Saturday: Celebrate at the Bernal Heights Library’s Gala 75th Anniversary Party


Bernal Heights Library Dedication, October 20, 1940

Bernal Heights Library Dedication, October 20, 1940

Its not hyperbole to say that the Bernal Heights Branch Library is a pillar of our community, and we are incredibly lucky to have it. The building is lovely, the role it plays is invaluable, and the library staff work hard to make it all happen.

Our library turns 75 this weekend, and Bernal branch manager Valerie Reichert wants you to come to the birthday party:

We are having our 75th Anniversary on Saturday!

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Bernal Heights Branch!
Saturday, October 10th 1:30- 4:00 pm

The Bernal Heights Branch is 75 years old. Come share stories and help celebrate our beautiful WPA branch built in 1940. Activities include : San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra, crafts making in the Children’s Room, refreshments and history slide shows. Volunteers and staff will invite you to record your “Hot Bernal Minute” which will be captured on iPads.

Fun! But let’s back up. Where did our glamorous library come from?

Here’s the basic history:

The Bernal Branch as a “library deposit station” was established in 1920 at 303 Cortland Avenue. As the neighborhood and library grew, it was moved, in 1936, to 324 Cortland. When that proved inadequate the neighbors lobbied for a new building.

The one floor branch library at 500 Cortland, was the 21st in the system and built on the site of the original Bernal School at a cost of $94,600. It was designed by Frederick H. Meyer, one of the most prolific and versatile architects in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century, funded by the Work Projects Administration and dedicated on October 21, 1940.

After 68 years of use, the branch closed for renovation, as part of the Branch Library Improvement Project, in February 2008. The renovation, with a budget of $5.7 million, was designed by staff of the City’s Bureau of Architecture under the supervision of Andrew Maloney. His design is an intelligent and elegant response to Meyer’s building which originally devoted only the upper level to library purposes, and incorporates such modernizations as ADA accessibility, and seismic and technological upgrades.

Thank you, FDR! See you on Saturday.

PHOTOS: Top, Bernal library, circa 1940, via SFPL Online Historical Photo Archive. Below, parade on Cortland for the Bernal Heights Library, October 20, 1940. Via Living New Deal

Sunday: Bagel Popup at the PizzaHacker (But Don’t Sleep In)


Heads up, bagel fiends: You’re gonna want to get up early on Sunday morning.

Shegetz Bagel is having a pop-up bagel bonanza at the PizzaHacker (3299 Mission @29th) starting at 10 am this Sunday, October 11. But if you want in on the bagel action, don’t linger over the crossword puzzle. Bernalwood is told:

On Sunday, October 11th, Shegetz Bagel will host their second pop-up at PizzaHacker featuring a limited run of 240 bagels. The guys behind Shegetz Bagel don’t believe that it takes a New York City zip code (or water supply) to make a great bagel, and they intend to prove it by boiling and baking up quality bagels right here on the West Coast.

Shegetz is a collaboration between two San Francisco natives, Oliver Steele and Ben Kaminsky, and their long-time friend Alex Rogers; all three well-known staples in the Bay Area food and coffee scene. Rogers developed the lauded bread recipe for Local’s Corner, and became well-versed in bagel-making, working with Michelle Polzine at 20th Century Cafe (though Shegetz will be more akin to the New York style). Steele, a member of the industry darling Pizzetta 211, is a practiced set of hands in the world of dough and pastry. Kaminsky is a three-time US Cup Tasters Champion. After a three year stint as the Director of Quality Control and Espresso at Ritual Coffee, he has become a sought-after international coffee consultant and most recently helped launch Saint Frank in Russian Hill.

