Bernal Neighbor Joins Mt. Everest Charity Effort with DJ Paul Oakenfold

Neighbor Greg, with a different big hill in the background

Bernal neighbor Greg Miller has been away from our hill for the last few weeks. Instead, he’s been tromping around another big hill — Mt. Everest — with celebrity DJ Paul Oakenfold to help raise money for local charities in Nepal. Neighbor Lisa tells Bernalwood:

My husband Greg Miller is part of a film crew that’s hiking to Everest Base Camp with Paul Oakenfold, the world-acclaimed DJ, where they just performed the world’s highest elevation DJ show ever. Folks can follow the day-to-day adventure here.

The adventure is raising money for local children’s charities and earthquake relief.

My brother Mark’s production company from Teton Valley, Idaho is leading the effort to make a feature-length movie about the effort, and Greg is in charge of the audio, capturing the natural and human soundscapes that Paul will incorporate into his music and future movie soundtrack.

The team staged the highest concert in the world on Monday night in Nepal. They’re about to start a Nepalese New Year’s Eve concert in Kathmandu as the finale of the trip. Look for videos from the show here.

PHOTO: Neighbor Greg with Mt. Everest in the background, courtesy of Neighbor Lisa

Bernal Heights Cameos as Neighbors Produce New “Budding Prospects” TV Show

Oh hey. Bernal neighbors (and wife-husband duo) Melissa Zwigoff (Axelrod) and Terry Zwigoff of Montcalm Street are the executive producers of Budding Prospects, a new television show on Amazon Prime. Naturally, Bernal Heights co-stars in the pilot.

Here’s how Deadline Hollywood describes the show:

Amazon s joining the hot trend of marijuana-themed shows with Budding Prospect, a 1980s comedy from Bad Santa director Terry Zwigoff, which has tapped Will Sasso as one of the leads.

Written by Melissa Axelrod based on the TC Boyle novel of the same name and to be directed by Zwigoff, Budding Prospect is set in 1983 San Francisco. Three hapless city boys move to the country to grow marijuana. Their expectations of the experience being a back-to-the-land, nurturing adventure in a beautiful rustic setting run up against the harsh truth upon their arrival at “The Summer Camp” – a miserably run-down shanty out in the middle of nowhere, where they are bedeviled by rats, snakes, mosquitoes, and harsh, unfriendly growing conditions, noisy neighbors, dangerous locals, and menacing law enforcement.

There are lots of Bernal Heights scenes in the pilot, including some tsk-tsk driving on Bernal Heights Boulevard:

Also, the Bernal Heights Library on Cortland puts on a costume to masquerade as the Mission Police Station:

Bernalwood caught up with Neighbor Melissa for an EXCLUSIVE celebrity interview about the show. She tells Bernalwood:

I wrote Budding Prospects (based on a novel by TC Boyle) and my husband Terry directed. We wanted to work from home, and the book is set in and around the Mission prior to a journey up to Mendocino, so we knew we’d at least get to sleep in our own beds while filming the pilot. We hate leaving the ‘Hill’ for too long! Our last foray into Hollywood kept us there for years and that ain’t happening again.

I wrote Budding Prospects as Melissa Axelrod, my maiden name. I started writing when Terry was working on Bad Santa. I did some uncredited work on that script, then started writing in earnest about 10 years ago.

I wrote a feature that had a lot of interest, Fred Armisen attached as lead, but indie features are so tough to finance I’ve pretty much given up on that seeing the light of day. I did get some work out of it, a couple of jobs writing pilots, but they never made it to TV.

It’s tough to work in the film business and live in SF, but my husband and I love it here. I’ve lived here since ’86 and he’s been here since something like ’72 – we have a cozy set-up: cats, a house we love, people we love …  we never wanted to make the big move to LA. We’re not so ambitious as to give all this up! Budding Prospects is our ideal project, as we plan to set several episodes in SF.

Congrats Neighbors Melissa and Terry!

Budding Prospects is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, and watch the trailer right here.

IMAGES: Screenshots of Bernal Heights, as seen in the pilot episode of Budding Prospects

Neighbor Eden from Secession Art & Design Celebrated at City Hall

Neighbor Eden Stein (right) wearing a stylish 94110 ensemble while receiving her commendation from D9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen.

Last week, Bernal Neighbor Eden Stein was recognized at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as a “Trailblazing Woman in Business and Labor.” Woo-hoo!

As you probably know, Neighbor Eden is the energetic, entrepreneurial, and supremely elegant proprietor of the fabulous Secession Art & Design store at 3235 Mission, near Valencia. On the side, she’s also leads the Mission Bernal Merchants Association, which represents many of the restaurants, bars, and stores along Bernal/La Lengua’s delightfully underrated stretch of Mission Street, and in that capacity she helped organize a support network for the families and businesses displaced by the Cole Hardware Fire last year.

