A Sneak Preview of Sunday’s New 2014 Fiesta on the Hill on Cortland

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Mark your calendars, planning people. Fiesta on the Hill happens this Sunday, October 26.

Fiesta on the Hill is a Bernal tradition — a bustling Cortland street party that also benefits the intensely important Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. This year, the organizing committee decided to *cough cough* spice up the marriage a bit by rethinking the standard Fiesta on the Hill format.

Neighbor Genevieve is on the Fiesta organizing team, and she shared this preview of some sexy new attractions for Fiesta 2014:

Fiesta is now in it’s 26th year. 10 am to 5 p.m. Sunday, 10/26/14

The big news is that this year we’re really focusing local makers and movers!

  • On Main Stage we’ll have big time children’s music musician (and SF resident!) Frances England playing from 12:30-1:30
  • Lots of local musical acts: 30th Street Chorus, Manila Slim, Duo Pizzicato (plays regularly at what used to be Liberty Cottage)
  • Salsa band Los Boleros to close out the festival
  • City grazing goats (in lieu of the sometimes un-PC petting zoo)
  • Food trucks from Off the Grid
  • Bernal muralist and celebrity artist Amos Goldbaum will be selling his sexy shirts
  • Bernal Dads Racing will have their race cars on display, including America’s Most Badass Volvo Station Wagon
  • Savor tasty gourmet funnel cakes with bacon in agave syrup, from the folks at Endless Summer Sweets (a graduate of the La Cocina program).
  • Cruise Cortand on a mechanized horse from Mission Ponies

 

 

Tiny, 200 sq. ft. Apartment in Bernal Heights Asks $1400 a Month (with Bonus Hot Tub Access)

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Neighbor Ashley is morbidly entertained by a new Craigslist rental listing in Bernal Heights:

I wish there were a good portmanteau for when something is very fun and very sad at the same time. If there were, I would use it to describe this posting.

Yes, this is a listing for somebody’s 200 square-foot, half-finished utility room, with a stove and a bed for $1400 a month.

Thank *God* for the bit about the hot tub. That part pushes it into the comedic zone for me.

For the benefit of future historians, here’s a snapshot of the full post:

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This Weekend: You’re Invited to Dr. Rick’s 2014 Halloween Nightmare

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Dr. Rick from the world-famous Farmhouse Mansion on the north side of Folsom Street is having a freaky Halloween costume fundraiser party this Saturday, Oct. 25. He asked us to let you know… because you’re so invited:

Hello friends, family, co-workers, neighbors,  and assorted party-goers,

This year’s Halloween Costume Party Fundraiser at the Farmhouse Mansion has definitely surpassed all of our wildest expectations. With 6+ amazing bands, fire dancers, albino contortionists, tarot card readers, delectable food, full host bar, scary cinema, especially spooky gardens, an outstanding DJ driving the Rave Room, as well as an extra dash of zaniness for good measure, this year’s Nightmare-themed Halloween party will be a somnambulant smörgåsbord of delirious delights– whew.

Of note for parents: Yes, you can bring kids– but BEWARE.

YOU ARE FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR CHILD’S SAFETY.

Parts of this party are scary and it can get pretty wild and fun and crowded especially later, so families with kids may want to come early (6-8pm) before things get out of control.

Happy Nightmares,
Dr. Rick

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On a Road Trip Around the World, French Family Parks on Bernal Hill

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Large vehicles modified for mobile habitation tend to attract lots of attention when they’re parked on Bernal Hill. Last weekend your Bernalwood editor paid particular attention to a very large vehicle parked on Bernal Hill that was very clearly intended for mobile habitation.

But this was no ordinary house on wheels. It was a giant-ass overland truck, equipped with four-wheel-drive and substantial cross-country modifications. Specifically, it was what’s called an expedition vehicle — the kind of thing you drive when you’re doing a road trip, say, from Morocco to India. It even had French license plates:

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So stylish. And so clever! Our Municipal Transportation Agency does not yet have an extradition treaty with the government of France, so French license plates are a handy accessory to avoid paying San Francisco parking fines. But we digress…

The graphic on the side of the truck pointed us toward the  Martin autour du monde website:

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That’s where we began to unravel why this apocalypse-ready intercontinental French RV was parked on the top of Bernal Hill. The introduction video provided a mission statement (in French):

A family. A house on wheels. Five years. Five continents. The world is theirs. In search of exceptional places, they cross deserts, oceans, lakes, and towns. On all their routes, they stay close to the people.

