Neighbors Gather on Bernal Hill to Celebrate Prince

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RIP Prince. You were amazing, and you left us far too soon.

As San Francisco mourned the death of Prince last night, Mayor Ed Lee announced that the lights on City Hall would  glow purple, and your Bernalwood editor received a sad text message from one of the paternal units from the Bernal Dads Racing Team:

Uh, so no Prince on Bernal Hill?

This was Obviously Unacceptable, so within a few minutes a sound system was conjured and a power source was procured, and at about 8:30 your Bernalwood editor was ordered to transmit a call to action:

An hour later, the sound system was up and running on Bernal Hill, and a cozy group of people gathered to listen to Prince’s music. The weather was warm(ish), the moon was full, Prince’s music filled the air, and City Hall glowed purple on the horizon. It was lovely. Here’s a quick taste:

PHOTO: Top, a classic Prince moment in Bernal Heights, shared on Bernalwood, January 6, 2011

Play Ball! Neighbor Matt Nathanson Sang the National Anthem at Yesterday’s Giants Season Opener

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Yesterday was Opening Day for the 2016 San Francisco Giants season, and Bernal neighbor and rockstar-in-residence Matt Nathanson was there to sing the national anthem. You can watch it here.

A few hours later, the Giants went on to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 12-6, with help from a Hunter Pence grand slam. So to recap: Neighbor Matt sang the national anthem, and the Giants crushed the Dodgers. Coincidence? Hold that thought.

Neighbor Matt got a pretty swell souvenir out of the deal:

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Neighbor Matt sang the national anthem at a Giants season opener. Historians will note he also sang it in 2010, and we all know how that turned out. Coincidence?

We think not.

PHOTO: Top, via Jason Snell. Hat Tip: kc!

Bernal Native Carlos Santana Says the Super Bowl Needed More Local Bands

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One of the best things about the conclusion of Superb Owl 50 is that we no longer have to hear all the complaining about Superb Owl 50. Yet with that said, celebrity Bernal Heights native Carlos Santana took to Facebook yesterday to grumble that there wasn’t enough local flavor at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show:

Dear NFL/CBS….I would like to take this opportunity to thank you both for including me as a part of your Super Bowl entertainment. I do feel compelled to point out to you that the Halftime Show should have included some of the local iconic bands that the World would have loved to see perform. Bands like Metallica, Steve Miller, Journey and yours truly. We would have rocked the Half Time Show and done the SF Bay Area proud. This is just an invitation for you to consider iconic bands as part of your Half Time entertainment. Real live music, real live vocals, and give the audience real live chills.

Carlos Santana

Estimados NFL/CBS….Me gustaría aprovechar esta oportunidad para agradecer a ambos que me incluyeran como parte del entretenimiento de la Super Bowl. Me siento obligado a señalar que el espectáculo del descanso del partido debería haber incluido a algunas de las icónicas bandas locales que a todo el mundo le habría encantado ver actuar. Bandas como Metallica, Steve Miller, Journey y quien les habla. Habríamos hecho estremecer el espectáculo del descanso y habríamos enorgullecido al área de SF Bay. Esto es tan solo una invitación para que consideren a las bandas icónicas como parte de su entretenimiento del descanso del partido. Música real en vivo, voz real en vivo y estremecer realmente a la audiencia en vivo.
Carlos

Preach!

Actually, the Superb Owl 50 halftime show would have been an excellent opportunity to stage the Mullen Reunion Tour, harkening back to the days when Santana and a few early members of Journey all lived under the same roof on Mullen Avenue.

Even better, we could have hosted one hell of a homecoming after-party in Precita Park, with Santana jamming on the little mound just west of the playground until the whole park smelled like cannabis and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Santana is right; that would have been fantastic. Let’s do it next time.

PHOTO: Carlos Santana’s Facebook profile pic

Hillside Supper Club Team Invades the Kitchen at James Beard House

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The James Beard Awards are the Oscars for the culinary trade, and the James Beard Foundation is its Academy. Earlier this month, chefs Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton from the Hillside Supper Club on Precita Park were invited to New York to cook a special dinner at the James Beard House, and it was quite a big to-do.

Of course, Chef Tony and Chef Jonathan also live right around the corner from the restaurant, so the glory bestowed upon Neighbor Tony and Neighbor Jonathan — and, by commutative extension, the entire Dominion of Bernalwood — is even more sweet.

Neighbor Tony’s brother Austin traveled to NYC to participate in the festivities, and he tells Bernalwood why the James Beard Dinner meant so much to Team HSC:

Hillside Supper Club has been a close watcher and member of the James Beard Foundation for a while. When Tony was in college he earned a scholarship from them, and with that scholarship he traveled to Europe to indulge in his culinary dream. The James Beard Foundation is a non-profit culinary foundation founded by James Beard. He was a food writer, teacher, ad cookbook writer. Think, Julia Child; except the male version. The Hillside Supper Club team was invited to cook at the Beard House based upon our cooking style, our inspiration, and hard work and dedication. It is probably one of the best events we will ever do in our culinary career, to be honest.

