Meet the Winner of the Bernalwood Air Guitar Photo Contest

Citizens of Bernalwood, let the record show that Neighbor Clarissa rocks.

That’s Clarissa up above, and that’s the photo she submitted as her entry in the Bernalwood Air Guitar Photo Contest to win a pair of tickets to the glamorous Noisette Food and Music Festival this coming weekend.

Like a true rockstar, Clarissa gets the details right: A dazzling light show in the background, visible from her stage on Bernal Hill. Perfect aerial technique. Agile hands clutching her invisible instrument. And a face that exudes pure heavy metal intensity. Fabulous.

Citizens of Bernalwood, let the record show that Neighbor Clarissa is the winner of our contest, and she’ll be rocking out at the Noisette festival this weekend. Woooooo! Wooooo! (Hold up your lighters, people.) Congrats!!!

Now let’s check out a few of our other wannabe rockers.  Meet Neighbor Toki, our First Runner-Up:

Toki jams the air guitar from Bocana Street, and apart from having great form, this little rockstar has big style — check out those Vans and his dope indie-style sweater! A total natural. Sweeeeeeeeet!

Our Second Runner-Up is Neighbor Carmen:

Carmen blasts her invisible electric guitar through an invisible amp powered by the new solar charging station in front of the New Wheel bicycle shop. Bonus eco-style points for that, as well as those retro New Wave shades.

Many thanks to everyone who rocked out with Bernalwood for this contest, and to our friends from NoisePop for providing us with a pair Noisette tickets to give away. And most of all, big standing ovation to Neighbor Clarissa, for rocking the hardest.

BASA’s Chief Astronomer Is a Celebrity in England

The Olympics aren’t the only thing generating news right now in England.

Neighbor Clifton, Chief of Astronomical Research for the Bernal Aeronautics and Space Administration (BASA), reports that his awesome photo of the Transit of Venus as seen through Sutro Tower was accepted for publication in the prestigious British magazine Astronomy Now:

Clifton writes:

I submitted that photo of the Transit of Venus I took from Bernal Hill to “Astronomy Now” magazine in England. Much to my surprise, I received a copy of August edition of the magazine and a check for 10 British Pounds in the mail yesterday.

BASA is now internationally recognized!

Call it one giant leap for Bernalkind.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Clifton

Kickstarting Bernal Heights: Hillside Supper Club, Barbasket, and Zip Cup

Here in Bernal Heights, Kickstarter fundraising efforts have become kind of like Louis Vuitton handbags on Cortland Street: Everybody has one. Let’s sit in on pitch meetings from three Bernal entrepreneurs:

Hillside Supper Club
Bernalwood has been following the adventures of the Hillside Supper Club since the days when it was called the Bernal Supper Club. In addition to making exceptionally yummy food, HSC wants to transform the sad Cafe Cozzolino space into a permanent culinary hotspot.

By this fall, we plan to be open six nights a week for dinner, self-service lunch (to include picnics in Precita Park), and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, we will hold special dinners/classes with local farmers, artisans, wine makers, and butchers. We will stay involved with Slow Food and other local food communities to share food and nutritional education with others, especially the next generation of children. Once a month we plan to bring back an original 50’s “supper club” where we encourage guests to dress the part, with live bands and singers performing. We want to host “HSC movie in the park” events in Precita Park that will feature classic films along with hot beverages and popcorn.

Hillside Supper Club is looking for $25,000 to get the job done, and you can contribute until September 7.

Neighbor Chris from Alabama Street cooked up a clever idea to build a way-new bicycle handlebar that includes an integrated frame for a handy-dandy fabric cargo basket:

The Barbasket is a one-piece handlebar and basket rim that supports a fabric basket. The fabric basket holds your stuff snugly, and has a clever bungeed flap on the top that keeps your goods secure. But the best part is that it does all that without looking like a janky add-on. It’s a basket that becomes part of your bike.

Love this. Chris hopes to raise $20,000, and you can contribute until August 13. Hurry!

Zip Cup
Neigbor Karla lives over on Coleridge, and she wants to create the ultimate to-go coffee cup:

A few years ago, I got sick of schlepping my reusable coffee cup to Martha’s and Nervous Dog. So I went out and created Zip Cup–I took the collapsing coffee cup you had as a kid, made it safe by adding locking mechanisms used on space shuttles and submarines, made it stylish/attractive, cut out the BPA and voila — an easy-to-carry, safe, awesome, Made in Bernalwood collapsing coffee cup that fits in your pocket, (diaper) bag, and much more.

Clever! Karla is using an alternative service called Indiegogo for her fund drive, and she hopes to raise $70,000 by Sept. 11.

Join a Meetup for Artists on Bernal Hill, Saturday


Neighbor Laurie is leading another meetup for visual artists on Bernal Hill tomorrow:

It’s been 5 months since I set up the SF Sketchers Meetup group, and we’re got another meetup coming up on the Hill this Saturday, July 28.

We had our very first meetup on Bernal Hill because I thought no-one would come, and I figured that if I was feeling lonely and miserable, at least it would be a short walk home.

