Del Mar Stories

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 ...

All That's Left

Lots of expensive land.

Israel and Lebanon were at war. England and Argentina were at war. In Hollywood, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were formed. Navy beat Army 24-7, the Chargers beat the Dolphins 41-38 to make it to ...

Beauty Queen Vanishes!

Dear Matt: Whatever happened to the "Fairest of the Fair" at the San Diego County Fair or Del Mar Fair? -- Bob, via e-mail Hey, you're right. Haven't seen her around lately, but never missed ...

Fair Pay?

Insiders say two Del Mar Fair Grandstand headliners this year will get paid a lot more to play the venue than what they would otherwise get for a local show. Switchfoot, which would normally command ...

Build a Swamp

Matt: The wetlands intersected by I-5 just south of Via de la Valle, looks like a major construction project is underway. Isn't that environmentally protected real estate? -- Keith W. Turner, Encinitas Hey, Matt: Settle ...

Where's the Party?

"If it loses money, I'm prepared to do it again," said Chris Wepsic in 2005 when he launched the first Festival Del Mar. Wepsic produced and bore primary financial responsibility for the two-day event at ...

Around Town New Year's Day

O n the first day of the year, the roads are empty and most televisions are tuned to the Rose Parade -- some for the flowers, others in anticipation of the Rose Bowl (USC against ...

Mule Racing Part II

Continuing with Don Jacklin, president of the American Mule Racing Association. He is, by the way, the Jacklin of Jacklin Seed, "one of the world's largest national and international grass-seed research, production, and marketing organizations." ...

Field of Screens

Drive-in theaters arose from swamps.

The first drive-in theater I snuck into in San Diego was also the first one built here, the Midway, on the northwest corner of Mission Bay Drive and Sports Arena Boulevard. It was December 1979, ...

Circumnavigate Del Mar on foot via beach and pine-dotted canyons.

Combining beach, lagoon, crest, and canyon, this looping hike touches upon every natural landscape the community of greater Del Mar (the west-of-Interstate-5 part, anyway) has to offer. On a typical early-summer day, with a tepid ...

Thong on Fire

Mary Jo and her friends Jackie, Mary Ellen, and Kelly decided to form an organization that "fights frump," an anti-Red Hat Society. A friend once told Mary Jo, "We don't see you wearing a red ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago BABY: Let's live once more in velvet and winding staircases. We'll get our diamonds somehow. Tequilla.... P.S. Not you, Tony. RETIRED CHIEF executive of international banking cartel, bored with women and yachting, ...

Big Cheese, Good Times

When the time came for Randy Gruber to name his first restaurant, a corner eatery on Del Mar's main drag, he chose Americana because "the name rolls off your tongue and it works well for ...

Del Mar’s traffic-stopper in Speedos

Exit Interstate 5 at Del Mar Heights Road and head west. Cross Mango and go down the hill toward the heart of Del Mar. Take in one of the most beautiful stretches of scenery anywhere. ...

Best of 2003: Best Caffeinated Literary Evening

Esmeralda Bookstore 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar Plaza 858-755-2707 Small, but with an amazingly diverse collection, Esmeralda serves coffee and munchies at cafŽ tables and chairs inside and out on the patio. At the ...

Best of 2003: Best Quality Supermarkets North Of I-8

Harvest Ranch Markets and Jonathan's Harvest Ranch Market, 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 858-847-0555 Harvest Ranch Market, 162 South Rancho Santa Fe Road, Encinitas, 760-944-6898 Jonathan's, 7611 Fay Avenue, La Jolla, 858-459-2677 Harvest Ranch ...

Best of 2003: Best Place To Take Your Boss To Breakfast

Arterra Marriott Del Mar Hotel 11966 El Camino Real, Del Mar 858-369-6032, 858-523-1700 What better "power breakfast" than tangerine soufflé hotcakes, the paragon of pancakedom -- light, sweet, and pungent all at once. The ethereal ...

Best of 2003: Best "Everything Old Is New Again" Food Trend

"Grazing" Some menus call them "small plates" or "global tapas." Others come right out of the closet and admit what they are: grazing menus -- collections of artfully constructed, smaller-size dishes (sized as large appetizers ...

Bury Me Near the 15th Tee

A wealthy San Diego developer wants to construct what appears to be a first in American history: a private family cemetery on a public golf course, specifically designed as the final resting place for a ...

