Junior SF Giants Fans Inspired by Brian Wilson Street Art

The Giants are officially out of playoff contention, alas. But Giant Fever is alive and well among the next generation. Reader Adel tells Bernalwood that her kids love the new Brian Wilson street art that was recently added to several Bernal Heights homes, and she wrote her own blog post to show it:

When these posts of Brian Wilson street art popped up in my feed I was naturally intrigued. I put it on my list of things to go look up if I ever found an extra few minutes driving home to or from school. And one day I did 🙂

After visiting the installation on Colridge (shown above), Adel headed over to the Chalkboard House on Mullen:

My Rex was a little hesitant at first since he thought the owners might get upset if they caught him drawing on their garage door! But after a little coaxing, he quickly got into it… After writing what he wanted, he then decided he wanted to draw a picture of himself pitching. He would stop to take a step back to make sure he liked the progress of the drawing. He decided he needed bigger arms if he was going to be a pitcher so he fixed that problem. And of course just like most future Giant pitchers, he wanted to be just like Timmy [Lincecum]!

Beautiful. A second masterpiece. Thanks for sharing the tale, Adel!

PHOTOS: Four in the City

Video from Leonard Flynn Elementary School Wins $15,000 Top Prize

Here’s some amazing news: Remember that video we posted from Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School?

Local Bernal elementary school, Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School (just off Precita Park) is a finalist in the Coupon Cabin’s arts grant contest.

Our YouTube video has garnered almost 1,000 views and could use a boost from Bernal neighbors. Views, “likes,” and comments are 25% of the judging for the $5k, $10k, or $15k award to be used for art and music programming at this local gem of an elementary school.

We have until September 18 to rally around the video and win the award for our programs.

Well, hot damn, Leonard Flynn School up and WON top prize in the competition! Reader Teresa sent an update today:

Just wanted to let you know that thanks to Bernalwood (among others) Leonard R. Flynn Elementary School won the grand prize grant! The full $15,000 bucks in the Coupon Cabin arts grant contest!

Bernal will benefit greatly from these funds as it goes directly to helping our kids’ education in the arts.

Spectacular. Nicely done, people. Nicely done. Goooooo BERNAL!

Bernalwood Cheerleaders


Scenes from the 2011 Elsie Street Block Party

Elsie Street Block Party  004

Elsie Street Block Party  008

A good time was had by all at the Elsie Block Party last Saturday. New Neighbor Adrian was on hand to take the fab photos shown here, while Neighbor Michael, who helped organize the festivities, reports:

The Fifth Annual Elsie Street Block Party (between Eugenia & Cortland) took place Saturday, Sept. 24 and featured a fierce bake-off competition (with ranked-choice voting by neighbors), Bhangra dance performance and class, bouncy house, a clown pinata, a balloon artist, pot-luck lunch and much friendly conversation and neighborly connection. There were also sculpturally engineered portals at both ends of the block.

Neighbor Jenee wrote in with results from the Bake-Off:

The competition was fierce as usual, but the following bake-masters elbowed out the others in the following fashion:

3rd Place – Liz Bachetti, for her incredible Lemon Tart with Raspberry Sauce
2nd Place – Heather Brame, Red Velvet Cheesecake (Heather is a regular winner on the local cheesecake competition circuit)
1st Place – Kurt Bollacker, for the astoundingly intense Blueberry Cream Cake, which also featured some sort of caramel sauce I believe.

Lastly, there’s just no way to top this neighborhood-family photo. Talk about Bernal Love…

Elsie Street Block Party  001

PHOTOS: Adrian Mendoza

Your Autumn 2011 Real Estate Report: Why Buyers Buy In Bernal Heights

Danielle Lazier is a realtor with Zephyr Real Estate, the author of SFHotlist, and Bernalwood’s official, unofficial real estate analyst. Here’s her autumn 2011 update on the residential real estate market in Bernal Heights:

Amid all of the economic uncertainty, real estate sales in our little village continue to thrive. Why is that?

I could talk about the inherent stability of the San Francisco real estate market, the concentration of single family homes in Bernal Heights…yada yada, but I’ve said that all before. Instead, I’ll just share my thoughts, as both a resident and real estate professional, as to why folks continue to choose Bernal Heights when shopping for a home.

