Mystery Solved: Glittery “Dream” Sign Is a New Art Installation


Last week, a few befuddled Bernalwood readers shared news that a new sign was installed in Alemanistan, on an exposed slope in southeast Bernal Heights, right next to the big billboard that overlooks the 101/280 “Spaghetti Bowl” interchange and the Alemany Farmer’s Market.

The sign sits just below the intersection of Bradford and Jarboe, and it spells out “DREAM” in glamorous, glittery silver letters.

Neighbor Lupe wrote, “I’m curious because the installation of this new sign, art, billboard… whatever it is, was clearly a very expensive endeavor, and it was professionally installed. A team of men dug holes for cement piers, assembled the sign itself, and used a huge boom to lift the sign from Peralta onto the hill!”

Neighbor Samir shared this photo of the installation, with the boom lift in operation:

DREAM sign installation, as photographed by Neighbor Samir

Neigbor Donna also noticed the installation, which she said reminded her of “letters à la the Hollywood sign.”

(Which is to say, it’s also – cough! cough! – à la the Bernalwood sign.)

Thus intrigued, we mobilized the Bernalwood Investigates™ News Team over the weekend.  Here’s what we learned:

The basic facts check out just as described; There really is a glamorous, glittery new “DREAM” sign overlooking the Spaghetti Bowl, and it was clearly built to last, with a sturdy steel frame embedded in concrete foundations.

Fortuitously, while were on the scene Bernalwood interviewed a neighbor who had spoken with the installation crew. The neighbor said he’d been told the new sign was authorized by the San Francisco Department of Public Works, while the sign itself was built under the auspices of a local arts organization.

With that tip in hand, Bernalwood Investigates™ rushed back to the newsroom. A few minutes of searching on the BernalWeb revealed that the sign was designed by artist Ana Teresa Fernández, with support from the fabulous Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA).

Even better, we also learned that an unveiling ceremony for the piece will happen this Friday, Sept. 22, from 11 am – 1 pm at the Alemany Farmer’s Market.

Here’s the project overview, as detailed in YBCA’s media release:

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) announced today the upcoming unveiling of DREAM, a public art installation by visual artist Ana Teresa Fernández, commissioned by YBCA and co-sponsored by San Francisco Public Works. Facing San Francisco’s Excelsior District, the sculpture will serve as a public expression of YBCA’s ongoing partnership with the area. Composed of ten-foot-high block letters spelling out the word DREAM, the shimmering sculpture will be situated on the hill above the Alemany Food Market and will be seen by commuters going to and from San Francisco at the Highway 101-Highway 280 merge.
A public unveiling of the sculpture will be held on Friday, September 22, 2017, 11 am–1 pm at the Alemany Farmer’s Market, located at 100 Alemany Blvd. The event will feature performances by students from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Bessie Carmichael Elementary, where YBCA has provided civically engaged arts education programs since 2015. […]
Two years in the making, the DREAM sculpture is located less than a mile from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and will be installed near the intersection of the unimproved streets of Jarboe and Peralta. The sculpture, spelling out the word DREAM, is attached to a support system on the south side of Bernal Heights facing Bayshore Blvd. its facade consists of metallic disks that create a visual effect of three-dimensional shimmering water.
Explains artist Ana Teresa Fernández, “At Bayshore hill, and beneath two heavily transited freeway overpasses, sits an industrial building whose bottom half is entirely upholstered by graffiti tags that spell out the word DREAM. This graffiti is a creative epitaph to one of the best-known and most beloved graffiti writers and peace fighters from the Bay Area, Mike “Dream” Francisco of Oakland, who was killed in the year 2000. I was inspired to take the text and create a three-dimensional version higher up on the hill, like the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Instead of casting your hopes on fame or notoriety, this would be a sign to compel individuals—not just the widely mixed-race population that inhabits and transits through this area, but all individuals who come across it—to start identifying their goals and aspirations, from a place of consciousness and awareness, and to begin the process of pursuing them.”

 

Proposed Pinball Center Finds New Home on Misson Street in Bernal Heights

sfpinball

After all the fuss and cranky backlash, Neighbors Christian and Elizabeth have finally found another location for their proposed pinball spot in Bernal Heights.

As you may recall, Neighbors Christian and Elizabeth are proud denizens of Bocana, and they’d originally planned to open their pinball center at 1000 Cortland,  in the site of a former hair salon on the corner of Folsom. That plan, alas, foundered in the face of opposition from a few nearby residents, leaving the proposed pinball palace in search of a new location.

