Fabulous Bernal Heights Photographs From Your Neighbors

The Brow Houses of Franconia Street
“The Brow Houses of Franconia Street” by craig sakowitz

Bernalwood is a Land of Plenty, because there are many things we have in abundance. Two of those abundant things are 1) spectacular scenery, and 2) talented photographers.

Here is a round-up of some recent greatest hits shared in the Bernalwood Flickr Group.

Eclipse epilogue

“Eclipse Epilogue” by Gareth Spor, taken two days after a partial solar eclipse, as seen from Bernal’s Mullen Peralta Mini-Park

Bernal Hill from Potrero Del Sol

“Bernal Hill from Potrero Del Sol,” by JJSan

“Pink House, Pink Tree,” by 4blankwalls

First Thing

“First Thing,” by David Gallagher

Bernal chert with poppies

“Bernal Chert with Poppies,” by scathac1961

Man, Dogs, Bernal

“Man, Dogs, Bernal” by Isaac Hepworth



“Untitled,” by monkeyobble

Glamorous Scenes from the 2012 Bernal GT

2012 Bernal GT

2012 Bernal GT

2012 Bernal GT

2012 Bernal GT

The pictures tell the most important parts of this story: Last weekend a few motorheads from the Bernal Dad’s Racing Team organized the third running of the Bernal GT road rally, and it turned out to be a winning day for vintage cars and the children who love them.

Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter joined the rally for her first time. We are pleased to say that she took to it like a true natural, as the Bernal GT convoy of smile-inducing cars threaded the twisty-curvy roads between San Francisco and Pescadero (and back again). Good clean fun.

If you’re in the mood, motor along for the full photoset:

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Ancient Decal Reveals Primitive Origins of La Lengua Identity

To properly manage the delicate relationship between the Dominion of Bernalwood and our rebellious vassals from La Lengua, it is important for us to understand the longstanding roots of the La Lenguans’ search for autonomy.

Neighbor Ben recently discovered an important artifact that should assist in this quest for historical context. Hiding in plain sight on a vacant Mission Street storefront just north of 30th Street, he found a vintage decal which pledges fealty to the “South of Army – Mission Merchants Association.”

Who were these proto-La Lenguans? What can we infer about the people who roamed the flatlands in the days before Army Street became Cesar Chavez Boulevard? The decal’s intimation that “He Knows You – You Know Him” suggests they were a paternalistic tribe that was closely bound by kinship ties and sharply-defined notions of geographic solidarity.

Minus the paternalistic bias, the same might be said of the La Lenguans of 2012. The contemporary articulation of La Lengua identity is a relatively recent phenomenon, but this decal demonstrates that the area’s sense of geographic “otherness” has been present for a very long time. Good to know.

PHOTO: Neighbor Ben

Prepare: Next NERT Training Session Starts in June


As wonderful as our beloved chert is, Bernal Heights is not impervious to earthquakes. When the Big One comes, professional emergency personnel will be overwhelmed, and the rest of us will have to work together to stay safe and begin the process of disaster-recovery.

That’s the basic premise of the San Francisco Fire Department’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Training (NERT) program, which provides regular civilians with in-depth training in emergency preparedness and response. It’s a superb program (I matriculated in 2002), and the next series of training sessions will start next month in Diamond Heights.

Neighbor Edward Whitmore, the NERT Coordinator for Bernal Heights South, tells us:

NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Training) is FREE training given by the San Francisco Fire Department. Learn how to prepare yourself, your family, and your pets for an emergency. Learn how you can help your neighbors in the event of an emergency. The next training is nearby – Diamond Heights

Contact neighbor Edward Whitmore (NERT Coordinator of Bernal Heights South) with any questions. He can be reached at 415.254.3357 or ekw171@comcast.net, or drop by his home at 171 Park Street.

NERT Training:

Diamond Heights
St. Aidan’s Church
101 Goldmine Dr

Tuesdays 6:30pm-9:30pm

June 12: Class session 1
June 19: Class session 2
June 26: Class session 3
July 3: Class session 4
July 10: Class session 5
July 17: Class session 6

PHOTO: Erik Wilson

Errant Waterfowl Makes Cameo Appearance on Precita

This was probably inevitable, but Bernalwood’s growing reputation for glamour and luxury is beginning to attract wannabes and hangers-on. They come here to see and be seen in Bernal Heights… and they don’t really seem to care how well they fit in to the local environment.

To cite one recent example: Neighbor Dan captured these photos of a waterbird that decamped near his thoroughly landlocked back yard on Precita Avenue. 

Dan writes:

I believe this a Great Heron. I’ve spotted this guy a few times, mostly peering in to Neighbor Mike’s backyard. I’m told Mike has a pond with fish, so I’m guessing that’s what attracted all the attention.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Dan

Occupy Bernal Is Perhaps the Only Part of the #Occupy Movement That Wasn’t Completely Useless

bernal will fight

In hindsight, the Occupy movement was a big disappointment. When the movement first took hold last autumn, Occupy’s clever framing of economic issues as a contrast between the uber-affluent 1% of America’s population and the remaining 99% was a masterful piece of sloganeering that generated widespread public sympathy. Over time, however, Occupy devolved into a self-indulgent spectacle of pointless grandstanding and ineffective wankery, punctuated by occasional bouts of anarchic violence.  As Occupy sank into self-parody, public opinion plummeted and the movement became largely irrelevant.

On the bright side, our homegrown branch of the movement, Occupy Bernal Heights, has managed to avoid the ignominy of the rest of #occupy. Occupy Bernal’s secret: a tight focus on tangible goals and tried-and-true protest tactics.  As the SFWeekly writes:

Back in December we told readers about the newer, much more civilized arm of the local Occupy movement, dubbed Occupy Bernal Heights. The goal of this new Occupy group was not to pitch tents on public property, but to stop foreclosures and help troubled homeowners get affordable refinancing.

So how successful has Occupy Bernal been over the last five months? We checked back with the group’s leaders, who tell us they’ve been able to stop one foreclosure and helped postpone plenty of others.

That may not sound like much, but it’s more than what some other Occupy groups have accomplished.

PHOTO: Lily Rothrock