct rehabilitation by running a limited number of express trains over these tracks over a period of 3-4 months. Such a study would provide valuable information about the current quality of the tracks, would test the impact of the service on surrounding communities, and would provide data for assessing the value and viability of re-introducing regular F Express Service after completion of the Culver Viaduct project. Given the chronic subway vibration problems in Windsor Terrace and Kensington communities, it is prudent to conduct this sort of controlled study before you begin running trains on the F Express tracks during the rehabilitation project.
I would like to invite you to come out to Brooklyn to brief the community boards and local elected officials about the service impact of the project and to begin a dialogue about restoration of the F Line Express. I would also appreciate a complete description of the schedule and impact of the rehabilitation projects, as well as a map of the location of the F Line Express tracks. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

James F. Brennan

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Local, Sam Sadigursky, Releases CD

Sam Sadigursky will be having a CD release party for the Words Project at Cornelia St. Cafe this Sunday at 8:30pm featuring the voices of Monika Heidemann and Becca Stevens.

From Sam:
The CD has been out for a few months now, but on Sunday you can hear the band live and get it at a price even Wal-Mart can't beat. We will be doing a lot of the music from the record (settings Czeslaw Milosz, Paul Auster, Pennelope Shuttle, Marina Tsvetaeva, and others) and a lot of brand new music, featuring some morose texts from Andrew Boyd's "Daily Afflictions" as well as a poems with titles such as "Safe Sex," "What A Woman Wants," "When Death Comes," and "The Dream Keeper," by poets ranging from Langston Hughes to David Ignatow.

Here's a review from TimeOutNY on the Word Project.

Dew-Claw (debut!)

Kensington residents Dave Rick (Bongwater, King Missile, Phantom Tollbooth) and Colette Russen (Thee Casino Royales, Kin) are assisting former HypnoLoveWheel singer and guitarist Stephen Hunking in the debut of DEW-CLAW. Keeping it in the family, THE SPECIAL PILLOW is led by former Hypno singer/bassist Dan Cuddy and features ex-Hypno drummer Peter Walsh.

Saturday, September 15 at Magnetic Field 97 Atlantic Avenue at 8:00 pm ($7 cover)

Stephen Hunking - singer, songs, weird guitar (ex-Hypnolovewheel)
Dave Rick - mostly kinda cool vintage gear (ex-Bongwater, PhantomTollbooth, King Missile; also with Overcat, Wide Right, the Martinets)
Colette Russen - really cool Kimberly Les Paul bass (ex-Thee CasinoRoyales, Kin)
Dan Spagna - Rockabilly sticks! (ex-Building 6)

Replacement Trees for Kensington.... at some point

So that spot on Albemarle that lost a tree to the tornado.... good news! We got to meet the contractors today (from the city) who told us the city plans on replacing many of the trees that were lost to the tornado. Above are a couple of the pictures we were able to take before they started working and as they were about to pour the concrete. You'll see they left a little area for the replacement tree. Unfortunately the parks departments will do the tree replacement which will either happen in Oct/ Nov or April/ May.

Brooklyn Paper Blasts F Express!

The Brooklyn Paper posted an editorial on the F express this morning that we found pretty short sided. Who needs an F express? Here are a few of the items we'd like to address...

1. F express would speed right through most of Brownstone Brooklyn — quickly shuttling residents of such southern Brooklyn neighborhoods as Coney Island and Borough Park, while leaving everyone between Park Slope’s sole F-express stop and Downtown Brooklyn standing on the platform.
Statistically the majority of F riders get off at Carroll or Bergen, 7th Ave and Church. With an express those of us further out would get to our location more quickly while opening seats for those on the local. Obviously the riders at Carroll and Bergen would be unaffected by an express although those trains would be considerably less crowded. Meanwhile those of us at Church and 7th Ave would finally be able to make it to our destination like we were a few stops closer (and maybe even get a seat at rush hour!).
2. So while residents of southern Brooklyn may get to enjoy a speedier commute, Brownstone Brooklynites will likely be facing the same overcrowded local trains as before.
Why shouldn't those of us a bit further out be able to get to the city quicker? Because we don't have the dough or desire to live further north does that make us less important!? And if a bunch of us are hopping on the express trains at Church, 7th and Jay local spots would be less crowded - duh!
3. Meanwhile, lost in the deal, is the previously announced extension of the G train into Park Slope that would have provided a direct mass transit link between Park Slope and Williamsburg, with Fort Greene and Clinton Hill in between. The G train currently terminates — unsatisfactorily — at Smith-Ninth Street.
We've heard the extension of the G won't start until 2009 which is really annoying considering the G runs through on the weekends to turn around. However, even though its fun to go to Clinton Hill or Williamsburg or Greenpoint do many people have the need to go to those areas daily from Kensington to work?

