Pinhole Coffee Has Finally Opened, and It Is Awesome


It was nine months ago when we first noticed the papered-over windows of 231 Cortland foretelling the coming of an intriguing-sounding cafe. Late last week, Pinhole Coffee’s doors officially opened for business, and by all reports, it is awesome.

Founded by JoEllen Depakakibo, Pinhole carries coffee from Linea Caffe, the baby of coffee-world superstar Andrew Barnett. This reporter was rather enamored of the Piccolo, a 1:1 ratio of milk and espresso in one of these pleasing little glasses.

The new kid on the block is also quite lovely, with stools made of acacia stumps, a mural by JoEllen’s brother Joey D, a wall of colorful stripes by local artist Leah Rosenberg, and a pegboard of succulents by Bernal’s own Succulence.

Speaking of Cortland connections, among the treats on offer at Pinhole is Anna’s Daughters Chocolate Rye Bark (yum!), made by the mother of New Wheel co-owner Karen Weiner.

And for those wondering where the cafe’s name comes from, as JoEllen explained it to coffee blog Sprudge,

Pinhole takes its name from photography, another of my appreciations. My brother Joey D in Chicago created my logo, and his wife Jen designed my business cards out of a thin strip of walnut–they have a pinhole that you can put over your camera or phone and it creates a pinhole image. I individually hole punch the cards each morning before I start my day.

Pinhole is open 6:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. on weekdays; 7:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. on weekends.

PHOTOS: JoEllen, by Telstar Logistics. Piccolo glasses and Leah Rosenberg wall, via Facebook.

Thursday: Bernal Filmmaker to Have Glamorous SF Premiere for New Documentary


Neighbor Samantha Grant feels like she’s hardly been in the neighborhood for the past 10 months, because she’s hardly been in the neighborhood for the past 10 months. Instead, she’s been busy jetting from film fest to film fest with her new documentary, A Fragile Trust. Luckily, now we can enjoy the fruits of her labor much closer to home, at the film’s San Francisco premiere this Thursday, April 17 at the Roxie Theater.

A Fragile Trust chronicles the infamous Jayson Blair scandal at the New York Times. (Remember that? New York Times! Plagiarism! Fabrication of facts!) Grant describes it as “a character-driven narrative” about “power, ethics, representation, race, and accountability in the mainstream media.” Stay home if you’re looking for fluff, because this one promises to be thought-provoking:

If you can’t make it to the Roxie, never fear: A Fragile Trust also screens at the Rafael Film Center on Wednesday, April 23 (tickets here), and it airs nationally on PBS on May 5.

Also on the theme of ethics in journalism (and also on May 5), Neighbor Samantha and team are launching a browser-based, iPad-friendly game called Decisions on Deadline, in which players navigate “the complex and shifting world of journalism ethics as they collect facts and information to report a story.” While aimed at journalists and journalism educators, the game’s goal is “to get regular people interested in these issues,” she says.

Because after all, everyone’s a journalist these days.

Hot Item at Safeway: Shopping Carts

Safeway's empty shopping-cart corral

Sometimes you just have make a Safeway run at 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday. And when you do, you generally expect to be able to shop with the help of, you know, a shopping cart.

But this past Saturday, despite there being plenty of empty parking spaces, there were no carts to be seen anywhere outside the building. (Unless you count a couple of locked off-brand ones sitting by the 29th Street cut-through.) Lucky for me, someone had abandoned a cart inside, near a cash register.

I asked courtesy clerk Derek what the story was. He said (very courteously), “They’re probably all in use. We don’t have much. Sorry about that.”

Hmm, is this some sort of Taoist simplicity thing?

PHOTO: Bronwyn Ximm

Fashionable Bernal Heights Mini-Citizens Shake Their Groove Things at Gala Community Celebration


It was quite the happening scene at the Bernal Rec Center on Saturday. The Junior Citizens of Bernalwood jumped, splashed, goat- and chicken-petted, munched, and rocked out as the Bernal Library’s new Cortland- and Moultrie-facing murals sparkled in the sun.

Among the musical guests were Jonathan Bayer, who duly kicked out the jams for kids and parents alike (despite an initial lack of amplification). For those who missed it, here’s a snippet of Bayer’s original “I Rhyme,” performed with Ben Chinn.

