Vibin’ and Thrivin: Bernal Heights at Sunrise

Hello viewers! Well, here you have it: my very first video on this new column, Vibin’ and Thrivin’! Are you excited? Well, I sure am. I’m sorry for the wait. I had no idea that editing a little three-and-a-half minute video would be such a timely process. Luckily, all the time I’ve been spending editing the video has paid off, so prepare to be blown away!   

For this video, I shot footage in the beautiful neighborhood of Bernal Heights in San Francisco. Just south of the Mission District, Bernal Heights is a beautiful residential neighborhood filled with parks and hills. I spend a lot of time in this neighborhood, and I’ve always wanted to film here. As I was planning out filming dates, I realized that the only time of day that I haven’t been in this neighborhood is in the early, early morning. Like crack-of-dawn early. So, I took it upon myself to wake up before sunrise ON A WEEKEND and took a bus down to Holly Park, where I began my shooting. I then walked several blocks north and climbed up Bernal Hill, where I could see (and film) the sun rising over downtown San Francisco. After that, I wandered around the neighborhood, walked through a labyrinth, slid down the Esmerelda Street Slides, and saw two(!) dogs. Simply put, it was a magical morning.

When you’re walking around the city, or anywhere, at sunset, and the sky is rapidly getting darker and darker, it can be a little scary. And you never really notice how dark it’s getting until the sun has completely set. Walking around that morning was the exact opposite. When I first arrived at Holly Park, it was pitch black. The only light I could see was from streetlights. But, as I wandered to the edge of the park, where no more trees were blocking my vision, I could see the tiniest sliver of sunlight shimmering over the buildings downtown. Seeing the sun slowly rising initially generated a feeling of peace, but as I noticed it moving up faster and faster, a wave of excitement crashed onto me. It was a new day, and anything was possible. I knew that I had to get a better view, so I left the park and began to walk towards the Hill. As I walked through the beautiful residential blocks, it became clear that the neighborhood was waking up. I began seeing joggers running on the sidewalks and people walking their dogs, all while the sun was steadily rising. When I finally reached the Hill and began climbing up, the color of the sky had changed from black to a blue and yellow gradient. Now that it was evident that the sun had begun to rise much faster, I raced to the top of the hill and took in the view. All of the buildup, from the dark skies of the early, early morning to the bright sun shining in the sky, was exhilarating. I never wanted to leave the top of that hill.

The song I chose to accompany the footage in this video is “Of The Mountains” by Dan Deacon. I believe it perfectly encompasses the vibe I was feeling when shooting the video, as well as the content in the actual video. The song starts out very peaceful and calm, but it quickly builds up in both volume and instrumentation as it keeps speeding up and and becoming more exciting all the way until the climax of the song. Funny, it’s kind of like the sunrise…