Small Camera Captures Big Scene from Bernal Hill

Check out this very simple, very lovely photo @isaach took yesterday from atop Bernal Hill… with his iPhone.

Really, it never ceases to amaze me that our phones have become powerful creative tools. Think about it: If you had walked up to Henri Cartier-Bresson sixty years ago and said “Yo! Henri! In 2011 you’ll be doing some of your most interesting photography with a telephone!” he would have looked at you like you were insane. But now that’s simply routine — although it certainly helps to start out with such a naturally spectacular setting.

PHOTO: @isaach

Your Monthly SFPD Crime Summary: Mind Your Gold, Stash Your Bath Salts

Police Telephone

Reader Sarah, who graciously covers the Bernalwood Crime Beat, attended the SFPD’s Ingleside Station Chief’s Meeting this week (once again, so you didn’t have to). Here’s her excellent summary of the latest Bernal Heights crime and crime trend news:

September 20, 2011

I. Captain’s report by : Captain Daniel Mahoney

Monthly Ingleside Community Meetings are held monthly on third Tuesday from 7 to 8 pm in the Community Room of the Ingleside station. This is a great opportunity to meet and discuss crime and other problems affecting the district.

Recap since August meeting
1. On August 29, the street where the Ingleside station is located was rededicated to officer John V. Young, who was killed in 1971 by members of the Black Liberation Army. The flag will permanently fly at half-mast in his honor.

2. Compstat crime stats for the past 28 days (the formatting doesn’t come out that well in this text format, but hopefully you can get the gist):

Type of incident / # incidents / % Change monthly / % Change YTD / # Arrests:
Aggravated Assaults: 26/ –4% /–32%/ 16
Robbery: 25 /–19% / 5%/  3
Sexual Assault: 2 /– 0%/– 0%/ 1
Burglary: 28/–15%/ –17%/ 2
Auto Theft: 42/ 2% /–11% /1
Theft from Auto: 46 /5%/ –5%

Crime Trends and Information:

1. Most aggravated assaults are caused by domestic violence (DV). There’s a lot of DV in the Ingleside, but most is behind closed doors, where it’s hard to stop.

2. Robberies are continuing, especially grab-and-run robberies. Often a person is sitting on the bus near the door, talking on their cell phone/listening to an iPod, and a thief grabs the phone/iPod and jumps off the bus. The officers and outside resources assigned to the MUNI Response Team are excellent investigators and very responsive. They download the video from the buses the same day, share it with the stations, and work together to make arrests. They also often know the criminals. There have also been many chain-snatch robberies because gold is at $1900/ounce now. Recent victims have been between 48 and 65, mostly female.

3. To stop auto thefts and auto break-ins, police put a decoy car out in areas of high auto break-ins and theft to try and catch the perps. They recently had success with this at Mission & Kingston.

3. Shootings in the Ingleside
Several shootings within the past month, all people known to each other and/or gang-related.

There was a recent homicide at Alemany and Putnam at 1pm. A car pulled up to another car stopped at a light, and someone got out and shot someone in the car at the light. The suspect and victim knew each other and did not live in the Ingleside. At Geneva and Delano, there was a similar shooting at 11:30am (car pulled up and shot 18 rounds at someone in another car). That person survived. Similar circumstances. The captain said these incidents involve people coming in from other neighborhoods “to the east” and doing their nefarious business in the Ingleside.

One and a half weeks ago there was another shooting Mission and Excelsior that started as a fist-fight, then the loser pulled out a gun; Norteno/Sureno related. Finally, there was a homicide in the Sunnydale area that was also not random.

3. Smoke Shops selling Bath Salts that kids snort to get high.
There’s been a problem with this recently in a few smoke shops. These bath salts cause a meth-like high. Legislation making it illegal to possess or sell bath salts with that kind of chemical derivative is about to pass the state legislature. The city attorney’s office has also taken successful action against the smoke shops.

4. Traffic Enforcement
Ingleside put two operations to put decoys on the street to cross the street. Anyone who doesn’t stop for them gets a ticket, 32 people cited. Will create flyers to pass out to those who are caught to teach them what the laws are about pedestrians crossing the street. Will also put out speed monitors to educate people on the speed they’re going.

Many thanks, as always, to Reader Sarah. Let’s be careful out there, people.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Bernal Artist Rich Nyhagen Opens New Show at Inclusions

There’s an opening-night reception tomorrow evening at the Inclusions Gallery on Cortland to celebrate a new show by Bernal Heights artist Rich Nyhagen:

Rich Nyhagen: “Deja-View, a second look at SF”
September 23 – October 9, 2011
Artist Reception – Friday, September 23 / 6-8 pm

Bernal Heights resident Rich Nyhagen has successfully shown a number of photographic, screen-printed, assemblages at Inclusions Gallery. The assemblages are based on an image series of San Francisco’s urban landscape. Nyhagen’s process involves screen-printing photographic images directly onto thick plexiglass, which can be one large sheet or several smaller sections pieced together. The printed plexi is then riveted onto a wooden base that is often layered with colored under painting, screen printing and drawing. The result is graphic, smooth and clean, while maintaining a sense of urban grit. Nyhagen will be introducing a new group of larger scaled works as well as revisiting some familiar themes for his first solo exhibit at Inclusions Gallery.

Two Videos and New Book Explore the Artistry of Avedano’s

Woa. Check out this gorgeous mini-documentary about the Avedano’s butcher shop on Cortland, created by Tribute SF:

Started by three friends, Avedano’s butcher shop pursues the purest forms of butchery while providing the Bernal Heights neighborhood with sustainably raised meat and fish.

It is easy to be inspired and educated by the cleaver-wielding bunch behind the counter. Avedano’s is a place of business where craftsmen (and women) are “perserving the art of butchery.”

But wait, that’s not all! Avedano’s also features prominently in The Cook & The Butcher, a new book by Brigit Binns:

In this innovative look at a favorite subject, author Brigit Binns draws on tips and tricks learned from renowned butchers and expert steak-house chefs to show you the best­—and most delicious—ways to cook beef, pork, lamb, and veal at home. Meat is the star in this collection of over 100 modern recipes, which use fresh, seasonal ingredients and a wide range of cooking methods—stir-frying, sautÉing, panfrying, grilling, roasting, braising, smoking—to create irresistible dishes. Binns introduces us to such flavor-boosting cooking practices as residual-heat roasting, which slowly cooks large cuts to perfection in the lingering heat of a turned-off oven; double-searing steaks and chops on both ends of a long resting period to develop a tempting crust and melt-in-your-mouth texture; and seasoning meat before and during cooking.

But wait, that’s not all! There’s also a promo video for The Cook & The Butcher that just happened to be filmed at… Avedano’s:

Nomenclature Update: Introducing “Sutrito Tower”

Bernal Hill Radio Tower, September 2011 - 04

Bernal Hill Radio Tower, West Side, September 2011 - 03

Bernal Hill Radio Tower, West Side, September 2011 - 10

There was another fashion shoot on Bernal Hill last week, only this time, the subject wasn’t a glamorous supermodel. Instead, photographer Rusty turned his camera toward the familiar microwave tower that sits atop the hill, to deftly capture its jaunty good looks.

This also provides a perfect opportunity to revisit a discussion that began back in June, regarding what to call the distinctive structure:

It occurred to me recently that Bernal’s iconic microwave tower really needs a name. Calling it “Microwave Tower” is pretty lame.

I don’t have any specific ideas per se, but I would generally propose that — like its bigger cousin Sutro Tower — the name should be simple and vaguely honorific.

Thus challenged, the Bernalwood Ad Hoc Nomenclature Committee met in open session a few weeks later, and the group quickly reached consensus around one naming candidate put forward by Reader Joe Thomas.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, it is with great solemnity that the Nomenclature Committee has dubbed that thing atop Bernal Hill “Sutrito Tower.” (Pro Tip: It’s pronounced Su-TREE-to; rhymes with “burrito.”)  A diminutive name, Sutrito provides loving recognition of our tower’s ambitious desire to be something more someday, and this photo should make the logic of the choice rather obvious:

Little Wannabe

So now it’s official. Please update your maps and guide books to reflect the new name, and let it be known as Sutrito Tower from this day forward.

PHOTOS: Top, Sutrito Tower, by rustymerin. Below, Sutro Tower with Sutrito Tower, by Telstar Logistics

SF Giants Street Art Spreads Across Bernal Heights

Bernal Heights Home Decor Trend: Is stencil street art the new white picket fence?

Our post about the homeowner on the west slope who invited street artist Get Up to do an SF Giants-themed installation on the side of his house attracted a lot of attention — both in the media and (apparently) among other Bernal homeowners.

One byproduct is that Neighbor Mason, owner of the Chalkboard House on Mullen, also reached out to Get Up to get a piece of the street art action , so there’s now a brand new stencil on those famous garage doors as well. Mason quips:

The true pain of the fall season is that Brian Wilson should be spending his time warming up, not tagging.

UPDATE: Neighbor Becky sends along a photo of ANOTHER installation in Bernal Heights. Three makes it official: Brian Wilson street art by Get Up! is definitely a home-decor trend.

Becky says:

This went up last night on the northwest slope of the hill — Coleridge St. at Powers Ave. This one was Bernalwood inspired for sure.

And to make it even more interesting, the Bernal neighbor across the street is actually a Brian Wilson lookalike!

Wish we had a photo of the two of them together. Oh well.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Mason, Neighbor Becky

Block Party! On Elsie! This Saturday! And You’re Invited!

Neighbor Michael dialed in to the Bernalwood Hotline to share news about a grand block party that will take place on Elsie this Saturday:

The 200 block of Elsie Street, between Cortland & Eugenia, invites you to its 5th Annual Block Party on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11:30am to 3:30pm. Featuring a bakeoff, a bouncy house, a pinata, entertainment, a North-South portal contest, and a block free of cars. Food is potluck so bring a dish if you would.

PHOTOS: Pictures from the 2010 Elsie Block Party, via Neighbor Michael