Considering that the highest point in Bernal Heights is dominated by a Space Age antenna array used to transmit microwaves, it’s surprising that the Bernal Heights literary scene is not known for its homegrown science fiction. But Neighbor M. Luke McDonell of Precitaville is doing her part to put Bernal on the sci-fi map.
Her new ebook is called The Perfect Specimen:
Dr. Derek Singh is sure that one of planet Victoria’s millions of venomous insects holds the key to destroying cancerous tumors–and jumpstarting his stalled career.
Unfortunately, the traps he sets each night capture nothing but dust, and his competitive colleagues don’t share the venom they’ve collected. The clock is running down on his two-year grant and he’s making no progress.
When his young neighbor–one of the few native-born children–finds out he studies “bugs,” she is eager to bring him all the specimens he needs. Derek worries she’ll be bitten or stung, but soon discovers Mia is in danger from a far larger predator–the corporation that funds him.
You can download The Perfect Specimen from Amazon for just 99 cents. (Sorry, no Bitcoin please.) But if you need convincing before parting with your hard-earned dollar, know that the reviews on Amazon are strong:
This short story by new Sci-Fi author M. Luke McDonell shows us a glimpse of an interesting and well thought out future world. A fun story with a satisfying end, it left me wanting more stories in this universe.
HAT TIP: Rusty/SomaFM
Bernalwood has received another photo shared from the family albums of Greg Dabel, the great, great grandson of Joseph McTigue, who owned a saddlery business that occupied the site that is now home to El Rio during the first decades of the 20th century.
In this installment, Mr. Dabel writes:
I scanned a couple of photos from the family album taken in 1923. My best guess is that these were taken standing in the open fields on the west side of Mission (between Army and Valencia).
Indeed! The photo above shows the view from one of the McTigue pastures. It was taken on the western side of Mission, looking east while standing on the site of the building that is now the former Sears department store.
And how do we know this? We know this because the two buildings in the background on the right side of the photo are still there! Check it:
Here’s a bonus photo, also taken from the McTigue pasture. Bernalwood believes it shows the view looking north, with an apartment building that used to stand at the intersection of Mission and Army (Cesar Chavez) visible in the background:
HISTORICAL PHOTOS: Courtesy of Greg Dabel
Neighbor Mark noticed a new mural by Precita Eyes that appeared recently on Alabama Street, just north of Precita.
On the left side of the mural, there is a late 20th century vision of 24th Street and Bernal Hill. The York Theater is open on 24th, while two humans chat on the sidewalk.
On the right side, there is a newer view of the same scene. The York cinema has become Brava Theater, and the groovy sidewalk people are replaced by a bus. Bernal Hill is consumed by a curling wave of dollar bills, as a giant corporate hand clutches at the pile of money.
One clear moral of this story: We should not turn people into buses.
PHOTO: Mark Pritchard
Last night, Neighbor Laura heard a commotion outside her house. Fire trucks on Coleridge!
Drama! But not too much drama. Just a little bit of drama. With fire trucks! And Christmas lights! So seasonal.
Neighbor Jeremy noticed the scene as well, when he snapped the photo you see at top and introduced himself to Neighbor Laura. That’s Engine 32, based at the fire station on Holly Park. Thanks neighbors!
So what was all the fuss about? @jcbeat reported:
And the satisfying conclusion:
Neighbor Joe Thomas (Codename: Jobius) operates a Bernalwood Observation Post at an upper altitude on the east side of Bernal Heights. He also uses this location as an Animated GIF manufacturing facility.
All this means that Jobius now spends a lot of time looking at the new Bayview Rising mural, and he’s excited to see the mural’s ability to transform at night, once they turn the lights on. In fact, Jobius is so excited about this that he forged an Animated GIF of the mural’s three nighttime color modes to simulate his future views.
Behold, his Animated GIF of Our Future Skyline:
PHOTOS: Mural renderings via the Port of San Francisco.
Neighbor Diane shares a tip that “a member of the Bernalwood tribe has taken on a CEO position in the SF music and cultural scene.”
Celebrity Alert! It seems Bernal Neighbor Donald Derheim, a skilled observer of Google Maps survey equipment, is leaving his executive gig at KQED to take the helm at SFJazz, in the sexy new SFJazz Center building on the corner of Franklin and Fell in Hayes Valley:
SFJAZZ, the leading nonprofit jazz organization on the West Coast, announced today that Donald Derheim will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer beginning January 2, 2014. Mr. Derheim joins SFJAZZ as it enters its next phase of growth and celebrates the milestone first anniversary of its new home, the critically acclaimed SFJAZZ Center. An accomplished media executive, Mr. Derheim served for more than two decades at public television and radio broadcaster KQED Inc. in San Francisco. In 2010, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, where he was responsible for the strategic and operational oversight of one of the most popular public and financially successful media companies in the country.
Mr. Derheim will work closely with SFJAZZ Founder and Executive Artistic Director Randall Kline to fulfill the SFJAZZ mission. As part of his CEO responsibilities, he will oversee long-term planning and development for the organization to further engage its members and audiences and will focus on the success and financial performance of the newly built SFJAZZ Center. Mr. Derheim will play a critical role in the development and diversification of new and existing funding sources, including revenue streams based on new technologies.
Congratulations and represent, Neighbor Donald!
Neighbor Sara found this parakeet, and if it’s yours, she’d like you to have it:
I found this cute and cold parakeet this morning on Winfield near Esmeralda street. If you know someone who is missing it, please have them contact me. It is safe and warm inside now, albeit in a bucket. Unfortunately, I am not equipped with a bird cage. Little yellow cheeks with blue dots on top.
Please contact the Bernalwood Small Bird Recovery Hotline (bernalwood@gmail) if you would like to claim the creature.