What do you guys think about the BPs Editorial on the F express?

Extending the Borders ... again!

Since when is Nostrand and Winthrop Kensington?

It happened outside "Happy Child Day Care Center" near Nostrand Avenue and Winthrop Street in the Kensington section. Teen fatally shot outside Brooklyn daycare

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rumour of the Day - On the Go!

A rumour has been floating around that the local 'On the Go!' station on the corner of McDonald Ave b/w Fort Hamilton and Caton Ave. would start including a diesel pumping station. Luckily this rumour is false. We were forwarded a letter to de Blasio from ExxonMobil Customer Relations stating:

Our office contacted the store manager responsible for the Mobil station located on 3132 Ft. Hamilton Parkway and discussed the concern in detail. He stated that he is not aware of any plans to install diesel at this location due to the parking lot being too small to accommodate a diesel tank and pump.

There you have it, no diesel.

Federal Funds for Tornado Mess

We've sort of been wondering when repairs will start on local sidewalks. The recent tornado uprooted trees so that the surrounding concrete came up with them. There are at least 4 spots that we know of that still look like the picture above. Hello, this is now over a month and basic repairs have not been made to Kensington's sidewalks!

Whether it has been the recent kick in of federal funds (Bush releases tornado relief funds to Brooklyn) or the city finally making there way to Kensington we did see one spot on Albemarle yesterday with cones and signs. Unfortunately, this is not a trend and didn't see any workers at that spot this morning. We urge you to call 311 about unsafe sidewalk conditions to get these repairs done more quickly. Also request tree replacements for these locations!

Speaking of Trees and the Tornado

Before the tornado there was a beautiful tree in the spot pictured above on the north east corner of Church Ave and Ocean Pkwy. Unfortunately, the spot was quickly concreted over! This spot really needs that shade and is right near the express bus stop! We want our tree back!

F Express - MTA's Olive Branch?

The Gowanus Lounge saw MTA rep. Andrew Ingeslby at a meeting in Carrol Gardens and here's what he had to say....
Mr. Inglesby reiterated that work on the Culver Viaduct, which runs above-ground between the Carroll Street Station and the Fourth Avenue Station, is a critical capital project and that work must be completed before an F Express can be put in place. He said the viaduct is "in extreme need of repair." Netting and tarp have surrounded the viaduct for about five years to keep chunks of concrete from falling. The MTA expects to award contracts for the work next year. "F Express service just can't happen until the end of that period." He said the work will result in "an automatic elimination of any F Express."The transit official did offer possibility that if work on the viaduct project is "significantly delayed" by a year or more, then the Transit Authority "will go ahead and examine the possibility of putting in an F Express." Express service would depend on the availability of cars and funding. So, an F Express could make an appearance for a year or 18 months, if there is a delay in the big repair project.

Ben at 2nd Ave Sagas saw some good in this news...
Wouldn’t that be a tantalizing tease from the Transportation Authority? Knowing their track record on major construction projects — Times Square BMT corridor or that Cortlandt St. project, anyone? — we have every reason to believe that they could fall behind. So for a few months, Brooklyn could end up with our coveted express service. But only for a short time before it has to be shut down again.

No word yet from Gary at Brooklyn Streets who has been leading the F express charge.