In a post on the Secession website, Neighbor Eden writes:

My strength comes from the women in my family. My grandmother owned a retail store in South Philadelphia for forty years. My mom has been a full time artist since the day I was born. I have always been an entrepreneur, working as a poet, activist, jewelry maker, early childhood teacher, and now a gallery owner.

I moved to San Francisco in my early twenties to a room on Mission Street with a view of El Rio and Roccapulco. For twenty years, Mission Street has always called me home. Secession opened in 2007 and is dedicated to our 60+ artists.

On Tuesday, I was honored to accept a Certificate of Honor from the Board of Supervisors for Women’s History Month, along with several other civic awards. District 9 Supervisor Hilary Ronen nominated me for being a community leader, for the work I passionately do in Mission Bernal. This was a moment I will never forget, and it will continue to be with me as I keep pushing to make our stretch of Mission vibrant, accessible, and thriving.

Here’s the commendation:

Hurrah! This recognition for all of Neighbor Eden’s hard work is so well-earned. Bernalwood sends our congratulations, along with thanks for everything Neighbor Eden does to make our stretch of Mission Street vastly more fabulous.

How to Win at Valentine’s Day and Help the Cortland Flower Lady

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Alert! Alert! Alert!  It’s Valentine’s Day!

That means its time to celebrate the mostest-specialest people in your life and spread love throughout the galaxy. Bernal neighbor and sex-positive celebrity Annie Sprinkle tells Bernalwood how you can do right by your sweetie today AND help the Cortland Flower Lady — all at the same time! Annie says:

Many neighbors around Bernal Hill know and love Danhi, the flower lady, who spreads her love year-round selling (and giving) us all beautiful flowers in front of the liquor store at 439 Cortland, at the corner of Wool.
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Last week Danhi had a car accident and really needs to raise money to pay for car repairs. (Luckily she is OK otherwise.)

On Valentine’s day Danhi will have beautiful, creative, abundant bouquets for excellent prices. Buy them for yourself, or for your Valentine(s).

Denhi will be there today, Feb. 14, from 11 am until 7 pm, or possibly later. Find her in her in full bloom on the corner of Cortland & Wool (catty-corner from Good Life Grocery).

Spread the love!

Happy Valentine’s Day,
Annie

PHOTO: Danhi the Flower Lady (right) with Neighbor Beth, courtesy of Annie Sprinkle

Local Restaurants to Host Tasty Benefit for Chef Tim from Ichi Sushi

timerinfund

As you may recall, all-star Bernal neighbors Tim and Erin Archuleta, the husband and wife team behind the fabulous Ichi Sushi, have been navigating a rough patch lately, owing to Chef Tim’s health crisis. That’s why Ichi re-relocated to its original location at 3369 Mission at the beginning of the year, and the Archuletas have been doing some crowdfunding to help defray the cost of medical expenses.

Now, some of Chef Tim’s friends in the local restaurant biz are joining forces to lend a hand as well, as InsideScoop reports:

To help support the couple during this rough time, local chefs and restaurateurs are banding together for an evening, offering up a walk-around food/drink event and raffle tickets.

“They are the nicest people of all time,” says Corridor partner Ryan Cole. “And they do so much for everyone else. ”

The fundraiser will take place on the (al fresco) rooftop above Cole’s three-star Corridor (100 Van Ness), and will include food and drink from the following places:

  • Blue Plate
  • CatHead’s BBQ
  • Deli Board
  • Flour + Water
  • The Front Porch
  • Lolinda
  • Mission Chinese
  • Namu
  • PizzaHacker
  • Waterbar
  • The Riddler
  • Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio

The restaurants will each have food stations, and the Riddler and Mr. Tipple’s will be serving up drinks. Tickets cost $60 and are available here. Oh, and do note that if you can’t attend, you can still buy a raffle ticket. All proceeds will go to the Archuletas to help pay their hospital bills and help them “prosper in Ichi Sushi’s latest location.”

You’ll notice, of course, that there are many Bernal-based restaurants on the list of participants, as well as some Bernal-owned restaurants around town.

Get tickets for the event right here.  And even if you can’t attend, you can still support Chef Tim and Neighbor Erin the traditional, tasy way, by stopping by Ichi to have some of their amazing food. All the old-skool favorites are still on offer, and there’s a new lunch menu as well.

Feel better soon, Neighbor Chef Tim!

