The 2014 Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema Festival Begins TONIGHT!



It’s that glamorous red carpet and green(isn) grass time of year, Citizens of Bernalwood! It’s time for the 2014 Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival! Starting TONIGHT!

As you know, BHOC is exactly like Sundance or Telluride or Cannes — only without so many people wearing sheepskin and Prada. The basic drill: Free films. Most are short. Some are shown outside. Emphasis on local topics and local filmmakers. Bring seating. Dress warmly. BYO snacks. Sip from a flask. Snuggle as necessary. Enjoy.

Here’s the schedule for 2014, starting with the star-studded opening night screening and party happening TONIGHT at the beloved El Rio:

Thursday, September 4
7 to 9:30 pm
El Rio
3158 Mission St.
Must be 21 years

Friday, September 5
Progressive screenings at 7, 8 and 9 pm
— Progressive Grounds, 400 Cortland
— Bernal Star, 410 Cortland
— Kingmond Young Photography, 416 Cortland
— Bernal Branch Library, 500 Cortland ** 7 and 8 pm, only
— Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland
— Inclusions Gallery, 627 Cortland

Saturday, September 6
6:30 to 9:30 pm
Precita Park
Folsom St. at Precita Ave.

9:30 to 10:30 pm
Precita Park Café
500 Precita Avenue

Scope out the full 2014 BHOC schedule for additional details on each night’s film selections.

In addition, BHOC co-founder Leslie Lombre wrote to Bernalwood to share these late-breaking, insidery notes:

1) We’re adding comedy for the first time to the Opening Night line-up, Thursday, 9/4. Comedian Johnny Steele will perform following an excerpt of 3 STILL STANDING, a locally produced documentary profiling three recognizable names including Steele along with Will Durst and Larry Brown through a 30-year journey. It’s especially relevant given Robin William’s recent passing.

2) We’ve added some new co-presenters for Film Crawl on Cortland, Friday, 9/5:

SF International Women’s Festival at Inclusions Gallery
14 Black Poppies at Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center

Bay Area Video Coalition at Progressive Grounds
Cine Mas+ / SF Latino Film Festival at Kingmond Young Photography

And here’s the bumper reel:

See you there, cinephiles!


PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Bernalwood on Burrito Justice Radio: Recording Available for Your Listening Pleasure


It’s a holiday weekend. If you find yourself with nothing to do — meaning, no paint to watch dry, or no cars to watch rust — you can listen to a recording of this week’s Burrito Justice Radio episode featuring your Bernalwood editor.

We had a lot of fun. Listen in, and you will hear:

  • Bernalwood and Burrito Justice’s geopolitical lesson for a conflict-torn planet
  • Tacos as a higher form of culinary enlightenment
  • Volunteers wanted to pay for a 30th Street BART station
  • Volunteers wanted to reconstruct Jose Cornelio Bernal’s original stone wall
  • How rockstar Matt Nathanson taught my daughter about correlation vs. causation
  • An incomplete inventory of current Bernal Heights literary celebrities
  • Revealed: D9 Supervisor David Campos drinks Big Sodajust like us!
  • Sutrito Tower: Enchanted, or merely iconic?
  • A celebration of the Gastronomic Wonderland of our Mission Street ecosystem

All that, and Bernal music, and so much more. Right here.

Just remember: This is a recording of a conversation that took place on Wednesday, so if you tweet responses to our chatter in realtime, we won’t know what you are talking about.


New “Bernal Heights Architectural Coloring Book” Celebrates 2014 Bernal Outdoor Cinema Festival


Neighbor Mason Kirby is an architect who lives on Mullen and works from a cute little office on Bocana just off Cortland. A few years ago, Neighbor Mason created a fabulously clever Bernal Heights Architectural Coloring Book, which he generously shared with Bernalwood readers.

Now, just in time for the 2014 Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival that gets underway next week, Neighbor Mason shares a new edition of his Bernal Heights Architectural Coloring Book for wannabe Bernal architects of all ages:

We’ve created a second, collectors, edition of our Bernal Heights Architectural Coloring Book. Download away! In this new edition, we didn’t need to include any houses from Noe Valley (……hisssss……hooray!). Also, we included a moon-like reminder about the Precita Park screening of Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema (which we are helping sponsor) that will happen on Saturday September 6th at 6:30.

Download your copy of the 2014 Bernal Heights Architectural Coloring Book right here!!

Don’t have a printer? No problem! Neighbor Anne tells us where you can pick up a hard copy:

The coloring books are available at Precita Park Café, Charlie’s Café, Precita Valley Center, and the Bernal Library. In addition, we will have a stack of them at the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema information table at Precita Park on Saturday, September 6.


Got that, kids? Sharpen your colored pencils, line up your crayons, try and stay within the lines, and don’t forget that all your pictures must conform with the Bernal Heights East Slope Design Review Guidelines. (Just kidding about that last part. Sort of.)

And meanwhile, get ready for Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema 2014, which kicks off with a gala Opening Night Party at El Rio  on Thursday night, Sept. 4.

