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Hillcrest, neighborhood of ghosts

Gayborhood, Spruce Street and Georgia Street bridges, high-rises, Hammond's, Andrew Cunanan, Alibi Lounge, Chicken Pie Shop

Hillcrest - Image by Joe Klein
Hillcrest
  • Gayborhood or ghetto?

  • “I still love Jesus, and I’m still a conservative,” Texana R., 17, tells me. “I just am — I don’t care what my mama or my aunt or my step sister or no one else says. I might be transgender, but I am also a family-values person. I don’t want to live in West Hollywood or San Francisco.”
  • By Thom Senzee, Jan. 2, 2019
Eitol Towers is inarguably the most striking new building project to hit Hillcrest in a generation.
  • Spruce Street suspension bridge brings out demented thoughts

  • “You almost kissed Mommy here.” “You’re right, Jayde. Good memory.” It’s part of our family’s history, long-ago nights and places. There were warm coats and upturned collars and the same eucalyptus trees Jayde and I currently regard, only moon-illumined. The skyway had been empty and fingers brushed shyly; on our first date, my lips had grazed my wife’s neck.
  • By Thom Hofman, Nov. 29, 2017
Spruce Street suspension bridge. “You almost kissed Mommy here.”
  • Curse of the Georgia Street Bridge

  • "I am not surprised of the delays, because we are talking about retrofitting structures that are over 100 years old. I say ‘structures’ because we are not just talking about the bridge, but also talking about the retaining walls that extend from Park Boulevard to Florida Street on both sides of University Avenue that are projects by themselves.
  • By Julie Stalmer, Nov. 6, 2017
Traffic goes right through the middle of the construction site.
  • Hillcrest hashes high-rise housing heights

  • A group of property owners in Hillcrest want the freedom to build higher residential and commercial buildings. And if that freedom isn’t granted, members of the newly formed Uptown Gateway Council warn, local housing prices will continue to climb and people will move to outlying areas. The group also claims inaction will steer the city further from addressing climate change and do little to solve affordable-housing shortages.
  • By Dorian Hargrove, Feb. 10, 2016
City planners have proposed raising building heights to 100 feet.
  • Hillcrest

  • One girlfriend and I used to love to eat at the Chicken Pie Shop on the corner of Robinson and Fifth, now a Starbucks. Every time I sip a latte there I recall the distinctive smell of chicken pies and the classic ’40s-style waitresses who served three-buck dinners. Across the street, in the middle of the block, is the ghost of Hammonds, one of San Diego’s strangest stores. They sold things like shaving brushes, thimbles, fuses, ladies’ compacts, and puzzles of all kinds.
  • By Fred Moramarco, Dec. 24, 2003
  • I knew him somewhat

  • At Flicks, Cunanan's old hangout just down the street, no one has a bad word to say about the homicidal homosexual - only about the media. The bartender won't talk to anybody from the press; his boss, he said, is pissed. Apparently he had been misquoted in USA Today. According to the Union-Tribune, Flicks owner Joe Letzkus claimed to have been "stalked" by Cunanan.
  • By John Brizzolara, July 31, 1997
Someone drives by, and a shirtless man with a military haircut leans out the passenger window and shouts, "Free Andy!" This is answered by someone in front of Big City Bagels who shouts back, "Go, Andy, Go!"
  • University Avenue nocturne

  • By 4:17 p.m. on a weekday in January, the sun has disappeared behind the rack of microwave relay dishes — or whatever they are — on the roof of the Pac Bell building between Robinson and University. As I stand with my back to the Alibi Lounge at Richmond Street, the last-chance straight bar in Hillcrest if you’re heading west, the avenue looks much like any urban thoroughfare in Southern California at rush hour.
  • By John Brizzolara, March 10, 1994
Security guard at Thrifty Drug Store, Robinson Avenue. Heider mentions two black males of the same general description trying to roll someone on the 500 block of Evans Place. Is that that short street behind Thrifty?
  • An after-dinner walk, cottages, a taxi ride

  • At night I take them along on my after-dinner walk through the neighborhood, Hillcrest. The Chicken Pie Shop and the Mayfair are big hits, even with jaded L.A. people, who think they’ve seen all the world's freaks. Other high spots are the side-by-side bookstores down the street
  • By Joe Applegate, Dec. 2, 1976
Bocardo's. A lady with a wig and old-lady glasses and a big chest that blended with the rest of her was Margie. She looked at me with her mouth hanging open and the ceiling lights reflected on her glasses like bowls.
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Hillcrest - Image by Joe Klein
Hillcrest
  • Gayborhood or ghetto?

