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Stories by Ernie Grimm

Cave paintings of Juan Cabrillo ship, marijuana farmers of Cuyamaca

Mommy, why are they shooting at us again? “I don’t take my kids to the park anymore on Sundays,” says Luís, a young Tijuana father of three — eight- and six-year-old sons, and a five-year-old ...

May 17, 2020
Little Italy – will the flavor last?

Tiny rooms in Little Italy On a Little Italy plot where a Victorian house stood for more than a century, construction of tiny apartments is underway. The house, built in the 1890s at the corner ...

Best Reader stories from 2009

A San Diego Charger football game is one thing, fandom is something else Silva's powder blue coffin was trimmed with gold — Charger colors. His body was dressed in a jersey honoring his favorite player, ...

February 29, 2020
Best Reader stories from 2008

Tijuana is the first stop to suicide Faye Girsh, vice president of the Hemlock Society of San Diego, knows that Exit International has been publicizing the Mexico option for its members. “But we do not ...

February 23, 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
Lakeside – not rednecks

Lakeside turns out “I don’t know if you noticed, but the whole town of Lakeside is here,” said local resident Barbara Sessions, pointing to over 500 people who recently filled up a 250-seat room at ...

Ramona – a lot of stories

Was Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona real? During late winter and early spring of every year, a bit of confusion reigns up north in the town of Ramona. The folks at the chamber of commerce there ...

Best Reader stories from 1995

I've got Perry Mason on board! In early 1960, the man who created Perry Mason was introduced to an Imperial Beach resident named Francisco Muñoz. Erle Stanley Gardner had many friends, and he particularly liked ...

January 11, 2020
Mission Hills – don't be fooled

Book-lovers chew the fat at the Mission Hills Library His watch tells him 6:45. This Mission Hills branch stays open tonight — it’s Monday. He slaps the book closed, reshelves it, glances to his left. ...

Otay Mesa – so unsettled

Feds plan to make pond of Tijuana sewage Just how smelly are thirteen acres of raw sewage? Soon, very soon, we shall find out. Next Monday a federal agency is planning to start building an ...

December 23, 2019
More than one point of view on Thanksgiving

The ideal hipster Thanksgiving As I’ve pointed out before, no holiday lacks the potential for a hipster makeover. Thanksgiving is no exception. Not only is it nestled comfortably between epic Halloween costumes and ugly-Christmas-sweater parties, ...

November 26, 2019
Ernie Grimm and the Reader

Grimm was recruited by editor Judith Moore when he was a recent graduates from Thomas Aquinas College in 1995. Moore felt that he "would have learned humility" from reading the great books. After Moore died ...

October 13, 2019
Julian – chock full of history

Appellate court turns back Hosking's fake cattle ranch Inhabitants of Julian who oppose the development of 1416 acres of local back country have a newfound victory to celebrate. An appellate court has reversed the decision ...

University City – UCSD's bedrooms

No trolley in my backyard A group of neighborhood conservationists in University City are hoping to put the brakes on a plan to extend trolley service from downtown San Diego's Santa Fe Depot to a ...

Sleepy Descanso

Roberts Ranch Opens its Gates to Hikers Thanks to the crusading efforts of Descanso cabinet-maker Duncan McFetridge, affectionately known by some as the "Robin Hood of Cleveland Forest," two inholdings (islands of private property inside ...

Spring Valley – land of contrasts

Dictionary Hill in Spring Valley got its name from encyclopedia salesman One of the oddest things about the Dictionary Hill area, also known as La Presa, is the way the streets were laid out on ...

Del Cerro – in the shadow of Adobe Falls

Adobe Falls lovers pin hopes on Sally Roush Frost spoke of a “battle against the internet,” which continues to draw people to the area. “As of this morning, there were 7132 Instagram pictures of Adobe ...

Allied Gardens – a fight for serenity

Superior Ready Mix dusts Allied Gardens “We sweep the streets three times a day, at 4:00 am, mid-day and then mid-afternoon. We paved the interior street that is the extension of Princess View several months ...

