Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Fiesta on the Hill Returns to Cortland Avenue!

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After a long hiatus, Fiesta on the Hill returns to Cortlandia thus Sunday, Oct. 22. Yaaaay!

An ancient Bernal Heights tradition that dates back to the era of the chert sprites, Fiesta is the once-a-year occasion when Cortland Avenue shuts down to traffic so modern-day Bernalese can promenade with impunity. It’s a locavore bounty of tasty food, artisanal offerings, bumpin’ beats, and games and attractions to absorb the surplus energies of feral children. And it’s all presented by the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center and the Bernal Business Alliance.

Here’s everything you need to know, courtesy of BHNC and BBA:

The Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center is happy to welcome everyone back to Fiesta on the Hill, 2017, Sunday, October 22, from 10:00 – 4:00!

Thanks to all our sponsors, including Sutter Health CPMC2020 and a host of others, our beloved annual event can continue as a fundraiser to support the essential programs the BHNC provides to our community, including senior lunches, affordable housing, and a great space for youth activities.

Join us for music from favorite local bands including the SF Jazz High School All-Stars Quintet, the San Francisco Community Music Center Senior Choir, the Bayonics Reggae Band, Fito Reinoso and his Cuban Songs, and the Adelante Salsa Band at the west end of Cortland.

Also returning is the neighborhood favorite children’s area, with rides and face painting and endless festival fun on the east Cortland side.

Along the middle Cortland corridor we are pleased to again feature a variety of artisan booths, Bay Area businesses and some of the best food vendors and trucks in the city. Get your pictures taken with family and friends at the photo booth in front of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. And stop by their Community Engagement table, where you can get information about safety, upcoming community events and activities that the BHNC puts together.

The theme for this year’s festival is the Summer of Love, and as October is our sunshine season, be sure to come dressed in your best vintage 1960’s attire. Prizes will be awarded on stage for some of the favorite costumes spotted in the crowd.

Our Cortland merchants will be featuring specials at their stores and restaurants, so be sure to stop by and check out their offerings. The Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center will be selling commemorative Fiesta T-shirts for $20 for adults and $15 for kids that you can tie-dye next door outside 12 Small Things. Be sure to get yours before they run out.

Many of our local merchants have donated great raffle prizes that can be yours with a $5.00 donation to the BHNC, so be sure to get your tickets the week before at the BHNC at 515 Cortland or on the morning of the Fiesta. Raffle tickets will be drawn and announced on stage throughout the day, so come early for the best chance to win and enjoy the celebration!

With thanks to all our generous sponsors, volunteers, neighbors, and attendees, we couldn’t do this without your support.

PHOTOS: Scenes from Fiestas past, by Telstar Logistics

Wednesday: See and Hear The Story of Angelo Morosi’s Life in Bernal Heights

Angelo Morino (right) with his friend Bob Bonino on Bernal hill, circa 1927. Photo courtesy Lyn Morosi-Allison,

Following last month’s successful presentation of Bill Cassidy’s oral history interview with Melvin Anderson, on Wednesday, October 18, the Bernal History Project will screen excerpts from Bill’s interview with Angelo Morosi (1915-2006) alongside a slideshow of Morosi family photos.

We are delighted to welcome members of Angelo’s family, including his children and their cousins, to the show!

Angelo and Elva Morosi with their De Soto, 1938. Photo courtesy Lyn Morosi-Allison

Angelo’s family came from Italy, and moved to Bernal from North Beach as World War I was ending.

He and his siblings grew up on Holladay and Powhattan, sliding down the hill on pieces of cardboard and being teased about bringing salami sandwiches to school when lots of the other kids had peanut butter. Later, he ran a successful painting business, and raised a family of his own with his wife, Elva.

Angelo with his children, Dick, Joyce, and Lyn Morosi, circa 1957. Photo courtesy Lyn Morosi-Allison

Thirty years ago, Bill, a lifelong resident of northeastern Bernal Heights, filmed a series of interviews that evolved into an oral history project. He sought out people who had been born and/or raised on the hill and asked them to share their stories.

