North Park Stories

This just in: Observatory's troubles far from over

Venue's 15-day suspension over, but issues remain with fire dept., code compliance

Lt. Steven Behrendt of the San Diego Police Department’s Vice Operations issued the following statement this morning (January 17th): “Based on the incident that happened at the Observatory on June 7, 2017, and other prior ...

North Park Observatory allegedly under observation

Latest abrupt show postponement said to be related to XXXTentacion incident

Fire department spokeswoman Monica Muñoz didn’t respond to a request for comments on specifics, but a different government source explains that the North Park Observatory won't be putting on any shows this week due to ...

Bank-card skimmers enjoy the high season

Thwart them with apps and vigilance

On Christmas morning, Rob Brand learned that his debit card had been skimmed and the card was used to try and purchase something from Amazon Prime. “I have not heard of this before,” said Brand, ...

Thorn Brewing grows into Barrio Logan

Thorn Street Brewery keeps small batches going in North Park

Thorn Brewing Co. opened to the public in Barrio Logan at the end of November. If you're thinking it's the same business as Thorn Street Brewery, you're partly right. Thorn Street founders Dennis O'Connor, Eric ...

Great year for 7-Eleven beer-runners

Vigilant employees, cameras, locked coolers, barricades don't stop them

“Yesterday at 9:40 [p.m.] two Modelo 24 oz. cans fell out of his pants,” said Fredley. “I said, 'What the hell...what is this?' then he grabbed them and ran away…but his girlfriend is right behind ...

Huli huli beats teriyaki

Author probes past the shrugging counter woman

It's been a while since the aroma of food lured me into a restaurant. But, as I was passing through North Park, whatever was cooking at Chris' Ono Grinds Island Grill made me hungry enough ...

Downtown homeless people driven north by cops

Normal Heights residents vexed with influx

Normal Heights residents remain frustrated and angry over the recent influx of homeless people in their neighborhood — which city staff say was prompted by the downtown streets bleaching to ward off hepatitis A. The ...

Queen Bee's northern migration

Arts center planned for Oceanside

Alma Rodriguez is meeting with city officials to launch a Queen Bee’s in Oceanside. Since 2009, the Puerto Rican–born impresario has hosted bands, poetry slams, and swing, salsa, and samba dance lessons at the 250-capacity ...

While my family slept in

Had to try Nomad's gourmet doughnuts and Montreal bagels

I try to have three square meals a day, but for weekend breakfasts, I like to keep things round: As in bagels and doughnuts. One of my fatherly duties on Saturday is to get a ...

Vagrants and adversaries, make way for Target

Corporate store's plans will likely overcome North Parkers' resistance

Target is sizing up the former Wang's restaurant — on the corner of University and Ray — for a new Target Express. So far, nearby South Park has the only Target Express in San Diego. ...

Godfathers of vinyl

"I thought I was out, but they pulled me back in."

After a five-year break, former M-Theory owner Eric Howarth is getting back into the brick-and-mortar record-store business. His new shop will be a mere stone’s throw away from the old M-Theory location on the corner ...

Goodnight, Irenic

North Park church rumored to be ending band appearances

The Irenic, the 70-year-old North Park church building that for the past six years doubled as a 450-capacity music venue, seemed to be the perfect place for headliners who wanted an all-ages venue but were ...

Finnegan Blue's conga line starts to move

"We finally clawed our way into the North Park Festival of the Arts.”

Anna Lee Fleming was born and raised in North Park. “I have definitely seen a transition,” says the founder/songwriter/lead singer of Finnegan Blue. “When I was first going to school my parents wouldn’t let me ...

Curse of the Georgia Street Bridge

Photographer can't stop shooting overdue rehab project — "I'm miserable."

Restoration of the 103-year-old Georgia Street Bridge began in August 2016 with a completion date of about now. Anyone driving past the site can't help but notice it doesn't look anywhere close to being done. ...

Make room for shrooms

Dunedin brings New Zealand to North Park

British pubs are so boring, but a pub themed after one of its former colonies? That’s clever! That’s the conceit behind Dunedin, a New Zealand-themed pub in North Park that just celebrated its first anniversary. ...

Old bike-sharing company, new plan

"We’re trying to get that first mile and last mile.”

DecoBike is looking at a dozen places for stands in North Park, Uptown, downtown, and Golden Hill after getting kicked out of the beach areas by the California Coastal Commission, city engineer Brian Genovese said ...

North Park syringe swap site won't change soon

Planning group okayed library locale; time coincides with "Babies and Books"

Paul Tibbets and his neighbors want the Safe Point San Diego-Syringe Exchange Program recreational vehicle to move somewhere else. For the past 14 years, an RV has been parking across the street from the North ...

Short-term vacation rental explosion

“No one wants a clown car house next door.”

