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Get to know Kensington

Kensington is a rectangle of around 100 blocks east of Borough Park and west of Flatbush — in fact, it is often considered a section of the latter neighborhood. More important, perhaps, are its neighbors to the north and south: Windsor Terrace and Midwood. Kensington is a bridge between central and southern Brooklyn. It’s an appealing option for those looking for more space than their budget gets them in Park Slope and similar areas while appreciating Kensington’s better convenience to downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan compared with neighborhoods to its south. Kensington is named after the London neighborhood, and although there are some Victorian homes that are vaguely English-inspired, the residents are a multinational, global mix with significant Chinese, Mexican, South Asian, and other communities. According to the census, 20 languages are spoken by its 50,000 residents. The housing stock is similarly diverse, ranging from 20-story apartment buildings to detached single-family homes.
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Commerce & Culture

While Ocean Parkway forms the north-south spine of Kensington, that grand boulevard isn’t the center of the neighborhood’s commercial life. Instead, the parkway is lined mostly with large apartment buildings. The area’s shopping and restaurants, meanwhile, are concentrated along Coney Island Avenue, the eastern border of the neighborhood. Church Avenue, toward the northern end of Kensington, and Ditmas Avenue, closer to its southern end, also have a number of stores and restaurants. The multiethnic nature of Kensington is visible on all these streets, from the Little Bangladesh near Church Avenue to the Eastern European businesses on Coney Island Avenue. In general, Kensington shopping and dining lean toward the basic and budget-friendly, with dollar stores and low-key roti restaurants more common than trendy bistros. There are some options when you want a handcrafted cocktail, but many locals head to nearby Ditmas Park, where cool bars and new restaurants are more numerous.

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