Finally, a representative from the MTA will be speaking at the October ANA meeting (date to be announced) to update folks on the elevators. We urge all residents to attend the meeting and speak out for the F express.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Daffodils to Commemorate 9/11

The city gives out free daffodil bulbs for neglected public spaces to commemorate 9/11. We have many spaces in Kensington that could use a little yellow. First step is to order the bulbs here ( Second organize your friends and neighbors for a planting day.

Our thoughts go out to those who lost friends and loved ones on this day.

Worst or Artist Expression?

From Brownstoner: Leonard Lopate has just kicked off a contest to find the worst buildings in New York City.
Is there a building in New York that you thinks is really ugly, or has a fatal design flaw? Think that house or parking garage in your neighborhood is an eyesore? Then take a photo, and send it to us!

We go back and forth w the above house on E8th St. Do you think is a nominee or interesting artistic expression? (By the way! We have to update the picture also b/c the owner just painted on American flags underneath each porch light).

Available Commerical Space

The former Salon on Fort Hamilton near Thai Tonys (b/w East 2nd and 3rd) has finally been cleared for rent. We hear there was some issue w the last renter and court and blah blah blah... Regardless, the approx. 1000 sq foot space will be renting for $1300 a month. That means the price per foot is approx. $16. We think this is totally in the price range of the neighborhood and considering all we need in these parts could really foster some great community support and business. If you are interested in the landlords number email us off blog -

What do YOU think the neighborhood could use?

Monday, September 10, 2007

WT Library Friends Meeting and Fall Programs

Friends of WT Library meeting Monday!

Group will discuss upcoming toy sale/children's concert on October 20 and November 17 bake sale. Come and participate with the Friends Group's purchase of books for the WT library.

WT Library Friends Group - Monday, September. 10 at 6:30 pm
Meeting Room
The library is located on the corner of E.5th and Ft. Hamilton Pkwy.

Also the WT library's Babies & Books as well as other children's Fall programs are beginning this week. Info and times posted in the library!

The Kensington branch also has programs including the current Reading is Fundamental program plus a showing of DreamsGirls on Sept. 27th at 2pm

New Store Alert! Hamilton Dog House

The former fruit stand "Tutti Frutti" will soon be opening as a pet supply store that will specialize in boarding and adoptions. We've been hasselling Sean Casey the owner of where the location would be after reading, You'll love going to the Dawgs, in the Daily News.

Sean Casey Animal Rescue (, a Brooklyn-based rescue group that's poised to open a retail pet-supply store and adoption center in nearby Kensington.
After someone posted the info to the KWT on Friday Sean sent us a nice email saying they are hoping to open on or around October 1st!!!

The Hamilton Dog House
135 E. 3rd Street (between Caton Ave & Ft. Hamilton Pkwy)

For Rent - Kensington

We sort of felt left out of this article in the Daily News, Finding deals in city's pricey rental market. Kensington is approx. the same commuting time to mid-town as Inwood and one beds run in the $1000 to $1200 range. Plus although we complain about the F it is way less crowded then the L and much more reliable then the JMZ. (We are also a quick bus ride over to the Q). So Kensington doesn't necessarily have the drip of cool as say a Bushwick does these days BUT we like it here and only see it getting better and better. For you renters here's what we got...

$925 L-shaped Studio on Ocean Pkwy & Ditmas Ave

$1100 1 Bed Attic Apt. on E8th & Cortelyou (This does specify itself as a attic apt w some sloping ceilings!)

$2200 2/3 Bedroom in Victorian Home near F at Church Ave.

Disclaimer - we have not checked any of these listings and can not verify the ads truthfulness or claims.

Craft time @ Greenwood Playground

On Monday (Sept 10) at the Greenwood Playground, local parent, Tracy O'Connor is offering a craft class at 3:30. In fact she is in need of egg cartons (if you would like to donate one please drop them off at the parks house). After school at 3.30 bring your child by for free craft time! The project is making caterpillars out of old egg cartons with paint, markers, pipe cleaners, some glue. Probably suitable for ages 3-7.

We'd also like to give Tracy some props here for volunteering her time. Previously the craft time was being coordinated by the Friends of Greenwood Playground group but offered by the Greenwood Playground Parks Associate. The PA was moved rather then allow for the craft time to be cancelled Stacy stepped up and offered to host the craft time. Just one of the reasons why this community works! Thanks Stacy!

