Del Mar Stories

Where do they go when the races are over?

And where do they go — not after the gates spring open — but after the race is run, after all their races are run? After the society matrons’ $1000 hats are back in the ...

San Diego County Fair Worker Calls for Backup

Visiting the San Diego County Fair is always fun — an exception being Friday night, July 1, when my family and I were leaving the fairgrounds. As our van was parked up on Via de ...

Flower Hill Cineplex to Close, Whole Foods to Open

With the recently announced closing of UltraStar Cinemas' Flower Hill four-plex in Del Mar, North County residents between south Carlsbad and Carmel Valley will be without a multiplex movie theater. The Flower Hill theater will ...

Very Good Flavor Del Mar

Jason Maitland was the final chef at Arterra before the Marriott fired him and everybody else to remake the restaurant from scratch. (I haven’t been to the new incarnation and can’t say I’m eager: for ...

Turkado, I Say, at Board & Brew

Another rainy day: Del Mar is not its usual sunny self. I’ve been sheltering in their grand old library. Big ol’ house. What a gem. Now waiting just across Highway 101 — they call this ...

The Big Rich, Part Two

In last week’s cover story, we described how two of America’s richest and most powerful oil barons took a small La Jolla hotel called Del Charro and turned it into an unlikely base for their ...

Oil and Politics in La Jolla

How two Texas oilmen ran Del Mar and national politicians from a La Jolla hotel.

Hotel del Charro: PART ONE It was the vortex of a dark universe, hiding in plain sight. “At La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya), San Diego’s northern suburb,” the New York Times reported on January 17, ...

Del Mar Retains Legal Counsel for Fairgrounds Purchase

During a January 3 meeting, city councilmembers agreed to retain former city councilmember Crystal Crawford to provide legal counsel, on a pro-bono basis, in their efforts to purchase the Del Mar Fairgrounds from the State ...

Del Murky Mar

On December 27, 3375 gallons of sewage gushed into the Zanja Creek after crews from San Diego's Waste Water Department unblocked a clogged sewage pipe in San Diego's Fairbanks Ranch community. Crews were unable to ...

Why Wild Bill Wins at Addison

Yes, I know. When I reviewed Addison in December 2006, shortly after its opening, I swore, “I wouldn’t go back there if somebody paid me — and somebody does.” Service conformed to some vulgar idea ...

With Betfair I Can Bet on That Nag to Come Last

"Something has to change at the track. We need new energy. We need to excite new people, and this new betting system is going to do that,” says Carl Hilliard in a soft voice. He’s ...

Del Mar and Solana Beach Are Off to the Races

Solana Beach city councilmembers gathered in council chambers on Thanksgiving eve expecting to review the response from Del Mar councilmembers about their proposal for both cities to combine efforts and buy the Del Mar Fairgrounds ...

Neighbors for a Transit Solution Address Del Mar City Council About Train Platform

A group of residents named Neighbors for a Transit Solution appeared before the Del Mar City Council on October 18 to protest the possible construction of a multimillion-dollar train platform between 21st and 24th streets ...

North County Transit Confounded by Photo of Del Martians

Justin Fornelli, Chief Rail Engineer for the North County Transit District, appeared before the transit system's board of directors on October 19 at NCTD’s headquarters in Oceanside to report on the status of the temporary ...

North County Transit Meets with Del Mar Denizens over Temporary Train Stop

Several Del Mar residents and members of the press surrounded a table in Nancy Fisher's Del Mar living room. At the table sat the executive director for North County Transit Matt Tucker, chief rail engineer ...

Where the Surf Meets the Turf Meets the Train in Old Del Mar

"We need to get as many people as possible to attend meetings and write letters. We need to drive the City nuts to get them on our side. Wherever they want to put it is ...

San Dieguito Lagoon Trail

San Dieguito Lagoon’s new “Lagoon Trail” and boardwalk now stretches 1.4 miles between Jimmy Durante Boulevard and the Albertsons shopping center just south of Via de la Valle. The new segment of trail is yet ...

Not All Aboard

Twenty feet from the front door of a stone-fronted Del Mar home, just south of the San Dieguito River, sits a white-wooden structure that houses railroad utilities. The structure marks the spot where North County ...

Pay Up to Park

On July 12, the Del Mar City Council unanimously adopted a new ordinance to declare certain private property open to public parking and added a parking-meter zone on the 1400 block of Maiden Lane. The ...

172,396 Mini Donuts. Yum.

At this year’s San Diego County Fair, a business coup took place that went unnoticed by most fairgoers; but, it was the talk of longtime merchandise-booth owners in Bing Crosby Hall. For over 25 years, ...

Fair Flood

At the San Diego County Fair on July 1, just after 3:00 p.m., a freshwater main ruptured at the O’Brien Exhibit Hall, gushing hundreds of gallons onto the walkways and into nearby booths outside the ...

R.I.P. (or Don’t), M.J.

On the first anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, June 25, the San Diego County Fair celebrated the pop icon by hosting the “Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band,” Who’s Bad. By 7:00 p.m., the Paddock’s stage ...

Tapped Out

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department arrested three people in Encinitas, Del Mar, and Solana Beach for furnishing alcohol to persons under the age of 21 on March 26, according to the state department of ...

Tapas on Tokyo Time

An izakaya is the Japanese equivalent of a tapas bar or gastropub — a place where salarymen flock after work to snack on a variety of small dishes (or some big comforting ones) for a ...

