City Meeting About Bernal Hill Trail Restoration – Tonight!

Bernal Heights Park

Neighbor Joe Thomas call our attention to things afoot in the park up the hill.

The San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks will hold a meeting about trail improvements on Bernal Hill, tonight (1/25) at 6 pm in the library on Cortland.

The Recreation and Park Department is hosting a series of community meetings to discuss future trail restoration improvements to the Bernal Heights Trail.

Your input is important and will help us to improve the Bernal Heights Trail in a way that is most beneficial to the community.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Project Excerpt: Bernal Hill rises out of the Mission District, offering 360-degree views of San Francisco and the bay. This grassland has outstanding wildflower displays in spring, and provides abundant hunting grounds for hawks, owls, and coyotes. The Urban Trails Program will improve access and safety throughout Bernal Hill by routing trails away from cliffs and unstable terrain while continuing to provide access to multiple points of interest. To the extent possible, trails will be realigned to grades of 10 percent or less. Park entry points and trailheads will be clearly marked by plants and wayfinding signs.

Joe also points out that this project is budgeted to cost $750,000 (!!!). In the handbill below, note also that future meetings are still to come”

PHOTO: Daniel Ramirez

Sandbox Bakery’s Spinoff at 903 Cortland Now Open

903 Cortland

903 Cortland

903 Cortland

Tasty news. 903 Cortland, the new spinoff from the tastymakers at Sandbox Bakery, opened this week. The Inside Scoop blog brings the, er, inside scoop:

Now open for breakfast and lunch service (with more soon to come) is 903, a new Bernal Heights eatery from Mutsumi Takehara and her folks at nearby neighborhood favorite Sandbox Bakery. As you may know, Takehara was the pastry chef at places like La Farine, Chez Panisse, Rubicon and for 10 years, the Slanted Door.

Unlike the smaller Sandbox, there’s some indoor seating here, plus a refrigerator case with prepared items. Hours are 8am to 3pm for now. On February 1, Takehara says dinner will begin, with hours extended to 7am to 8pm.

Click through to read what’s on the launch menu. Yum.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

“Everyday Sights” from a Walk Around Bernal Heights







Bernal Neighbor Chuck B. runs a lovely blog called My Back 40 (Feet). He often writes about flora and horticulture, or his travels to distant and exotic lands. But recently he went for a simple walk around the neighborhood.

The result was a post called “Everyday Sights in Bernal Heights,” and it reveals that even though Chuck B. lives here, he still sees this place with fresh eyes.

Check out all of his pictures, right here.

PHOTOS: Chuck B.

House Portrait: Carlos Santana’s House on Mullen

Santana House

Santana House

The Mission District usually gets the credit for having been home to Carlos Santana, but the truth of the matter is that Santana commuted to the Mission from Bernal Heights.

Specifically, according to longtime Bernal resident Peter Wiley, Santana lived in this house on Mullen Avenue. Here’s how Neighbor Peter guided me to it:

The house is on the north side of Mullen just east of the Franconia steps. There is a Franconia cul de sac that runs south from Mullen just east of the bend as you drive up (east) Mullen from Franconia. The first house to the east of the steps is an old storefront. The second house is a shingled cottage. Maybe not shingled. That’s the one. It is flanked to the east by a cottage that is set back from the street.

Neighbor Peter confirmed to Bernalwood that the home shown here was indeed the Santana House. Carlos, if you’re out there… care to chime in???

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Amphibious Creature Discovered In Bernal Heights Back Yard

Neighbor Todd recently put on his pith helmet to embark upon an animal expedition in his back yard. He made a shocking discovery: creepy amphibians!

Your recent dispatch on Jerusalem crickets had me wondering what else lived in my yard, and not long ago, I found a pair of salamanders — yes salamanders — hiding out beneath a board. One of them found more private accommodations before I could return and take a picture, but I wanted to share the photographic evidence for your local wildlife files. Who knew salamanders lived in San Francisco? According to my research, this specimen is a California slender salamander.

Fascinating. Though the creature looks somewhat snake-like, this closeup of a California slender salamander grabbed from Wikipedia reveals that they actually walk on legs, and are actually rather cute (in that salamander sort of way):

However, latent cuteness cannot allow us to overlook the potential public safety menace posed by these delightful Bernalphibians. Because they are, after all, amphibious reptile-like creatures. And for all we know, they could potentially be cross-species allies of another amphibious reptile-like creature whose presence here would be much less charming:


PHOTOS: Top, Todd Dayton; middle, Wikipedia; bottom, Telstar Logistics

Precita Park to Receive Glamorous Upgrades

Neighbor Demece from Precita Valley Neighbors brings some happy infrastructure news. It seems that the devotion and hard work of neighborhood volunteers has earned a grant from the City’s Community Opportunity Fund to pay for Precita Park upgrades.

Demece explains the details:

The Community Opportunity Fund Grant for Precita Park is in the $50-$75K range. It covers tougher seed for the middle of the park (where an underground stream makes the park a swamp), a patch up for the paved trail where the acacia tree roots have broken it up, and more signage (consistent with Dolores Park in style and language).

Also, for the Children’s Playground, we’ll have a **water fountain**, a community kiosk where non profit groups can post news/issues, fixed up play structures (yep, no more broken boards and cracked bolts), new sand (and here I thought all sand was old), solid rubber matting under the swing set and tire swing areas to replace the cracked open rubber gulches we have now, new paint for the play structure, disability access into the sand, and the satellite merry-go-round is **saved**.

We will volunteer to distribute the sand once the trucks come and we’ll help pick the paint colors and do the painting when the time comes.  As for start time, it looks like late February or early March, and the duration is about six months.

Since Demece basically made all this happen, we would like to extend our thanks to her, on behalf of all the Citizens of Bernalwood.

PHOTO: Precita Park, by Precita Valley Neighbors

Get Help Planting a Sidewalk Garden in North Bernal

Neighbor Kim writes that Friends of the Urban Forest is offering assistance to North Bernalistas who want to install sidewalk gardens in front of their homes:

Friends of the Urban Forest is doing two sidewalk plantings in Bernal in Feb/Mar and May. If people are interested they should contact Karla Nagy ( or 268-0788), the FUF project coordinator.

Here’s how Friends of the Urban Forest can help:

Improve your block and meet your neighbors by installing a sidewalk garden with Friends of the Urban Forest. Dealing with the permit process, designing a garden and coordinating all the materials can be expensive and overwhelming on your own. Friends of the Urban Forest coordinates neighborhood plantings, brining neighbors together to share materials and work together to install sidewalk gardens on your block on a Saturday morning.

What does FUF do?

  • Review the sidewalk to determine the best location for a sidewalk garden
  • Locate underground utilities
  • Garden design and site plan
  • File permit paperwork and act as a liaison between the city and the homeowner
  • Arrange for the removal of concrete
  • Coordinate the delivery of all materials, including soil amendment, mulch, plants & trees
  • Provide volunteer support and tools for planting day
  • And most importantly, we help secure funding to subsidize the cost of concrete removal, planting materials and the cost of the permit.

If you’re interested, you might want to attend the meeting at Charlie’s Cafe on Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm:

PHOTO: Friends of the Urban Forest