Today at Noon: Listen to Bernalwood on Burrito Justice Radio


Yes yes, we know… the idea of Bernalwood participating on Burrito Justice Radio is sort of like General Douglas McArthur agreeing to appear as a studio guest with Tokyo Rose. But stranger things have happened…

Today from noon to 2 pm, tune your Internet dial to as La Lengua’s chief agitator Burrito Justice hosts your Bernalwood editor for a mix of talk, music, local history, and seething geo-political rivalry. As Burrito Justice says, “It’s like Twitter on the radio!” (We don’t know what that means either.)

Bernalwood has been granted full diplomatic immunity to participate in the radio show, along with assurances regarding safe passage to and from the studios in the Mission. Just in case, I’ve also gotten a tetanus shot and purchased a Speak Conversational La Lenguan phrasebook.

Listen in today at noon on, and share your questions and snarky comments on the Twitter.

PS: If you’ve never heard Burrito Justice’s exclusive celebrity interview with @KarltheFog, then stop what you’re doing right now and pop it in your earholes. Guaranteed, you will never look at a fog bank rolling over Twin Peaks the same way ever again.

Tonight: Free Concert by the Bernal Jazz Quartet at the Library


Hey cats…

Bernal neighbor and jazz daddy-o Michael Gold is spreading the word about a concert by the Bernal Jazz Quartet happening TONIGHT at 6:30 at the always-hip Bernal Heights Library:

The monthly jazz series at the Bernal Heights Library is firing back up this week.

After a two-month hiatus, the Bernal Jazz Quartet will be back in the acoustically comfy community room on Wednesday, August 12 from 6:30 to 8:30pm, performing the music of seminal jazz bassist Charlie Haden.

Charlie, who passed away last month, helped chart the course of jazz over many decades, collaborating with other giants such as Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett, leading his own bands large and small, and developing a distinctive, irresistible voice on the bass. His playing and his compositions are deep, honest, nostalgic, resonant, and centered on uncomplicated, engaging melodies.

To celebrate his memory, we’ll be playing two sets of all Charlie Haden.

No cover, as always. FYI, we’re at the library most second Wednesdays of the month. And this month, the Bernal Jazz Quartet consists of Michael Gold (sax), Bruno Pelletier (guitar), Chuck Bennett (bass), and Tom Hassett (drums). Tom and I are Bernal residents; Chuck and Bruno are close enough — Noe Valley.

New Bernal Journal Goes on Hiatus, as Neighbor Tim Redmond Hatches Plan to Revive It


Regular readers might have noticed something odd on the front page of the most recent (April/May) issue of the New Bernal Journal, the bimonthly print newspaper published by the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

Below the fold, a small item explained that the New Bernal Journal planned to temporarily cease publication:


What??? Why? What does this mean? And what’s the plan?

Bernalwood reached out to BHNC executive director Rachel Ebora for insight, and she explained that producing New Bernal Journal had become difficult in its current form, and that there was a desire to make the newspaper “more community driven vs. completely staffed by BHNC.”

She also said Bernal neighbor and veteran progressive journalist Tim Redmond had expressed in interest in overseeing the New Bernal Journal’s revival.

This was an innnnteresting potential development, so Bernalwood asked Neighbor Tim Redmond for comment as well. Via email, Neighbor Tim tells us:

Yes: We want to bring back the New Bernal Journal. The staff at BHNC doesn’t have the time to do it anymore, and besides, they would like it to be more than a BHNC publication and more of a neighborhood pub.

So I have volunteered to put together a group of local editors and writers (and as you know, the hill is full of editors and writers) to create some sort of editing committee that would assign out, write, and edit the copy for a bimonthly NBJ. We want it to reflect all of Bernal.

And yes, I am very much looking for volunteers who want to be part of this collective effort to recreate and rebuild the NBJ. Please let Bernalwood readers know that they can contact me at this email <timredmondsf AT gmail DOTCOM> if they want to help out.

PHOTOS: by Telstar Logistics


Tonight: Bernal’s Own Emperor Norton Will Be on TV


As you may recall, the (in)famous Emperor Norton, self-proclaimed Emperor of the United States, lives in Bernal Heights. Or, his modern-day doppleganger does. That is, when he’s not taking tourists on San Francisco walking tours.

Now, he also rules the small screen, because tonight our own Emperor Norton will appear on the Travel Channel’s “Monumental Mysteries” show:

Don Wildman inspects a bizarre acorn-shaped sculpture that commemorates an otherworldly event; explores the world’s smallest skyscraper that was once at the center of an outrageous scam; and investigates an engineering wonder inspired by an eccentric figure.

HINT: That “eccentric figure” is Emperor Norton, and the engineering wonder is the Bay Bridge.

Tune in tonight at 9 pm to watch Neighbor Emperor Norton tell the tale.

PHOTO: Emperor Norton, during a recent sighting at 331 Cortland. By Telstar Logistics