City Heights Stories

Sunday chow

Out of the rain in City Heights, scarfing two rambunctious tacos

"Sorry about your leader.” “Thank you. But it’s been a long time. Thirty years since I left.” Raul’s from Cuba. I want to ask what he feels about Fidel. But conversation drifts. We happen to ...

City Heights planners displeased with bikeway plans

"It's for Hillcrest and SDSU, and we're just a corridor."

At a planning-group meeting Monday night (December 5), City Heights residents gave mixed reviews of the city's revised plans for a stretch of El Cajon Boulevard. Several City Heights Area Planning Committee members blasted the ...

A budget-friendly burger in San Diego that’s good

Greek Canada beats Ronald McDonald

When we put together a special burger issue a couple of months ago, it gave me a chance to revisit a few old favorites. It also forced me to realize that the price of hamburgers ...

Feet, not commercials or mail, decide the vote

"I hear a lot of people saying, 'Oh, my vote don't count.'"

Saturday, October 8, served as the one-month marker before next month's general election. Precinct walkers — wooing for candidates and favored propositions — will begin to pound the pavement in earnest. But for one group ...

Jake Loban — from punk to Americana

Loban splits his time between North County and Nashville and will play Soda Bar on Tuesday, October 11

The first show Jake Loban played as an Americana artist? A dive bar in El Cajon. “There were more prostitutes outside than people inside,” Loban says. A few years later, in February 2016, Loban played ...

Fifty most dangerous intersections for pedestrians

8000 pedestrians injured, 270 killed within 15-year span

If you're crossing the street at an intersection on University Avenue, watch out! Because 11 of the city's most dangerous intersections for pedestrians are on University in the five or so miles between Fourth Avenue ...

Cosmonauts launch A-Ok!

Orange County indie act hits the Hideout Monday night

As a recording unit, Cosmonauts are so tied in to pop culture’s past that they sound like many eras and genres all at once. The dudes can shift around from jam-band stuff not unlike demos ...

No thanks to heaven for 7-Eleven beer and wine sales

"We do not want another liquor store in our community."

A City Heights planning group meeting ended loudly and abruptly Wednesday night (September 7) when the group chairman substitute could not control an angry crowd and shut down the meeting. A member of the mayor's ...

Work begins on City Heights skate park

After nearly ten years of hoops-jumping and opposition

Construction in Park de la Cruz in City Heights, a neighborhood starved for parks, finally began last week after years of wrangling over the disorganized area south of Cherokee Point Elementary School, west of I-15. ...

Throw Rag throw-down

Salton Sea's desert-rock quartet back together for a few...

San Diego rocker/promoter Davit Buck has regrouped his Homeless Sexuals to join locals the Downs Family, the Screamin’ Yeehaws, and one of his favorite area bands, the veteran Salton Sea desert rockers Throw Rag, at ...

Screws put to City Heights market's booze permit

"There was no error! Absolutely no error!”

On July 20, a public hearing was held to decide the fate of My Market’s (4111 Home Avenue) Type 21 liquor license, which permits the sale of beer, wine, and distilled spirits for offsite consumption. ...

Sidewalk construction in memory of teen

"It's a shame it takes a life to get things done here."

Nine months after 15-year-old Jonathan Cortez was killed on 54th Street south of University Avenue in a hit-and-run crash, city workers are installing new sidewalk and marking bike lanes on the east side of the ...

"Black Lives Matter is under attack"

Movement sympathizers march in City Heights

Hundreds of protesters representing a coalition of groups sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement rallied in City Heights on Friday night (July 15) before embarking on a march through the neighborhood that resulted in ...

City Heights needs a mural, not a wrecking ball

Some paint won't hurt 1919 "Sally Wong" building while its fate is decided

"The most activity the Sally Wong building has seen in the last decade was when a car crashed through a wall last year,” said Brian Myers. “I've lived in City Heights since 2007 and I ...

In the flow with Sonny & the Sunsets

"Yeah, it would be fun to live in San Diego like those two…"

When not writing, singing, sharing one-act plays or investigating psychic phenomena (see below), Sonny Smith from Sonny & the Sunsets stumps for his new album Moods Baby Moods. The band hits Soda Bar on the ...

Skate park in City Heights still not open

A year behind schedule and a lawsuit on the way

City Heights was supposed to have a skate park by now. While construction of one free-to-use municipal skate park is now nearing completion and another is slated to open in 2017, District 9 councilwoman Marti ...

City Heights alley activated

"If we can reclaim them it creates a ripple effect through the neighborhood."

City Heights residents worked to take back the alley behind the Humble Heart Thrift Store on El Cajon Boulevard last weekend, transforming a space crammed with junk and hidden behind barred gates into the beginnings ...

How to ride a bike in City Heights

With lights and the flow of traffic, for starters

About a dozen City Heights kids and parents took a class in safe bicycling on Saturday (May 14) that included a ride through the streets. They were extra-safe on this ride, with the president of ...

It's hard to be Yuck

Indie-rock Londoners leave the past behind...but not totally

Yuck is an indie-rock band from London lead by singer/guitarist Max Bloom. Yuck is a band trying to escape their past while not being ashamed of it. Yuck is a band that lives off their ...

Excessive police force in pursuit of Cheetos bandit?

"What would happen if we were in La Jolla?"

A pair of religious leaders and community organizers stood in front of a gas station Thursday evening (March 31) to protest what they say was an excessive police reaction to a failed petty-theft attempt that ...

Landis Street Bike Lane plans for the future

"It's a good project," but no rave reviews for SD Assoc. of Governments

No one responded to more than 1600 flyers hung on doors near the Landis Street Bike Lane project that announced a community meeting on March 9. In preparing for the meeting, a contractor hired by ...

