Sunday: Bernal Author Chris Colin Talks About “What to Talk About” at Heartfelt (Plus: Fancy-Schmancy Ice Cream!)

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Celebrity author Chris Colin and his writing partner Rob Baedecker have written a ridiculously awesome book about the fine art of conversation that’s called “What to Talk About: On a Plane, at a Cocktail Party, in a Tiny Elevator with Your Boss’s Boss.”  It’s sort of a self-help book, and sort of a comedy book, and just enough of each to make it both entertaining and useful and useful and entertaining. I’ve read it, I learned from it, it cracked me up,  and I highly recommend it.

At the same time, Neighbor Chris and his writing partner Rob have honed the book-talk version of their spiel to such such a fine extent that their book talks are also wonderful as a stand-alone performance piece. It’s hilarious, and useful, and useful, and also hilarious, and you can see Neighbor Chris and his writing partner Rob do their live performance thing tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 21 at 4 pm at the fabulous Heartfelt on Cortland.

Here’s the trailer, rich with celebrity cameos:

You really really really should attend this. On Sunday. At 4 pm. At Heartfelt. 436 Cortland. PLUS, Miss Darcy will be personally slinging scoops of fancy-schmancy ice cream from Humphry Slocumb, because that’s how she rolls:

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Saturday: Rock the Block at the Spectacular Elsie Street Block Party!!!

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Elsie - Group picture

Elsie Bhangra Amy-Edward

Citizens of Bernalwood, you are invited to the most spectacular… the most glamtastic… the most charming block party in all of Bernal Heights (and perhaps the entire galaxy).

It’s happening on Elsie Street between Cortland and Eugenia tomorrow, Saturday, September 20 from noon until 3:30 pm.

It’s the ELSIE STREET BLOCK PARTY! And here are just a few of the fabulous highlights:

There will be a kickoff Parade for decorated bikes, wagons, and kazoos at noon!!

There will be an intensely competitive Bakeoff (with trophies)!!

There will be the inevitable Bouncy House!!

There will be Bhangra dancers!!

And BBQ!!

And a Puppeteer!!

And fantastic Bernalese brimming with Neighborly Cheer!!

Find out more on the Elsie Street Block Party page on the Facebook, but most of all just be there… Be There… BE THERE!

There’s a Rummage Sale Happening at St. Anthony’s on Saturday

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Neighbor Nancy deploys some devastatingly effective flattery to bring you news about a benefit rummage sale happening at St. Anthony-Immaculate Conception School this weekend, on Saturday, Sept. 20:

Ever since I moved to Bernal Heights one year ago, I’ve relied on the Bernalwood blog for important and entertaining information about this fabulous neighborhood.

St. Anthony’s Immaculate Conception School at Precita and Folsom is an impressive elementary school and deserves our support. They’re hosting a community rummage sale on Saturday, Sept. 20, and invite area residents and businesses to participate, with 10% of the sales going to the school.

The info:

Community-wide Rummage Sale
Saturday, Sept. 20, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Schoolyard of St. Anthony-Immaculate Conception School
299 Precita Ave.
Enter through the gate on Shotwell St.

Vintage and new merchandise, including furniture, clothing, jewelry, household items. Food booths. Neighborhood residents/businesses invited to participate.
Rent a table for $20; call 415-648-2008.
10% of sales go to school.

RummageSalePHOTO: Telstar Logistics

 

Tonight! The Language of Food: A Bernal Heights Linguist Reads the Menu

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Oh hey, did you catch that article in the dining section of yesterday’s New York Times about Bernal Neighbor Dan Jurafsky, and his new book on the linguistics of food?

I read the article over my morning coffee, but I didn’t know Dan lived in Bernal… until he reached out to me later in the day. Turns out, Dan Jurafsky is a celebrity neighbor! Love that.

Neighbor Dan’s new book is called The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu, and he’s doing a reading TONIGHT at 6:30 at the fabulous Omnivore Books at Cesar Chavez and Church in (scandalous gasp!) Noe Valley.

Neighbor Dan says:

I’m a Stanford professor and Bernal resident coming up on 10 years on Winfield street near the Esmeralda slides. Just letting you know that my trade book from Norton, “The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu” just came out this week and I’ll be talking about it at Omnivore Books in Noe Valley on Thursday night 9/18 at 6:30.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

Why do we eat toast for breakfast, and then toast to good health at dinner? What does the turkey we eat on Thanksgiving have to do with the country on the eastern Mediterranean? Can you figure out how much your dinner will cost by counting the words on the menu? In The Language of Food, Stanford University professor and MacArthur Fellow Dan Jurafsky peels away the mysteries from the foods we think we know.

Bernal and SF figure heavily in the book, from the SF history of Green Goddess dressing Pisco Punch, and Peruvian food to the tamales at La Oaxaquena, to showing how the meaning of the word “entree” has changed over time by analyzing some of the wording on menus of Bernal restaurants, to the linguistic significance of the rich Cantonese vocabulary for smells.

Sounds very tasty. Congrats, Neighbor Dan!

