Golden Dreams

Theater of war

“There goes a certified hero.”

I spot him walking his bike along the avenue, downtown Coronado, Sunday morning. Blue and white Hawaiian shirt, jeans, spikey gray hair, Beach Cruiser bike, heading for a coffee at Café 1134. I’d asked to ...

We’ll help Trump build the wall

“The press makes us look evil, criminals. But we come in peace."

“The Hondurans aren’t bad, but their effect is ba-ad,” says Jorge. He’s driving me in his taxi from downtown Tijuana to the caravan’s rained-out encampment. “Now, I wait two hours for a job. It used ...

Baja’s Hearst Castle

“A hallucination materialized”

Back in 2011, a real-estate man named Tony Wells caught the attention of the LA Weekly with El Bordello Alexandra, a Venice Beach apartment complex that he’d spent ten years transforming, along with his partner ...

The journey to “see the end of the wall”

“If I had known the walk was what the walk was, I would have stayed in the car.”

“If I had known the walk was what the walk was, I would have stayed in the car,” says the man at the beach where the United States ends and Mexico begins. And it was ...

Raul Urreola’s night shoot

“If a scene is too complicated, too expensive, I find a way around it.”

Half past 10, Sunday night. Coronado. Just happen to walk into this parking lot outside an eatery called “Nado Republic.” Two men are standing in the lot’s shadows. One has black eye-liner and black polish ...

Float your troubles away

The launch of Loi Krathong, the basket-floating festival

The young man in his sampot chong kraben picks up a red traffic cone and uses it as a loudspeaker. “Let’s go!” He’s launching the parade around the temple grounds, kicking off Loi Krathong, the ...

Memorial for The Man

Stan Lee, the Creator

“The man is dead,” texted my brother on November 12. “Which man?” I answered. “The Man.” The capital “M” got my attention. “God?” “Yes. Blasphemy, but not by much. He was the Creator. Stan Lee.” ...

Melancholy vs. midday meal

“Smile — You’re in San Diego.”

November seems odd/ You’re my firing squad/ November — Tom Waits, “November” My wife might say that anyone who goes listening to Tom Waits’ “November” in November — when the darkness starts closing in even ...

Star Bar’s star

“This is our refuge, our comfort. She is good people.”

“Longevity!” says Mr. Evans. “That’s the thing. Longevity: I come in here, and it’s familiar, welcoming, comfortable, like home. Like $2 beers on Thirsty Thursday. Still. Price unchanged! And Loni? Don’t get her mad. She’s ...

Dulzura’s full of schist

“Where there’s schist, there’s gold”

“Donald Sheckler always told me, ‘If you find schist, there’s gold somewhere nearby.’” Jim looks at the piece of schist rock he’s just kicked out of the dirt here, halfway up Mine Canyon. It’s a ...

How your genetic makeup impacts your health

Your genetics might mean your jar is already half-full

November 8 is Genetic Counselor Awareness Day. National Society of Genetic Counselors president Erica Ramos lives and works here in San Diego, and wants you to know that “your genes and your predispositions to disease ...

Skeletons and spiderwebs

“We live in hearts that we leave behind.”

On November 2, the Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of All Souls, commemorating the faithful departed who have died but who have yet to attain beatitude in heaven. The feast reminds the living to pray ...

Life-sustaining gorillas

“If I’m playing with them, I have to connect with the child in me”

Denny comes loping up to the window. He raises his hands against the glass until David Carr lifts his hands so they’re palm to palm, and would be touching were the glass not there. Then ...

Water ahead of the caravan

“More than 11,000 migrants have died out there since they first built the wall in 1996.”

“Here,” says Hugo Castro. “Put it under the branches, in shade, but where they can see it.” A gecko darts out. I lean over. I’m expected to dash off a little note on the bottle ...

The Inkwell Incidents

The details are difficult to hear

Inkwell Tattoo & Body Piercing on Main Street in Ramona is not on any of San Diego’s haunted house tours, and perhaps it’s just as well. Owner-operator Christopher Fowles has a business to run, and ...

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