Saturday: Alumni Invited to the St. Anthony/Immaculate Conception All-Class Reunion


Calling all former students of St. Anthony, Immaculate Conception, and St. Anthony-Immaculate Conception Elementary. It’s school reunion time.

This Saturday, November 4, St. Anthony’s alumni are invited  to 299 Precita (at Folsom) to celebrate a 12:00 Mass with luncheon to follow. There will be parking in the schoolyard.

Tickets cost $25, and reservations are required. Contact Constance Dalton at (415) 642-6130 or cdalton@saicsf.org.

This is the third annual all-class reunion, and all classmates past and present are welcome, along with their families.

Last year’s guest of honor was Bernice Fugundes Greenblat, who grew up on Shotwell Street and graduated from St. Anthony’s in 1945.

St. Anthony School opened in 1894. It was founded by Mother Pia Backes and the Dominican Sisters along with the Franciscan Friars of St. Anthony of Padua Church to serve the German families of the Mission and Bernal Heights.


In 1957, the Sisters opened Immaculate Conception Elementary School two blocks up the hill on Treat Avenue, for the Italian families of the neighborhood. The schools were merged in the 1990s.

Neighbor Creates Amazing, Intricate String-Art Map of Bernal Heights

To the ever-expanding genre of artwork inspired by maps of Bernal Heights, Neighbor Naomi shares news about a very cool string-art piece she recently created.

Derived from the 5′ topographic map of Bernal Heights that local carto-wizard Eric Fischer produced in 2012, Neighbor Naomi tells Bernalwood how her piece came together:

I saw the post of Eric Fisher’s map on Bernalwood years ago and it got my wheels turning. I love textile arts (where my knittahs at?!), and my first idea was to do a quilt where the stitching followed the contours of the elevation lines.

That project stuck in my head for a while without becoming a reality (as these things do). Then I began noticing artists doing interesting things with nails and thread – Kumi Yamashita and Dominique Falla are two examples. The thought of the contour map came back to me as a cool subject for that technique.

I made an abridged version of the map with fewer elevation contours (every 20′ instead of 5′) and simpler, more segmented lines. That became my template for where to place the nails on a large piece of prepped plywood. Then, with regular sewing thread in several colors, I just started winding!

To make it a little easier to navigate between the nails, I threaded the strand through the casing of a ball-point pen, which actually made it feel a lot like drawing with string.

Special bonus! Neighbor Naomi also shared this fantastic time-lapse GIF showing how her piece came together:

Tonight! Tom Petty Tribute Party at Old Bus Tavern

If you’re looking for something fun to do this Halloween eve, without too much costume-pressure fuss, the fabulous Old Bus Tavern (at 3193 Mission, near Fair Ave.) is hosting a Tom Petty tribute TONIGHT, Oct 31.

Ben Buchanan from Old Bus tells Bernalwood:

We’re hosting a Petty-ween party on Tuesday 10/31 from 8:30pm -12:30am.

Celebrate Halloween with two sets of Tom Petty performed by Kelly McFarling and friends! Best Petty costume wins a bottle of Old Bus Tavern-branded Bernheim whiskey. It’s a free show!

Precita Park Pizzeria Plan Comes to an End

3214 Folsom, on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo by Telstar Logistics)

Alas, it’s not happening.

Back in 2015, Bernal Neighbor Eliza Laffin announced plans to open a pizza shop called Red Apron Pizza at the corner of Folsom and Bessie, at the western end of Precita Park.

She knew that opening the shop would be tough. Still, it had been a lifelong dream to open her own pizzeria, so Neighbor Eliza was determined to renovate the space at 3214 Folsom and navigate San Francisco’s labyrinthine permitting process. To symbolize all that, she papered the windows of the storefront with handmade graphics that said, “It Will Happen.”

Yet it wasn’t to be. The renovation effort soon bogged down in negotiations with the property owner about who was responsible for various structural improvements, water damage abatement, and sewage system repairs, with the result that work on Red Apron Pizza was suspended for more than a year.

The “It Will Happen” signs have now been taken down from the windows of 3214 Folsom, and over the weekend Neighbor Eliza shared this update with the Bernal community:

On September 18, 2017, I made a very difficult decision to terminate the lease for Red Apron Pizzeria at 3214 Folsom Street.

We were headed for trial a week prior, but the judge directed us to a mandatory settlement conference. We spent two days in the settlement conference negotiating before agreeing to the terms of our arrangement.

I agonized over this decision.

My heart was set on what was the perfect place for my pizzeria. The bad news is I’ve lost that spot, and it means starting all over again. The good news is that we avoided going to trial.

