Saturday: Remembering Bernal Neighbor Bill Guedet

Sadly, Bernal Neighbor Bill Guedet of Gates Street passed away recently. His friends and family wth host a memorial celebration of his life on Saturday, May 20 at Wild Side West from 3-5 pm.

Neighbor Toria tells us more about Neighbor Bill:

I wanted to share the sad news about the passing of a longtime Bernal/Gates Street resident and San Francisco original — Bill Guedet.

On behalf of his son Ruben and his partner Erica, I’m spreading the word about a toast/memorial/celebration to be held on May 20th at Wild Side West from 3-5pm. Ruben grew up on Gates Street, and is currently living in New York.

Bill moved to San Francisco in the 60s. He lived in the Haight, hanging out with Janis Joplin and others from the community there. He moved out in 1967 because he saw the change that was heading for that neighborhood. After a time in Potrero, he landed in Bernal in 1976. He was a cable car driver and an avid photographer.

Bill was a familiar sight on Cortland, and always good for a story about the past, or opinions about the present. It still hasn’t quite sunk in that he’s gone.

Bill son Ruben grew up on Gates Street, and he tells us more about his dad, and his life in Bernal Heights:

My father was born Oct 2nd, 1942 in Merced, California. He remembers growing up in the 40’s and 50’s, fondly recalling sharing Sunday lunch with his grandfather, a field hand who did not speak English, but taught him how to eat in the Italian way, and developed Bill’s palate for anti pasta, olive oil and vinegar. Bill was one of a handful of white teenagers to see Little Richard play in Merced, and he tried to get over the wire fence that separated him from the Latino and African American kids that were having a much better time.

As soon as he could, he left the valley for San Francisco and stayed with some gay classmates who escaped with him. He never saw any real reason not to be friends with them; indeed his family’s request to avoid them was even more reason to, and studied theater as SF State.

He would have told you that SF State was the real ground zero for the 60’s. It was wilder, much messier, far more fun than posturing UC Berkeley, and it spilled out into the Haight. In a strange coincidence, Bill’s great grandfather ran a pharmacy at Haight and Ashbury for a while with his three brothers from Italy. Bill would continue that fascination with the scene there, he famously (though not uniquely) danced with Janis Joplin. She called him “dude”, saw the Stones, poo poo’d the Dead, and lived many stories there, before he saw the good natured feelings turn away from the hope and transformation once promised.

It was in the Panhandle that he made the acquaintance that would lead him to my mother Holly (an early date being the fabled Beatles show at Candlestick). This began the great tragic romance of his life, and Bill eventually settled in Bernal Heights when I was 6 years old. Some of that time he worked as a photographer for the Chronicle, but ultimately found that less satisfying than just pursuing his own work.

In the early 70’s Bill had gotten a job working nights on the Cable Cars. This began a rollicking few years of fun and misbehavior while “the folks” (or tourists) never let on that they were the main attraction. In 1984 the cable cars were renovated, and a poorly designed switch at Powell and Market brought an end to Bill’s time with Muni. Severely injured, Bill sought training as an accountant and came to find work at the Vintage Court Hotel as a night auditor.

In the 1980s Bill began to really invest time in Bernal Heights; he was always known as the guy who cleaned the streets by picking up trash in the area (this was before recycling gave value to cans and bottles), and was instrumental in getting trash cans installed on Cortland street. Closer to home, he began the epic house renovation that continues to this day; transforming our home on Gates street from a flophouse into a family home.

It was this success that encouraged Bill to start a neighborhood tree planting program shortly thereafter. He was a leader in getting street trees planted in Bernal Heights, and was very proud the tree he had planted in front of our house. He continued his civic engagement by working against a city plan to implement street cleaning on Gates Street. BIll’s focus and drive allowed him to improve the area, and devotion to Bernal Heights is an important part what the neighborhood is today.

Bill’s energy turned inward when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, a disease neither would ever recover from. After years of fighting with an implacable enemy, my mother succumbed and with her passing Bill would never have her far from his mind. For most of the last two decades this is the Bill that his Gates Street neighbors would come to know. Longtime residents might remember his messy attempt to redo the front of house (resulting in home made scaffolding up for years), or the eventual removal of the tree in front, but those who took the time to know Bill would understand that his passion for the area, and his love for San Francisco was never dimmed.

Bill passed on April 28th. Just as in life, he was supported by his neighbors on Gates Street in that time.

PHOTO: Bill Guedet, courtesy of his family

Neighbor Nicole Is Making Lip Balm for Locavores

Neighbor Nicole Spear lives down the block from me in Precitaville, and recently she mentioned that she’d launched her own small business to manufacture and distribute a line of handmade lip balm under the Metta Good brand.

