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Neighborhood Profile: Kensington

The popularity of Kensington has grown in recent years as people were priced out of Park Slope.
An apartment building on Ocean Parkway provides the backdrop to single-family homes on E.7th Street.

Kensington is a residential neighborhood in central Brooklyn, with a sleepy feel that is home to many families. 

The neighborhood is bordered by Ditmas Park and a subsection of Flatbush to the east; Windsor Terrace and Prospect Park to the north; Borough Park to the west; and Midwood to the south. Major thoroughfares include Ocean Parkway, Coney Island Avenue, and McDonald Avenue. It sits on the southern end of 526-acre Prospect Park and is adjacent to Green-Wood Cemetery, a 478-acre, cemetery. 

Named after a London town, Kensington's demographic is diverse, with many central Asian, White, Black, Hispanic and Asian residents, with a large influx of Bangladeshi residents to the area over the past two decades. 

Kensington was first colonized by Dutch Farmers in the 1730s and was largely considered as part of Flatbush for many years. Some southern Kensington residents consider themselves living in Parkville, which in fact, is a sub-neighborhood of Kensington. 

In the 1850s, Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed nearby Prospect Park, also designed Ocean Parkway, a major vehicular street with the country's first bike lanes, which changed the area from farmland to residential. 

The quiet neighborhood with tree-lined streets has a range of housing, including large single-family homes, Brownstones, row houses, condominiums, and co-ops. As residents were priced out of Park Slope in the 2000s, Kensington has seen its middle- to upper-middle class population grow. 

The median price of a home listed for sale on StreetEasy in March 2024 was $579,000, while median rent was listed as $2,850. 

The Kensington library. Photo: Wikimedia

There are plenty of elementary schools in Kensington, but most students must travel outside of the neighborhood to go to middle and high school.

The Kensington library branch is considered a "green library" because the building was designed with many windows so that sunlight can be used to brighten the interior space instead of using electricity. 

Getting around in Kensington is easy. The NYC subways F and G trains stops at Fort Hamilton Parkway and Church Avenue. Many people bike in and out of Prospect Park and down Ocean Parkway to get to Coney Island and Brighton Beach. 

The main shopping areas are Church and Ditmas Avenues, where there are plenty of drug stores, small mom and pops, and vegetable markets. Beginning in the 2000s, there has been an influx of bars, coffee shops and restaurants, making the area feel hip in a quiet sort of way.