Normal Heights Stories

Cat ladies

Feline frenzy in San Diego

I’m not a cat person — mostly due to a silvery scar on my arm that I got as a child from the claws of my neighbor’s grumpy tabby cat. Also, cats make me sneeze ...

Sampler Flight: March 25 – 31

Bands and women banding together among week’s beery highlights

March 29 | Two-Year Anniversary: Latitude 33 Brewing Company is throwing itself a “birthday party” with food from dueling gastrotrucks, music from a quartet of bands and five specialty beers including a strawberry-tinged version of ...

Adams Avenue music festival only free to you and me

Business district's annual money-loser, "Unplugged," turns to online fundraiser Kickstarter for relief

Adams Avenue Unplugged, the free music festival set for April 26 and 27 has launched a fundraiser on Kickstarter to help pay for the costs of the street fair, which takes over two miles of ...

Art for art's sake on Adams Avenue

Transmedia experiences coming to four blocks in Normal Heights

“We, as many artists, divorce ourselves in a sense, whether it’s conscious or not, from the notion that we’re making something to be displayed for sale so that someone can collect it,” says Robyko Sanchez. ...

Arm candy

Purses worn in San Diego

“You're never too fat for a new purse.” ― Nia Vardalos I gained a couple of pounds over the holiday season. As a result of my refusal to go up a dress size, I have ...

New drinks for Sycamore Den, problems with cocktails as such

Winter menu has some successes, but it also illustrates the growing problem of high-minded bartenders and the bars that employ them

In addition to Sycamore Den’s decision to get a few bites of food on the bar menu, the Normal Heights cocktail lounge with the beards-and-shotguns flair has a new series of winter cocktails ($9) rife ...

Sycamore Den, part one: the food

Normal Heights cocktail bar expands the menu to include meat and cheese boards

“Sycamore Den got food!” That was the rumor, anyways, that the Normal Heights hipster-centric cocktail lounge, styled after a dreamy and favorable vision of the 1970s where men were men, had augmented its menu with ...

Not really church music

“The number could be off by a few in either direction, but I think it’s been around 520.” Carey Driscoll says he’s lost count of the number of shows he has produced over ten years ...

AMSD: Unplugged unplugged?

No pews for you

A new pastor plans to remove the pews at United Methodist Church in Normal Heights so he can interact more with congregants. But, no pews means that Carey Driscoll will have no seating for his Acoustic Music San Diego audiences. So, he’ll end the ten-year-long series of shows.

St. Didacus Catholic Parish

The thought of celibacy was painful and confusing

Father Michael Sinor of St. Didacus Catholic Parish says he “ran away from the idea of being a priest. I didn’t think I could be celibate.”

Blood, Sweat, and Spit: Memories of Adams Avenue Theater and the Rock Palace

A quarter-century after the concerts at Adams Avenue Theater and the Palace, a blogger imagines an entryway streaked with the scuff of Doc Martens and cigarette butts; blood, sweat, and spit in the hall; the pit, swinging fists and bodies, a stage bomb, a swan dive from the balcony...

The Chargers-Mariposa ice cream connection/disconnection

C.J. Spillman likes it; Malcolm “Coldstone” Floyd goes elsewhere

Dick and Anna, the owners of Mariposa Ice Cream in Normal Heights, were worried. Chargers wide receiver Malcolm Floyd had just caught a pass and had his neck rammed back into his shoulders by a ...

Sampler Flight: September 17–22

From chicks to pigs, it’s one animal of a week for beer lovers

September 17 | Chicks for Beer: Hey ladies, feel like a night of craft brew appreciation without fear of having it ruined by those know-it-all beer dudes? Join this Bay Park suds standout for a ...

Soda, swine, ice cream & beer

Beer floats traditional and avant garde at Soda & Swine

I’ll admit it. When I heard the founders of Neighborhood, Craft & Commerce, and Underbelly were opening a place where the menu would be revolve around meatballs and apple pie, I had my doubts. Meatballs…good. ...