PHOTO: Dan Jurafsky by by Bernal photographer Kingmond Young

See the Bernal Hill Players on Sunday — For Free!

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Ready to get your chamber music on? The price is right to see the Bernal Hill Players this weekend, on Sunday, September 14 at 4:00 p.m.at the Community Music Center on Capp Street.

BHP shares the big news:

The Bernal Hill Players will play a concert entitled Musical Chairs: Chamber Music from the 1800s to Now, for Flute, Clarinet, Cello and Piano as part of the Community Music Center’s Shenson Faculty Series.
This concert features four prominent Bay Area chamber musicians in various instrumental combinations, including an elegant German Classical Sinfonia by Franz Danzi, a virtuosic French Romantic flute trio by Louise Farrenc, a Fellini-esque Italian clarinet trio by Nino Rota, an Indian and jazz-influenced woodwind duo by Russell Peterson, and dynamically rhythmic Latin American compositions by Eduardo Gamboa and Miguel del Aguila.
Performers are Martha Rodríguez-Salazar on flute, Sarah Bonomo on clarinet, and Jennifer Peringer on piano. Guest cellist: Laura Gaynon.
WHERE: Community Music Center, 544 Capp Street (at 21st), San Francisco, CA 94110
WHEN: Sunday, September 14 at 4 PM
HOW MUCH: Free!
Thanks to the Shenson Foundation for their support of this free community concert.
The Bernal Hill Players have been playing concerts since 2008 throughout the Bay Area and Mexico City, have commissioned several pieces by Bay Area and Mexican composers, and have produced a CD entitled “San Francisco: In an About the City” about neighborhoods of San Francisco.  Their mission is to play a wide and rich repertoire, to commission new works, to create interesting arrangements of existing works, and to use chamber music as a way of both celebrating local community and creating cross-cultural musical connections.

Saturday Morning: Cleanup Party in Precita Park

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When you look down at Precita Park from the safety and climate-contolled comfort of the Google Earth blimp, it looks… Peaceful. Pristine. Like an urban oasis.

Actually, when you look at Precita Park from street level, it looks pretty damn awesome as well.

This is no accident. Precita Park looks so super-sexy in no small part because of all the hard work Neighbor Demece Garepis has done through the years under the auspices of Precita Valley Neighbors, the volunteer group she so valiantly leads.

Tomorrow morning, PVN is organizing a neighborly Precita Park cleanup party… and it’s a great opportunity to give the park some of your love.  Neighbor Demece says:

We are going to Clean Up Precita Park!

Join us this Saturday, Sept. 13 at 9:30a am. Meet in the Children’s Playground. Bring your bags, hand shovels, and rakes! Neighborly conversation and friendship provided.

IMAGE: Via Google Earth Pro

Writer Chris Colin Invites You To a Curious Pop-Up Dinner in His Bernal Heights Home

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Bernal neighbor and celebrity journalist Chris Colin extends this unusual invitation to attend an unusual dinner party at his Bernal Heights home:

A little news, neighbors: I’m starting a restaurant! It launches Friday, Oct. 3, in Bernal. It’s going to be awesome. I’m also closing this restaurant, on Oct. 4. Please come eat at this exclusive, one-night-only affair.

I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll do this under the auspices of a site that arranges similar pop-up restaurants in people’s homes — EatWith.com for instance — or just on my own. Either way, it’ll feature 8-10 people coming to our house, and my wife and me serving our best food and drinks, plus maybe some other fun little whatnots.

We’re not chefs. We’re people who throw decent dinner parties. That’s part of the appeal for me — finding out whether regular people, who cook good food and dim the lights just so, could ever run a successful restaurant. If you’re someone who likes taking chances on weird and larky things, we’d really love to have you.

The fine print: We cannot know each other. Why? Because I’m also writing a magazine story about the experience, and will want to extract your unbiased opinions about it. This also means you’ll have to be okay with being written about, and possibly photographed. Nothing weird or TMZ’ish, I promise.

About us: I’m a writer, my wife Amy is a public radio reporter. I write about food sometimes, and Amy once co-published a magazine about meat. But mostly we’re no more involved in food than your average Bay Areans. We live in Bernal and have two kids, whom we’ll boot for the night. Duh.

Drop me a line if you’re game, or maybe game! It’ll be a fun night and you’ll meet interesting people and it’ll be a thing to remember. We hope it will be delicious, too. Worst-case scenario, well, I guess that’d be a giant meteor. That’d be just horrible.

Thanks for reading. Details below.
Chris Colin
www.chriscolin.com

When: 7pm, Oct. 3, 2014
Where: Bernal Heights, not far from Sandbox Bakery
Price: $55 per person, incl. alcohol
RSVP: cc@well.com

First-come, first-served. Dietary restrictions can’t be accommodated — sorry, too new at this!

UPDATE: In the comments, Chris says this event is now SOLD OUT.  We look forward to the report after the dinner takes place

ILLUSTRATION: Supper with Chris Colin, by Bernalwood