Median Price of a Bernal Home Jumps 57% Since 2013


According to the latest market report from Paragon Real Estate, the median price of a home in Bernal Heights now stands at $1.4 million. Our friends at CurbedSF wrote up the summary:

Although neighborhoods like Bayview, Bernal Heights, and Glen Park are considered to be among the more affordable in the city, they have all seen tremendous appreciation over the past two years. Back in April 2013, the median price for a Bayview house was just $447,000. It grew by 7.4 percent to hit $480,000 in 2014 and then soared 31.2 percent to its current $630,000. Bernal, of course, has been widely talked about as a hot neighborhood, and its prices reflect that reputation. In April 2013, you could get a median Bernal home for just $880,000. That number grew by 31.2 percent to $1.154 million in 2014 and has now grown another 19.6 percent to hit $1.38 million this year. Glen Park has seen similar trends, growing from $1.205 million in 2013 to $1.835 million now.


What’s the cause of the this dizzying price appreciation? Even a high school student can explain it to you: Mr. Supply and Mr. Demand aren’t moving in parallel, and they haven’t moved in parallel for a long time. There are a whole lot of people who want a place to live in San Francisco, but there are very few places available for them to buy. Curbed looks at the issue citywide:

As always, low inventory is part of the issue in San Francisco. New listings this spring barely topped 600 per month, compared with about 700 per month last year and 800 two years ago. And while 3,454 new-construction housing units were completed in 2014, the most in the past 20 years according to Paragon’s tally of Planning Department figures, it still isn’t enough in a city where the economy is booming and new residents are flooding into town.

Bernal seems to have had a particularly low number of listings of late. According to this March 2015 summary by realtor and neighbor Danielle Lazier, there were just 9 properties listed for sale in Bernal in March, which represented a 53% decrease from the year before. And when houses do come on the market in Bernal, they tend to sell with neck-straining quickness. Neighbor Danielle’s data says that in March, Bernal homes sold after an average of just 15 days on the market, or 50% faster than a year before.


CHARTS: Paragon Real Estate and SFHotlist

Welcome to Dernal Heights, Where All The Durritos Follow Burrito Law


These are strange days for San Francisco burritos.

On the one hand, it is the best of times: San Francisco-style burritos are more popular than ever before. Quant-geeks rate them. Big chains mass-produce them. Yet with this culinary clout comes the inevitable copycats who seek to offer San Francisco-style burritos on far-distant shores — often with mixed results. Now, in one such effort to capture the spirit of the San Francisco burrito far away from the actual tierra that provides its substance, Bernal Heights has become a casualty.

Or rather, “Dernal Heights.”

The photo you see above was taken at the newest outlet of the burgeoning Mission Burrito restaurant chain, in Brindleyplace, Birmingham, England:


We can’t say much about the quality of the burritos from Mission Burrito (especially after so much long-distance travel), but we did notice a nontrivial problem with the big map of San Francisco painted on the wall of the new Brindleyplace location. Look just south of the Mission District on the wall map shown in this Brindleyplace store photo-montage, and you’ll see a shape that accurately replicates the outline of our own neighborhood.

But it is labeled “Dernal Heights.”


How. Awkward.

(Note: We stand in solidarity with our urban neighbors to the northeast, who apparently live in “Retrero Hill.”)

In light of this embarrassing faux pas, and even more heinous crimes against burritodom such as this, none other than Burrito Justice, La Lengua’s rebel spokesblogger and carnitas-fueled provocateur, has taken it upon himself to codify a set of standards governing what is and is not a proper burrito:

Despite our best efforts, we are seeing escalating threats, both international and domestic, against the sanctity of burritos. This must cease.

By the powers vested in me by the City and Country of San Francisco, Junipero Serra and Febronio Ontiveros, I hereby declare BURRITO LAW:

Statute 1:
If you pull off all the foil, it is no longer a burrito.

Statute 2:
If you touch it with a knife and fork, it is no longer a burrito

We frankly cannot believe these first two statutes are necessary but that is what things have come to, folks. It is indeed an era so dark that our next statue is sadly required. Brace yourselves:

Statute 3:
If you get it outside the Bay Area, it is no longer a burrito.

That’s right people, not all cylinders are created equal. We have no choice but to implement appellation d’origine contrôlée de burrito: if it’s not made in a county that touches San Francisco Bay, it’s not a burrito. (OK, fine, Santa Cruz too. Any county that touches a county that touches the Bay. But we get to disqualify any burritos in these secondary counties. Caveat Burritor.)