Odds-on favorite

On Wednesday of this week, the State Race Track Leasing Commission was scheduled to approve a new request for proposals for a new lease of the Del Mar track. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the ...

P.L.A.G.U.E. Targets Caltrans

Members of North County volunteer action group P.L.A.G.U.E (Prevent Los Angeles Gridlock Usurping Environment) hopes to spread their objections to a three- to four-billion-dollar Caltrans proposal to broaden Interstate 5 by a total of 22 ...

Young and Thirsty

At about 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, an employee of the Albertsons supermarket on the 2700 block of Via de la Valle reported to police that a customer had pulled a knife on a ...

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 ...

The Golden Coast

The Lynnester has ways to make men talk. When Mark and I arrived to meet her at Iris, she was having a drink and pumping the charming manager, Edd Golden, younger brother of chef-owner Tommy ...

Rare Burgers? Rarely

Trekking in Nepal involved 25 grueling vegan days of rice, lentils, mustard greens, noodles, barley stew, and boiled potatoes (and one glorious night of smoky yak steak and real mashed potatoes from the best darned ...

All Aboard for the Fairgrounds

"This story isn’t about me!” Richard Eckfield, who’s been on a three-year crusade to get a train stop built at the Del Mar Racetrack, is adamant. “It’s a much larger issue.” But Eckfield’s relentless dedication, ...

John's Fair Maiden

It’s over, you know that. But it’s not. It’s never over. Year after year it comes back; and every goober, his brother, and his family will be there jamming traffic for miles on three freeways, ...

Crest Canyon Open Space

Crest Canyon, an open-space park within the city limits of San Diego, helps separate the woodsy City of Del Mar from the bustling sprawl of inland Del Mar and Carmel Valley to the east. The ...

Oh, Tempura, Oh, Morels!

I’ve got stripes, stripes around my shoulders, I’ve got chains, chains around my legs…— Johnny Cash (based on Leadbelly’s “On a Monday”) For months I’ve been meaning to eat at Kitchen 1540, formerly the more ...

Drop Zone

According to San Diego County assessor/clerk/recorder David L. Butler, the assessed value of all taxable property in the county has dropped to a 25-year low -- an overall decrease of 2.3 percent from the previous ...

They Film Among Us

On Tuesday, June 30, on the San Diego County Fair’s SDG&E Showcase Stage, the Jamul School of the Performing Arts began their 1:00 p.m. presentation for the crowd of about 150 fairgoers. The numerous choreographed ...

Unfair Fair?

The theme for this year’s Del Mar Fair is “Music Mania.” Chris Behar of reggae band High Tide thinks that’s false advertising. “The fair is supposed to be all about music this year. They are ...

Shy Sherri

District 1 Councilmember Sherri Lightner isn’t San Diego’s most outspoken city politician. Typically, her comments at council meetings are succinct, slightly awkward, and usually start off with a clumsy grab at the microphone. She’s not ...

St. Therese of Carmel

I was just thinking that this particular stretch of Del Mar Trails Road reminded me of some ancient Italian village (only with more yard space and much bigger houses), when a bend in the road ...

Del Mar Un-Fairgrounds

Richard Eckfield knows the perfect way to draw bigger crowds to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. He’s pitched the idea for over three years. The problem is, nobody at the fairgrounds is listening. Eckfield wants the ...

Shoring Up Slowing Contributions

Three years ago, Del Mar Unified School District decided to sell off a 5.3-acre parcel of surplus property located in the heart of the city, at Ninth Street and Camino del Mar, for $8.5 million. ...

Upside-Down? Go Short

In San Diego’s hemorrhaging real estate industry, it’s better to be upside-down and rich than upside-down and poor. That may sound axiomatic — it’s always nicer to be rich than poor — but carriage-trade folks ...

Monkee Business

Forty-two years ago today — September 11, 1966 — Del Mar was renamed “Clarksville” as part of a promotion for the Monkees’ TV show to debut the following night. The Sunday event marked the first ...

Marketing Del Mar

The Del Mar City Council wants to be marketable: more distinguishable from its coastal sister cities. They want a brand name and to have their own catchy slogan. In local government lingo, they want to ...

Pinback at Del Mar Fairgrounds

Pinback live at Del Mar Fairgrounds on Friday, August 1, 2008.

Thrashers

“I grew up on a farm in Cole Camp, Missouri. I enjoyed watching amateur rodeos, but my family wasn’t a rodeo family,” says professional bull rider Matt Bohon. “I’d see bareback riding, bucking horses, calf ...

Torrey Pines Extension

Familiar to most people around Del Mar but unknown to many outsiders, the Torrey Pines State Reserve Extension conceals itself amid the coastal bluffs inland from Del Mar and just north of the main Torrey ...

The Morning After Mess

The Fourth of July is about celebration. It's about honoring our country, our freedoms, while tossing a few back with family and friends — not on the beach of course — and watching the spectacular ...

Where the Pain Is

What’s the difference between National City and Rancho Santa Fe? Well — er, uh — money comes to mind. Last year, median household income in National City was $44,130, according to figures provided by the ...

Del Mar Racetrack, 1936

Bing Crosby (left, in the white jacket and straw hat) at the Del Mar Racetrack’s setting of a memorial stone, 1936. (The track opened the following year.) To the right of the hoist chain, the ...

High Horses

The racing season is long over at Del Mar, but 20 state legislators and their relatives no doubt have happy memories of the meet, thanks to the generosity of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. According ...