Big-hill bikeway into Mission Valley

After five years in planning phase, construction begins

Construction began Tuesday (March 1) on a bikeway to run from Adams Avenue to Camino del Rio South next to the I-15, and a phalanx of wonks, elected and agency officials, planners, supporters, and neighborhood ...

The ultimate hangover cure

Beef pho, 24 ways

I don’t often suffer from hangovers — as a pro, I know how to pace myself. But every once in a while a night gets away from me, and I imbibe more booze than water, ...

The bars of El Cajon Boulevard: 15 through 56th

Shots are a dollar when an ambulance drives by

Maybe it’s the walk toward the little yellow bar near the corner of 50th Street and El Cajon Boulevard that skeeves a person out. Eyes are fixed to the ground to avoid stepping on an ...

The Bars of El Cajon Boulevard: 805 to 15

They sure do cuss American

Most of my experience drinking on this section of the Boulevard has taken place in rock clubs. I suppose Soda Bar (3615 ECB) qualifies as a dive because it’s dark and loud, with old arcade ...

That's the Marti Emerald we like to see

Following report, apartment repairs promised for City Heights tenant

It seems relief is on the way for Maria Villanueva. The single mother from City Heights has been at the center of recent protests by residents who've heard their pleas for home repairs fall on ...

City Heights slumlord on notice

Group marches to derelict apartment house, no response from manager

Anti-slumlord protesters organized by the San Diego Socialist Campaign and city-council-hopeful Sandra Galindo were back on the streets of City Heights Monday evening (September 21), following through on what they'd planned a month earlier — ...

San Diego slumlords on notice

Socialist group cites leaky roofs, roach and vermin infestations

About two dozen activists from the San Diego Socialist Campaign, including their 2016 city-council candidate, gathered Saturday afternoon, August 22, in City Heights to protest what they say are intolerable living conditions created by landlords. ...

E-tagger vandalizes e-proposal for City Heights neighborhood sign

Resident: "This is why we can't have nice things."

City authorities thought they had seen the last of the KRE8 tag, at least for the next few months. After all, 19-year-old Francisco Canseco, the man behind the ubiquitous spraypainted moniker, was sentenced to 180 ...

Kentucky chicken Somali-style

Sweet mishmash

“We do have what’s called ‘breakfast,’ for eating in the evening after prayers, breaking the fast.”

A pimp stands between a prostitute and Jesus

Membership: 250 Pastor: Stephen Phelan Age: 40 Born: Montgomery, AL Formation: University of Virginia & University of Virginia Law School, Charlottesville, VA; Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL. Years Ordained: 10 SDR: Why did you become ...

Water-leak warfare

Property owner contests readings from digital water meter

On February 14, 2015, the City of San Diego installed a new digital water meter at a University Avenue property belonging to Edwin Widjojo. The installation took place in the middle of a bill period, ...

G Burns: the screaming red Ferrari of jug bands

Local folkies will take you waaaaaaay back at the Black Cat

“Jug band — the term refers to a specific style of music and a specific historical period,” Clinton Davis tells the Reader. “And most of those bands were in the 1930s and ’40s, and they ...

Crosswalk happy all over town

Council tweaks formula to provide more pedestrian safety

A long-sought pedestrian crossing outside Mary Lanyon Fay Elementary School was completed last week, two weeks after the city council voted to update the crosswalk policy set in 1990. The new crosswalk at the school ...

Muslim swim

Fancy indoor pool at City Heights YMCA was a problem for a second

Sahra Abdi and a group of Muslim women swam in the 60-year-old pool at the Copley Y at 41st and Landis for several years. It had high tiled-concrete walls and tiny windows above the 25-yard, ...

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign — exactly!

City Heights resident spearheads effort for entryway arch

Kenton Finkbeiner wants City Heights to have a sign like other San Diego neighborhoods, including Hillcrest, Kensington, and North Park, to name a few. The City Heights resident — the project’s leader under a cooperative ...

Hock and roll

Treasure troves of used gear

A songwriter looking for material could do worse than to work in a pawn shop. Moris Adato, the general manager of CashCo pawn shop in City Heights, hears the type of stories that make for ...

Dog towns

Ward Canyon park would serve several neighborhoods

The Normal Heights Community Association is leading a new effort to bring a bona fide dog park to mid-city. The group is set to launch a public relations campaign in hopes of convincing elected officials ...

Civil obedience marks the march

"Police brutality" protest held on MLK Day

Protesters packed a park in City Heights on Sunday, January 18, to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day — away from the traditional downtown parade. Instead, the protesters, speaking out against police brutality, marched from ...

We like sweet things

Ed finds many forms of sustenance among Somali vendors.

Oh, man. What’s up? When a place you’ve been going to every now and then for years turns up in world headlines, you sit up with a jerk. When the news hit that a San ...

Fast-food workers vs. fat cats

"Jerry Sanders and the chamber of commerce is at war with the working poor."

Fast-food workers and their supporters took to the streets again on Thursday, September 4, in the latest round of one-day strikes in the "Fight for 15" campaign for a $15 minimum hourly wage. Before the ...

The last word in cheap eats

First up, I’m not an early-morning guy. But on this perfect food day, you’ve got to start at the crack of dawn. Because that’s when the dja kwai are at their freshest at Trieu Chau ...

Waste not since ’72

City checks on City Farmers’ recycling practices.

“When you’re running a small business and you get this stuff in the mail, you go, like, ‘Oh, crap.’” That was the initial reaction of Bill Tall in June when he received a letter from ...

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 ...

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