Rare Eclipse Draws Curious Humans to Bernal Hill

Did you see it? Did you see yesterday’s once-in-a-lifetime eclipse?

Bernal Hill was an obvious observation post for plenty of keen eclipse-spotters:

Eclipsed. #bernalheights #eclipse2017

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Sexxxy blackout eclipse glasses were totally de rigeur:

🌚🌞✨

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Although some people went for a more Brutalist “box-head” look:

🌙

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The human-watching was pretty good too. Here’s a 2017 edition of Humans of Bernal Hill Watching the Eclipse:

We out here! Artillery Familia giving thanks to the divine femininity of the solar eclipse!

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#watching the #watchers #eclipse

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Of course, it being Fogust, Karl the Fog showed up too, to hog the view:

Yet there was still a view, and the humans who came to Bernal Hill to view the eclipse left satisfied:

New Stop Signs Coming to Eastern Side of Bernal Hill

Locations of new stop signs (Source Bernalwood)

As part of a long-planned effort to calm traffic and improve pedestrian safety on the eastern side of Bernal Hill, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is preparing to install new stop signs on Bernal Heights Boulevard, near the Vista Pointe Garden mini-park. The signs may be installed this week.

SFMTA transportation planner Patrick Golier explains:

In 2015 staff at the SFMTA legislated three stop signs and one additional crosswalk at the intersection of Bernal Heights Blvd and Carver Street. The intersection will be an all-way stop controlled intersection, and two curb bulbs will be constructed to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians. The new crosswalk will be installed across the southbound approach of Bernal Heights Blvd, west of Bradford Street and north of Carver Street. The other existing crosswalk will be striped with high visibility crossing treatments.

We had been waiting to install the stop signs until after the curb bulb construction since the signs will ultimately be located on the curb bulbs. However we can install them in the short-term and move them once the bulbs are constructed.

In an update, SFMTA’s Golier adds that the new stop signs may be installed as soon as Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Hat Tip: Janet Kessler

Bernal Merchant Seeks Immediate Removal of 29th Street Bikeshare Station

The San Francisco Examiner reports that the Mission-Bernal Merchants Association is protesting the installation of a bikeshare station on 29th Street:

In June, Ford GoBike launched its newest expansion, providing 3,500 blue bikes available to be rented, or “shared,” by smartphone app. That expansion was met with opposition from neighbors and merchants near Mission District’s 24th Street in community meetings.

At the SFMTA meeting on Tuesday, Ani Rivera, director of Galería De La Raza and a co-coordinator at the Mission Bernal Merchants Association, decried the lack of outreach on the part of Motivate, which administers Ford GoBike.

Kevin Cline, an owner of both Rock Bar and The Front Porch in San Francisco, said a Ford GoBike kiosk near his restaurant on 29th Street prompted drivers to increasingly double park.

“We’re not entirely against bikeshare programs,” he told the SFMTA board. “I do resent a complete lack of outreach. I didn’t get a letter or phone call.”

Cline requested the kiosk “be removed immediately until Ford makes an effort to reach out.”

Style Tip: How to Hillwide Garage Sale Like a Pro

The Bernal Heights Hillwide Garage Sale last Saturday was a lot of fun, and your Bernalwood editor spent many contended hours browsing for crap bargains and chatting with neighbors.

Along the way we met a glamorous Bernalese couple doing Hillwide in classic style by pulling a little red wagon equipped with two large vats of sangria.  The sangria was given away to anybody who wanted some, while the rest of the wagon slowly filled up with all the treasures accumulated during their wanderings. Bravo, and well played!

Quantitatively, the Hillwide elves tell us that this year’s garage sale was a smashing success:

We had ANOTHER record breaking event!

149 homes officially participated (with lots of free riders).

We raised $3,810 for the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, which is $705 more than last year. And 2x more than the previous year.

Thanks for all your support!

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

It’s Official: Karl the Fog Loves Bernal Heights, Wants to Visit More Often

Karl rests before visiting Bernal Hill in Fogust, 2014.

It’s August, which is often called Fogust around town, for reasons that shouldn’t be hard to understand if you look out your window right now.

From street level, the seasonal fog that descends upon San Francisco is cold and dismal, but in recent years it’s also become hilariously funny, thanks to @KarlTheFog, the pseudonymous Twitter account that has given our signature weather pattern a name, a voice, and a vastly more lovable persona.

Some recent examples:

Of course, most of Bernal Heights lies in the City’s “Banana Belt,” the swath of eastern neighborhoods that Karl the Fog visits somewhat less frequently. Nevertheless, we’ve always suspected that Karl has a misty soft-spot for Bernal Heights, and that’s now been officially confirmed.

This week, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Heather Knight published an exclusive celebrity interview with Karl the Fog, which included the remarkable revelation that of all the neighborhoods in San Francisco, Karl the Fog loves us best.

Check it out:

Q: What are your favorite San Francisco neighborhoods and haunts?

Karl: Obviously I spend a lot of time on the western side of the city, but some of my favorite neighborhoods outside that area are La Lengua (the section of the Mission bounded by 24th, 30th, Mission and Guerrero streets) and Bernal Heights. Great people out there. I can’t reach them often, but when I do, it’s worth it.

Awwwwww. Thanks Karl! We love you too! Although, to be honest, we think our relationship tends to work best when we maintain a little distance.

