Saturday, May 31, 2008

Anyone try Los Caudillos?

"Los Caudillos" at 37-12 13 Avenue.
Open every day, 21 hours a day.
Mexican plus everything else.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Local Movie Shoot?
Today as I was walking to the F I noticed some Kaufman-Astoria movie equipment trucks on Macdonald Avenue. According to those paper no parking signs, they are filming some scenes for the remake of “Taking of Pelham 123”.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


We've gotten a lot of requests to add a forum to the blog... Does anyone know HOW to do that? If so, can you email us and give us the info?

In the meantime we got this from a new resident:
I'm moving from Prospect Heights to Kensington in a couple of weeks and was bummed to find how few neighborhoodies were posting on the message board for the nabe. Perhaps if you link to it on your blog, the day to day traffic will increase and we can begin to build an e-community.
Here's the direct link to our board:

Local Bodega Robbery

A&M Market was broken into some time around 3 am Wednesday morning.

From a neighbor: Poor Mohammad, the BEST deli owner ever, had JUST come back from visiting his family. His cousins had been running it in absentia and he’d JUST come back yesterday, just to have it broken into that night. I couldn’t tell what they took but saw Mohammad and the landlord cleaning some tags off the glass.


FREE dance performance at Greenwood Playground this weekend!
Saturday, May 31st at 2 PM
All ages are invited to enjoy Splash!, a dance performance presented by Cynthia King Dance Studios at Greenwood Playground, on E. 5th St. between Ft. Hamilton Pkwy and Greenwood Ave.

Best Brownstoner Comment re: Living in Article

Wow! The secret is out!
Poster from Manhattan - I dare you to walk down East 4th street between Caton and Beverly Road. I doubt you'll think it's ugly. It's also just a 5-10 minute walk to Prospect Park.

Kensington has many advantages:
NO RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE RENOVATIONS! Most of Ditmas Park is landmarked. Not Kensington. It means that you don't have to deal with the expense and hassle doing landmark-quality upgrades and renovations. That said, people still have taste and don't turn their homes into Fedders extravaganzas.
There are also many 2 and 3 family homes available. That means that if you're a modest person looking for an investment, you can find a nice house with a yard and a basement, AND have people help you pay your mortgage. Ditmas Park has few multi-family homes. Also, homes are cheap enough that the rental income will actually make a dent in your mortgage.
Most homes are detached. I had no idea how much natural light the 5 feet between me and my neighbor's house would allow. It's made me realize that living in a brownstone is like living in a dungeon.

Check out and you'll find great reviews for PS 130 and 230.

13 minutes to Wall Street if you take the express bus from Church and Ocean Parkway. 30 or so minutes to midtown. Take that Park Slope, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill!

So what if we don't have any yuppified restaurants. Besides, I've learned to cook many authentic international dishes since moving here - Bangladeshi biryani, tacos with cecina (salted Mexican beef), russian stuffed cabbage, etc.

Kensington is what America should be all about - taking advantage of the unique ability to live side-by-side with people from all over the world. Have you ever been to freaking Europe? It's the most xenophobic, homogenous place...reminds me of Manhattan.

And regardless of what the haters say - THERE IS STUFF TO DO!
Try going to Prospect Park, riding horses, using the bike path to travel to Coney Island, playing tennis at the Prospect Park Tennis Center, hanging out on Cortelyou Road just over the border in Ditmas Park, bargain hunting at the various $2 stores where you can pick up samples and overstock from Banana Republic, Sigrid Olsen, Levi's, etc.,
Oh - and NYC Icy, formerly of the East Village, just opened up just off of Coney Island Avenue. Try their mexican chocolate! Yummy!

Unlike Ditmas Park, this is a neighborhood in which people don't hire gardeners, so you'll probably end up spending a lot of free time chatting with your neighbors as you weed your lawn or plant flowers. There's a real sense of community. And, unlike Ditmas Park, people actually use their porches!

The only thing lacking is a coffee shop. And it would be great if the coffee shop catered to ALL of the residents by serving various teas - masala chai, russian teas, polish teas, cafe con leche, mexican hot chocolate, whatever the Israelis drink, and good-old-fashioned yuppie-caliber coffee.

To people considering moving here - please don't...unless you value the diversity of our community and are willing to work to preserve it. Please don't come here begging for a Blue Ribbon outlet or a Starbucks. I'll have to kick your ass.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Community Call to Action

Please help your neighbors west of Church! Above is one view of the 'vacant' lot at 31-35 Church Ave. Local residents have been asking people to call Greiner-Maltz (the broker) and tell them to clean up the lot. If you'd like to put an end to this mess please call and leave a quick message. One neighbor has had rats come from this lot into her yard for years but her complaints have gone without response. We are told that with the exception of the garbage the lot has sat empty over twenty years! Below is the information from local residents for the broker of the lot. Please call and tell them to keep Church Ave. clean!
Greiner-Maltz (broker)
lot at 31-35 Church Ave
Check out the post and subsequent comments on Brownstoner regarding the Kensington article in this weekend's Living In section...
Times Tackles Kensington, Sees Affordable Melting Pot

Monday, May 26, 2008

West End of Church - An Update

From a neighbor:

Triangle Below Greenwood Cemetery is Moving Along!
A few recent changes down on this end would include the greenification of Church Ave with a few new trees, the new Taco King on Church Ave at Story St. that makes their tortillas fresh to order, and the new video store /internet cafe just off of Church at Dahill. Things are definitely moving along on the west end of Church!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Where the Locals at?

