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Stories by Abe Opincar

Tijuana's respect for the body, goodbye Revolucion flower sellers. Frank Lloyd Wright and Tecate

Grateful to the Dead Earlier in the day I attended a one-hour lecture given by Dr. Luis Antonio Martínez, a dental surgeon who teaches anatomy to students at the university’s dentistry school. His lecture was ...

November 22, 2020
Tijuana country club kidnapping, shootout near school, nostalgia for Jai Alai, casino, racetrack

Don't look now Abduction and murder at T.J.’s Camp Campestre Under normal circumstances, it would be difficult not to stare at ten men dressed in black who brandished submachine guns. Under normal circumstances, ten men ...

November 9, 2020
How Otay changed, secret TJ gardens, Mission Valley's future

Otay Dreams Before 50,000 homes. In 1954 I sat on the school bus every day next to my best friend, Mark Robson. The ride home from Montgomery Elementary School in Otay was a straight shot ...

October 24, 2020
What restaurant staffs eat, Eleanor Widmer, how far San Diego's food comes

What Insiders Eat Restaurant staff gab and gobble. Travis Murphy, also a cook, planned the staff’s daily dinner. At Nine-Ten, he said, the hardest part of arranging the staff meal, also called the “family meal,” ...

October 18, 2020
Religion in Christmas movies, Yellow Deli a cult?, San DIego Sikhs, Christmas without Jesus, Hare Krishnas

Church on Sunday? If not, did you ever wonder why people do? One man's search for Christianity's core. By Matthew Lickona, April 8, 2009 | Read the full article Joy to the Screen Isn’t the ...

September 26, 2020
Mark Twain's daughter ends up at the Bahia Hotel, Osama bin Laden's brother at USIU

Third Spud from the Sun: Cameron Crowe Then and Now “A couple things about Cameron set him down a peg from even the rank and file of ’zine greenhorn dust-suckers. He for all intents & ...

September 12, 2020
What you'll never read in Baja tourist press

Grateful to the Dead Earlier in the day I attended a one-hour lecture given by Dr. Luis Antonio Martínez, a dental surgeon who teaches anatomy to students at the university’s dentistry school. His lecture was ...

August 22, 2020
The glamour and crime of Tijuana

Don't look now Under normal circumstances, it would be difficult not to stare at ten men dressed in black who brandished submachine guns. Under normal circumstances, ten men dressed in black who brandished submachine guns ...

August 8, 2020
Building paradise in San Diego

Otay Dreams In 1954 I sat on the school bus every day next to my best friend, Mark Robson. The ride home from Montgomery Elementary School in Otay was a straight shot east on Main ...

July 11, 2020
What San Diego restaurant staffs eat, dumpster diving for dinner

What Insiders Eat Travis Murphy, also a cook, planned the staff’s daily dinner. At Nine-Ten, he said, the hardest part of arranging the staff meal, also called the “family meal,” was “to find something to ...

July 4, 2020
A close look at religions in San Diego

There Is One God "The equality of all people and all religions is central to our faith. We didn't want to seem as though we were saying, 'No! We're not Muslims! Don't attack us! Those ...

May 2, 2020
Mayor O'Connor goes slumming in Balboa Park, Mayor Faulconer reads Dr. Seuss racist book

Caught between a hug and a hard place If you move to somewhere on the East Coast, such as Boston, NYC, or Philadelphia, fewer people will try to hug you, mostly because they’re all too ...

April 25, 2020
Deep into Alpine, North Park, Normal Heights, Fallbrook – and Sabre Springs

Where the Mountain Meets the Sky “We had grapes, for example. Grapes were hauled from here to the railroad station in Lakeside. We had wheat, olives, citrus fruit, barley. Chickens and turkey ranches. Also, John ...

April 12, 2020
Normal Heights – you want to be involved

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 ...

Best Reader stories from 2006

Border angels I wanted to learn about a group called Border Angels that, among other things, sets out water in the desert areas of the 66-mile San Diego sector. Usually, gallon bottles of water are ...

February 16, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2005

Salvation Mountain The Slabs are Slab City, three miles east of Niland, between the sultry Salton Sea and the Chocolate Mountains. Years ago the concrete slabs supported the barracks of Camp Dunlap, where General George ...

February 15, 2020
San Diego love stories

Why Knot? Randy said that some years ago he bought a thirty-foot trimaran, intending to sail it to the South Pacific. “Now we’re going to fly to the South Pacific on our second anniversary,’’ said ...

February 14, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2002

He's sad for ships DeRosset doesn’t speak abstractly about his work. He’s a storyteller. “What’s really nice,” he told me before I’d had a chance to see the painting at the church, “is that I’ve ...

February 2, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2000

Rancho Peñasquitos boys, charged with hate crime The teenagers shot at Roman from the Subaru with the BB gun during three or four passes. They took turns shooting at him as they drove by, but ...

January 26, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1999

Was Jesse Ventura a SEAL or a UDT guy? Well, I thought, Jesse certainly looks and sounds like many SEALs I’d known during my 16 years in the Teams. But I’d never known or even ...