PHOTO: Top, Fogust 2014, by Telstar Logistics

Tonight: See Neighbor Ned’s Big Show at Great American Music Hall

Tonight, Bernal Neighbor Ned Buskirk is hosting an event as an offshoot of his open mike series for conversations about mortality, called You’re Going to Die.

The show happens this evening, Friday, August 11, at Great American Music Hall beginning at 9 pm, and tickets are still available.

Neighbor Ned says:

My name is Ned Buskirk & I run You’re Going to Die, a live event series in SF. I’ve been putting music on at The Old Bus Tavern, and waaay back in 2012 Bernalwood shared a post about my open mic series called Your’re Going to Die.

In the last five years YG2D has really taken off. I still do the open mic, but now it’s twice a month to meet the interest (all the open mics sell-out), but I also regularly present curated shows. All of my shows are entertainment experiences that involve conversations about mortality, grief, loss, death & dying… & LIFE, of course.

I’m doing a BIG show on Friday, August 11th at Great American Music Hall with two big local bands: Midtown Social and Major Powers & the Lo-Fi Symphony. I’ll also be announcing the start of a new curated series of shows starting in October at Swedish American Music Hall.

It’s also a chance for community to gather, party, & celebrate being alive. Here’s the lineup:

Deeply inspiring & guaranteed to make you sweat just as much as it makes you think, Midtown Social presents a message of solidarity & hope, voiced by a community of people who are as diverse, bold, authentic, & vulnerable as the community in which they were forged. Midtown Social asks us all to come together, to find common ground, love & camaraderie, to fight for our communities, way of life, & rights—and to stand together as one.

Major Powers & The Lo-Fi Symphony plays Adventure Rock™. Imagine Mary Poppins writing songs for Weezer during a cliff diving competition between Freddie Mercury & Tom Waits while Danny Elfman makes out with Indiana Jones during a game of Dungeons & Dragons.

Angela Hennessy is an Oakland-based interdisciplinary artist and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts where she teaches courses on visual and cultural narratives of death and textile theory. Her current project, The School of the Dead, is a program for the decolonization of death and grief through the radical inquiry of aesthetic and social practices that mediate the boundary between the living and the dead.

Median Home Price Hits $1.46 Million in Summer 2017 Bernal Heights Real Estate Report

Michael Minson and Danielle Lazier are Bernal neighbors who work by day as local realtors. Their business gives them unique insight into the utterly bonkers San Francisco housing market, and because they’re Bernalese, Neighbor Michael and Neighbor Danielle also pay close attention to the housing market here in Bernal Heights.

Neighbors Michael and Danielle’s executive summary for the first half of 2017 is that home prices in Bernal Heights continue to appreciate at a nosebleed-inducing pace, despite their February prediction that prices may have plateaued.

Bernal’s very limited housing supply, coupled with continuing strong demand, has had a predictable effect on prices. During the first six months of this year, with a total of 94 homes trading hands, the median home price in Bernal Heights has grown by 7%, to $1.46 million. OMFG.

Now let’s hand it over to Neighbors Michael and Danielle, for their full report:

At the beginning of this year, the Bernal home price trend was slowing down, with consistently decreasing year-over-year appreciation since 2013.

Here are median sale prices for homes in Bernal Heights, along with the year-over-year % change for the past 4 years and current half year:

The four-year trend toward decelerating appreciation, coupled with uncertainties after last year’s presidential election, led us to believe home prices had hit a plateau. But that’s not how things worked out. Instead, the trend reversed and started a slight uptick for the first half of this year.

As has happened consistently for the past 5 years, Bernal Heights hit another record high median sale price for single family homes during the first half of the year, clocking in at an astounding $1.458M. That’s a 7% increase over the median price of 2016 when it was $1.363M

74% of houses sold so far in 2017 have been between $1M-$2M.

We’ve had two new entrants to the $3M club – bringing Bernal’s lifetime total to 5. As reported in Bernalwood., 88 Montcalm set a new Bernal Heights record price of $3.85M. This monster house, with 4 bedrooms, 5.5 baths and parking for two cars sold after only 5 days on the market.

We remain bullish that Bernal Heights home prices will continue to increase, but we expect the second half of 2017 to grow somewhat more slowly than the first half. July saw a seasonally slow start, as many buyers and agents took off to enjoy summer vacations. We anticipate an influx of homes to hit the market in September, October, and November, which typically defines the Fall selling season.

Demand in Bernal remains exceptionally high, as homes here are perceived to be a better value for the money than our more expensive neighbors in Potrero Hill, Noe Valley, Glen Park and the Mission. Meanwhile, inventory is fairly fixed as very few new homes are built in Bernal these days. We expect to continue to see multiple offers over asking for well-priced, well-presented properties for the rest of the year.

At some point, we anticipate affordability will cause price growth to stall, but as long as local wages and employment levels continue to show positive gains, Bernal Heights is well positioned as a relatively affordable, well-located, charming neighborhood with great weather to boot. The secret is out.

With Bernalwood’s permission, Neighbors Michael and Danielle have also used our Bernal Heights microhoods map to take a granular look at prices in different areas of Bernal. The result is reflected in this chart of median home prices per square-foot in different parts of Bernal:

IMAGES: Top, aerial view of Bernal Heights by Telstar Logistics. Below, 2017 market graphics by Michael Minson and Danielle Lazier