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 Hope to see more of you all, masked and 6 feet apart preferably!

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


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.


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.


Another Cortland Closure: Bernalese heading to retirement

For us Cortland dwellers, it’s been a bit of a tough year for businesses on the avenue (RIP Heartfelt, Hunan Chef, 331, Discount Club, etc). Sadly, as announced on Instagram Saturday, Bernalese will be the latest store to shutter.

While there’s no official end date yet, the following note was posted to the shop window:

There was a great deep dive on Bernalese posted to over a year ago, and in the article the owners Matt and Sean talked about how they wanted to take their love of antiques and turn it into a retirement gig. It appears now that the true retirement bug has bit them, and thus Bernalese goes as they go.

Personally, I’ll be there this weekend to pick up some of the killer barware (hello coupe glasses and tiki mugs) at 50% off, and I’ll also be wishing Matt and Sean best of luck with whatever the future holds.

Hear about a closure or opening in Bernal Heights? Please email so that I can follow-up and write a post. Thanks to neighbor Julie for the tip here!

Six Shops in One: Holiday Pop-Up at Heartfelt until 12/24

When I saw the letter about Heartfelt calling it quits at the 436 Cortland Ave location, I honestly felt pretty heartbroken. Where would I go should I need a last minute card for a birthday that I definitely did not forget? Sure you could still order things on the Heartfelt website, but nothing beat wandering around the store and convincing yourself that someone in your life absolutely needed a “noveltea” loose-leaf infuser or a break-your-own-geode.

Luckily for us, Heartfelt has thrown open the doors from 11am-7pm daily for six women-owned outlets to host their wares this holiday season (through at least December 24th). Below I’ll be doing a quick rundown of who you’ll find and what they sell:

Store #1: Wink SF

Wink is not dissimilar to Heartfelt itself. You may have heard of them before as they have a brick & mortar in Noe Valley at 4107 24th St. Wink has a bit of everything, and I found that their About section seems to cover it all nice and succinctly:

Think of it as your favorite museum store on overload. Travel gear and messenger bags by Jack Spade and Orla Kiely are mixed in with Malin + Goetz products, kitchen gadgets and a well-selected assortment of greeting cards

Marcy Israel and Teresa Hagiya, Wink SF

Store #2: Crystal & Gold

Crystal & Gold is the creation of Roxanne Miranda, who describes herself as a jewelry artist, mindset coach, and meditation guide.

The collection is handcrafted jewelry centered around natural crystals, with each piece being as unique as the crystals themselves.

Store #3: Handsome

Handsome is all about seeking zero waste. Stephanie Ciancio is the owner and is herself a consultant for getting your own home de-cluttered and on a path to less waste. This shop has products ranging from mason jars and bulk bags to reusable water bottles and coffee mugs.

Store #4: Beijo Brasil

From glass rings to patches to necklaces of enamel and metal, Beijo Brasil has an array of jewelry and other wearables to match your style. Misty Marie is the owner here and has been running this business since 2002.

Store #5: Josie Carter Designs

Josie Carter is a Bernal artist who makes customized art out of transformed objects like furniture, vases, jewelry boxes, and much more. She had a number of custom scarves/shawls at her location as well when I stopped by earlier this week.

Store #6: Recycled Glass Works

Lauren Becker is all about taking existing glass products (mostly window-glass) and transforming them into something special. She uses no brand-new materials, and yet her work looks like it was created from scratch.

She had a variety of bowls, plates, and platters at the pop-up shop, and you could always order more from her website (including setting up a unique wedding registry).

As mentioned above, this pop-up is running through Christmas Eve, so make sure you stop by in the next few days before we return to the world without Heartfelt on Cortland.