Star Sighting: Martha Stewart Dined at Ichi Sushi Last Night


Perhaps you heard the rumors swirling around La Lengua last night?

Well, they’re true: Martha Stewart was in San Francisco yesterday, and she stopped in for dinner at Neighbor Tim and Erin Archuleta’s Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar in Bernal Heights.

Here’s the proof, via Twitter — with a cute little typo to provide a perfect touch of “I’m writing this while totally buzzing on Ichi” Marthenticity:



PHOTO: Top, via Wikipedia

UPDATED: Paulie’s Pickling on KQED’s “Check Please, Bay Area” Tonight

Paulie's Pickles

It’s showtime! Cortland’s Paulie’s Pickling, which may be Best Jewish Deli in San Francisco, will be the focus of tonight’s exciting episode of KQED’s Check Please, Bay Area.

Neighbors Paul and Liz, the soft-spoken proprietors of Paulie’s Pickling, didn’t give us the heads-up about this. No, we heard it from the street, in the Jweekly:

CHECK, PLEASE: A “Check, Please! Bay Area” episode featuring Paulie’s Pickling will debut at 7:30 p.m. April 24 on KQED-Channel 9, with many replays to come. Also, the show will air on KQED radio (88.5 FM) at 6:30 p.m. April 27.

“Check, Please!” features three Bay Area residents giving their opinions after sampling three local restaurants (each recommended by one of the participants). Paulie’s Pickling, a Jewish-style deli counter in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights, will be the first segment.

“I have no idea who nominated us,” said Paulie’s co-owner Liz Ashby, who was raised Orthodox in Newton, Mass. “But when the producers called and asked if we wanted to be on the show, I said, ‘Of course!’ Who would say no?”

Over a two-month period, the “mystery diners” came in to eat, and on two occasions, the KQED crew came by to do some filming and interview Liz and the other owner, her husband, Paul.

Neighbor Liz is right. Who would say no?

One quick P.S. about the whole “Best Jewish Deli in San Francisco” thing. There’s this. And there’s also this:

For Passover earlier this month, your Bernalwood editor had two actual Jewish grandmothers over for dinner. One Jewish grandmother was raised in Brooklyn; the other in Jersey City. With two actual Jewish grandmothers at the table, your Bernalwood editor did not want to run the risk of screwing up the traditional Passover brisket. So I asked Neighbor Liz from Paulie’s if I could order a few pounds of her rather amazing brisket instead, to serve to two actual Jewish grandmothers. Neighbor Liz said no problem, and it came with some wonderful gravy, and I heated it all up, and dayenu it was incredible. But you don’t have to believe me when I say it was dayenu incredible. Two actual Jewish grandmothers at our Passover table certified that the brisket from Paulie’s Pickling was dayenu incredible. They were very impressed.

So there you go.

Keep that in mind as you listen to whatever the mystery diners have to say on “Check Please, Bay Area” tonight. In your Bernalwood editor’s house, Paulie’s Pickling is Jewish Grandmother Tested and Jewish Grandmother Approved.

UPDATE: It’s live!

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

Star Sighting: Mayor Lee Visits New “Mission Bernal Merchants Association”

Mayor Lee ICHI

Mayor Lee Secession

Star Sighting!  Earlier this month San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was seen hobnobbing in the Bernal flatlands to show his support for the Mission Bernal Merchants Association, the new group that appears to have deftly navigated their recent naming challenges.

Here’s the mission statement:

The purpose of the Mission Bernal Merchants Association (MBMA) is to facilitate unity of action among the merchants and nonprofits in the MBMA, San Francisco, in order to protect, promote and preserve the business conditions within the Mission Bernal Commercial District. The Mission Bernal Merchants Association is defined as that area inside the following boundaries: Mission Street from Cesar Chavez to Randall Street, 29th Street from San Jose Avenue to Mission Street in San Francisco.

Mayor Lee dropped in as part of his regular Small Business Friday tours to speak with with La Lengua Mission-Bernal merchants about business concerns and neighborhood issues. Neighbor Erin Archuleta (of Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar fame) shares these notes about the MBMA’s most recent meeting, along with details about the next one:

This past meeting resulted in drafting agenda items pertaining to merchants in the neighborhood, such as a visit with our Police Captain; a chance to host a Networking Mixer; and opportunities to participate in planning events that would benefit our community. The group is open to all business owners in our corridor along Mission (and just off Mission) between Cesar Chavez and Randall Streets.

Our next meeting is:
Monday, May 12th
10 AM
at PizzaHacker (3299 Mission Street at 29th Street)

PHOTOS: Mayor Lee at Ichi Sushi and Secession Design, courtesy of MBMA

First Openly Gay American Idol Contestant Raised in Bernal Heights


Neighbor Barbara brings the glamorous TV celebrity news that Emkay Nobilette, a contestant on the current American Idol, is an OG Bernal native:

I noticed on sfgate that an SF kid made the top 30. I sent the link to my daughter (away at college) who recognized her as her schoolmate at Buena Vista who used to live up the street from us on Treat. I haven’t seen her in almost 10 years so had no idea we knew her. Now I have a reason to tune into Idol again!

Emkay Nobilette is also the first openly gay contestant on American Idol. You can watch her sing — and come out — right here:

PHOTO: via Fox/American Idol

Bernal Heights Library Manager Featured in Celebrity Librarian Photo Shoot


America’s librarians held a big get-together in Philadelphia last month, and Photographer Kyle Cassidy was on hand to take some pictures:

When you think of a librarian, what image comes to mind? Photographer Kyle Cassidy ventured to the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia in January to explore that question. In between networking, educational events, and panels, librarians from across the country stopped by Cassidy’s makeshift studio to sit for a portrait. The result is a celebration of the diversity in the librarian community.

Representing the Dominion of Bernalwood, our very own Bernal Heights Library Branch Manager, Mel Gooch, stepped in front of Cassidy’s camera for a celebrity librarian photo shoot. That’s her up above. Gooooo Mel!

PHOTO: Mel Gooch by Kyle Cassidy

SOLD? Bernal Heights Home Where Janis Joplin Used to Party



There’s a home at 11 Wright Street for sale in the Santana Rancho subdistrict of Bernal Heights, where Janis Joplin was apparently a visitor:

This spacious 3 level home with high ceilings, features an open floor plan including a large living room with fire place, formal dining room, large custom kitchen and direct access to the decks. There are 2.5 updated bathrooms and 3 bedrooms with an option for a 4th. The decks and a brick patio overlook the scrumptious landscaped oasis garden, complete with in ground hot tub, and slate pathways. Stunning city views from upstairs, refinished wood floors, freshly painted, large garage, laundry, storage and much more!

Much to our delight the former owners of the house came by to pay us a visit. They owned the house from 1968 to 1976 and shared great stories and amazing photos of the house during that time.

This legendary photo of Janis Joplin was taken upstairs in the main bedroom.

Here’s that bedroom today:


Redfin tells us an offer on the home has already been accepted, with a sale pending.

IMAGES via Frank Castalini

Bernal Neighbor Becomes CEO of Glamorous Jazz Organization


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!