Boogie down on Banks St for Gay Pride’s 50th

Yesterday’s Bernal Heights art walk was a great way for neighbors to show off their creativity and artistic ability, but today it’s time to show off your best dance moves!

Today from 3pm to 6pm, DJ Rico and DJ Smitty will be providing a soundtrack to a hillside social-distanced dance party in celebration of Gay Pride.

I caught up with DJ Rico to learn more about the event:

First thing’s first; what are the specifics about today’s event?

June 28th, from 3-6pm

Upper banks and Powhattan st

Pride special Event

It’s an hour longer because it’s a Pride event and we wanted people to enjoy more of the dancing and celebrate Gay Pride’s 50th anniversary.

Please wear your most colorful outfit (Drag is encouraged 🙂 and Let’s dance the afternoon away!

How did you decide to start this event?

It was started by my neighbor one day (Cynthia, a singer and a ukulele player).  She took out her small boom box and called us (neighbors) out to dance with her.  We enjoyed it and decided to make it a weekly thing.  Then I told her that i used to be a promoter in San Francisco and a DJ which i started since my high school days, and still have my DJ equipment (also we throw a killer Karaoke parties within our close friends in our house.

Then by the next week,  I slowly took all my equipment out. By the 3rd Event, we had a full gear and many more attendees. We get a lot of people telling us that they look forward for the next event and thank us for hosting it and that they wish that it’s every week!  

Since then Cynthia, me (Rico Ocampo) and my husband (Patrick McCarthy) had been collaborating this event every other week, along with our close neighbors (Dan, Deborah and the Abra Family)

I’ve been to two of these dance parties, but can you describe how the event has changed over time?

The event had changed that we decided to invite more people beside our neighbors. We felt that more people can benefit from this event and we get to meet everyone within our neighborhood. A more reason to get out and dance, who doesn’t like dancing? Lol  

What’s the music selection like? Do you publish a playlist after the fact? 

Our selection are more 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and I throw some current popular songs, because who doesn’t love those music in that era? Also most everyone since to enjoy and relate to that type of music.  

We don’t publish the music, I play them when I see who are dancing and feel the crowd’s energy.

DJs. Drag. Dancing. Distancing. DIY Drinks. Don’t miss a chance to let loose this afternoon with DJ Rico and many other fancy-footed Bernalites.

Explore Bernal while taking in the local art scene

Miss the MOMA? Down about the DeYoung? Scratch that art-viewing itch this morning with “Artists in Place,” a free, outdoor gallery put on by your neighbors (and potentially you if you send your home address to bernalartistsinplace@gmail.com this morning).

Below are the details of the walk from the Artists in Place website and the current map of neighbors who are showing their work:

Artists in Place:
A Bernal Art Walk-By
WHAT: A free, informal outdoor art gallery for neighbors to stroll by and enjoy the creative output of Bernal hill
WHERE: Outside, in front of houses throughout the neighborhood
WHY: An excuse for Bernal residents to get out and meet each other
WHEN: Saturday June 27
11am – 4pm
SHOW YOUR ART! This event is open to anyone in Bernal who has been doing any kind of art they would like to share with neighbors. Send your name, email address and the street address where you’ll be showing your art to: bernalartistsinplace@gmail.com

As always, please wear your masks and keep a 6-foot viewing (and neighbor chatting) distance while perusing the hillside art scene.

Back from hiatus

So it’s been four months since the last post here on Bernal Hype; did I miss anything?

Honestly when COVID and shelter-in-place hit, it took time to readjust to the new normal. It was hard to feel motivated to write about what was happening around the neighborhood because everything had shut down, and I was relegated to my home, Andi’s, and Good Life.