Enchanted by Normal Heights

Of all the neighborhoods in San Diego I’m the most enchanted by Normal Heights. They put on a hell of a festival with Adam’s Avenue Unplugged in April and the Adam’s Avenue Street Festival in ...

Polite Provisions' Ocean Side

While Noble Experiment is the worst kept secret among San Diego saloons, its sister ship, Polite Provisions, has a number of secrets yet to be discovered. “Here at Polite Provisions,” says bartender Aaron Zieske, “we’re ...

Normal Heights’ “sewer line project from hell” addressed

Police also attend peaceful but rowdy meeting

On the evening of June 26, about three dozen people from the neighborhood around 33rd Street in Normal Heights finally learned the details of what one resident called "the sewer line project from hell.” Five ...

Justin Fry opens "Fractured Navigation" at Artlab Studios

Neon skulls and portraits of assholes artistically "booby trap" Fry's paintings.

Rhymes to fight

A May 3 “Hip-Hop vs. Punk” event at Tower Bar gets physical outside.

We spend every dime on our costumes

Some don't do it for the money.

Interviews with women of the San Diego burlesque scene/business.

Festival Fashion: Adams Avenue Unplugged

Adam’s Avenue unplugged is one of San Diego's best festivals. Each year they offer an ample line-up of talented and unique musical acts. On April 27th at 2:30pm, Actor John C. Reilly was accompanied by ...

Council votes to settle with Academy of Our Lady of Peace

Normal Heights school wins fight with city

Four years ago, when the Academy of Our Lady of Peace began planning to add classrooms and parking to its Normal Heights canyon-top campus, the high school found itself fighting the city and its neighbors ...

Mattress Man picks up and delivers to Mexico

Over 20 in one load — no problem

Sometimes one mattress is not enough for one pickup truck. How about 21 of them? My neighbor rescues mattresses (and many other things) bound for landfills and donates them to folks in Mexico who can ...

“Heartbreak Bob” Reisinger found after Normal Heights house fire

A Rosie O’Grady’s regular

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, according to neighbors, a man on Hawley Boulevard in Normal Heights called his girlfriend on the phone and told her, “I set myself on fire; call the ...

Sycamore Den's Harvey Wallbanger

If you didn’t have the good fortune of having a dad who grew up in the 1970s, then you probably know little about the glories of wood paneling, Gordon Lightfoot, and plaid-on-plaid polyester suits. But, ...

Tramp stamp your kid in Normal Heights

Bling for toddlers

While scarfing down a bean and cheese burrito at Mauricio's in Normal Heights, I noticed something peculiar amongst the kiddie vending machines occupying a small section of wall space. Wedged between the bubblegum and sticky-hand ...

Artistic underworld

Mexico’s artistic underworld visits Normal Heights.

Hot prowling and burglaries in Normal Heights

Victims at home asleep

Police are warning Normal Heights residents about a series of middle-of-the-night burglaries — with the victims at home asleep. The “hot prowls” all occurred in a small area of the neighborhood. "Hot-prowl burglaries are bold ...

SDG&E works on Normal Heights power outage

Sewer contractor crushes electrical cable

About 1300 people in Normal Heights went without electricity for ten hours, starting at 5 p.m. Monday, January 7, after a construction crew replacing sewer pipes crushed underground power lines at 33rd Street and Meade ...

Water main break in Normal Heights

Neighbors share buckets

Hundreds of people in Normal Heights were without water Friday night, January 4, after a water main broke at 32nd and Meade Avenue at around 4 p.m. Crews were still working to repair the main ...

San Diego Restaurants to Try at Least Once

Even if it weren’t my job to go out and look for new places to eat, I still wouldn’t be able to eat the same thing over and over again. I rarely visit any place ...

Normal Heights the New Gaslamp?

Kadan to close after ten years in Normal Heights; here come the Neighborhood (gastropub) people to take over the space.

One-Dollar Fish Taco Frenzy in University Heights

This article seeks to find value for fish taco lovers living in the San Diego Area. The Taquerias in question (El Zarape and Kiko’s Place) are often overlooked by economically casual chowers but they shouldn’t ...

