Hillcrest Stories

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 ...

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 ...

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