Lip balm for locavores! Turns out, that’s a thing.

Bernalwood invited Neighbor Nicole to tell us more about her products, and she also shared news about a pop-up event happening this weekend. She says:

Metta Good is handmade, small batch, artisan lip balms inspired by love and nature.

It  began as an idea when I was at home with my newborn. I wanted to create a natural product that was not only safe for people and the planet but also looked good too. Creating a natural product married my interests of plants, design, and making things by hand.

It took me two years to launch, butI began selling products in December 2016, and now Metta Good is in six stores, including Succulence on Cortland and Perch in Glen Park.

Metta Good’s first Pop-Up Boutique Bazaar is happening at Woods Island Club on Treasure Island this weekend, Saturday and Sunday May 12-13.  I’m co-producing the event with another SF Made member Natasha Natasha Chatlein of Sheek Organics.

Pop-Up Boutique Bazaar is an opportunity to shop for  local handmade, small-batch goodies while hanging out at a beachy brewery on Treasure Island. Bring Mom and indulge her with luxe handmade bath and body products, gorgeous succulent arrangements, artisan jewelry, and candles all made by Bay Area local makers. You can also sample Treasure Island’s first brewery, Woods Island Club, located in a historic airplane hangar. There will also be tasty bites from El Porteño Empanadas and an inflatable slide for the kids.

The Pop-Up Boutique Bazaar happens at:

Woods Island Club
422 Clipper Cove Way on Treasure Island
Sat. May 13, 12-6pm
Sun. May 14, 12-5pm

All the details are on the Facebook Event page.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Metta Good

Check Out Bernal Artist Toby Klayman’s Immersive, Two-Day Studio Visits

For the last few years, Bernal Heights artist Toby Klayman has been offering intensive two-day art immersion classes at her studio via Airbnb. Now that the program has found its rhythm, Neighbor Toby invites other Bernal neighbors to come check it out.

Toby tells Bernalwood:

Airbnb recently started this new offshoot: Experiences by interesting people living in different cities. I’ve been offering an art immersion experience for more than a few years here in Bernal while its been in beta mode. The program is not just for travelers, but for anyone interested in taking Experiences, which are fun, or interesting, or educational.

My Experience (which they named Toby Madame Renaissance) is a 2 day, 8 hour art immersion. I give a tour of our art collection, then do an extensive mixed media demo in my studio of dozens of art tools, then it is “hands on” and everyone makes art!

I provide all small-format materials. On Day 1 of my Art Immersion, we have a catered luncheon after studio time, and I conduct an Art Roundtable including Art History, cultural information and discussion about what art has been made. We also discuss what new supplies and tools will be covered in the Studio Deep Dive, which is a 3 hour session on Day Two.

Click here for further information, price, and reviews from prior students.

I love this program and we’ve met so many amazing and darling people because of it. I hope to take some of the Experiences myself,  Cities now include LA, New York, Capetown, Tokyo etc. Very exciting! I love it!

PHOTOS: Toby Klayman in her studio, via Airbnb Experiences

Monday: Community Meeting on Proposed Homeless Facility at 1515 South Van Ness

1515 South Van Ness in Jan. 2017 (via Google Street View)

D9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen just announced plans to hold a community meeting about her proposal to establish a “pop-up” Navigation Center for the homeless at 1515 South Van Ness, near Cesar Chavez.

The meeting will be held on Monday April 24 at the Mission Cultural Center (2868 Mission) beginning at 6 pm.

Supervisor Ronen’s meeting announcement says:

I would like to invite you to a community meeting that I am holding this coming Monday April 24th at 6:00pm at the Mission Cultural Center regarding the proposal for a temporary Navigation Center at 1515 South Van Ness Ave.

I will be joined by the Director on the Department of Homelessness Jeff Kositsky, the San Francisco Police Chief William Scott, the Captain for Mission Station Bill Griffin, the Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru, and representatives from the Mayor’s office.

For those of you who may not be able to attend the meeting, I will be holding community office hours to discuss this proposal at Rincon Nayarit on Monday May 8th from 8:00am-10:00am.

Please see details bellow.

Community Meeting
Monday April 24th, 2017
6:00-8:00pm
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
2868 Mission St, SF 94110

Community Office Hours
Monday May 8th, 2017
8:00-10:00am
Rincon Nayarit
1500 South Van Ness Ave, SF 94109

If you have any questions about this meeting or my community office hours, please contact my Legislative Aide Carolina Morales at 415-554-7743 or via email at Carolina.Morales@sfgov.org

Best,
Hillary Ronen
District 9 Supervisor

Saturday: Celebrate Earth Day With the Kids at Paul Revere School

Neighbor Marcia brings word that Paul Revere School in South Bernal is hosting a kid-friendly Earth Day celebration tomorrow, on Saturday, April 22. She tells Bernalwood:

Come celebrate Earth Day at Paul Revere School with our Copa Mundial on Saturday, April 22, 1-5 p.m. on the Main Building’s yard (555 Tompkins, between Folsom and Banks).