The even better good news is that the relationship between the landlords and me is over. They did not comprehend what turned out to be myriad hidden issues with their building, which has three residential units in addition to the storefront. […]

My restaurant – while currently a figment of my imagination – remains the same, as Red Apron Pizzeria.

In the meantime, I had a major foot surgery two weeks ago. After recovering from that, I hope to find a leasable restaurant space in my ‘hood.

The sign in the front window is gone. I feel like I let my neighborhood down.. I’m sorry. But please continue to hope. You never know when opportunity comes knocking on the door.

With mixed feelings and perpetual pizza dreams,

Eliza

Cortland Merchants Will Have Halloween Treats For Your Little Monsters

For many tens of thousands of years, the shopkeepers of Cortland Avenue have put out candy baskets for children during the evening hours on October 31st, so that families in Bernal Heights can partake of Halloween in locavore safety and style.

That tradition continues again this year, and Neighbor Darcy from Heartfelt brings the details — along with some ancient wisdom:

Our Halloween celebration for the wee ones on Cortland Avenue will start at 4-5 pm onHalloween night, Oct. 31 and wind down when the candy is gone.

Here are some Halloween suggestions:

  • Stay in a group and communicate your route to each other.
  • Have a spot in the neighborhood to meet if you get separated
  • Carry a cellphone if possible
  • Use the sidewalk and cross at cross walks…no diagonal street crossings please.<
  • Never assume you have the right of way. One car might stop, but the next might not.
  • Have a great time in a great neighborhood!

PHOTO: Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter with her best friend Eddie, learning about Halloween on Cortland in 2009. (Now much bigger, she’ll be on Cortland this year once again.) Photo by Telstar Logistics

At Community Safety Meeting, City Officials Promise Action After Banks Street Gunfire

There was a community meeting last Wednesday to discuss the circumstances surrounding the disturbing gunfire that erupted during a mid-October party at 212 Banks Street.

Neighbor Rebecca lives near the Banks Street house where the gunfire occurred, and she attended the meeting on Wednesday. Here’s her summary of the discussion:

The community meeting at BHNC went really well. Lots of neighbors (at least 60) showed up, which demonstrated community engagement, and the leaders who were present.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen, Captain Jack Hart, and Kevin Guy from the City’s short-term rentals office all remarked on the involvement of neighbors.

When someone asked about forming a formal Neighborhood Watch, Captain Jack Hart basically said, “no need for that – you guys ARE that!” Airbnb has offered to pay for any damage from the party’s fallout; repairing windows and cars with bullet holes.

SFPD has stepped up patrols and is taking this incredibly seriously. Captain Hart outlined lots of ways that they are ensuring that this “NEVER happens again.” That means foot patrols, closer contact with short-term lease oversight, gang task force outreach, etc. He reiterated how unusual and shocking this incident was, even to him.

The meeting was very focused on the Banks Street incident and how they’re working to avert any future such problems. One woman did ask about other issues: She acknowledged that we were here to discuss the Banks Street event, but she also wanted to know how SFPD is addressing the issues more regular, recurring problems. Specifically: package theft and car break-ins.

Captain Hart said they’re working on all of these things, and that his biggest request is that people report ANY and ALL crimes we see. He said that he pulled over a stolen car full of stolen goods with identifying info, and none of those theft victims had reported it and he was so frustrated. Always report car break-ins, report package thefts, and if you see anything in progress call 911 and let THEM triage it — don’t just write it off that police are doing “more important” things elsewhere.

Captain Hart is committed to Bernal almost to the point of absurdity; during the meeting he was rattling off street names and his family’s personal history, and he threatened to get a tattoo that said “212 Banks.”

Suffice to say, I think we’re in good hands.

This Weekend: Artist Open Studios in Bernal Heights

Found Soldier Two, 2017 by Miles Epstein. (Photo courtesy of Miles Epstein)

Bernal Neighbor Miles Epstein is spreading the word about the Artspan Open Studios event for local artists that’s happening this weekend in Bernal Heights. Art-loving Bernalese are encouraged to drop-in to see the work our local artists are making.

Neighbor Miles says:

I’m making a pitch for open studios this weekend. Artspan Fall Open Studios are underway, there are a bunch of Bernal atists showing on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28 & 29, from noon until 6pm.

My garage studio and backyard will be open, like many other Bernal Heights artists! I’m at 26 Bennington Street, just uphill from Cortland. Half hour stroll from 24th St BART.

Come see a fair bit of furniture, sculpture, collage, and mixtures of all three. Most for sale. Come make art as well – there will be chances to get your hands working.

Click here for a more exhaustive look at my recent work.

Artspan has pulled together a listing of all the 2017 Fall Open Studio Bernal Artists. You can also download an Open Studios guide app for your iPhone — no kidding:

I hope this finds you well, and perhaps we’ll see you in the neighborhood! 🙂