Happily, they’ve found one: Under the new name Outer Orbit, Neighbors Christian and Elizabeth now plan to set up shop on Mission Street in Bernal Heights, near the intersection of Valencia, in the storefront that’s currently home to Bel, the Belgian restaurant.

Neighbors Christian and Elizabeth tell us:

For all of you who’ve been following the trials and tribulations of us trying to get our little pinball spot off the ground, we are delighted to announce that we’ve found a location and signed a lease! We tried mightily to open a place on Cortland Ave, but we fished through all the prospects and instead found our oasis on Mission Street (where it meets Valencia), so we will still be able to serve the families of Bernal Heights.

We expect to open in early spring after doing some light renovation. Our plan is to have nine machines ranging from vintage (EM, for those in the know) all the way to brand new games, while providing a fun and inviting atmosphere to match the pins.

In the evenings when the kids have settled off to La La Land, we’ll have plenty of beers and wines to keep the evening exciting. And the big reveal: Hawaiian-inspired eats! I grew up in Hawaii and have been dreaming of bringing well-executed novel touches of Hawaiiana to accessible dining.

So thanks again for all the interest and support you kind folks on Bernal have shown us. It’s been the fire that’s kept us going.

So that means family-friendly pinball, drinks, and Hawaiian food, all just a convenient bumper-bounce away all the other fabulous restaurants and bars in the delightfully vibrant, delightfully low-key Nano-Tokyo District and La Lengua Nightlife Zone. Game on!

Of course, Bel has a lot of fans in the neighborhood too, so it’s sad to see them go.  According to MissionLocal, Richard Rosen, the chef and co-woner of Bel had a motorcycle accident recently, after which it became more difficult to operate the business.  Rosen and his partner and co-owner, Jennifer Garris, also own the excellent Pi Bar on Valencia near 25th. We wish them all the best.

PHOTO: San Francisco pinball game, photographed at the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda by Telstar Logistics.

Black Jet Bakery Now Open for Business on Cortland

Gillian Shaw at her new Black Jet Bakery

There’s been a lot of excitement and anticipation about Gillian Shaw’s plan to open her celebrated Black Jet Baking Co. in the former Sandbox/Pinkie’s space at 833 Cortland, at the corner of Gates. Now the wait is over, because Black Jet is officially open for business.

As you may recall, Gillian Shaw is a former Bernal Heights resident who was also the baker the former Liberty Cafe. She tells Bernalwood:

We are in love with our space, our goodies and so delighted to be open!

We are so excited to be in the space and seeing all the friendly faces! As a wholesaler, we’re not used to seeing our customers in the flesh, and it has been such a treat! I love seeing all the Liberty faces and longtime Black Jet fans who remind us of pastries we have done in the past. Bernal is such a special place and I feel so lucky to have learned to bake on Cortland and have a bakery on this street!

I am planning for a GRAND OPENING PARTY on Saturday APRIL 29th, which also happens to be my birthday! We were thinking of having a happy hour party with cupcakes and snacks to celebrate! Would love to welcome people to stop by! I am thinking festivities to begin at 5 and go til 7.

For your info, we carry the following Liberty Items:

  • Blueberry Corn Muffins
  • Raspberry Bran Muffins
  • Banana Cream Pie
  • (Chicken Pot Pie to come sooooon)
  • Liberty Scones

MY FAVORITE ITEMS that are exclusive to the shop:

  • Danish!
  • Boston Cream Croissant is a croissant filled with pastry cream and topped with ganache. This beauty is named after my sister Jen, who is the mastermind.
  • Croissants! We are using the SANDBOX recipe under the kind guidance of Mutsumi who is the best landlord ever. We adore her and are so proud to be using the Sandbox recipe.
  • Mascot/Somerville: our signature beverage is the SOMERVILLE which is a shot of espresso, steamed milk and dollop of housemade toasted FLUFF. Fluff, my obsession was created in SOMERVILLE, MA where I used to live. We developed the’ MASCOT’ after Audrey Duane, our amazing mascot who doesn’t care for espresso… and has a hot chocolate with fluff instead.

Other Points:

We have the best staff ever and I am so proud of each and every one of them! It is a stressful and crazy time opening a bakery, but everyone has been so determined and excited and hardworking to create our little shop.

I am also over the moon to let people know that Max B. Newman, who worked with me at the Liberty, is BACK in the Black Jet fold after working at Zuni & Marla. We are so lucky to have him back in Bernal.

I am a happy happy tired baker and are so grateful to everyone!