These are rigid criteria, to be sure. But as the Citizens of Dernalwood, the necessity of such standards is now painfully clear for all to see. Because a durrito from distant lands is not a burrito that can be trusted to get the details right.


PHOTOS: Mission Burrito

Thursday: Bernal Brothers Exhibit Awesome, Big-Format Wilderness Photography


Neighbor Tim Mullen and his brother Mike are in the large-format photographic printing business, and tomorrow evening, May 14, he and his brother are hosting an exhibit of some California wilderness photos. Naturally, you are so invited:

Tim Mullen of the 200 block of Elsie Street here, writing to let you know of an event taking place on Thursday, May 14 that may be of interest to Bernalites.

I’m half of the Mullen Brothers Imaging team that made the historic photos that were on display at Pinhole Coffee. The other half of this team, Brother Mike, is working on the massive task of photo-documenting all of the lakes of Desolation Wilderness (just West of Lake Tahoe). There are hundreds of lakes there, both named and un-named. The project focusses on the natural beauty of this pristine wilderness, but also touches on the ideas of solitude in a state of 34 million people and the very timely issue of water scarcity.

On May 14, from 6 to 9 PM, our company Mullen Brothers Imaging will host a gallery exhibition of many of the images collected to date. Out gallery is at 2040 Oakdale Ave. in 94110.

PHOTO: Mullen Brothers Imaging

Let’s Go Shopping at Baireuthers Market on Precita Avenue in 1949


Recently, Scott Frisner shared a photo with the San Francisco Remembered group on Facebook. It was taken on the western end of Precita Avenue just off Mission in the 1940s. Scott writes:

My late father-in-law, Orlando Colosimo, on the left, and his brother Don at their recently purchased market in 1949. They kept the original name, Baireuthers Market and from what I can find, it was located at 29 Precita near Bernal Heights. Anyone remember it?

Baireuther’s Market opened in the early 1900s, and it was operated as a butcher shop by John N. Baireuther, who lived nearby for a time at 179 Precita. Here’s a detail from a 1908 San Francisco Directory:


Orlando and Don Colosimo took over the store some 30+ years later.

This a wonderfully vivid photo of them, and it contains some great details of mid-century packaged food. For example, when we zoom and enhance the image, we can see the meticulously curated selection of artisanal cheeses perched between Orlando and Don:


The selection of Gerber baby foods at bottom right was equally twee, with wholesome goodness freshly canned in tasty flavors such as green beans, peas, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, and vegetables and liver. Yum!


In the refrigerated case we find cartons of Borden’s milk on the left, featuring the smiling bovine visage of Elsie the Cow:


On the right, just between Orlando and Don’s hips, we see a few tubes of Ballard Oven-Ready Biscuits, ready to bake in your very own home. If you had a copy of Ladies Home Journal in your sitting room back then, this 1949 advertisement might have sent you running to Baireuthers Market to get some biscuits to make “the Ballard workless way”:


Today, Baireuthers Market is no more, and the space it used to occupy has been converted to all-residential use. Yet the facade at 29 Precita hasn’t changed much from the Baireuthers days, and it still looks like a neighborhood market from the outside:

So even now, it’s not hard to imagine walking inside to say hello to Orlando and Don, pick up a few groceries, and talk about the weather a little bit before you rushed home to bake those Ballard Biscuits, which would be ready to eat just nine minutes later.

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.

Vote Now to Get a Community Kiosk in Precita Park

Neighbor Demece Garepis, the high priestess and Jedi grant-wrangler for the Precita Valley Neighbors, is asking Bernalese to stuff the ballot box vote online to help get a community information kiosk installed in Precita Park:

After our Precita Park Clean Up last month, we made a video showing our support for an information kiosk in Precita Park. Like the one on Bernal Hill, the kiosk is a community information board serving the needs of all neighbors – from preschool to meals on wheels. Now is our chance to vote for our Precita Valley Neighbors Community Kiosk! If we get enough votes, we can fund our kiosk through the San Francisco Parks Alliance Action Grants!




Demece Garepis, contact
Precita Valley Neighbors

PVN even made a video to support the effort. Watch it now, before it takes home an Oscar in 2016:

PHOTO: Precita Park by Telstar Logistics