Stories for November 1999

Wednesday, November 24

Cristina's Kitchen

This cover story has not yet been posted. However, you can download the digital edition to view any story from this issue.

Visit the new Simon Park open-space preserve outside Ramona

Difficulty and disaster

Simon Park Preserve, a diminutive new patch of dedicated open space, has recently opened adjacent to San Diego Country Estates near Ramona. The preserve, which is maintained for wildlife habitat and light recreation by the ...

The house on Crown Point

Back to where my grandparents lived

Almost every Thanksgiving, we drove to my grandparents. I remember the excitement as we neared Crown Point, the great arc and half-arc of the old two-lane bridges that carried Ingraham Street over Mission Bay.

Why do pawn shops have a three cherry logo?

Yo, Matt: Why do pawn shops have a logo like three cherries? What's the story behind them? And what ailment is Walt Disney waiting for a cure for while frozen? Do you age during your ...

Why do cats like fish and why hasn't a cat food manufacturer tried rodent based food?

Dear Matthew Alice: I've seen house cats kill and eat birds, so it makes sense that they like cat food made from poultry. I also know cats hunt and consume lots of rodents, but I've ...

Comedian in the Mist

Author David Sedaris visits San Diego primates.

Sedaris was smoking a Kool near the entrance to the La Jolla Marriott when I explained that the zoo was probably touchy because the feds had recently nailed the zoo's reptile curator for dealing snakes on the side.

Ode to Highway 54

It's a noisy world

When you and your husband first bought this old clapboard house on the north side of Chula Vista it was incredibly quiet at night. Crickets and frogs. But since then, Highway 805 was built, then 54.

Mapes Meets His Match

Maybe it's a perverse kind of destiny, but there's just no way around it: the demise of the historic Mapes Hotel in Reno, Nevada, seems inextricably linked to San Diego. Way back on December 17, ...

Thursday, November 18

Mob Scene

You enter the spa through oversized oak doors and immediately see sun stream down on a naked old man as he climbs out of a sunken Jacuzzi tub in the center of a brightly lit ...

Climb Coyote Mountain for a comprehensive view of Borrego Valley and its desert environs

The desolate ridge of Coyote Mountain rises like the dark, furrowed flank of an elephant over the sand-drowned Borrego and Clark Valleys in the north part of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Scattered amid slabs of ...

I've Turned Into One of Those Old Guys in the Park!

It’s almost Friday evening and I’m sitting in the park across from the Coronado Public Library. The book I’m reading is not riveting my attention in the way one always hopes as a reader. I ...

Doctor from the Hood

An aristocratic Frenchman went on a quest to understand democracy in America in 1831. Alexis de Tocqueville went on to write a book in which he extrapolated "the most horrible of civil wars" from the ...

Rocket Pirates

Hope, it seems, springs eternal in the minds of Oscar Goodman, the attorney-to-the-mob turned mayor of Las Vegas, and Padres owner John Moores. Goodman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last Friday that he and Moores ...

Thursday, November 11

Look! You've Got a Naked Man on Your Fork!

This cover story has not yet been posted. However, you can download the digital edition to view any story from this issue.

Zen Master of the Blues Guitar

Robin Henkel conveys his genius

After playing guitar for 35 years and figuring in the old dog factor, I had little more to learn, one would think, and less hope of learning it. This proved to be only half true ...

Will the 1999 Leonid meteor shower amaze or bore early-morning skywatchers

Will the Leonids roar this year like its namesake constellation (Leo, the Lion), or will we stifle a yawn as we struggle to keep our eyes open looking upward into the sky during the wee ...

Phone in a Box

There are still more employees than customers at the customer-service center built in Tijuana by Mexico's newest telecommunications upstart, Pegaso. Surrounded by equipment displays and eye-catching ads, a dozen cashiers and sales people await the ...

Fast Cars, Funny Money

Vintage Mercedes owners, lonely ladies, and San Diego retailers beware. Eric Erickson is coming back to town. Saturday, October 16, the former La Jollan and two other inmates walked out of a minimum-security federal prison ...

Hotel Follies

While the board of the San Diego Unified Port Commission considers whether to get into the lodging business by financing and constructing a big new hotel on the site of downtown's Campbell shipyard on San ...

What illiterate computer bozo suddenly decided the @ symbol means "at," when it really means "each?"

Matt: This may come as a surprise to many of you Internet chuckleheads out there, but the symbol @ does not mean "at." It means "each." So what I wanna know is, what illiterate computer ...

La Jolla is Murder

The widow of murdered UCSD researcher Tsunao Saito has filed another round of libel suits against Japanese publications she says defamed her by running false reports suggesting she might have had a role in her ...

Fat and Lean

Well-heeled San Diegans continue to give generously to their political causes of choice in the months leading up to election year 2000. The Union-Tribune's David Copley has given $1000 to Congressman Brian Bilbray. Downtown steakhouse ...

Thursday, November 4

Can't I Just Get a Damn Valentine?

At first, I landed the wrong fish. The ad read: “Are You Literally a Child of the Sixties? Did you go to protests and rallies as a grade-schooler? Were your parents members of the counterculture? ...

Discover rich fossil-shell "reefs" after a hike through Anza-Borrego's Mud Hills Wash

This five-mile walk, in the low-lying, desolate, dry Carrizo Badlands of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, takes you to fossil shell "reefs" so dense with fossils that fossilized shells and shell fragments outweigh the sandy matrix ...

A Perfectly Sanitary, Labor-Saving House

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.”

Behind the Mixtec Curtain

An ancient Indian language makes its way to local classrooms

"Mixtec is an ancient language. It has a small vocabulary. So they have added things onto a root word to explain what they want to say. For example, 'bark' becomes 'the face of the tree.' "

Brains Turned to Mush

'I'll take San Diego for 100!" "All right!" The woman at the head of the line, in front of a dozen or so other Jeopardy hopefuls at University Towne Centre, is wearing a name tag ...

Crash Landing

A plan to build executive jets at a plant beside the runway at Montgomery Field has been scrubbed because, sponsors claim, neighbors didn't like it. But city sources say that the real reason the deal ...

Does San Diego have an official flower?

Dear Matthew Alice: Does San Diego have an official city flower? -- A Gardener, San Diego Of course we do. We don't have a modern library, but we do have a city flower. Back in ...

There are street names for 7 presidents, but why not Jefferson?

Matthew Alice: There are street names for the first seven presidents: Washington (Hillcrest), Adams, Madison, Monroe (Normal Heights), Jackson (San Diego, La Mesa), with the exception of Jefferson. Why no Jefferson? -- Carrie Hart, Normal ...

Tuesday, November 2

Scale Indianhead peak, passing groves of native palms in Borrego Palm Canyon along the way

Indianhead, a 3990-foot promontory crowning the north wall of Borrego Palm Canyon, juts dramatically from the desert floor near Borrego Springs and the Anza-Borrego visitor center. There are several climbing routes to Indianhead's summit but ...

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