Hope to see everyone in the shop soon, especially you!

The Bernalwood Culinary Expedition Team had the opportunity to visit Black Jet last weekend.  We ate many things during our foray, including a meyer lemon and havarti danish, a ham, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, and a morning bun. We  can confirm that everything we tried was insanely delicious. Yum!

PHOTOS: All photos by Telstar Logistics

Eye of the Avocado Re-Pops Inside Little Bee Baking

eyeofavodado

As you may recall, waaaaaaaay back in January Bernlwood wrote about Chef Jes Taber and the Eye of the Avocado pop-up breakfast and lunch sandwich place she opened on Cortland Avenue inside the former Sandbox/Pinkie’s Bakery space.

As you may also recall, Eye of the Avocado attracted substantial love and affection, thanks to Chef Jes’s cult-favorite  “Roy G. Biv Sandi” egg sandwich, which Bernalwood readers have described as “a slice of heaven” and “by far the best [breakfast sandwich] I’ve ever had.”

Whoa. With bona fides like that, we’re pleased to report that Chef Jes has now relocated her pop-up just up the street, inside the fabulous Little Bee Baking shop at 521 Cortland, right across from the library.

She tells Bernalwood:

Eye Of The Avocado, is a Pop Up Cafe at 521 Cortland @ Little Bee Bakery. We’re excited to continue to be part of the beloved Bernal Heights community. We offer one of the best dang egg sandwiches you will ever eat, the “Roy G. Biv Sandi”. (It’s name is the acronym for the rainbow, after it’s colorful ingredients.)

We are open Fri – Sun 8am-ish – Sell Out or 2pm. We are proud to be working within Little Bee Bakery. Little Bee offers amazing fresh fruit tarts, fresh ginger cake that will make your heart soar, gluten free brownies, & four barrel coffee to boot.

We hope to see you soon!

PHOTO: The famous Roy G. Biv Sandi + Bacon, courtesy of Eye of the Avocado

Sunday: Grand Opening Party for New 12 Small Things Store on Cortland

kanes513cortland

A new business is moving into the former Gifts on the Hill space at 513 Cortland. This Sunday, October 9, Bernal Neighbor Laurie Kanes will hold a grand opening celebration for 12 Small Things, her new store and showroom for artisanal crafts from around the world. Neighbor Laurie tells Bernalwood:

I’m the new tenant for the former thrift shop space at 513 Cortland that is next to the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

My husband and I moved to the neighborhood in 1989, and we’ve raised our two daughters here. After 30 years working in-house for corporate retailer’s creative departments, I started 12smallthings.com to showcase handmade products from artisans in need of support around the world.

Working out of my home, I expanded the business to include wholesale representation for these groups at gift trade shows for retailers. I was outgrowing my living room office and also needed a showroom when the BHNC space became available. They were looking for a small business they felt would work well in the neighborhood and had some non-profit or social responsibility connections.

I feel very grateful to be in this new space and part of the Cortland corridor, where I will be selling my products in the showroom/store. As a member of the community and the Bernal Business Alliance, I already have a strong connection to the neighborhood, but getting a chance to say hi to everyone while I’ve been renovating the place has been very welcoming and encouraging.

I am having an opening party this Sunday, October 9th, from 3:00 – 6:00 at 513 Cortland with music and light refreshments and would like to invite you and your readers to stop by and say hi.

Can’t promise that everything will be up and running smoothly right away, but hopefully I’ll have some time here to figure out the details along the way.

Many thanks!
Laurie

12smallthings

Old Devil Moon Beer Restaurant Now Open on Mission Street

ODMfacade

It took a lot longer than expected (which is what we always expect), but this week Old Devil Moon, the brand-new, beer-obsessed restaurant at 3472 Mission Street at the foot of Cortland Avenue, finally opened for business. Welcome!

As you no doubt recall, Old Devil Moon was co-founded by former La Lengua resident Chris Cohen, who lived for a time on fashionable Tiffany Street, next door to the owner of La Terrazza, the bar that was previously at 3472 Mission. The two got to talking, and the owner of La Terrazzo eventually said “I’ve actually been thinking about retiring for a couple years, I’d love to sell you my place.” Thus, the torch was honorably passed from La Terrazzo to Old Devil Moon.

So what’s Old Devil Moon all about? InsideScoop explains:

Old Devil Moon [is] the new beer-focused restaurant from Chris Cohen (founder of the SF Homebrewers Guild), along with business partners Will Marshall, Andrew Kelley, Ericka Schell and Carson Beker. (Kelley, Schell and Cohen are all certified cicerones.)