Bill’s interviews have rarely been seen publicly since they were recorded; he is kindly sharing these with us for the first time. His work has helped inspire the Bernal History Project’s own research and oral history recordings.

The meeting starts on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. sharp in the downstairs meeting room at the Bernal branch library (500 Cortland at Anderson); turn left at the bottom of the stairs.

As always, it is free, kid-friendly, and open to all. Muni: 24, 67. Street parking: can be tricky because this is St. Kevin’s bingo night.

Tonight! Raise a Glass for First Friday at Heartfelt &

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Neighbor Darcy Lee, proprietor of the fabulous Heartfelt stores on Cortland, is the kind of person who knows how to turn even a rainy day into a cause for celebration. This evening, Friday, Oct. 6 beginning at 6 pm, Neighbor Darcy will hail the arrival of the first Friday of the month by pouring elixir and taking 10% off the price of all the merchandise at Heartfelt &, her clothing store at 409 Cortland. All are invited.

Neighbor Darcy tells Bernalwood:

This Friday I am sharing my current favorite bubbly with you at our wee storefront Heartfelt &.

We are doing it each first Friday of the month so get used to smiling and toasting with us all the while trying on clothes and listening to ooooos or nahs. This is going to be fun.

PHOTO: Darcy Lee during a rainstorm, 2015, by Telstar Logistics.

Saturday: Learn to Paint Your Own Bernal Hill Landscape with BHNC

Are you ready to discover your inner Bob Ross? This Saturday, Sept. 30, the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (BHNC) will become a painting studio as part of a fundraiser that will help pay for next month’s Fiesta on the Hill.

Ailed Quijano Paningbatan-Swan, BHNC’s director of community engagement, says:

So excited to announce Paint on the Hill at BHNC! All proceeds for this family fun fundraising event goes to this years Fiesta on the Hill!

You are invited to our first ever Paint Day at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (515 Cortland). To focus on community-building as well as provide a space for neighbors to get to know each other, we’re holding this great event in partnership with local merchants.

This will be one of many series that we will be partnering with various groups and merchants in Bernal.

A few months ago we did a family spaghetti feed in partnership with Emmys Spaghetti Shack and the library – that event sold out in a few days.This time we’re partnering with Barebottle Brewery to present a day of painting, wine, good eats, and great-tasting beer.

There will also be a painting activity for kids (12 and under). All materials canvas, brushes, paint etc are included in purchased tickets for adults and kids.

Tickets are limited, so buy yours soon!

Also, save the date: Ailed tells Bernalwood that the 2017 edition of Fiesta on the Hill is set to happen on Sunday, October 22.

Eat! Drink! Celebrate! It’s Old Devil Moon’s First Anniversary

This week, the fabulous Old Devil Moon at 3472 Mission (near Cortland) will celebrate its first anniversary. Hooray!  Congrats!

The big first-anniversary bash happens this Saturday, Sept. 23, but Old Devil Moon has a series of events lined up for this week. Co-owner Chris Cohen wants to tell you all about them:

Old Devil Moon is one year-old, and we want to invite our Bernal neighbors  to join the celebration.  We couldn’t do what we do without your support.

We’re having a anniversary event on Saturday, Sept. 23 from noon to 2AM featuring an insane list of rare and special beer. We’re also releasing permanent updated food and cocktail menus to ring in year two.

ODM is rolling out an updated food menu. We’re retaining established hits such as the Fried Gulf Shrimp, Oyster Rockefeller, Fried Chicken, and Roast Beef Po Boys. New dishes include: Fried Pickle Spears made with Paulie’s Pickling ODM pickles; a Louisiana Hot Link Po Boy; a BBQ Beef Sando; a super juicy ODM Cheeseburger made with two ¼ lb patties; & Devil’s Pups, hush puppies topped with powdered sugar, Ghirardelli chocolate, & whipped cream.

We’re also rolling out an updated cocktail menu that keeps old favorites but adds lots of new options including: the Devil’s Daiquiri, a rhum agricole daiquiri with Averna; the Bitter Mai Tai, made with Campari and Jamaican rum; a classic Boulevardier on draft; the Spirit Raiser, our tequila-based take on a Corpse Reviver; The Moon Also Rises, our mezcal-based take on a The Sun Also Rises; plus a few others. Our cocktails will remain in the $8-11 range they’ve always been in.

