Hillcrest Stories

Martin Calderon, Scrap Metal Sculptor of Hillcrest

I was walking around Hillcrest recently and wondered what's with the lifelike metal animal sculptures in front of houses on the 3700 block of First Avenue. I found out through the Hillcrest Town Council that ...

Field Rations at Letty's Bean Shack

"See the field?” says this guy waiting for the Number 3 bus. “Your place is just past it. Looks like the Little House on the Prairie.” A field? In Hillcrest? Carla and I have been ...

Voyage with Mother on Piggyback

Author: Adam Jacobs Neighborhood: Hillcrest Age: 22 Occupation: Pizza delivery driver Ever since I dropped out of my university on the East Coast to migrate to Hillcrest, my life has been put on a pedestal ...

Hillcrest the Motion Picture

Sunday, August 8, 1:30 p.m.The 26th annual CityFest sees a bustling Fifth Avenue blocked off to vehicle traffic from University to Brookes with 250-plus vendors, 150,000-plus attendees, and lines extending out the door of every ...

Makes Me Want to Cry

“Hey-hey, ho-ho, all the phobia has got to go!” Was the chant from hundreds of gay, lesbian, transgender, and straight supporters of same-sex marriage during a massive march in Hillcrest on Wednesday evening, August 4. ...

University Christian Church

Membership: 400 individuals Pastor: Tim Tiffany Age: 64 Born: Kansas City, Kansas Formation: University of California Los Angeles; Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana Years Ordained: 30 years San Diego Reader: Can you think of a ...

Coffee Culture

Java Joe’s last official promotion at the Café Libertalia on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest was Bushwalla’s performance on Saturday, July 17. For the past year, Joe Flammini had an arrangement with Libertalia owners Donna Orlando ...

More Free Parking

Following a catered dinner at the Joyce Beers Community Center, the June 8 Hillcrest Town Council Meeting got under way. A panel of three voiced their opinions and answered questions pertaining to the issue of ...

Hey, Partner, What’s the Deal?

In May 2009, councilmembers Kevin Faulconer and Todd Gloria sent a letter to Carol Schultz, executive director of Uptown Partnership, the agency responsible for increasing the parking supply, enhancing pedestrian use, and easing traffic flow ...

One-Man Show

From the front of the room, Stephen Whitburn, candidate for District 4 county supervisor, introduced himself to the 30 residents sitting inside the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest during a May 11 county supervisor ...

Easy Does It

This restaurant is closed. Still no alcohol license, still no menu on the website, but I finally gave in — whether it was ready or not, I had to try the Big Easy. The chef/co-owner ...

The "D" Word

“We thought about calling it 'soapbox derby night,' but [then] we thought 'open-mic night' might be more politically correct,” said director of City Planning and Community Investment Bill Anderson. This first open-mic meeting, held April ...

Here's the Deal: Ruby Room

Formerly the San Diego Sports Bar, Ruby Room is tucked off of the clubby Hillcrest strip behind the newish Ruby Kitchen. Weekend parking can be difficult. “When we bought the place about a year and ...

We All Fight the Wall

U.S./Mexico border problems and their effect on the Tijuana Estuary was the focus of the March 19 Sierra Club’s meeting in Hillcrest. According to a Sierra Club press release, laws protecting the environment, archaeological sites, ...

We Don’t Want to Modernize

The Hillcrest Town Council held a meeting on March 9 at the Joyce Beers Community Center, with 45 community members in attendance. Councilmember Roy Dahl outlined the council’s Development Committee’s design principles as they pertain ...

Time's Up, Uptown

"Overhead and operating expenses consume almost all the yearly income of your organization," wrote Banker's Hill denizen Leo Wilson in a February 19 email to Carol Schultz, the executive director of Uptown Partnership, the group ...

A Matter of Pride

The San Diego LGBT Pride board of directors hosted a town hall meeting on Monday, February 22, at their community center in Hillcrest. Representatives spoke of the direction in which the organization is headed and ...

Policing Pot Shops

The recommendations from San Diego's 11-person medical marijuana task force are in and will be considered at the Land Use and Housing Committee's March 24 meeting. Until then, task force members continue to meet with ...

A Taste of the Tropics

Planning a trip to India years ago, I set my sights on the south of the country (Kerala and Tamil Nadhu). Why? To eat. I’d heard that the southern food was really spicy and really ...

Late-Night Oxycontin

The Rite Aid pharmacy located at 535 Robinson in Hillcrest was robbed early on December 15 by a man with a knife demanding narcotics. San Diego police responded to the pharmacy after a robbery was ...

Babbo Grande's Place

This restaurant is closed. Serge and Danielle. Always liked them. They were Uptown’s crêpe royalty. They had this uptown crêperie called Deli France. So, today I’ve come back. Boy. Be so mad if they’re gone. ...

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 Mashtis: Itai Faierman

They call themselves the Mashtis: Itai Faierman is back with a new band after a four-year hiatus. Before he took off, Faierman spent a lot of time on the local singer-songwriter stages, combining his intricate ...

Pedicab Wars

No level peddling field for pedicabs.

Roll 'em! Straight-to-camera, Guy Harinton yells, “Why can’t I kill one of them little fuckers?!” He’s frothing. Here, at the Embarcadero’s Coronado ferry landing, a foreign-student pedicab driver has just ridden off with a load ...

Critical Crash

August 28, Friday evening, at approximately 8:20 p.m. two Critical Mass bicyclists collided near the corner of University Avenue and Centre Street. One cyclist was said to be bleeding from his ear. They reportedly were ...