There will be food, games, and a raffle drawing for a chance to win tickets to see the San Jose Earthquakes, SF City FC, and SF Deltas. The grand prize is four park-hopper tickets to Disneyland!

There will also be a farmers market stand with seeds, plants, and veggies from our very own school garden! Proceeds to benefit our new turf field which will be open to the neighborhood on weekends this fall!

PHOTO: Paul Revere School, via Neighbor Marcia

Wednesday: Learn The History of Earthquake Shacks in Bernal Heights

111 Years Ago Today: The 1906 earthquake, as seen from Bernal Hill in April 18, 1906. The St. Anthony’s Church steeple is visible in the foreground. (Image courtesy of the Bernal History Project)

This month’s Bernal History Project meeting is dedicated to the memory of the earthquake and fire on April 18, 1906. The meeting happens on  Wednesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. at the Bernal Heights Library (500 Cortland). All are invited.

Woody LaBounty and (former Bernal neighbor) David Gallagher, co-founders of the Western Neighborhoods Project, will present a slideshow featuring selected OpenSFHistory views of San Francisco’s recovery from the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. They’ll also tell the story of the Relief Cottage Plan that housed more than 16,000 refugees after the disaster.

These refugee cottages were popularly known as earthquake shacks. “Earthquake shacks are palpable reminders of the greatest disaster the city has experienced,” Woody says. “The surviving cottages are also, like the phoenix on the city’s seal, a symbol of San Francisco’s resilience.”

Camp 23, in Precita Park, had 250 refugee shacks, many of which still exist in Bernal Heights. (Courtesy SFPublic Library History Collection.)

Immediately after the 1906 earthquake and fire, tented camps for residents who’d lost their homes sprang up across the city in parks and other public spaces. In Bernal Heights, this included  a camp in Precita Park.

The shacks were very basic, one-roomed wooden structures without plumbing or heating, and they were intended to be temporary. Residents paid a minimal rent and had to obey military-style rules against peeking, drunkenness, and misbehavior in the camps.

After about a year, the camps began to close —  and some people took their shacks with them. More than 5,600 earthquake shacks, built in city parks as part of organized relief encampments, were moved out of refugee camps to be used as housing throughout the city, including Bernal Heights.

The Western Neighborhoods Project saved three of these cottages from demolition in the Sunset District in 2006, placing a restored one on Market Street for the centennial of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

Surviving refugee cottages in Bernal Heights, Santa Cruz, and elsewhere in San Francisco. (Courtesy the Bernal History Project)

Woody last talked to BHP about refugee cottages in 2004, when we knew of just a handful of surviving shacks in Bernal Heights. Since then, BHP has identified dozens more, and we’re discovering more all the time.

The meeting starts 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.

Get Your Passport for the Bernal Heights Beer Crawl, Happening Now

glassandpassport

Beer lovers of Bernal Heights, this is your moment. As previously noted, future historians will look upon our current era as a Golden Age for Bernal Beer, because recently a remarkable profusion of craft beer manufacturers and purveyors have set up shop here in Bernal Heights. Lucky us.

Happily, several of these esteemed beermongers have formed an alliance, and the result is that the first-ever Bernal Beer Crawl is currently underway right here, right now in our neighborhood. Neighbor Steve explains how to partake:

After years of being a great neighborhood — albeit one bereft of great craft beer — times have changed.

Six Bernal beer locations have teamed up to create a way for all Bernalese (and others who visit our corner of the city) to try the beers produced and/ or served and sold here in Bernal. The Bernal Beer Crawl started on Tuesday, February 14, and it runs through Sunday, February 19.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stop by to pick up your “Bernal Beerlands Passport” at any participating location:
    – Holy Water SF
    – Old Devil Moon,
    – Barebottle Brewing Company
    – Old Bus Tavern
    – BEL
    – Healthy Spirits
  • Patronize any 4 of the 6 participating locations to get “stamped,” until the end of Beer Week. (purchase of one full-sized beer=one stamp)
  • At the 4th location you get a Free Bernal Beer Crawl glass + a free pour of the beer of the bars choice, or 35% off any 22oz Beer or 6 pack at Healthy Spirits.

Check out the Facebook event page here for full details.

Cheers,

Neighbor Steve
(of Andover Street and BeerByBART.com)

PHOTO: Nifty custom Bernal Beer Crawl glass and passport, by Neighbor Steve