Don Bauder 4:30 p.m., Dec. 9
From the Inside by Maria Shaughnessy I wanted to write a blog about my neighborhood, but I didn't know which to pick, Golden Hill or Downtown. I live on 20th Street, which is in Golden Hill, but anyone who lives here knows we don't have our own drugstore or library, or supermarket. We have our own post office, but it's equidistant to the one Downtown, so we usually end up going to that one anyway. I chose Downtown because Golden Hill is becoming an extension of it more and more these days. A few of my friends and I were discussing the scariest experiences we've had on the streets of Downtown. I am a female and have been walking down there for twenty eight years, so it turned out many of my experiences were among the scariest. Some seemed just weird while they were happening and scary only in hindsight. Like the time I was walking down the sidewalk and saw a man approaching, spinning something in the air. I thought from a distance he was doing a Yo Yo trick, like Around the World. When he came closer I realized I'd better jump out of the way right quick because it was a roofing nail on a piece of fishing line. A creative way to assert his aggression, I thought. Another thing anyone who lives in Golden Hill knows is that the safest way to get Downtown if you are walking is the bridge on Broadway. The other two streets that you could take go under the freeway bridges, and those can have some undesirable types who seem threatening if you are a woman. This scary experience happened twenty three years ago. Being a free spirited person, after having an argument with my boyfriend, I said “Forget you!” and left for a walk. It being 11:30 at night, I remembered a little neighborhood bar on 17th St. and Broadway. The name of the bar was “The Top Hat,” and it was in the basement of what is now called Sunburst Apartments. I enjoyed a glass of wine with some locals from the apartment building and then headed home, walking over Broadway bridge. When I was about midway over the bridge, a car passed me slowly. I looked into it, seeing five pairs of eyes staring back at me. It didn't start to get really scary until I turned around and looked over my shoulder to see the car was making a U-turn on the bridge. My instincts kicked in and I ran as fast as I could the rest of the way over the bridge and into the backyard of the cottages that were on the corner of 19th St. and Broadway. I hid back there until I was sure the car had passed. The final, and scariest experience to me for some reason, and it's probably because I've always been afraid of authority figures, was when the new police station was built on 15th St. There used to be an auto parts store catty corner from it. My brother-in-law Ted worked there delivering auto parts throughout San Diego. Every morning, Ted would load his truck and get ready for his day. I would stop by to say hello to him in the parking lot while I was taking my morning walk. One morning while we were talking we looked at the fourth floor of the police station. We noticed something wasn't quite right. After pondering it for a while, we realized several of the windows had been broken. When you first hear this, you think: “well big deal, windows Downtown get broken all the time.” What made this scary was when we saw they were broken...from the inside!