Hard Times

San Diego police responded to a call on Sunday night, August 16, at about 11:50 p.m. near University Avenue and Park Boulevard in Hillcrest. A man called police and said his sister was jumping in ...

Four for Fighting

Several people were involved in a fight shortly after 11 p.m. on Sunday evening, July 26, near the Hillcrest Medical Center north of Washington Street. According to a resident who had just gone to bed, ...

Gimme More Turkey

Pasha drew my eye with an ad in this paper, including a coupon for a freebie appetizer platter. Hmm...a new bargain destination? Worth trying? I scurried to the website and found that the restaurant wasn’t ...

Come to the Cabaret

“San Diego stands poised to rival such musically friendly cities as Austin, Texas,” says Rafter drummer Andy Robillard, who recently took over booking the Ruby Room. “Now if only we could get those archaic cabaret ...

Rotten Contract

On Sunday morning, just before dawn, David Larson can be found in front of the DMV on Normal Street in Hillcrest picking up trash scattered around the grey-and-blue stucco building or sweeping the gutters along ...

Taking the Partner Out of Partnership

Like the sidewalks and streets that surround the city’s parking meters, the relationship between Uptown Partnership — the group responsible for addressing parking issues in Hillcrest, Banker’s Hill, and Mission Hills — and the residents ...

Meter Mythbusters

Michael Vogl, revenue collections manager for the city, blames the media for spreading false information about the mayor’s parking meter utilization plan. He says news outlets are unable to explain the detailed proposal in 30-second ...

Australian Rules

In late March, I went to a park in Hillcrest for a going-away party. People there dubbed the theme “crokaoke” because they were playing croquet and singing karaoke. The guest of honor was a local ...

Paying to Park

"Last week, after city council members rejected a proposal to raise rates and extend operational hours of parking meters, it was believed that time had run out on the initiative. Not so. Members of the ...

For Frugal Foodies

Happiness is an ice-cold strawberry Bellini at Bite, made with the first berries of spring, and a $20 four-course dinner from a chef who can really cook. Bite is one of several good restaurants now ...

Meter Eater

Who hasn’t rummaged through bags and searched underneath car seats, scavenging for loose change to feed the meter? Well, residents of San Diego better start loading their pockets with loose change, because the city is ...

Boom Goes the Boat

A little after noon on Tuesday, March 17, a boat burst into flames in the canyon just down the hill from Self Realization Fellowship center in Hillcrest. Firefighters were on the scene within ten minutes ...

Party Like a Barack Star

Barack Obama was predicted to win the presidency. Nobody was surprised when he did. I was surprised at how many inauguration parties there were. I don’t recall any presidential race ending with so many parties. ...

The Big Fill

Residents of University Heights refer to the canyon underneath the Vermont Street Bridge (over Washington Street and near the onramp for Highway 163) as the “dead zone,” a trash-filled netherworld covered with dried-up palm fronds, ...

Hi. I used to live here. Can I come in?

What a house means.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Freud pointed out. He would never have said the same thing about a house. Certainly Carl Jung would not. In my case, as I approach my former address ...

Life Drawing

“The vice squad contacted the Bluefoot Bar for our very first session because they saw an ad for it and were, like, ‘We’re going to be watching you,’” says Lily Jackson, emcee for Dr. Sketchy’s ...

Ribs and Guilt

Jerry Toliver’s a big guy. He’s a rock drummer and tennis coach, and he looks like a young James Brown with a headband. So I’m not surprised he’s put away a plate of rib tips ...

The Friendship Hotel

“Everybody in the hotel read The Little Dog Laughed, everybody; a story to make you die holding the page and it wasn’t about a dog, either; a clever story, screaming poetry…Mrs. Hargraves read it and ...

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 ...

301 Returns

It’s back! The 301 University project is back — bigger and badder than ever, and the Hillcrest community is reeling. Warnings went out to the community during the September 2 meeting of the Uptown Planners, ...

Brookes Avenue Speedway

Some residents in the Marston Hills area of Hillcrest are scared to let their children play outside, frightened to walk their dogs, and leery of parking on the street outside of their house. Apparently, road ...

Party People

There’s a party going on at Universal Nightclub -- located on the corner of University Avenue and Vermont Street in Hillcrest -- and the celebration has lasted far too long. Residents of the community and ...

Sumo Follies

I made the mistake of trying to go to a party in the Hillcrest area during the Gay Pride Festival. Not that there’s anything wrong with that...other than road closures and parking problems! My girlfriend ...

Organically, If You Will

Acoustic guitarist Shawn Rohlf has played Sunday mornings at the Hillcrest farmers’ market for 11 years. “It’s the most difficult gig of the week for any musician,” says Rohlf, who’s fronted the 7th Day Buskers ...

Kelsea's Law

At a weekly Reader meet-up, at North Park’s Claire de Lune coffeehouse, I was prepared to hear typical neighborhood concerns from residents; too much graffiti, not enough police, errantly positioned stop signs, the usual type ...

Ain't Too Proud to Clean

The organizers for the gay pride parade hope to have less impact on the Hillcrest community after the parade is all said and done — and, yes, Kathy Griffin is still headlining. Their biggest concern ...

Hillcrest VS High Rises — Judgement Day

Over 50 residents of Hillcrest, Mission Hills, and Banker's Hill attended the July 8 San Diego City Council meeting. They waved five-inch, fluorescent green signs that on one side read "IHO," the other, "YES." Their ...