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Stories by Siobhan Braun

Musicians, hippies, and travelers in Ocean Beach

Waves crash behind them

For some travelers, hope is the worst drug out there.

San Diego Guide to Holiday Fun

Even if yuletide music burns your cochlea on contact ... something for you

I read somewhere that the reason you’re sad around Christmastime is because it’s a reminder of what you’ve lost since childhood: the belief that the world is a magical place that is interested in your ...

Not territorial yet

First time at Tabletops

Name: Christopher Mirendil Age: 30 Occupation: Engineer Location: Tabletops, Cardiff by the Sea On a two- to three-foot day, I find Christopher Mirendil nursing a bloody foot after a surf session at Tabletops. “Today I ...

Waves worth getting sick for

Colton Koons strengthens his immune system in the mouth of the San Diego River

Name: Colton Koons Age: 22 From: Serra Mesa Occupation: Beach Lifeguard Location: Ocean Beach Jetty Colton Koons is in the parking lot at the end of Santa Monica Avenue peeling off his wetsuit and getting ...

Swami’s with 100 guys — not so fun

The advantage of IB’s pollution

Names: Justin Mendhan, Walter Graen, and Mikial Tolmosoff Location: Tijuana Slough Mikial Tolmosoff, a visual artist, and Justin Mendhan, construction worker, both 28, have been riding waves together in Imperial Beach since they were 10 ...

Get a Costco foam board

And don't go to Windansea

Name: Nick Manverg Age: 23 Occupation: Bartender/Student at the University of St. Augustine Location: Crystal Pier Board: Firewire 5’6 Nick Manverg grew up in Temecula, an excruciating 40-minute drive to the beach. As a kid ...

PB surfer departs for Texas

“I know I am going to miss this.”

Kelsey Gonzalez Age: 25 Hometown: Point Loma Favorite Surf Spot: Old Man’s, Pacific Beach Kelsey Gonzalez is moving to Texas in one week. She is trying to get into the water as much as possible. ...

Sometimes I.B. looks like Pipeline

It’s not the cleanest, but sometimes you just go out anyway.

Name: Jake Wilsie Age: 19 Occupation: Surf Instruction Location: South Mission Favorite Surf Spot: Sunset Cliffs It’s a Tuesday afternoon, and Jake Wilse is peeling off his wetsuit after giving a private lesson to a ...

What are you doing here? I'm married!

He looked like a clean-cut guy at the stoplight.

Rachel looks like a soccer mom. On most days her minivan is cluttered with backpacks and sports gear. Leftover Goldfish and Cheerios are ground into the floorboards. When dropping her kids off at school in ...

Unforgiving Hospitals

An aggressive reef break

Name: Josh Turner Age: 20 Occupation: Valet Location: Tourmaline Surf Park, PB Favorite Surf Spot: Hospitals, La Jolla Josh Turner’s introduction to surfing came by way of a Surfari Surf School class in Mission Beach ...

San Diego's sex-trafficking shame

We need our hearts broken over this

A leopard-print sign hanging on Andrea Smith’s front door announces, “I am a luxury few can afford.” Three years ago there was heavy truth in that statement. Smith was bringing in about $2500 a night ...

Fun things to do in San Diego

A million things under the sun — we offer a few (some indoors)

County Administration Center Waterfront Park In 2014, 12 acres of former parking lots were converted into a public park facing San Diego Bay. Running both north and south of the county government headquarters established in ...

SHARK! No, dolphin

Name: Arturo Baravalle Age: 26 Occupation: tennis coach Favorite surf spot: PB Point On a foggy Tuesday morning, Arturo Baravalle suited up to surf La Jolla Shores. Baravalle moved to San Diego last June with ...

Charley don’t like 50-year-old guys acting like little girls

"I get my waves."

Name: Charley Stevens Age: 28 Occupation: Bartender Location: Sunset Cliffs Subs Charley Stevens speaks like a surfer with slow and lazy vowels. He moved to Ocean Beach four years ago. He learned to surf in ...

