BALBOA PARK

Another Perfect Day
By downtownphotoguy, June 26
Today we were in Presidio Park in the morning and Balboa Park in the afternoon. We were shooting with a variety of lenses and techniques…. It seems everybody in Balboa Park had a camera today, except for one retired gentleman in the botanical house who was sketching. He said he had only been sketching for about four years, which really proved to me that it’s never too late to find the artist within.

Dark Side of the Zoo
By subliminelle, July 19
I know this sounds crazy, but every time I go to the zoo, I always see at least one person wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt. Once, I counted as many as four people sporting the psychedelic tee in a single visit! Then it occurred to me that Pink Floyd has an album entitled “Animals.” Maybe there is a subculture of zoo visitors who, inspired by the music of Pink Floyd, are making a subconscious effort to get in touch with their primal selves by seeking out the company of animals.

BANKER’S HILL

A Noisy Place Filled with Character
By cpercival, February 20
I remember falling asleep my first night and then was practically startled out of my bed when I heard what I thought was another attack on America, which was actually a FedEx airplane coming in at 4 a.m. I now don’t really sleep well without the noise.

Why All the Smiles and Hellos?
By larsond07, February 5
I live in Banker’s Hill in an old hotel renovated and turned into an apartment complex.
When I walk around the building and down the streets everyone smiles and says hello. They don’t just say hello, they go as far as asking how I’m doing!

Comments:
1. Banker’s Hill is infested with crime. People say hello to you because they think you are either a tweaker (meth user) or a criminal. They say hello to let you know your presence in the neighborhood is known and that your face will be remembered in case you decide to commit a crime.
By Burwell, Feb 6

BAY PARK

She’s Got Great Cans
By karengina, June 9
I’m the one with the plastic grocery bag hanging off my wrist, if you ever catch me cruising around on my bicycle. Why not clean up my neighborhood and make a few bucks while I’m at it by picking up all the cans and bottles I see? I spend the money I make on a nice dinner. A big plate of German food, like the kind they serve at Tip Top Meats in Carlsbad.

Our Own Little Slice of Paradise
By tracideleon, May 26
I have been living here in the Bay Park Apartments for 8 1/2 years now. On a sunny day the barbecues are fired up, and everyone brings to the table what they have, and it’s potluck time. Might be Mexican, Puerto Rican, German. Some days it’s game time, and we’ll play dominos, pinochle, backgammon, cribbage. The kids run around outside, play baseball out back in the alley, or ride bikes. It does get noisy sometimes. The apartments are on Morena Boulevard, which is a busy street where people tend to drive too fast, and then we have the train tracks and the 5 freeway.

O’Connells and the Trash It Brings In
By jukebox_junkie, January 11
I have lived in my house for near two years now. Besides the occasional homeless guy screaming outside or the crappy garage bands playing past 11 or so, I use to think this was a pretty nice area to live in…. Unfortunately, O’Connell’s has turned this neighborhood into just another trash-filled ghetto, comparable to a Florida trailer park.
I understand supporting local bands and giving them a place to play, but could you at least have security check the patrons for guns before letting them in? It’s pretty sad that I get woke up every weekend at 2 a.m. due to fights outside, but this past weekend was worse because someone brought a gun.

BONITA

Separate Yet One
By CristinaFernando, January 28
It was below 40 degrees this morning as I stood at a high spot overlooking lower Otay Lakes. It’s sunny, but for San Diego, especially east Chula Vista, THAT is cold! But it’s midweek of the last week into my third month of unemployment and I just had to drive the winding road of Wueste to take a break from sitting most days, perched over my laptop, looking for a job. Gloved hands shivering (still), I held a steaming cup of coffee, and leaned back on my car.

You Can’t Drink the Early Bird Special
By RonnieMexico, June 23
It’s hard find a good place to drink in Chula Vista. I don’t know what scheme the city planners enacted to kill night life, but it worked. Finding a nice bar in Chula Vista is harder than finding a golf course in San Ysidro.
If you want to get a drink after the sun goes down, you may be stuck at Chili’s. Nothing is better than doing a shot next to a kid in a highchair.
Zorba’s is an option. Located in west Chula Vista, it’s loaded with history. Unfortunately, its patrons are loaded with history, too. They can tell you about the Truman presidency.

BORREGO SPRINGS

Car Chase to Christmas Circle
By skipcarufel, May 31
I will tell you what happened at Anza Borrego Desert State Park last month, but please don’t repeat it. I, a 20-something woman, caused a little mischief with some car crazies who invaded my favorite campsite, and now they are looking for me. If they hear about this story and read it — assuming they can read — they will track me down. Before the sun sets I will be as dead as the coyote they ran over.

CARDIFF

Riders of the Storm
By Ken Harrison, June 13
On Tuesday, June 2, Craigslist’s North San Diego area listed four lost or found dogs. On Wednesday, June 3, after the unexpected lightning storm rolled through, 25 lost or found dogs were posted that afternoon on Craigslist.
At around 2:00 p.m., June 3, my wife found a stray dog on Lake Drive in Cardiff. The brown female shepherd was tired and thirsty and jumped into her car willingly. “Ruby” became one of those 25 postings.
Spooked by the storm, Ruby had jumped over a six-foot fence, ran across six lanes of El Camino Real, and made her way through a mile of thick sagebrush before reaching the street in Cardiff.

Part 2: An Execution in the Hills

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Comments

David Dodd Oct. 21, 2009 @ 1:26 p.m.

What an odd concept for a cover story.

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SDaniels Oct. 21, 2009 @ 1:52 p.m.