Locals in Mission Beach and Pacific Beach who say their neighborhoods are increasingly jammed full of unregulated mini-hotels are right, according to the city treasurer’s annual count of short-term rentals. But other neighborhoods — downtown ...

Friday the 13th run on tats

"We never ask for a tip."

Tattoo shops across San Diego (and nationally) had lines outside their doors on Friday the 13th, the “Black Friday” for tattoo collectors because certain parlors discount their “flash” designs for $13. “We had about 200, ...

Fast traffic near St. Augustine High chaps neighbors

“Can they not teach the boys to obey the laws [and] be courteous drivers?"

Ken Adelson has been a North Park resident for the past 32 years. He is a tech writer who lives by Palm Street on the north side of St. Augustine High School. Like many neighbors, ...

Look low in Switzer Canyon for the dusky-footed woodrat

Scrub oaks, ice plant, wild cucumber, toyon berry, laurel sumac, and endangered California gnatcatchers

Switzer Canyon offers a hike for those with short legs and short attention spans — a kid-friendly urban walk that can be either a 30-minute or a one-hour hike. This is an example of a ...

North Park glory at hand

Stevens-Hartley building entered in national restoration contest

The Stevens-Hartley Annex on University Avenue was built in 1926. If San Diego wins the #VoteYourMainStreet contest, the structure would be eligible to “a share of $2 million in American Express funding for preservation projects,” ...

Me, a grown man, enjoying a cake pop

North Park treats for graduation, wedding, Easter

My latest dessert quest took me to North Park, where novelty cake curator The Cake Pop Shop recently opened its first storefront. Already known among wedding planners, the business has a knack for crafting decorative ...

North Park's musician hot spot

Maybe they're there for the tropical detox

"You can’t unmilk a coffee,” this guy in front of me’s saying. “Once it’s in, it’s in. One-way ticket. Like marriage.” “Barber, party of seven!?” This is Monday morning. Yet the place is totally jamming. ...

Italian dip sandwich not so dainty

A popular wedding food among poor Italian immigrants

I don't know why football season makes me crave Italian beef sandwiches. I've never lived in Chicago, and only ever visited the Windy City in the spring. I'd blame the onset of fall weather, if ...

Community not happy with North Park park

"I’m not taking my kids back to that playground.”

“A really aggressive homeless dude” was witnessed yelling and disrespecting a female city employee with “f-bombs” as she was working in the baseball field on September 12, according to Jeff Ray, a 50-year-old North Park ...

San Diego — the anti-bagel city

Nomad Donuts disproves the stereotype

In this world, there are cities steeped in bagel tradition, and then there's San Diego. Yet somehow, August brought not one, but two locally-born bagel shops to the metro area. And I dig them both. ...

The new kindergarten next door in North Park

“Isn’t there a law that requires you to consult with your neighbors?"

On August 11, Ted received a letter from his next-door neighbor of eight years. He said that he rarely spoke to her until last month. “They sent me a letter,” said Ted, a 47-year-old videographer ...

Some North Park storefronts get leased, others don’t

North Park Main Street offers some explanations

While numerous older North Park storefronts have been snapped up recently for new businesses, others sit there with no takers. Following are examples. Discount International Fashions, 3002 University Avenue at 30th Street has remained vacant ...

Bus company has clout

City listens to their complaint about the pipe on University Ave.

The city water department and its contractor, Burtech, are responsible for the temporary yellow pipeline running along both sides of University Avenue in North Park. It’s been like that for many months. Normally, it’s not ...

The place seemed to be verging on chaos

Getting seated is a hassle, and then the food is not worth the wait

A sign tells you to order at the register first and then find your seat. That’s where the trouble began when I visited North Park’s colorful new tapas-style joint, Tamarindo Latin American Kitchen and Bar. ...

Luxury apartments rising at Texas Street and Howard

How high will the rents be?

Broadstone North Park, a project of Alliance Residential Company, continues its rapid construction progress at the northeast corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue, extending to Arizona Street. Its actual address is 4220 Arizona Street, ...

Skateboarders scoff at city's devices

Anything to stop jumping and grinding on the edges

“The city is hiring people that don’t know what is skateable and what is not skateable,” said Brian Kelly, “and what needs to be knobbed and what doesn’t — or the city is just telling ...

Thrift trader owner Jeff Clark hit by train in Little Italy

North Park and Pacific Beach stores cleaned out July 13

Media reports noted that a man was struck by an Amtrak train in Little Italy on June 24, but did not list his name. But his 20 part- and full-time employees soon knew. One of ...

Neighbors sound off about Observatory in North Park

“Sit down. You’re embarrassing yourself. Sit the hell down.”

"When she [Cameron Holloway] was speaking I was listening to her words and not paying attention to the crowd’s reaction,” said Jeanette Moore, “until that woman became belligerent and disrespectful towards the speaker [Holloway].” Moore ...