  • “I still love Jesus, and I’m still a conservative,” Texana R., 17, tells me. “I just am — I don’t care what my mama or my aunt or my step sister or no one else says. I might be transgender, but I am also a family-values person. I don’t want to live in West Hollywood or San Francisco.”
  • By Thom Senzee, Jan. 2, 2019
Eitol Towers is inarguably the most striking new building project to hit Hillcrest in a generation.
  • Spruce Street suspension bridge brings out demented thoughts

  • “You almost kissed Mommy here.” “You’re right, Jayde. Good memory.” It’s part of our family’s history, long-ago nights and places. There were warm coats and upturned collars and the same eucalyptus trees Jayde and I currently regard, only moon-illumined. The skyway had been empty and fingers brushed shyly; on our first date, my lips had grazed my wife’s neck.
  • By Thom Hofman, Nov. 29, 2017
Spruce Street suspension bridge. “You almost kissed Mommy here.”
  • Curse of the Georgia Street Bridge

  • "I am not surprised of the delays, because we are talking about retrofitting structures that are over 100 years old. I say ‘structures’ because we are not just talking about the bridge, but also talking about the retaining walls that extend from Park Boulevard to Florida Street on both sides of University Avenue that are projects by themselves.
  • By Julie Stalmer, Nov. 6, 2017
Traffic goes right through the middle of the construction site.
  • Hillcrest hashes high-rise housing heights

  • A group of property owners in Hillcrest want the freedom to build higher residential and commercial buildings. And if that freedom isn’t granted, members of the newly formed Uptown Gateway Council warn, local housing prices will continue to climb and people will move to outlying areas. The group also claims inaction will steer the city further from addressing climate change and do little to solve affordable-housing shortages.
  • By Dorian Hargrove, Feb. 10, 2016
City planners have proposed raising building heights to 100 feet.
  • Hillcrest

  • One girlfriend and I used to love to eat at the Chicken Pie Shop on the corner of Robinson and Fifth, now a Starbucks. Every time I sip a latte there I recall the distinctive smell of chicken pies and the classic ’40s-style waitresses who served three-buck dinners. Across the street, in the middle of the block, is the ghost of Hammonds, one of San Diego’s strangest stores. They sold things like shaving brushes, thimbles, fuses, ladies’ compacts, and puzzles of all kinds.
  • By Fred Moramarco, Dec. 24, 2003
  • I knew him somewhat

  • At Flicks, Cunanan's old hangout just down the street, no one has a bad word to say about the homicidal homosexual - only about the media. The bartender won't talk to anybody from the press; his boss, he said, is pissed. Apparently he had been misquoted in USA Today. According to the Union-Tribune, Flicks owner Joe Letzkus claimed to have been "stalked" by Cunanan.
  • By John Brizzolara, July 31, 1997
Someone drives by, and a shirtless man with a military haircut leans out the passenger window and shouts, "Free Andy!" This is answered by someone in front of Big City Bagels who shouts back, "Go, Andy, Go!"
  • University Avenue nocturne

  • By 4:17 p.m. on a weekday in January, the sun has disappeared behind the rack of microwave relay dishes — or whatever they are — on the roof of the Pac Bell building between Robinson and University. As I stand with my back to the Alibi Lounge at Richmond Street, the last-chance straight bar in Hillcrest if you’re heading west, the avenue looks much like any urban thoroughfare in Southern California at rush hour.
  • By John Brizzolara, March 10, 1994
Security guard at Thrifty Drug Store, Robinson Avenue. Heider mentions two black males of the same general description trying to roll someone on the 500 block of Evans Place. Is that that short street behind Thrifty?
  • An after-dinner walk, cottages, a taxi ride

  • At night I take them along on my after-dinner walk through the neighborhood, Hillcrest. The Chicken Pie Shop and the Mayfair are big hits, even with jaded L.A. people, who think they’ve seen all the world's freaks. Other high spots are the side-by-side bookstores down the street
  • By Joe Applegate, Dec. 2, 1976
Bocardo's. A lady with a wig and old-lady glasses and a big chest that blended with the rest of her was Margie. She looked at me with her mouth hanging open and the ceiling lights reflected on her glasses like bowls.
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