They really dug into the archives for these Neighborhood blog snippets, and ONCE AGAIN passed me by! What's wrong with my--at least realistic--descriptions of Banker's Hill, people?! Burwell's tweaker/meth comment? Sorry, but untrue characterization, and he wrote that just to shut down someone being chirpy and smiley about moving here. I have lived on Banker's Hill for about seven years, and do not see a lot of drug traffic. I do see a fair number of homeless drunk men, and a LOT of dog walkers. Are they all drug dealers, Burwell? ;)

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SDaniels Oct. 22, 2009 @ 3:15 p.m.

True, Captain, but I'm going to try and see this non-cynically--viz: This is not at all a lazy bottom-scraping piece, but a wonderful way to encourage the blogging community contributors to revisit each other's past stories, and mix up the conversation--in lieu of delving fresh talent and perspective available from contributors old and new (oops, that sounded cynical again...) ;)

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David Dodd Oct. 22, 2009 @ 3:23 p.m.

I think it was a reasonably good idea, but I question the execution of it. I've read through it a few times now. It's a combination of stringer stories and blogs and comments, but I can't find a common thread, at least not one thick enough to support the title. I think that at some point, the Reader should try it again, but a lot more hours would have to be put in to finding material - seemingly eclectic - that actually comes together as a common theme. A long term project where maybe you work on it for a certain number of hours each week over a long period of time?

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SDaniels Oct. 22, 2009 @ 3:48 p.m.

That is a good point. Having read it over a couple times, too, I'd say that the tenuous "common thread" was the (still) unevenly applied concept of some 'essence' of each neighborhood or area--they were looking for something that might either sum up descriptive characteristics of an area that are easily identified by a large number of people, or characteristics that we might not normally think of for that area. For example, Banker's Hill would not normally be thought of as the tweaker capital, but many do see it as a place of passage, being under the flight path...

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David Dodd Oct. 22, 2009 @ 3:57 p.m.

One problem in writing biblically, in a form that takes several narratives, is that the author often makes the narratives seem too similar (think Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying", or more contemporary, Kingsolver's "The Poisionwood Bible"). But this article is sort of a reverse-engineered method of it, so the challenge becomes making the narratives seem more common than they would otherwise. Both approaches seem difficult to accomplish. Without knowing the method used putting the story together, I couldn't offer any practical suggestions other than it needs a little bit more cohesiveness.

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SDaniels Oct. 22, 2009 @ 4:35 p.m.

"...that the author often makes the narratives seem too similar..."

"the challenge becomes making the narratives seem more common than they would otherwise."

Yes, and yes.

This first observation pinpoints the exact problem I have had with texts of multiple narrative voices, and it really takes a great writer to overcome it-- can't immediately think of one who does it well--maybe Salman Rushdie?...Maybe. I'm rusty on this issue. People love David Foster Wallace for it, but I think it pretty much fails in Infinite Jest. Pike mentioned Bakhtin in a blog recently, and I love the way he teases dialogue and the multiplicity of differing voices, and the "carnivalesque" from a variety of texts.

The second observation, of the Reader cover: Masters's "Spoon River Anthology" comes to mind as an example--easy way out, narrating/eulogizing through the language of headstones--though I still like it!

Haven't read Kingsolver, but can relate to this in Faulkner, though I still appreciate him.

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Visduh Oct. 23, 2009 @ 9:34 a.m.

Wow. These pieces of commentary can surely range far and wide. The comments started out wondering just why the cover story was a bunch of old stories, blogs and comments. By posting number nine, there is mention of Salman Rushdie (How many of you ever read HIM, or even remember the source of his notariety?), David Foster Wallace, Kingslolver and Faulkner. Talk about discursive!

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antigeekess Oct. 23, 2009 @ 10:01 p.m.

I kinda diggit. I read the ones that looked interesting up through part of Hillcrest. I thought it was kinda sad that the stuff I liked didn't get any comments.

Really unfair, considering some of the crap on this site that has generated hundreds of them. These folks deserved some of that attention for their talent and efforts. I'm trying to make mental notes on who they are, to keep them in mind if/when anything new from them goes up.

Oh yes, and SD, I agree including a comment from the troll Burwell IS pretty unforgivable.

:/

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 2:33 a.m.

Visduh marveled: "Talk about discursive!"

Yah, let's totally like, discourse, dude! And everybody remembers at least "Salmon" Rushdie, from that episode of Seinfeld ;)

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Visduh Oct. 26, 2009 @ 7:19 p.m.

SD, like you never made a minor spelling error in your life. I know nothing about Seinfeld. I remember Rushdie in a totally different context. Do you? If so, what is it?

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SDaniels Oct. 26, 2009 @ 8:59 p.m.

"SD, like you never made a minor spelling error in your life. "

Vis--huh? Not sure what you're referencing--we must have some kind of static noise in the channel. I am occasionally stereotyped as someone who picks on others' grammar, maybe because of the way I write, but actually do not do this, unless it is an ongoing joke among friends (such as about the semicolon).

Reasons: It is boring and trite to point out errors, don't do it unless paid, make errors myself, and finally, prefer to pay attention rather to the substance of your post--as I hope you would mine. Hope that subject is done, and misunderstanding past--rather you call me a US Hater than a grammar picker upon-er ;)

As for Rushdie, I mentioned him above and above; the "Salmon" comes from the Seinfeld episode where Kramer thinks Rushdie's first name is the same as the fish. Hence, an episode packed with fishy puns--and an actual appearance from Rushdie while still under the fatwah. The original reference to Rushdie, in convo with refried further above was to his novel's use of multiple voices and characters. We were discussing texts that try to employ different voices, but fail to distinguish them sufficiently to justify them. Midnight's Children is one such Rushdie novel I was thinking of. Read it? Wicked good.

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