3745 Folsom has been a strong contender for most interesting house of Shelter-in-Place

While I was hunkering down for pandemic hibernation, the Bernal Heights community was opening up. From home-bakeries to pizza kits to scavenger hunts to cookie slides to social-distanced dance parties to rainbows and bears (in windows) to rainbows and bears (in celebration of Pride) to patio opera to food banks, Bernal had risen to the challenge of the pandemic experience and had exceeded all expectations. Even the New York Times took notice and wrote an article about us (including a one-sentence blurb about yours truly and my Easter Bunny costume):

On Easter, a neighbor wore a bunny costume and walked around waving at children.

Though things are creeping back to normal (Andi’s has gone back to their standard 6am-Midnight hours), we still have a long road ahead of us. Cases are ticking up and London Breed just delayed Monday’s phase of business re-openings.

My evening ice cream runs are back thanks to Andi’s new (old) schedule!

All this time, the Bernalwood Facebook group has been more active than I’ve seen it in the 7 years I’ve been in Bernal. It’s clear that folks are as invested as ever in this little slice of San Francisco that we call home, and I am ready to dive back in and re-engage with this blog and this neighborhood.

As always if you have any leads or would like to help write, please email me at bernalhype@gmail.com. Hope to see more of you all, masked and 6 feet apart preferably!

Two new Asian eateries coming to Cortland

Super-sized soup dumpling from United Dumplings (image from sf.eater.com)

After reporting far too many closures befalling Bernal Heights, I’m thrilled to find out about two 2020 openings coming to Cortland Ave: United Dumplings at 525 Cortland and Shokudou Izakaya [name not confirmed] at 1000 Cortland.


Thanks to an SF Eater write-up today, there’s been more light shed on what is to become of the old Hunan Chef location. Sandy Zheng of Beijing Restaurant in the Excelsior will be opening a new dumpling concept called United Dumpling that will feature an assortment of dumplings pushing the boundaries of what can be stuffed inside some hand-made wrappers (including Korean barbecue and Indian curry). Zheng hopes to be open by late March or early April, and I’ll plan on doing something more in depth when that day comes


The second restaurant has been registered as Shokudou Izakaya, but I’ve yet to confirm the official name. You may have seen some interior work at the old Cutting Edge Salon location, and it appears based on the job card that this will be the new home of an Izakaya by Potrero’s own Umi Sushi executive chef, Stewart Chen. I reached out to Chen for comment and while he didn’t provide any more details, he also didn’t dispute that work was under way for this new dining option.

Ever since Outer Orbit decided to move down into La Lengua territory, I’ve been hoping that something would come to that vacant corner. No word on the timing here, but I’ll also post an update as soon as I hear word from Chen.

Letter to the community from District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen

Edit: The map I was using prior to the update was the 2012 version that did not include Portola in District 9. The current District 9 map is below.

The city of San Francisco is segmented into 11 districts, and our lovely neighborhood makes up the middle third of district 9 (with the top third being the majority of the Inner Mission and the bottom third being Portola). Each district in the city has an elected supervisor, and we are lucky to have fellow Bernalite Hillary Ronen as our supervisor.

Recently I’ve been working with Hillary and her team to use this platform as a place to update the neighborhood on what’s going on in the district at large and how we fit into the politics and planning of the city at large.

Below is Hillary Ronen’s first note to the hood. If you have additional thoughts about what you’d like to see addressed here, please email me at bernalhype@gmail.com or reach out to her team at RonenStaff@sfgov.org. I also encourage you all to subscribe to her monthly newsletter here.


LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY FROM DISTRICT 9 SUPERVISOR HILLARY RONEN

Congratulations to BernalHype for launching a brand new newsletter for the neighborhood!! I’m so excited to have a new channel to keep in touch!

It’s an especially busy time for our office. The city’s annual budget process kicks off in March, and as a member of the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee, I’ll be digging deep into current departmental spending and looking for savings wherever possible, so we can stretch your dollars to cover our most urgent needs. My priorities this year are housing and homelessness.

The crisis of street homelessness is overwhelming our city and our state in unspeakable ways. Portions of our district have seen an explosion of encampments, with conditions that are unacceptable and unhealthy. I’ve been working every single day to get our city departments to respond, to prioritize the high concentration areas in District 9. Until we see the attention, focus, and accountability that yields results, I will keep fighting.

