Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Local Blog For Local People

I've been meaning to signpost the Kensington (Brooklyn) blog for a while now. It's a blog that covers the part of Brooklyn that Kara and I live in.

Sandwiched between better known neighbourhoods such as Borough Park, Ditmas and Windsor Terrace/Park Slope, for some reason not a lot of people know about Kensington, which may explain why it is one of last affordable places in Central Brooklyn, but the blog (or at least the anonymous comments it generates) reflects the gradual change in the area.

The area is predominately made up of Bangladeshi, Albanian, Hispanic, Polish, Russian and East Asian communities - historically it was Irish and Italian - but in the last year and a bit Kensington has experienced an influx of twentysomethings who have been priced out of renting in parts of Brooklyn such as Park Slope or Williamsburg, and have plumped for Kensington because of its centrality, relative affordibility and easy access to Manhattan (F Train).

The blog is good at covering local events in the area - Kara and I attended the bazaar on Church Avenue on Sunday - and, by default probably, it also reflects the contrasting differences and expectations of people both old and new in the area.

Sometimes that can be hysterically funny in the comments box, with it's anonymous commentators more often than not in push-me/pull-me denial mode about the fact that what they really want more than anything in the world is a coffee shop with wi-fi. If they and the coffee shop also happened to be situated in Park Slope, that would be an added extra. (I'm not fussy. I just want a 24-hour diner/radical bookshop within thirty feet of the apartment.) However, those same comment threads can sometimes veer too much over into territory which borders on the UN maybe having to send in a peace-keeping force in to police the comment box. For such a diverse area, we are all in our own wee boxes a bit too much, unfortunately.

In short, Kensington is akin to Stoke Newington but with decent slices of pizza, and this post is proof that I can occasionally blog about Brooklyn.

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