History Reveals Checkout Lines at Bernal Safeway Have Been Ridiculously Long Since 1972

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Remember how the Citizens of Bernalwood recently took up cyber-pitchforks and -torches to complain about the ridiculously long lines at the Bernal Heights Safeway on Mission Street at 29th?  And remember how we hoped — naively, perhaps — that perhaps maybe someone at Safeway corporate might hear our gnashing of teeth, and take pity upon our sad souls, and remedy the situation?

Well, don’t count on it.

Recently, while browsing through a back issue of the Bernal Journal from 1972, your Bernalwood editor was darkly entertained to find an impassioned article complaining about… the ridiculously long lines at the Bernal Heights Safeway!

I wish I was kidding about this, but I am not. Behold, a time capsule from 43 years ago, written by Bernal Journal reporter “Vera Disgruntla” (click to embiggen):

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The similarities between this Bernal Journal article from 1972 and the comments section of Bernalwood’s recent post about the Bernal Safeway are comical in their utter sameness.  Here’s a depressing excerpt pulled from the 1972 article shown above:

One man has vowed never to shop there — he gets his meat at the Pioneer Market dry good at 30th and Mission Market, and fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market at the foot of Bernal Hill. Another man goes once a week to the Marina Safeway. A woman told me she and her husband always drive the five minutes further to get to the Diamond Heights Safeway, where, because they never have to wait to check out there, they actually save time! These may be the only real alternatives.

But I am still mad – for me, and everyone around here who continually has this frustrating time waste wait at our store. The faces in the lines seem to say, “it’s always been like this; we’ve ALWAYS had to wait.”

So there you have it. Long lines have been a fixture at our local Safeway since even before 1972, and after 40+ years, it would seem that Safeway management still does not give a flying Fig Newton about the problem. But hey, at least they’re consistent.

In light of these facts, Bernalwood would now like to officially propse the following:

1) Let’s bulldoze this Safeway, since it so obviously suffers from intergenerational corporate indifference.

2) Let’s save that cool Taoist Safeway mosaic, for posterity, or for use in a replacement structure (see below).

3) Let’s build a few hundred units of much-needed housing on this long-neglected site, with the new ground-floor space dedicated to a more modern supermarket (something kind of like that new mixed-use building that was recently erected on Ocean).

4) While we’re at it, let’s get serious about asking BART to build that 30th Street infill station they’re thinking about again. Hurry up, please.

… because really, after banging our Bernalese heads against the walls at this Safeway for five decades, it may just be time to give up and try something else.

And in the meantime, you can read the rest of that 1972 issue of the Bernal Journal (PDF). Here’s another blast from the past from that same issue, featuring a shout-out to all the party people on Mullen and a handy guide to your Precita Park merchants of yesteryear:

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IMAGE: Bernal Heights Safeway, via Google Earth

 

Gigaom Visits Bernal Hill and Lots of People Enjoyed the 36 Questions

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Celebrity blogger (and Olde Bernalwood Friend) Om Malik visited Bernal Hill recently, at an early morning hour which we rarely experience because of its horrific earliness. But with that said, Om’s photo makes a strong case for early-rising, because the light and colors he captured are so beautiful. Bravo, Om, and thanks!

At the same time, Om also created a cool photo essay that steered us toward a special #36Bernal hashtag that was used by visitors to the 36 Questions installation that sat atop Bernal Hill last week. Here’s a sample:

#36bernal #36questionToTrueLove

A photo posted by Robert Spies (@robertwspies) on

These two Bernalese really got into it:

#36Bernal

A photo posted by Harrison The Beagle (@bernalbeagle) on

Folks even seemed to enjoy it in all sorts of weather:

Stumbled on #36bernal with JeremyG

A photo posted by @peretz on

PHOTO: Top, by Om Malik

Parked Unicycle Is Metaphor for Everything Bernal Heights.

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Over the weekend, Todd Berman spotted this unicycle parked on Cortland right outside Wild Side West. In a way, this photo is a perfect metaphor for everything Bernal Heights represents. For example:

It’s a unicycle, which is an idiosyncratic way to roll.

It’s an all-terrain unicycle, because we are an all-terrain people.

It is parked outside a bar, because that’s how we party.

It has pink pedals, because we have just a touch of flair.

It is tethered to a tree, because we take security seriously.

See anything else metaphorically Bernalese in this remarkably revealing photo? Do tell.

PHOTO: Todd Berman

Can You Identify the Bernal Heights Locations in this Vintage Home Movie?

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Neighbor Vicky, the archival queen of the Bernal Heights History Project, invites Bernalese to help identify the Bernal locations shown in a newly digitized vintage home movie from the 1940s(?):

Home video mystery! The family in this clip sets off to the baths from Bernal Heights, but we can’t figure out what street — can you help us ID it? We see down Ellsworth Street to St. Kevin’s Church at one point, so they’re probably somewhere in NoCo (North of Cortland).

