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Normal Heights – it's not what you think

More intimacy in the 1960s and 1970s, heavy trucks in the area, the neon sign, community planning group, homeless next to Adams Elementary

It was like trying to restrain a horse. The pit flinched, looked ready to charge toward us.
It was like trying to restrain a horse. The pit flinched, looked ready to charge toward us.
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  • Nothing normal about Normal Heights

  • Everyone who lived on that stretch of 34th Street, between Meade and Monroe, was used to finding things on their lawn — condoms from hookers and their tricks, malt-liquor bottles, garbage, dog sh*t, weeds. But finding an actual person stranded on his back was a new one. Always a new one in Normal Heights, you could count on that.
  • By David Adler, May 12, 2010
  • Normal Heights

    Normal Heights

  • Before the newlyweds across the street went on their honeymoon, they asked me to keep an eye on their house. Yesterday, a neighbor two doors down, an elderly Mexican woman, brought me a big bowl of chicken soup. In the fall, I know that another neighbor will leave sacks of persimmons by my front door.
  • By Abe Opincar, Dec. 24, 2003
  • John Hussler: "I walked in the front door, and a woman kicked a chair in front of me. Just to let me know, I guess, that men were basically not welcome."

    North of Adams was like what south of Adams is now

  • “I’d lie awake at night and think, ‘I am in hell.’ I’d get up in the morning and think, ‘I am in hell.’ At one point we had heavy trucks making 200 to 300 trips down our street. “The entire house shook. My teeth rattled. The vibration was damaging the foundations of our homes. Dust was everywhere. You couldn’t open your windows. Very quickly I felt a kind of panic. Terror. I’d sunk my life savings into buying this tiny house.
  • By Abe Opincar, Nov. 27, 2002
  • “The Normal Heights sign is the only original neon sign I’m aware of that still hangs in San Diego,” says Scott Kessler.

    Normal Heights wants that neon sign back

  • Q: What's the difference between Normal Heights and East San Diego? Or Normal Heights and University Heights? Or Normal Heights and a dozen other fading, middle-class San Diego neighborhoods?
  • A: The Normal Heights sign.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, May 7, 1981
  • Adam Deutsch, right, is a poet and college professor who takes minutes at planning group meetings. “I think it’s important to make the minutes readable, and to be readable, they should be human.”

    We the people of Normal Heights

  • Adam Deutsch and his wife Claire moved to Normal Heights in 2014. Shortly after their move, the couple went to a meeting of the Normal Heights Community Planning Group to see what was going on in the neighborhood. That night they were two of four people in the audience listening to the group’s boardmembers holding forth on stage. One of the attendees, “blew up at a particular issue,” says Deutsch, who is 37, “and I enjoyed that intensity."
  • By Joe Deegan, Feb. 28, 2018
  • Nancy Palmer says she has befriended many homeless people, but she hesitates to let her kids walk alone near the park.

    Normal Heights reacts to homeless spillover

  • “It’s shameful. I don’t feel safe walking in my own neighborhood or even using this park sometimes. You can’t go more than few blocks without seeing people sleeping on the streets.” This was from a mom watching her son play baseball at the Adams Elementary school field on April 7. Right beside the field, next to the recreation center, was a homeless camp in a play area designed for young children.
  • By Julie Stalmer, April 11, 2017
  • Why "Normal Heights"?

  • All that was missing was a formal name for this new subdivision, so an inspired Collier held a naming contest. His ad, published in the October 29, 1905, edition of the San Diego Union and Daily Bee, stated boldly, "Just Think Of It! A Building Lot Free." Collier offered a lot 50 feet wide to the entrant who submitted the best name.
  • By Suzanne Ledeboer, Aug. 6, 2016

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It was like trying to restrain a horse. The pit flinched, looked ready to charge toward us.
It was like trying to restrain a horse. The pit flinched, looked ready to charge toward us.
Sponsored
Sponsored
  • Nothing normal about Normal Heights

  • Everyone who lived on that stretch of 34th Street, between Meade and Monroe, was used to finding things on their lawn — condoms from hookers and their tricks, malt-liquor bottles, garbage, dog sh*t, weeds. But finding an actual person stranded on his back was a new one. Always a new one in Normal Heights, you could count on that.
  • By David Adler, May 12, 2010
  • Normal Heights

    Normal Heights

  • Before the newlyweds across the street went on their honeymoon, they asked me to keep an eye on their house. Yesterday, a neighbor two doors down, an elderly Mexican woman, brought me a big bowl of chicken soup. In the fall, I know that another neighbor will leave sacks of persimmons by my front door.
  • By Abe Opincar, Dec. 24, 2003
  • John Hussler: "I walked in the front door, and a woman kicked a chair in front of me. Just to let me know, I guess, that men were basically not welcome."

    North of Adams was like what south of Adams is now

  • “I’d lie awake at night and think, ‘I am in hell.’ I’d get up in the morning and think, ‘I am in hell.’ At one point we had heavy trucks making 200 to 300 trips down our street. “The entire house shook. My teeth rattled. The vibration was damaging the foundations of our homes. Dust was everywhere. You couldn’t open your windows. Very quickly I felt a kind of panic. Terror. I’d sunk my life savings into buying this tiny house.
  • By Abe Opincar, Nov. 27, 2002
  • “The Normal Heights sign is the only original neon sign I’m aware of that still hangs in San Diego,” says Scott Kessler.

    Normal Heights wants that neon sign back

  • Q: What's the difference between Normal Heights and East San Diego? Or Normal Heights and University Heights? Or Normal Heights and a dozen other fading, middle-class San Diego neighborhoods?
  • A: The Normal Heights sign.
  • By Jeannette DeWyze, May 7, 1981
  • Adam Deutsch, right, is a poet and college professor who takes minutes at planning group meetings. “I think it’s important to make the minutes readable, and to be readable, they should be human.”

    We the people of Normal Heights

  • Adam Deutsch and his wife Claire moved to Normal Heights in 2014. Shortly after their move, the couple went to a meeting of the Normal Heights Community Planning Group to see what was going on in the neighborhood. That night they were two of four people in the audience listening to the group’s boardmembers holding forth on stage. One of the attendees, “blew up at a particular issue,” says Deutsch, who is 37, “and I enjoyed that intensity."
  • By Joe Deegan, Feb. 28, 2018
  • Nancy Palmer says she has befriended many homeless people, but she hesitates to let her kids walk alone near the park.

    Normal Heights reacts to homeless spillover

  • “It’s shameful. I don’t feel safe walking in my own neighborhood or even using this park sometimes. You can’t go more than few blocks without seeing people sleeping on the streets.” This was from a mom watching her son play baseball at the Adams Elementary school field on April 7. Right beside the field, next to the recreation center, was a homeless camp in a play area designed for young children.
  • By Julie Stalmer, April 11, 2017
  • Why "Normal Heights"?

  • All that was missing was a formal name for this new subdivision, so an inspired Collier held a naming contest. His ad, published in the October 29, 1905, edition of the San Diego Union and Daily Bee, stated boldly, "Just Think Of It! A Building Lot Free." Collier offered a lot 50 feet wide to the entrant who submitted the best name.
  • By Suzanne Ledeboer, Aug. 6, 2016
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The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

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Building's owner Douglas Hamm thinks it's "perfect"
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