At the anniversary party we’ll also be grilling 1/4 lb Coney Dogs on the back patio until 4PM (with our newly updated food menu going into effect from 6PM to midnight). Live music will be provided by local bluesman Derek Fairchild starting at 7PM. We’ll have new ODM tees available featuring a ouija board inspired design.

After all that, we’re also doing an Oktoberfest + Sloppy Seconds event from Thursday Sept. 28 through Saturday Sept. 30. The “Sloppy Seconds” refers to the fact that we’ll be tapping all the remaining kegs of awesome beer on tap from our 1 Year Anniversary event, so folks who missed that event will get a second shot at trying a bunch of them (with 20 special kegs on for the anniversary, undoubtedly most will be pouring a few days later). We’ll also be pouring a bunch of German lagers and doing special Bratwurst Po Boys.

PHOTO: Old Devil Moon, courtesy of Brett Walker

Wednesday: An Oral History About Swedish-Americans in Bernal Heights

From left: Bill Cassidy; The Swedish Lutheran Emanuel Church at Cortland and Folsom, as seen in the1920s; Melvin Anderson. (Photos: Bernal History Project)

On Wednesday evening, Sept. 20, the Bernal History Project hosts a special presentation, courtesy of Bill Cassidy, a lifelong resident of northeastern Bernal Heights and a remarkable source of information about our neighborhood.

Thirty years ago, Bill filmed a series of interviews that evolved into an oral history project. He sought out people who had been born and raised on the hill and asked them to share their stories. “When they died, this would all be gone,” he says. “And then the history’s gone, too.” Bill wanted to show younger and newer residents of Bernal what life had been like.

His interviews have rarely been seen publicly since they were recorded; he is kindly sharing these with us for the first time. His work has helped inspire the Bernal History Project’s own research and oral history recordings.

This month’s meeting will feature around 40 minutes of Bill’s 1987 interview with Melvin Anderson (1911-2003).

Melvin’s parents, Alfred and Tilda, came to the United States from Sweden in the 1880s and moved to Brewster and Costa Streets before the start of the 20th century. Melvin goes into depth about his remembrances of growing up on the hill. (A cousin was Jack Anderson, the Pulitzer-winning investigative reporter.)

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. sharp on Wednesday, Sept. 20 in the downstairs meeting room at the Bernal branch library (500 Cortland at Anderson); turn left at the bottom of the stairs. As always, it’s free, kid-friendly, and open to all.

Saturday: Taste Guacamole Glory at the 6th Annual Guac-Off Competition!

2015 Guac-Off Champion Elle “Monster Guac” Garcia clutches the Guacamole Glory Trophy

Attention all ye Acolytes of the Avocado: The 6th Annual Guac-Off Guacamole Competition is coming this weekend, and once again it’s happening right here in Bernal Heights.

Yes, that’s right: Guac-Off 2017 happens this Saturday, September 9 beginning a 1 pm at Dr. Rick’s glamorous Farmhouse Mansion, at 3340 Folsom near the top of the hill at Ripley.  That means if you you want to compete, you’d best get on the phone to beg your abuela for her secret recipe. The event is free, but  check out the website for complete details.

Here’s the guac-and-roll pep rally, courtesy of Guacstar Luke:

As this weather has surely reminded you, Indian Summer is here. So that means that it’s time again for the Annual Indian Summer Guac-off!

We’d love for you to join us this Saturday, September 9th, as we’ll once again be at Dr. Rick’s house for our 6th annual celebration of the almighty avocado.

This year promises to be even more fun, as we’ll have 10 different prize categories, a restaurant showcase with guacamoles from some of our favorite restaurants, chips provided by Tacolicious, and of course, an even bigger Guacamole Glory Trophy.

The rules this year are simple: Your our guacamole must use at least 8 avocados, and it must arrive by 2pm. Other than that, let your creativity run wild!

We love having lots of Bernal neighbors show up. As always, the event is completely free, although guests are obviously encouraged to bring guacamole!