Back to profile

Stories by Mike Madriaga

Wild ‘n Out signs don't last in Kensington

Wrong area for guerrilla marketing?

On October 11 at about 1:45 pm, I saw a lady by the I-15 exit on Adams Avenue carrying yellow signs. I wasn’t sure if the lady just pulled the yellow and red Wild ‘n ...

Adams Ave. park re-born

Without the grass, but that's okay

Layla and her kids are impressed with the recent renovation of their Adams Recreation Center Park on Adams Avenue (between I-805/I-15) — in Normal Heights; they’ve been hanging out here for over three years. “They ...

Marriott strike – from both sides

San Diego film festival proceeds with sidelong glance

On October 13, as we neared The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, next door to Horton Plaza, the chants of the strikers in red shirts became louder. At the glass door entrances by the hotel ...

Baja 1000 fined $25K

Cactus destroyed in Valle de los Cirios

On October 11, El Vigía, an Ensenada based news outlet posted a story that was headlined “Suspenden carrera Baja 1000; multan a Score International,” which translates to: “The Baja 1000 race is suspended; Score International ...

Candy tangerine and black Blazer wins with and without nitrous

La Playa Sand Drags was serious

On September 16, about 40 vehicles raced on a dirt strip at Rosarito Beach. The venue, Plaza San Fernando, is right off of Federal Highway 1 close to the touristy hotels and across the street ...

Downtown dog owners point fingers at homeless

14th and Market could use more waste bags

On October 6, I saw Emma walking her corgi and lab-hound mix dogs in front of the downtown Albertsons. As I approached her, her corgi defecated on the sidewalk; Emma was quick to pick up. ...

Encinitas shark signs stolen

Look for them on eBay

About 70 signs that read “Keep Out — No Entrance — Shark Sighted Water Is Closed — Tiburón Avistado Agua Está Cerrada” were stolen throughout the Encinitas beaches last weekend (September 29-30). “You’re stealing public ...

Now anyone can get to the water in Coronado

Six-feet-wide mats at Central and North beaches

“The motion is to approve three locations: two’s been identified (Central and North Beach) and the third’s Dog Beach,” said Coronado city manager Blair King at the October 2 city council meeting. King was referring ...

Running sideways a good way to stay inside the circle

Sumo ball on Mission Bay

On September 23, I saw eight alien-looking plastic balls with legs running around at east Mission Bay. “This game is called Sumo Ball,” said Carlos Rendon. “The object is to knock the opposing team out ...

We followed LuLaRoe to Facebook Live

Toy addicts in La Mesa diss Amazon and eBay

On September 29, about 200 collectors met at The Toy Addicts Trade Show in La Mesa; many were 1990s era toy collectors. “I do find it kind of weird that people are calling 1990s vintage,” ...

The problem with artificial grass

San Diegans deal with the impermeability

When I get in at 6:50 am,” Jeffrey said, “it’s already here: fresh poop.” Almost every morning, Jeffrey opens up the Valvoline Instant Oil Change shop in City Heights. “When I see people with dogs, ...

Secretive birds make home in corner of Mission Bay

Ridgeway's rails need cover of Kendall-Frost Preserve

On September 11 at 10 am, eight endangered Ridgeway’s rails birds were released at UC Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve. “The rails will help to increase the population of this wetland so that there is a greater ...

One more beach sport

Brazilians bring footvolley to Mission Beach and Carlsbad

On September 6, I saw a group of guys volleying a soccer ball back and forth over a net – on a sand-volleyball court. They were feet away from the playground and water at Bonita ...

The fate of Ofo bikes in San Diego

Still serving in one form or another

On September 21, between 12 noon and 2 pm, I noticed over 75 yellow Ofo bikes around town; about half were still being used. “It’s a score,” Joey G. said, “if you find them unlocked, ...

Bird lowers bounty price to $3

Will enough chargers boycott?

On September 19, some San Diego-based Bird chargers were surprised to open up their work app to a bunch of $3 Bird symbols. Adam, who catches about ten Bird motorized scooters a night by Pacific ...

San Diego surfers and shapers cast eyes on Lemoore

Bodyboarders next?

On the week of September 6-9, Coronado's Dan Mann and some of his buddies from Firewire Surfboards, trekked up to Lemoore to meet with World Surf League champion Kelly Slater — and their mutual friends. ...

