Normal Heights Stories

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 ...

Light Brown Apple Moth Spreading North?

In September 2010, the California Department of Food and Agriculture quarantined a portion of San Diego County when the light brown apple moth was found one mile east of Balboa Park. The pest, native to ...

Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park Plans Finalized

At its March 22 meeting, the Adams Recreation Council approved the final long-term plan for Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park, located at Adams Avenue and 40th Street. Approximately 20 residents attended the presentation by the Schmidt ...

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

“Bicycling has a way of bringing more vibrancy to a city,” says Beryl Forman, marketing manager for the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association. “When you see a bunch of bikes in front of a ...

Prim and Proper

"Complexity is the end of fun,” says Rick. He’s philosophizing at the bar stool to my right, here in this little wine bar behind Rosie O’Grady’s pub. This is up in Normal Heights. Rick’s talking ...

Truck Backs into Motorcycle in Normal Heights

A motorcyclist's right leg was severed Sunday morning, January 30, when a pickup truck backed into the rider’s path as he headed west on Meade Avenue. The 51-year-old Kensington resident's leg was cut off at ...

Plans for Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park Presented

The monthly meeting of the Adams Recreation Council was held at the Normal Heights Community Center on January 25. The focus of the meeting was a presentation by the Schmidt Design Group of three concept ...

More Bike Racks for San Diego Sidewalks

According to Marko Radovanovic of the City’s Traffic Engineering Division, a project is under way to install 47 bicycle racks on sidewalks along El Cajon Boulevard, 30th Street, University Avenue, and Adams Avenue. Thirty-three racks ...

Mental Illness Meets a Bullet in Normal Heights

Anné Josefson walks toward a table outside the Starbucks in La Mesa’s Grossmont Center, carrying a black three-ring binder. Clasped inside are two 11-by-24-inch pictures of her son, Nathan Manning. She opens the binder, displaying ...

Radio Room Goes to Eleven

At the former City Heights site of Radio Room and Zombie Lounge, recently unveiled Eleven offers (mostly) free live music with a warm, locals’ bar atmosphere. The latest enterprise of Hamilton’s and Small Bar founders ...

Prescription Med May Have Led to Police Shooting in Normal Heights

In a September 22 letter addressed to Chief William Lansdowne, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis indicated that the prescription drug Carbamazepine could have been to blame for the violent behavior of 31-year-old Nathan Gable Manning, who ...

Normal Heights Boundaries Change on New City Map

Normal Heights, a 104-year old neighborhood in the Mid-City area, is shown on a new city map (click here) divided into two parts: the area north of Adams Avenue has been renamed Adams North; the ...

San Diego Unified’s Budget Problems Extend to Disabled Student Programs

The San Diego Unified School District board met in a “Special Meeting” on Tuesday, August 31 (click to boarddocs.com/ca/sandi/Board.nsf/Public for more info). Among other items on the agenda was a discussion that touched on a ...

Orphan Bin?

"USAgain is a green for-profit enterprise that collects used clothes (and shoes) and resells them worldwide to conserve precious resources and greenhouse gases," according to their website. Two of USAgain’s red-and-white collection bins were placed ...

Economic Upturn?

In August and September of 2008, Townspeople, a California nonprofit, received gap financing from the San Diego Housing Commission Board and the Housing Authority for its acquisition and rehabilitation of a 34-unit apartment complex located ...

Nothing Normal About It

Memories of my decade in Normal Heights came stumbling back when I received the following email from my old friend Hank, who still lives there: “Yo, I want to apologize for my rant yesterday. I ...

Let There Be Light

It's been years since the 16 light posts that run the length of the Adams Avenue bridge over Interstate 15 have emitted any light. Some Kensington residents claim the lights along the bridge were never ...

Amy Wallen Will Give You Crickets

As I drove by the Swedenborgian Church around the corner from my place in Normal Heights, I saw people entering for some event that included balloons and a huge cake. It was a safe assumption ...

Book Mountain Crumbles

I love the smell of used books, but at the end of this month I will have to find another place to indulge in my guilty pleasure, as my favorite bookstore in Normal Heights is ...

Chocolate with Your Beer

Answer this: What kind of place gives you a big chunk of chocolate to munch with your beer? A real serious-about-beer place. Where a man can find a far-out stout. Sayer the server hands me ...

Blood and Ghosts

On Thursday, October 1, at the Soda Bar in Normal Heights, Los Angeles–based synthpop duo Former Ghosts played their first ever San Diego show. At some point during the band’s set, a man ran into ...

Occasionally, when having difficutlties at my lackluster but otherwise uninteresting job I may (on occasion) become grouchy

Unforeseen Benefit of keeping up this Blog: It is hot outside and I am inside where it is (slightly) cooler. Since I am producing something--instead of the pre-blog days of just looking at craigslist for ...

