Woman Critically Injured in Mission Street Hit-and-Run Saturday Night

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A pedestrian was critically injured in a hit-and-run incident on Mission at Precita last Saturday night, and the SFPD is looking for leads to help catch the driver. The SF Appeal reports:

The collision was reported at 9:58 p.m. at Mission Street and Precita Avenue, where a 24-year-old woman was hit by a pickup truck, according to police.

The truck driver did not stop after the collision and continued north on Mission Street. The truck and driver had not been found as of this morning, police said.

The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with head and torso injuries that are considered life-threatening, according to police.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to send a tip by text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.

Buddhist Chickens Guide New Bernal Neighbor on Path to Nirvana

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Neighbor Maggie recently moved to the upper elevations of Peralta, where shes been exploring Zen and the Art of Exploring Bernal Heights:

My first few weeks living in Bernal were like a fairy tale. They continue to be, but the first weeks of anything feel like a dream-state because everything is brand new. Every time I left my house, the tallest one of the top of a hill, I set out in a different direction. Moving from Brooklyn – where you are forced to walk in a grid no matter how hard you try to stray – it was like a “chose your own adventure” every time I walked my pup, Miko.

Most often, I let her decide where we went. She’s usually the one to find the little paths and secret stairways and gardens that make Bernal so charming and calming. One day we happened upon these very zen chickens. They have their own coop, a fenced in backyard, and a great garden view. It comes complete with a little Buddha that I’ve often seen them cuddled next to – completely chilled out, even when a little mutt is curiously sniffing around them.

Every day we take an adventure in Bernal, every day brings a new gift, and every day I feel grateful to live here.

PHOTO: Neighbor Maggie

Emperor Norton Is Still Alive, Still Well, and Still Living in Bernal Heights

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Last week, the Wall Street Journal published a front page (!!!) story about the odd history of Emperor Norton I, the 19th century San Francisco eccentric who declared himself “Emperor of the United States,” and Neighbor Joseph Amster, the Bernal Heights resident who re-enacts him today.

The WSJ writes:

Wearing a top hat festooned with multicolored feathers, Joseph Amster stopped in front of a Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. store on bustling Market Street and began shouting at the shop’s bemused clientele through its large glass windows.

“Look at them! Ignoring me! Mocking me! They have not heard the last of me!” Mr. Amster exclaimed, the feathers quivering with his wild gesticulations. “I will issue a special proclamation demanding they bring back my sundae!”

Patrons likely had no idea what he was talking about. But Mr. Amster was playing the role of this city’s most celebrated 19th-century eccentric: Norton I, the self-styled “Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.”

Mr. Norton’s was once a household name here. Numerous things were named after him, including Ghirardelli’s Emperor Norton Sundae. But the sundae, like Mr. Norton in general, has since faded from view.

Now some San Franciscans are pushing to return the emperor to prominence. Mr. Amster, 59 years old, who conducts tours dressed as Emperor Norton, is among those trying to bring him back, to rekindle the city’s celebration of society’s oddballs and outcasts.

PHOTO: Joseph Amster as Emperor Norton, holding a print copy of the Wall Street Journal, via Joseph Amster

Wednesday: Learn How to Learn About the History of Your Bernal Heights Home

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Tomorrow night, Wednesday, August 19, those intrepid time-travelers from the Bernal Heights History Project will share some tips on how to research the history of your Bernal Heights home:

“How to Research Your Bernal Home”
Aug 19, 2015 7:00pm-8:30pm (Wednesday) at Bernal Heights Branch Library

We have an admittedly ambitious plan: We want to research and record the history of every building on the hill, and we’d love your help.

On Wednesday, August 19, we’ll present a slideshow that explains how to investigate your own home and all the resources you can use, including city directoriestap recordsSanborn (fire insurance) mapsneighborhood newspapers, and many more free databases.

We’ll be using several examples of Bernal homes and businesses in our show, but this is an interactive presentation, so feel free to come with stories and photos of your own, especially if you want to find out more about your street and the people who lived in your home before you did.

PHOTO: Left, Anita Nieto, cousin Betty Reyes, and a friend outside the Reyes and Nieto grocery store at Crescent and Anderson, late 1940s; Right, 1905 Sanborn map. (Family photo courtesy Anita Nieto; map courtesy David Rumsey) — at 511 Crescent Avenue, San Francisco.

Earthquake Rattles Bernal Heights; Chert Defenses Hold, Matt Nathanson Predicted It

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So, didyafeelit?

We definitely felt it in the Bernalwood Action Newsbedroom. It was a quick jolt, and the house creaked a little bit, and then it was over. The US Geological Survey says it was a magnitude 4.0, centered near Piedmont.

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Once again, we are reminded to give thanks for our blessed Bernal Heights chert:

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Although, things still got pretty gnarly at Neighbor Arno’s house:

Meanwhile, you may recall that the weather last weekend was rather conspicuously hot. And the air was rather conspicuously still.  And then this morning, the ground shook. Coincidence? Well, let’s just say that neighbohood rockstar and accidental seismologist Matt Nathanson wasn’t surprised:

IMAGE: Top, Seismic shake map from the 4.0 earthquake, 14 August, 2015.

Tonight! Celebrate the 8th Anniversary of Secession Art & Design

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Secession Art & Design is a Bernal Heights treasure, and tonight it’s proud proprietor, Ms. Eden Stein, is celebrating her store’s eighth anniversary.

It’s hard to emphasize how hard she’s worked to make this happen. Secession has always been awesome, but when she lost her lease in the space across from Safeway in 2014, Ms. Eden had to scramble to keep Secession alive. Thankfully, through lots of hustle and a little good luck, Secession was able to re-open in the former SoCha Cafe space at 3235 Mission (near Valencia). Today, the store is bigger and more vibrant than ever, Ms. Eden is a pillar of the glamorous Mission-Bernal Merchants Association, and Secession become an  integral part of La Lengua’s increasingly lively (and delicious) Mission Street corridor.

Ms. Eden writes:

I am hosting our 8th anniversary on Friday night!

Secession is throwing a party to celebrate 8 years in the Mission Bernal neighborhood. Please join us this Friday, August 14 6:30 to 9:30 pm to honor what we’ve all built. Meet our featured artists Andreina Davila, Heather Robinson, as well as many others who’ve been part of our community over the past eight years.

Sometimes you have to dream big and just go for it. Thank you to everyone who helped us on our journey to our new home when we lost our lease a year ago. Thanks to your support, we were able to stay in the neighborhood and relocate to our beautiful 3235 Mission Street gallery and boutique. You rock!

Many of you have asked how you can help us to make sure Secession is part of the arts community and the changing San Francisco retail landscape. If you’d like to support us, the best way is to shop in-store (we’re open Tuesday-Sunday, noon to 7pm), shop online, or donate to our ongoing fundraiser.

Hope to see you tonight.

Congratulations, Eden, and best wishes for 800 more fabulous years!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Secession Art &; Design