Well, at least that’s what I think it said — my French is a little rusty. The basic idea seems to be a kind of modern-day Swiss Family Robinson, only with a French family, a badass RV, an environmental education mission, and a video production contract.

Anyway, Bernalwood also found photos of the truck that’s parked on Bernal Hill, parked in some other rather exotic places. Like this:

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And this:

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At the very least, our new French neighbors are quite good at scenic parking. It was time to welcome them to Bernal Heights.

Bernalwood knocked politely on the side of the truck. Frederic Cébron opened the door, and welcomed us inside, where we met his wife Laure, their son Martin, age 9, and daughter Chine, age 6. The interior of the vehicle looked compact, modern, and efficient, like one of those tiny IKEA display apartments they set up inside the stores.

In the back, Martin and Chine were laughing and playing:

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Laure was making some snacks.

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Frederic said the family is in year four of their five-year tour. Along the way, they’ve been documenting innovative ways people are practicing good ecology and sustainable living. They came to San Francisco to visit Recology, our globally fashionable, zero waste-aspiring trash processing facility, as well as several other waste management and recycling initiatives in the Bay Area.

Frederic explained that the family’s journey began with a comprehensive tour of South America. Then they shipped the truck back to Europe, and drove it from Turkey to Tibet via Iran and India. From there it was off to Mongolia, then down to Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia. In between they make videos like this:

There was a hop to Japan, and an arrival in North America at Montreal. From there they drove to Alaska, down to Vancouver, and eventually to Bernal Heights.

Bernalwood encouraged Frederic to call ahead next time they decide to visit Bernal Heights, so we can  arrange a more proper welcome.

As things stand, Frederic said they had a nice stay here, that they’ve enjoyed their view of the I-280 Spaghetti Bowl, and that that only one Bernal neighbor warned the Cébron family that their planet-traversing home on wheels had been parked on Bernal Hill for more than the legal maximum of 72 hours. He also spoke very highly of the neighborly hospitality the family had received when they were parked in Teheran.

The Cébrons are overlanding to San Diego next. After that, they drive into Mexico and around much of Central America, before bringing their five-year journey to an end in Panama.

Against that backdrop, Bernal Heights might not be the most exotic place the family has been. But it may well be one of the most glamorous. Bon voyage, Frederic, Laure, Martin, and Chine!

PHOTOS: Cébrons in Bernal Heights, by Telstar Logistics

Bernal Celebrity Blogger Interviews Bernal Celebrity Music Impresario

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Here’s some hot hot hot Bernal celebrity-on-celebrity action action action!

You did know that David Pescovitz, celebrity blogger with the intergalactically famous BoingBoing blog, lives in Bernal Heights, right? Well, it’s true. He does.

And you already know that local music meta-star Jordan Kurland lives in Bernal Heights, too? It’s true. He does. Neighbor Jordan is the creative force behind many of San Francisco’s much-beloved music events, including NoisePop and this weekend’s gigantic  Treasure Island Music Festival. His Zeitgeist Artist Management also manages bands like Best Coast, Bob Mould, The New Pornographers, Rogue Wave, She & Him, and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.

Because they are neighbors, Neighbor David and Neighbor Jordan have become friends. This week, David interviewed Jordan to get an insider’s perspective on the state of the music biz. A local-flavored excerpt:

[Neighbor David]: As a manager, it seems like you’d be living in Los Angeles or New York City. But yet you came to SF and never left. Why?

[Neighbor Jordan]:I moved to San Francisco in 1995 for a job. I was nearly a year out of college and knew that I wanted to try to be a manager. I was living in Los Angeles and answering phones for the performance rights organization, ASCAP. It was the typical entry level music industry job and not easy to land. I went on four interviews before I was hired. If I had stayed on that path I would have answered phones for a year or so, then become an assistant, and then, eventually, a membership director. All of which would have been cool, it’s just that I knew based on my experience interning for a few different companies during college, that I wanted to try to be an artist manager. There was an amazing opportunity up in San Francisco to work for a company called David Lefkowtiz/Figurehead management. The roster was Primus, the Melvins, Charlie Hunter and a few other acts. I spent four years there, learned a ton, and began managing the acts that became the first iteration of my management roster. It was also during my time there that I met Kevin Arnold and began working alongside him on Noise Pop. Kevin founded Noise Pop in 1993 and the first festival I worked on with him was 1998.

I started my management company, Zeitgeist, in 1999 which was the same year the music and technology were beginning to converge. It was the year that MP3.com, eMusic and Napster, to name a few, started to make waves. It wasn’t good news for the music industry but it did justify my existence up here. All of a sudden I had a competitive edge by living in the Bay Area.

