Ken Harrison 6:45 p.m., Aug. 23
Why San Diego doesn't scrape the sky
Perhaps San Diego’s two screwdrivers, the Hyatt and One America — harbingers of shapes to come — are tools for its future. With luck, Emerald Plaza may serve as a New Age talisman against overbuilding and outrageous flash.
- Bankers Hill
- Golden Hill
- Mission Hills
- Normal Heights
- North Park
- South Park
San Diego's splendid Craftsmen homes
“In my neighborhood, people are removing aluminum siding and stucco from the 1950s and 1960s. They’re stripping the paint from their homes’ redwood shingles. And they’re pulling up wall-to-wall carpeting to expose the hardwood floors.”
Beach people who aren't bums
“You can never come back from Dog Beach without having a laugh. Once I saw a little dog running by with a life jacket on. There’s always somebody jumping in the sand, chasing their tail, taking a swim.”
Our easternly neighbor's crowded discontents.
“They called it ‘The Jungle’ where I lived," says Michelle Hull, now a Spring Valley resident but formerly an Emerald Avenue apartment resident. “You could see people doing drug deals in their cars — my nine-year-old daughter saw that.
San Diego's long-lived Victorians
Another prominent San Diego attorney-turned-judge named E.W. Britt built this nine-room Queen Anne and later sold the residence to newspaper magnate W. Scripps, for use as a townhouse while Scripps's Miramar Ranch was under construction.
Custom homes and midlife crises
Already, architects are experimenting with “Row House Revival," narrow unattached homes harkening Victorian urban dwellings, and “Courtyard Clusters," tiny cottages in circular 'covered wagon” formation as options for first-time buyers short on cash.
A real estate agent had warned me, “The residents of Saint Malo are very classy people,” so I had packed a bottle of light, fruity Domaine Les Grands Groux Sancerre (1996) and a loaf of fresh bread.
With only two avenues of ingress — Kensington Drive and Marlborough Avenue — it remains secluded, quiet, and difficult to locate. Which is fine with its inhabitants who joke, “We’ve never left because we can’t find our way out.”