Carlos Santana’s Former House on Mullen Avenue Is For Sale

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Last week, the house at 205 Mullen Ave. in northeast Bernal Heights was listed for sale. The asking price is $975K for the 2BR house, which prompted our friends at the CurbedSF blog to weep that “a starter home in San Francisco is now officially a touch under one million” — which is a totally legit thing to weep about.

Yet with that said, CurbedSF didn’t account for the fact that 205 Mullen comes with one very, very unique feature: Carlos Santana used to live in it.

It’s true.  Sanata lived in northeast Bernal in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and during the early years, when he was playing epic, ad hoc concerts in Precita Park, he lived here, at 205 Mullen.  Later, a few members of Journey lived there too (Trivia Fun Fact: Journey was founded by a manager and musicians who started out working with Santana.)

Anyway, Neighbor N owns the Santana House now, so Bernalwood asked him to describe what it’s been like to live there:

I still think about the first time I came to the house. Stupidly, I had no real conceptions of Bernal’s north slope view. It was also probably the first house I looked at in Bernal.

I walked in the door and said, “Wow, I had no idea the view was that good.”

I didn’t find out till later (possibly from a certain neighborhood blog) that Santana (and some members of Journey) used to live here. A few people came by to snap pics that week. Everyone is always very respectful.

I really do wonder what the house was like when Santana lived here. At some point, someone put up a solid, nearly seven-foot-tall fence, with spikes above that. There were shutters on the bay window, closing off the southern light. The house was very, very walled off from the street. Here’s how it looked in 2012:

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That never felt like Santana to me.

When I refaced the fence with pickets, we worked hard to get both the height and the spacing just right. I didn’t want another Wall on Mullen, as I used to call the old fence. But I wanted privacy. I also didn’t want the house to be hidden behind the fence. From the beginning, I wanted to open up the house, because it’s such a quintessentially San Francisco house.

I’d like to think we got it pretty right. As soon as the new fence was up, there was a much nicer sense of connection to the rest of the neighborhood, and the light was totally different. Same when I replaced the shutters with curtains and added a new frosted front door to let in more of that southern light. I get a ton of light now, and I still have that crazy-good view from the back.

Now, when you walk by the house, you can see the sun setting through the house. I think that’s pretty special.

After the fence, the other big thing I changed was the color. I have always liked dark houses. I used to own a funny little ranch house on eastern Long Island that I painted charcoal about 15 years ago. I liked the idea of all dark on the outside and all light on the inside.

For San Francisco, I wanted dark, but definitely a color, so I chose this charcoal-y blue, but it’s definitely blue. I really like it when neighbors say “You live in the blue house!” To me, that means they get it.

I like monochromatic houses because it makes it more about the house and less about the paint *on* the house. I wanted to really show off the house.

I’d like to think Santana would like it too. I really tried to let the house be what it should have been all along, which is probably more like it was when Santana lived here.

PHOTOS: 2012 photo by Telstar Logistics. Contemporary photos courtesy of Neighbor N.

Wednesday: Phonographic Memory with Bernal Rockstar Matt Nathanson

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Oh, how time flies when you’re enjoying the memories…

On Wednesday evening the fabulous Phonographic Memory project celebrates its second anniversary. First launched in 2014, Phonographic Memory was created by Bernal Neighbor Corey Bloom. It’s an exchange of recollections through vinyl records, during which guests are given a few minutes to share a personal story or memory about a song or the record, and then play a song from that album. Since then, Phonographic Memory has also spawned a podcast, so you can listen some of the stories presented in the series as they were shared at our very Bernal Heights library.

Wednesday’s second anniversary edition of Phonographic Memory will be pretty special,  with a memory presentation by Bernal’s own celebrity rockstar-in-residence, Neighbor Matt Nathanson.

Bernal library’s celebrity branch manager Valerie Reichert tells Bernalwood:

Bernal Branch Library is psyched to announce a very special guest participating in Wednesday’s anniversary celebration of Phonographic Memory: Bernal neighbor, platinum artist, Matt Nathanson will be on board!

The program format will be as always — a story in mind and a record in hand. It’s an evening about vinyl records, personal attachments and storytelling. Special guests also include David Bustamante, Dug Infinite, and Jon Bernson, The event will be held upstairs in the main area of the branch.