January 25, 2020
Best Reader stories from 1993

In time for the morning glass For a few years back in the '60s, Mike Doyle was the hottest surfer in the world. With an unusual combination of power on big waves and stylistic grace ...

January 4, 2020
Best Reader Christmas stories

Sister Santa’s once-a-year smile I fell in love with America for the first time on a sweaty night in a Bangkok refugee center in March 1991. “In America people have meat with every meal,” my ...

December 24, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1990

The Hale blinks Twilight has ebbed to a fringe of lapis on the western horizon, and the stars spin slowly as the dome of the 200-inch Hale telescope on Palomar Mountain blinks awake. Bob Thicksten, ...

December 22, 2019
Best Reader stories from 1988

Ku Klux Klan 's John Metzger talks of hate and tears "My father was in the Crusaders, a national organization that was pretty powerful in San Diego, which was part Christian Identity. It’s a church ...

December 15, 2019
Abe Opincar and the Reader

Opincar wrote for the Reader from 1984 through 2008. He is the author of Fried Butter (Soho Press, 2003). Editor's picks of stories Opincar wrote for the Reader: My psychiatrist is dead; all falls apart ...

August 31, 2019
Other San Diego summers

Phoenix without apologies Traveler, consider our Phoenix. An hour away by air, this flat, posh suburb of Greater L.A. is your finest summer vacation bargain. For the price of a bad weekend in a tacky ...

July 6, 2019
Surreal Estate

A typical conversation went like this: “Excuse me, do you offer home mortgages?” “Well, yes.” She seems startled. “What sort of customers borrow from your bank?” “People who have no other choice.” On April 25, ...

March 21, 2008
23 Reader writers describe the regime of editor Judith Moore

Busy Fingers Are Happy Fingers — Joe Deegan Mother Reader — Barbarella Build Your Writing Muscles — Ollie Let the Tape Recorder Do the Work — Matthew Lickona Faith — Abe Opincar Make Something Better ...

Faith

"Execrable." And... "You sound like a fluttering dilettante." There were many more in a similar vein. I have all her editorial comments saved somewhere on the jittery hard drive of my old computer. The two ...

August 16, 2007
San Diego Sikhs run into trouble – on Miramar Road, at Charger games

Sikhs don’t engage in door-to-door pamphleteering and they don’t broadcast television or radio commercials promoting their faith.

November 2, 2006
How long can Alpine stay rural?

A hamlet morphs into suburb.

An introduction to San Diego's pygmy goats

Dori Lowell, business manager for the National Pygmy Goat Association based in Snohomish, Washington, says, "People who love pygmy goats come from all walks of life, but they're usually animal lovers who've had some exposure ...

July 20, 2006
El Cajon Boulevard refugees tell of persecution in Uganda, war in Liberia

In the office where I met David Omen Acana II, paramount chief of the 800,000-member Acholi tribe in northern Uganda, a large color photograph of two hippos hung on the wall behind him. The animals, ...

June 8, 2006
San Diego immigrants not forced to come here

"I thought I had come into hell. Van Nuys was so hot. I mean, God. And at that time I was naughty: I smoked. And I thought, 'How can anybody have a cigarette in this ...

March 2, 2006
Abduction and murder at T.J.’s Camp Campestre

Under normal circumstances, it would be difficult not to stare at ten men dressed in black who brandished submachine guns. Under normal circumstances, ten men dressed in black who brandished submachine guns would be the ...

February 2, 2006
Tijuana, the busiest U.S. consulate in the world

When Dean Haas considers his career so far, he describes its most emotionally difficult period as a two-week "hostage situation" involving a group of Americans "who'd gone to look for Noah's ark." There was, of ...

January 19, 2006
What's different about Tijuana bodybuilding

"This gym, NeoSpa, opened in 1988. It was started by a Russian group that came to Tijuana. They came up with the name and made the original investment. They also opened a disco and a ...

September 29, 2005
22 Reader writers on school experiences

My first day in school was really my second day — Jangchup Phelygal The Radiators That Ticked Heat into the Room — Laura Rhoton McNeal Rear Rank Rudy — Jim Morris Forget-me-nots — Rosa Colwin ...

September 8, 2005
Out of Africa

It looks as if you're cradling a baby goat in your arms while something explodes from its backside. Right wrist rests atop left elbow. Right elbow rests atop left wrist. Right pinky and index finger ...

September 8, 2005
San Diego's Most Wanted worked with weights at Valley Barbell Club

"At the time it was cross tops and black beauties. Not yet the methamphetamine." "I was caught up in the first DUI sweep in San Diego. I had my picture on the front page of ...

July 21, 2005
Tijuana : Arenales, Guerrero Park, Real del Mar, Gaspar Rivera's home

I didn't recognize where I was. "Things have changed a lot," said Jorge Rodríguez, leading me out of the rain, into his two-story cinder-block house. "I came to Los Arenales looking for new horizons," he ...

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