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Stories by Susan Vaughn

National City – still up and coming

National City – a Mayor Daley-type political machine To the south of San Diego, within range of the shadows cast by the Coronado Bridge, lies National City. Frequently described as the “backlot" of San Diego, ...

Oceanside – eclecticism reigns

Homes at end of Oceanside Blvd. claim emergency The city never got approval,” says Mackin. “They just started doing it. These homeowners had carte blanche to put as much rip rap as they wanted on ...

Encinitas, not a neighborhood but a kingdom

Bicyclists dominate Caltrans meeting About half of the meeting’s 40 attendees indicated they were cyclists, and will use the proposed bike lane. But even hard-core cyclists were skeptical of some sections of the proposed eight-mile ...

El Cajon – from rednecks to immigrants

The slow end of the Kalasho regime At a city council meeting in September Elia spoke publicly to Kalasho: “Ben, you need help. It hurts me to see fellow Chaldeans spiral like this. It might ...

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
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. ...

Rancho Santa Fe – the most luxury homes in California

San Diego Polo Club site developed by Heaven's Gate Exclusiveness breeds itself, so it’s little wonder that when the San Diego Polo Club in Rancho Santa Fe needed a Web page designed, they turned to ...

Encanto – snubbed but proud

On top of this little corner of the world Here on Skyline Drive, great swaths of sward stretch out below, springy and green. Here, there are vacant lots littered with possibility, within sight of a ...

Invasion of the Tall Buildings

Perhaps San Diego’s two screwdrivers, the Hyatt and One America — harbingers of shapes to come — are tools for its future. With luck, Emerald Plaza may serve as a New Age talisman against overbuilding and outrageous flash.

San Diego's splendid Craftsmen homes

“In my neighborhood, people are removing aluminum siding and stucco from the 1950s and 1960s. They’re stripping the paint from their homes’ redwood shingles. And they’re pulling up wall-to-wall carpeting to expose the hardwood floors.”

Beach people who aren't bums – from Cardiff to Coronado

“You can never come back from Dog Beach without having a laugh. Once I saw a little dog running by with a life jacket on. There’s always somebody jumping in the sand, chasing their tail, taking a swim.”

October 7, 1999
El Cajon's crowded discontents

“They called it ‘The Jungle’ where I lived," says Michelle Hull, now a Spring Valley resident but formerly an Emerald Avenue apartment resident. “You could see people doing drug deals in their cars — my nine-year-old daughter saw that.

July 22, 1999
A guide to San Diego's long-lived Victorian houses

Another prominent San Diego attorney-turned-judge named E.W. Britt built this nine-room Queen Anne and later sold the residence to newspaper magnate W. Scripps, for use as a townhouse while Scripps's Miramar Ranch was under construction.

July 1, 1999
San Diego's master planned communities

Already, architects are experimenting with “Row House Revival," narrow unattached homes harkening Victorian urban dwellings, and “Courtyard Clusters," tiny cottages in circular 'covered wagon” formation as options for first-time buyers short on cash.

April 15, 1999
Saint Malo – Oceanside's best-kept secret

A real estate agent had warned me, “The residents of Saint Malo are very classy people,” so I had packed a bottle of light, fruity Domaine Les Grands Groux Sancerre (1996) and a loaf of fresh bread.

April 1, 1999
Kensington ends at Monroe, not El Cajon Bl.

With only two avenues of ingress — Kensington Drive and Marlborough Avenue — it remains secluded, quiet, and difficult to locate. Which is fine with its inhabitants who joke, “We’ve never left because we can’t find our way out.”

March 11, 1999
Heavy breathing at Sandalwood Court, Encinitas cul-de-sac

“You get a lot for your money,” she says of Sandalwood. “Homes like those would be about $900,000 in La Jolla. There’s minimal new development in Encinitas, so there’ll be hardly any other new products with ocean views.”

January 21, 1999
The discreet charm of Encanto

One of Klauber’s daughters remarked that there was not much to do in the environs [of Encanto] except look at the views and smell the sage and tar weed. But that, she said, was enough.

December 3, 1998
Lisa Whitney, relentless La Jolla real estate broker

Lisa Whitney's cerulean-blue Jaguar glides through the streets of La Jolla at 8:15 a.m. Its driver is bound for a "pitching session" with the La Jolla Real Estate Brokers Association. She is dressed in a ...

November 19, 1998
The dueling architecture styles of UCSD

That year a water main ruptured near the library during construction work, sending 1.5 million gallons of water rushing toward the structure. The library’s electronic motion detectors opened the doors, welcoming the deluge into the library's interior.

October 29, 1998
Lost among dream homes in Rancho Santa Fe

“The Spiro house" looks gloomy from the outside. Cathy, Judy, and Angie debate whether the home’s showing agent is required to tell potential buyers what transpired in the house. “I think she has to,” Cathy says.

September 17, 1998
Mission Hills' weird history

Before Captain Henry James “Ninety Fathom” Johnston plunked down $16.25 for 65 acres of prime Mission Hills real estate in 1869, the area was a wasteland of weeds, scrub, and chaparral; a “hopeless tangle of ...

February 5, 1998
National City's eclectic architecture

The California bungalow had its origins in India, another crackling-hot destination in need of cheap, cool housing. The bengalas, as the conquering Brits called them, were small, open, one-story huts with wide verandas.

August 28, 1997
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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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