Bernal Neighbor Installs Sutro Tower Garden Sculpture, Adorns It With Seasonal Cheer

orlandosutro1

After months of patient design and fabrication, Neighbor Orlando has finally installed his iron model of Sutro Tower in front of his Folsom Street home.

Fabricated by artist Mario Cro, Neighbor Orlando’s Sutro Tower stands around 5′ tall — versus 977′ for that other one on Twin Peaks — and he intends to use it as a permanent piece of garden sculpture. He tells Bernalwood:

In the end, this was well worth the wait. Good things take time, you know? This was one of them.

The names of the heads of households of the prior two generations of my family members have been stamped on the piece itself. The original motivation for the project was to have something permanent placed at the forefront of the home, remembering and commemorating those who came before me who were ultimately responsible for giving me the opportunity to be raised in this warm and beautiful neighborhood. Their names are located on the bottom truss. with space left for my name just directly below.

Impressive. Also, to give the piece some seasonal flair, Neighbor Orlando has decorated his Sutro Tower and surrounding garden in a Christmas theme.

Here are a few more photos of Neighbor Orlando’s awesome iron model of Sutro Tower, shown during it’s Holiday 2014 debut. Someday you can tell your grandkids you saw it when it was new:

orlandosutro3

orlandosutro2

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

 

New, Hawaiian-Style Brunch Pop-up Coming to 903 Cortland

ainafood

There’s a new weekend-only brunch pop-up coming to the space at 903 Cortland. The pop-up is called āina, and like the name, the food will be Hawaiian. The restaurant will open up to the public this Saturday, November 22, with plans to serve brunch every weekend,  Saturday and Sunday, 9 am-2 pm.

Team āina tells Bernalwood:

We are excited to provide a new brunch option for the Bernal Heights neighborhood at our new pop-up, called ‘āina (903 Cortland Avenue, CA 94110). ‘āina is from the Hawaiian language, and means land/earth. Jordan Keao, the chef, lives smack in Bernal; Jason Alonzo runs the front of the house, and he lives just down the hill.

Our idea is to incorporate all our past experiences and finally work for ourselves, allowing great creativity and responsible food sourcing. Everything we serve will be from the land or transformed from what the land has given to us. The food will have an Asian or Hawaiian influence with a breath of the classic breakfast dishes. We will cook with the seasons, using local ingredients from the bay area, as well as local ingredients from the chef’s home, the Big Island of Hawai’i. Our Facebook page has more information and a sample of our menu.

Mahalo,
From Jordan (the chef) and Jason (front of house).

Here’s a sample menu:

ainasamplemenu

PHOTO: Poached egg, smoked royal king trumpet mushrooms, kabocha squash puree, wild watercress with some Chinese sausage Lap Cheong on top, from āina via Facebook

Sexy New Parklet Completed In Front of VinoRosso on Cortland

newparklet2

newparklet1

A few weeks ago, I noticed that construction had started on the new (and mildly controversial) parklet on Cortland Avenue at Anderson, right in front of VinoRosso Enoteca and the Inclusions Gallery.

Last weekend I noticed that construction was complete, and the parklet was already in use. Though last weekend’s warm weather certainly helped, the sidewalk scene in the new parklet night was booming. Very chic. Ridiculously glamorous. Rather cosmopolitan.

Opinions may vary, but I’m innnnnterested to see how/if this new parklet will influence Cortlandia’s robust social ecology.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Welcome to the World, California Sunday Magazine!

CSMbernalwood2

As if Jack London’s Bernal roots and New York Times domination and lots and lots of books aren’t enough to demonstrate our neighborhood’s literary heft, there’s a high-profile media launch happening this weekend, and it’s got some deep Bernal Heights DNA.