Afghanistan, Love, Regret

Khaled Waleh, owner of Zia’s Afghan Café in North Park, gives the reporter his dad’s phone number in Parwan province.

Afghan Ambassadors

His one piece of advice to his son: “Don’t start a restaurant. You’ll never be able to relax.”

Afghan-inspired pizza at Zia — there will be eggplant and yogurt.

Adams Avenue Old Folker

San Diego folk music archivist/godfather steps back into the committee to organize the Adams Avenue Roots Festival.

Normal Heights Starbucks Vandalized

Vandals attempted to break into the Starbucks at the northeast corner of Adams Avenue and Felton Street in Normal Heights early Friday morning, April 6. According to a Starbucks employee named Tray, he and fellow ...

Normal Heights Elementary School Opens Playground, Sparks Protest

In accordance with a joint-use agreement signed by the San Diego Unified School District and the City of San Diego seven years ago, on March 9, the playgrounds and playing fields at Normal Heights Elementary ...

Fields at Normal Heights Elementary Open After School

Unless there is a monkey wrench thrown into the works, a joint-use agreement between the city's Park and Recreation Department and the San Diego Unified School District will allow for public access to the upper ...

Normal Heights Intersection Reconfiguration Completed

Reconstruction and reconfiguration of the Cherokee-Madison-East Mountain View-Ward Road intersections in Normal Heights was recently completed. Begun in fits and starts last summer (including a shutdown when funds ran out) in conjunction with the 40th ...

When the power goes out

Twelve hours now, the power's been out. And I'm writing by candlelight in the kitchen. The only thing technologically enhanced about this is my .7mm mechanical pencil (do I have enough lead?). I'd be writing ...

Normal Heights Sign Sparked Adams Avenue Street Fair

Repainting the Normal Heights sign began Monday morning, August 22. The neon sign, suspended over the intersection of Adams Avenue and Felton Street, was last repainted and the neon rehabbed in 1995 by the Adams ...

Historical Contractor Stamps Salvaged In Normal Heights

Undergrounding of the utilities along Meade Avenue from I-805 to 44th Street began in April 2005 as part of the City's ongoing utility undergrounding program. Approximately $4 million dollars from the City's Surcharge Fund were ...

Air Conditioned Lounge

The first thing you’ll notice about Air Conditioned Lounge is the distinct absence of air conditioning. In fact, the iconic “Air Conditioned” sign outside the lounge (their website calls it the “most unassuming building on ...

AMSD Trips Out

“Barry McGuire, best known for his antiwar hit ‘Eve of Destruction,’ has put together a musical show called Trippin’ the Sixties,” says promoter Carey Driscoll, who’ll bring the production to AMSD in Normal Heights on ...

Residents Displeased with 40th Street Promenade and Five Points Reconfiguration

A feisty crowd attended the Normal Heights Community Planning Group meeting August 2 to express displeasure with the sudden disruption of their lives caused by two projects: the 40th Street Promenade and the long-awaited reconfiguration ...

Sounds of Sunset Strip

On July 30, Lestat’s Coffeehouse will rock and jangle in homage to the Los Angeles music scene centered around the Sunset Strip during the mid 1960s, featuring music by Love, Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, and ...

Adams Avenue Farmers' Market Closed Down

The Adams Avenue Farmers' Market, located on the playground of John Adams Elementary School in Normal Heights since May 2010, closed May 11, 2011. Unfortunately, there was not enough foot traffic to maintain the initial ...

Have Your Guitar Out of the Case and Tuned Before It's Your Turn

South ParkWednesday, February 168:45 p.m. The sign painted on the building reads Delicious Food, Great Beer, Philanthropy, but I won’t notice this until I leave. For now, I dart from my car into South Park ...

Our Lady of Peace Bullies City Council

In January 2009, the San Diego city council denied Our Lady of Peace, an all-girl parochial school in Normal Heights, a permit to expand their facility. The council sided with the neighbors, who claimed that ...