Hillcrest Stories

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 — ...

Booze Ban Driving Homeless Inland?

Two opposing views regarding the ban on brew at San Diego's beaches inadvertently surfaced during the June 25th meeting of the Ocean Beach town council. When Officer David Surwilo, community liaison for the police department's ...

Hillcrest vs. High Rises

"I've never seen the community this galvanized over one issue," said Nancy Moors. The issue: getting an interim height ordinance, far below current zoning standards, approved by the city council. The vote is set for ...

Gearing Up for the Big Day

At the Hillcrest Town Council, on June 10th, camera crews from three local news stations filled the meeting room at the Joyce Beers Community Center. The crews focused their lenses on the guest speaker, Chief ...

New Mission Hills Library: Fiction or Nonfiction?

The City of San Diego purchased the site for the new Mission Hills Library, the former IBEW Building on the corner of Washington and Front Streets, back in 2003. Two years after the purchase, the ...

Five Questions for Steve Francis

On May 13, Steve Francis leaned up against the wall at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest and took a few deep breaths before speaking to the Hillcrest Town Council Meeting in the Joyce ...

That Breathless Charm

A few days before the grand opening of the splashy new Dish restaurant-nightclub in Hillcrest, I decided to check out one of its forerunners. Dish had been bombarding my email with publicity releases that glittered ...

Park Terrace Project Proposed for Park and Polk

At the Uptown Planners Committee meeting on May 6th, Mark Freed of Landmark Development, pitched a proposal for a five story, 66 foot tall, mixed use building on the corner of Park Boulevard and Polk ...

Don't Bore -- Explore!

The Better Half is a restaurant after my own heart, and the hearts of all adventurous foodies. Almost everybody I know (including the pickiest, crankiest, “allergic to everything” gourmet princess in all my acquaintance) has ...

Before Tamed Fire

“In case I haven’t mentioned it lately,” says Debbie the bus driver through her microphone, “I love my passengers. Yee-haw!” Hey, it’s okay. This is the 35, the O.B. bus. People are allowed to be ...

Letters

LETTERS Number One Saw your article on Chris Cantore (Blurt, February 7) and had to laugh. When Clear Channel and I parted ways after nearly 15 years (where I was almost always in the top ...

The Principal’s Principles

Correction: Since publishing the story below, the following statements have been disputed by an attorney for the subject of the story, Michael Rood: 1) “Alexandria Melchior thought of Rood as her advertising representative at the ...

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 ...

Condos Come, the Village Goes

Over the past year in southern Hillcrest, starting at the corner of Fourth and Pennsylvania and ending at the corner of Sixth and Redwood, the sounds of construction on several condominium complexes have dominated the ...

Chow of Thao

If you and your eating buddies feel like tasting your way through several Asian countries and are looking for economy fare, then Chow is designed for you. It’s the latest venture of restaurateur Alex Thao, ...

The Rainbow Sign

We are a frazzled, worried country after seven years of every important decision being decided wrong by that "deciderator" and the awful gray eminences whispering in his ears. So do I dare to interpret the ...

Margaret Discovers Parsnips

Avenue 5 *** (Very Good) 2760 Fifth Avenue (between Nutmeg and Olive Streets), Bankers Hill, 619-542-0394, http://avenue5restaurant.com. HOURS: Lunch Tuesday--Friday 11:30 a.m.--2:30 p.m.; dinner Tuesday--Sunday 5:30--9:30 p.m., Friday--Saturday until 10:00 p.m. or later. PRICES: Salads ...

America's Smartest City

After numerous San Diego Union-Tribune hit pieces, a brand on the city attorney's head now reads "frivolous and futile litigator." No need to heed this guy's advice. Could that be what the city council was ...

Jesus of Carmel Mountain Ranch

The view from my neighborhood.

A note is taped to our front door. It says something about a community-standards violation and cites section 2B from the HOA policies handbook: All residents are responsible for the upkeep and general maintenance of ...