What Kaaboo meant for Uber drivers

High pay, dust, free music, barf bags, barf bounties

Teri from Allied Gardens made $450 over the weekend driving her Hyundai Sonata for Uber and Lyft; much of her “best weekend ever” monies was due to the Kaaboo 3-day music festival (September 14-16) held ...

Lean your body

One Wheel kinda like Segway

Occasionally during low tide at the Pacific Beach shoreline, you may spot Cody Chadwick riding his One Wheel on the sand. “Only when it’s packed sand,” he said, “not with sugary soft sand. I ride ...

No Smoking did some pool halls in

But Pockets, On Cue, College Billiards fight hipster trend

On September 8, I shot some pool with the recently crowned 2018 American Poolplayers Association Team Captains Champions — at Pockets Billiards & Brew in Kearny Mesa. The name of their San Diego-based team is ...

I wasn’t the only one falling

Yoga on calm water in Sail Bay

Nicole Turner has been meeting with eight yoga students at Fanuel Street Park at 8 am. “There’s less activity on the water as far as boats and people,” she said, “the fewer waves, the easier ...

They spend thousands on Nike on Market Street

Not too much burning here

On September 5, Dante Rowley from Golden Hill posted an Instagram photo of the billboard that sits atop the Nike store in San Francisco. He captioned it: “How do you feel about the @kaepernick7 Nike ...

Only drunks on the sand in IB

Driver ditched girlfriend next to pier

“The car was right there next to the pier,” said Lisa Rodriguez. “The guy was joyriding then his car got stuck; he took off and left his drunk girlfriend in the car.” On September 4, ...

The girl must learn to follow the guy

Watch them tandem surf at Cardiff, Tourmaline, Oceanside Harbor

On August 22, Carlsbad residents Brian and Illa McEvilly placed fourth in their tandem surf heat at the Duke's OceanFest in Waikiki, HI. "Tandem surfing is performed with two people on one board that catch ...

Las Vegas makes it easier to defect to the Raiders

“Chargers fans are loyal to a certain point and then they give up”

On September 1, about “one thousand” Oakland Raiders fans rendezvoused at the Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley for the Raiders Fan Convention (RFC). Many of the black-and-silver adorned fans were more than welcoming to the ...

VR will not replace skating

Tony Hawk busts out his 360-degree loop in Vista Sunday

On August 26, former skateboard champion Tony Hawk busted out his 360-degree loop to give a few young skateboarders a chance to demo it — by his headquarters in Vista. The loop resembles that of ...

Thanks for the Kmart memories

Spring Valley store to close in November

On August 23, I visited the Kmart at 935 Sweetwater Road in Spring Valley by the 54 Freeway. A lady with a blue shirt that read “Attention Kmart Shoppers” on the front was helping me. ...

America has guns

SDSU exchange student robbed

On August 15 at about 3 p.m., Thomas, a San Diego State University exchange student was robbed for $60 on 30th Street in North Park. “I’m feeling okay now,” he said, “I decided I wasn’t ...

Coronado's dog owners lobby for school plot

Dog Beach too sandy, Cays too far

Barbara’s been waiting for a fenced-off dog park in Coronado for 20-plus years. “There is nowhere in the village other than the beach to let a pet run or exercise off-leash,” she said, “it would ...

Island Pacific Seafood closes, but cats stay

Kind-hearted Filipinos try to fill gap

“Around 15 cats live behind the Island Pacific Seafood Market on 2720 E. Plaza Blvd,” posted a Paradise Valley resident on her Nextdoor account. “The store is closed and they need food and some water.” ...

10, 9, 8, 7, 6....pick up that stride

Crosswalk at Garnet and Fanuel tested in court

On August 14, Kelsey went to court to fight a $197 crosswalk ticket that she and her buddy received in April. “My friend (Val) and I were coming back from the Tap Room,” she said, ...

Photos of stingrays and eating 'em

Hundreds seen from the sky above La Jolla

On the morning of August 7, Ravean Aaron took a photo of a pod of dolphins swim through “hundreds of” stingrays from the sky above Black’s Beach. “I recently received my pilot's license and have ...

So much for the McDonald's double drive-thru

Entrance from Florida Street is flashpoint

On August 5, John saw a “silly” McDonald’s meme shared on his Facebook timeline “that actually, hit home.” It’s based on a photo of the fast-food restaurant on Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. The meme’s ...

Barefoot lady caught stealing Costco lights from neighbor

IB Facebook tells all

On August 4, Bryna from Imperial Beach posted a Facebook video of her friend’s landscape lights getting stolen. “This happened on 14th Street,” she said, “This individual decided to go into my friend's yard and ...

