Eleanor Widmer

Eleanor Widmer reviewed restaurants for the Reader from 1974 through 2000.

She wrote occasional feature stories, the most notable of which was "Slow Fall from Foxhill" (an interview with Michael Copley). Widmer was hitchhiking on Mt. Soledad and was picked up by Michael, James Copley's son from a previous marriage, who was suing Helen Copley, the current owner of the San Diego Union.

She also wrote a notable story about John Vietor, founder of San Diego Magazine: "Mr. Jello Will See You Now."

After Widmer died in 2005, fellow Reader writer Jeannette DeWyze wrote a cover story about Widmer titled The Late Long-time Queen of Cafe Critics.

Widmer's novel about an immigrant family, Up from Orchard Street was published in March, 2006.

Articles by Eleanor Widmer

Eleanor Widmer and the Reader

Willie Shoemaker, Carl Rogers, John Vietor, Michael Copley, Tropic of Cancer

Eleanor Widmer reviewed restaurants for the Reader from 1974 through 2000. She wrote occasional feature stories, the most notable of which was "Slow Fall from Foxhill" (an interview with Michael Copley). Widmer was hitchhiking on ...

Pot smuggler's accident, Belmont Park, Willie Shoemaker, prostitution after Stingaree, truth serum, a family's letters

Stories hidden in the back pages of the Reader

The Zipper – near death at the Del Mar Fair The Zipper was a new wrinkle on the midway: this big, gleaming apparatus that looked like a gigantic fan belt, with body-hugging cages attached along ...

Reader writers tell funny stories about dead colleague, Steve Esmedina

Blubbo's world

Esmo’s phone manner was so hugger-mugger that I could be sitting four feet away and could not make out a single word. For all I could tell, he might have been laying fifty on a pony.

Student Steve

He stood in the back of my class and followed me around UCSD campus.

During the early ’70s, the war in Vietnam created upheaval at universities across the country. ucsd, where I taught, was no exception. Dissenters organized rallies in Revelle Plaza, committees of students met with deans to ...

The Man Who Loved to Dress Women

He consigned my clothes to the flames.

“Never put a rat on your back.” I was five years old, hurtling through the subway station in New York, on the way to the garment district with my father when he gave me my ...

Willie Shoemaker at Del Mar, strong in wheelchair

Reader reporter brings him chopped liver sandwich and cries

It’s Friday morning, August 19. Although I’m dressed in a Chanel-style blue-and-white suit, I’m not wearing an apron as I heap two inches of chopped liver on fresh egg bread. The sandwich is for Bill ...

I plowed through The Interpretation of Dreams when I was 14

My adult card

I read my first novel at the age of seven, after which the printed word became my obsession. In the ghetto where we lived, the public library was endowed by Andrew Carnegie; to get to ...

Eleanor Widmer finds a late-night restaurant where she can sing

“Dark Eyes,” “Ofen Pripichu," “Rayte Pomerantzen"

I don’t know whether insomnia is programmed in the DNA, but my grandmother, my father, and I all had sleeping problems. From earliest childhood, say by the age of five, I would wake in the ...

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