Sand One bursts into San Diego and gets crowd to North Park dental office

“Badass muralist with a unique doll style,”

“[Do] you guys know the Reader?” Sand One asked. The crowd then cheered. One girl from her entourage said “that’s the one I was telling you about.” On July 1, Sand One, an East Los ...

Fast-ish food of the ramen variety

Nozaru Ramen Bar on Adams Ave.

Fast-ish food is so hot right now. Five years ago, a girl had to drive all the way up to Convoy for a decent bowl of ramen, but now you can’t drive a mile through ...

Front to back... awesome

Debra found herself stranded in a mosh pit at the Casbah

The professional and personal collaboration that is Wrensilva audio began at a Supersuckers show at the Casbah. Debra Salyer didn’t know the band, and found herself stranded in a mosh pit during a cover of ...

When she starts dancing, I know it’s right

Wrensilva audio produces “the best console ever built”

Today, in its long sliver of a factory facing a North Park alley, Wrensilva audio produces, in the words of co-founder Scott Salyer, “the best console ever built” for playing music. “Nobody’s ever done anything ...

City engineers nix changes at Kansas and El Cajon Blvd.

Site of pedestrian injuries, including death of Ethiopian leader

From 2001 to 2010, according to a city commissioned traffic study, eight pedestrians were struck by vehicles while crossing El Cajon Boulevard at Kansas Street in North Park. In 2012 the intersection was named the ...

Oh, the stories these walls have heard

Ohio Street probation department shut, ex-perps shunted downtown

“If they don’t check in, they might have to go back in [jail],” Nick said. On June 15, while walking his dog Bentley, Nick saw a couple of guys panicking in front of the San ...

XXXTentacion and neighbors unload on Observatory North Park

“Our guards are internal employees who work diligently for all our shows."

Shortly after regaining consciousness after he was blindsided onstage at the Observatory on June 7, XXXTentacion went on Instagram Live. He seemed to claim that the venue’s security team played a part by hiding the ...

Rob Stone — the guy with the glasses? — did it?

No, he says, on XXXtentacion assault, but "I knew it was gonna happen."

Rappers beefing in real life may be good for lyrics but it can cost you gigs. Consider local rapper Rob Stone, best known for his breakout 2015 hit “Chill Bill.” He tells how Florida rapper ...

Pig meets ramen

Tajima and Carnitas’ Snack Shack join forces

Tajima’s new Adams Avenue locale, discreetly lodged between a French bistro and a coffee house, was thoroughly covered by Reader writer Patrick Henderson shortly after it opened. New since his visit, however, is a flash-in-the-pan ...

Succulent thief in North Park and University Heights

“Who steals plants?”

"Yesterday, a woman parked her white Prius right there [in front of my house],” said Steve from University Heights, “then started to cut my succulents (with a pruner), and left. That’s stealing!” Steve, 67, is ...

What is someone's junk is now everyone's junk

Alley-pickers are pickier in North Park and Normal Heights

In the last day (June 6), Mike G. has seen a desk and three mattresses dumped in plain sight around his Normal Heights’ streets. “….and all sorts of cabinets, bookcases, etc. will appear on the ...

Everyone gets what they want — on the menu, anyway

Tacos and sushi under one roof...hmm...

“Something for everyone!” says the website for Craft & Sea, the North Park restaurant now occupying the space that was — as far back as I can remember — Zensei Sushi. I find it interesting ...

Busted, Palomar Card Room now a magnet for graffiti, trash, homeless

El Cajon Blvd. waits for slow grind of legal process

Palomar Card Club, a.k.a. Palomar Casino, at 2724 El Cajon Boulevard, has been closed down since it was raided in December 2015 by the FBI and other law enforcement personnel. The entity itself and Naseem ...

No money allowed at food swaps

Surfeit of oranges, lemons, and eggs in Spring Valley and North Park right now

“The only rule of the [food] swap is that there is no exchange of money,” said Marianne West. On Saturday (May 27), she met with about forty other San Diegans at the Spring Valley East ...

This way to the Donkey Show in North Park

Tamarindo gives shout-outs to the flavors and aromas one finds anywhere from Tijuana to San Juan to Buenos Aires and beyond.

Everyone knows that gringos going gaga for Cinco de Mayo is stupid, but new North Park neighbor Tamarindo takes it in stride, cheekily dubbing the day’s drink special “The Donkey Show.” It’s a nod to ...

Decadent vegan?

Omnivore seeks satiety on a meatless plate

I live close to South Park’s self-described “decadent vegan” bar and restaurant, Kindred, and most nights as I pass by it bustles with stylishly dressed couples and groups who sip craft cocktails, sample the amaro ...

Low planes over North Park start buzz

Flashes of 1978 PSA accident

“I didn’t see the plane,” said Jean, “but I heard it and noted how incredibly low it was.” Jean, 61, is a yoga instructor from the Montclair area of North Park (by Commonwealth Avenue and ...

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