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Most notable San Diego Reader stories of the early 21st Century

Gay bathhouses, cabbies, San Diego's light, smuggled Mexicans face harsh winter, street racing, in pursuit of the perfect tan

Mark Davis: "I'm not really susceptible to skin cancer because I'm naturally dark. I'm half Lebanese."
Mark Davis: "I'm not really susceptible to skin cancer because I'm naturally dark. I'm half Lebanese."
  • Bathhouse Quagmire

  • "I was in those San Francisco bathhouses in the late 1970s," says James Hartline, an HIV-positive Hillcrest man who is campaigning to get San Diego's three bathhouses shut down. "Those bathhouses were a big part of the generation of the gay scene in San Francisco. They represent everything that the gay community is about, which is sexual liberation with nobody telling you what you can and can't do."
  • By Ernie Grimm, Nov. 6, 2003
Vulcan Baths on Cedar, across from county administration building. "Methamphetamine allows people to have sex for two, three, four days without stopping."
  • Second Only To the Cowboy

  • Next to their airport brethren, the average San Diego city cab driver has it tough. They hope for calls from their dispatchers, and when they answer those calls, they hope the fares are still there to be picked up. Often, the cabbies have to pick up their fares in crowded areas, with no place to maneuver safely or park legally.
  • By Geoff Bouvier, Sept. 4, 2003
Taxi at airport. One Afghani makes almost no money at all but keeps his job so that his family has a car to use. An Iranian man told me he does well enough, although he loses "about a fare a week" to runaway fare-jumpers.
  • Beautiful Light

  • It's not even noon and already I'm closing the blinds on the south-facing windows of my home office. That pesky natural light is overrunning the glow of the lamp by which I work. Too much of a bright thing.
  • By Thomas Larson, Oct. 7, 2004
If San Diegans, on occasion, avoid going out, Kopec knows the reason: the sun "is always here."
  • I'd Never Marry a Pale Girl

  • On a sunny afternoon in June, Mark Davis is peeling off the top of his wetsuit after taking a swim at La Jolla Shores. Unlike many beachgoers, Davis's tan is of little if any concern to him. "I honestly don't think it's that important to get a tan. I like a natural tan, but tan people who overdo it can look hideous, especially an artificially brilliant tan. “
  • By Robert Kumpel, June 20, 2002
John Witucki: The most important part of the body to keep tanned is the chest area. "It's probably the best-looking area to be tan. You can get away with white legs."
  • Once You're Wet, You're Done

  • These smugglers tell them, 'Within a couple of hours across the border, you will be in a vehicle on your way to Chicago,' or wherever they want to go. We hear that every single time. In reality, it is two, three, four days later, and they are still walking in these remote areas without water and, in winter, without warm clothes."
  • By Ernie Grimm, Jan. 2, 2003
BORSTAR team during cliff-rescue training in Laguna Mountains, 12/06/02. "When we found the footprints and started following them, we kept noticing very small footprints."
  • Killer Speed

  • On a recent Friday night at 11:00 p.m., a lone policeman sits in his patrol car watching from 50 yards away a group of souped-up cars in the Target parking lot on Balboa Avenue. "It looks like they're gathering," says Johnnie. Fewer drivers race on the streets these days. But on any given evening, says Johnnie, races can materialize in several areas of town.
  • By Joe Deegan, Sept. 25, 2003
Earl Williams: "The younger crowd doesn't like the rules at Qualcomm."
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Nervousness about Soon-Shiong exploring a potential sale
Mark Davis: "I'm not really susceptible to skin cancer because I'm naturally dark. I'm half Lebanese."
Mark Davis: "I'm not really susceptible to skin cancer because I'm naturally dark. I'm half Lebanese."
  • Bathhouse Quagmire

  • "I was in those San Francisco bathhouses in the late 1970s," says James Hartline, an HIV-positive Hillcrest man who is campaigning to get San Diego's three bathhouses shut down. "Those bathhouses were a big part of the generation of the gay scene in San Francisco. They represent everything that the gay community is about, which is sexual liberation with nobody telling you what you can and can't do."
  • By Ernie Grimm, Nov. 6, 2003
Vulcan Baths on Cedar, across from county administration building. "Methamphetamine allows people to have sex for two, three, four days without stopping."
  • Second Only To the Cowboy

  • Next to their airport brethren, the average San Diego city cab driver has it tough. They hope for calls from their dispatchers, and when they answer those calls, they hope the fares are still there to be picked up. Often, the cabbies have to pick up their fares in crowded areas, with no place to maneuver safely or park legally.
  • By Geoff Bouvier, Sept. 4, 2003
Taxi at airport. One Afghani makes almost no money at all but keeps his job so that his family has a car to use. An Iranian man told me he does well enough, although he loses "about a fare a week" to runaway fare-jumpers.
  • Beautiful Light

  • It's not even noon and already I'm closing the blinds on the south-facing windows of my home office. That pesky natural light is overrunning the glow of the lamp by which I work. Too much of a bright thing.
  • By Thomas Larson, Oct. 7, 2004
If San Diegans, on occasion, avoid going out, Kopec knows the reason: the sun "is always here."
  • I'd Never Marry a Pale Girl

  • On a sunny afternoon in June, Mark Davis is peeling off the top of his wetsuit after taking a swim at La Jolla Shores. Unlike many beachgoers, Davis's tan is of little if any concern to him. "I honestly don't think it's that important to get a tan. I like a natural tan, but tan people who overdo it can look hideous, especially an artificially brilliant tan. “
  • By Robert Kumpel, June 20, 2002
John Witucki: The most important part of the body to keep tanned is the chest area. "It's probably the best-looking area to be tan. You can get away with white legs."
  • Once You're Wet, You're Done

  • These smugglers tell them, 'Within a couple of hours across the border, you will be in a vehicle on your way to Chicago,' or wherever they want to go. We hear that every single time. In reality, it is two, three, four days later, and they are still walking in these remote areas without water and, in winter, without warm clothes."
  • By Ernie Grimm, Jan. 2, 2003
BORSTAR team during cliff-rescue training in Laguna Mountains, 12/06/02. "When we found the footprints and started following them, we kept noticing very small footprints."
  • Killer Speed

  • On a recent Friday night at 11:00 p.m., a lone policeman sits in his patrol car watching from 50 yards away a group of souped-up cars in the Target parking lot on Balboa Avenue. "It looks like they're gathering," says Johnnie. Fewer drivers race on the streets these days. But on any given evening, says Johnnie, races can materialize in several areas of town.
  • By Joe Deegan, Sept. 25, 2003
Earl Williams: "The younger crowd doesn't like the rules at Qualcomm."
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African Daisy – the perfect freeway flower
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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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