If you are interested in volunteering with the Friends of Greenwood group let Tracy know at craft time today or email (we'll be posting this address as soon as we get permission).

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Kensington Facebook Page

Kensington got a Facebook page. Big shout out to Steve and Jake for putting this together and being the ground's keepers of this. Anyway, we don't know exactly what this all means since we've never been on any of these sites before but we joined. Now Kensington residents can be 'friends' and have 'discussions' and get to see some of the people who comment regularly on the blog b/c they have pictures up! Join! Kensington (Brooklyn) Facebook page.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Shenanigan's Karoake Every Saturday Night

This popped up in the inbox and we wanted to share it with all of you since we're a supporter of all local biz and Saturday is just around the corner.

Hi, I’ve seen some of the posts about people going to Shenanigans and how some people are shy about going in. My good friend Eddie Mack hosts the Karaoke there on Saturday nights and when he can't show up I am your host for the evening. It is such a great time and I wish we can get even more newbies in the neighborhood to come on by. - Jeff

Jeff thanks for the email! We've heard great things about Saturday nights at Shenanigans and although we haven't gone to karoake speficially really dig the backyard and week day bartender. Whenever we've popped in we've found the regulars very welcoming. Maybe an upcoming Saturday we should plan a get together? Anyone want to toss out a date? (Jeff we'll also need the start time for the karaoke). We also suggest posting a flyer at the former Savoy and current student dorm on McDonald Ave so we can meet some of the kids! Oh and in case you didn't know Shenanigan's is located on Caton Ave b/w E7th and E8th Streets.

Foodtown Reno, The Presentation

First off a huge thank you to Larry and the ANA for coordinating an informative and interesting meeting! Secondly, a big SIGH at the lack of representation by the 'newbies'. In the standing room only crowd we only recognized a few of the folks we’ve worked with on community issues. We could also sort of tell that the three of us were in the minority and didn’t notice very many residents in attendance who could have been new to the ‘hood. Meetings like this are huge opportunities for both long time and newer residents to come together and voice concerns and interests in one forum. Besides that many of the updates or changes often talked about within the comments section of this blog can’t be developed without your support outside of this blog. (We will now step down off our soapbox). Here is what we got from the meeting:

1. The store has not been renovated since the Katz’s took it over in 1990. The MTA construction put on hold the renovation which the owners had been planning to make. From our point of view this may have worked out in our favor since the blog facilitated opinions the owners had no idea were out there. (We heard from both owners, the regional rep and the manager at separate times in the evening that no one knew a newer community existed in Kensington who wanted a wider variety of products). Noah called this a gut job which will take approximately six to eight months. Renovations will take place in off hours so that people will still have the ability to shop.

2. The renovation will overhaul the entire inside and outside of the store. A new glass entrance (stroller friendly) will be installed. A new façade will be built with an entrance tower. Softer lightening will be introduced. The aisles will widen by moving the deli counter and the office which are currently in the front of the store. The refrigeration section near the current deli will be moved back opening up 1000 sq. feet. (They will also be moving the storage downstairs by installing a freight elevator).

3. A wider variety of products will be introduced by heightening shelves and installing shelves with multiple levels. For instance, the produce section will quadruple in variety and include organic produce. Also of note the store will be including natural products by UNFI who also supplies Whole Foods. (At a similar store outside NYC Foodtown stocks 176 varieties of organic and natural products so they have the understanding on what to incorporate).

4. The renovation will also introduce a bakery, cheese fridge, cold beer fridge, a wider meat selection and a new fish area. We were also told a Foodtown fish and meat expert will be coming to the store to help implement the changes. Lastly, the new bakery section will allow for cakes to be ordered with choice of decorations for birthdays or parties.

5. Regardless of the renovations the owners stressed that prices will not increase. They noted their prices are always competitive with other stores and in fact have a team that checks area stores to be sure they are better. They even stressed residents sign up for and use their green point system which tracks what you spend in the store and rewards customers with offers for free products for a certain quantity of points. (We subscribe to the green points and though we tend not to read the circulars were enticed a few times by the points displays. We’ve gotten free peanut butter and paper towels).

