Tonight: Learn More About How to Research the History of Your Bernal Heights Home


Tonight, your friendly neighborhood time-travelers from the Bernal Heights History Project will share part two of their series on how to learn about the history of your glamorous Bernal Heights home. It happens this evening, Wednesday, September 16 at 7 pm at the Bernal Library:

Following on from last month’s presentation on “How to Research Your Bernal Home,” John Blackburn of BHP will explain the life history of 22 Newman Street and show how he used our research tools to find out as much as he could about the building.

Feel free to bring your own research, photos, etc., and share with everyone.

If you missed last month’s slideshow, you can watch it on YouTube. Unfortunately the hyperlinks in the slideshow aren’t clickable, so we’ll compile them in a handout and update our Research Your Home page.

Wednesday’s meeting starts at 7 p.m. sharp in the downstairs meeting room at the Bernal branch library (500 Cortland at Anderson); turn left at the bottom of the stairs. As always, it is free and open to all.

PHOTO: 1942 photo of the Schwery family, outside their home at 536 Nevada (visible on the left with the car outside). via the Bernal History Project on Facebook.

Thursday: Drink Wine, Eat Bites at the new Avenue Space on Mission

You might have already noticed it, but there’s a new business on the burgeoning Mission/La Lengua corridor, right across the street from our Taoist Safeway: Avenue.

But what is it? 

Avenue is an event studio and creative space pivotally located between the Mission and Bernal Heights neighborhoods. With the aim to inspire collaboration, Avenue celebrates local talents and innovative visions of the surrounding communities and beyond.

The 850-square-foot studio features 14-foot ceilings, a west-facing facade allowing profuse light, and ample wall space for art curation/installation. There is also a private conference room that comfortably accommodates 4-6 people.

We welcome you to our space! Use our beautiful canvas as a foundation for your creativity. Conduct meetings, parties, photo shoots, art shows, community events and more.

Neighbor Jennifer (of Andover Street) tells us Avenue will be hosting a Wine & Bites event this Thursday, September 17th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at Avenue.  They’re partnering up with Front Porch, Blue Plate, and Ichi to make it happen.

Get your tickets here, and all the details follow:


PHOTO: via Avenue

Tonight: Dr. Sketchy’s (Rather Raunchy) Anti-Art School


Neighbor Laurie Wigham, subcommandante of the Bernal Heights watercoloristas, brings word about a saucy lil’ event for artists happening tonight at the Principality of Chicken John:

Did you know that San Francisco’s coolest (hottest?), sexiest, silliest and most-fun life drawing group meets in (where else but) Bernal Heights? Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School started in New York city but has spread all over the world, from New Zealand to Nashville, and has been meeting in our neighborhood for three years.

The models are an ever-changing parade of wildly costumed characters, including performers from the New Burlesque movement, aerialists, acrobats, yogis, Aztec dancers—and even the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. There’s a strong commitment to celebrating SF’s diverse local culture and community.

Dr Sketchy’s happens at Chicken John’s Warehouse on Cesar Chavez, near Mission. It meets every other Tuesday, 7-10 pm, and the next one is September 15th. The model will be Eva Von Slut, rock ’n roll singer for Thee Merry Widows and White Barons. $15 at the door. Anyone 21+ is welcome

Tuesday, September 15, 7-10 pm
Chicken John’s Warehouse/SF Institute of Possibility
3359 Cesar Chavez St (@Mission)

Read more about the local branch, here.
Check out the Facebook group, here.
And the Flickr group, here.


PHOTO: A Dr. Sketchy SF event, via Neighbor Laurie

Saturday: Rock the Guacamole at the 4th Annual Guac-Off Competition


Exciting news for all guacamole fans: There’s a guacamole taste test smackdown happening in Bernal on Saturday, and you’re invited.

All the guacamoles. Lots of discerning guacamole criticism. And plenty of complimentary chips. It’s all free, and it’s all happening on Saturday, September 12 beginning a 1 pm at the glamorous Farmhouse Mansion, at the top of Folsom near Ripley. Bernalwood is told:

Guacamole. It’s made with avocados, lime, excitement, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, love, and several dozen other food companions. It’s the tastiest green dish to eat on a Saturday with a beer, and sharing it is a proven way to make good friends, better. This Saturday, we’ll eat as much guacamole as we possibly can consume.

For the 4th year in a row, on the second weekend in September, we’re holding San Francisco’s Annual Indian Summer Guac-off. It’s a competition showcasing the best guacamole’s that the City has to offer. It’s also a party where the fine people of San Francisco get to decide who makes the best guacamole in town.

It’s the perfect way to kick off San Francisco’s Indian Summer: hanging out with friends both old and new in a beautiful garden with a cold beer in one hand and some chips and guacamole in the other. It’s completely free to enter, and all we ask is that you have a good time.

Everyone gets to vote on their favorite guacamole, and at the end we give out a bunch of fun prizes from our favorite local companies, including the Guacamole Glory Trophy, the title of official “Guacamole of San Francisco” and bragging rights until the next Indian Summer.

Complete details on the Guac-Off website, and here:


Celebrate the Book Neighbor Anita Wrote and Illustrated, “The Magical World of Abra”


Neighbor Anita Ellis wrote and illustrated a new book, called “The Magical World of Abra.” It was a ton of work, so now she wants to celebrate, with a big book release party and art show on Saturday night.

Neighbor Anita provides the rest of the details:

 My name is Anita and I ‘m having a book release party. I’ve lived in Bernal Heights for 20 years.

The title of the book is called “The Magical World of Abra” and the book release party is Saturday, September 12 at Code and Canvas Gallery (151 Potero Ave.)  from 6-9pm.  There will be a children’s book reading at 6:30, live music, food and cocktails.

The backstory: My friend and co-worker at The Wild Side West in Bernal Heights had a story she wanted me to illustrate. And I should really thank her, or this project would have never happened. Her story was based on a little girl who was a collector/hoarder who took things she found home with her until her room is completely cluttered.

I have taken every painting and illustration class offered at city college and have been doing art since I was a little kid so I figured that it would be fun, and I was up for the challenge. I had done a handful of illustrations for her but she did not really seem to like the images I created, and I was not really following what she had in mind.

Friends encouraged me to work on it on my own when they saw the artwork I had done. So instead of writing about a hoarder, I decided to write about a little girl named Abra who sees the beauty of everyday objects and life. Hence the title, “The Magical World of Abra.”

I’ve probably spent over 10,000 hours on the illustrations, hand-written text, book-binding, art classes and the story created. I met Attaboy who is an amazing artist and one of the founders of Hi-Fructose magazine. One of the things he said that stood out to me was that you are what you do. Don’t do whatever it is you love half-ass; do it times 1000. Get into it, surpass your own and everyone else’s expectations. That is when you will know you are doing it right.

The message of the story is one for adults and children and we need to be kept aware of it daily: Look around you, there is beauty everywhere and so many things are working in our favor. There is always something special and magical there, even if it’s the darkest of clouds above you. Suck it up, inhale it and live it because one day you will not be here to enjoy it.

ILLUSTRATION: Courtesy of Neighbor Anita Ellis

Friday: Volunteers Wanted for the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema Film Crawl on Cortland


Volunteer Flyer_web

Attention Bernal Heights cinemaphiles, auteurs, special effects gurus, show-runners, and red-carpet sycophants: The 2015 Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema season gets underway on Friday, with a glamorous opening night Film Crawl on Cortland.

If you want to help make it happen — AND get a star-studded, backstage look at the celebrity action — Neighbor Leslie from BHOC tells Bernalwood they need a few volunteers to lend a hand on Friday eve:

Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema is back for our 12th season and we’re coming back to Cortland.

We need volunteers for Friday’s Film Crawl. With six venues simultaneously showing screenings at 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00pm , takes a good number of volunteers to pull off what has become the highlight of the weekend festival.

Volunteers are asked to do pretty light-weight duties e.g. audience direction, greeting, etc. In exchange they receive an official 2015 hoodie tee, reserved seating at other venues and an invite to the “wrap party” for filmmakers and sponsors/advertisers.

To volunteer, contact us at

BHOC moves to fashionable Precita Park on Saturday night, September 12. For the complete schedule, check out the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema website.

2015 BHOC poster

PHOTO: Top, Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema in Precita Park, by Telstar Logistics

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


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.