Hand standers steal attention

Upper body strength displayed at Oceanside, OB, Santa Monica

On July 28 at 4 pm, the spectators surrounding the Oceanside Pier had a double-feature; the pro-surfers in the water and the hand-standers in the sand by the rocks. This was the second day of ...

Filner's name defaced on Ingraham St. bridge

Crown Point passers-by have their opinions

On the morning of August 8, I opened an email that linked me to a photo of the Fisherman's Channel Bridge plaque. The sender asked "if anyone knew the story of the scratched out Council ...

If you were slow to get beach volleyball

Be early on beach tennis

Claudia Chiossi plays beach tennis. The 35-year-old personal trainer used to play in her hometown of Garopaba, Brazil, but since she’s relocated to Pacific Beach, she’s found locals to play with by Tower 22, which ...

Mosquito Coast

County specialists attack larvae in I.B.

“You just got one [mosquito] that landed on your chest,” Sean Simmons said, “and there’s some flying around you.” “Ohhh man there’s another mosquito on my shoulder,” I said as I swatted it away. On ...

VW Bus caravan makes it to Border Field

Met by VW fans across the fence

On July 29 at noon, about 75 vintage Volkswagen owners rendezvoused at International Friendship Park in Imperial Beach. This was the last stop for the Treffen: “A traveling [rear-engine] Volkswagen carnival, complete with cruises, camp ...

Hot brush for homeless and City Heights houses

Fire across from the Arco

On July 24, at around 7:30 pm, Matt Armstrong exited I-805 to Home Avenue and saw smoke on the way to his City Heights home. “I saw like seven-eight fire engines,” Armstrong said, “the car ...

Comic-con not great for Uber and Lyft drivers

L.A. drivers moved in on the territory

Ava Valentine averages $1200 a week driving for Uber and Lyft; Comic-Con last week might’ve slowed down her bankroll. “There was a lot of short fares downtown that took up a lot of time,” she ...

Too bad for the cameramen

No press parking at Comic-con

Comic-Con International 2018 did not have special parking for media/press, as in the previous years. On July 18 (Wednesday), as I made a left from Harbor Drive to Park Boulevard in between the convention center’s ...

Floating celebrity

Comic-con yacht with Jumbotron

“Watch out San Diego Comic Con 2018 because Captain Kevin Smith is going to be onboard the IMDb boat,” Smith said on an online video. Smith is a 47-year-old actor and director of movies Mallrats ...

Comic-Con

It's that time of year again...

You don’t need no stinkin’ badges What’s a poor unlucky muggle to do now that Comic-Con passes have become more expensive than Batmobile rims, and harder to pick up than Thor’s hammer? Not to worry, ...

Penasquitos Village empties of Filipinos

Some go back home, some squeeze in with others

George Almanon was one of the last residents to remain in PQ Village. “I’m kind of sad and my wife doesn’t want to leave this place,” he said, “because it’s a nice area and quiet.” ...

Adams Ave. box artists mostly legit

Ward Canyon art-bombed

On July 14, about 20 utility boxes were painted along Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. “Each of the 16 artists, was assigned a box and given anywhere from $125 to $675,” said Selena from the ...

Shared bikes and scooters used for crimes

And are themselves subject to crime

Share bikes and scooters have been stolen and vandalized since day one; lately throughout San Diego it’s gotten worse. “Please, no pictures because they might attack me,” said Jane, “I’m scared and I just want ...

You won't get rich charging Bird scooters either

To catch a Bird

“I’m telling you as a resident over here [in Ocean Beach], that you are in my parking spot,” yelled a man captured on video. “I’m not the one that puts these [Bird motorized scooter] nests ...

Graffiti park on Market Street under new name

Writerz Blok becomes Arts Park @ Chollas Creek.

On June 23, the Writerz Blok on Market three blocks west of Euclid was reopened as Arts Park @ Chollas Creek. On July 3, I walked up Chollas Creekside Park, which is on the east ...

San Diego, Hawaii

Not like our Cali burritos

I not only saw lava from the Kilauea Volcano and Fissure 8; I realized how much of an impact San Diego is making 2,500 miles away. Our plane landed at Keāhole on June 20. One ...

Sports car racers fret next to Midway

Can they use North Island?

On June 12 at 7:30 p.m., about 30 European vehicle owners met by the USS Midway on North Harbor Drive south of Broadway, downtown. Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, and other European-make vehicle owners have been congregating ...

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close