We are very excited about the upcoming changes and plan to start shopping more regularly at Foodtown. We truly feel their commitment to the neighborhood and quick response to residents concerns is commendeable. If this renovation is half of what we were presented it could be a huge positive for the neighborhood. And at the end of the day we would much rather spend our cash in good ole Kensington then trek to Fairway. From everything we heard it could certainly rival some of what is offered a pain in the butt car ride away (ok they may not have the cranberry walnut bread for $5 but we’re ok with that!). We hope you all too will start giving it a try.

A lesson for the singles

Ok so it didn't happen in Kensington but ....

Bad guest A 34-year-old St. Marks Avenue woman told cops that she had met a man on Aug. 24 at an unidentified bar. She shared a cab with him back to her place, which is between Fifth and Sixth avenues, at around 3 am. While she was in the bathroom, he filled his bag with her equipment and cash. She reported the crime three days later.

Like the potential for some booty wasn't enough (oh gosh, we hope he didn't take her stuff and run after the fact!) the guy this lady brought home steals her stuff! To all the single lady's in the hood - don't bring boys home right away! Let him take you to dinner first. If he pays that'll show you can trust him. (Direct dating questions to its a new service we're offering free of charge).

Weekend To Do (Non-Kensington)

1. Brownstoner's SalvageFest!
Saturday, Sept. 8, 10am - 4pm at PS 11 in Clinton Hill
2. Multi-family stoop sale Saturday Sept. 8th 9am - 4pm. On Windsor Place between 8th and Prospect Park West (Windsor Place is between Prospect ave and 16th street).
3. Ten family sidewalk sale in Windsor Terrace Saturday September 8th, 11 am - 4 pm. Temple Court, off of Seeley Street, near the intersection of Seeley and Prospect Park Southwest
4. Opera in Red Hook
The opera will be performed by Vertical Player Repertory and hosted by American Stevedoring, the operators of the Red Hook container port in Brooklyn. The tanker is the stage; the audience sits on the pier.
5. Stop by KWT CSA distribution at E4th Community Garden from 10.30-12 to see chef Adrienne Posner giving a cooking demonstration using CSA vegetables.
6. Saturday block party on E5th St. b/w Church Ave and Albemarle.

Got any others? Email us at

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Albemarle Neighborhood Assoc. will be hosting Foodtown at their meeting tonight. All interested in Foodtown's upcoming renovation should attend! Owners Dan and Noah are looking for local resident input!
Thursday September 6th
6.30 pm
Flatbush Shaare Torah Jewish Center, 327 E. 5th Street off Church Ave.

Local Blogger Focus

Who knew we had a local blogger profiling music and bands a la Brooklyn Vegan or Stereogum right here in Kensington! T-Sides gives good links and info on the bands many of us may only know of b/c of the KEXP stream. Interesting and informative with a couple free downloads tossed in... T-Sides

On a side note T-Sides and the roomies are looking for a new (3 bed) apartment here in Kensington. If you have any info please contact Taylor at

Less Than $300K

Although there are no exterior photos the listing says Ocean Pkwy at Church Ave. It could be one of the many buildings nearby and sort of looks post-war b/c of the triplet of windows in the bed and living room. The lack of a known realtor and the 'fee' makes this a little suspect but hey, the maintaince is low! $240000 Newly RENOVATED Beautiful Co-Op

RIP Music Ambassador

We noticed these guys moving out in June and wanted to post something on it for a bit but didn't have the knowledge. Thankfully Kensington local DJ DRM came to our rescue. Here it is.

It should be noted that the Music Ambassador distributor at 2902 Fort Hamilton Parkway has shut its doors forever. It's yet another closing in a disturbing trend to DJs who are vinyl junkies such as myself.