Local Kensington girl, Angie Pontani (with her sisters) featured in Burlesque Makes a Comeback NY Times multi-media slide show! Also check out the article, The Almost Naked City

NY Times Article

Living in Kensington, Brooklyn
Name From London, People From Everywhere
The Kensington area of Brooklyn, with lower prices and a slower pace than “brownstone Brooklyn,” offers an increasingly popular alternative to the borough’s more gentrified neighborhoods.

Side note....
Did anyone else notice the second "On the Market" listing was a 1 bedroom at 235 Ocean Parkway that seemed way out of range? ($410k for a 1 bedroom in Kensington! We just saw a great real 2 bedroom for $420k)

Available Artist Studio?!

Could this be in the building near Bergament that we and other locals have been trying to contact for artist space for a year now?

Friday, May 23, 2008

ANA Meeting Minutes

Albemarle Neighborhood Association Meeting Minutes - May 15, 2008
By-laws: Copies of the by-laws were distributed. Written in 1973, they have not been revised since 1980. The street boundaries of ANA have never been changed, but they can be so that people currently living outside of the boundaries will be able to join ANA. A By-laws Committee is needed to amend the by-laws. The committee would work during the summer and make recommendations to the membership at the September meeting.

Elections: The Vice President and the Treasurer want to retire from the Board. The Treasurer described the job’s duties. Elections will be held at the September meeting.

Financial report: The Treasurer’s Financial Report for 2007 was distributed. It includes information on the balance in ANA’s checking account at Astoria Federal Savings as of December 31, 2007 ($4,861.99), deposits ($1,715) and disbursements ($932.50) made in 2007, and the proposed budget for 2008, including proposed income ($900) and proposed expenses ($900). Dues collected in 2007 totaled $215; proposed dues collected in 2008 total $900, reflecting ANA’s desire to increase the size of its membership.

Publicizing meetings: It is illegal to post meeting announcements on street lights. From now on, announcements of upcoming meetings might be limited to being mailed, left in apartment buildings and the bank lobby, and placed in store windows.

Communications Committee: Scott Allinson reported on the discussions held at the committee’s first meeting, including revamping the newsletter, letters, flyers, and logo and creating an online presence for ANA. Larry Jayson said that a column for e-mail addresses will be added to the attendance sheet.

Increasing membership: In the past, an individual living in an apartment building could not be a member unless her or his building had both a floor captain and a building representative. This requirement can be dropped so that an individual living in an apartment building can become a member. Also, each block had to have a block captain. The floor and block captains collected dues by going door-to-door on their blocks or in their buildings. Kensington is a diverse neighborhood, and new members can be brought in by setting a common goal.

ANA meets in a synagogue because the meeting room is large enough and the fee is low. However, some neighbors might hesitate to enter a synagogue.

Business membership might be reinstituted at a cost of $25 per year. Business members are entitled to a free ad in ANA’s newsletter. Stores that had been members gave discounts to ANA members.

Kensington Post Office: Larry received a phone call and e-mail from the office of Kensington’s Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke. He also got a call from a representative of the USPS. Larry is not able to go to a USPS meeting that will be held at the Cadman Plaza Post Office on Wednesday, May 21st, at 11 a.m., so someone at the meeting volunteered to go in his place. Larry will monitor the results. Someone else at the meeting reported that she got a piece of mail from the USPS inviting her to participate in a confidential national volunteer panel. The volunteers are sent three to six test pieces of mail every day by the USPS to measure the reliability of mail delivery in various neighborhoods.

Foodtown: The manager says that the renovations will be completed by the end of June. New floors will be installed.

Astoria Federal Savings: Larry has been seeing more tellers in the bank. The bank’s regional representative will speak at our June meeting.

MTA elevator: Andy Inglesby of the MTA told Larry on May 12th that the elevator on McDonald Ave. near Church Ave. will be finished and operational by June 30th.

Graffiti: The city cleaned off the graffiti that was on the computer store at Church Ave. and E. 4th Street.

Speeding cars: Some streets need traffic lights or stop signs. It might be easier to get speed bumps.

Buses: People are confused about which of the former Command Bus Company’s lines (B1, B2, B3, and B4) are still in service and which stops they make (Command was a private company that merged with the MTA in December 2005, but people in the neighborhood still call it Command). The bus provides local service within Brooklyn and express service to Manhattan. People said that the buses seem to be bypassing Ocean Parkway. Larry will contact our elected officials and find out if that is the case.

Meeting schedule: ANA does not meet in July or August. The Executive Committee does meet, especially if an emergency arises that it needs to deal with.