The project is called California Sunday Magazine, and it’s brought to you by many of the same people responsible for the insanely popular Pop Up Magazine series that’s taken San Francisco by storm in recent years. California Sunday Magazine is a print magazine with literary-journalism aspirations to cover the world from a West Coast point of view. Here’s the About Us:

The California Sunday Magazine roams across California, the West, Asia, and Latin America, telling stories for a national audience. We also produce a live event series, Pop-Up Magazine. We explore science, business, entertainment, politics, technology, art, social issues, sports, food, and more. We’re curious about everything. The first weekend of each month, we’ll have new stuff to share, on the web, on our mobile apps, and in print—delivered with select Sunday copies of the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Sacramento Bee. Once we get the hang of that, we’ll start publishing two weekends a month and then every weekend. We’re brand new, so thanks for reading!

Did you catch that?  California Sunday Magazine has a diabolically clever distribution strategy: It will appear in the Sunday editions of several major California newspapers (most of which have either eliminated or gutted their own Sunday magazines in recent years). So if you usually get the San Francisco Chronicle on Sundays, look for California Sunday Magazine inside this weekend. The content from the first issue is online here. The print edition will be monthly at first, ramping up to weekly.

This is a fascinating experiment, and in coming days it will no doubt attract a great deal of interest in media circles from coast-to-coast and across the galaxy. But as you enjoy California Sunday Magazine, and partake of all the buzz, know this: The publisher and co-founder of California Sunday Magazine is Chas Edwards, your Bernal Heights neighbor. Oh, and the editor-in-chief is Doug McGray, who doesn’t quite live in Bernal, but can be called Bernal-adjacent:

dougnchas

They’re already talking about Cal Sunday in BusinessWeek:

For years, California journalists have dreamed of a Left Coast publication to rival media icons such as New York magazine and the New Yorker. The editorial operations of Condé Nast-owned Wired are in San Francisco, but most publications that tried to set up shop there—such as the Industry Standard, which had a moment during the first dot-com boom—have failed. (The audiences for Los Angeles and San Francisco magazines are loyal but local.) John Battelle, chairman of online ad company Federated Media, helped launch Wired and the Industry Standard and is an investor in California Sunday. “I think they are really on to something,” Battelle says. His first effort at a Bay Area-based magazine, the Pacific, never got off the ground. “The biggest impediment was the cost of circulation,” he says, and California Sunday solves that problem by paying an insertion fee to bundle with newspapers.

Best of luck to the California Sunday Magazine crew. Your neighbors will be rooting for you from the home-team bleachers.

UPDATE: Sunday 5 Oct: Ooh. Look what just arrived!

Here’s to the start of a brand-new weekend ritual:

Calsundaycoffee

IMAGES: via California Sunday Magazine Coffee photo by Telstar Logistics

Pinhole Coffee Has Finally Opened, and It Is Awesome

joellen

It was nine months ago when we first noticed the papered-over windows of 231 Cortland foretelling the coming of an intriguing-sounding cafe. Late last week, Pinhole Coffee’s doors officially opened for business, and by all reports, it is awesome.

Founded by JoEllen Depakakibo, Pinhole carries coffee from Linea Caffe, the baby of coffee-world superstar Andrew Barnett. This reporter was rather enamored of the Piccolo, a 1:1 ratio of milk and espresso in one of these pleasing little glasses.

The new kid on the block is also quite lovely, with stools made of acacia stumps, a mural by JoEllen’s brother Joey D, a wall of colorful stripes by local artist Leah Rosenberg, and a pegboard of succulents by Bernal’s own Succulence.

Speaking of Cortland connections, among the treats on offer at Pinhole is Anna’s Daughters Chocolate Rye Bark (yum!), made by the mother of New Wheel co-owner Karen Weiner.

And for those wondering where the cafe’s name comes from, as JoEllen explained it to coffee blog Sprudge,

Pinhole takes its name from photography, another of my appreciations. My brother Joey D in Chicago created my logo, and his wife Jen designed my business cards out of a thin strip of walnut–they have a pinhole that you can put over your camera or phone and it creates a pinhole image. I individually hole punch the cards each morning before I start my day.

