Tonight: Visit the Shocking Haunted Garage on Bessie Street … IF YOU DARE!


Here’s late-breaking addition for your Halloween schedule.  Once again, the spooky Haunted Garage is coming to Precitaville, and you’re welcome to visit…. if you dare. Neighbors Paul & Annelise tell us:

Hey neighbors.

It’s on again: Haunted Garage Saturday, October 31 5pm-8:30pm at 25 Bessie Street. It’s like a weird blacklight funhouse, with little kids and adults alike coming through for cheap thrills (free, to be exact). Last year we overheard “it’s like Fort Thunder!”

It’s hilarious hearing people make their way through the haunted garage: “Is that guy moving? I think there’s someone in there… you go first. No you go… there is totally someone in there. It’s gonna move when we get close…. oh shit oh shit oh shit….”

There will probably be live musical things happening inside, as well.

Our host at the front will help our guests choose the level of scariness, from 1-10, so everybody can be accommodated.


Exploding Sunset Dazzles Bernal Heights Neighbors


There have been some remarkable sunsets of late, but the one last night was a real jaw-dropper. Neighbor Dan snapped this stunning photo last night from glamorous Winfield Street.

Meanwhile, at about the same time, your Bernalwood editor was at a slightly lower altitude, crossing Cesar Chavez  just as the sky exploded. It was so intense, I stopped dead in my tracks in pure awe. Here’s an unedited, #nofilter view of the kind of landscape that makes even an AutoZone parking lot look supersexy:


PHOTOS: Top, Dan Jurafshy; below, Telstar Logistics

Neighborhood Vineyards Is Making Locavore Wine in Bernal Heights


Oh hey. Did you some folks are growing grapes and making wine in Bernal Heights? Well, it’s happening: Some folks are growing grapes and making wine in Bernal Heights, at America’s first urban vineyard.

Neighbor and celebrity wineblogger Alder Yarrow  pointed us toward this recent Chronicle article about Neighborhood Vineyards at Alemany Farm:

I found myself walking through dense rows of headstaked Pinot vines on an otherwise weedy hill just west of the Alemany Farmers’ Market, squeezed above a block of public housing and below a row of modern Bernal Heights townhomes. Hartshorn set out an old knit blanket and poured me a glass of Albariño.

Her vineyard dreams began in France, where she went in 2009 with hopes of becoming a cheesemaker. That plan fizzled, not least because she realized her social life in rural France mostly involved playing petanque with septuagenarians.

After some wine marketing work in France, she returned to California in 2012, but not before she had visited Clos Montmartre, the tiny vineyard planted on Paris’ outskirts. Hartshorn loved the notion of thousands of Parisians coming to help with the mostly symbolic harvest. It wasn’t about the wine; it was an affirmation of wine’s cultural importance. Could San Francisco, as much a spiritual wine capital as Paris, have something similar?

Well, you can probably guess the answer to that question. Watch this video about Neighborhood Vineyards to see how they planted their 349 pinot noir vines right here in the glamorous terroir of Bernal Heights:

Want to visit? There’s a special guest talk and wine tasting happening this Sunday, August 15.

PHOTOS: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

Saturday: Volunteers Needed to Restore Esmeralda Mini-Park



Work is now underway to restore and rebuild the Esmeralda Mini-Park, with much thanks due to Neighbors Nancy and Joan, who are wrangling the City bureaucracy to ensure that the project is done right. There’s much to be done, so in the grandest and most historic Bernalese tradition, Nancy and Joan are organizing a Neighborly Volunteer Work Day  this Saturday, August 8 to get stuff done:

The Department of Public Works has agreed to rebuild the planter box, trellis, benches and picnic table!

It’s taken a lot of time and effort to get the City to do this rebuild.The planter box and trellis are being rebuilt on site, the benches and picnic table are gone for now but will be replaced with new wood and a fresh paint job soon.

A volunteer workday is happening on August 8 in District 9. As part of the District, we have the opportunity to get tools, supplies and even a carpenter from the City to help us do more work in the Esmeralda Slide Park than the City can do on its own. The Park has been in need of repairs for years. It’s heavily used, not only as a thoroughfare to Bernal Hill, but also as a gathering place with a fabulous slide!

We have assured the City we are an active, dedicated community who will show up to volunteer for the WorkDay in order to aid the City in its effort to upgrade the Esmeralda Slide Park between Winfield St. and Prospect Ave.

Please join us to help with painting, carpentry, planting, and general clean up at Esmeralda and Winfield

Come to the Volunteer Work Day!
(aka, Community CleanTeam Day)

August 8 — 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Please RSVP to Joan Carson by August 4
and note whether you want to help with construction, painting or general clean up.

Wear comfortable clothes so you can “get down and dirty”. The City will supply tools and lunch.

We are creating an email list to keep you informed in case you want to participate in future enhancements to the Esmeralda Slide Park.


PHOTOS: Esmeralda Mini-Park in on Aug. 2, 2015, and Esmeralda Slide Work Crew, 1978