New Neighbor Interview: Meet Kalie and Ari; They Just Moved to Bernal Heights

Kalie_and_AriSubterranean pressures build. Tectonic plates shift. A volcano erupts, and a tsunami engulfs a distant atoll. Somewhere, a kitten is born. Old neighbors move away, and new neighbors move in. As part of Bernalwood’s occasional series of New Neighbor Interviews, we like to get to know people who have recently settled in Bernal Heights.

This week, let’s meet new neighbors Kalie and Ari. They just moved in.

Names: Kalie and Ari
Move-In Date: April 2014
Bernal Address: Park Street
Own or Rent: Rent
Came Here From: Russian Hill

What do you do for a living?
Kalie is in advertising, and Ari is a UX designer for a stealth start-up.

Why Bernal Heights?
We wanted to live in a neighborhood where we could get to know our neighbors and feel like part of the community. We also wanted a dog-friendly place for our dog, Lucy. It was also nice that we found a single-family house to rent, so we’ve been spending tons of time gardening!

First impressions of the neighborhood?
It’s a cute family-friendly and dog-friendly place. We also fell in love with Cortland Avenue. When we moved in, a neighbor brought over fresh banana bread and an assortment of teas as a welcome gift. Another brought a beautiful handmade card. Our direct neighbors invited us over for a glass of wine. So, so sweet! In the four years we spent in Russian Hill we didn’t meet a single neighbor.

What would you say about yourselves to a Bernal Heights old-timer?
We love your neighborhood! Thank you for making us feel so welcome!

Any unexpected surprises after you moved in?
I’m surprised how much sun we get. It’s awesome!

How would you describe Bernal Heights to a friend from out of town?
It has a comfortable, family-friendly feel. The people of Bernal are really nice and really friendly. We’ve met a lot of our neighbors, and tons of people at the dog park.

What are your biggest concerns about your new neighborhood?

Name your three favorite things about Bernal.
1. Friendly and kind neighbors
2. Good Life Grocery
3. Holy Water

Name three things you wish Bernal had (but which it currently does not)?
1. Good bagels
2. A falafel place
3. A vegetarian restaurant

PHOTO: Neighbors Kalie and Ari

40 thoughts on “New Neighbor Interview: Meet Kalie and Ari; They Just Moved to Bernal Heights

  1. Go to Moonlight for Falafels. I’ve been going there for 15 years. Sam and Aziz are the nicest people in the world, and their baba is the best in town

    • Great to know that Alan! I was just coming on to comment that Good Frickin Chickin on Mission and 29th has solid falafel (and hummus) as well. Haven’t checked out Moonlight though so curious to try it.

      • I forget the exact relations, but Moonlight Cafe and Goood Frickin Chickin are related, and i heard from a little bird that Moonlight cafe gets there falafel from GFC!!

        The falafel at moonlight is good! And so are the burgers!
        Also Progressive grounds has a nice Falafel as well, yum!

        For bagels better then at the grocery store, sometimes they are at the Sandbox bakery, and although they are not the best bagels anywhere, they are very good bagels.

        Also Paulies Pickles (in the marketplace) has good bagels from somewhere good, i forget where, and they also sometimes have day old bagels half off, great deal!!

        For vegetarian, there is the newly open thai spot also in the market place that is pretty good!

      • I believe Paulie’s gets their bagels from House of Bagels (but I might be mistaken). Wherever they are from, they’re definitely better than average for SF.

  2. How much does it cost to rent a single family home in Bernal these days? Must be awful flushing all that money down the toilet.

    • AM I the only one who never complains about the prices at Good Life? 🙂

      Seriously, Good Life tries, you can say that much for it. I would prefer Good Life matched everything about Canyon Market, which I love, but I’m afraid people would complain about the prices even more.

      I once mentioned Canyon Market to Frank, and he was unfamiliar with it.

  3. I will amend that. I am glad they are there and they do a good job for a corner store and have a nice produce department. But the corner of the store that houses the deli and the meats is best avoided.