Campo –small town rich in drama

Complications of Tijuana to Tecate to Campo train Ten federal agents waiting at the railway museum are demanding that the train continue onto its last stop in Campo and be cleared through customs before anybody ...

The Reader's 2018 burger issue

The most complicated of sandwiches The Friendly, Born and Raised, Balboa Bar, Viewpoint, Mishmash, Currant, Bleu Boheme By Mary Beth Abate We’re burger rich, y’all Craft House, Gourmet Sandwiches, Salud, Ty's, Bunz, Hamilton's. Chinatown Bar ...

Bay, Burgers, Beer

San Diego Bay is the reason San Diego exists. Juan Rodrigo Cabrillo must have been thrilled to find such a fine natural harbor back in 1542 after a long stretch of forbidding Baja California coastline. ...

September 12, 2018
East San Diego County loves burgers, too

East County tops nobody’s list of areas rich in exceptional dining experiences. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few quality places to grab a burger east of Highway 125. Some appeal to a sense of ...

San Diego Reader 2017 guide to tacos

Taco means tiny taste of temptation. Satisfaction by a thousand different cuts of meat and veggies. Is it just me, this wacko taco love affair? I don’t think so. Every San Diegan has a secret ...

A bona fide food pilgrimage

Craft Kitchen It’s another of the sheet metal, recycled-wood, chalkboard-beer-menu kind of places that are popping up everywhere. The menu features shrimp, lobster, mahi mahi, and tuna tacos ($5 each), but I like the two ...

Football, hamburgers, and Oreos

Much as football replaced baseball, I believe hamburgers long ago ousted hot dogs from the traditional trinity of Americana: baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. Apple pie has probably been replaced by Oreos. Lamentably, we ...

September 14, 2016
The patriarch is dead

When he passed away on June 15, 2015, my dad William “Bill” Grimm was grandfather to 136 souls, the last my own little William. He was great grandfather to 69. When you have 17 kids, ...

June 24, 2015
Reader writers on why Christmas is magic

A LITTLE OLD-SCHOOL GLAMOUR “What does he do, this man you seek?…He covets…And how do we begin to covet, Clarice?…We begin by coveting what we see every day.” — Dr. Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of ...

December 22, 2010
Census

In the spirit of this census year, we offer this unofficial, informal, and unscientific census of daily life in San Diego. (No census workers were lynched or faked their own lynchings while gathering the following ...

Solar Man

Hey, man. Solar Man here. Well, my ­name’s Derek Ensminger, but my friends call me Solar Man. Look around my office and ­you’ll know why. ­There’s a solar-powered video camera over there, a solar charger ...

May 19, 2010
Gompers Prep, in a neighborhood with more than 50 gangs, is offering Latin

"I remember my first encounter with a student here. I was wearing a suit, and a student comes up to me at lunch with a crowbar in his hand. Tapping it against his leg, he ...

December 9, 2009
The More the Merrier

The bowl of fruit salad sits at eye level in front of me. Through the dimpled red glass, I see the slices of bananas and strawberries, chunks of apples, and grapes resting in the sweetness ...

November 25, 2009
Reader writers tackle the family Thanksgiving dinner

To Be Thankful Requires Humility — John Brizzolara This Year, We’re Staying Local — Pamela Hunt-Cloyd Eat What the Politicians Feed You — Don Bauder This Is How It’s Supposed to Be — Barbarella Thanksgiving: ...

November 24, 2009
Marco Mitrowke strives for “nonabrasive” loss prevention

Marco Mitrowke, loss prevention manager for the local retail clothing chain Everything 5.99, was not what I expected. The job title “loss prevention manager” conjured images of a strapping, muscular young man wearing a T-shirt ...

May 20, 2009
State of the U.S.-Mexican border fence in 2009

Border Patrol agent Richard Gonzales pushes a button in the shiny white Chevy Tahoe he’s driving. In response, a gate rolls open to allow entry to the no-man’s-land between the secondary fence and the old ...

