New Mural, Very Hot Pink, Now Complete on Helipad House


The paint is dry and the scaffolding has come down. And now, the new mural is complete on the facade of the Helipad House at the tippy-top of Folsom Street just below Bernal Hill.

As you no doubt recall, the mural was created and executed by Casey O’Connell, on behalf of Neighbor Scott and Neighbor Regina, who encouraged the artist to do her thing.

The result is very pink, which will be terrific news to all pink fans in Bernalwood. It’s also gritty and cute, all at the same time.

Plus, the cool lady with her finger in the shark’s eyeball has a cool tattoo that says… YOU:


Fortunately, the shark does not seem particularly upset by the presence of the finger in its eyeball:


And if you look closely, there’s a San Francisco skyline in the shark’s teeth:


What does it all mean???!!!  What is the message??? What is it telling us???

As we contemplate such deeper questions, this much is certain: All of us now have a new piece of art to ponder, discuss, and debate. Some of us will cheer. Some of us will not. But all of us will say: Hot pink!

PS: In case you missed it during brunch, Neighbor Scott and Regina’s Helipad House also appeared in last weekend’s Sunday New York Times Magazine.  In this way, hundreds of thousands of brunch-eaters across America and around the globe were introduced to Bernal’s own… Junior Neighbor Iris!


That’s it. Bernalwood is calling it, right here: New mural + NYT Mag shout-out = PEAK GLAMOR. This is our moment.

MURAL PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

Colored Lights Bring New Waterfront Mural to Life at Night

pier 92 cow bubbles-1

The new mural on the waterfront silos visible from the eastern side  of Bernal was completed a few weeks ago. Now the multicolored lights that animate the mural at night are also live, and the result is rather wonderful.

To review: The mural is called Bayview Rise, and it was created by Haddad | Drugan under the auspices of the Port of San Francisco:

Bayview Rise is an illuminated animated mural located at the Port of San Francisco’s Pier 92 grain silos on Islais Creek. The project weaves together iconic imagery reflecting the Bayview neighborhood’s changing economy, ecology, and community. Its large-scale graphics will make its primary images visible from a distance, while views up close will reveal the abstract patterns from which those images are composed. In the night sky, the imagery is animated with lighting effects to allow viewers to enjoy the work throughout the day. The artwork is conceived as a gateway into Bayview Hunters Point and will be visible and changing from day to night.

Neighbor Michelle described the illumination of the project after spending some time with it:

Seeing it transform before your very eyes is so much more powerful than any still shot.  I have attached a small teaser…a video I shot a few weeks ago when the artist was in town from Seattle to test out the piece.  It is amazing that the changing imagery is not projection, but all paint and the different pictures revealed by the color of the light directed at the paint.  The fellows who installed the lights installed some of the lights on the Bay Bridge art piece as well.

The piece is scheduled to be up for a few years, so there will be plenty of time to enjoy it.  While not visible from our house on Winfield, it can be seen quite well from the glamorous east slope of Bernal… and Neighbors Shane, Katy, Deckie and Evelyn have a great view right through their front door!

Neighbor Michelle’s onsite video demonstrates the mural’s magical morphing powers:

UPDATE: Damon A.B.  created this supersexy map that shows the points east of the mural where it is visible. It’s interactive and clickyclicky, so check it out:


PHOTO and VIDEO: Courtesy of Neighbor Michelle

Finally! All-New, Expanded Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar Set to Open Next Week


Mmmmm. This is a post I’ve been looking forward to for a long time…

As veteran Bernalwood readers may recall, in November 2012 we shared the news that Chef Tim Archuleta’s critically acclaimed Ichi Sushi planned to move into a larger location just across Mission Street.  Now, at last, the new space is ready.

The new Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar will open for business next week at 3282 Mission St. at 29th, and Erin Archuleta provides the details:

It’s been 22 months since we started this project, and it feels really joyful now that it’s all coming together.

