Check Out the Phonographic Memories Podcast, Recorded in Bernal Heights

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We’ve said it before, and we know we’ll say it many more times to come:  Phonographic Memories is pretty special. Produced by Neighbor Corey Bloom and held monthly at the Bernal Heights Library on Cortland, Phonographic Memories is a live event for first-person storytelling about the relationships people have with the vinyl records they love.

You should check it out at the library, but now you can also enjoy Phonographic Memories from the safety and comfort of your favorite podcast streaming device. Cory  Bloom tells Bernalwood about the new Phonographic Memory podcast :

We here at Phonographic Memory used 2014 and 2015 to lay the foundation for our program, and really establish our live events at the Bernal Library and beyond. In 2016 we’re building up and expanding!

The podcast is our first step in that direction. We will be curating the episodes, selecting our favorite story and song combinations, and packaging them in easy to digest 10-15 minute episodes. We will release episodes every other week, so be sure to subscribe via iTunes. People can always stay up on our current happenings at PhonographicMemory.org, or on Facebook.

If you’re interested in presenting, please shoot us an email at Register@PhonographicMemory.org. Our next event is February 24th at the Bernal Library, starting at 7:00 PM.

As always, thanks for the support.

Your Bernalwood editor listened to Episode 1, and it’s really really good. Want a preview of what to expect? Here’s the teaser for the series:

Bernal Filmmakers Producing “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” Headed to Sundance Screenwriters Lab

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Bernal Heights filmmakers Joe Talbot and Jimmie Fails just got some more good news about The Last Black Man in San Francisco, the feature-length film they’re now producing after completing a successful crowdfunding campaign last year.

They’re going to Sundance!

Specifically, they’re going to the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, which is a huge deal in a pre-production sort of way.  Team LBMSF writes:

Our script was just accepted into the Sundance Screenwriters Lab!!!! This is HUGE. Over 5 days, we will workshop the script with industry mentors that Sundance has selected for us at the Sundance Resort in Utah. Past attendees include Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream), Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket), Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), Ben Zeitlen (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and many, many more. From there, we will go to the Sundance Film Festival and Joe will be joined by producers, Khaliah Neal, Carlton Evans, Michael Kontomanolis, and Natalie Teter to meet with other industry players as well as potential crew. (Between us, there are a couple DP’s we have our eyes on.) Beyond all those wonderful things, being selected for the Labs is one of the most coveted seals of approvals in the industry.

Big red carpet congrats!

To track the progress of The Last Black Man in San Francisco as it makes its way to the big screen, like the Facebook Page or sign up for their glamorous mailing list.

Neighbor Jeanne Carstensen Reports on the Refugee Crisis on Lesbos

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Journalist Jeanne Carstensen just returned home to Mullen Ave. in Bernal Heights, but not long ago she was on the Greek island of Lesbos, reporting on the Middle Eastern refugee crisis. A sample of the experiences she had there:

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Asas doesn’t have enough money to pay the smugglers and worries how he will be able to work in Turkey, where Syrians have no legal status. Nour checks his cell phone frequently looking for a message from his contact. He shows me the life jacket under the table. He had expected to take a bus to the boat the night before but the hook up was called off due to iffy weather. Now he doesn’t know for sure when he will leave.

Yet they both insist on inviting me to tea. This detail — of hospitality offered in a moment of extremis — sticks with me. I had gone to the Basmane neighborhood with some trepidation. After all, it’s the center of human trafficking, as it’s called, the business of moving people illegally across borders. Looking around me I wondered who was who, who was a trafficker, or a middleman, or a refugee. But when I sat down to interview Asas and Nour and others with my microphone held close to their faces I quickly felt at ease.

I offered to pay for the tea but they would not accept. And when beggars came by our table, the refugees reached into their pockets for coins. No one was turned down.

In this video filmed on Lesbos, Neighbor Jeanne explains how the refugee situation there has unfolded:

Hat Tip: Neighbor Mark

PHOTO:  Scene at the Sindad Cafe in Lesbos, by Jeanne Carstensen

Vicky Walker Stars in New Podcast About Bernal Heights History

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The fabulous Vicky Walker is no stranger to Bernalwood readers; she’s a co-founder of the Bernal Heights History Project and an intrepid seeker of artifacts about the people and places that made our neighborhood what it is today.

As befits her status as Bernal’s Minister of History, Neighbor Vicky was recently invited to be a celebrity guest on the Outside Lands Podcast, an audio show created by Woody LaBounty and (former Bernal neighbor) David Gallagher of the Western Neighborhoods Project, to talk about the history of Bernal Heights.

Listen and learn, right here!

PHOTO: Bernal Hill, circa 1925

Superstar Bernal Journalist Is Co-Host of New KQED Podcast

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Bernal Neighbor Amy Standen lives on Gates, but she also happens to be an audio-famous public radio reporter for KQED. (That’s Neighbor Amy on the right in the photo.)

