Thursday: Dispensary to Host Fundraiser for Rocket Dog Rescue

This Thursday, July 20, the Harvest Dispensary on 29th Street in La Lengua will host a fundraiser for Rocket Dog Rescue.

As you may recall, Rocket Dog suffered a financial blow last month when the canine-rescue group’s founder was mugged near her Bernal Heights home. Harvest founder Marty Higgins tells Bernalwood:

Cannabis dispensary Harvest off Mission teamed up with The Front Porch to host a special fundraiser this Thursday July 20th from 6-10pm to raise money for Rocket Dog Rescue.

As reported on Bernalwood, the owner of Rocket Dog was forcibly robbed of their funded dollars last month. 100% of ticket sales and all proceeds will go to Rocket Dog Rescue.

The $50 ticket includes an eighth of Alegria Organic cannabis, a dab bar by Brite labs, home style fried chicken from SF’s Front Porch, exotic infused cannabis cocktails from award winning mixologist Alex Riddle, DJ Duserock, along with raffle prizes and a silent auction.

Harvest off Mission felt it imperative to support Rocket Dog Rescue after the appalling crime. One of the best ways to improve our community is to stand by our community organizations, especially in times like this. The robbery of Pali [Rocket Dog Rescue cofounder] was not only horrific but extremely untimely as the money stolen came from a fundraiser.

Tickets for the event can be purchased here.

Only individuals with legally recognized Medical Cannabis Identification Cards or a verifiable, written recommendation from a physician for medical cannabis may attend this event.

Thu, July 20, 2017
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM PDT

Harvest Off Mission
33 29th Street

Chainlink Fence Art Installation Unites Neighbors Working to Rebuild

Completed installation on Mission Street last week. Photo: The artist via CurbedSF

Last week, a new art installation appeared on the chain-link fence that spans the vacant Mission Street lot near 29th Street where Cole Hardware stood before the 2016 fire.

Brock Keeling at CurbedSF got the scoop:

Almost one year after his “Home Street Home” piece appeared along beleaguered Division Street, a local artist, who has requested anonymity, has completed another work. Once again he uses a chainlink fence for a canvas, but this time the message is different. In fact, it’s incomplete, which is exactly how he wants it.

“Given the history of the neighborhood, the fire, loss, and the displacement of so many residents, it felt appropriate to use the quote, but to not finish it,” says the artist. “This leaves the meaning open to interpretation. Each person will fill in the blank on their own.”

Members from Galería de la Raza and Secession Art and Design helped tie the final product together.

Neighbor Eden Stein from Secession Art and Design was part of the team that helped install the piece, and when Bernalwood spoke to her last week, her face was still sunburned from a day spent attaching little flags to the fence.

Neighbor Eden said working on the project had been a powerful and uplifting experience, so we asked her to tell us about it. Here’s Neighbor Eden’s story about the making of the chain-link art installation:

My passion is running Secession Art & Design and also being President of the Mission Bernal Merchants Association. This is my home and community.

One year ago, I did not know all of the merchants of the 3300 Block where the fire occurred, and now we are family. Something happens when you go through a hardship together, like a fire, and all you want to do is help. For this past year I have fundraised, listened, supported, done advocacy to connect merchants with city agencies, and been someone that the merchants can depend on when they can’t get an answer.

This past year I have gotten to know the owners of Playa Azul, Cole Hardware, El Grand Taco Loco, and the 3300 Club. My co-corridor coordinator, Ani Rivera, joined the MBMA team this year and we were so excited to get a small grant to do a temporary beautification project on the Playa Azul and Cole Hardware fence. Ani is the director of Galleria De la Raza and lives in Mission Bernal.

Playa Azul is going through the planning process to rebuild, and they wanted a facade to let people know they are coming back. Urban quilt artist, Amy Ahlstrom met with the Sanchez family to create a coming soon sign. She photographed the mother and daughter, and the family gave us a photo of their grandmother; three strong women that are determined to rebuild the restaurant. The sign is based on their exterior sign that was one of the only things left after the fire.

Unfortunately, not even 24 hours after installing the Playa Azul sign, somebody painted over it with house paint, along with graffiti on the 3300 building.

But this artwork is not graffiti. This is an approved project by the city and property owners of Playa Azul. This is public art. A new panel has been ordered and will replace the damaged panel.

A local artist came up with the design for The Cole Hardware fence: 2000 plastic pieces make up the lettering that reads from across the street, or passing by on the bus, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE…. You get to fill in the blank. Home? Cole Hardware? Whatever is special to you?

So many merchants and residents lost their businesses and homes. Where did they go? This really changed our community, and we hope they can come back. During the install, everyone who walked by had a story to tell about what they needed from Cole.

