City Heights Stories

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

What the pho, San Diego?

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 ...

Tale of Two Corners

“There’s no reason our neighborhood can’t look like Hillcrest or North Park,” says Fox Canyon Neighborhood Association president José Lopez. During the association’s monthly meeting on July 13, some of the members voiced their desire ...

Census

In the spirit of this census year, we offer this unofficial, informal, and unscientific census of daily life in San Diego. (No census workers were lynched or faked their own lynchings while gathering the following ...

I don't know where I live

I don’t know where I live. I may know my street address; my city; my zip code, the color of my house and its location relative to the other houses on my block. I don’t ...

I do love him, but I won't say it

The pleasures of an arranged marriage.

Afra Khan, a grad student who recently emigrated from Hyderabad, India, wears jeans and a long-sleeved gray T-shirt that says SDSU across the front. Before I spend an afternoon with her in a tiny two-bedroom ...

Africans, Asians, Hispanics...and Hipsters: Changes in City Heights

A safe haven for war refugees and other displaced persons.

From the Killing Fields to the Noodle House When Mark Lau was ten years old, he couldn’t add one plus one. On the day he began the fourth grade at Adams Elementary School in City ...

Here's the Deal: Tower Bar

Tower Bar’s namesake tower in City Heights is visible from blocks away, jutting skyward between Vietnamese Laundromats and Ethiopian restaurants like a cartoon monument to a forgotten Aztec deity. The place is almost at maximum ...

Winter Was the Worst

University Avenue's last unpaved alley recently joined the 21st Century. For more than 80 years, two sections of an alley in the 3900 block between 33rd and Wabash Streets remained unimproved and unpaved until late ...

Pork-Neck Soup

You never know what you’re eating. Not really. That’s my thought as I dunk my congee/cruller/dja kwai/you tiao/Chinese fried breadstick into my Cambodian/ French coffee (the kind with sweetened condensed milk at the bottom). The ...

Day of the Dragon

On Sunday, February 14, the tranquility of my afternoon was interrupted by the sound of drums coming from 47th Street and El Cajon Boulevard. I followed the sounds of the drums to Minh Hoa Supermarket ...

I Never Thought I'd Become a Welfare Queen

Poverty does not become me. I’m sure it doesn’t become anyone, but it really doesn’t become me. I was supposed to be somebody by now, and by that I mean somebody other than this woman ...

Thanks, Grinch

About a hundred families at the Hollywood Palms Apartment Complex on Home Avenue may have a dismal Christmas thanks to a real-life Grinch who broke into a storage area at the complex sometime this week ...

Wrong Time

San Diego police took a 17-year-old documented East San Diego gang member into custody on a curfew violation Tuesday, November 10, at about 11:30 p.m. after a disturbance in the 4200 block of 46th Street. ...

Another Perfect Day

Snapshots of all sides of our neighborhoods.

BALBOA PARK Another Perfect DayBy downtownphotoguy, June 26Today 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 ...

Psych!

A patient who reportedly escaped from a nearby psychiatric facility was successfully apprehended by San Diego police officers late Sunday night, September 27. Police dispatchers first reported that the patient was sighted on the 4000 ...

Diverted

On Friday, September 25, the San Diego Police Department conducted a curfew sweep in the Mid-City area. Forty-three juveniles under the age of 18 who violated the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew were picked ...

Two Capers

According to police radio, San Diego police were dispatched to Polk Street and Marlborough Avenue at about 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16, in connection with a fight involving about 20 people. A police dispatcher ...

Tower Bar Beat-Down

Nearly two weeks after being attacked by a group of men loitering near the Tower Bar at around 1:50 a.m., the victim who sustained the worst injuries said he’s recovering, and the suspect accused of ...

New Life Church

Add Michael and Michele Kole to the list of pastors — The Rock’s Miles McPherson, New Venture’s Shawn Mitchell, et al. — to come out of Horizon Christian Fellowship. “Horizon is a great church,” said ...

Realism Is Overrated

Author: Elizabeth Salaam Neighborhood: City Heights Age: 35 Occupation: Writer/program coordinator My husband and I rent a condo in City Heights. We have 812 square feet, two bedrooms, and a bath and a half to ...

Lend Emerald Your E.A.R.

Councilmember Carl DeMaio isn’t the only budget watchdog in town. On Thursday, April 30, District 7 representative Marti Emerald issued a memo to Budget Review Committee chair Tony Young that listed a few of her ...

Julio’s Gone, Not Forgotten

All that remains of Julio’s Mexican Restaurant is the tall sign at the corner of University Avenue and 45th Street. Julio Arreola and his brother Olimpio ran the restaurant for 35 years before they lost ...

Where's DeMaio?

On February 21 at 9:00 a.m., residents of City Heights and surrounding areas filed into Hoover High School’s dimly lit auditorium on El Cajon Boulevard. They were there for the San Diego City Council Budget ...

Claiming City Heights

Author: Elizabeth Salaam Neighborhood: City Heights Age: 35 Occupation: Writer/program coordinator I was training for a marathon when I found out I was pregnant. Back then, even my short runs were long enough to take ...

They’ve Taken the Dive Out of Dive Bars

And put in...romance?

“No matter what happens,” Chris Heaney declares with a grin, “no matter if the economy’s good or bad, you’ve got to drink.” He stands behind the bar at Club Kadan, the Adams Avenue bar he ...

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