Her radio work is always lively and whip-smart, and now she’s co-hosting a brand-new KQED podcast called The Leap. Here’s how she describes it:

I’m spreading the word about a new podcast. My new podcast! I’m making it with my friend Judy Campbell, who in regular life produces KQED’s Forum.

The podcast is called The Leap  and it’s about people trying to transform themselves somehow. Each episode — one every other week — introduces you to a person in the midst of such a leap, and then kind of spirals out to the people around them and their own weird transformations.

We launched this week with two stories: Episode 0 explains what we’re all about and previews a few upcoming stories.

Episode 1 is an actual story, our first. It chronicles the invention of a really bad smell (this smell) and traces its journey from a high school kid’s bedroom through the decline of the American manufacturing industry to a fake Iraqi battlefield.

Next story comes out on October 20, and it’s a tear-jerker.

Your Bernalwood editor listened to Episode 1 yesterday, and it was… engrossing! Wonderfully so. The first installment of The Leap tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the bizarre history of Liquid Ass — which perhaps may not seem like something you ever wanted to know anything about, but which is actually rather fascinating once you hear the tale. Of course, that’s the hallmark of a really good podcast.

Congrats to Neighbor Amy and her co-conspirator Judy Campbell, and tune in.

PHOTO: Courtesy of KQED

Bernal Neighbor Brilliantly Trolls Tech Industry, Tech-Haters, Media, Chickens, and Us

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For the last few days, Neighbor Andi Plantenberg on fashionable Samoset Street has generated a lot of buzz and a few headlines by creating a pitch-perfect website for Qoopy, a luxury day care service for chickens.

Operating in Brooklyn, Portland, and (of course) Bernal Heights, Qoopy promises that “when you travel, we give your chickens the royal treatment.” But only if you can get to the top of the waitlist.

Naturally, this has been was greeted with howls of shock and zeitgeist-encapsulating derision. For example:

Some saw it as a clear sign of late-stage urban bourgeois affluenza:

Bernalwood heard about Qoopy earlier in the week, and with Bernal featured so prominently, we decided to reach out for more information.  Neighbor Andi sent this reply:

One of the most common questions we get is “Is Qoopy real — or is this some kind of affectionate satire of the world we live in?”

I’m not a shaman. I’m not qualified to answer questions like that.

I do see that today’s urbanites long for a return to the simplicity and immediacy of raising their own food. This new generation has its own answers to questions like “What should I do with my chicken once her egg-laying days are done?” And even, “When I go to work, will my chicken miss me?”

On the other hand, the tech industry is racing to provide services that cater to urbanites’ every whim. I can have my dirty skivvies picked up with a tap of my smartphone.

Qoopy’s biggest innovation has not been our hand-crafted chicken curriculum, but our willingness to ask the question “Is the innovation economy solving the right problems?”

Truth be told, even after receiving this response, Bernalwood remained unsure if Qoopy was real, or satire, or both.

After all, experience has taught us that proper chicken care is a legitimate need in Bernal Heights, and besides; the idea of creating a satirical thing that nevertheless operates as a real thing is … errrrrrrrrr … uummmmm … well, suffice to say, we don’t find this hard to imagine either, because Bernalwood has been doing exactly that for almost five years.

We were candid about our ongoing confusion in the conversation with Neighbor Andi, and she was gracious enough to provide a less ambiguous reply:

Last Thursday evening, my husband Alan Peters and I were joking around like we normally do, and the notion of a Chicken Daycare for Urban Hipsters came up. We laughed and I said “I’m just going to launch it tomorrow’. I made a landing page, came up with a company name and a domain. And posted to facebook. The goal was to entertain myself.

That was Friday. Qoopy had a handful of up-votes on Product Hunt by Monday afternoon. By Tuesday mid-day I had thousands of hits, a few serious inquiries (all from Brooklyn) and a playful VC inquiry.

I think the reason it went viral was that it seemed like a joke, but could conceivably be true (Wait– maybe this *is* real”). The innovation economy is making services like this left and right, hence my earlier blurb.

So it began as a fun couple hours on friday, but has tapped on something larger. Qoopy has started some healthy and entertaining dialog.

Yeah yeah, sure sure. Seriously though… how do we get to the top of the waiting list?

IMAGE: Qoopy.co

Tonight: Join In for the First Anniversary of Phonographic Memories

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Has it been a year already?  Neighbor Corey invites you to join in for the one-year anniversary edition of his wonderful Phonographic Memories series, where people are invited to share their both favorite vinyl records and the stories they evoke. It happens tonight, September 30 at 7 pm at the Bernal Library, and Neighbor Corey says:

On the last Wednesday of every month over the past year Phonographic Memory has called the Bernal Library home. For the unacquainted, we are a monthly storytelling event focused on vinyl records. This Wednesday (the 30th, at 7pm), come celebrate our one year anniversary and hear your neighbors tell stories about the records that shaped their lives.

Want a preview of what to expect? Try this: