A Brief History of Peralta Avenue’s Discontinuity Problem

If you live on Peralta Avenue in Bernal Heights, you’re probably used to getting phone calls from lost delivery drivers.  They’ve managed to find the 200 block, you’re in the 500 block; how many obstacles could there be between you?

Turns out, there are a lot. That staircase on the right is the 400 block of Peralta. But how did Peralta “Avenue” end up in no fewer than eight non-contiguous segments? In theory, it was supposed to be a (mostly) continuous street:

That’s a 1924 Rand McNally map, courtesy of David Rumsey. Peralta and Esmeralda are highlighted. These roads existed mostly on paper, as planned improvements. Note that “paper” Esmeralda runs right over the top of Bernal Hill: Sutrito Tower would be at the intersection of Esmeralda and Shotwell. Fourteen years later, these roads remained wisely unbuilt:

Harrison Ryker’s aerial photos via David Rumsey and  Google Earth. The actual built portion of Peralta by 1938 was a nice, contiguous three blocks running parallel to, and uphill from, Precita and Army.

The paper streets remained on the maps, but by the 1940s, city planners had begun to distinguish paper streets from real ones by using dotted lines — as seen in this 1948 map, courtesy Eric Fischer:

Unlike Esmeralda, paper Peralta was eventually built, basically along the planned lines — except for where it wasn’t built at all. Parts of it are too steep to be anything but stairs; this was likely made worse when the cross streets were blasted out flat.

New Videos from Anda Piroshkis and Big Dipper Baby Food

To be a merchant on Cortland Avenue in 2012 is kind of like being a New Wave band in 1983: Apparently, if you want to get ahead, you’ve gotta have a video.

In that spirit, Anda’s Piroshkis and Big Dipper Baby Food, two tenants of the 331 Cortland marketplace, recently commissioned their own promotional videos, and both businesses turned to filmmaker Justin Jach to get the job done:

Critics Are Talking About Weed from Bernal Heights Collective

Bernal Heights Collective

In the Age of Yelp, everyone is a critic — even the customers of Bernal Heights Collective, our eponymous medical marijuana merchant.

Here’s what one capitalization-challenged test pilot had to say about the local product at F*ckYeahWeed, a blog “dedicated to all that are in love with that special girl, Mary Jane, as well as the art and culture that come along with her”:

Purple Sour Wax, Bernal Heights Collective, San Francisco, California

this indica dominant wax is quite heavy on the purple, with a glued to the couch [sic], i can hardly keep my eyes open kind of fade. i bought it thinking the sour would make it so i would be able to smoke it before work but i was wrong, hah. it’s still really enjoyably, even if you aren’t a huge fan of heavy indicas, like myself. it’s got a really sour taste and i really like it, it’s just so deceptive! but all in all, for $25 a gram, i’d say it was a good buy.

PHOTOS: Top, Telstar Logistics. Below, F*ckYeahWeed.

Bernal Dads Make Their Bizarre Race Car Even More Strange

If you happened to look out your window at just the right moment last Saturday, you might have seen a bizarre spectacle streaking through Bernal Heights. It was a red(ish) automobile adorned with an ill-fitting Volvo body, “Bernalwood” emblazoned on the hood, and no license plates. It was moving swiftly, so if you blinked, you might have missed it entirely.

Actually, that was part of the plan. The vehicle was The Molvo, the mutant Mazda Miata-Volvo 240 hybrid fabricated by those diabolical dads from the Bernal Dads Racing Team. Saturday’s dash across Bernal Heights was a ferry run to move the Molvo from it’s top secret storage space to the Dads’s top secret garage workshop. You see, there’s a big car race at Infinion Raceway in Sonoma this weekend, and the Bernal Dads needed to make sure the Molvo was ready for competition.

But in the case of The Molvo, “ready for competition” doesn’t mean tuning the engine or tweaking the suspension. All that stuff is great, because within the Molvo’s mangled Volvo body shell lies a fully intact Mazda Miata, and the Miata is a fine race car even without any significant modification.

No, the problem with The Molvo is that it carries around about 800 pounds of unwieldy extra weight — in the form of all that goofy Volvo station wagon bodywork. So a plan was hatched to put The Molvo on a revolutionary weight-loss program:

So what does it look like now? Suffice to say, after all the sparks stopped flying, the Dads surveyed their handiwork and began calling their mutated mutant race car “The Molvochero.”

Tomorrow morning, The Bernal Dads will load The Molvochero and the team’s other race car, The Whale, onto trailers for an ad hoc parade down Cortland. From there they will head north, to Infineon Raceway, to set up camp in preparation for this weekend’s 24 Hours of LeMons “Sears Pointless 2012″ race on Saturday and Sunday. I’ll tweet updates from the Bernalwood Twitter account, and Car and Driver magazine will provide coverage on their special LeMons website.

Wish the Bernal Dads luck (because they’ll need it).

PHOTOS: Top two, Telstar Logistics. Bottom, David Spector

Occupy Bernal Heights and Supervisor David Campos Rally at City Hall

Occupy Bernal Heights was joined by several City Supervisors — including David Campos — for a rally on the steps of City Hall to combat home foreclosures. Fog City Journal was there:

The rally on City Hall steps, organized by Occupy Bernal Heights and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE, formerly known as ACORN) featured several “foreclosure fighters,” residents who are on the verge of losing their homes.

“We are not asking for a handout, we’re just asking for modifications of our loans,” said Ernesto Viscaro, a struggling homeowner and member of Occupy Bernal.

The article also details a legislative effort by Supervisors John Avalos and David Campos to halt further foreclosures:

Following the rally, Supervisor Avalos introduced a resolution – co-sponsored by Supervisors David Campos, Christina Olague, Jane Kim, Eric Mar and David Chiu, “Urging city and county officials and departments to protect homeowners from unlawful foreclosures.” The measure also urges mortgage and banking institutions, “especially San Francisco-based Wells Fargo,” to “suspend foreclosure activities and related auctions and evictions.” [...]

“A postponement is not enough,” said District 9 Supervisor Campos. “We need a moratorium on foreclosures in San Francisco. We are asking all city agencies to not play any role” in administering foreclosures, he said.

PHOTO: Bernal resident Ernesto Viscaro, by Christpher D. Cook for Fog City Journal

Greetings from Bernal Isle, Climate Change Vacation Paradise!

Rebel blogger Burrito Justice, chief propagandist of the La Lengua separatists, looked into his cartographic crystal ball recently to understand the impact that global climate change and sea-level rise might have upon our City.

His research generated some bittersweet conclusions. Assuming a worst-case scenario of 200-feet of sea-level rise, San Francisco will become an archipelago. That’s bad news for his beloved La Lengua Autonomous Zone, which will be completely submerged beneath the rising waters. But on the bright side, Bernal Hill will be transformed into a glamorous island with excellent luxury vacation destination potential.

Let’s zoom in for a closer look:

In a must-read post written from the perspective of the year 2072, Burrito Justice envisions life in the San Francisco Archipelago:

With the surprising acceleration of sea level rise due to the melting of both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets over the past decade, ferry service has been announced between the new major islands of the San Franciscan Archipelago while the boring machines make progress under the Van Ness Passage and Richmond Pass for the new transit tunnels. [...]

The submerged ruins of the Sunset and the Mission have proved popular diving attractions, [and] many have already forgotten the locations of long-flooded streets and avenues. [...]

While other islands have embraced both bridges and tunnels — the 150 year old bridges across Glen Narrows are scheduled for destruction once the new suspension bridge is completed to Bernal Isle.

What’s fascinating is the fact that Bernal Isle of 2072 is quite a bit like the Bernal Heights of 2012: A scenic haven that’s just slightly cut off from the rest of the City. But Bernal Isle will also enjoy some competitive advantages that Bernal Heights does not; most notably, ample beachfront real estate and convenient tourist access to the submerged ruins of the former Mission District.

Fellow Citizens of Bernalwood, we have an exciting future to look forward to!

IMAGES: Top, Telstar Logistics. Archipelago maps, courtesy of Burrito Justice.