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Hillcrest

Shafts of gold radiated from the nexus of the crucifix hanging above the tabernacle at St. John the Evangelist. A tall wooden frame, carved with images of grapes and wheat, surrounded both and also served ...

St. John the Beloved Cathedral, Hillcrest

"I've been to some places that consider themselves liberal and accepting," said one congregant at St. John the Beloved. Those qualities were important to him because he was both gay and divorced. "But for them, ...

Classic San Diego

In corners and beneath our noses.

Most-Filmed Wild West Main Street Don't look yet. Turn off Woodside onto Maine and behold a li'l old Wild West street that'll knock your spurs off. It huddles beneath a perfect movie-set backdrop of towering ...

University Christian Church, Hillcrest

A sort of cutout bas-relief depiction of Leonardo's Last Supper stood on an easel outside the Friendship Hall at University Christian Church. Inside, at the front of the hall, a long table stood empty, glowing ...

Metropolitan Community Church, Hillcrest

"I was at Shadow Mountain for 17 years, from the time I was 19," said Metropolitan Community Church congregant (and choir member) Kelly Holmes when I spoke with him. "I was gay the whole time. ...

Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church

From the first, Saint Spyridon seemed to me a blend of traditions. The sky-blue ceiling showed an enormous Christ bursting through the clouds, rendered in a quasi-iconic style, his huge eyes gazing down on the ...

Ohr Shalom Synagogue

"You should have been here last night," said Rabbi Scott Meltzer to me before the service. Last night, the Shabbat Kehilati Service & Dinner had started at 6:15 and lasted until 10 p.m. Still, the ...

All Saints Episcopal Church, Hillcrest

It wasn't so much the 22 candles being lit for the High Mass celebrating All Saints' Day at All Saints' Episcopal Church; it was the guys lighting them: two strapping young Polynesians in floor-length black ...

First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego

"We are an inclusive community that encourages free thinking and compassionate living," said church board member Susan Weaver. "We have gathered here to consider the most significant issues in life and to make manifest in ...

Shadow Boxer

I was invited to a gay pride party on July 29, when the Pride parade would pass through Joseph's neighborhood. Getting to the party was difficult, however, as University Avenue was closed, and 100,000 people ...

St. Paul’s Cathedral, Hillcrest

St. Paul's Cathedral displays a kind of unadorned majesty. Long green banners, tiny stations of the cross, and a couple of Madonna-and-child paintings are all that break up the great expanses of smooth, gray-green concrete ...

Sight on Saigon

Most of San Diego's Vietnamese restaurants are out in City Heights or up in Linda Vista — and most start their names with "Pho," North Vietnam's hearty peasant noodle soup. Nothing wrong with pho, but ...

Re-Enter the Dragon

"The Golden Dragon" must never plunge to earth: The neon sign is a historic landmark, so it has to shine on above University Avenue in perpetuity, even while the restaurant below has been renamed, refurbished, ...

In the Fragrant Harbor

“Man, you are so woulda-coulda-shoulda. You can’t enjoy anything anymore.”

Flattered and Scared

I attended a party that Jamison, a hairstylist, hosted at the Abbey Cafe in Hillcrest. I asked Jamison about his name, and he joked about his mother being drunk on Jameson Irish Whiskey when he ...

Underground With the Celebrity Dead

Some would prefer no visitors.

Whether you're goth or you just dig celebrity graves (that's "dig" as in "enjoy"), you might be interested to know of these famous former neighbors entombed at a gravesite near you. BOBBY DRISCOLL (1937-1968) starred ...

Must Love Dogs

Last month, Norma and Joe of Rancho Bernardo had a luau-themed party for their dog's first birthday. I'm not sure if that meant dog years. I'm not sure the dog realized that this event was ...

It Smells Like Feet in Here

I had a busy day one weekend. It started by going to the KUSI studio. They wanted to talk to me on their morning news program about parties. I felt awkward on a day when ...

Midtown Church, Hillcrest

"In a traditional church, God is over here," said Paula Brandes as she reached her hand away from her body. "In Religious Science, God is within us. We don't have to reach out to find ...