Next meeting date: The next meeting will be held on Thursday, June 12th. We will meet outdoors on Albemarle Road between E. 4th and E. 5th streets, weather permitting. Bring a chair to sit on.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Greenwood Playground Events

Upcoming Free events at Greenwood Playground:
1. This Saturday, May 24th at 10:00 MUSIC FOR TODDLERS Get ready to jump, sing and dance with Playground of Sound Music teacher Michael Harren. (birth to 4)
2. Saturday, May 31, 2:00 SPLASH, a dance performance presented by Cynthia King
3. June 24th, 10:00 COLOR CONUNDRUM, a Prospect Park Zoo puppet show. (ages 3-6)
4. Weekly beginning in July (day to be decided) 10:00-2:00 ART IN THE PARK Art programming in the playground
5. MEETING with Friends of Greenwood Playground Wednesday May 28th, Crossroads Cafe 7:00

FYI: we need new members. This will be the last season of free parkprogramming unless new members step up. Next year we will have all theoverflow of Vanderbilt playground when that closes for renovation. Itwould be great to have a playground committee still in existance.

Memorial for Linda Woo

On the morning of May 16th, 2008, beloved Kyung-Sook "Linda" Woo, 63, who owned the Eden Dry Cleaners at 10th Avenue and Windsor Place in Windsor Terrace, was found dead in her store. Mrs. Woo had owned the shop for years after moving here from Korea and used to live across the street with her family before moving to Queens. Jamal Winter, 22, is being held without bail in connection with the death. He was arraigned on first and second degree murder charges and first degree robbery. At the time of this tragedy, Winter was out on bail on another robbery case and was scheduled to go on trial for that case in June.

Thanks to Robert Bello Landscaping for donating the tree, to The NYC Parks Department for arranging a speedy tree planting, and to Clieve Christian and the Prospect Park Commerce Bank for generously helping set up the Linda Woo Memorial Fund. The fund will pay for a plaque to be placed under the tree and for a fence to enclose the tree's base. After these items are paid for, any additional funds will be given to Mrs. Woo's family to use at their discretion.

There are several ways to contribute to the fund:
1) Checks can be made out to the Linda Woo Memorial Fund, placed in an envelope marked "Memorial Fund" and dropped in the mail slots of either 243 Windsor Place- beginning Tuesday May 27th, or 18 Reeve Place- beginning immediately.

2) Checks can be made out to the Linda Woo Memorial Fund and mailed to:
The Linda Woo Memorial Fund
c/o Brenna Beirne
711 Greenwood Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11218

3)You may go to and donate to this account which has been created specifically for this memorial fund -note that the purpose of your donation is for the Linda Woo memorial fund. Paypal accepts major credit cards.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Update on Church Ave. Petition

Dear Neighbors,
It was announced to your moderator on 16MAY08 that cleaning to the end of Church Ave will start immediately with no loss on the OP side on Church Ave.
Tom Gray
District Director
City Council Member Bill de Blasio

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Need more Friends...

The Friends of Greenwood Playground are looking for new members to help us continue to make the playground a safe and fun place for families in our community. The Friends raise money, organize events, and raise awareness about issues facing the playground. Involvement is minimal – we generally correspond through email and work quickly and efficiently. We’ve got lots of fun stuff planned this summer for the playground, which is located on East 5th Street between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Greenwood Avenue.
If you’d like to become more involved with the playground, meet other concerned neighbors, and do some good for our community, please join us on Wednesday, May 28th at 7:00 p.m. for a brief introductory meeting at Crossroads Cafe (1241A Prospect Avenue @ Reeve Place).

Many thanks,
The Friends of Greenwood Playground

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Old Estelle = New Sushi?

We heard a rumour that the old space where Estelle was will be a sushi joint... is it true?

Sign the Petition!

Sign the Petition!
New York City Council Member Bill de Blasio, who represents Brooklyn's 39th Council District (including the neighborhoods of Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington and Borough Park), has been taking steps to improve our wonderful neighborhoods. Recently he applied for, and received, a grant in the sum of $25,000 to have Ready, Willing and Able cleanup Church Ave between Coney Island Avenue and Dahill Road. Many members of our community in Kensington think that this effort stops short of its goal because it excludes the clean-up of the last three blocks of Church Ave between Dahill Road and 36th street. These 3 blocks are perhaps the dirtiest and most neglected part of Church Avenue by the F train. We seek to have members of our communities in Kensington and Borough Park to sign this petition to urge Council member de Blasio to clean-up Church Avenue's worst parts south of Dahill Road-- especially the 3 blocks from 36th street to Dahill here in Kensington.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kensington Blog - The Future

The future of the K-blog is for now unknown. We haven't had any time to post as our real life has taken over... we hope to be back at it "regularly" soon (maybe over the summer?). Is there anyone in the meantime that wants to take over? We can give you a direct link here?

ANA Meeting

The next ANA meeting is Thursday, May 15th, 7PM @Shaare Torah on E5th street.

New Trees!

One small step for Brooklyn one large step for Kensington! On the north corner of Church Ave b/w Ocean Pkwy and East 5th.