Golden Dreams

What’s in a restaurant name?

How Stake, West Pac Noodle Bar, Moo-Time, Leroy's, Lil Piggy's Bar-B-Q came into being

David Spatafore, the “visionary” and “primary owner” at Blue Bridge Hospitality, goofed with the name of his first restaurant. “We called it MooTown Creamery, and the concept was that we were going to make homemade ...

San Diego County Gestapo drove away farmer

Mikhail Baryshnikov poster: "Don't come back"

The House Where Nobody Lives sits out on Fuerte Drive in El Cajon. Kids sometimes visit at night to scare themselves: “Don’t come back” has been scratched into the black-and-white poster of a shirtless and ...

A view of Mexico from the bathtub

Mel Taylor's home on Panorama Drive lot

It was the last undeveloped ocean view lot on La Mesa’s Panorama Drive, and the view was what made artist/designer Mel Taylor bite. The 7000+ square-foot home he nestled against the steep slope features decks ...

Qualcomm wants to be loved

“The genius behind your smartphone’s smart is a San Diego native.”

“Qualcomm: why you love your smartphone,” proclaims the company’s regional ad campaign, the one you may have seen on billboards, at bus stops, or on electric taxi carts around town. Curious: ­an ad campaign that ...

Did the Glen Street killing start at El Cajon Oktoberfest?

Death next door

I moved from Normal Heights to La Mesa in 1999, mostly because I wanted a yard for my kids. But also because an old woman was attacked across the street from my house on East ...

DJ Ferny prefers to go manual

Heartfelt '80s music at TJ's Privee Lounge

Green light glows off the stippled white exterior of Priveé Lounge Bar, perched above the Plaza San Angel on Tijuana’s Avenida Sonora. (Just off Boulevard Agua Caliente before the Club Campestre.) Inside is white as ...

Liberty Station gallery shows crossover power of comics

Feeds and is fed by popular culture

“The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” says San Diego Comic Art Gallery manager TJ Shelvin, “are unlike anything else. On the one hand, you’ve got this major machine that it became” — six movies, six TV ...

I’d have cut off my hands

Drawing Blood — a combination of Breaking Bad, Spinal Tap, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Wally Wood is regarded as one of the great comic-book artists of all time. He was with Mad magazine from the very beginning; he created Daredevil’s red costume; he (probably) drew the Disneyland Memorial Orgy ...

Certified in San Diego

There was something about the freedom of Ocean Beach

“We live in cities you’ll never see onscreen,” sang Lorde on “Team,” trying to make obscurity sound cool but fooling nobody. If it were really cool you wouldn’t have to make a cool song about ...

Short-lived TV shows made here

If Netflix's Ted Sarandos reads this...

Simon & Simon was a buddy detective series set in San Diego that ran for eight seasons on CBS during the ’80s. Veronica Mars put a teenage girl in a noirish milieu and managed three ...

Another good turn at La Mesa Walmart

The price of cream

The wife and I like cream in our coffee. So do our kids. Trader Joe’s in La Mesa charges $3.29 for a half-pint. Walmart charges $4.14 for a full pint. I resolved to make the ...

Horton Plaza has gone to seed

Even the Ben & Jerry’s is gone

On my first morning in San Diego — July 1995 — I set off walking toward downtown. I was young and I didn’t know anybody, so I went to be where people were. Once there, ...

Comic-Con sideshows: the $6 million yacht, the preacher, the cigarette bummer

Why follow a fantasy?

Mark came to Comic-Con from Laguna aboard his friend’s 85-foot, $6 million yacht Motown, a sleek gray vessel tied up alongside the Embarcadero just south of the convention center. “I’ve been here every year for ...

Mideast woman and child get baby back ribs and ribeye steaks at Walmart

Immigrant exploitation

Walmart Neighborhood Market carries El Jimador reposado tequila for $15.97 a bottle, which is $4 cheaper than my local liquor store, which is why I went there on the night of July 7th. As I ...

I’m going to have to shoot you

La Mesa police Firearms Training Simulator

The La Mesa Police Department’s Citizens Academy is, in the words of training sergeant Kate Lynch, “a great way to share the unfortunate realities of the job without putting citizens in harm’s way. It helps ...

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