Sunday: Join Your Neighbors for a Seasonal, Celebratory Bernal Hill Cleanup

For tens of thousands of years, the wizened druids who once populated our lands marked the arrival of the rains and the season of thanks by joining together on our hill to manicure the terrain and make it more beautiful.

This Sunday, Nov. 22, Neighbor Brian Cronin invites you to carry on this hallowed tradition by participating in a volunteer clean-up on Bernal Hill:

Hello neighbors,

The Bernal Hill Engreening Clean Up is this Sunday, November 22nd, from 9:30 am-noonish.

A group of your neighbors will be on the Hill this Sunday to spruce it up before the budding grass becomes too tall to see, and the rains become thick! Join forces with your lovely neighbors to give Bernal Hill some much needed TLC by cleaning up trash and debris. Weather should be bright and clear!

  • Meet at the bulletin boards on the SOUTH SIDE of Bernal Heights Park (closest intersection is Bernal Heights Blvd. and Anderson St.) or the NORTH SIDE of Bernal Heights Park at the Folsom gate, at 9:30am.
  • Bring all the stuff you need to be sun smart and comfortable: snacks, water, sunscreen, sunhat and gloves, and maybe a coffee cup as some neighbors have promised to bring coffee!
  • Bring shovels and brooms, if you have them, to push eroded material back off the walking path, and other tools such as pickers to get the job done more easily.
  • Wear boots if you plan on wading through the ivy below Bernal Heights Blvd. to dig out the booze warrens and summer hovels.
  • There will be some garbage bags, and nitrile gloves. But consider bringing your own bags and gloves (such as canvas work gloves) as we may not have enough.
  • All ages welcome. Parents, you’re responsible for monitoring your children and making sure they don’t stray onto steep slopes or grab broken glass.
  • When you’re done, bring your bags to the garbage bins near your original meeting places by the bulletin boards. DPW will do an extra garbage pickup the following day.

Thank you for helping keep Bernal Hill beautiful, and we look forward to seeing you there!

PHOTO: Bernal Hill, 2012 by the Bernalwood Air Force

Saturday: You’re Invited to the Bernal Mosque and Islamic Center’s First-Ever Open House


Ask and ye shall receive! Thanks to the the amazing response we received for Bernalwood’s interview with Zishan Safdar about South Bernal’s Mosque and Islamic Center, the mosque is holding an open house for the Bernal community this Saturday, November 14.

Zishan extends the invitation:

This is going to be ICSF’s first open-house event since it was founded in 1959. Better late than never, right?

We’re all super-excited and hope you are, too! During the event, there will be background history about the mosque, the events that go on there, Q&A, and most importantly, some mouth-watering snacks.

We look forward to seeing all of you at the event on Saturday, November 14th, 2015.

EVERYONE is welcome! :)

The open house will go from 12pm to 2pm at the mosque on the corner of Crescent and Andover. If you plan to attend (and you should!), please RSVP to Full details below:


Saturday: Bring Your Little Monsters to Cortland for Halloween

Bernalwood Halloween 004

For tens of thousands of years, the merchants of Cortland Avenue have opened their doors during the evening hours on October 31st and put out candy baskets for children, so that families in Bernal Heights can introduce their kids to the rituals of Halloween in locavore safety and style.

This year, that ancient tradition continues, and Neighbor Darcy from Heartfelt brings the details:

Bernal Heights Halloween festivities take place on Saturday, October 31st. The merchants on Cortland start giving out candy for the wee crowd at 4:30-5:00 p.m.

Please take note that Cortland is not closed off to vehicle traffic. Please talk to your trick or treaters and ask them to abide by some basic safety rules:

  1. Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established
    crosswalks wherever possible and please use the sidewalks
    do not walk in the street.
  2. Carry a flashlight and/or put reflective tape on your costume.
  3. Trick or treat with friends or adults.

Have a super time, it is a wonderful night in Bernal and we hope this is a grand one.

Darcy, aka the queen that night

Looking for some last-minute costume ideas? Check out these greatest-hits galleries of Bernal costumes from 2012 and 2013. But it may be tough to beat the incredible, interactive video costume Neighbor Dan Rosenfeld created:


ALSO, please share your photos of Bernal Halloween 2015 costumes with us during the weekend, so we can do a greatest hits costume roundup for this year too.  Send your costume photos to bernalwood *at* gmail dot-com.

PHOTOS: Top, Neighbor Goldilocks and Two Bears, spotted on Cortland Avenue during Halloween 2013. Below, Big Head Dan. All photos by Adrian Mendoza. 

Saturday: Party Like a Pumpkin at the Alemany Farm Harvest Festival


It’s harvest season at the awesome, freeway-rustic Alemany Farm on the south side of Bernal Heights, and co-founder Jason Mark is extending an invitation to all Bernalese to join the harvest festivities on Saturday:

Saturday, October 24th, from 11am to 5pm

Join Bernal Neighbors and Folks from Throughout the City for Alemany Farm’s 11th Annual Harvest Festival!
This community gathering has become a favorite fall tradition as we enjoy the warm October sun before we head into the shorter, cooler winter days. All are welcome! Bring a friend…make new friends…catch up with old friends…and have some fun at the farm. It’s free!
The day includes:

– Farm tours (11:30 & 2:30)
– Garlic planting
– Herb crafts
– Face painting & pumpkin patch for kids
– Live acoustic music from Duo Pizzicato (1:30)
– Potluck Picnic & BBQ (1pm-ish): Bring a side, snack, or dessert to share. Plus we’ll have roasted pig; BBQ (w/ veggie options); beans & rice; and fresh farm salad. (Bring your own plate and utensils, if possible, to help reduce waste.)

