Kensington is a neighborhood in Brooklyn located near Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery. It is a mix of art-deco buildings, row houses and detached, single family Victorians. It is one of the few neighborhoods in the area that has yet to be gentrified and living in Kensington will give new arrival to New York an authentic look at life in the city.
Housing in Kensington is cheaper than other nearby neighborhoods but it is still pricey given that it's in New York. One-family houses start at around $650,000 but one-bedroom condos can be had for as little as $150,000. If you are looking to rent, a one-bedroom apartment will cost around $1,500 obviously depending on the exact area and the current state of the accommodation.
Living in Kensington you will meet a very diverse group of people from all walks of life. People here come from all kinds of places including Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Albania, and the Caribbean among other countries. The suburb is made up largely of middle class families who are moving away from the more gentrified areas found in other parts of Brooklyn. While generally safe, certain areas have crime rates that are higher than the rest of Brooklyn. The neighborhood side streets can get quiet fairly early so be alert and steer clear of shady characters and you shouldn't have any problems.
Kensington doesn't have a good park of its own but it is only a short walk or shorter bike ride to the southern part of Prospect Park which has plenty to offer outdoor enthusiasts. If you would rather spend your time indoors, Shenanigans Pubs on Caton Avenue has a great neighborhood vibe to it with an Irish flavor, outdoor seating and karaoke on Saturday nights. Denny's Steak Pub is another good local choice with a 2 for 2 happy hour. Moving to Kensington will give you access to the diverse community and restaurants with everything from Eastern European fare to Indian food to choose from.
The main shopping district in Kensington is Church Street with a busy, but downscale shopping area. It has everything you could need and, if it doesn't, there are some smaller shopping areas along Ditmas Avenue and Cortelyou Road. There is a recently expanded Foodtown supermarket on McDonald Avenue for all of your grocery needs. The travel time on the F train to Manhattan is around 45 minutes and longer on weekends. The Q train is a longer walk but offers an express service. Fortunately there are also many bus routes to get you where you need to go.
The F train runs along McDonald Avenue, stopping at Church, Ditmas and 18th Avenues; the travel time to Midtown is more than 45 minutes, and longer on the weekends, when the F train sometimes skips stops around that area. The Q train through Ditmas Park is a longer walk, but has express service. As far as busses go, the X29 express bus stops on Ocean Parkway at Church Avenue, reaching Wall Street in under 15 minutes and Midtown in a half-hour.
Kensington isn't a flashy neighborhood but it is a good example of what living in a New York suburb should be like. Living in Kensington will give any new arrival to New York a good flavor of what the city is all about with its diversity.