Thursday: Northeast Bernal Crime and Safety Meeting with SFPD Capt. McFadden


As Bernalwood has previously reported, the residents of northeast Bernal are experiencing a particularly intense spike in crime. Meanwhile, the geography is such that our northeastern Bernalese neighbors live on the edge of two SFPD precincts, two supervisorial districts, and US101 (which is managed by Caltrans).  The net result is that their situation hasn’t gotten much attention from local officials.

To change that, an ad hoc group of local residents recently formed the Northeast Bernal Neighbors Alliance and scheduled a community meeting with SFPD Ingleside’s Capt. McFadden for Thursday evening, January 21,  to discuss what can be done.

Neighbor Ryan writes:

Northeast Bernal folk, as you’ve likely heard (and probably noticed), our neighborhood has become victim to a growing amount of crime. Car break-ins, burglaries, and now even violent crime are on the rise.

We’ve set up a community meeting and invited Capt. McFadden from SFPD Ingleside to learn about some new crime-fighting proposals for our neighborhood.

What: Crime & Safety Meeting
When: Thursday., January 21, 2016, 7pm
Where: Precita Center (Upstairs Classroom), 534 Precita Ave.

Hope to see you there!

The Northeast Bernal Neighbor’s Alliance is a new community group being formed to improve the quality of life and reduce crime in our neighborhood. Join us! Even if you can’t attend the meeting, please sign up here.


IMAGE: Top, Bernal Heights crime heat map for the period from November 18, 2015 to January 18, 2016

Saturday Afternoon: Let Your Kids Frolic in the Junipero Serra School Playground


Casey Berkovitz, an organizer with the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project, invites one and all to the grand opening of the Junipero Serra Elementary School playground, weekend edition:

We’re organizing an event at Junipero Serra Elementary School (625 Holly Park Circle) on Saturday January 16th, from 11 am to 1 pm.

Our organization, the Shared Schoolyard Project, has worked to make the schoolyard there available to the public on weekends, and we are hosting an event to celebrate that and inform people in the neighborhood.

Join Supervisors David Campos and Mark Farrell and the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project at Junipero Serra Elementary School on Saturday, January 16th for an exciting kick-off event marking the schoolyard’s grand opening.

The community-driven event will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony, free lunch, and activities for the whole community. Activities will include painting a mandala with Little Artistas, books with the Bernal Heights branch library, and soccer and poetry with America SCORES! Find out more and RSVP right here.


PHOTO: Junipero Serra Elementary School playground, courtesy of the Shared Schoolyard Project

David Bowie Remembered During Renegade Bernal Hill Memorial Singalong


Something beautiful, and lovely, and enchanted, and very Bernal happened last night. At the end of a day that many Bernalese spent mourning the death of David Bowie, a Bernal neighbor hit upon the genius idea to organize a tribute: A renegade David Bowie singalong and dance party on Bernal Hill.


Bernalwood received a private communication about the idea from Neighbor Sam via the red phone late Monday afternoon:

Hey Bernalwood….wondering if you’ve heard of any memorial gathering in Bernal tonight for a little Starman sing-a-long? Was thinking top of the hill at sundown…

“Oh hell yes!” we said. By 5:30 pm Neighbor Sam had completed the arrangements. She’d procured two loudspeakers, wrangled a generator, and compiled an all-Bowie playlist. An 8 pm start-time was selected, and shortly before 6 pm, Bernalwood was authorized to begin transmitting an all-points invitation via our social media frequencies:

This was greeted almost instantly by an energetic cascade of Twitter retweets and Facebook reshares.

The result was that even though there had been just two hours of advance notice for Neighbor Sam’s renegade David Bowie memorial singalong, somewhere around 50 to 75 people come together on Bernal Hill to remember Bowie’s life and listen to his music.

It was dark on our hill, but the air was  calm and clear, and the lights of San Francisco unfurled like a twinkling Ziggy Stardust galaxy below. Here’s a sampler of the scene; a video montage of three Bowie songs, as experienced by a very lucky group of neighbors on Bernal Hill last night:

The tribute lasted for about an hour and a half, and there were many smiles and hugs, and then it was over.

Immense thanks go out to Neighbor Sam, who provided the inspiration and the infrastructure to make this magical, musical Bernal Bowie memorial happen. Somewhere in space, we know David Bowie was smiling.

PHOTOS and VIDEO: Telstar Logistics

This Weekend: Open Studio Sale at Recycled Glassworks



Still looking for that special something for the home-decorista on your Santa’s list? Lucky for you Santa, Neighbor Lauren from Recycled Glassworks on Bonview is having an open studio sale this weekend:

What breaks in Bernal, stays in Bernal. Windows break or get replaced. Neighbor Lauren turns plate glass into unique, functional tableware. The plates, bowls, and platters are handmade in Recycled Glassworks’ studio in Bernal Heights. As popular gifts, they’re ready for their second life on the dinner table.

This weekend, Recycled Glassworks invites you to its Open Studio for the Holidays.

Over the last three years, Recycled Glassworks has become a popular source of relief for last-minute gift anxiety. Neighbors can browse the entire collection at its place of (re)birth, see many one-of-a-kind pieces, and get specials at outlet prices.

Saturday/Sunday, December 19-20, 12pm-5pm
238 Bonview Street (just off Cortland) in Bernal Heights, SF

Hope you can stop by.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Recycled Glassworks

Thursday: Eat, Drink, and Shop Merry During the First-Ever Holiday Walk on Mission Street


We are blessed with much bounty here in the Dominion of Bernalwood, including two terrific commercial districts; each of which now plays host to its own holiday celebration.

