Neighbor Karen Created an Adorable, Illustrated Mini-Guide to Bernal Heights

AtW SucculenceKen copy

Neighbor Karen Capraro has created an artisanal mini-guide to Bernal Heights, and she’s excited to tell you all about it:

A tiny Welcome: Bernal Heights

I was inspired to make these booklets after a trip to Japan, where I was incredibly touched by how welcomed we were in local neighborhoods. I wanted to do something when i came home to Bernal to make guests and visitors feel welcome here. I’ve lived here for 14 years and am super-proud to share our neighborhood.

My day job is a designer for nonprofits and foundations, but in my spare time I illustrated and wrote these booklets. So fun! Of course there is SO much I could have put in a bernal mini-guide, but kept them short and sweet (only four pages), with simple hand drawn images, to make them more approachable. Maybe I need more than one volume 🙂

I’ve included a few eateries (breakfast/coffee, lunch, dinner) and things to do/look for, in Bernal. I also tried to add some of the little details you collect after many years of living somewhere, and not things that would be in a typical ‘guidebook’. After much thought I decided not to include retail stores (even though i love Cortland’s shops!) so the booklets wouldn’t feel like an ad for where they were being sold.

Anyway, check them out I think they’d work as:

  • A way to share with friends/family a little about bernal.
  • A way to welcome a new neighbor.
  • Gifts for air bnb/vbro guests.

I also wanted to use the booklets as a way to put some positivity out there about SF, as these days it’s easy to feel jaded about the city. Working on them enabled me to remember some of the little things I love about it here. Anyway, you can find them in Succulence on Cortland and Christopher’s Books in Potrero. Both excellent stores to peruse.

PHOTO: Ken Shelf from Succulence shows off Neighbor Karen’s Tiny Welcome to Bernal Heights, courtesy of Neighbor Karen

8 thoughts on “Neighbor Karen Created an Adorable, Illustrated Mini-Guide to Bernal Heights

  1. Wonderful idea. I will go and look for it at the places you mentioned.
    (also, we too , LOVE Japan and made a spring trip this year to just Kyoto)

  2. To say I am grateful that I was included would be an understatement! What an honor! Thank you from our Hearts from Toby Klayman and Joe Branchcomb, husband of the Artist,Toby Klayman. All my little cutouts were printed in Crete, Greece and I hand cut them from huge pages.

  3. What lovely words, everyone! It’s a really lovely book and the illustrations all come from the heart. There is so much care put into this, and Karen’s love for Bernal shows on every page.

    I’m Karen’s husband, so I’m a tad biased, but couldn’t be prouder of her work and new venture with these cool little art pieces ❤️

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