He kept snaking me

Blatantly frisky dolphins...only at Black’s

NAME: Jackson Lettow AGE: 15 LOCATION: Scripps Pier FAVORITE SURF SPOT: Cardiff or Scripps on a big day with no wind I distinctly remember going out one day with my dad when I was about ...

Closed in this box of El Cajon

East County Middle Easterns

Speaking English is eighth on their priority list.

Trump is a farce, Bernie is a farce, Hillary is a farce

Still, it would be pretty s#!t not to vote.

When a presidential election season rolls around, my husband and I make an effort to avoid voicing our opinions. Our political views have been in contrast for the past 18 years. In the beginning of ...

I know when it’s my turn

Surfing Cardiff

Sixteen-year-old Julie Schuman, a Cardiff native, ranks among the top three spots in the lady longboarders 18-and-under-category. She has been surfing since she was six years old. “There were always a bunch of kids out ...

"I don't get people being vibey."

A special board, just for El Niño

Name: Bob Thomas Age: 57 Occupation: English as a second language, San Diego Community College District Lives in: Ocean Beach Surfing: O.B. Pier “This is my favorite spot. I live down the street. My buddies ...

We had no idea that our first pig was going to lead to all this

Slowly, the population of Grazin’ Pig Acres grew

If you make a right onto Dye Road off SR-67 north, past a sign advertising midget wrestling, tucked amidst dusty chaparral and dirt roads, you’ll find Grazin’ Pig Acres. A kitschy “Pig Lover” sign announces ...

Art in every corner of San Diego

There is so much more to San Diego than a good tan and 70 miles of coastline. We are a city overflowing with creators, dreamers, and breathtaking natural beauty. In San Diego, art is found ...

Donald Trump is the enemy

Miss USA vs. Miss America

“Miss USA girls want to grow up and become lingerie models. Miss America girls want to be doctors and lawyers.”

A mournful National Dog Day in Ocean Beach

Maltipoo shaken "like a chew toy," killed; attacker's owner splits scene

Regina Lovato liked to take her Maltipoo (Maltese-poodle mix), Aria, and her blue pit bull, Yates, to Ocean Beach’s Dog Beach nearly every afternoon. Since Aria was attacked and killed by a black Labrador-retriever mix ...

When you're guilty til proved innocent

The Innocence Project wants to help

The California Institution for Women in Chino is dusty and dilapidated. It looks like an abandoned high school outfitted with razor-wire-topped fencing and look-out towers with armed guards. At 8:00 a.m. on an overcast Saturday ...

Worst. Roommate. Ever.

Cohabitation frustration

No fun with mushroom girls and those on China time.

Guitars, Banjos, and the American Dream

Local luthiers.

At Sam Radding’s shop, the twang was destined to meet.

Combat boots storm campus

Docs, vintage style, and trendy takes on the durable classic

Fashion always recycles itself as evidenced by the proliferation of high-waisted pants and the return of stonewashed denim. It’s no surprise that the 90s grunge-girl staple — the combat boot — has resurfaced in a ...

The otherness that burdened my mother

My mother first stepped foot in America in 1957 at the age of six. She was porcelain-skinned and freckle-faced with a shock of curly red hair. My grandfather waited on the tarmac as his family ...

Is there anything to hate about San Diego?

America’s Finest bitch fest

A childhood friend of mine from Chicago recently admitted that she unfollowed my Facebook feed. “In February Chicago had its coldest month on record since 1875! We froze our asses off. Looking at pictures of ...

99% of what we catch we throw back

Accept the craziness of the lobster fisherman

Never name your boat after your wife.

Sneak peek for the Week

So Cal creators share their spring/summer designs in advance of fall venue change

Fashion Week San Diego hosted its spring showcase at Harrah’s Casino on Saturday, March 14. Attendees were given a sneak peek of styles from 25 different designers whose designs will walk the runway next fall ...

Parks and art and recreation

Among the barrel cactus and desert agave of Borrego Springs you’ll find a peculiar site: a herd of Gomphotheres and a 350-foot sea serpent slithering out of the sand. These, and 138 other larger than ...

Thank you, Matthew McConaughey

Watch your burn rate.

When Jon Carder became a multimillionaire at the age of 26, his mother thought he was a drug dealer. “For a good four years, she thought for sure I was selling drugs. I bought a ...