Reader writers' favorite drinks and where they drink them

There are times, sometimes in the midst of otherwise polite conversation, when it comes out that I make my living writing for the Reader. The follow-up to this revelation is almost never “Oh, that’s right, ...

April 22, 2009
Long Island Iced Tea at the Brigantine

-1 part vodka -1 part tequila -1 part rum -1 part gin-1 part triple sec -1-1/2 parts sweet-and-sour mix -1 splash Coke It’s about efficiency. When I need to catch a buzz, I need to ...

April 22, 2009
New Jersey transplants thrust into custody battle in Oceanside

On New Year’s Eve, Howard Jackson was in court with Ellen Falcone, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his child. For more than nine years, the last three in Oceanside, the two had shared custody of ...

April 8, 2009
UCSD pays for trans-species project.

I’m sitting on a leather couch in the middle of a darkened black-walled, black-ceilinged room talking to a man who, at taxpayer expense, takes hormones to become more like a woman yet is in the ...

March 25, 2009
Qualcomm stadium parking lot – older computers are more valuable for recyclers

It’s not yet 9:00 a.m. on September 6, but the late-summer sun is already baking the blacktop of the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot. It’s hot and promises to get hotter. Sweat drips from the foreheads ...

January 14, 2009
SDPD -- Got An Attitude?

Let’s say a man bit your finger so viciously that the flesh was torn away and the bone exposed. Let’s say it happened in a public place in front of dozens of eyewitnesses who prevented ...

December 3, 2008
End of Rosarito-Ensenado bicycle ride

Organizers of the semiannual Rosarito Ensenada Fun Bicycle Ride recently announced that the September 27 event would be their last. As with Baja tourism in general, participation in the ride has been declining. In April, ...

September 24, 2008
Del Cerro's Jacob Blumenthal unfurls Free Tibet banner at Beijing Olympics

Jacob Blumenfeld delivered what was arguably the most courageous performance by a San Diegan at the recent Beijing Olympics. And he didn’t compete in swimming, track and field, or gymnastics but in the far more ...

September 17, 2008
Tijuana is the first stop to suicide

Tijuana has long attracted people seeking medicine and medical procedures unavailable or unaffordable in their home countries. They've been joined recently by people seeking the means to kill themselves. And some of them are coming ...

August 20, 2008
Spanish slang expert grew up near Avenida Revolucion

Spanish slang connoisseur Roxana Fitch grew up in Tijuana, birthplace of some of the most distinctive slang words — or jergas — in the entire Spanish-speaking world. The proximity of Tijuana, and of Mexico's entire ...

SDPD dog handlers want pay for after hours

The City of San Diego’s foundering financial ship has struck another shoal in the form of a lawsuit filed in 2005 by officers of the San Diego Police Department’s canine unit. The dog cops maintained ...

July 16, 2008
Volaris, Avolar, Alma de México take over flights from TIjuana

Every year, my mother-in-law stays with us for a month or two when the weather in her home state of Connecticut is at its coldest and wildest. During this last visit she decided to go ...

April 23, 2008
Tijuana's MiCredito loans to Daniel Covarrubias' trash truck business

For decades, Tijuana’s eastern colonias have sprung from the chaparral faster than the municipal government can provide services to them. The resourceful residents in these neighborhoods have long brought electricity to their shanties by running ...

March 12, 2008
The heavy rumble on Marron Valley Road

The Spanish word dulzura means sweetness. And public artist Robin Brailsford found the sweet life when she moved to the hamlet of Dulzura, 30 miles east of San Diego along State Route 94. She lives ...

February 6, 2008
Garden of Innocents saves babies from the trash

Ten years ago, Elissa Davey received her vocation. She was a 50-year-old realtor, mother of two sons, and resident of San Marcos when the call came in the form of a story in the newspaper ...

January 9, 2008
Between TJ and Rosarito – Le Papillon butterfly farm

The definition of "easy to get to" changes depending on what side of the border you're on. In the United States, if you had to drive on a rutted dirt road to get to someplace, ...

December 20, 2007

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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