Best of 2003: Best Place To Take A Consumer Complaint

UCAN, the Utility Consumers' Action Network 3100 Fifth Avenue, Suite B, Hillcrest www.ucan.org 619-696-6966 When California's electricity crisis was at its worst, hardly a night went by without Michael Shames, attorney and executive director of ...

Best of 2003: Best Wheelchair View Of A Movie Screen

Hillcrest Cinemas 3965 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest 619-819-0236 Vern scratches his head as a 737 makes thunder over his O.B. yard. "Hmm...I'd have to say Hillcrest theater," Vern says. "Because there's space for your chair in ...

Best of 2003: Best Vampire Hangout

Club Luminal 308 University Avenue, Hillcrest (inside Hamburger Mary's) www.clubluminal.com/index.html 619-491-0400 The darkly dressed congregate every Tuesday at Kickers, inside Hamburger Mary's. "We believe in playing the most diverse selection of music possible within the ...

Best of 2003: Best Thai

Celadon Royalty Thai 540 University Avenue, Hillcrest 619-297-8424 The chef cooked for the Queen and Princess of Thailand, and she'll cook for you, too. One menu page lists all the specialties, such as "Choo Chee ...

Best of 2003: Best Special Occasion Cake

Blood Orange Ricotta Torte Extraordinary Desserts 2929 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest 619-294-7001 Ripe fresh fruit and ethereal textures are the secret to Karen Krasne's pastries. Krasne's fruited ricotta tortes must be the real "angel food" cakes. ...

Best of 2003: Best Spooky Candlelight Dinner

The Abbey Café 127 University Avenue, Hillcrest www.theabbeycafe.com 619-692-0311 Every night at dusk, in the patio below the big wooden cross, some poor sucker gets the job of lighting the wall of candles, 250 of ...

Best of 2003: Best Quality Supermarket South Of I-8

Whole Foods Market 711 University Avenue, Hillcrest 619-294-2820 You want Thai Kitchen bottled curry bases, not just their insta-noodles? Bottled anchovies from Greece? Italian salt-cured capers? Finnish Lappi or French Explorateur cheese? Extra-virgin oil from ...

Best of 2003: Best Place For Hot & Spicy Hamburgers

Crest Café 425 Robinson Avenue, Hillcrest 619-295-2510 The Crest boasts "Hearty Homemade Comfort Food," but there's nothing comforting about the "Butter Burger." This unique, h-h-hot half-pound burger is packed with spices: paprika, cayenne, and cumin, ...

Best of 2003: Best Late-Night Eats, Hillcrest

La Posta de Acapulco's 3980 Third Avenue, Hillcrest 619-295-8982 La Posta's urban assault cooks deliver truly authentic Mexican delicacies that are reasonably priced without skimping on ingredients. The carnitas burrito weighs in at almost four ...

Best of 2003: Best French Bistro

Chez Odette 3614 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest 619-299-1000 Odette comes from Belgium and she has decorated her small place like a bistro in Brussels. Her place smells of fresh French bread and garlic. She has cooked ...

Best of 2003: Best Vegetable Garden Plant People

Suilin and Whitney Robinson, Multiflora Nursery Hillcrest Farmer's Market, DMV parking lot In an experiment some Mission Hills residents planted vegetable plants from two local nurseries next to plants from the Robinsons. The Robinsons' sprouts ...

Best of 2003: Best Tattoo Artist

David Davenport @ On Point 1459 University Avenue, Hillcrest www.dogspunk.com 619-297-7777 After graduating from art school in San Francisco, Dave worked as a video game designer before he discovered his true knack: creating intricate patterns, ...

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 ...

Best of 2003: Best Preschool

Fleur de Lis 3743 Front Street, Hillcrest 619-295-6781 For about 30 years, this Victorian house-cum-preschool has been nurturing wee ones. Tuition runs on the high end at Fleur de Lis ("the Harvard of preschools," some ...