Your November 2011 Single Family Home Sales Report

Realtor John Downing from Downing and Company has pulled together some interesting numbers on November 2011 single-family home sales in Bernal Heights. The average sales price last month was $655,000, which as John points out, is down from $682,000 in October. Looking at the charts, it seems the general trend in average home sales prices has been downward over the last year.

Why? What does that mean? I have no idea. Any of our realtor readers care to chime in? Is this a trend? Or just a function of fickle sales inventory?

In the meantime, here’s the November sales data, via Downing & Company:

IMAGES: Downing & Company

Bernal Bikini Jogger Immortalized in Street Stencils

Our beloved Bikini Jogger enjoys a legendary reputation, and now her aura shines even brighter, thanks to some street art stencils that pay homage to her famous fitness technique.

Bluepearlgirl spotted the stencils around Bernalwood:

So this had me in stitches!  I thought it was just great. Our elusive Yeti on pavement!  I stopped in at Chuck’s to get a soda, and then continued on up to Holly Park.  When my friend and i got to the top of the stairs, I couldn’t believe it!!  There she was again!  Our Bikini jogger, immortalized again in paint.

PHOTOS: Bluepearlgirl

Meet the Kuta Family. They Lived Here For A Long Time

Every once in a while, Bernalwood receives a note from someone who used to live in Bernal Heights, but moved away. It seems that some of these ex-neighbors now read this blog to stay in touch with the old neighborhood. They’re the Bernal Heights Alumni Network, and they carry our history with them.

Last week, I received a lovely note from one such Bernal alum. Patricia Kuta now lives in Santa Rosa, Calif., and she writes:

I spent my first 20 years on Bernal Heights… 1st on Gladys St. then Nevada St.  My mom was born on Crescent Ave., and lived on Nevada St. for 70 years.  It is so heartwarming to get your posts and tidbits from the ‘hood!!  I don’t get into the City as much as I want, but you bring me “home” daily!  Bless you all….

First of all, that made my day. Secondly, it made me realize how much of our history now lies in places far, far away from here.

So when I replied to Patricia, I asked her to send a photo of her mother when she lived in Bernal Heights. The fantastic photo you see above is what I received.

This is a picture of my mom, Erma Crociani Kuta (the youngest in the middle) with her siblings and cousins… I think on Crescent St. They moved to 176 Nevada St. in 1929.

Many thanks to the Kuta family, on behalf of everyone here, now, in glamorous Bernalwood.

PHOTO: Erma Kuta, courtesy of Gregory Fearon

Christmas Carolers Light Up Virginia Street, Demand Figgy Pudding

Carolers visit a house on Elsie Street.

’Twas the week before Christmas, the kids were in bed, when all of a sudden, my dear husband said, “Hey, is there, like, someone singing carols outside?”

Indeed, there was! From our front porch we spied a couple dozen carolers, faux candles in hand, fa-la-la-ing a house down the hill from us on Virginia Street. It was quite the touching tableau.

Away to the scene I flew like a flash… and managed to micro-interview the organizer of the merry band. As it turns out, that person is none other than my neighbor Vail, famous around these parts for her gregarious cat Bill.

Bernalwood: Hey, this is great! How long have you been doing this?

Neighbor Vail: About 25 years, I think. My son is 32 now, and we started when he was 5 or something. We’d put a bow on our dog, and we took him around too. We just decided it would be a fun thing to keep doing. Different people come every year as we get more friends.

Bernalwood: Can I come next year?

Neighbor Vail: Yes, absolutely. Come right now!

… and so I did for a bit, singing with my across-the-street neighbor and his lovely young daughter on one side of me, and the youngest caroler in the bunch, one baby Rio, on the other. And yea verily, my heart was filled with joy and gladness.

In case you didn’t manage to catch Virginia Street Carolers, here’s a tiny bit of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” (I wish it were longer, but my battery was dying), sung on the corner of Virginia and Eugenia. Never mind the differing factions on the figgy-pudding lyric – “bring it right here,” “bring it right now” – whatever, it’s clear this crowd is serious when it comes to holiday merriment!

Occupy Bernal Seeks to Fight Foreclosure; Meeting Wednesday

Occupy Bernal? Apparently, it’s no longer just an absurdist punch line. Neighbor Annie writes:

Our wonderful neighbor “T” is getting his house foreclosed on by the Wells Fargo Bank for falling behind on payments on his unfair ballooning predatory mortgage loan. He’s a lovely, elderly, retired, single man. Sadly as of today, there are 59 other houses in Bernal Heights that are in default and/or foreclosure. So we’ve had a couple of meetings with a some experienced activists to help him save his home. This has evolved into the first OCCUPY BERNAL General Assembly on Dec. 21, Wednesday night, at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. Together we can find ways to help our neighbors, and by extension, ourselves.

Here’s a nice new web site with more info.

Bring some snacks/deserts if possible for the community building schmooze after the meeting.

PHOTO: Handbill poster at Precita Park, by Telstar Logistics

Cool New Cafeto Caffeinates Bernal’s College Hill

While all of us Northsiders have been solipsistically celebrating the opening of the new Precita Park Cafe, a cool new coffeeplatz has also opened on Bernal’s southwest slope, on Richland just off Mission.

It’s called Cafeto, and Neighbor Lisa was kind enough to share the 411:

As a proud citizen of South Bernal, I wanted to let Bernalwood readers know about a great cafe that just opened up at 111 Richland St (near Mission St). I wandered over yesterday and met Victor, the owner. Victor is a super-friendly guy who worked as a barrista for 7 years before opening Cafeto His whole family is in the coffee bean biz, and his brother personally roasts the beans for the cafe.

Victor told me he “truly loves making and serving up coffee,” and it shows!

The entire front of Cafeto opens up with sliding windows, there is great afternoon sun, and the beautiful recycled wood counter at the front provides gives a great vantage point to watch the South Bernal world to go by. The interior is painted in rich, warm hues, beautiful old/recycled wood accents are everywhere, and there’s free WiFi.

The lattes were very affordable (better than most Mission cafes), and super tasty. There was fresh squeezed OJ, fresh fruit and berries, and a wide variety of tasty sandwiches and pastries.

Victor told me he would have outdoor seating set up soon. He is super dog-friendly, and will (soon have) special outdoor leash hooks to safely hook up your pup while you sip inside. Victor keeps a mad stash of doggie treats for visiting four legged furry friends.

Cafeto is close to Holly Park, so head on over post-doggie walk or playground romp, or just go for the great vibes and a 20 oz. latte or mocha for only $3.50. The 20 oz. house coffee is just $2.50!

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Erik “Dela” Cruz