The Winfield Street slides of Bernal Heights were recently featured in the New York Times.Winfield street is a great little street on the northwest side of Bernal Heights that runs for several blocks from Coso to Cortland. I have had several clients live on or near Winfield street who would only consider moving within a 4 or 5 block radius, so strong was their love for the neighborhood and their neighbors in the area. If you want to live within walking distance to a BART stop, it is also one of the best parts of the neighborhood to be in.
The slides are located near the Esmeralda corridor on the map above, and I find it pretty hilarious to think of politicians like former Mayor Willie Brown or Senator Diane Feinstein sliding down them, although I can completely picture city supervisor Tom Ammiano (who has also done stand-up comedy) whooping it up on his way down the slides.
As I read the article, it sounded very much like a true Bernal story to me, in particular the level of neighborhood activism, as well as the diverse and colorful characters (the article mentions a circus co-founder, community activity, and sexologist) that either built or fought to keep the slides open when the city wanted to tear them down.
While you are in the neighborhood, I can also recommend Emmy’s spaghetti shack if you get hungry and need a filling bite to eat. So what are you waiting for? Find your kids (or a neighbors, or just yourself) and head on over to Bernal Heights to enjoy the great Winfield slides. While they might just look like two slides, at the end of the day the embody a lot of truths about San Francisco, from our love of fun to our tightly-knit neighborhood communities, and our love-hate relationship with city hall and government.