ICHI Sushi will be in the front and NI Bar will be in the back. Executive Chef Tim Archuleta will head up the two spaces, with Sous Chef Erik Aplin overseeing the constantly changing sushi menu, and consulting Chef Chris Kiyuna contributing to the hot dishes. ICHI Sushi will continue as a sushi bar, an NI Bar will specialize in Japanese bar food and izakaya.

For ICHI, the sushi bar will remain the primary focus, but the new space gave us the opportunity to lay it out a little better with tables accommodating groups and families. Assistant Manager Shasta Webb will support with the reservation and special event requests.

NI Bar’s Bar Manager, Ken Furusawa, has crafted a beverage list offering a larger selection of sake, shochu, specialty beer, and introduce low alcohol cocktails. At NI Bar, look for grilled meats and warm stews in season — traditional izakaya food changes all the time, and we will too.

The original ICHI space will only be open until Saturday, Feb 15. Then we will lightly renovate for a few weeks, and it will reopen as a Japanese-style oyster bar.

Your Bernalwood editor visited Chef Tim at the new location a few weeks ago, as he was deep in the final stages of Construction Mode.  Ichi 2.0 looks terrific, with a smart design that divides the restaurant’s generous floorplan into a series of smaller, more intimate spaces, and a bold mural/etiquette guide dominating the south wall:


Erin also shared this interior photo, taken Alanna Hale:


If Ichi 1.0  is any indication, the food at the new joint will be oishii. Plus, as destiny would have it, the new Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar sits right across the street from the Pizzahacker’s new shop, so all of a sudden we’ve got a serious food cluster happening right here in the Dominion of Bernalwood. Lucky us.

Big congrats to Neighbors Tim and Erin, good luck, and we’re excited for the yum.

PHOTOS: Top, Chef Tim in the new Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, January 20, 2014,  by Telstar Logistics. Bottom photo, Alanna Hale

New Mural Takes Shape on Helipad House



Bernal Hill is swell place to go for a nature walk, but it’s also becoming a great place to view large-scale art. The mural on the old grain silos on the eastern waterfront is now complete, just as a new installation takes shape on the northern-facing facade of the “Helipad,” the contemporary home at the top of Folsom near Ripley.

Neighbor Regina previews what’s coming:

Life’s too short to live in a plain white house. Plus, the hottest neighborhood in America should have a hot pink element. The artist is Casey O’Connell and we just let her do her thing, which currently involves sharks with gold grills of the San Francisco skyline.

PHOTOS: Top, Monique Soltani. Below, Joe Thomas

Tonight! Seriously! FREE PIZZA from the PizzaHacker


It’s an impressive thing that Bernal Heights was just named the 2014 Numero Uno Hottest Sexiest Neighborhood in the United States, because that award was given to us before the very delicious PizzaHacker opened for business on Mission at 29th Street.

Today, the PizzaHacker is having its grand opening. That’s great news for pizza lovers, but it may also put Bernal on track to become the Numero Uno Hottest Sexiest Neighborhood in the Entire Galaxy by 2015.

And on top of all the good news, there is one more tasty tidbit to share: Tonight, January 16, 2014, the Pizza Hacker will say hello to Bernal Heights by serving pizza for free.

You read that correctly: PIZZA FOR FREE

The PizzaHacker’s Jimmy Simpson tells Bernalwood:

We just finished painting and the bar is done, so we are having an opening party tomorrow for the Bernal residents. We told a few people, but mainly we wanted to invite locals to try the pizza and introduce ourselves.

We are going to charge for drinks but the pizza will be free. Word on the street is that we are opening at 6 but any Bernal resident is welcome to show up at starting at 5.

So bold. So simple: Free pizza. Tonight. Courtesy of the Pizza Hacker at 3299 Mission Street at 29th. No coupon required, but displays of the secret Bernal Heights hand signal are strongly encouraged.

They’re expecting you.

