Neighbor Finds Vintage Valentine in Bernal Heights Home


Neighbor Tom found something mysterious and wonderful hidden in the rafters of his Bernal Heights:

Look what I found while renovating my house!

It’s an olde-stylee valentine card. From some brief googling, I think it is:

  • Circa 1920s, maybe 1930s
  • From a woman with a German name (Jizella)
  • To a man with a German name (Helme ?)
  • Made in America

I found it in the ‘side attic’ in our 1907 house on Mullen Ave, under some insulation.

The question is, was it lost there? Or squirreled away for safe keeping? Or left for future generations to find?



Moments before she was carried away by a beam of blue light to become the subject of an unspeakable exobiology experiment regimen, Neighbor Sarah sent Bernalwood this confirmed photo of an alien landing site on Bocana.

We hope that Neighbor Sarah will be back soon, with minimal scar tissue and her memory throughly wiped.

PHOTO: Neighbor Sarah

Who Is the Hunchback of Bernal Heights, and Why Is He Ringing Church Bells in the Middle of the Night?


For the last few nights, the mild-mannered residents of Precitaville have been tormented by the sound of the bells from St. Anthony’s Church on Cesar Chavez Boulevard tolling in the late evening hours.

It happened for the first time last Friday night at around 9 PM, and it was sort of cute at first — except to Neighbor Dan, who has a little baby who was trying to sleep:

Then, on Saturday night, the bells began to ring at about 3:30 AM, when just about everyone was trying to sleep:

Neighbor Rusty revealed himself to be a true postmodernist, because he initially thought it was just a simulacrum:

But no, it really was the bells from St. Anthony’s, really ringing at 3:30 AM, and making a really unholy amount of noise.

Last night, it happened yet again. But this time, your Bernalwood Eyewitness News Team was ready with a camera crew and mobile data uplink. Let’s go to the video, recorded on Precita Avenue, Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 9:37 PM:

Arrrgh! The ringing! THE RINGING!!!

Neighbor Loring was officially no-longer-amused:

Your Bernalwood Eyewitness News Team also obtained this EXCLUSIVE Dropcam security camera footage, which shows the perpetrator in action:

But why? Why is this happening? St. Anthony’s Church has been an excellent neighbor and a pillar of the Precitaville community for decades, so why have they suddenly unleashed their covert Quasimodo on the sleep-challenged citizens of North Bernal?

We suspect it is accidental, but we hope to have some answers soon.

UPDATE, 5:09 pm, May 11: The folks at St. Anthony’s just returned our call, and they are very apologetic. Apparently, there was a power outage at the church a few days ago, and something must have messed up the settings for the bells, which are operated by a robotic Quasimodo. Father Moises Agudo asks for your patience and your indulgence while he tries to sort things out.

Helpful Handbill Helps Bernal Neighbor Recover Lost Laundry


A helpful Bernal neighbor went out of his way this week to give Neighbor Suzanne a helping hand. She tells the tale:

Last Tuesday I took my 4 year old and a lot of dry cleaning onto the 23 bus at Glen Park, on our way to our place on Moultrie. I hooked the clothes hangers on the bar for people to hold on to and got into an animated conversation with my son.

When we hustled off the bus at Andover, I made sure I had all the usual things: Max’s stuffed animal, coat, artwork, etc, but I forgot all about the dry cleaning. I didn’t realize until I got home that I’d left it behind. I dragged my feet calling 311 because I knew I’d just spend half an hour on the phone and not be any closer to my missing sweaters. I felt pretty bad that I’d lost some of our favorite clothes.

A couple of days later I was walking home from The Good Life when I noticed a neatly handwritten sign at my eye level outside of the library playground. I paused to read and realized it was addressed to… me! Well, to “MOM.” A passerby was so taken with the fact that I was the person addressed that he took my picture in front of it. I felt relieved and thankful that someone had been thoughtful enough to put signs up for me.

I left a message at the number Jim left, he called back, and we agreed I’d come by the next night — he lives just a few blocks from us. He accepted the bottle of wine I brought, I accepted my wayward dry cleaning… and the rest is history.

PHOTO: Neighbor Suzanne with the sign that saved her dry cleaning

Bomb Squad Drama! Mother-In-Law Finds Hand Grenade In Bernal Back Yard



There was plenty of drama on Lundys Lane last night after a hand grenade (!!!) was found at a Bernal Heights home. Police were called, area streets were closed off, and the Bomb Squad arrived in a big truck to defuse the situation.

Luckily, the Bernalwood Action News Team had an embedded correspondent on the scene to cover the story. Reporting live from her own back yard, Neighbor Alison tells us about the shocking discovery:

Here’s the scoop on what happened.

My mother-in-law was working in our back yard, digging out a patch of dirt. There was a pile of rocks that she had hit with a pitchfork, and one of them seemed different than the others, so she picked it up and noticed how heavy it was. Then she realized it was a grenade, and set it down very carefully.

She came inside and told me — I was with my 7-week-old.  I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that we immediately Googled “found grenade San Francisco” for a bit to see if this is common. I found a couple of stories from the last few years where people had found grenades, and they had called the police, so we decided that’s what we should do too.

It should have occurred to me that this would trigger the Bomb Squad showing up and we would need to evacuate, but it did not. About five officers arrived about 20 minutes later, and we had to grab a few things and leave, as did all the neighbors on our side of the street. Our neighbors across the street were told they had to “shelter in place,” which meant they were allowed to stay home as long as they were inside. So they invited us to come over, and poured some wine while we waited things out.

My husband was arriving home at the time, and the police had to escort him down the street to join us at the neighbor’s house. They actually asked him if it was his grenade.

Eventually the bomb squad truck arrived. After about 90 minutes, they gave us the all clear to return home. The verdict was that it was a World War II era grenade, and that it had been emptied out. Their guess is someone brought it home from the war as a souvenir.

It was an eventful evening! We’re home now eating It’s It.

Take note, folks: After an exciting evening of explosive ordinance disposal, real San Franciscans reach for It’s It.

PHOTOS: Top, vintage grenade discovered on Lundys Lane, by Neighbor Alison. Below, Bomb Squad on Lundys, courtesy of Vivian Redmond/48hills

Parked Unicycle Is Metaphor for Everything Bernal Heights.


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

New Fairy Door Discovered in Undisclosed Location


Neighbor Robert has made an important discovery: A new fairy door in Bernal Heights!

To safeguard the interests of all parties involved, Neighbor Robert has decided to keep the tiny door’s coordinates under wraps. Reporting live from his mobile phone, Neighbor Robert writes:

I found this fairy door in the ‘hood. I don’t want to announce the location lest something happen to it.

PHOTO: Neighbor Robert