No, THIS is Bernal Heights at Its Most Bernal Heightsiest

The Bernal Condition

Once upon a time not all that long ago, SFist described this photo as being “Bernal Heights at It’s Most Heightsiest.” Their pick was good, but something about it felt a little too cliche and formulaic to me.

Instead, I’d nominate the photo above, which I snapped last weekend on Cortland… I think it captures something essential about the Bernal Heights condition, circa 2011.


PHOTO: Telstar

20 thoughts on “No, THIS is Bernal Heights at Its Most Bernal Heightsiest

  1. No picture that doesn’t prominently feature dogs/children/lesbians could possibly qualify as most Bernal Heightsiest.

    • I think that entirely depends upon what you mean by Heightsiest. I didn’t think that either Mercedes or Surfboards were particularly representative of the most-est of Bernal Heights (dogs/children/lesbians may), but when pondering what Heightsiest means, I was thinking that maybe yes…

      • Agreed. Anyone who owns a surfboard properly belongs in the Sunset. Bernal’s too far from the ocean. Ditto to everyone who noted that dogs are missing from the pic.

    • We could create numerous back stories for this tableau that involve the aforementioned. For example, lesbian couple (with children) cash out their Facebook and Zynga (respectively) shares on SecondMarket, enabling them to buy a Mercedes and spend their days surfing down in Half Moon Bay and receiving the occasional massage afterwards while their children attend either Synergy or Spanish immersion elementary school at Fairmount.

      The only thing I have failed to account for is the dog.

    • If it gets half credit, our midwives shared the space in that office for pre-birth classes & exams. πŸ™‚

  2. I lived and worked in Bernal Heights for many years, and I much prefer the other picture. The curbed wheels of a strange van, and that faded wood house capture so much more of the secret-clubhouse-in-the-woods charm that Bernal has always held for me.
    It saddens me that this yuppie tableau may actually be considered a good representation of “the Bernal Heights condition, circa 2011”. But recent memory is just that. Recent. Bernal has been around much longer than the money.

    • I’m in agreement here. While I love Integral Body (Joselle rules!), I think this is the first time I’ve seen a surfboard on the hill and that car is pretty incongruous . Weirdo van, extreme street angle, wood sided “country home” along some random back street that you could probably live here your whole life and not know existed, the tree losing its leaves almost like a “real” fall… these are the things that are the “Heightsiest” to me. (And, of course, dogs, babies and lesbians!)

      • I see surfboards getting loaded/unloaded, driven around on the hill all the time. And I don’t think it’s that incongruous, Bernal does sort of feel to me like a secret beach town, especially when we’re all wrapped up in fog. We just have a lump of chert instead of a boardwalk.

    • Both are interesting photos, but I have to agree with this, even if a word choice here or there elicited some defensiveness. While change is inevitable, there are days when I can’t help but mourn the slow and steady erosion of the very qualities that many of us love about Bernal Heights.

  3. The car really needs to be a superfluously all-wheel-drive Subaru or… a Prius. Those two cars are Bernal on wheels.

    • I think you’re confusing AWD with 4WD. Ain’t no reason to have 4WD here, but AWD is safer than 2WD anywhere.

  4. Well, I don’t care about cars, (a typical Bernalite?), surfing is my main sport, I have a kid in Spanish immersion, a dog, I love Bernal Heights and Integral Body. I’m not a lesbian but I think they are quite nice or at least as nice as all my other neighbors. (also typical Bernalite?) Who knows?!

Comments are closed.