Stereotyped as Noe Valley’s littler, less-expensive, “rougher-around-the-edges” sister, some perceive Bernal Heights to be a second choice neighborhood — if you want Noe but can’t afford it, look at Bernal. My experience suggests something different: Many, if not most, folks who buy a home in Bernal do so on purpose, because Bernal is their FIRST choice.

Just a couple of years ago (OK, maybe a few more) when I was a Wesleyan University student, I was often asked, “So, was Brown your first choice? You must not have gotten into Brown…Is that you chose Wesleyan?” Well, no, actually, I did not even apply to Brown! I wanted to go to Wesleyan. It was my first choice.

The cliche about Bernal being a haven for Noe rejects always reminds me of that experience. No offense to Noe Valley, which is a gorgeous, coveted neighborhood (and the location of my office and many of our home sales) but it’s kind of like comparing apples and oranges.

So, what do we like so much about Bernal? What makes it the first choice for so many home buyers? From my vantage point, it’s both Bernal’s diversity and “the urban village” vibe.

Bernal Heights is an old neighborhood, and you can feel that even today when you walk down Cortland Ave. And yet, it’s growing and changing. On my block, we have young families that are new to the ‘hood, as well as older residents who have been here for decades. The same is probably true on your street too. We have old homes, new homes, fancy homes, shabby-chic homes, and just shabby ones. All of us like the mix.

As for the “urban village;” Where else in San Francisco can you live in the middle of the City but still have that small-town feel? Bernal offers easy access to freeways and decent commute options, especially if you’re hearty and don’t mind walking or biking. On the north slope, BART and Caltrain access are very close by. The weather’s pretty nice by SF standards. We have parks and playgrounds for dogs and kiddies alike. We have a handful of cute shops and restaurants on our main drag, with enough to keep you fit, fed, cocktailed, and/or and caffeinated. (To use Todd’s lingo, let’s practice some YIMBYsm and continue to support our local merchants!)

A long time ago, Bernal Heights was a refuge — for the San Francisco residents after the 1906 earthquake — and I believe it remains so today. So, thank you very much, but no: We’re not Noe’ Vally’s less elegant, hippie sister. Bernal, in all its glory, is an urban hamlet, and the robust real estate market here proves it. See for yourself:

Bernal Heights Real Estate vs. San Francisco Citywide (past 90 days)

Single Family Homes
Bernal: (39 Sales) High – $1,275,000, Low – $380,000, Median – $675,000
All SF: (564 Sales) High – $8,500,000, Low – $120,000.00, Median – $725,000

Bernal: (8 Sales) High – $1,650,000, Low – $585,000, Median – $849,500
All SF: (473 Sales) High – $5,750,000, Low – $100,000.00, Median – $644,000

2-4 Unit Buildings
(10 Sales) High – $1,000,000, Low – $440,000, Median – $716,500
All SF: (104 Sales) High – $3,995,000, Low – $166,000, Median – $946,000


The Downing and Company website just published some interesting stats on August sales of single-family homes in Bernalwood. Note the average sales price of $712,750:

Photos of each of these homes available on the Downing & Co. website.

PHOTO: giggie larue

Sunday Drizzle Offers Preview of Winter Attractions

Winter Preview

It was strange to wake up on Sunday morning to wetness outside, wasn’t it? But I  kind of liked it — better the real rains of winter than the foggy chill of late “summer.” It’s almost time for Bernal Hill to again change color again from brown to green. But until then, here’s a snap I took looking south while crossing a damp South Van Ness at 24th Street.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Sing Along to “Bernal Heights,” Live at Hotel Utah TONIGHT

Happy to say that we were into it before it was cool, but “Bernal Heights”–  that very pleasing new song by Jhameel —  has become rather popular nationwide, in an indie/underground sort of way. Now his people send word that Jameel will be performing live at the Hotel Utah tonight:

Wanted to let you know that Bay Area Indie-Pop artist Jhameel, who you previously wrote about on Bernalwood is playing his first headline gig @ Hotel Utah on 9/23.

The rest of the world is finally catching up to Bernalwood on “Bernal Heights.” The song recently topped at #4 on the Hype Machine Popular Charts, garnering ten of thousands of plays.

We really appreciated your support for Jhameel’s work so early on, and were hoping you could let your readers know about the show, which is only $8. Hotel Utah offers a warm space with gorgeous sound and excellent drinks where Bernalwooders can hear their theme song in an incredibly intimate setting.

Event Info/Tickets

Listen to Jhameel’s Music, for Free

Listen to “Bernal Heights” right here: