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What makes a home in San Diego

Cedar fire, wary of Clairemont, rooming with my son in North Park, last vacant beachfront lots, building paradise above Rancho Santa Fe

This ceramic woman’s bust, of beautiful proportion, has always been one of my favorite works of art. This is my angel in the rubble. - Image by Alan Decker
This ceramic woman’s bust, of beautiful proportion, has always been one of my favorite works of art. This is my angel in the rubble.
  • Site 151’s Four Million Dollar Mansion

  • Ralph Genovese doesn't use the word "mansion" to describe the three dwellings he will construct on a mountaintop in Rancho Santa Fe. He prefers "estate." He's building one of the homes for himself, and he hopes to sell the other two for close to $4 million apiece.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, July 22, 2004
The colonnade outside the back of the living room has been ripped out and replaced with an enormous beam.
  • All of Us in This House

  • My friend Adrian and I approached the darkened North Park apartment, and I sensed something wrong. It was and is my own apartment, one I share with my 28-year-old son, Geoffrey. The hour was early, maybe 6:30 p.m., and we had cut our evening short after snacks and a bit of canvas-viewing at the galleries on Ray Street. A cardboard box sat at the doorstep in shadow. It was the size of a small suitcase. As I neared the door I called out, "Geoff! Geoffrey?" and I heard a rustling inside, a low voice coming from the bathroom.
  • By John Brizzolara, Nov. 22, 2006
Talk is what I'm hoping for, mostly. I want him to tell me about it. What is it like, that kind of madness? I'll tell him, as best I can, what it is like to drink the way I have and maybe some reasons why.
  • All That's Left

  • With all those amazing ocean views, 16 empty lots may seem like a surprisingly large number. Who wouldn't want a house on the beach? There is a tax incentive to keeping the property vacant -- true in the '80s, even truer now. Those who have held property for years pay low taxes. The property tax bill, which can include special local taxes, amounts to approximately 1.25 percent of the property's assessed value, says Scott Travasos of Swell Property in Leucadia, and Proposition 13 ensures that the assessed value may be increased by only 2 percent per year. But add a house on the property, and the county can update the assessment.
  • By Rosa Jurjevics, Oct. 25, 2007
Between hedges and wrought-iron gates, chain-link fences stand open to reveal the skeletons of soon-to-be-multimillion-dollar houses.
  • Angel in the Rubble

  • On October 25, 2003, I go outside to touch base with the night sky and feel the air before retiring to bed. Tonight feels different. A Santa Ana is brewing and I smell smoke.
  • I come back inside through the creaky kitchen door, releasing the knob too soon, and the glass pane rattles as if it will break. My husband Kent says a neighbor called. They smell smoke.
  • By Chi Varnado, Oct. 11, 2007
The author, Chi Varnado. "Can we hurry up and go? It looks like the fire is coming!"
  • La Jolla Liberal Learns Tolerance from Clairemont Republicans

  • I look out the car window at the tacky little houses with gravel front yards. The streets are lined with parked trucks advertising hauling, mobile dog washing, drywall, mariachi bands. Inside an open garage, a bunch of men sit around a poker table drinking beer.
  • I miss La Jolla and tell the realtor. "Well, it's the cheapest neighborhood close to the beach," she says.
  • By Various Authors, Sept. 13, 2007
  • Hi. I used to live here. Can I come in?

  • Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Freud pointed out. He would never have said the same thing about a house. Certainly Carl Jung would not. In my case, as I approach my former address at the edge of Mission Hills, right where that neighborhood turns into Hillcrest, I am approaching a time machine as surely as if I were walking toward and lifting my hand to knock at the address of H.G. Wells’s Victorian scientist in the famous story from 1895.
  • By John Brizzolara, Jan. 28, 2009
In March of 1981, my small family and I moved into the house before which I now stand. We paid $60,000.
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This ceramic woman’s bust, of beautiful proportion, has always been one of my favorite works of art. This is my angel in the rubble. - Image by Alan Decker
This ceramic woman’s bust, of beautiful proportion, has always been one of my favorite works of art. This is my angel in the rubble.
  • Site 151’s Four Million Dollar Mansion

  • Ralph Genovese doesn't use the word "mansion" to describe the three dwellings he will construct on a mountaintop in Rancho Santa Fe. He prefers "estate." He's building one of the homes for himself, and he hopes to sell the other two for close to $4 million apiece.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, July 22, 2004
The colonnade outside the back of the living room has been ripped out and replaced with an enormous beam.
  • All of Us in This House

  • My friend Adrian and I approached the darkened North Park apartment, and I sensed something wrong. It was and is my own apartment, one I share with my 28-year-old son, Geoffrey. The hour was early, maybe 6:30 p.m., and we had cut our evening short after snacks and a bit of canvas-viewing at the galleries on Ray Street. A cardboard box sat at the doorstep in shadow. It was the size of a small suitcase. As I neared the door I called out, "Geoff! Geoffrey?" and I heard a rustling inside, a low voice coming from the bathroom.
  • By John Brizzolara, Nov. 22, 2006
Talk is what I'm hoping for, mostly. I want him to tell me about it. What is it like, that kind of madness? I'll tell him, as best I can, what it is like to drink the way I have and maybe some reasons why.
  • All That's Left

  • With all those amazing ocean views, 16 empty lots may seem like a surprisingly large number. Who wouldn't want a house on the beach? There is a tax incentive to keeping the property vacant -- true in the '80s, even truer now. Those who have held property for years pay low taxes. The property tax bill, which can include special local taxes, amounts to approximately 1.25 percent of the property's assessed value, says Scott Travasos of Swell Property in Leucadia, and Proposition 13 ensures that the assessed value may be increased by only 2 percent per year. But add a house on the property, and the county can update the assessment.
  • By Rosa Jurjevics, Oct. 25, 2007
Between hedges and wrought-iron gates, chain-link fences stand open to reveal the skeletons of soon-to-be-multimillion-dollar houses.
  • Angel in the Rubble

  • On October 25, 2003, I go outside to touch base with the night sky and feel the air before retiring to bed. Tonight feels different. A Santa Ana is brewing and I smell smoke.
  • I come back inside through the creaky kitchen door, releasing the knob too soon, and the glass pane rattles as if it will break. My husband Kent says a neighbor called. They smell smoke.
  • By Chi Varnado, Oct. 11, 2007
The author, Chi Varnado. "Can we hurry up and go? It looks like the fire is coming!"
  • La Jolla Liberal Learns Tolerance from Clairemont Republicans

  • I look out the car window at the tacky little houses with gravel front yards. The streets are lined with parked trucks advertising hauling, mobile dog washing, drywall, mariachi bands. Inside an open garage, a bunch of men sit around a poker table drinking beer.
  • I miss La Jolla and tell the realtor. "Well, it's the cheapest neighborhood close to the beach," she says.
  • By Various Authors, Sept. 13, 2007
  • Hi. I used to live here. Can I come in?

  • Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, Freud pointed out. He would never have said the same thing about a house. Certainly Carl Jung would not. In my case, as I approach my former address at the edge of Mission Hills, right where that neighborhood turns into Hillcrest, I am approaching a time machine as surely as if I were walking toward and lifting my hand to knock at the address of H.G. Wells’s Victorian scientist in the famous story from 1895.
  • By John Brizzolara, Jan. 28, 2009
In March of 1981, my small family and I moved into the house before which I now stand. We paid $60,000.
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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