Last week was the 2015 Cortland Holiday Stroll, and tomorrow, Thursday, December 17, the fabulous merchants, chefs, and barkeeps along the La Lengua stretch of Mission Street will hold the inaugural Mission-Bernal Holiday Walk:

Please join the Mission-Bernal Merchants Association for our first ever Mission Bernal Holiday Walk on Thursday, December 17, 5-8pm.

40+ businesses between Cesar Chavez and Randall Streets will honor you with holiday cheer. Follow our festive balloons and custom wreaths (made by Cole Hardware) to experience all that our neighborhood has to offer.

We have a great list of participating businesses for ‪#‎MBMAWinterWalk2015‬. Hit up the craft fairs and do some holiday shopping at Secession Art and Design, Avenue and Cafe St. Jorge. Then wander down the street for some food and drinks. The following restaurants and bars are offering specials. Participating businesses will have a wreath on the door!

Blue Plate SF: Drink specials
Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack: wine tasting on the patio
Cafe Seventy8: $2 peppermint mochas and free holiday cookies
Cole Hardware: Glass of wine
The Front Porch: Children’s Activities and Mulled Wine
Iron & Gold: Drink specials
Old Bus Tavern: Drink specials and brewery tour
Secession Art & Design: 20% off Art!
The Royal Cuckoo Organ Lounge: Drink specials
Virgil’s Sea Room: Drink specials
BEL: Drink specials and free fries with purchase
Moxie Yoga: Check out our new location at 3232 Mission Street
Ichi Sushi: Food and drink happy hour specials
Cafe St. Jorge: Art + Craft Fair featuring local artists selling their wares

Tonight: You’re Invited to The New Wheel’s Holiday Party


The 2015  Holiday Stroll on Cortland was wonderful (if somewhat wet), but if you missed the fun last night, you can still get a tasty taste of seasonal cheer. Tonight, Friday, Dec. 11, the fabulous New Wheel bike shop, at 420 Cortland, invites you to their glamorous, celebrity-packed Holiday Party:

We are so excited to welcome David Chiu, member of the California State Assembly, and sponsor of AB-1096 (the electric bike bill) that was successfully signed into law this year.

David will make a breif public comment at 6pm – as such we’ve moved the start time of the party forward to 5:30.

This year’s holiday party will be a chance to relax, celebrate, and eat some great food.

Don’t miss the first annual New Wheel keynote address at 7:00pm by SF electric bike champions, Brett Thurber and Karen Wiener.

This is also a chance to meet your fellow electric bike riders, The New Wheel staff and a few of our top bike and accessory suppliers.


Here’s the newfangled video invite:

PHOTO: Courtesy of The New Wheel

Thursday: Come All Ye Bernal, for the 2015 Holiday Stroll!


Many many moons ago, in the time of the Bernal ancestors, a festive tribe of elves and druids lived in the lands we now call Bernal Heights. Each year, in anticipation of the winter solstice, these proto-Bernalese would gather on the pathway we now call Cortland Avenue to celebrate the arrival of the rains and the season of lights.

Today, tens of thousands of years later, the Bernal Business Association continues this ancient tradition, in the beloved form of the Cortland Holiday Stroll. The 2015 Stroll happens this Thursday, December 10, from 6 to 9 pm, and here are all the tasty details:

The Bernal Business Alliance and merchants will usher in the sixth annual Holiday Stroll all along Cortland Avenue in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood. Businesses will stay open later than usual, from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, December 10, 2015. Each participant will have one-­night specials for unique holiday gifts, and sometimes, giveaways or musical guests for the evening. Admission is free.

As in prior strolls, the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center will be accepting cash donations and new, unwrapped toys suitable for ages 0-­10 years old for their annual holiday Toy Drive at their office on 515 Cortland Avenue. Many of the Holiday Stroll participants will also have silver buckets at the registers for monetary donations. (Checks should be made payable to “Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.” )Toys and donations will be accepted at the Center until December 15.

To date, about 30 brick­-and­-mortar and home­-based businesses will be participating, including:

  • Heartfelt, who will have grog, cookies made by owner Darcy Lee, music by one man band Brian Belknap and hidden gift certificates around the store
  • The Epicurean Trader, customers will receive free gift wrapping with purchase; in­store wine tasting and in­store discounts
  • Just in time for the season, Bernal Homeopathy will have for sale ready­to­go homeopathic remedy kits for trauma recovery plus cold & flu, for sale
  • Inclusions Gallery, celebrating its eighth year, will have live music and light refreshments to commemorate their anniversary
  • The Good Life Grocery will serve hot apple cider and other treats
  • Restaurants Vinorosso, Vega and Bernal Star will offer mulled wine
  • Anda’s Piroshki, of the 331 Marketplace on Cortland, will sample their Adjarian cheese bread
  • Bernal Library will be giving away free books on the deck facing Cortland
  • Lama’s Ken Po students will demonstrate karate and will off $30 off a two­month introductory special
  • Kingmond Young Photography will have snacks, drinks and a guest artist
  • The Lucky Horseshoe will have complimentary snacks and drink specials
  • Succulence will have snacks and drink as well
  • Pinhole Coffee will have vendors selling Cork Maps, Jewelry, Knitwear, Greeting Cards. The coffee bar will be open for coffee, peppermint hot chocolates, and Red Blossom Teas. 

Several other businesses will have one­-night only discounts to kick off your holiday shopping, including:

  • Bernal Beast
  • Arts of Balance, 20% off seasonal packages
  • The Cutting Edge Salon and Sandy Owens Massage and Healing will hold a raffle for a complimentary massage session or energy reading, as well as $15 off coupons for a future session or gift certificate for the holidays.
  •  fitBERNALfit
  •  Little Bee Baking

For more information about the event, visit


PHOTOS: Top, Holiday Strolls of Years Past, by Telstar Logistics