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Bernal Heights

Despite being visible from many of the city's vista points, Bernal Heights is something of a hidden treasure. Many residents have lived in the area for many years, and it has remained a stronghold of working class and bohemian lifestyles as the rest of the city has changed all around it. With the ruggedly expansive Bernal Hill Park at its center, it's no surprise that dogs and kids seem at times to outnumber adults in the neighborhood. Holly Park, on the south side of the hill, and Precita Park to the north, provide even more opportunities for outdoor mingling. Cortland Avenue is the main commercial drag; community activism, ethnic dining and nightlife mix on this eclectic street. Beautifully landscaped public stairways criss-crossing the hill make the neighborhood a great place for an afternoon meander. A popular destination is the stretch of Mission Street that runs along the western foot of the hill; the addition of several trendy restaurants and hip bars are rapidly changing the face of the neighborhood. Community spirit is strong in Bernal Heights, which has its own neighborhood center and newspaper, the Bernal Journal. Each year brings the much anticipated Fiesta on the Hill and the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema, featuring movies made by local filmmakers.

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