Music Ambassador, while doing full length LPs and CDs, specialized in 7"reggae singles - from the classic 1960s ska and rock steady to modern dance hall and everything in between. Many people would be surprised to even learn that 7"s still exist, but for the last (almost) fifty years -it has been the Jamaican and Reggae community at large, #1 method for getting music around the world. To this day, the country of Jamaica produces more music per capita than any other country in the world (including the United States), most of it on 7" vinyl. It's sad to see another vestibule for this unique form of media and the beautiful, incredibly diverse style of music it holds close it's doors....especially in our own Kensington.

Music Ambassador was a unique, personal distributor. They'd let you come in and shop directly off their shelves, and use their own turntable and sound system to preview music. And even though this was their office and they had plenty of work to do - they never seemed to mind a couple of goofy DJs blasting tune after tune after tune. I spent more money than I care to know in Music Ambassador - but it was money well spent.

RIP Music Ambassador.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Local Blogger Focus

Post reporter and local Kensintonian, Jeremy Olshan, is about to embark on being a father of twins after a long process of IVF (Battling Sperm Limits My Fight With A Fertile Hurdle). He's chronicled it all on the NY Post blog, Mechanical Reproduction. Surprisingly its a fun and interesting read. Plus from what we hear many couples battle with this decision (in their case, if you read, the intro there was no choice). Also we know of at least 3 sets of twins in Kensington and one set of triplets. Jeremy, seems like you guys will be in good company here!

House of the Day

One of the historic (though not denoted as such) Ocean Pkwy lime stones is for sale. Unfortunately, only the beginning of its renovated missteps is the front stoop has been removed and replaced w a door where a window should be. From the listing we've gathered this may be a flip and a crappy one at that. And who, exactly uses Foxtons? Anyway, the logistics are that it has 8 bedrooms and 3 baths but we think the flippers configuration sort of sucks. If you were able to get this pre-updates we'd think most people who have done a first floor rental with upstairs duplex. The cost by the way is $1.2 million.

NY Taxi Drivers Strike - Kensington a stream of yellow

NY Taxi drivers have decided to strike which contributed to the streets of Kensington being much brighter this morning. Seriously, on our little 4 block walk we spotted at least 6 parked yellow NYC taxis! Who knew how many drivers lived among us? (Should be posting some pictures this evening after the normal gig).

Pilates Mat Class at Cynthia King

Over the bridge and within walking distance!

Starting Sunday, September 16th Cynthia King will be offering a Beginner Pilates Mat class series at 10:00 a.m. The class will last for 6 weeks and after that time it will be determined if more class times should be added. The cost of the series is $95. All beginner students are encouraged to attend! Pilates is a great way to strenghten your abs, increase your flexibility, and challenge yourself with something new. Cynthia has mats available for use but feel free to bring your own or to bring a towel to place over the mat if you like.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back to School

Those trains and buses will be more crowded today. It's the first day of school. Best of luck to all the teachers and students at all our local schools - PS130, PS179, PS 230, PS 230 Annex, IHM and IS62.

Foodtown Meeting

Albemarle Neighborhood Assoc. will be hosting Foodtown at their meeting this Thursday. All interested in Foodtown's upcoming renovation should attend! Owners Dan and Noah are looking for local resident input!

Thursday September 6th
6.30 pm
Flatbush Shaare Torah Jewish Center, 327 E. 5th Street off Church Ave.

Local New Parent Group - Meets Tuesday

Meet other Windsor Terrace and Kensington parents! Join them on Tuesday, September 4 at 11:00 am at Lonelyville (154 Prospect Park Southwest). All parents with newborns/infants are welcome to join whether this is your first or second edition!

'Newbies' take over local drink spot, Dennys

So we got word the impromptu Kensington evening at Denny's was pretty successful. About 6 people showed up and had drinks until the wee hours. We did get back that the locals were pretty territorial of the jukebox! Also had a good laugh that blog reader Holly dropped her drink and was down graded to plastic cups the rest of the evening! We think that is hysterical. Add any other good stories to the comments section.

So we want to try this again some Friday evening or Saturday at Shenanigans when us bloggers will actually be around... next 2 weekends are sort of booked but maybe the 21st before Yom Kippur? And maybe this time we can do it a little earlier for the lame-o's who like to be in jammies by 10.30pm (namely us on a Friday).