La Mesa Stories

Christian Compassion Center

“It’s a family thing we got going,” said the man in the long, gray plaid jacket, the silver of his rings matching that of the religious medallion hanging outside his vest. “We’re concerned about each ...

Overflow of Emotions

Just before 6 o’clock, on October 28th, the Fire Marshal for the City of La Mesa stood outside City Council Chambers. The room was at capacity. No one would be allowed in unless seats became ...

Father's House Church International

Things I took away from Sunday’s service at Father’s House Church International: Israel and the Jews are important. An Israeli flag stood on one side of the stage. One of the hymns, in the midst ...

Breakfast with a Side of Fun

This restaurant is closed. “I’ve got troubles,” I say. I’m trying to explain why I’m half an hour late. “Trolley security. Hauled me off the damned train. Lemon Grove. Must have been 20 of them ...

La Mesa United Methodist Church

The 8:30 a.m. is the more contemplative of the Sunday services at La Mesa United Methodist. Throughout Lent, elements of Taizé spirituality have been incorporated into the service. The worship bulletin (church motto: “Open hearts. ...

The Italian Cooking of Joy

Attention, all New York expats and other lovers of indulgent, exuberant Italian food: That terrific “secret” Mulberry Street restaurant you loved and still miss has been found again — in a La Mesa strip mall. ...

New Life Presbyterian

And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. — Revelation 22:1 That was the line that came to mind upon ...

Anyone Can Dance

“I tell you, man, they were dancing.” “Dancing in a pizza place? Yeah, right. The pizzicato waltz?” Hank swears he saw it, last night, through the window in the eatery behind the Shell gas station ...

La Mesa's Anything-but-Normal Avenue

Normal Avenue in La Mesa doesn't have much in common with Normal Street in San Diego. That didn't stop the Hillcrest plumber that 1 called one year from phoning me back. He had a Russian ...

Christ Lutheran Church, La Mesa

"This is the liturgical service," said the usher as we stood in the entrance of the sanctuary, gazing over the scattering of congregants under the high, white ceiling. "Over in the gym is the contemporary ...

Like a Dinette That Grew

"The sausage patties were so big, my date brought one home and we made a pizza from it."

Long Hair Affair

I thought winter would be the perfect time to write about the "Summer of Love." That was the theme of a party that Pat and Gene hosted to celebrate their 40 years of marriage. They ...

Skyline Church, La Mesa

The craft show was housed in the building right at the top of the entrance steps, so that's where I ended up first, my oldest son towing me along. He admired the $8 handmade, one-of-a-kind ...

La Mesa Church of Christ, La Mesa

Denomination: Church of Christ Address: 5150 Jackson Drive, La Mesa, 619-465-5157 Founded locally: 1941; in current location since 1962 Senior pastor: Jim Hinton Congregation size: 150--175 Staff size: 3 Sunday school enrollment: about 80 Annual ...

The Right of Way Is the Wrong Place

Every election season, my father sinks a wire-framed campaign sign into the strip of grass between his sidewalk and the street. Every election season, an unseen enemy steals it. Dad replaces the sign. The enemy ...

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, ...

Journey Community Church, La Mesa

"Lord Jesus," said worship leader Jason Denison after the opening set, "we come before you with all kinds of stuff going on in our lives.... Would you meet us where we're at, Lord Jesus? Would ...

Crosspointe Life Church, La Mesa

"Holy Spirit, we invite you into this place," intoned the singer from the stage of the plush green Sanctuary. "Have your way. We love you." Then he broke into buoyant song, his driving acoustic guitar ...

Skyline Wesleyan, La Mesa

Denomination: Wesleyan Address: 11330 Campo Road, Highway 94 at Jamacha Road, La Mesa Founded locally: 1954 Senior pastor: Dr. Jim Garlow Congregation size: about 2800 Staff size: 14 pastors Sunday school enrollment: about 1800, including ...

New Life Presbyterian Church, La Mesa

"Christians can't fight battles of sin alone. I failed miserably when I tried to deal with sin on my own. I felt alone. I was fearful of sharing my struggles with others," said Jim Allsop, ...