Without question, in order to make real progress toward addressing this crisis, we have to end the cycle of moving people from street to emergency services, to treatment and back to the streets. 

We desperately need to overhaul our mental and behavioral health system, which is why I worked so hard to pass Mental Health SF at the end of last year. Ensuring that funding is in place to implement it is now at the top of my priority list, both through this year’s annual budget process and future revenue planning. 

Additionally, I am committed to meeting the pledge I made when I ran for office to create 5,000 affordable units in District 9 in 10 years. Three years in, we are on track, with 1,349 apartments purchased, in construction, or soon to break ground. In order to make the goal, we are constantly looking for sites, looking for partners, and looking for revenue sources so we can keep a robust pipeline going. Stay tuned!

Last but not at all least, I’ve been so excited to see Bernal activism kicking up to focus on pedestrian safety and community planning for Cortland Avenue and am happy to have my office team participating in those discussions and bringing in city departments to work with the community.

More soon!
— Hillary

Beer week comes to Bernal

For a relatively small neighborhood, Bernal is overflowing with an amazing selection of beer. Within the confines of BH proper as described here, we’ve got three locations brewing beer (Barebottle, Cellarmaker, and Hop Oast), a number of bars with great tap selections (Holy Water, Old Devil Moon, and Outer Orbit to name a few), and three more breweries just a quick e-bike ride away (Harmonic, Ferment.Drink.Repeat, and Laughing Monk ).

Every year in February, San Francisco celebrates this delectable combo of hops, malt, yeast, and water with a 10-day Bacchanalia known as SF Beer Week. This year, Bernal has come out in full force with no fewer than four events per day through this Sunday.

Instead of hunting and pecking for each event, I’ve put together an Initerary [sic 😊] via the SF Beer Week site of all local events:

Since many of the goings-ons above have relatively inscrutable titles (and the font is pint-sized), follow the links below for more details about each of the above events. Brewnal Heights awaits!

Calendar View

Day Guide View

More pop-ups to love at Heartfelt this February

One of the major personal ramifications of Heartfelt closing was my inability to look like a pro gift-giver after some serious present procrastination. I was thrilled to find the holiday pop-ups last December, and it looks like Darcy is still going strong with getting great female-owned businesses popping up in her establishment. This month, she has five more part-time residents showing off their amazing wares. Below is a list of the businesses with a quick description in their own words:


Pop-up #1: Book Castle

This month, check out Book Castle, which sells new and used books for children, tweens, teens, and adults. Their selections are bilingual and multicultural. They have some comfy seating for adults and a small play and read area for little ones. Follow on their journey to open a community bookstore centered on children’s literature in San Francisco

@bookcastlesf

Pop-up #2: Handsome

Handsome’s zero-waste supply shop has expanded since December, with more shopping totes and mason jar accessories plus new cleaning and personal care items. For Valentine’s gifts, they’re offering bulk teas and Epsom salt soaks, as well as solar-powered mason jar lamps. You’ll find Steph the owner adding the finishing touches to her mason jar-print cotton bulk bags. Follow @handsome_Sf to see where they pop up next.

@handsomesf

Pop-ups #3 & 4: Foreignspell & PapaLlama

Foreignspell & Papallama crafted the giant pop up art in the window, and the fun, creative flair doesn’t stop there. Foreignspell’s Niki Baker hand-carves whimsical designs inspired by song lyrics on rubber stamps & block prints on various surfaces. Papallama’s Risa Culbertson screen- & letterpress prints all her witty & vibrant goods. Here til Feb 14th, pop by to shop greetings cards for Gal/Pal/Valentine’s Day & all of life’s other momentous occasions. They also offer original fine art, art prints, pom pom crowns, journals, onesies, totes, pouches, & aprons. Follow @foreignspell and @papallama to see the printmaking in action

@foreignspell and @papallama

Pop-up #5: Seven Sundays Studios

Seven Sundays Studios offers a collection of handmade decorative pillows, sheepskin rugs and leather planters. Anya’s sunny shop space is set up for cellphone photoshoots of canine companions and she’s hosting a make your own leather planter workshop on Feb 12th, 6:30-8:30. Follow @sevensundaysstudios to catch some featured photoshoots and the handcrafting of home goods.

