Hillcrest Stories

Returning to the Snooty Asian

Hillcrest bistro is a worthy project, despite still trying to find its footing

The Snooty Asian (3925 Fourth Avenue) showed a lot of promise during its soft opening period. Making it work in the cut-throat restaurant quarter of Hillcrest is no easy task, and Snooty has yet to ...

Raw and Chad Deity: When chaos demands a cameo

Ion Theatre’s current production, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity spoofs and critiques The WWE’s Monday Night Raw, the TV wrestling show with ratings through the roof. As the playwright points out, the WWE shamelessly ...

Ion Theatre stages The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

Jobber to the stars

The boss screams, “They’ll hate you,” which in pro wrestling is “the best news you can hear.”

MC Lars: Halloween post-punk laptop rap

The Merrow hosts a cosplay and Nerdcore extravaganza for All Hallows' Eve

Fresh off a UK tour with Wheatus and summer’s Warped Tour, MC Lars is bringing his tongue-in-cheek white-boy rhymes (he calls it “post-punk laptop rap”) to The Merrow (1271 University Avenue, Hillcrest) on Thursday, October ...

Dead air reigns in The Shining City

Conor McPherson’s The Shining City takes some amazing theatrical risks. No, wait, make that anti-theatrical. Imagine the exact opposite of a blockbuster movie: frantic cuts, pulse-drubbing pace, blaring sounds that belt you daffy. Shining City ...

Zane Zillner paints with scent

Hillcrest aromatherapist goes way beyond the idea of scented candles as he makes art for the sense of smell.

Painters blend and layer pigments to make their art. Musicians layer sound. Zane Zillner, working in his fantastic-smelling little office at Hapenstans Salon, layers smells. While he earns his living as a massage therapist, it’s ...

Turban Love

Turbans are making the rounds out and about in San Diego. The fashionable headpieces aren’t only for bad hair days. Fashionistas in SD are taking their cues from the likes of Joan Crawford and Carrie ...

Lisa Mendez: 21st-century zinester

Hillcrest artist has a DIY aesthetic and an eye for bringing things and ideas together.

To paraphrase a certain late-twentieth-century alt-rock one-hit-wonder, Lisa Mendez wants to publish zines and rage against machines. The second part of that is an assumption based on the artist’s punk rock style, but the part ...

Goodwill hunting for donations at new Hillcrest store

Formidable competition in this area of town

Goodwill Industries of San Diego has leased space previously occupied by Legends Home Furnishings, at 1219 University Avenue. While not open for business, the store is accepting donations at the back door from 8:30 a.m. ...

Lost dog hit by car in Hillcrest

Rescued by good samaritans

Hillcrest is a danger zone for any lost pet or stray. So, when my dog Ina ran away from home on August 11, I was consumed by worry. My roommate and I searched for her ...

Local Habit & Vagabond selling, Brabant coming

Two resto sales and a new, beery Belgian identity for one of them

Since opening two years ago, locavore lair Local Habit (3827 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest) has gained a reputation as one of San Diego’s beeriest eateries. That reputation came on the back of numerous meet-the-brewer dinners, pairing ...

Former Ruby Room reopens as The Merrow

Hillcrest art and music institution The Ruby Room recently reopened doors as nautical-themed lounge.

Toxic Fairy

Jenny, my wittiest sister, recently discovered a new app for her iPhone that has made group-texting with my sisters far more interesting. Though Heather and I benefit from the potentially endless supply of hilarity, the ...

Vermont Street bridge gets a paint job

Work to be completed by end of July

A makeover is under way for the Vermont Street bridge, which crosses Washington Street from University Heights to reach the Uptown shopping center in Hillcrest. The City of San Diego is overseeing the work, being ...

Hillcrest residents stay at home during termite tenting

Computer, carpets, 12-pack, facilitate “glamping”

Alicia and Robert, the owners of a single-family house on Lewis Street in Hillcrest, had heard of people wearing gas masks and robbing houses while they were being tented for termites. So, they decided to ...

Protest of Bradley Manning imprisonment in Hillcrest

“The guilty people are George Bush's administration”

About 70 loud, enthusiastic, chanting individuals, many blowing whistles, took over the four corners of Sixth and University avenues in Hillcrest on June 1. Mostly from the LGBT community and Occupy movement, they called on ...

Ombres and Mermaid Hair

Every summer, my daughter's hair turns green. No matter how much I spend on chlorine-fighting shampoo or how religiously I rinse her white-blonde tresses after swimming, it inevitably develops an aqua tint. I worry that ...

New Walgreens store rises on University Ave. in Hillcrest

Community leaders hope for a good neighbor

The long-planned, controversial Walgreens store in Hillcrest is well under construction at 301 University Avenue. The former vacant structure, last used for medical offices, was on the site located directly across University from Urban Mo's ...

Will Barton thought he was dead

Will Barton was walking home late one night in October 2012 when Philip Martin Hernandez, on a crime rampage with his young wife (Cindy Altamirano Garcia), shot him a few times and left him for dead. As he struggles to heal, health insurance companies create barriers.

Fender-bender on University Avenue

Parking meter the only casualty

Police and emergency personnel were called to the scene of an accident on Thursday, April 18, at approximately 4:50 p.m., after an elderly woman drove her car over the curb on the north side of ...

