City Heights Stories

Evil submarines

Thousand-year-old eggs don’t exactly say “Eat me”

Determined to tackle something more adventurous, I find my answer in Vietnamese porridge.

Little Saigon's alternative to burger-and-fries

Bánh mì and egg rolls, and more egg rolls

As of last summer, the stretch of El Cajon Blvd. between Highland Avenue and Euclid is officially known as Little Saigon. Unofficially, it's long been known as the best place to go in search of ...

Music’s mad scientists

“The San Diego Experimental Guitar Show started out as an event that included all of my noise-artist friends,” says host Sam Lopez in anticipation of the event’s fifth annual incarnation at the Soda Bar on ...

Larb at first sight

Ed eats another salad, this time with beef bile and fermented fish

You don't think of "Asian" and "salad" in the same breath. But here I am up in the wilds of 47th street, heading behind a garage/tire shop. Looking for a low building with the sun-faded ...

Record-release roundup

The new year is kicking off with a herd of earworms, including the debut full-length from jazz-funk dancehall drifters Mafard, whose first single, “Finger Lickin’ Chicken Pickin’ Mexican,” has been stirring the controversy pot. An ...

Not really church music

“The number could be off by a few in either direction, but I think it’s been around 520.” Carey Driscoll says he’s lost count of the number of shows he has produced over ten years ...

Scary Stuff with TV Ghost

Here’s another late-breaking young-band-on-the-rise alert: TV Ghost. I can say this even though they started in 2006 because each of their albums has sounded a little different. They grew up as musicians in the garage-punk ...

There’s no feeling equal to tagging

Eliminating graffiti from the ’hood feels good as well.

How some graffiti vandals became graffiti artists, thanks in part to City Heights’ Writerz Blok art park.

Hang a flag for rock and roll

El Cajon Business District to honor San Diego musicians with its new banner project. Beryl Forman marketing manager for the district, says she’s had no trouble getting local musicians involved.

Friday Night Lights Out

Dark times for high school ball

Ongoing conflict between San Diego Unified School District and residents next to Hoover High School: stadium lights were installed with bond money and no environmental impact report. A judge ruled that the lights should remain off for now. Nevertheless, the district plans to install stadium lights at Crawford and Point Loma high schools, as well as Kearny, La Jolla, Lincoln, Mira Mesa, Mission Bay, San Diego, and Scripps Ranch.

Where beer is liver

Ed gets some goat and the requisite banana in Little Mogadishu’s Fatuma Restaurant.

“We have the sweetest bananas in the world growing in Somalia. We Somalis have a sweet tooth.”

The Avengers of rock and roll: meet the Split Squad

"Josh Kantor." Michael Giblin, the Parallax Project bassist, checks in with the Reader to talk about his side project, a band called the Split Squad that includes Eddie Munoz (Plimsouls), Clem Burke (Blondie) and Keith ...

Looking for camel for dinner

Ed has to settle for goat...and banana

Suqar, beer, ukun for breakfast? That's the choices here at Fatuma, the Somali place up in Little Mogadishu, in City Heights. Guy behind the counter says “suqar” is ground beef, “beer” is liver, and “ukun” ...

Green vinyl

Tower Bar owner Mick Rossler chooses the Lumps as the first band on his Tower Bar Records label.

Beautifully rinky-dink

Ed snags a free beer, gobbles among gobblers at Nate’s Garden Grill, on the same property as Bill Tall’s City Farmers Nursery

Void evolution

A history of the clubs that have inhabited 3519 El Cajon Boulevard since 2001 (Little Equity, Zombie Lounge, Silver Dragon).

New skate park for City Heights Community Center

Mayor Filner promises and helps deliver funding

Bobby Chocolate pulls up his socks and waits for his friend Jimi to complete his ride down the rail in the skate corridor of the City Heights Community Center walk next to Rosa Parks Field. ...

Gun grab

This year’s run on guns

The empty shelves inside the Chula Vista Gun Store (in mid-February) make it hard to tell the place sells guns at all. Last December, the amplification of the gun-control debate sent buyers rushing to this ...

A vist to Kael’s Library

“Everyone should be able to read”

On an early morning walk to the bus stop on University Avenue, I happened to notice a green box attached to the fence. In the alleyway on Polk Avenue, between Wilson and 36th, I found ...

What's in them sambusas?

Selling East African cuisine isn’t easy

Hasno Ali, 46-year-old owner of East African Cuisine, has to struggle to make money at San Diego’s farmers’ markets.

Behind the vinyl curtain at El Uno Bar

If you’re not ready for Tijuana, try El Uno Bar in City Heights.

San Diego Restaurants to Try at Least Once

Even if it weren’t my job to go out and look for new places to eat, I still wouldn’t be able to eat the same thing over and over again. I rarely visit any place ...

Sweet, Salty, Sticky

Always order the fish sauce chicken wings at Que Huong.

A buck for Buck

Homeless Sexuals frontman Davit Buck promotes Dollar Shows at at the Soda Bar.

Flavors Like Life

Try your luck at the Thai-Lao-Chinese-Vietnamese 777 Noodle House in City Heights.

Dad, What If I Love What I Do and Want to Keep Doing It?

City Farmers proprietor Bill Tall didn’t want to do anything other than raise and nurture plants and animals within San Diego’s city limits. So he did, and has done, for 40 years so far.

City Drains Owners’ Wallets

In March 2005, Darnell Johnson bought a one-bedroom condominium on a quiet, dead-end street in City Heights. He never imagined he’d be forced to fork out $50,000 to keep his home from falling into the ...