PHOTO: A marinara pizza from the Pizza Hacker, by Telstar Logistics

GreenLid Fills Green, Smoothie-Sized Void at 331 Cortland


Bernalwood must have slept through the alarm, because somehow we missed the news that GreenLid Smoothies had opened in the glamorous 331 Cortland food marketplace. But for the fact that we recently had to refill our supply of Paulie’s Pickles, it might have taken even longer for us to bring you this important green drink news. For this Bernalwood can only apologize.

Regardless, lovers of blended green kale-based smoothie drinks will be pleased to know that Andrea Talley has opened her GreenLid kiosk in 311 Cortland. She tells us:

Neighbors and fellow green juice lovers,

There is a green mmoothie bar located in Bernal Heights! It’s in the marketplace at 331 Cortland Avenue. At long last the wait is over.

What’s a green smoothie, you ask? Unlike juice, green smoothies maintain all of the fiber and nutrients of the whole fruit and leafy green. Each smoothie is made with fresh, local fruit and vegetables like kale, avocado, apples and oranges. There are no added sugars, no preservatives and each smoothie is gluten-free and vegan!

GreenLid Smoothies began making fresh, all natural green goodness last year- delivering smoothies to commercial offices around the city. Toward the end of the year, they decided to open the doors to the public. When you go to the smoothie bar, you’ll see (and recognize) every ingredient that goes into the blender and taste the freshness.

Right now there are three flavors on the menu: Almond Banana, Apple Ginger and Orange Mango. These smoothies are seriously good! Check them out at 331 Cortland Avenue.

PHOTO: Andrea Talley, by Telstar Logistics

“PizzaHacker” Opening in Bernal, Ending Our Pizza Deprivation



Citizens of Bernalwood, our long neighborhood nightmare of subpar pizza has come to an end. No longer shall we have to venture beyond the cozy confines of our familiar Bernal terrain to enjoy pizza done right. Destiny and market opportunity have conspired to bring us some very fine pizza. Rejoice!

The PizzaHacker is setting up shop at 3299 Mission Street at 29th, in  the former bank building that was formerly home to Inca’s Peruvian restaurant after it was formerly home to a record store. The PizzaHacker is Jeff Krupman, and he’s not new to the pizza game, having spent the last few years doing pop-ups around town. Foodie critics love love love him, but now he’s planting roots in Bernal Heights, and I’m here to tell you, we are extremely fortunate.

The PizzaHacker will be open for a soft-launch tonight and tomorrow, Friday 12/20 and Saturday 12/21, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

First, let’s talk about the pizza…

Your Bernalwood editor visited the PizzaHacker last night to sample the merchandise. Apart from the installation of a new pizza oven, the old Inca’s space remains largely unchanged for now.

PizzaHacker Jeff was there, so I introduced myself and I ordered a straight-up Marinara pizza to-go. The pie cost $15, and apparently, I was the PizzaHacker’s very first paying customer in the new space. Whoohoo!

Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter was waiting eagerly when I got home, so we quickly began our taste test. The Cub Reporter spent a lot of time studying the pizza arts during summer sojourns on the greasy streets of New York and New Jersey, so her palette in these matters is impeccable. And after just one bite, we both declared our pizza from the PizzaHacker to be “OMG! INCREDIBLE!!”

Here’s the Cub Reporter conducting her taste test:


And here’s why our pizza was excellent:


No joke, that was by far the best pizza I’ve had in San Francisco in recent memory. Rejoice!

PizzaHacker business partner Jimmy explains the restaurant’s plan for the next few weeks:

Right now we are still working on the space and will be serving pizza here and there to test things out.  After the soft-opening on Saturday, we are going to shut down completely to build out the bar and work out any finishing touches. We hope to be fully open and servicing the Bernal Community by January 15th. All in all its going to be a pretty simple restaurant.  A few pizzas, a salad or two, beer and wine on tap.

So there you have it.

Run! — don’t walk! — to the PizzaHacker tonight and tomorrow night on Mission at 29th to taste a preview of the coming attractions. Then rest assured that Bernal will soon be home to a pizza place we can all be proud of… at last.

Thank you, PizzaHacker, and welcome to Bernal Heights.

PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics