Bernal Watercolor Geeks Unite! Meeting on Friday and Upcoming Group Show at Cafe 78


Neighbor Jesse Schlenker wants to tell you about the Watercolor Community of San Francisco,  a new group of local watercolor enthusiasts who will meet at the Bernal Heights Library tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 17 (and every other Friday thereafter). There’s also a group show going up on Nov. 2 at Cafe 78 in La Lengua.

Neighbor Jesse writes:

I’d like to introduce the Watercolor Community of San Francisco (formerly known as the Russellers).

We meet at the Bernal library every other Friday from 1-5pm to paint together, share techniques and enjoy each other’s company. We welcome any fellow watercolorist who would like to paint with us. No instructor is provided but we do learn from each other. Our next meeting is this Friday, Oct. 17th.

Check us out on our blog.

Our original group met each other while taking the watercolor classes of Kay Russell, who taught at City College. When she retired a few years ago, we decided to create our group to continue to enjoy the community and camaraderie her classes had fostered.

Every year we have a group show which is coming up on Nov. 1st. Come, check us out and enjoy our artwork!

Here are the details:

Watercolor Community of San Francisco 4th Annual Group Show
Cafe 78 at 78 29th St./ Tiffany / between Mission and Guerrero St.
Starting Sun. Nov. 2nd, running through Sat. Nov. 29th

Our reception will be on Fri. Nov. 7th from 5-7pm

Artists participating in the show are: Avelina Leanos, Laurie Wigham, Gail Block, Janie Dubuque, Shirley Edwards, Heather Solway, John Webster, Jesse Schlenker, Juliet DiGiovanni, Joanie Helgeson, Colleen Sundquist, Jo Hunter, Carmel Adams, and Peg Robinson.

IMAGE: Watercolor by Neighbor Jesse Schlenker

Tonight: There’s a New Variety Show at the Moonlight Cafe


A “happy pirate team” of Cortland merchants have conspired to create a new, monthly variety show at the Moonlight Cafe, and there’s one happening tonight.

Ms. Monique from Heartfelt shared the news:

Monique from Heartfelt and Aziz from Moonlight have teamed up with local funny gal morgansfunny to host a monthly Variety Show in Bernal at the Moonlight Cafe (634 Cortland).

It happens every 3rd Wednesday of the month (there’s a show tonight, October 15!!!) and the show consists of comedy, spoken word, and music.

There are four acts, and the show begins at 7:30 and runs about 90 minutes with an intermission. Cost is $10, and there is food and drink (modified from Moonlight’s regular menu) available for purchase. 21+ as we hope to make this a regular grown up night in Bernal.

We just started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds in an attempt to make this show and other entertainment more available more often. Please check it out and spread the word!


Hard Hat Chic: Groundbreaking Begins New St. Luke’s Hospital Construction Effort




There was a fashionable groundbreaking ceremony last Friday to mark the (long-debated) start of construction of the new California Pacific Medical Center facility on the grounds of  St. Luke’s Hospital at Cesar Chavez near Valencia — Bernal’s home-team hospital.

The San Francisco Appeal covered the event:

The new state-of-the-art hospital will be constructed adjacent to the old hospital on San Jose Avenue just south of Cesar Chavez Street, CPMC spokesman Dean Frye said.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee attended [Friday's] groundbreaking ceremony and dug out a symbolic shovel full of dirt. He said via Twitter that the project will provide a “new seismically safe hospital and year-round jobs for #SF residents.”

CPMC chief executive officer Warren Browner joined the mayor and members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to celebrate construction of the new St. Luke’s campus, which will begin in October, Frye said.

The new hospital comes after years of negotiations, including a 2012 development agreement that was shelved by members of the city’s Board of Supervisors, in part because of concerns over an escape clause that could have let CPMC close St. Luke’s hospital if its operating margin stayed negative for two straight years.

The new deal hashed out in 2013 omitted the escape clause, required that at least 30 percent of construction jobs go to San Francisco residents, and included higher contributions by the hospital group to the city for charity care.

The new St. Luke’s facility is scheduled to open in 2019, at which point the existing hospital building will be demolished. No major disruption in hospital services is anticipated along the way.

History buffs will note that St. Luke’s was also the site of the original Jose Cornelio Bernal homestead (which sat on the north side of present-day Duncan),  so it’s good to see a new chapter beginning, at last, on this hallowed patch of Bernal Heights ground.

IMAGES: Top: Mayor Ed Lee at St. Luke’s groundbreaking, via @mayoredlee. Rendering of new St. Luke’s Hospital, via CPMC. Jose Bernal house map via Burrito Justice.

Wednesday: Share Your Phonographic Memories at the Bernal Heights Library

Got vinyl records? Or stories about vinyl records? And how they’ve moved you?

Neighbor Corey Bloom lives on Bonview, and he has organized a very cool event that will take place at the Bernal Heights Library tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 24, from 7 pm – 8 pm.

Neighbor Corey tells us all about it:

I’m putting together an event at the Bernal Library on 9/24. Called Phonographic Memory, the goal is to bridge the generations of the neighborhood through music (specifically, on vinyl). In short, guests will be chosen ahead of time to present a record of their choice, tell a personal story about their connection to the record, and then play a song from it.

Brilliant! Apparently, will be part of a new series at the Bernal Library:

Bridging generations and genres, Phonographic Memory is an exchange of recollections through records. Guests will be given eight minutes to present a record: share a personal story or memory about a song or the record itself, and then play a song from that album. This program will be held the last Wednesday of every month.

To register, please email Please include your full name, age, what record and song you will be presenting and a brief summary of your story.

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


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 — 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

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

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