She Bangs

How women in San Diego wear the fringe

2013 is the year of the bang. Fringe hairstyles are showing up on everyone from Zooey Deschanel to Katy Perry to Jessica Biel. Below, four local ladies show off their fringes. 33-year-old Erin Jackson told ...

Stepping into Mission Valley from Hillcrest

Heymatt: About 30 years ago I heard about some concrete stairs leading from the area around UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest down to Mission Valley. I went exploring and found them, but I only went ...

Drill, Baby, Drill in Hillcrest

Patrons at the Uptown shopping center were treated to several hours of deafening noise today, November 14, as Boart Longyear Drilling Services drilled 147 feet below the surface of the parking lot. Workers on the ...

They'll spank you at Babycakes

Babycakes is a good place to start the day with a cocktail, a pastry, and a spanking.

Seven Bridge Walk

Cross seven access bridges to San Diego’s historical streetcar routes on this downtown loop walk that blends the present with the past.

San Diego's Best Fried Chicken

The background photo on my brother’s iPod shows a plate of fried chicken and waffles from Roscoe’s up in Los Angeles. Before dining there, he had never enjoyed the two foods together, and he was ...

The Spirit of Family Dinnertime

Restaurants that feel like home.

Places where food is created with care, where the service is warm and welcoming, and where you can relax and reconnect with family and friends.

Hillcrest’s Pernicano's and Casa di Baffi Restaurants... "Abandoned"?

The San Diego City Council passed an “abatement of abandoned properties” ordinance unanimously on October 2. It makes abandoned properties (structures and empty lots) subject to the same city code sections regulating vacant properties. Vacant ...

Twinkle Lights for Hillcrest

Earlier this month, the Hillcrest Business Association voted to approve a new project that will add some sparkle to a block of the community’s streets. The Uptown News reported that "the project to install a ...

Van Fire in Hillcrest

A commercial van was destroyed by fire at about 11 a.m. on Friday, August 17, near the intersection of Park Boulevard and Robinson Avenue in Hillcrest. The fire generated a plume of black smoke and ...

Groovy, Baby

“Do you know who Terry Callier is?” Steve Kader pulls an album from a stack in a wood produce crate and runs down the list of first-call session players in the credits. “Callier’s like Richie ...

Is That a Woman He's Beating Up Like That?

One night in Hillcrest

A good Samaritan stops a beating and recalls the lessons taught to her by her grandmother.

Boys Are Petty

Gamer Girl at Nerdcore night says, “We all grew up on Nintendo and Star Wars.”

Serious Food Here

“It’s been a rough one. I work 12 hours, seven days. My parents — and they’re in the restaurant business — said I was crazy doing this."

It’s about 9:00 at night. Wednesday. I hear a ripple of people clapping. I look in through the door of this café I’ve never noticed before. Place is filled. Can hear the thudded Ps of ...

North Park Volunteer Patrol Will Target Rowdiness Outside Bars

At a March 13 meeting at the Lafayette Hotel, the North Park Community Association sponsored a meeting at which the Stonewall Citizens' Patrol presented their plans to expand into the North Park area. The volunteer ...

Martinis Above Fourth

American humorist James Thurber once said, “One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.” While most of us instinctively know this to be true, there’s no better place to ...

Hillcrest Business Association Proposes Rainbow Flag on 65-Foot Flagpole

On Tuesday, February 7, members of San Diego’s LGBT community gathered to celebrate the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to strike down the ban on gay marriage. Despite the rain, approximately 150 people bearing ...

City Council Seeks to Build Normal Street Linear Park in Hillcrest

At its January 10 meeting, the San Diego City Council unanimously agreed to send a grant application to the State of California for a proposed Normal Street Linear Park. The $4.7 million project would create ...

From a Bean

I can understand why people think I don’t like kids. I don’t have any children of my own (nor do I want any), and I’m often the first to pipe up in a crowded area ...

Caltrans Deems Georgia Street Bridge Deficient

The San Diego City Council on November 1 approved an amended agreement with Simon Wong Engineering for services on the Georgia Street Bridge renovation. This will add an additional payment of $493,000, boosting the firm's ...

Obey. Consume. Repeat.

The satiric message of a popular Shepard Fairey mural is being obscured by, of all things, upscale retail. The giant eye stares forever into a blank wall. One might assume the developer is opposed or ...

Construction Begins on Florida Street HousingWorks Apartments

For many years there were rotting bungalows along Florida Street, between University Avenue and Robinson Avenue. The San Diego Housing Authority gave a loan of $4,900,000 over two years ago to Florida Street Housing Associates, ...

Dreams of a Tropical Lagoon

On any regular Monday, most restaurants in San Diego are closed — on July 4, well, forget about it. That evening, Sam and I planned to see a movie in Hillcrest and wanted to get ...

Hello, So Long, Au Revoir

I’d spent most of a hot muggy afternoon at the dentist’s office, getting inspected and x-rayed and filling out a long, nosy form that began with “Are you alive? Y/N.” The obvious thing to do ...

Slow Down at Caffe Vergnano 1882

"Everything here is imported,” Kaitlyn says. “Everything?” I ask. “Everything, except for Ferrila and me.” Ferrila, the other barista, gives a little wave from the strangest espresso machine you ever did see. It’s like a ...

Joy Ride

You just can’t trust people. Beneath every bit of apparent altruism, of friendliness and good intentions, under the layers of pretense we spend a lifetime collecting and carefully positioning...we are, each of us, in every ...

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