North Park Stories

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 ...

Project is not dense enough or land is too steep

Project on Indiana St. on edge of Florida Canyon opposed by neighbors

The City of San Diego's preliminary approval of a thirteen-unit condominium on the edge of Florida Canyon in North Park will now head to court. On May 22 attorneys for North Park residents Lark Holden ...

Angle parking for North Park may hang on who decides

"A simple majority vote could hurt our quality of life."

A draft ordinance that will speed up changing street parking from parallel to angle won the endorsement of the North Park Planning Committee Tuesday night, with a few suggestions. The proposed ordinance will reduce the ...

Neighbors take sides in Normal Heights dog dispute

How soon does owner need to respond?

“[Regarding] the neighbor who threw dog poop on another neighbor’s windshield for not cleaning up after their dog,” said Melissa Popovich, “I can understand why a person would get frustrated enough about it.” Popovich, 43, ...

North Park wants what Civita doesn't

A connector road leading to Texas Street

Adding a controversial connector road in Mission Valley's Civita came to a North Park Public Facilities committee (part of the area planning group) Wednesday night for review for its potential effect on Texas Street traffic. ...

North Park hosts panel on homeless Wednesday at Lafayette Hotel

Smart & Final employees on University Ave. can't pursue thieves.

Officials from the City of San Diego, along with nonprofit organizations, served as guest panelists for a two-hour Quality of Life Forum on April 26, at the Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard. It was ...

Frankenpizza

You can get a large pizza with a different topping on each slice. But don’t.

Between Lefty’s, Berkeley, URBN, and Tribute, there’s no shortage of great pizza in North Park. Still, when popular Pacific Beach pie spot Mr. Moto Pizza House decided to open on 30th Street, I paid attention. ...

Self Shape Surf Competition in at Seaside Reef in Cardiff

Cam Richards, Andrew Doheny, Nathan Strom, Leah Dawson will be competing on their self-made boards

Just off El Cajon Boulevard and 30th Street, there is a surf shop that has a mandatory day off to surf every Monday and you don’t even have to work there to work there. You ...

Lucky Charms? Trix? Cap’n Crunch Berries?

Milkshakes + sugary breakfast cereal at North Park’s Milk Bar

Having conquered the unlikely combination of fried chicken, coffee, and donuts, the proprietors of North Park’s Streetcar Merchants could have sat on their hands and waited for chicken to fry. But instead they turned the ...

A crow sanctuary in North Park

After her neighbor killed five of them, she befriended Gomez

“So her macho boyfriend took it upon himself to run out, get a gun of some kind,” said Kay Marsik, “and then he bragged to me that he had killed five of them [crows].” Since ...

Green tea, leaves and all

Matcha hits North Park

I’m an every day, any time of day coffee drinker, and as long as I am physically able to lift a cup of joe to my lips, that will be the case. Still, while I ...

North Park: Pizza Hut instead of Olympic Cafe, Olympic Cafe instead of Jersey Joe's

Rinse salon moves, a new brewery near 25th on University

When Olympic Cafe lost its longtime lease at 2340 University Ave. (at Texas Street), it was up in the air over what would move in there. It’s turned out to be a Pizza Hut franchise ...

St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox church versus SOHO

Park Blvd. church plans to pull down two historic houses on Indiana St.

Historic preservationists have found a taker for at least one of the two homes Indiana Street that St. Spyridon church plans to demolish, but has yet to win the delay needed to get the paperwork ...

Umphrey's McGee hypnotizes Observatory

Reeling in the years with the progressive jam band

As far as concert performances go, Umphrey’s McGee can run hot and cold. Sunday night, they were on fire. Normally reminiscent of a free-form rock group like Phish, Umphrey’s McGee brought their sound down to ...

Cherokee Point is no North Park

“It’s misleading marketing, which is kind of obnoxious.”

“How many neighbors have realtors cold-calling them and sending them mail asking if we are interested in selling,” said Cherokee Point resident Frederick Simson in a Nextdoor post recently. “I get about one letter a ...

Attuned to ramen life

Exploring the Underbelly of North Park

Take a look at the noodle landscape surrounding San Diego’s urban core these days, and you’ll find a dozen dedicated ramen bars. But when Consortium Holdings opened Underbelly in Little Italy five years ago, most ...

Shins return to sound if not form

Indie rockers' Heartworms better than the band on this night

The Shins’ return to San Diego after a five-year hiatus — for two nights at the Observatory — was special for more reasons than just the long absence and mini residency. To start, for many ...

Tiny-house movement for the homeless

"We have so many people who are sleeping in tents...."

A group of homeless advocates has unveiled examples of a long-brewing plan to create extremely low-cost emergency housing as a temporary remedy while longer term solutions to regional homelessness are sought. "We've been trying to ...

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