I could barely sleep on Tuesday night in anticipation of these art installations going up on Wednesday. I woke up early to help install. A beautiful crew from Galleria De Raza Gallery on 24th Street volunteered and we had a great time talking and installing. We even had a few people passing by that took time from their day to stop and help.

All day long the community came out and talked about how much they missed this block and all the merchants. Three people were brought to tears knowing that Playa Azul was actually coming back. A women slammed on her breaks, double parked, and gave me a hug. This project is about bringing people together, and a message that the people and merchants that make this neighborhood are on our mind and we are right by their side as they rebuild.

El Paisa is the first business closed by the fire to reopen on the block. At one point in the day the owner, Jose told all of us installing it was time to take a break and eat. We sat in his restaurant that is filled with so much love and persistence and had an incredible lunch that meant much more than food.

Thank you to everyone who made this day happen!

XO Eden

PHOTOS: Top, courtesy of the artist. Below, process photos courtesy of Eden Stein.

Save the Date: The 2017 Bernal Heights Hillwide Garage Sale Happens August 12

Start shoveling out your closets and reorganizing your storage spaces, because the Season of Purge is upon us! On Saturday, August 12, 2017, Bernal Heights will hold the legendary Hillwide Garage Sale, during which all Bernalese will have the opportunity to sell-off the worldly crap treasures that now clutter and oppress your closets and garages.

The Hillwide Elves bring all the details:

Hi Neighbors!

We’re here to let you know that Hillwide 2017, quite possibly San Francisco’s largest single-day neighborhood garage sale extravaganza, is coming up on Saturday, August 12th from 9am-2pm.

Register today at Hillwide.com to get your garage groove on and get yourself on the map!

This is your chance to empty out the garage or storage shed, recycle old toys and tools, and part with your least favorite knick knacks, doo-dads and thing-a-ma-bobs. The Hillwide is a San Francisco tradition – last year we had over 150 houses register their goodies for sale.

Promote your sale by posting pictures of your soon-to-be goldmine of gear on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever floats your social media boat using the hashtag #Hillwide2017. We also have some posters and images to help you out at our Media Center.

To get your garage sale on the Hillwide.com map and a listing of your goodies on our website, all you have to do is register at Hillwide.com.

We have four levels of donations this year:

  • Hill Top Rock Sponsor Level @ $15
    Includes our unwavering gratitude and deepest admiration, a listing on the map and the web site and a shout out on Twitter when you register
  • Bernal Coyote Contributor Level @ $30
    All the benefits above plus a picture submission on the website and personalized social media mentions of your sale from our wildly popular Hillwide sites
  • Esmeralda Slide Sponsor Level @ $50
    All the benefits above plus free membership to the BHNC
  • The Distinguished Bernal Heights Ambassador Level @ $100
    All the benefits above plus some other fabulousness that we haven’t quite figured out yet!

Oh, and of course everyone gets their name on the wonderful Wall of Fame!

Last year we raised over $3,000 for the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

Their mission is to develop affordable housing throughout San Francisco; provide linguistically and culturally responsive services to community seniors, youth and families and to organize and empower tenants, clients and members as community advocates.

Register today at Hillwide.com to support this great neighborhood institution and get on the map!

Got questions? Send Michael Minson an email at michael@michaelminson.com or use our handy-dandy contact form over at The Hillwide site.

Thanks for participating, don’t forget to share the love with #Hillwide2017, and we’ll see you at the Hillwide!

Warmest Regards
The Hillwide Elves

Warning: Carbo-Crazed Tater Tot Fans May Invade Cortland This Evening

Warning: The eastern end of Cortland Avenue may be packed with people this evening, as an exceptionally large number of foodies are expected to descend upon Barebottle Brewing, where a food truck will be on had to sell some ostensibly special tater tots.

Fanned by several local media outlets, the news that Jackrabbit Kitchen will be on hand at Barebottle this evening, Friday, July 14 starting at  4 pm has ripped through the Interwebs like a grease fire, such that that 10,000 people have said they’re interested in attending.

SFGate writes:

Jackrabbit Kitchen, which operates food trucks and a catering business, will be hosting Tater Tot Fest, a Facebook event at Barebottle Brewing Co.

Jackrabbit is known for its crispy cheddar-scallion tot — served with Sriracha ketchup — but it reportedly will be offering some new tot creations, including sweet-potato with ancho aioli and a fresh corn with a jalapeño vinaigrette.

So far, more than 10,000 people have expressed interest in attending. If even a portion of them do, Jackrabbit better have lots of tots.

