Category Archives: History

The Evolution of Bernal’s Lesbian Community, as Viewed from Wild Side West

There’s an interesting story on the cover of SF Weekly this week that looks at the changing geography of San Francisco’s lesbian community. It describes how “San Francisco’s lesbian enclave has shifted four times in the last 30 years, from Valencia Street to Noe … Continue reading

Posted in History | 16 Comments

Meet the Sneaky Bernal Kid Who Earned a Cameo in the Famous “Bullitt” Car Chase Scene

Our glamorous neighborhood’s most famous Hollywood moment took place in 1968, when Bernal Heights served as the gritty starting point for the classic Steve McQueen car chase sequence in the movie Bullitt. Writing for the SF Weekly,  Joe Eskenazi tells a sweet “Where are they … Continue reading

Posted in History, Media, People | 3 Comments

Then and Now: Folsom at Precita, 1943

When they are not giving you expensive parking tickets or botching your commute, our friends at the San Francisco Municipal  Transportation Agency (SFMTA) also maintain a historical photo archive that’s accessible via a spiffy photo website for blissful procrastination focused browsing by members of the general public. That’s … Continue reading

Posted in History | 7 Comments

Former Neighbor, Now Living in NYC, Remembers Us Fondly

Until late last year, Hilary Pollack lived in Bernal’s La Lengua Autonomous Zone. Then she moved to New York. Now, as an esteemed member of the Bernal Heights Alumni Network, San Francisco remains on her mind, and she recently shared some memories on … Continue reading

Posted in History, People | 13 Comments

Violent Tales from Pre-Gentrification Bernal Heights During the Eighties

Bernal Heights was a tough place during the Eighties. It was a time of rampant lawlessness, violent crime, substance abuse, and lots of un-neighborly behavior. Burrito Justice, chief spokesblogger for the La Lenguan separatists, recently posted a series of tales … Continue reading

Posted in History | 13 Comments

UPDATED – Remember When: The Day DiFi Laughed Her Way Down the Esmeralda Slides

Once upon a time, several years before she became a United States Senator with a thing for national security issues, then-Mayor Diane Feinstein came to Bernal Heights on a warm winter day in 1979. She was here to celebrate the … Continue reading

Posted in History | 6 Comments

What You Missed When You Missed Glenn Lym’s Talk About the Lost Geology of Bernal Heights

Glenn Lym addressed a full house at the Bernal Heights branch of the San Francisco Public Library on Wednesday night. His presentation focused on how San Francisco transformed the hilly native landscape into flat land suitable for development. Much of … Continue reading

Posted in Geology and Seismology, History, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

This Proposed Freeway Tunnel Under Bernal Heights Would Have Destroyed My Home

Courtesy of Eric Fischer, king of the map geeks, your Bernalwood editor was alerted yesterday about a 1941 map detailing a freeway proposal that would have required the construction of a 2945 foot-long automobile tunnel under Bernal Hill. Unlike other … Continue reading

Posted in History, Infrastructure, Unbuilt Bernal Heights | 14 Comments

Canine Rescue: Help Restore the Doggie Diner Heads

As you may recall, Bernalwood recently explored the history of the Bernal Heights branch of the Doggie Diner restaurant chain that ruled the corner of Mission and Cesar Chavez from the 1960s until the 1980s. You may also recall that … Continue reading

Posted in History | 12 Comments

Is There a Frenchman Buried Under Precita Park?

Neighbor Vicky from the Bernal Heights History Project calls our attention to an August 12, 1897 article in the San Francisco Call newspaper about a tragic accident that took place while installing a sewer line near Precita Park: The article … Continue reading

Posted in History | 6 Comments

Neighbor Explains 45 Years of Bernal Heights History in 56 Seconds

Neighbor Ralph lives a few doors down from me in Precitaville, and he’s been here for a long time. His father bought the house he lives in now back in 1943 with money he made working as a laborer at Fort … Continue reading

Posted in History, Uncategorized, Video | 5 Comments

Then and Now: The View from a Horse Pasture on Mission Near Precita

Bernalwood has received another photo shared from the family albums of Greg Dabel, the great, great grandson of Joseph McTigue, who owned a saddlery business that occupied the site that is now home to El Rio during the first decades … Continue reading

Posted in History, Then and Now | 6 Comments

A History of the Former McTigue Harness Shop on Mission Street, as Shared by His Great-Great Grandson

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the McTigue family operated a harness manufacturing shop and livery stable for horses on Mission Street at the intersection of Precita, roughly on the site where El Rio stands today. We wrote about … Continue reading

Posted in History | 13 Comments