The trio focus on the details and obsess over perfecting the rise, density, crust, and dough flavor. Of course, topping things off with a little whipped Humboldt Fog never hurts either.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Doors open at 10am on Sunday Oct. 11
  • Bagels will not be toasted. Fresh bagels do not need to be toasted (because, you know, they were just in an oven)
  • Our West-Coast style bagels use sourdough starter
  • Bagels will cost $3–12 depending on toppings
  • There will be coffee. There will be sparkling wine
  • There will be a full staff to assure great service
  • The bagels are likely to go fast


PHOTO: Shegetz Bagel

Tonight: Join In for the First Anniversary of Phonographic Memories


Has it been a year already?  Neighbor Corey invites you to join in for the one-year anniversary edition of his wonderful Phonographic Memories series, where people are invited to share their both favorite vinyl records and the stories they evoke. It happens tonight, September 30 at 7 pm at the Bernal Library, and Neighbor Corey says:

On the last Wednesday of every month over the past year Phonographic Memory has called the Bernal Library home. For the unacquainted, we are a monthly storytelling event focused on vinyl records. This Wednesday (the 30th, at 7pm), come celebrate our one year anniversary and hear your neighbors tell stories about the records that shaped their lives.

Want a preview of what to expect? Try this:

There Was Dancing In the Streets at the 2015 Elsie Street Block Party





Neighbor Michael Nolan, captain of the Elsie Street Pom-Pom Squad, shares these photos of the fashionable Elsie Street Block Party that happened last weekend under a perfect blue sky. Neighbor Michael writes:

Fulfilling their commitment to “Change the World Joyously – One Block at a Time,”  the fun-loving and unflagging Elsie Street Neighbors presented the 9th Annual Elsie Street Block Party yesterday.  The Bouncy House and Bhangra Dancers probably took the cake, as did the winners of the Elsie/Bernal Trivia Quiz.   The BBQ, Bean Bag Toss, and Beautiful Weather also added to the car-free and carefree event.

Here’s a bonus video of the fabulous Elsie Bhangra Dancers shaking their groove thangs:

PHOTOS: Michael Nolan

Succulence Is Having a Sidewalk Sale All Weekend


Neighbor Ken Shelf from the fabulous Succulence at 402 Cortland wants to tell you about a plantastic sidewalk sale happening at the store this weekend:

This coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26th and 27th, Succulence is having a sidewalk sale from 11-4 each day.

We are moving a lot of awesome items out of the shop that we’ve had for a long time. There will be planters, home stuff, some plants that need TLC, some products that will give you TLC, and a variety of other fun stuff.

This is a cash only sale, just available on the sidewalk those two days. We are making room for tons of new stuff coming for the holiday season.

Hope to see everyone out next weekend!


PHOTO: Ken Shelf in situ, Courtesy of Succulence

You’re Invited to the Official Pinkie’s Bakery Grand Opening on Saturday Afternoon


It’s been a few months since Sandbox Bakery was sold to Pinkie’s Bakery, so by now we trust you’ve had enough time to reach the later stages of your own Kübler-Ross cycle. Take a moment to let the Acceptance flow through your neurons.

Now, doesn’t that feel better?

While we’ve been working on that, owner Cheryl Burr of Pinkie’s has been working hard to make the place her own, and that process is complete too.  Now Pinkie’s Bakery is ready for an official grand opening at 833 Cortland, and you’re on the guest list:

I’d like to invite the Bernal Heights community to Pinkie’s grand opening party this Saturday, from 1-3 p.m. We’ll be serving sweets, savories, and bubbly!

The transition is nearly complete, and Pinkie’s signage goes up on Friday afternoon. We also commissioned a new interior mural (thanks, New Bohemia!).

We’ve been gradually adding items from Pinkie’s (donuts, cake, bacon brioche, eggy challah, etc.), and we’ll launch a new menu of sandwiches next week.

Hope to see you on Saturday!


PHOTO: Maria del Rio for Pinkie’s Bakery

Saturday Night: Watch “Night at the Museum 3” in World-Famous Precita Park

Following up on last weekend’s princess-heavy screening of Frozen in Precita Park, Neighbor Dean Fryer tells us that CPMC will show Night at the Museum 3 in Precita Park this Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6:30:

So, we have the next movie on Saturday—Night at the Museum 3.  And, we have something special happening on Saturday—an exciting performance (related to the movie) will begin at 6:30!  It’s going to be amazing (Hint—as if a movie character comes alive). I would love to tell you more but this is a big surprise.

PS: Check out this ridiculously adorable photo of some Bernal kids who showed up to see last weekend’s movie.