Scandal Bridge

The three lanes of Torrey Pines Road between the state reserve of the same name and Del Mar crown a half-mile sand berm separating the Pacific Ocean to the west and Los Peñasquitos lagoon to ...

Best of 2001: Best Industrial Conversion

Del Mar Powerhouse, Powerhouse Park 1658 Coast Boulevard, Del Mar Back in the 1930s it provided steam and hot water for the horsey crowd at the Del Mar Hotel. Then, when the hotel went, the ...

Best of 2001: Best Kids' Furniture

Dream Kids Flower Hill Mall 2710 Via De la Valle, Del Mar 858-755-8552 The imagined bedroom constructs of childhood find incarnation on the showroom floor: a bunkbed system shaped (and painted) as a cottage garden ...

No Place for a Beer Party

A proposal to impose a 24-hour alcohol ban on San Diego beaches hit a temporary snag on January 24 when the city's Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee postponed action until early April. Although the ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To Find Guests For "The Jerry Springer Show"

The Del Mar Fair Try the Fun Zone at the Del Mar Fair after 10:00 p.m. No shortage here of delinquent brats hopped up on God- knows-what seeking out dangerous cheap thrills, wearing T-shirts that ...

Best of 2000: Best Place To Fall Off The Weight Watchers Wagon

Del Mar Fair Tired of calculating points? Tired of counting out 41 nonfat pretzel sticks for an afternoon snack? Tired of measuring every pitiful bite of food in the hopes of losing half a pound? ...

Best of 2000: Best Crab Cakes

Ruth's Chris Steak House 11582 El Camino Real, Del Mar (858) 755-1454 The way to judge a good crab cake is to break it with your fork and see whether 95 percent of it is ...

Best of 2000: Best Date For Revealing The Artist Within

Ceramic Café Grossmont Center 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa (619) 466-4800 Del Mar Highlands Town Center 12925 El Camino Real, Del Mar (858) 259-9958 Show her that you can produce more than hot air ...

Best of 2000: Best Delivered Organic Food

Seabreeze Organic Farm 3909 Arroyo Sorrento Road, Carmel Valley (858) 481-0209 Also at Farmer's Markets in O.B., Encinitas, Del Mar, Hillcrest You stand at the supermarket veggie display. It looks too good to be true. ...

Best of 2000: Best Pasta And Fruit Tarts

Cafe Pasta Pronto 117 West Plaza, Solana Beach (858) 481-0634 2673 Via De La Valle, Del Mar (858) 481-6017 Owners and proprietors John and Paula Freatas opened the first Pasta Pronto on Via De La ...

Best of 2000: Best Italian Seafood

Osteria del Pescatore 1201 Camino del Mar, Del Mar (858) 509-9293 The owner, Giorgio, spent a year in Italy studying seafood preparation. The menu offers antipasti, soup, risotto dishes, 9 salads, 15 varieties of pasta, ...

Best of 2000: Best Hotel Desserts

The Dining Room at L'Auberge Del Mar 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar (858) 259-1515 Unless you're staying at the hotel, you don't feel comfortable walking in and ordering dessert only. One hotel that not ...

Best of 2000: Best Place For An Ocean Swim

Del Mar or La Jolla Shores Del Mar boasts no drownings in 20 years but has bigger surf. La Jolla Shores has a rocky point, Point La Jolla, that protects the beach, but not so ...

Just Say Nay

San Diegans flock to the Del Mar racetrack each summer, making it the most successful racing plant in the land, in terms of attendance. For nonregular racegoers, Del Mar is a another excuse for a ...

Explore obscure Crest Canyon, a buffer of open-space on the east edge of Del Mar.

Crest Canyon, an open-space park within the city limits of San Diego, helps insulate woodsy Del Mar from the upscale, bustling sprawl of Carmel Valley to the east. The canyon, rather like a shallow bowl ...

Riders of the Del Mar Sage

I thought they were a myth. I didn't know wild horses, or mustangs, even existed. Turns out, 38,000 of them roam the open ranges of the 11 western states. What's more, you can buy a ...

A Mystifying Murder And the Del Mar Doc

'I was hoping it would stay away from San Diego," she said, compressing her meaty lips and furrowing her broad fore-head. She had not expected Californian curiosity to find her here, crammed with other unhappy ...

The extension area of Torrey Pines State Reserve at Del Mar offers narrow, seldom-trodden pathways.

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

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