Phonographic Memory: 2nd Anniversary Celebration!
with Special Guest presenters:

  • Matt Nathanson – Singer/ Songwriter
  • David Bustamante – 70s Rock Band Dakila
  • Dug Infinite – Hip-Hop Producer/ DJ
  • Jon Bernson – Vocalist, ExRays

Wed. Sept 21
7 -9 pm – FREE
SFPL Bernal Heights Branch Library
500 Cortland Ave., SF, CA 94110

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PHOTO: Top, Bernal neighbor Matt Nathanson, courtesy of Phonographic Memories

China Films Moody New Music Video in Bernal Heights

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Ah well. So it goes: Another week, another ridiculously sexy music video filmed here in Bernal Heights.

This one comes by way of China (the local Americana-folk band, NOT the famous Asian nation of 1.4 billion people). China recorded their newest video on the undiscovered streets around The Lost Tribe of College Hill, and the Bay Bridged explains the rest:

China went up to Bernal Heights to record a video for “Everyone Thinks I’m a Loser.” Royal Oakie founder David Glassebrook produced and directed the visuals, with his partner Yasamine June chipping in as co-director, art director, and cinematographer. Shot entirely on Super 8, it’s a dark, lovely, grainy ride, with a touch of humor to make sure you aren’t totally wallowing in self-pity. It all feels just right:

Bonus: The Bay Bridged adds that China is doing a release show at the beloved Make Out Room on Sunday, June 17, so if you like what you hear today, you can go see China on Sunday.

New Song Is Called “Bernal Heights,” But the Video Is Somewhere Else

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This week, Duckwrth released a new video for his song “Bernal Heights.”

The song is a sweet jam, but fair warning: The words don’t match the visuals. Duckwrth was raised in San Francisco, but he now lives in Los Angeles, and the video for “Bernal Heights” was filmed on the streets of South Central.

Oh well. Still, the song does owe its genesis to this place we Bernalese call home, as Duckwrth explained to the Free Bread blog:

“Bernal Heights, the majestic hill that lives on the southside of San Francisco. In 2014, I wrote this song (produced by Spencer Stevens) about a shroom trip I had with a girl on this hill. Due to the push of the Nowhere project, I never got a chance to drop this song. So recently, Emmeline Kim, Free Bread and I came together to create visuals for BH. Unfortunately we couldn’t get to San Francisco to shoot this, so instead we used my old neighborhood in South Central, Los Angeles to create this story about romance, envy and sweet fuckin’ victory.”

Check it out:

Yeah, that sounds about right: “Bernal Heights… where the grass is greener, with a chill-type demeanor.”

Despite the offsite location scouting, we hope “Bernal Heights” helps make Duckwrth a superstar. There’s precedent for this, after all: Jhameel got a bump when he released his “Bernal Heights” back in 2010. Here’s hoping the Bernal muse will work her magic twice.

Tuesday Afternoon: Hear Beethoven at the Bernal Heights Library

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Valerie Reichert, manager of your Bernal Heights public library, shares this announcement about a special, live performance of Beethoven’s music happening on the library patio on Tuesday, May 10 at 4 pm:

Cypress String Quartet
Beethoven in the City: Opus 127
Bernal Heights Library: Front Patio!
Tuesday, May 10th, 4 PM 
All Ages Welcome

We’re excited to announce that we are a host for Cypress String Quartet’s 20th year celebration Beethoven in The City. The celebration featuring Beethoven 16 String Quartets takes place this month throughout (11) districts of the City. All concerts are free and publicly accessible.

Beethoven in The City was conceived by the CSQ as a way not only to give back to the city that has fostered and inspired their music making, but also as a celebration of San Francisco. Through Beethoven in The City, the CSQ aims to bring Beethoven’s music to the broadest range of individuals possible. As a composer who overcame severe personal challenges to propagate his belief in the equality of humankind, Beethoven is a great ambassador for both classical music and human rights, and CSQ believes his music can speak to anyone. Come join us this May for an incredible City-wide musical celebration!

This is a feature event, and given that good weather is forecast for Tuesday, it should be really lovely.

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!