PHOTO: Tim and Erin Archuleta, via their crowdfunding page

SF Chronicle Reports on Bernal Family’s Struggle With Housing Shortage

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A few weeks ago, Bernal neighbor and Bernalwood contributor Heather Hawkins sent a sad email announcing that she was having a garage sale. “As the struggle becomes too real to be worthwhile for us any longer,” she told Bernalwood, “our family is calling it quits from the City and heading for the hills (Truckee, to be exact).”

Bernal Heights is famous as a great place to raise children, in part because our neighborhood is packed with single-family homes and open spaces. Yet the median price of a single-family home in Bernal now hovers at around $1.3 million, and that’s way more than many middle-class families with kids can afford.

In this morning’s paper, reporter Heather Knight at the San Francisco Chronicle introduces Neighbor Heather Hawkins in the context of San Francisco’s ongoing housing shortage, and the toll it takes on young families:

San Francisco has no official definition of “family housing,” but Heather Hawkins knows what it isn’t.

It isn’t the little two-bedroom flat in Bernal Heights that she paid more than $4,000 a month to rent, where her baby slept in the closet of her sister’s room, and where space was so tight she knew the number of steps between every point. Seven steps from her bed to the toilet. Thirteen steps from her bed to the girls’ room.

Hawkins, her husband and girls, like so many other San Francisco families, have packed up to head for the hills — well, the mountains. Her family is renting an apartment in Truckee while they look for a house to buy. They’ll probably get twice as much space for half the price of anything they could find in San Francisco.

“It’s hard when your kid comes home and says, ‘But I love my little blue house!’ It’s this sinking feeling of, ‘This isn’t yours. This isn’t ours.’ That’s never going to happen for us in this city,” said Hawkins, a 42-year-old consultant in the health and outdoors industry whose husband works in tech. “I roll my eyes when people say it’s the techies. Nope! We’re leaving too.”

San Francisco notoriously has the smallest percentage of kids — 13.4 percent — of any city in the nation. But while San Francisco officials sweat and bicker over affordable housing, they rarely talk about family housing.

Read the whole thing at the San Francisco Chronicle.

PHOTO: Neighbor Heather preparing for her garage sale. Photo by Lea Suzuki from The Chronicle

After Chef Tim’s Medical Scare, Ichi Sushi Moving Back to Smaller Shop

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These are challenging times for Bernal Heights neighbors Tim and Erin Archuleta, the husband-and-wife team behind the much-celebrated Ichi Sushi and Ni Bar.  Yesterday, Neighbor Erin told Bernalwood that Chef Tim has been navigating some very serious health issues, with the result that the couple has decided to shutter the the Ichi Sushi and Ni Bar restaurant at 3282 Mission and relocate to their original, smaller restaurant space across from the Bernal Safeway.

As you probably know, Ichi Sushi has won nationwide accolades and drawn big crowds since expanding from the small shop at 3369 Mission to the full-service space down the street near 29th Street. But in a statement, Neighbor Erin says Chef Tim’s heath necessitates a change:

After Tim suffered a significant health scare, we are returning us to our roots and moving ICHI back into our little space at 3369 Mission. We are grateful to our talented team who helped us win local, regional, national and international acclaim, and we will keep many of our beloved crew with us. We are also actively searching to secure placement for the rest of our skillful team.

Our final night of service in our 3282 Mission Street space will be New Year’s Eve — A party for the books! And, we’re planning to reopen in our 3369 Mission Street space just after the New Year.

This move will allow Tim to get back behind the sushi counter and to reconnect with all our guests. Our gorgeous space at 3282 will go on the market with our friends at CGI Retail and we’re excited to offer it up to a new generation of small business owners.

We’ve been so grateful for the support we’ve received from our friends and guests over the last few months, and look forward to Tim getting back to the sushi counter soon when he is on the mend. Food, restaurants, and the community bring us all together, and through Tim’s recovery, our guests have been incredible. We never forget how loved we are and we are thrilled to return the favor and care for everyone back in our original sushi bar, where Tim is looking forward to reciprocating that hospitality.

We’re accepting reservations at our current venue via ichisushi.com and OpenTable. We’ll also be accepting reservations for the return to 3369 Mission in the new year on our website and Open Table, as well.

Sadly, Chef Tim’s medical expenses have been a huge strain on the couple’s resources. To help defray their costs, a crowdsourced fund has been established to help with some of the bills. If you’re so inclined you can assist Tim and Erin by donating here.

It goes without saying that all this is sad and troubling, but it’s also true that Tim and Erin have nurtured (and fed) a huge local community.  Now, many members of that community will be eager to support them, in any way possible.

Get well soon Tim.

PHOTO: Chef Tim Archuleta in the then-new Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar space, January 20, 2014,  by Telstar Logistics.