@sevensundaysstudios

Compete with your neighbors at Barebottle this winter

Want to participate in a battle of wits or a battle of bags this winter? Barebottle is your place to do either one or both!

Cornhole league:

First off is the next season of cornhole with registration and open board nights tonight, Jan 29th and next Wednesday, Feb 5th. What’s cornhole you ask? It’s everyone’s favorite tailgating game where the goal is to throw some beanbags onto a board (1 point) or through a hole (3 points). It’s perfect for a brewery because you only need one arm to toss, so the other one can easily hold a pint of beer. More details below:

Every Wednesday evening 6-9:30pm, from February 12 – April 22
2-4 players per team
$25 entry fee per player
Each player will receive a league t-shirt
And to top it off we’re going to have a pizza night near the end of the season!
Be sure to stop by and register on Wednesday January 29 or February 5, from 6-9pm!

Barebottle Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Barebottle/photos/a.849531328468061/2720936901327485/?type=3&theater

So maybe physical sports aren’t your thing? Lucky for you Barebottle is starting up trivia as well!

Trivia Night:

Fourth Tuesday of every month starting January 28th.

6-8pm in the lounge

Hosted by Lei Guigayoma

Teams of 3-5 people

Multiple rounds of 8 questions

Prizes for winning teams

Barebottle Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Barebottle/photos/a.849531328468061/2745426308878544/?type=3&theater

OK, so let’s say friendly competition is still too intense for you. There’s still a wealth of great events coming this February to Barebottle as seen in the flyer below:

Ladies Paint Night Pop Up at Heartfelt on Monday (1/13)

Looking for something to do Monday night? Want to get your creative juices flowing? Interested in meeting some other women who feel the same way?

If any of the above interests to you, then swing by Heartfelt from 7:30pm to 9:00pm on Monday night for a Ladies Paint Night Pop Up provided by Jen Bloomer of Radici Studios. The cost is $15 for pre-registration (sign-up here) or $20 at the door. All materials are provided, and all skill levels are welcome.

For more information, check out the flyer below:

Have an event that you think your fellow Bernal neighbors might be interested in? Shot me an email at bernalhype@gmail.com to let me know!

Shish Ke Baba makes the Yelp Top 100 of 2020 list (#12)

Every year, Yelp puts out a list of the top restaurants of the year based on the following criteria:

To determine Yelp’s Top Places to Eat in 2020, Yelp’s data science team pulled the top restaurants by ratings and number of reviews in 2019 across the U.S., with representation based on each place’s share of top-rated restaurants nationally, then curated the list with the expertise of our Community Managers around the country to finalize the rankings.

Brenae Leary, https://blog.yelp.com/2020/01/yelps-top-100-places-to-eat-2020

This heavy dependence on high Yelp reviews ends up making for a pretty unique list that tends to favor more casual neighborhood faves.


Yelp just released their 2020 list earlier today, and Bernal Heights’s own Shish Ke Baba was the lone San Francisco restaurant clocking in at #12!

The mustachioed Turkish Grill still maintains a 5-star average on Yelp even after over 200 reviews (in fact at the time of writing, 92% of the reviews were perfect scores).

I’ve personally been derelict in my dolma duties and haven’t stopped by yet, but believe you me that’s gonna change. Yelpers seem to love the friendly owners and service, the delectable dips, and the moist meats, and there are plenty of claims that it’s the best Turkish food around.

I honestly thought that the 30th and San Jose corner was cursed to forever be the home of a pizza places whose names changed with the seasons, but it appears we have a kebab-filled fan-favorite that’s hopefully here for the long haul.