Jonathan Sutton, Austin Ferrari, and Tony Ferrari at James Beard House, NYC

Cooking a James Beard Dinner is sexy accomplishment, but the hotness doesn’t stop there. In fact, like a big, wet, dripping maraschino perched atop a Tcho chocolate almond cake with amaretto cream, smoked sea salt, and candied almonds, Neighbor Jonathan took the sexy one step further recently when Marie Claire named him one of the 11 Most Eligible Bachelor Chefs in America. Seriously:

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Rawr!

Bernal ladies, if you’re hungry, you know where to find him in the kitchen.

PHOTO: Top, Hillside Supper Club on Instagram

Bernal Writer Ponders the Fate of the California Dream

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In case you missed it over the weekend, Bernal neighbor Dan Duane had a very prominent, very thoughtful piece about the fate of the California Dream on the front page of the Sunday Review section in Sunday’s New York Times.

Neigbor Dan writes:

All over Northern California, there is a profound mood of loss: Oakland, long a bastion of African-American cultural life, has seen housing rental rates jump 20 percent this past year; San Francisco’s lesbian bars are closing, and the Castro gets less gay by the year.

Then there’s the shock of raising kids with public schools ranked among the worst in the nation, and public universities that have more than doubled in cost since 2007. Most of my outdoor pleasures are still available, but it’s getting scary with the desertification of subalpine ecosystems, Sierra snowpack at a historic low, as much as 20 percent of California’s once-majestic forests at risk of dying, and freeway traffic so ubiquitous that it can be soul-destroying just getting out of town to see all this stuff.

The real estate market, in the meantime, has become so bizarre that my funky little neighborhood is already beyond the reach of young doctors and lawyers — techies only need apply.

This may sound like the stuff of yet another nostalgic lament about the unsettling pace of change in California, but Neighbor Dan is too self-aware to fall into that dead-end trap; He knows people have been writing “California is over” essays for as long as there’s been a California.

Instead, he comes to a more nuanced realization: that the same dyanamism that makes California so unique is also what makes it so heartbreaking. As Dan puts it, “California has been changing so fast for so long that every new generation gets to experience both a fresh version of the California dream and, typically by late middle-age, its painful death.”

Whoa. Here’s Neighbor Dan’s essay. Don’t miss it.

Oh, also, Star Sighting!!! As destiny would have it, Bernalwood ran into Neighbor Dan on Sunday afternoon on the other side of town. We’d read his essay in the morning, so it was a locavore privilege to be able give him a big Bernal high five-later that same day:

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If you see Neighbor Dan out and about, we encourage you do the same.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Star Sighting: President Obama Hangs Out with the PizzaHacker

Wow. Did you know that the fabulous President Barack Obama eats pizza from Bernal’s own PizzaHacker — just like us?!

It’s true. InsideScoop reports that POTUS enjoyed some of Jeff “PizzaHacker” Krupman’s sublime pizza goodness during his recent visit to San Francisco:

Remember when President Barack Obama was in San Francisco two weeks ago?

Well, it would appear that the leader of the free world ate very well.

[Below] is a photo from the private event during Obama’s first night in town (Friday, Oct. 2) — and it features quite the eclectic and talented mix of characters from the San Francisco food and drink world [including] Jeff Krupman a.k.a. the Pizzahacker (flannel shirt)

Photo or it didn’t happen?  Well, here’s the proof!

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Hat tip: Neighbor Robert

PHOTO: Group shot, Justin Buell via SFGate

Star Sighting! Videogame Pioneer Nolan Bushnell Spotted at Red Hill Station

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Famous creators of the videogame industry dine at Red Hill Station… just like us!

Neighbor Robert was on paparazzi patrol last week, and he filed this star-studded report:

It was very cool to see Nolan Bushnell, Atari founder and godfather of video games (shout-out to Pong!), at Red Hill Station last Friday night. He was in town for the Google I/O conference, and while in town he decided to dine at Red Hill Station.

Turns out his wife, Nancy, is a major LA foodie and visited Red Hill Station for dinner recently with her brother, a longtime Bernal resident. Nancy was so taken with the restaurant she made sure he paid a visit.

Nolan loved the food, the staff, the whole Bernal vibe, and when introduced to the chef, Taylor Pedersen’s eyes widened and he said he owed Bushnell a huge debt of gratitude. As a child of six, Taylor used to sing for quarters just for the chance to play Atari classics like Asteroids and Battlezone one more time.

PHOTO: Neighbor Robert