Survivor’s Second Season

A friend of mine took me to a party in La Mesa with the understanding that I wouldn't write about it. When I grabbed a pen from the car, she said, "What are you doing? ...

Coy Strummer

“I suggested that we stay on the raft and sing.”

We're Not Coming To Get Her

Tina Chamberlin of La Mesa was happy when her 82-year-old mother Rena Marseli decided to give up driving this past summer. Besides being 82 years old, Mrs. Marseli "had a vision problem," Chamberlin explains. "My ...

The Thrill of the Hill

Well, it's appropriate that I crashed an event where there can actually be crashing. It was the Soap Box Derby Races in La Mesa.The Soap Box Derby is a youth racing program that has been ...

La Mesa First United Methodist Church

In the 1960s, 1500 people attended La Mesa First United Methodist Church each week. Today, Reverend John Fanestil remarked, "a typical Sunday would be just over 200. There is a long-term demographic challenge that all ...

Circumnavigate Lake Murray on foot, utilizing the shortest practical and legal loop route.

Lake Murray's paved (closed to cars) perimeter path is near East County's most pleasant and most popular place to gulp some fresh air on a summer morning or late afternoon. Unfortunately, the recreation path ends ...

Concrete Comeback

Walkers get more room.

WE REALLY HAVE, from a pedestrian's point of view, two kinds of places in San Diego," said Stephan Vance of the San Diego Association of Governments. "There's the older urban core that was built around ...

What Insiders Eat

Restaurant staff gab and gobble.

Food = joy…guilt…anger…pain…nurturing… friendship…hatred…the way you look and feel.… Food = everything you can imagine. —Susan Powter Tim Klepeis, the chef at Adams Avenue Grill, spoke hesitatingly at first. “I think the greatest reward is ...

Best of 2003: Best Place To Throw Your Money Away In East County

Grossmont Center Fountains Last year, Grossmont Center teamed up with La Mesa Parks and Recreation to redevelop two parks. The mall collects change thrown into its fountains, and $50,000 has already been raised to benefit ...

Best of 2003: Best Place To Skip Rocks

Lake Murray Reservoir 5540 Kiowa Drive, La Mesa www.mtrp.org 619-668-2050 Yes, Lake Murray used to be a bleak place, half empty, full of hydrilla, and adjacent to a rutted and potholed perimeter road. No more. ...

Best of 2003: Best East County Caffeinated Evening

Zodiak CafŽ 9158-A Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa 619-466-9055 The eclectic living-room theme draws all ages, but especially teens and young adults. The Tuesday Open Mic Nights at 8 serve as public forums for musicians playing ...

Best of 2003: Best Religious Vittles

Shri Mandir Temple 9474 Black Mountain Road, Mira Mesa 858-566-5644 On Sunday mornings, the Journey Community Church in La Mesa serves up everything from tacos to pizza. And on Sunday mornings, the Buddhist Temple of ...

Best of 2003: Best New Ethnic Restaurant

Aswan African Restaurant Helix Center 7404 University Avenue, La Mesa 619-464-7100 How many restaurants offer Somalian sambussas (a "best" in their own right) for the first course, followed by one of the world's finest Creole ...

Best of 2003: Best Family "Early-Bird" Special

Village Garden Restaurant and Bakery 8384 La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa 619-462-9100 This is a deal. For a Hamilton, you get a three-course dinner with soda included. The early-bird dinner specials last from 3 to ...

Best of 2003: Best Reproduction Vintage Stoves

The Warm Hearth 8748 La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa 619-465-0890 Sales of wood stoves like the Danish Morso keep this business humming year-round. Because people want fireplaces with fires you can toss logs onto, these ...

Best of 2003: Best Photo Fixer-Uppers

Village Studio 8215 La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa 619-466-6708 Owned by David and Sherry Gillespie, Village Studio repairs and restores antique photographs. The shop first opened in 1947 and has kept up with technology through ...

