City Heights Stories

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

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

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 ...

Enero Zapatista Activist Benefit

City Heights pulsed with purpose on January 16, when the San Diego Free Skool, a local activist collective, threw a benefit for a struggling Tijuana nongovernmental organization. “CITTAC (El Centro de Información para Trabajadoras y ...

District Three Doppelgangers

The Hillcrest Town Council held a community forum on September 9, with District Three candidates Stephen Whitburn and Todd Gloria fielding questions from members of the community. The two candidates attempted to distinguish themselves and ...

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

“Do you know we go up to the altar today?” asked the friendly woman seated in front of me. “We go up and receive bread and wine. It’s up to you; we’re not going to ...

Last in Line for District Three

In April, Councilwoman Toni Atkins's office surveyed the communities in her district. She asked 132 residents of District 3 — an area including Hillcrest, South Park, North Park, Golden Hill, Kensington, and City Heights — ...

Farmers' Market Welcomes Food Stamps

Anyone that's ever been to a farmers' market knows perfectly well that fresh produce isn't cheap! People who shop at the nearly thirty fresh food bazaars spread across San Diego County think more with their ...

Gangland Ollie

I live above a liquor store in City Heights. The store’s sign stands out in the neighborhood, as it’s the only one in English. Across the street is a Vietnamese donut shop and a tortilleria. ...

Tacos Are a Tiny Taste of Temptation

Eat up, little burros

Fancy wimmen are okay, but there's nuttin' like the real thing: a nice warm adobada taco on a nice cold night beside a nice hot grill outside a friendly taco catering truck, with that marinated ...

Harbor Church Mid-City

“A church for Ken-Tal,” read the glossy cardboard flyer that arrived in my mailbox. The usual photos of lovely, multiethnic churchgoers were accompanied by the less usual word “skeptical.” Ah. Going for the affluent intellectual ...

Much Ado About Mutton

"Baa-becue, buddy, baa-becue. People flock to the joint. That's what I herd."

Mamacitas and Lobster

Super Cocina is the secret destination of San Diego gringos who love authentic home-style Mexican food. (It's no secret to local Latinos, of course.) If you're hoping to find something resembling the sophisticated Mexico City-style ...

City Heights Hell

On July15th, 1991, we moved into this house. After the last of the boxes had been delivered, we went to sleep with the windows open to let some air in on what had been one ...

History Now

'Bringing a picture of your dog and saying, 'This is my family dog,' is not much of a story," says San Diego Public Library representative Lynn Whitehouse. "But if you bring a picture of your ...

Park and Road Snag

In a surprise visit, San Diego District 7 councilman Jim Madaffer appeared at the City's December 1 Planning Commission meeting. Visits by councilmembers are "rare," writes Commissioner Carolyn Chase in the April San Diego Earth ...

Dingbat Eyesores, Loving Eye

On a recent Saturday afternoon, Phil Chart and his girlfriend Janice Morten went out to -- what else? -- sketch an old house. "What I like about San Diego is the variety of its neighborhoods," ...

Accosted by natty bicyclists in City Heights

A temple has been erected on the spot where I lived on Central Avenue. A small band of brown-robed Vietnamese monks purchased the lot from my landlord and turned the old bungalow into a Buddhist ...

Concrete Comeback

Walkers get more room.

WE REALLY HAVE, from a pedestrian's point of view, two kinds of places in San Diego," said Stephan Vance of the San Diego Association of Governments. "There's the older urban core that was built around ...

Best of 2003: Best Neighborhood Gossip

Mid-City Police Services Advisory Committee Meeting 4310 Landis Street, City Heights 619-531-2815 Just what was that Vietnamese fellow up to at that Cape Cod-style home in Talmadge? Drunks have been urinating outside which bar in ...

Best of 2003: Best Little-Known Asian Snack

A Chau 4644 El Cajon Boulevard, City Heights 619-281-4066 Faster and cheaper than a deluxe fast-food burger, lighter than the gourmet sandwiches concocted at Hillcrest's Bread & Cie, the crusty French rolls stuffed with chicken ...

Best of 2003: Best Customized Piñatas

Casa de la Piñata 4204 University Avenue, City Heights 619-281-7858 Star-shaped piñatas with a picture of a person in the middle are the most popular, but Patty can hand-build the piñata of your dreams. Give ...

Best of 2003: Best Bullet- Resistant Equipment

California Police Equipment Company 4151 El Cajon Boulevard, City Heights www.californiapoliceequipment.com 619-280-1199 The miracle of Kevlar means that over the last three or four years, cops, military personnel, and even journalists have been able to ...

Best of 2001: Best Asian Markets

Hing Long Oriental Food Market and Vinh Hung Hing Long Oriental Food Market 4644 El Cajon Boulevard, City Heights 619-280-2132 or 619-563-9986 Vinh Hung 4690 El Cajon Boulevard, City Heights 619-283-5442 For some San Diegans ...

Best of 2001: Best Place To Learn To Play Somali Cards And Dominoes

Restaurant Afrique 4990 University Avenue, City Heights 619-283-3838 Back in 1999, Abdiaziz Farah thought he was just opening a Somali restaurant, Afrique. But the opening revealed a desperate need in the growing Somali community for ...

Best of 2001: Best City Park

City Heights Urban Village 3795 Fairmount Avenue, City Heights 619-641-6125 It began seven years ago with a vague plan to build a police station on 43rd Street. But Price Club founder Sol Price is an ...

Hooky Raids

On the morning of June 7, at least 25 police officers, social workers, and prosecutors, accompanied by a horde of television and print reporters, rolled out of a police substation in one of the poorest ...

Class Warfare in City Heights

Julee Vaughan remembers the first installation of portable buildings at Central Elementary School during the 1960s, when she was a pupil there. That those temporary classrooms eventually became permanent reminds Vaughan that the San Diego ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To Learn Cambodian Chess

Trieu Chau Restaurant 4653 University Avenue, City Heights (619) 280-4204 This is the ritual: come around nine in the morning and sit in the back on the salmon-colored Formica benches, where all the Cambodians gather. ...

Could there be foxes in the canyon near the College Area or City Heights?

Dear Matt A: When I lived near a canyon in the College Area, there was often a very coarse howl, almost a growl coming from the canyon, often followed by a shrill whistle. Furthermore, it ...

These Guys Are the Pits

Gang members have a new weapon against the cops in City Heights. Pit bulls. According to police, the teenage own owners walk their dogs on long leashes down such main thoroughfares as University Avenue. It's ...