The Bernal scenes are in the first minute of the video. Up above is the view on Eugenia, looking east from Gates (vs. contemporary street view). Neighbor Vicky says:

Heading east on Eugenia — in the video you’ll see a whole lot of nothing down on Bayshore in the distance.

Here’s a grab of St. Kevin’s from the corner of Ellsworth and Eugenia (vs. contemporary street view):

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You know how the game is played, fellow Bernal history dorks: In the comments, please help identify the Bernal houses or locations shown in the film, using time-markers in the video to indicate what you see. (Oh, and the footage of Sutro Baths is pretty sweet too!)

Your Bernal Heights Crime Summary for February 2015: Robberies and Assaults Down, Gambling in Crosshairs & When to Call the SFPD

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Neighbor Sarah, your valiant volunteer Bernal Heights crime correspondent, attended the SFPD Ingleside Community meeting this month, and she filed these [excellent, per usual] summary notes on the latest Bernal Heights crime trends.

Read on, be wiser, and stay safer:

I attended [the Feb. 17, 2015] meeting, along with several Bernal neighbors. Here are the notes.

Capt. McFadden (joseph.mcfadden@sfgov.org) presided. New neighborhood DA Lailah Morris was in attendance as well (lailah.morris@sfgov.org).

CRIME TRENDS
SFPD recently arrested four people (two more pending) in string of burglaries in Teresita area – the group was from the Bayview, and police think they committed 30+ burglaries, some in conjunction with a window-installation business. The investigations team at the station put in a ton of hours on this.

Also busted more illegal gambling joints – 3 of the 6 that are on their list. One recent bust found not just gambling machines but also prostitution, drugs, and illegal roosters. [EDIT NOTE: This was before the crackdown on the gambling den at 3437 Mission, so that was not included in the above.]

Robberies and aggravated assaults are down. Auto thefts and thefts from autos continue to be high. Working on tracking down car break-in recidivists and watching them. Made arrests of group of four who had been robbing people on Baden, Circular, & nearby. Still random groups out there operating.

Have had several shootings (back-and-forth retaliation) in the Sunnydale, gang-related (Towerside and DBG). Gang Task Force involved. SFPD believe that when the first guy who was shot recovers, he may attempt more retaliation. Got extra resources from downtown to saturate area with police. Also had a shooting on 28th/Diamond that turned out to be a made-up story – guy claimed drive-by shooting; turned out his friend accidentally shot him at his apartment.

53 felony arrests in January. Already 41 so far in Feb.

HOW TO CONTACT THE SFPD
When you see suspicious activity, call the police! Here are the numbers to know:

  • 911 is for crimes in progress (including property crimes like burglaries or car break-ins).
  • 553-0123 for suspicious behavior. Police still recommend calling
  • 553-8090 from cell phone (when you want 911 so you don’t get routed to CHP in Vallejo)

If there’s a crime trend going on, email the captain with the specifics (his email address is above). Like, if you see groups congregating and drinking/using drugs in a particular area regularly, email him the details (days of week, times of day, exact location). Do NOT just post about this stuff on NextDoor!  Be sure ALSO to call the police.

A community member raised issue of people at Everson/Digby using heroin – is that a 911 call? Captain said yes. Also said sometimes people worry that if they call police, the police will show up at their house, and criminals will know who called. Police do not do this – they know not to “burn” you. “Most important part of any call to the police is the description you give.”

Lunar New Year is here – can make Asian community a target of crime because criminals know they may have cash on them. Spread the word to be alert for danger, keep valuables close, give detailed witness descriptions (shoes or things that cannot change (facial hair, etc) are best things to note).

Door-to-door salesmen and PG&E/Water personnel – ask for an ID or phone number to call so you can see if they are legit. You don’t have to open the door – talk through the door if you feel uncomfortable. If you do talk to them, keep asking questions to see if it trips them up. Get a good description (see above).

Dogs are BEST burglary deterrent. Recordings of dogs = second-best. Alarms/videos = also good. If you have a camera, try to put it on a wide setting – police interested in where people came from (ie, a car) and what direction they headed in when they leave. Have cameras over all doors (front, back, side).

Bayview Station police conducted a raid on Crescent this week  Guy fled to Richland, dropping his gun en route. It is probably in someone’s back yard. If you find it, do NOT touch it – call police so they can safely retrieve it AND try to get fingerprints.

Q&A
Question about CSI: 50-100 burglaries a day in SF overall. CSI has a small team. Tends to mean they’re worse than Comcast in giving you a window for an appt. and then missing it. Fingerprints are hard to come by – only 30% of burglars don’t wear gloves, and only 10% of that 30% will leave a full print. DNA is where things are going – but slow to get there.