Much to my surprise, a bunch of people turned up — and they’ve kept on coming. The meetup group currently has 223 members and the meter is ticking over steadily as new ones come in. Fortunately they don’t all come at once: for any given meetup 5-10 people will actually show — just about the ideal number because you can fit that many people around a cafe table to share sketchbooks at the end.

You can read more about this Saturday’s meetup or go see the sketches posted by the group for each of the 21 meetups we’ve had so far. I try to make sure that one event is scheduled each weekend (last weekend we had 3 events, but that’s unusual). This is not a class, but it’s easy to learn things from seeing what other people are doing. There is a wide range of artistic skill and experience; the only requirement is that people have figured out that they want to do this.

IMAGE: Watercolor by Neighbor Laurie

Your SFPD Crime Summary for July, 2012: Bike Bandits, Burglary Busts, and Be Careful in Crosswalks

SFPD 041

Neighbor Sarah, who generously covers the Bernalwood Crime Beat, attended the SFPD’s Ingleside Station Chief’s Meeting last week. Here’s her detailed summary of the latest Bernal Heights crime news:

Edie and I attended the meeting last week. Apologies for the delay in getting these notes out — Edie typed them up right away, but it took me a while for me to make some additions.

Captain’s Report by Captain Daniel Mahoney:

Police precinct captains meet regularly to discuss the current activities across the city.

  • Aggravated Assaults 23 incidents / 14 arrests / down 21% from last month / up 10% y-t-d. As usual, the majority were domestic violence.
  • Robberies 24 incidents / 5 arrests / down 20% from last month / down 22% y-t-d.
  • Sexual Assaults One, a homeless boy. Case is still under investigation.
  • Burglaries 26 incidents / 7 arrests / down 40% from last month / up 32% y-t-d. From March to June there were lots of bicycle burglaries (40-50 + a month). Generally, these consisted of the thieves opening garage doors and taking bikes inside. Police investigators have been buying stolen bikes on Craigslist; they seized 20 / 125 / 80 bikes from three separate houses or storage units. In the last three to four weeks, there’s been only one bike theft, off a car. It appears they’ve caught the main perps. Remember that you can register your bicycles here.
  • Auto Theft 49 incidents / 3 arrests / down 23% from last month / up 41% y-t-d. The Captain checks the recoveries of stolen autos. Normally cars are stolen and recovered in the same districts. This month cars recovered in the Ingleside were from other districts, and cars stolen here were recovered in other districts. Only one car was stolen AND recovered within the district.
  • Theft from Auto 33 incidents / 0 arrests / down 23% from last month / down 24% y-t-d. Remember to keep car in garage if possible. Don’t leave anything of value in auto.


Sunnydale: This past month there was a 72-hour period with 3 shootings and 2 homicides. No random crime; these were all target hits. Captain’s response: he “flooded the zone” – making the response high visibility and high reactivity to stop the violence temporarily. He brought in motorcycle police, gang task force, violence response team, housing task forces, community response networks, and other outside resources to keep community presence strong. Rev Amos Brown came in and talked to community; police put out flyers in English, Spanish, Chinese announcing a series of community meetings.

Anonymous tip line for the Ingleside: 404-4035. Call this number to leave information on something that has already happened or may happen in the future. If an incident is happening now, call 911 or the non-emergency number for police to respond.

Great burglary arrests: Many burglars have come from the southeast section of SF targeting homes with Asian symbols and decorations. They believe that Asians don’t trust banks and keep their money in the house, not in the bank. Criminals will knock to make sure the house is empty before trying to break in – so don’t keep quiet – make noise!!

  1. Portola District: came to burgle a house, the owner came home and they kept her hostage.
  2. Upper Noe: Captain spotted and called in the burglar and everyone showed up in minutes.

Bus inspection rides: Ingleside officers were top in the city this month, with 1216 bus inspections. MUNI crime has decreased dramatically. On the bus – don’t take your expensive electronics out and play with them while sitting near the door. They can easily be stolen.

Bayshore: There was an early morning stabbing on a bus on Bayshore. Great pictures were taken (MUNI video is excellent), an officer recognized the juvenile perp, and they were able to arrest him shortly.

Traffic: Pedestrian crosswalk violation activity (decoys cross the street and if motorists don’t stop, they’re talked to or ticketed). Areas they are targeting for traffic are San Jose, Alemany, Diamond Heights. They decide on areas to target based on number of accidents or community complaints. Pedestrian ops will be focused on Mission, Monterey, Diamond/Chenery, and Elk.

Graffiti: There’s been increased tagging on Alemany, and around Geneva and Mission. Look for tags that say “OKER”. If you see one, call the Ingleside station. If you see someone in the process of tagging OKER, call immediately!

Captain’s communications: The Captain puts a newsletter on the Ingleside website: You can also sign on for the RSS feed to get and email of crime incidents.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Anonymous Note Seeks to Silence Neighborhood Blog

Here’s a novel twist: Instead of leaving scolding notes about careless parking behavior, someone posted a scolding note on the Bernal Heights Park bulletin board about careless blogging in our neighborhood.

Bernalwood is conflicted: Naturally, we will not tolerate any such oppressive attempts at disempowerment, especially when delivered in such a tacky font. Yet at the same time, we agree wholeheartedly.

PHOTO: @hernanp