Pinhole is open 6:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. on weekdays; 7:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. on weekends.

PHOTOS: JoEllen, by Telstar Logistics. Piccolo glasses and Leah Rosenberg wall, via Facebook.

Bernal Rockstar Dan The Automator Talks with NPR About “Got a Girl,” His New Musical Collaboration

gag_iloveyou.bernalx

As we all know, everyone who lives in Bernal Heights is a rockstar. But some express it more than others.

Music producer Dan Nakamura — aka Dan The Automator — is a Bernal resident who is famous in the music biz for the work he did to give artists like Deltron 3030, the Gorillaz, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Handsome Boy Modeling School their distinctive sounds. His latest collaboration is a band called Got a Girl that he created with actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Got a Girl just released their first album, called “I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff.” (IMPORTANT LIABILITY NOTICE: Any relation to recent events on Bernal Hill is strictly coincidental.)

This week, Neighbor Dan talked about Got a Girl on NPR’s All Things Considered:

Chance encounters can lead to profound changes in people’s lives. Just ask actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

She was shooting Scott Pilgrim vs. the World opposite Michael Cera when one of the film’s music consultants befriended her. He’d heard rumors she was also a talented singer, so he checked out a video of her belting out a tune in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof.

That person happened to be Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, the hot-shot producer known to pop and hip-hop fans for his work with Gorillaz and Del the Funky Homosapien. The two struck up a friendship, and a musical partnership was born: Got a Girl.

The newly formed duo just released its first album, I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff.” Now, which draws on the members’ shared love for 1960s French pop.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Bernalwood’s favorite track from Got a Girl’s new album is called “There’s a Revolution,” and it’s infectiously funky, frenchy, and James Bondtastic:

For the visually inclined, here’s the video for Got a Girl’s “Did We Live too Fast”:

Congrats, Neighbor Dan!

Mae Krua Kiosk Coming Soon to 331 Cortland, for Thai Food Like Grandma Used to Make

anucha2

This is Anucha Kongthavorn, and he preparing to set up shop in the fabulous 331 Cortland marketplace. His business will be called Mae Krua, and he will serve up Thai food like grandma used to make. Anucha tells Bernalwood:

My name is Anucha Kongthavorn and I’m originally from Thailand. I’ve loved to cook since I was a child. I spent a lot of my early years watching her cook. She always consistently cooked the most delicious food and I strive to be like her. Every weekend, my mother left me with her and I always helped her to prepare. I fell in love with the joy of cooking watching my grandmother work long hours in a traditional Thai restaurant. That is where I learned how to cook authentic Thai food.

To me America is the land for opportunity, coming from a poor family, I independently moved to San Francisco to make my dream come true. I went to City College of San Francisco (CCSF) and worked ay the same time to earn experience and know what’s it’s like to cook for Americans and adapt to the culture. I always keep my eye on this dream. I worked at Thaistick in San Francisco and Millbrae for 6.5 years. I have never had a business of my own, but it is still part of my dream.

In Thai, Mae Krua means a women who cooks to serve for her family. This is the name I’d choose for my business. Mae means mother. Kua means kitchen.

I love to present my food to people to people who live here so they can try authentic Thai food that is different and unique to what I’ve learned from my Grandmother and what I’ve learned here in America. My kiosk is going to serve only unique food which is adapted from my own experiences and my Grandmother’s recipes. They will love to have this food and bring it home for their loved ones.

I make a Curry Rice Balls stuffed with fine cheeses. These will be a delight for people who are vegetarian. Some will also be made with Tofu and Bean Cake. I will serve salad with my own dressing such as Curry Dressing and Sesame Dressing. The community will love to try my food because it will both be healthy and delicious.

I will be very happy if you decide to give me a chance to start my own business with you, even though I have never had a business here. I think you would be very pleased to have me as an addition as well.

Helpfully, Anucha also shared this launch menu:

maekruamenu

PHOTO: Anucha Kongthavorn by Anucha Kongthavorn