Animated GIF Shows Very Animated Nighttime View of New Bayfront Mural

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Neighbor Joe Thomas  (Codename: Jobius) operates a Bernalwood Observation Post at an upper altitude on the east side of Bernal Heights. He also uses this location as an Animated GIF manufacturing facility.

All this means that Jobius now spends a lot of time looking at the new Bayview Rising mural, and he’s excited to see the mural’s ability to transform at night, once they turn the lights on. In fact, Jobius is so excited about this that he forged an Animated GIF of the mural’s three nighttime color modes to simulate his future views.

Behold, his Animated GIF of Our Future Skyline:

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PHOTOS: Mural renderings via the Port of San Francisco.

Mysterious Bernal Hill Tree-Shrub Thing Now Protected by Powerful Force-Field

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It’s a well-known fact that the big tree/shrub thingy atop Bernal Hill plays host to many dark mysteries. But now it seems that the distinctive plant has also acquired supernatural powers.

Over on the Instagram, photographer Nick Hatamiya channeled the wonderful “Kamehameha” Dragonball photo meme coming out of Japan to show Bernal’s tree-shrub thingy repelling an intrusive bystander with a powerful blast of invisible energy.

Nicely done!

PHOTO: @nickhata

What Happened to the Old Cancilla’s Market Sign, and What You Could Do With It in Your Living Room

Once upon a time not really all that long ago, the Precita Park storefront on the corner of Folsom and Bessie that we now call Harvest Hills was a rather typical corner store known as Cancilla’s Market.

It was called Cancilla’s Market for several generations and many moons, until the space changed hands. Today’s Harvest Hills has a decidedly more gourmet flavor, and little now remains of the former Cancilla’s except the funky midcentury San Francisco wallpaper that still lines the walls. All the other bits and pieces of the old place have been scattered to the wind — including the big Cancilla’s Market sign that used to hang out front. Until now.

The former Cancilla’s Market sign has resurfaced in Sacramento, and Bernalwood has learned that it has been repurposed for use as a home media center.

Wait… what?

Artist Cody Lane contacted Bernalwood to explain:

I am an artist/builder of things in Sacramento CA. I purchased this sign some time ago at a used furniture store in Davis CA, and it transformed it into a media center or book shelf. The piece will accommodate a flat screen up to 50″ and components. The Cancillas sign was a lucky find and it’s a really interesting piece of functional found art. The sign is for sale, and I can deliver and install if needed.

Email Cody if you’d like to watch television inside a genuine slice of Bernal Heights history.

PHOTOS: via Cody Lane

Newfangled Gas Pump Converts Sunlight Into Text Messages

Just in time for tonight’s glamorous Summer Solstice Stroll, a clever new fixture has been installed in front of the exceedingly clever New Wheel Electric Bicycle Shop on Cortland.

As you no doubt recall, The New Wheel sells newfangled electric bicycles that make it easy to pedal up Bernal Hill without really breaking a sweat. The bikes run on batteries, and the batteries need recharging, and recharging requires electricity. So our newfangled bicycle shop has installed a newfangled solar-powered recharging station out front, to recharge bicycle batteries.

The solar pump will also be available for use by all the Citizens of Bernalwood as a refueling stop for our luxurious personal electronic devices.

The pump on Cortland was custom-built by Sol Design Lab, and it’s the same solar -powered recharging pump that was last seen hanging out inside the fence at Hayes Valley Farm:

The SolarPump Charging Station is a self-contained island of free solar power available for the public to charge any electronic device (electric bicycles to cellphones and laptops, etc.) using a standard 110v AC plug. The bus stop-sized station inspires conversation about energy consumption, solar power and growing adoption of electric mobility.

The SolarPump was originally envisioned to combine a repurposed American car culture symbol (a 1950s Citgo gas pump) with an interactive display harnessing solar energy to charge electric bikes and mobile electronics.

The station has standard 110v outlets, so anyone can walk up and charge a cell phone, laptop, electric bike or scooter. The power is collected by Sanyo Bifacial solar panels on the roof of the station.

Finally! No longer will you have to worry about running out of juice on Cortland as you send text messages while batch-processing photos to send by email as you upload your star-sighting videos to YouTube and geolocate all your friends within a 500′ radius! Right??? If all that gets to be just too much for your poor little battery, rest assured that you can now use the SolarPump to perk back up.

Just remember: It’s BYOC (Bring Your Own Cord).

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

What Is Buried Under the Big Shrub/Tree Thing on Bernal Hill?

Bernal Hill

Bernal Hill

The big shrub/tree thingy on the eastern slope of Bernal Heights Park is one of the most impressive — if underrated —  features on the hill. The consensus among our local plantspotters is that it’s a California Buckeye (Aesculus californica).

The Buckeye cuts a dramatic profile from almost any angle, but if you look at it closely you might notice two small grave markers tucked away under the branches on the downtown-facing side. How creepy! How gothic!

So who’s buried under there? The answer becomes clear if you dare approach for a closer look: The grave markers belong to departed subcultural pets.

One of the tombstones remembers a punk rock rabbit named Vikktor who died earlier this year:

Buckeye Grave

The other is a snake named Spike that began its eternal rest in 2010:

Buckeye Grave

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

1959 Cadillac Emerges from Bernal Garage; Smart Cars Rejoice

Neighbor Mason was on hand to witness the opening of an ad-hoc time capsule on Bocana last week:

Last Friday at 305 Bocana, a garage was opened to reveal a collection of cars (and parts) owned by the late Edward Cicero, longtime Bernal butcher and possibly the founder of what is now Avedanos. (Factcheck please!) His son, Edward Jr, and grandson Steve just sold this stunning yellow ’59 Cadillac and were moving it outward and onward to its new owner.

To my surprise, there were two late 30’s Packards stashed in the other garage bay, and even a transaxle for Ford Model A. We remain excited to see what will take the Cadillac’s place, as apparently Mr. Cicero was an avid collector of metal, and there are several other examples of his curatorial prowess in other undisclosed locations.

Some interesting facts divined by yours truly:

  • This 1959 Caddy’s wheelbase (130″) can accommodate the length of an entire Smart car (98″) with an electric bike on a rear bike rack (18″) and still have 18″ left over for a clean parking job.
  • This 1959 Caddy’s engine 390 cubic inches is over ten times that of a Smart car (36cui).
  • The Smart Car boasts a passenger area of 45.4 cubic feet. While certainly impressive, this is only slightly larger than the capacity of the Caddy’s fuel tank (42.29 cu ft).

PHOTOS: Mason Kirby

Who Created that Cool Kinetic Sculpture in Holly Park?

La Principessa Errante, a blog about San Francisco art and architecture, has the answer. The sculpture is called Odonatoa, and it was created by Joyce Hsu:

Born in Hong Kong, Joyce Hsu received her BFA from the Mount Allison University in Canada in 1996 and her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1998. She works out of Oakland and creates all kinds of mechanical sculptures.

This kinetic sculpture of painted stainless is one of many insects that Joyce has created.

PHOTOS: La Principessa Errante