Local gift guide: Lady edition

San Diego spots provide great options when shopping for her.

Christmas shopping can be such a hassle. I have the tendency to avoid malls during the entire month of December. Parking is a nightmare and sales people are overworked and grumpy. Luckily for San Diegans ...

Local gift guide: Dude edition

Skip the mall and shop local.

Gift giving for the dudes on my Christmas list is a challenge. My husband is a minimalist, so anytime I ask him what he wants for Christmas he shrugs and says, "Nothing." While he acts ...

Thrift pros and scores

Dedicated thrifters know how to take advantage of the deals in SD's many vintage and discount shops.

San Diego is known for its great weather, beaches, and craft beer. I think we need to add another item to that list — thrift stores. From the row of resale shops in Hillcrest on ...

Pulling off that Monday Morning look

What casual collegiates wore at SDSU.

SDSU on a Monday morning is a sea of fashion mediocrity. The campus is sprinkled with students wearing sneakers, joggers, yoga pants, tees and top knots. I get it; I do. No one likes Mondays, ...

Cute, not crass

A very Street Style Halloween costume guide

Every fall, the costume industry rolls out a fresh crop of sexified costumes for the ladies that range from the unintentionally hysterical to the downright absurd. Skimpy is fine, but a lack of creativity is ...

Festival style on Adams Avenue

“I made them from my dead cat’s bones.”

Ever notice how groups of friends often share similar tastes in style? I ran into several groups of ladies who wore complementary frocks at the Adams Avenue Street festival. Lein Gage, Lora Mathis and Daliah ...

Spotted: Dapper, trendy, casual-cool

Get ready to feel some cute-couple envy.

If it were up to me, my husband would dress like he stepped out of a J.Crew catalogue. However he prefers to wear tees that say, Fact: Clowns Eat People paired with cargo shorts and ...

Pint-sized to lady-like

Report from day two of SD Fashion Week.

Here’s what you should know about Fashion Week San Diego — Allison Andrews, the show’s founder/producer, is not attempting to replicate New York Fashion Week. FWSD is the laid-back, unpretentious version. You will not find ...

Beach Blanket Banter

Teens talk about drugs, sex, and college.

At 17, she could pass for 21. Her wild brown curly hair is streaked with turquoise highlights. A cluster of freckles sprinkle the bridge of her pierced nose. Abby wears a 1920s-inspired emerald-green tropical-print bikini. ...

A special significance

San Diegans show off their tattoos.

Tattoos are so mainstream. Gone are the days when the rebels and counter-culture characters among us were the only ones sporting ink. In San Diego, trendy tattoo parlors like Remington in North Park and Full ...

Put a lid on it

A photographer, an artist, and a musician talk about the hats that complete their looks.

Hats can make a creative man. Pharrell's Vivienne Westwood vintage hat worn to the Grammys has since become a Halloween costume option. Slash’ has been wearing his iconic top hat, that he famously shoplifted prior ...

I never wear the same thing twice

What they wore in Little Italy.

In Little Italy, Lien Nguyen held her fluffy Maltipoo, Kali, close as she made her way through the crowded Saturday morning Mercato on Cedar Street. Nguyen was on her way to brunch with her husband. ...

A world of style in City Heights

Fanny packs, Somalian dresses, and hijabs

Mother/daughter pair, Madina Mah and Khadija Musame, infused some serious style into the City Heights farmer’s market with their beautiful and vividly colored traditional Somali Bantu dresses. 21-year-old Mah told me that she always dresses ...

SDSU international students discuss American fashion

Aussie invasion on campus.

While enjoying brunch in San Diego, I found Australian (and one Brit) SDSU students Alice Himelstein, Bridie Davey, Sarah Astrada, Becky Oaks, and Sierra Callaway enjoying a break from studying. The five friends had some ...

He sees dead people

A local psychic explains his work

Clients and friends of David Roesch describe him as male version of the Long Island Medium. According to him, He has seen dead people since childhood. “After having scarlet fever as a child, and being ...

Meetup

Groupthink.

If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good. — Dr. Seuss

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