See if you can guess all the clever words you would have heard if only my phone hadn’t run out of space three seconds before the end of the song:

Parents of Future Kindergartners, You Need a Drink! Drown Your Anxieties During ‘SFUS-D-Day’ at the Lucky Horseshoe

lottery.jittersAs the ides of March draw near, anyone planning to send their kid to public school in San Francisco is getting a bit nervous right about now. For those not in the know, the school district will soon tell parents which school their child will attend this fall. Might be a school you requested; might not be. You just don’t know.

But know this, parents: You are not alone. So line up those nanas, nannies, or sitters now, because you’re coming (we hope) to the all-too-aptly-named Lucky Horseshoe on Cortland to cele-miserate “SFUS-D-Day” on Thursday, March 14.

I am sure we do not have to remind you that this date is nominally the night before the district computer drops the fate of your future Einstein or Earhart into the mail with all the clatter and clang of a latter-day Linotype machine… and exactly as much empathy.

We’re hoping the good folks at the Horseshoe will offer a custom cocktail lineup featuring such classics-for-one-night as:

  • The First Choice Fizz (champagne, egg white, and Goldschläger)
  • The CTIPsy Gypsy (rose water and smokey scotch)
  • The Dual Immersion Bender (a jigger each of two bottles picked blind from the top shelf)
  • The Attendance Aria (shot of PBR dropped into half-pint of vodka)

…and perhaps some nonalcoholic counterparts as well. But whether it’s for the water or the whine, come on down and look your competition in the eye one last time as equals!

We’ll try to come up with a mechanism for gathering some anecdotal information from attendees, but this is really about forging a moment of defiant collective non-silence in the face of a dehumanizing and exhausting process that, for better and worse, is soon to come to… well, only the first of many notional endings.

WHERE: The Lucky Horseshoe, 453 Cortland Avenue

WHEN: After the kiddies are tucked in bed

WHO: Pre-K parents and those who love them

PHOTO: Aaron Ximm

UPDATED: Vandals Wreck Beloved Slide at Bernal Library Playground




Visitors to the playground behind the Bernal Heights Library this past weekend were greeted by yellow caution tape wrapped around one of the park’s main play structures.

An ulcer-like hole now mars two upper sections of the park’s beloved tunnel slide, rendering it unusable. Pretty depressing.

Anyone see this happen? If you have pertinent information, please call the Ingleside Police Station at 404-4000.

If Dante’s Inferno offers any clue to the vandals’ fate, they will be dispatched to the outer ring of the seventh circle of hell, where they will be immersed in the boiling blood of the fiery River Phlegethon.

UPDATE 2/25/13 4 pm:  Captain Tim Falvey of the Ingleside Police Station says any witnesses should call the Arson Task Force, which is investigating, at 920-2944. In the meantime, police patrols are being increased in the area, and beat officers are checking to see if any cameras along Cortland might have captured anything useful.

PHOTOS: First and last, via Neighbor Andy. Middle by Neighbor JoAnn

BYO-Bagism Up in Bernal Heights, Plus: Get a Free Canvas Tote This Weekend

It’s been three weeks since the city instituted its 10-cent minimum charge for compostable, recycled paper, or reusable sacks at the checkout counter, and so far the policy seems to be an easy pill for Bernal Heights to swallow. (No big surprise there, since green is, after all, glamorous.)

A micro-interview with cashier Alex at the Good Life on Cortland indicates that the ordinance is having its intended effect:

Bernalwood: Have you noticed any difference in the bag situation recently?

Cashier Alex: We’re definitely seeing a lot more people bringing their own bags.

Bernalwood: What happens when they don’t?

Cashier Alex: Then we have to count up all the bags at the end and charge for them.

Bernalwood: Sounds like kind of a pain. Is it? 

Cashier Alex: A little bit.

If you need to add to your collection of reusable bags, make sure to find SF Environment’s booth at Fiesta on the Hill on Cortland Street this Sunday starting at 11 a.m. The fine folks there will be handing out nice ones as part of their consumer education campaign.

PHOTO: Bronwyn Ximm