The reason that I never left San Francisco once I arrived is simple: I adore this place.

You’re active in the city with the music festivals, investments in numerous restaurants, and donating your time to 826 Valencia, Stern Grove Festival, and other arts and culture organizations. As you know, SF is experiencing its own culture war right now. Where do you stand and what can be done in your opinion?

To be clear, I’m not one of those people that rails against the tech industry. To the contrary, I think it’s pretty incredible to live in the heart of where these innovations which are being dreamed up and born. It’s not a coincidence that a creative, intellectual and way left-of-center city like San Francisco attracted the entrepreneurs that built these companies. With all that said, the city needs to do more to protect its creative community. A lot more. The Bay Area is incredibly expensive which does not bode well for an upstart musician or artist. I know some folks in the private sector that are starting to help but the city, as far as I can tell, has only made cosmetic offerings at best. The musical cultural history is so, so rich here: Summer of Love, Bill Graham, the Grateful Dead, the jazz scene of the 50s and 60s, the Dead Kennedys, Journey, Metallica … it goes on and on. But San Francisco does not do much in the way of supporting musicians and visual artists and film makers. And because it’s prohibitively expensive to live here fledgling artists are moving to Los Angeles or Portland where it’s cheaper and there’s a stronger, more inspiring creative community. Which leads the established artists who can now afford to live in the Bay Area to leave because they don’t have a strong community around them. I don’t pretend to know of a simple solution but it is clear to me that the city should be attacking the issue with much more urgency.

Read the rest of the interview here, and if you’re headed to Treasure Island this weekend, give Neighbor Jordan the secret Bernal Heights hand signal.

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Ode to a Basic Donut: Eagle Donuts Will Close on Monday

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The donut days at Eagle Donuts at 3303 Mission (@ 29th Street) are coming to an end.

On Monday, Eagle Donuts will close for good.

The most remarkable thing about Eagle Donuts is that there is nothing remarkable about it. No seasonal ingredients, or delicate toppings, or clever combinations. Nothing involving bacon. Eagle Donuts makes essential donuts: glazed or old-fashioned, with different kinds of frosting-like stuff on top. Yesterday I bought a bag of a half-dozen for $5.50.

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In other words, Eagle Donuts makes the kind of donuts that helped make America.

So when Eagle Donuts disappears, a classic kind of donut shop will disappear with it. After Eagle Donuts, your Bernalwood editor knows of no equivalent in Bernal Heights. (NOTE: The Silver Crest doesn’t count, because they also serve Ouzo.) If current trends continue, it’s a safe prediction that from here on out, Bernal’s donut future will likely be increasingly twee. We are confident it will be delicious, of course, but we also know it just won’t be the same.

It’s no one’s fault; Change is the only constant. Eagle Donuts opened in 1994, and Sherry from behind the counter — that’s Sherry, above — told Bernalwood she’s been here the entire time. She said rising rents weren’t so much of an issue. She said donuts just aren’t a very lucrative product these days, and costs keep going up. Milk prices, sugar prices, the minimum wage… all going up. Basically, Sherry said, after 20 years, it’s time to move on.

So on Monday, Eagle Donuts will close forever.

Stop in this weekend to get a final taste, and wish Sherry all the best.

Finally, for the benefit of future bloggers and culinary historians, Bernalwood also provides these supplementary detail photos of Eagle Donuts, as taken on October 16, 2014, which are here intended to illustrate what a typical late twentieth century donut shop looked like during the second decade of the twenty-first century:

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PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Tire-Spinning Sideshow Celebrates Giants Victory on Mission at Valencia

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Hooray Giants!

It’s become a bit of a ritual: Whenever the Giants have a big win — we’re talking pennant- or World Series-level stuff — crowds flow onto Mission Street in Bernal for a (generally) good-spirited festival of ad hoc anarchy and celebration.

Last night’s NLCS pennant victory was no exception, and this video shows the tire-spinning excitement that went down at the intersection of Mission and Valencia:

A few fans celebrate Giants win into the World Series by doing donuts in the intersection. This went on for about 15 minutes until the police showed up.

Something is going on in this corner of Bernal Heights. If it’s not renegade cattle stockyards and vile-smelling offal, it’s smoke and burning rubber in the late hours of the night.

Meanwhile, the inane TV news coverage of the festivities turned your Bernalwood editor into a NAMBY:

HT: MissionMIssion