Best of 2003: Best Mental Health Program

Alvarado Parkway Institute 7050 Parkway Drive, La Mesa www.apibhs.com 800-766-4274 Here's a private behavioral (i.e. mental health) system that really seems to work. Three local psychiatrists -- David Bergman, Michael Lardon, and Brad Sanders -- ...

Best of 2003: Best Cheap Pedicure

Diva Nails 7354 University Avenue, La Mesa 619-460-4237 Pick up your nonfat mocha next door at the drive-through Cappuccino House and then settle into the black-leather "Human Touch Technology" chair for a pedicure at Diva ...

Best of 2003: Best Children's Resale

Cory's Closet 3745 Avocado Boulevard, La Mesa 619-660-1235 A gated play area stocked with toys and a playhouse entertain kids while parents check out the $3 and under clearance racks. Recent scores at Cory's: a ...

Smokey Bandits

From July of 2000 to April 2001, a new kind of crime wave hit San Diego County. Boiled down to penal-code labeling -- 211 for armed robbery, 459 for burglary -- the crimes weren't anything ...

Best of 2001: Best Place To Find "Gourmet" Items Your Supermarket Discontinued

Cost Plus World Market 372 Fourth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter 619-236-1737 8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla 858-455-8210 5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa 619-466-2991 What are you gonna do when your grocery store turns ...

Best of 2001: Best Place To Test Drive A Pet

Petworks Grossmont Center, La Mesa 619-465-4446 Petworks, in Grossmont Center next to Zales Jewelers, opens its doors at 10:00 a.m. to customers eager to try out their pet-walking skills. With a credit card and a ...

Best of 2001: Best Free Aquarium

Fountain's Aquarium 7575 University Avenue, La Mesa 619-465-5333 Just shy of Parks on University Avenue, Fountain's Aquarium is an aquatic feast for the eyes, even from the road. Muraled windows of sea life beckon customers ...

Best of 2001: Best Community Center

La Mesa Community Center 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa 619-667-1300 La Mesa Community Center has a lot to offer little Suzie on her road to culture. Parent & Tot gym classes for one-year olds -- ...

Best of 2001: Best Spot To Steam It Up

The Tubs 7220 El Cajon Boulevard, La Mesa 619-466-TUBS Don't have the resources to shell out the dinero for your own spa or sauna? Don't worry, The Tubs is waiting for you. For $26 per ...

Best of 2001: Best Shady Dealer

Sunglass City 1478 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach 858-272-6041 7007 Friars Road, Mission Valley 619-325-2565 Corporate Office: Sunglass City Incorporated 4414 Dale Avenue, La Mesa 619-668-6952; 888-218-6952; 800-925-GLASS www.sunglasscityonline.com Daily shipments provide a selection from manufacturers ...

Best of 2001: Best Seeds

Urban Seed and Flower 7079 University Avenue, La Mesa 619-463-2536 Sixty-seven years ago, Charles Ledgerwood, a UC Davis graduate, began selling seeds to North County flower and vegetable growers. Over time, his market shifted to ...

Best of 2001: Best Place To Buy Light Bulbs And Have A Lamp Repaired

The Light Bulb Center 7735 University Avenue, La Mesa 619-697-9371 Sid Levinson and his two older brothers started a light bulb wholesale business more than 20 years ago with the help of their dad, who ...

Best of 2001: Best Monstrous Pets

Live Cargo 8874 La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa 619-466-0665 It begins with Uncle Milton's Ant Farm ($11.99), and for many, that is where it ends. Hard-shelled, mandible-clad marchers give way to puppies, kittens, and horses. ...

Best of 2001: Best Model Train Shop

Reed's Train Shop 8039 La Mesa Boulevard, La Mesa 619-464-1672 Call the Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park -- it's the largest such museum in North America -- and ask them to recommend a model ...

Is Dennis Hopper from La Mesa?

Matt: My friend's mother says Dennis Hopper is from La Mesa and he worked at Jack In The Box. She says she has a friend who went to school with him. Could this possibly be ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close