Sh*t Bernalites Say

Michael Costuros and Kim Iglinsky at the Liberty Cafe in Bernal Heights

Sorry, no video. It’s just a list. But we want to cash in on this whole “Shit BlahBlahBlah Says” meme before it goes supernova and collapses in on itself.  So without further excuses, here is “Shit Bernalites Say,” collected from submissions Bernalwood received via Twitter.

  • “I miss the OLD Moki’s”
  • “St. Mary’s? is that Bernal?”
  • “I’m straight, but I love Wild Side”
  • “Dinner in The Mission? Ugh, that’s too far.”
  • “South slope or north?”
  • “I harvested these blackberries and rosemary from the Hill”
  • “We only buy our children gender-neutral toys.”
  • “Have you seen the coyote?”
  • “We love Bernal Heights, but now that I’m pregnant again, we’re thinking of moving to Orinda.”
  • “The teachers seemed nice, but we’re looking for a preschool that focuses more on Krystyn’s EMOTIONAL needs.”
  • “Was this beef grass-fed?”
  • “I knew her when she was a he.”
  • “Have you seen the bikini jogger?”
  • “I only use mason jars now. *Everything* else has BPA.”
  • “I was vegan until I got pregnant with Jaymee.”
  • “That’s Tom. You know him; he’s Muffin’s owner…”
  • “I really miss the owls.”
  • “Sandbox is the new Tartine.”
  • “Someone stole my succulents!”
  • “They call it maternal heights now!”
  • “We hit it off really well, but unfortunately our dogs weren’t compatible…”
  • “I feel kinda bad saying this, but I sometimes I just don’t know what to *do* with all of the stuff in my CSA box.”
  • “Why can’t I get a burger on Cortland at night?!?!”
BONUS! Shit Mission Hipsters Say About Shit Bernalites Say:
  • “I can’t wait to revive a played out meme!”

Have more suggestions? Add ’em to the comments!

PHOTO: Patrons at the Liberty Cafe, by Thomas Hawk

Sunday Night’s Sunset, in Bernal Hill Surround-O-Vision

Bernalwood Sunset

I happened to be traveling from Cortlandia to the Precitaville Administrative Zone on Sunday evening just as the sun was settling down for the night. The sky was exploding with oranges and pinks, so I took a few iPhonecam pics (with a boost from the awesome TrueHDR app) as I headed around Bernal Hill.

I started with the view to the southwest, in the photo above. This was what I saw as I headed east down Bernal Heights Boulevard:

Bernalwood Sunset

Bernalwood Sunset

Bernalwood Sunset

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Star Sighting: Tom Ammiano at the Good Life Meat Counter

High-profile Democratic politicians? They’re just like us!

Bernalwood had a celebrity encounter with our very own Man in Sacramento last weekend, and here’s our full report:

Who: State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano
Where: Meat counter, Good Life Grocery, Bernal Heights
What He Bought: About 2 lbs. of steak. Good Life staff hinted that it was filet mignon.
What He Was Wearing: A sporty brown leather jacket. Looked Italian-made.
How He Looked: Glam. Slightly Hollwood. Tanned, rested, and out on the town. Is it just us, or is Tom Ammiano beginning to resemble the circa 1994 Tony Bennett?

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Precita Neighbors Gather to Remember Stephen

On Sunday morning, a group of Bernal Heights neighbors gathered to participate in a memorial service for Stephen, the gracious resident of Precita Park who died on January 20.

It was a simple but warm affair. There were some cookies, and some coffee, and a modest shrine set up on the table where Stephen often passed the days. There were grey-haired old-timers on hand, along with families with kids, dogs with their owners, and a few Precita Park merchants. I overheard one young attendee say, “When my mother came to visit, I took her to meet him.”

Stephen died of complications from alcoholism, but he made a strong impression during the many years he spent living in the park. He’d apparently lost track of his real family, but he’d adopted the people of the neighborhood as surrogates. “Over and over I’d ask him, ‘Why don’t you get a room somewhere?'” one neighbor recalled. “Every time he’d say the same thing: ‘It’s the people. I look out for them, and they look out for me.”

One man said, “some people may have had a problem with his being here, but his presence made this a safer and more family-friendly place.”

Then someone pulled out a guitar, and everyone sang “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”

Stephen is also remembered via an eerily modern memorial: During a late stage of Stephen’s illness, while he was confined to a wheelchair, the Google Maps car apparently drove up Folsom Street on a sunny and pleasant day. As the car passed the intersection with Bessie Street, its cameras captured Stephen resting in the sun, in the very spot where his many friends and neighbors would gather to remember and appreciate him months later, after he was gone:

RIP Stephen, Familiar Resident of Precita Park

RIP Stephen

Stephen's Bench

Sad news: Stephen, the homeless gentleman who lived in the western end of Precita Park, died on January 20.

Neighbor Jennifer fills in the backstory:

Stephen – a longtime resident of Precita Park (he lived at the picnic tables on the park) – passed away last week.  I noticed a flyer near the tables while I was out walking the dogs this morning.  Not sure how the readership feels about the homeless, but to me Stephen felt like a real part of the neighborhood.  His memorial is this coming Sunday @ 11 am.

From the note posted near the picnic benches, it sounds like he died of multiple organ failure while in hospice. Last I saw of him was Christmas morning (or the morning after?) when the ambulance came to pick him up. As you may know, he was jumped while sleeping in the park this fall and injured badly. He recuperated in the hospital and in the house(s) of neighbors, and came back to the park briefly before leaving for good. I am not sure he really ever recovered.

Super sad. He has been a mainstay of my daily dog walks in Precita Park for the past ~ 7 years. I always appreciated his friendly smiles and greetings. He looked out for me – kept me posted on chatter in the neighborhood, let me know if sketchy things were going on. I always felt safer and happier with him around.

I’ll second that. Stephen was unfailingly polite and always particularly gracious to Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter — as a fixture in the neighborhood, he was also a fixture in my daughter’s life from the time she was born. “She’s getting big! So fast!” he would say. It made my daughter blush.

As Neighbor Jennifer mentioned, there will be a remembrance for Stephen on Sunday, January 29 at 11 am, at the picnic benches on the west end of the park where Stephen enjoyed passing the time.

Lastly, and sadly, I was unable to find any photos of Stephen. If you have one that we can post here, please send it to us at bernalwood at Thank you.

PHOTOS: Top, sign in Precita Park. Below, the bench where Stephen often rested. By Telstar Logistics

“Bernal Heights” + Asteroid Space Battles, Together At Last!

When you awoke this morning, did you think to yourself, “What I’d really like to see right now is an extended remix of Jhameel’s song “Bernal Heights” augmented with videogame footage of a laser-equipped spaceship navigating through a field of digital asteroids?”

Well, lucky you! And in a totally weird way, the mix kind of works. But maybe that shouldn’t come as a surprise.