San Diego Un-Unified

On Thursday, August 20, San Diego Unified’s school board president Shelia Jackson stood in front of a dozen reporters and read a statement concerning superintendent Terry Grier's likely departure to run a Texas school district. ...

Cold Bus Stop

At approximately 6:05 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, three San Diego police officers boarded the 15 bus at Interstate 15 on El Cajon Boulevard. Two officers boarded through the rear and motioned to two passengers. ...

You Down with O.L.P.?

Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood overlooking Mission Valley, the Academy of Our Lady of Peace (O.L.P.) is a Catholic High School for young women. The private institution, founded in 1882, relocated from downtown ...

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 ...

Grace San Diego

“You are here,” reads the tagline below “Grace” on the banners and bulletin covers for Grace San Diego. Undoubtedly, more than one layer of meaning is intended here — layer two may be something like, ...

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 ...

Back When

Thirty Years Ago Dole is related to pineapples, though he's supposed to have the personality of a radish. Ford is a dependable, unexciting four-door. Somewhere maybe there's a vacuum cleaner or a pipe joint called ...

It's Beautiful

'You taste it, you like it, you can take it home for retail price.'

Stephanie Who?

I went to a CD release party this summer for a group called Four Eyes. I had seen them play at Humphrey's, and they reminded me of the Beatles, Squeeze, and Elvis Costello. The party ...

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 ...

Best of 2003: Best Topiary Garden

Carmelite Monastery 5158 Hawley Boulevard, Normal Heights Enrique Arroyo, the gardener at the Carmelite Monastery, was allowed to create topiary animals on the convent grounds. Arroyo's walrus, snail, armadillo, owl, and tortoise can be seen ...

Best of 2003: Best Place To Get High When You're Dying

Stir It Up Cannabis Coffee House 4683 33rd Street, Normal Heights 619-521-0337 Dying is never pleasant, but it doesn't have to be boring. Stir It Up Cannabis Coffee House provides terminally ill patients with a ...

Best of 2003: Best Community Planning Meeting

Normal Heights Community Association Planning Committee Meetings 4649 Hawley Boulevard, Normal Heights 619-584-1608 If you're community-minded and want to learn how true obsessives fight City Hall, don't miss the monthly meetings of this community-planning committee. ...

Best of 2003: Best Place To Start A Comedy Career

Comedy Co-Dependents 4716 32nd Street, Normal Heights 619-280-5177 Want to break into comedy? Start right here. Whoopi Goldberg did, working with Arlene before she started her own "Co-dependency" troupe in 1994. Just call ahead and ...

Best of 2003: Best Rare Records Source

Folk Art Rare Records 3611 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights 619-282-7833 The jazz vocals, reggae, Brazilian guitar, western swing, pop, gospel, and bluegrass draw clients from all over the world. The shop's proprietor, Lou Curtiss (father ...

Nowhere Zone: The Rise, Fall, and Rise of Normal Heights

“I’d lie awake at night and think, ‘I am in hell.’ I’d get up in the morning and think, ‘I am in hell.’ At one point we had heavy trucks making 200 to 300 trips ...

Best of 2001: Best Big Omelet

Antique Row Café 3002 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights 619-303-7601 or 619-282-9750 The menu calls them "Three-Egg Omeletes," but it's hard to believe. The chicken that laid three eggs large enough to compose these monsters would ...

Best of 2001: Best Place For A Late-Night Hookah

The Cairo Café 3569 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights 619-255-3095 www.cairocafe.org We mean the Middle Eastern hubble-bubble water pipe, of course. The Cairo Café is a little place with outside garden seating serving a few coffees ...

Best of 2001: Best Children's Bookstore

The Prince and the Pauper 3201 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights 619-283-4380 or 800-454-3726 www.oldkidsbooks.com People remember the books they read as kids: Little Golden Books, Dick and Jane, Mercer Mayer, Maurice Sendak, Uncle Wiggly, Huck ...

Best of 2001: Best Place To Rent Cameras And Darkroom Materials

Ken Petsch at Camera Exposure 2703 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights 619-640-5300 At Ken Petsch's place you can rent super-ultra telephoto lenses or hot-shot cameras by the day. So you can try out a couple of ...

Best of 2001: Best Place To Buy A Handmade Girl's Dress

Charles Alterations, Tailoring & Dry Cleaning 3435 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights 619-283-1574 As children's fashions look more adult, finding a special-occasion dress for your little girl is becoming more difficult. The big chains seem bent ...

Best of 2001: Best Funeral Joint, If You Don't Want To Pay An Arm And A Leg

Mayer Mortuary 2859 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights 619-281-7055 It's extraordinary for one reason: it's independent. This, in a time when the funeral chains are eating up small independents all over. Corporations like the Houston-based Service ...

Best of 2000: Best Dry Cleaner

Glen Cleaners 3190 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights (619) 282-0241 Spot removal and enlightenment. All cleaning and pressing is done on the premises. They don't mash jacket lapels into a knife edge, they gently roll them. ...

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