The Farm is located on Alemany Boulevard, and just down hill from the St. Mary’s Recreation Center on Crescent. More details at

PHOTO: Courtesy of Alemany Farm

Saturday Eve: Reception for Bernal Artists in New Show at Inclusions Gallery

select4artThere is a new show opening  at the Inclusions Gallery (627 Cortland) on Saturday evening, with work from four Bernal artists: Rachel Leibman, Richard Nyhagen, Carrie Ann Plank and Jenny M. Phillips..

Per usual, Inclusions proprietor Lisa Moro has put together a thoughtful show, and the opening reception is Saturday, October 24 from 5 to 7pm:

Inclusions Gallery
October 24 – November 29
Artist reception: October 24 / 5-7 pm

We are pleased to present new works by four San Francisco artists Rachel Leibman, Richard Nyhagen, Carrie Ann Plank and Jenny M. Phillips. Each artist is accomplished in their own right, having successfully shown previous work at Inclusions Gallery, throughout the Bay Area, and far beyond.

Rachel Leibman creates meticulously constructed, labor-intensive collage from small bits of paper composed of images of ancient illuminated manuscripts, urban graffiti and hand-designed papers. Her elaborate compositions range from abstract to pictoric, reflecting her fascination with the world’s cultural and natural diversity.

Richard Nyhagen employs the use of original photographic imagery in multi layered screen-prints on hard aluminum surfaces. His work revolves around the vast transitory urban landscape, perception, and the construction of stories we tell ourselves and others; in order to define and know our experience.

Carrie Ann Plank works primarily in the medium of printmaking. In her newest body of work, she combines traditional and new printmaking techniques with painting and collage. The “Strata Series” investigates the use of a one by one inch grid as an underlying information system and is printed, distorted, scaled, and disrupted. Many of the fields are torn, recombined, and collaged with special attention paid to the spaces in-between and the distressed edge.These new forms produce their own unique information system portrayed in a shiny new form.

Jenny Phillips uses paper, wax, watercolor, oil, graphite and other media to explore the interplay between linework, surface, and texture. Influenced by shapes and patterns found in nature, she creates subtle and meditative artworks, focusing on the evocation of mood rather than the depiction of form. She strives for an austere beauty, achieved through the use of a restrained vocabulary.


Saturday: Benefit Dinner at 903 Cortland to Support Refugee Assistance


Neigbor Rebecca is spreading the word about a benefit dinner she’s co-organizing on Saturday night to benefit international refugees:

My family is running a one-night pop-up restaurant in Bernal on Saturday, October 24 to support refugees with all proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee. We’re calling the restaurant “Squash,” and we’ll be at 903 Cortland with a five course menu of seasonal fare, from butternut squash jalapeño cream soup to chocolate cake with pumpkin spice ice cream.

Everything will be deliciously homemade and supporting a good cause: the International Rescue Committee’s support for refugees. All proceeds from the event will go to the IRC to benefit people escaping conflict and disaster. You can buy tickets for either the 5:30pm or 8pm seatings.

Our family loves to cook and Squash’s Executive Chef Bill Kee is excited to bring his fantastic home cooking skills to a restaurant setting, assisted by friends and family serving as sous chefs and staff. Come join us for good food for a good cause!

Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!!! It’s Fiesta on the Hill 2015!




Clear your dance cards, save the date, and start getting your kiddies fired up, because the epic Fiesta on the Hill happens this Sunday, October 25, on fabulous Cortland Avenue here in Bernal Heights.

Fiesta is the once-a-year occasion when Bernal’s very own Main Street USA shuts down to traffic so pedestrians can roam with impunity in an urban playland for fun-loving locavores. It’s a Bernalese bounty of tasty food, artisanal offerings, bumping beats, and plenty of games and attractions to divert the surplus energies of overstimulated children. And it’s all to benefit the esteemed Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

Organizer Genevieve Roja shared this preview of Sunday’s attractions:

This the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, which is both the host and beneficiary of Fiesta on the Hill, which is now in its 27th year.

This year we will be doing a drawing of some nifty gift certificates from brick-and-mortar-based and home-based Bernal businesses. We’ve got a pretty luxe knife set from Bernalian and local realtor Michael Minson; a $150 gift cert from ICHI; $50 value gift certs from Pinhole Coffee, Bernal Homeopathy, 12 Small Things and Cafe St. Jorge, and more.

There will be a lot of Bernal musicians playing on the Main Stage, and lots of them were born and raised in Bernal:

  • 10:00-11:15 a.m.: Trio Pizzicato (Bernal based) Stage: Main
  • 11:25-11:35 a.m.: BHNC Senior Chorus not confirmed yet .Stage: Main
  • 11:50-12:30 p.m. // HEADLINER #1: 35 Years of Trouble // TBD (bluegrass, kids) Stage: Main
  • 12:55-1:40 p.m. // HEADLINER #2: Soul Society (jazz funk, Bernal members) Stage: Main
  • 2-3:30 p.m. // HEADLINER #3 // Adelante (salsa). Bernal based members. Stage: Main

Finally, we’ve also added a smaller stage in front of BHNC this year. That’s where you can see:

  • The View from Bernal Hill
  • Lunch Money

Fiesta on the Hill poster

PHOTOS: Scenes from Fiestas past, by Telstar Logistics