For those of us who have lived in Bernal Heights for a while, the glamour and high-society spectacles of our neighborhood are so familiar that it’s easy take it all for granted. That’s why it’s good to check in with a newcomer from time to time, to see how Bernal looks when you view it through fresh eyes.
Thus it is with great pleasure and eager curiosity that Bernalwood presents our first in an occasional series of New Neighbor Interviews, in which we will ask recent arrivals to Bernal Heights all sorts of nosey questions about their first impressions of this place we all call home. Let’s meet our first participant, shall we?
Came Here From: Santa Rosa, Calf.
Move-In Date: May 21, 2011
Bernal Address: Eugenia (at Bocana)
Rent or Own? Rents 1 BR apartment in older home with 2 other units
What do you do for a living?
I work at PG&E’s service planning department. I help get electric and gas services to new or remodeled large commercial or industrial developments. My title is Industrial Power Engineer.
Why Bernal Heights?
I was going to move to Cole Valley with a friend, but after looking around with her, I decided I wanted my own place. The rents are sky high over there for not-so-nice places. I asked around for what are nice neighborhoods, and heard about Bernal Heights. I looked online and there was ONE apartment for rent, I checked it and the neighborhood out, and loved the area. My place is smaller than what I used to have, but I feel safe and cozy.
First impressions of the neighborhood?
I think its down-to-earth and welcoming. It reminds me of where I grew up in New Jersey. The hilly and narrow streets were a bit shocking when I first drove on them. I love the families walking their children and dogs around.
Any unexpected surprises after you moved in?
The tree that fell down and blocked the street was a big one. At least I met my very nice neighbors that evening. A friend told me a nickname for B.H. is Maternal Heights. I can see what she’s talking about, as there are a lot of kids.
How would you describe Bernal Heights to a friend from out of town?
Its got great weather, a nice park to go for a good walk, and the views from up on the hill are spectacular. Cortland has some great shops. The people are down-to-earth and its a diverse, safe, and seemingly friendly neighborhood.
What are your biggest concerns about your new neighborhood?
The guy who parked his motorcycle in front of my apartment has taken up two parking spots for the past two weeks :-( Otherwise, no worries really. I’m still freaked about trying to unpack my previous 2 bedroom, 2 car garage house into a tiny one bedroom apartment.
Name your three favorite things about Bernal?
- The sunny-yet-breezy weather
- All the good energy from everyone walking around with their kids and dogs
- The casa salad at Vega’s.
Name three things you wish Bernal had (but which it currently does not)?
- Better AT&T Internet and TV service
- An Oliver’s grocery store like they have in Sonoma county. It’s really great, as they have cooked food to go, a really incredible salad bar, and local good food — its great for working people who are too pooped to cook.
- I can’t think of a third.