Located in the former La Terraza space on Mission Street, Old Devil Moon takes its inspiration from other local beer-focused restaurants, like Oakland’s Hog’s Apothecary and Monk’s Kettle in the Mission. However, the vibe and food for the space will be New Orleans-inspired.

The project has been in the works a couple of years and took longer than originally thought because the team ended up having to completely gut the space and rebuild from the ground up. The delay was worth it for Cohen, since it allowed the team to build out a new draft system exactly to their specifications that includes a large walk-in cooler behind the bar that can hold 19 kegs, as well as three smaller coolers to store different styles of beers at different temperatures.

In addition to the 19 draft beers, plus one hand-pump cask ale, the bar will offer about 30 easy-drinking canned beers, as well as a large selection of larger format barrel-aged imperial stouts and sour beers. Some of the breweries the bar will be showcasing include local and domestic offerings from Sante Adarius, Freewheel Brewing Co., Fieldwork, Modern Times, Almanac and Craftsman, as well as some from further afield including Rodenbach Grand Cru from Belgium and hard-to-find Switzerland brew, Samichlaus.

Apart from all the beer, Old Devil Moon also offers a list of signature cocktails, while the food menu is built around New Orleans-style favorites such as Po Boys, gumbo, and fried oysters. (Insert Pavlovian Response here.)

teamodm

Old Devil Moon opened for business on Monday night, and the place was reportedly packed. Chris Cohen from Team ODM tells Bernalwood:

There were a few moments from our opening night that meant the moon to us.

Like the guy who said, “I’ve lived in the neighborhood for decades – I’m so happy this place has an unpretentious, friendly vibe. I’ll be back.”

And the other who said, “We’ve lived in Bernal Heights for 30 years, and me and my wife are both beer lovers. I’m excited there’s a place I can go to with great beer just down the hill from my house.”

A third customer asked for help choosing some beer. Sure! Then he asked for a fortune. Sure! Two patrons told us our menu board was magic (it is!) and then sang Old Devil Moon and everyone clapped.

It felt like our vision come true: We want this to be a neighborhood place with destination-worthy beer where magic can happen. We want to get to know you, so it made us so happy to see our friends and neighbors meet. Thanks to everyone who came down the hill for a great beer, thanks for a great welcome for Old Devil Moon to the neighborhood, and if you haven’t been down yet, welcome! Come raise spirits and make some mischief with us.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Old Devil Moon

New Neighbor Lives Near Barebottle Brewing, Highly Recommends It

barebottlebeers

It’s here. The predicted Golden Age for Beer in Bernal Heights is here.

Barebottle Brewing Company at 1525 Cortland has been open now for about a month, and it’s an impressive addition to our local drinkosphere. Neighbor Todd H. is a new Bernal resident who lives very close to Barebottle, and he shared these impressions of the place with us:

A month ago we lived in SOMA — 440 feet away from the Cellermaker brewery. It was hard to leave SOMA. How would we live without our darling neighborhood brewery? Imagine our delight to discover that a new brewery, the Barebottle Brewing Company, was opening a mere 213 feet from our new house right in Bernal, right after we moved in! Only two questions remained: 1) is the beer going to be good, 2) will it be a nice place to hang out and socialize?

The answer to both questions: Yes.

The Beer
Katy had the California Cologne, a Kolsch-Style lager, and it was light, fragrant, and smooth. I had the Scurvy Fighter, a pale ale with strong citrus and lots of hops. A neighbor shared his C’s Bees Honey Brown, which is made with honey from one of the brewers own bees. Barebottle is adding more beers and a number of standards, each with an intriguing twist.

barepatrons

The Place
The sipping area is large and spacious, clean and bright. It’s dog- and kid-friendly, with games like cornhole and a side room where people were already playing board games. The brewing area is separated from the patrons by a small fence, perfect for who love gazing upon gleaming steel tanks and industrial equipment while sipping beer.

barebottle1

More
In addition to serving beer, Barebottle will teach you how to brew it. There will be regular lectures and classes on homebrewing. While they don’t serve food themselves, a rotating cast of food trucks will be parked in the driveway right outside, with gorgeous custom picnic-style tables inside. My wife and I are debating the merits of starting a small grill cheese cart to offset the substantial tab we’re going to invariably run up.

The beer is great, the atmosphere friendly and bright, and it’s close enough that we can still see our Wi-Fi signal.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Todd Huffman