      • The beef is usually okay. The chicken so-so. The fish is generally very sad. Yet Wah for that.

        I too don’t get the hatin on Good Life. No, it’s hardly perfect, but they punch above their weight and I think they’re a bigger store than we deserve based on on simple population.

        I had to go to Safeway the other day and that was a great reminder of everything good about good life. Not least of which, Frank runs a tight ship and they never let a line of 2+ people form without opening another checkstand. I appreciate that massively!

      • Todd didn’t ask the question, t didn’t ask for comparisons, I asked how much. 🙂

        I only ask because you need to realize you probably displaced someone who couldn’t afford such a high rent. Right Todd?

      • If the unit was empty, and they rented it, how is that displacement?

        More to the point… what is your point?

        For a thumbnail survey of citywide rents, and where Bernal fits in to that, see here.

        I’d also add… whatever your feelings about the status of the current real estate market, do you really want to take it out on someone simply for having moved in? That strikes me as rather unneighborly.

      • “*IF* the unit was empty.”

        Was it? What’s the history of the unit? Do tell!

        I’m not taking anything out on anyone. I wonder what this real life example of new Bernal inhabitants is paying for rent.

        More than $2000? More than $3000? Exact numbers aren’t necessary.

      • “I only ask because you need to realize you probably displaced someone who couldn’t afford such a high rent.”

        If you’re talking specifically about no-fault evictions, then your question doesn’t make much sense, since any place up for rent now couldn’t legally have been put back on the market for quite a while if it were subject to such an eviction. Look it up.

        If you’re just talking about being priced out, then you need to accept there is _always_ someone making less than you would like your SF place if you wouldn’t, no matter how much you make. You’re displacing someone as well by being in the neighborhood at all, no matter who you are.

      • Welcome new folks hope you enjoy the neighborhood…the vast majority of fair minded people are excited to have you join the community. There will be many things that you did not even realize we’re part of the neighborhood and will be pleasant surprises.

    • Byrd, I think a family of 4 (working-class immigrants) are about to be displaced in Portola. I don’t know how much they will receive in relocation assistance, however. Could you help? Do you have extra room in your place? They are looking for a 4-bedroom house, and able to pay $2,000.

  4. We did have a vegetarian restaurant, briefly: Geranium. They nicely renovated the space that Moki’s now occupies. Ironically, it was historically a butcher shop, one of several along Cortland. Geranium was never exceptionally popular, but there were some very good dishes (and I am not a vegetarian). It seemed that the neighborhood was not that interested at the time in vegetarian dining.

    • The Thai place on Mission next to Can Cun also opened as a vegetarian restaurant, but changed over to serving a standard Thai menu after maybe 6 months.

  5. Welcome to Bernal Heights – Kalie and Ari 🙂
    Make you way down to the 100 block of Park Street and
    introduce yourself to our wonderful neighbors!

  6. Welcome! Stay as long as you like. 🙂

    Things to try:
    * Walk all the way around the hill. Don’t just limit yourself to Cortland, there are some real gems along Mission and in Precita.
    * Sneak a bottle of wine to the top of the hill and have a sunset picnic.
    * _Coffee Shop has the best iced coffee in SF. Tierra Mia has an horchata latte that’s not to be missed.
    * Hit up Mitchell’s for a scoop of ice cream.
    * Hillside Supper Club is not to be missed.
    * They’re a little bit far from you, but La Taqueria and Rosamunde have the best tacos and sausages in town. Try them out next time you walk to 24th BART.
    * If you like to garden, there’s a wonderful tucked-away flower shop just past the overpass on the way to Lowes.

    Get used to the sun and the lovely people. 🙂

  7. Welcome to bernal! Cafe78 on 29th street (still technically bernal) has good bagels! They get them from house of bagels.

  8. Welcome to our community. I had breakfast at Precita Park Cafe a morning or two ago and everyone was super nice and the food was great. That super nice thing makes such a difference especially in the morning…big shout out and dude who gave me sn avocado smoothy sample…you rocked my day.

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