Sonic Extravaganza at the San Diego Experimental Guitar Show

“A few years ago, there was talk in certain music publications about the death of the guitar,” says Sam Lopez, curator of the San Diego Experimental Guitar Show. “Notions were made that this archaic instrument ...

Watch Your Step in City Heights

Last Sunday, while jogging up Wightman Street through City Heights, I had to avoid five piles of dog crap, seven fecal smears, and one brown lumpy puddle — all on city sidewalks. These numbers do ...

Last Call

Boasting a weekend happy hour from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., Last Call’s slogan entreats you to “Go ugly early.” And while easily dismissed as another sketchy El Cajon Boulevard hole, Last Call proves to be ...

Please Upgrade the Tenants in City Heights Apartment Buildings

On a hot Friday evening in late August, Jennifer Bernal and Jamila DeCarli sit at the kitchen table in their 998-square-foot home on the rim of Fox Canyon in City Heights. Their two small dogs ...

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church

Membership: 400 Pastor: David Weber Age: 56 Born: Hampton, Iowa Formation: University of Laverne, Laverne; Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Years Ordained: 9 years San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach? ...

I Started From Empty

Big dreams for so many small-businessmen.

In a recent Vanity Fair article, Groupon founder Andrew Mason is described as “the type of guy who comes up with wild ideas that often have no beginning or end, and then lets them rip.” ...

City Heights, now East North Park

“I vowed long ago never to move east of route 805!” my friend C.C. admonished me when I told him I was looking for an apartment in an affordable area. My first choice was North ...

Tattoo Boo!

Say the name Lisa Fasulo in a San Diego tattoo shop and you may get blank stares from shop owners, employees, and hangers-around. Mention the Learning Channel’s one-hour reality-style television program about Fasulo’s tattoo school, ...

Stonemason at Work Between Talmadge and City Heights

Ukrainian-born stonemason Sam Kolivayko, 48, has spent the past two months building a series of stone pilasters at the junction of the City Heights and Talmadge, on the northeast corner of Fairmount and Meade avenues. ...

San Diego’s Redistricting Commission Meeting Held in City Heights

The seven members of San Diego‘s Redistricting Commission met on May 2 in City Heights. In 2008, City of San Diego voters approved Proposition D, which established a “strong mayor” form of government. Voters also ...

It's a Trap

After first hearing Interrobang’s set at O’Connell’s a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but suspect occult affiliations. The quartet sounded like Tortoise loosely covering Jobim tunes for a traveling freak and medicine show somewhere ...

A Rocky Neptun Mayoral Run Based on Nuclear Safety?

“What if you had just 15 minutes to evacuate, looking around your apartment or house, trying to quickly decide what you will take, how overwhelmed would you be, knowing you couldn’t return for 10,000 years?” ...

Copley YMCA Has Designs on Vacant Mid-City Lot

Three years after the last cars rolled out of the showroom at Pearson Ford in Mid-City, a plan to fill the empty lot, located at El Cajon Boulevard and Fairmont, has finally surfaced. On Wednesday, ...

City Heights Homeowner Clashes with Housing Commission on Lead Removal Issue

Michael Sprague, a City Heights homeowner, addressed the San Diego City Council on March 29 about his experience with the San Diego Housing Commission. Sprague, who served as chairman of the City Heights Area Planning ...

Home Childcare Program Trains Women in City Heights

Last month, 30 women graduated from the Home Childcare Program organized by Horn of Africa and the International Rescue Committee, two non-profit organizations in City Heights. The 27-hour program consists of 15 hours of state-mandated ...

Black Cat Bar

Built in 1927 as San Diego’s second Bank of America, the building at the corner of University and Van Dyke in City Heights changed over from Nancy’s Pub to Black Cat Bar last month. High ...

Fox Canyon Neighborhood Protests Governor’s Move to Eliminate Redevelopment Agencies

On Saturday, March 5, City Heights residents protested governor Jerry Brown’s plan to abolish redevelopment agencies. The rally, organized by the Fox Canyon Neighborhood Association, took place in Auburn Park, a site chosen for its ...

Soda Bar and Electric Guitars

Soda Bar opened in late 2008 at the former City Heights location of dubious dive Chasers. Set between a car lot and a Mexican herb shop on El Cajon Boulevard, the bar hosts local and ...

Pho Forager

It came to me four or five years ago as — surfacing to catch my breath — I looked up from a steaming bowl of pho: there were more non-Vietnamese patrons having lunch in this ...

Illegal Street Vending Crackdown in City Heights

At the sound of a dinging bicycle bell, the children at Lulu’s Montessori in City Heights run to the screen door overlooking Van Dyke Avenue and shout, “Bolis! Bolis!” For some of the tiny tots ...

City Heights Leader Lobbies for Safe Corner

José Lopez, president of the Fox Canyon Neighborhood Association in City Heights, started a letter-writing campaign to lobby city-council members to support a grant proposal that would address a problem corner at 50th Street and ...

City Heights Property Owner Seeks Answer on Mystery Pipe

Don Kvashay appeared before the San Diego City Council on September 28 to find answers on how to deal with an unidentified drainage pipe that falls inside his property line. Kvashay is the owner of ...

Radio Room Goes to Eleven

At the former City Heights site of Radio Room and Zombie Lounge, recently unveiled Eleven offers (mostly) free live music with a warm, locals’ bar atmosphere. The latest enterprise of Hamilton’s and Small Bar founders ...