Question about phone scams. IRS won’t call you and demand money. Don’t give bank or personal info away over the phone!

Question about traffic enforcement at Bradford/Bernal Heights Blvd. If you have a problem intersection, email the captain with specifics (days, times, etc). This stuff gets lost when captains and officers change (as happens at Ingleside). Keep sending in this info.

Question about dark streets. Scott Wiener is trying to introduce a resolution to have the city take over all PG&E and PUC lights so that they can all be upgraded to LED and centrally managed. Right now it’s kind of a mess.

IMAGE: Telstar Logistics

Clever Bernal Neighbors Adapt Funky Bernal House to Fit a Growing Bernal Family

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Like the humans who live in them, many of the houses in Bernal Heights are quirky. Partly because of our hilly topography, and partially because of 150 years of piecemeal construction and ad hoc infill, Bernal Heights is full of funky houses that challenge the creativity of their 21st century occupants.

This week, our friends at the CurbedSF website did a charming house profile of Bernal neighbors Jess and Michele, who are adapting their 426 square-foot cottage to serve as a home for their newly expanded family.

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CurbedSF writes:

When Jess and Michele began house hunting, they were planning to start a family, so they made the rounds of the few two-bedrooms in their price range. They put in a few bids, but they were outbid. And outbid again. Then the couple went to see a tiny one-bedroom cottage in Bernal Heights. When the cottage was first built, in 1926, it was essentially a 426-square-foot glorified studio constructed over a garage. The most recent occupant had sealed off part of the garage and converted it into a bedroom, connected to the main house by a set of houseboat stairs. Jess and Michele—who prefer not to give their last names—fell in love with the cottage’s bright interiors, white brick fireplace, quirky layout, and rustic rooms, some of which had been updated and edged in reclaimed wood by the seller, an architect. “Our realtor thought we were a little bit crazy,” says Jess. “We were just like, ‘We can make this work because it’s so damn cute.'”

You should definitely read the whole thing to see all the clever ways that Neighbor Jess and Neighbor Michele turned their tiny house into an awesome home. But before you do, Neighbor Jess shared an important addendum in an email to Bernalwood:

The only quote missing from the article that I wanted to share with the Bernal community is that our home is perfect for us because of the inside and outside — our location and introduction to the Bernal community has been so amazing.  We had no idea how lucky we were finding this little cottage and moving to Bernal.  We won the lottery with this place and location.  Thank you neighbors and businesses who make Bernal special!

PHOTOS: Top, Neighbors Jess and Michele and their brand-new wallpaper. All other photos via CurbedSF.

Saturday: Volunteers Wanted to Help Make Bradford/Jarboe Stairs More Beautiful

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Remember that City-owned lot near the top of Bernal Hill that suffered from neglect, overgrowth, and a general sense of sad? And remember how an extremely sexy group of neighborhood volunteers cleaned up the land so well and so thoroughly that it is now certified for use as a Bernal Heights Unicorn Habitat?

Well, Neighbor Samir is organizing a similar volunteer clean-up effort for some neglected terrain in Alemanistan, around the Bradford and Jarboe Stairs. The work happens tomorrow, Saturday, February 21 from 9am to 12 noon, and our local unicorns would love it if you could help.

Neighbor Samir tells the recent history of the site:

According to neighborhood lore, before the Bradford and Jarboe stairs were put in place, there was a dirt path here that was attended to by a neighbor.

Then when two new residences went up on the 300 block of Bradford, the developer worked with the city to install these stairs. They ended up tearing out all the landscaping, but they put in some new plants. The City maintained it for 5 years then stopped. (That was about when my partner and I moved to the block, a little over 3 years ago.)

I think neighbors were put off by the whole process of the stairs going in, and the neighbor who did the original landscaping sold his house and moved away.

In the time since the city stopped doing maintenance, myself and a few others have made individual efforts to go out there and clean things up. Others have repeatedly called 311, but no one ever comes out to do anything. I’d basically all but given up, until I saw the Bernalwood post about the Ellsworth garden. I saw [Jerad Weiner, DPW’s community liaison]’s contact info in the comments, and reached out to him directly. That’s how this got going. Jerad was very responsive and got to work right away organizing this gardening day.,

From what I gather, the first day we’ll be weeding and trimming. We’re then supposed to assess which areas should get mulch and DPW attention. Jerad also mentioned that if we neighbors get together and put together a list of things we want, we can request that the City purchase them (plants, etc).

This area too could soon become a vibrant Bernal Heights Unicorn Habitat. But first, it needs your help. Saturday morning. Nine to noon. As explained here:

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