Indeed. Even if we assume an exceptionally high Facebook event flake-rate, such that only 0.5% of those people will actually attend, that still means there may be 500 carbohydrate-crazed souls wandering the streets of Cortlandia this evening.

Likewise, if we also assume a bunch of those people may be jacked-up on ancho aioli and jalapeño vinaigrette, well, Bernal residents living in and around the impacted area are hereby advised to shelter in place until Tater Tot Fest subsides.

PHOTO: Very special tater tots by Jackrabbit Kitchen

Wayward Truck Gets Really Stuck on Northeast Bernal Streets

Stuck trucks are a Bernal Heights tradition.

This is because to look at Bernal Heights on a map is to see a tempting variety of shortcuts which give no indication that our hilly topography and narrow, winding streets are way too tight for many big vehicles to traverse.  Indeed,  the advent of digital navigation tools like Google Maps and Waze may have actually helped reduce the frequency of the problem, by actively routing drivers away from Bernal streets where calamity and shame are likely to ensue.


Last night a FedEx tractor-trailer driver learned the hard way that the streets of northeast Bernal Heights are best avoided in a big-rig. Neighbor Ryan  was on the scene:

Fedex truck jammed into the sharp corner at Peralta and Florida, been stuck for well over an hour, blocking the street.

… where the truck remained for a few more hours into the night, when a recovery crew arrived to extract the hapless truck and its humiliated driver from the unfortunate intersection.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Neighbor Ryan

Bernal Family Back Home Again After Cole Hardware Fire

In 2016, the Vasquez family was living in an apartment on 29th Street, just around the corner from Mission Street. On June 18, 2016, they were displaced by the massive Cole Hardware fire that devastated several adjacent buildings on the block.

This month, the Vasquez family returned home to their restored apartment. Marty Higgins, the owner of the building at 37 29th Street and CEO of the Harvest dispensary on the ground floor, explains how it happened:

The Vazquez family moved back into a newly renovated apartment on July 1st.

They had to leave after the fire. They were placed in temporary housing that was offered, and then moved into a semi-perm residency until we finished renovations on their apartment.

The family has two kids, and they lost everything. It was heartbreaking to tour their unit, so our ownership group gave them a gift certificate after the fire to help with the little things. Then the Harvest dispensary raised over $2k to help them get settled into their newly renovated apartment.

We’re excited to see the area slowly start to return to normal. We hope the new developments will help this area return to the vibrancy it had before the fire. For now, we’re happy to help the turnaround of the area.

As previously reported, a new building has already been proposed for the former Cole Hardware site at at 3310-3312 Mission Street. As planned, the building would include 8 new homes above a new Cole Hardware store on the ground floor.

PHOTO: The Vasquez family, back home again. Courtesy of Marty Higgins

Crowdfunding Underway for Alex Nieto Memorial on Bernal Hill

Rendering of proposed Alex Nieto memorial on Bernal Hill (Source: gofundme)

A crowdfunding effort is currently underway to finance a memorial for Bernal neighbor Alex Nieto, who was killed during a confrontation with San Francisco police officers in March 2014.

Launched by friends and family of Alex Nieto, the crowdfunding campaign says:

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ voted 9 to 1 in favor of the “Amor for Alex Nieto Memorial,” which means that this ordinance is veto proof from the Mayor. We will transform history with this powerful monument.

For Alex Nieto, for our community, we fought this fight, and we won the first memorial ever in California dedicated to a victim of a police killing. We held our dignity and proved to the world how we argue better and action more creatively and courageously than anyone ever could imagine.

Once the memorial is established, community members will hike up to that mountain and pray like Alex did and look out over the beautiful view of San Francisco and be inspired by our community resilience. Students will travel up to that hill for field trips and to learn about the history and creativity of our community; they will write thousands of educational essays. Families will pilgrimage hands together and love each other at the place where Alex breathed his last breath. This will be a place of peace, of inspiration and amor.

Bernal neighbors who would like to contribute to the memorial campaign may do so here. At publication time, the campaign has raised $2500 of a $40,000 goal.

Alex Nieto lived on Cortland Avenue with his parents, Elvira and Refugio Nieto. He was killed during a March 21, 2014 confrontation,  during which police alleged Alex Nieto pointed a weapon that looked like a handgun.

A San Francisco District Attorney investigation of the incident concluded that police acted lawfully during the incident, and during a subsequent wrongful death suit initiated by the Nieto family, a jury ruled the SFPD officers involved in the incident had not used excessive force.

Friends and family of Alex Nieto maintain his death was a byproduct of gentrification. In 2016 , then-San Francisco supervisors John Avalos and David Campos passed an ordinance directing the City to install a memorial for Alex Nieto on Bernal Hill.