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July 19–Aug. 1, 2013

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Old Town • Mission Hills • Bankers Hill

Hillcrest • University Heights • Normal Heights • North Park • South Park • Golden Hill • Kensington • Talmadge

Uptown responds

➤➤ NEWS P. 3

As the mayor wades through controversy, residents weigh in By Morgan M. Hurley SDUN Assistant Editor

Multi-media in North Park

➤➤ DINING P. 10

(l to r) Andy Barker of Vons, Soren Betancourt, Kimberly Medeiros of First 5 San Diego, Diego Ontiveros, and Supervisor Ron Roberts at the Mission Hills Vons July 10 (Courtesy First 5 San Diego) Olivetto’s Italian home

Promoting healthy habits, from the start

➤➤ THEATER P. 14

First 5 San Diego partners with Vons for County-wide initiative By Anthony King SDUN Editor

Fast talk for Moxie

➤➤ HOME P. 20

A tale of 2 bathrooms

Index Opinion…………………6 Briefs……………………7 Music…………………13 Feature…………………16 Calendar………………17 Classifieds……………18

Contact Us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1952



First 5 San Diego launched an extensive healthy eating initiative at the Mission Hills Vons July 10, in an effort to instill family habits that will set children up for success as they get older. The partnership is County wide, with over 50 Vons retail stores participating. First 5 San Diego Executive Director Kimberly Medeiros and Vons Vice President of Retail Operations Andy Barker were at the Mission Hills Vons with County Supervisor Ron Roberts to help launch the healthy eating initiative. The three spoke with media, helped bag groceries and talked with customers about the program. “We want to encourage families to use grocery shopping as a time to talk with children about healthy eating,” Medeiros said in a press release following the event. “The earlier you introduce new fruits and vegetables, the more likely they are as adults to carry on with those good eating habits.” The organization’s initiative will feature First 5-approved products for children under 5 in all 58 Vons locations throughout the region. Additionally, there will be fliers available to families at each store outlining healthy eating choices. “We are excited to highlight children’s nutritional needs for parents and families with young children,” Medeiros said. “The program serves as an excellent

Mayor Bob Filner has arguably had the worst two weeks of his political career, and certainly his short stint as mayor of San Diego. Quick on the heels of intense scrutiny over a City-funded trip to Paris and his return of a $100,000 gift to the City from local developer Sunroad, the mayor not only lost a fiancée, but a host of supporters in light of reports that he has been sexually harassing female staff, campaign volunteers and constituents. Since July 10, more than a half dozen top leaders have stepped forward one by one calling for his resignation, including former City Councilmember Donna Frye, Councilmembers Kevin

resource for parents to turn to for guidance … in the form of tips and activities.” Healthy eating tips being promoted include making half of a regular meal fruits and vegetables, focusing on whole grains and watching portion sizes. Drinking more water is also a key point, as is including dairy in children’s diets. First 5 is also using the Vons initiative to promote their “Practice 5-2-1-0 Every Day” tips: five or more servings of fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of computer or TV time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks each day. All First 5 California county commissions are funded in part by a 50-cent tax on tobacco products, approved by California voters in 1998. The statewide proposition earmarked funds for programs that serve children ages 5 and younger. The San Diego chapter currently has a total operating budget of approximately $62 million. “We know kids do better in school if they get into good eating habits, so we’re promoting it,” Roberts said in the release. Roberts serves as chair of the First 5 San Diego Commission, which has administration offices near the County Administration Center, Downtown. “We want to make sure they know at an early age what is good for them,” he said. The partnership with Vons is only one in a hand-

see FirstFive, page 8

see Filner, page 8

Bob Filner (Illustration by Nancy Lee Corbin)

Rock ‘n’ roll in South Park Artist Courtney Klos captures musical greats on canvas By Bonnie Nicholls SDUN Reporter

You might never guess the person who painted the large canvas of Steven Tyler that hangs on the wall of an Uptown coffeehouse is a diminutive barista behind the counter. So discrete is the artist, that she’s overheard conversations about her work and never revealed her identity while crafting lattes. But in May, she took to the stage at Rebecca’s Coffee House in South Park and, in full view, painted the face of musician David Crosby as part of an art show celebrating her distinctive style. It is all part of

the emergence of Courtney Klos, whose biggest fans – Rebecca’s and South Park Fitness – have recognized and showcased her talent for years. Klos gravitates toward musicians and artists from the 1960s and 1970s, and the bold black lines that capture each subject’s face reflect what motivates her to paint them: their power as performers, the intensity of their songwriting and the passion that drives them. Although she’s been sketching her whole life, Klos, 33, began painting in earnest about seven years ago. She took an introductory art class at City College, and while

Artist Courtney Klos (Photo by Bonnie Nicholls) her assignments included still life work, she was most drawn to pop culture and celebrities. “I really enjoyed painting people and trying to get the expression in the face,” she said. Since then, she has painted about 60 canvases, with most of them hanging on the walls of Rebecca’s and South Park Fitness

for about four years. In the last two years, she began receiving offers for her paintings, including the one of Jimmy Hendrix. “This couple came in, and I swear, 10 minutes later, they’re like, ‘We’re just going to get the money,’” Klos said. “Ten minutes later, they

see Courtney, page 4


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


Transforming El Cajon Boulevard Media Arts Center gives North Park a Digital Gym workout By Dave Fidlin SDUN Reporter

Ever since backing the San Diego Latino Film Festival two decades ago, leaders of the local non-profit organization Media Arts Center San Diego say they have been dedicated to innovation and enhancing the city’s cultural experience. Media Arts Center recently took its efforts one step further with the unveiling of their new Digital Gym, an endeavor aimed at giving people of all ages hands-on tools necessary to harness 21st century technology through special film screenings, workshops and a media lounge area, where guests and members can come to “geek out” over new media and projects, organizers said. The Digital Gym operates out of the Media Arts Center space at 2921 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park, and while most of the Center’s programs in the past 20 years have been aimed primarily toward filmmakers, Executive Director Ethan Van Thillo said the Digital Gym is an expansion of past efforts. “This is something for people of all ages and all interests,” Van Thillo said. “We want to help people learn new skills in today’s environment, whether it mean creating a good, creative website or using social media effectively.” Media Arts Center is offering a variety of services and packages through the Digital Gym, which they tout as an opportunity to not only hone new skills, but also network with other creative, entrepreneurial people. In July and August, they are providing a workshop called the Freelancer’s Survival Kit, outlining the first steps to media freelancing, submitting work to potential clients and building a following. “We’re offering one-on-one individual training or instruction

Bruce “Mr. Bicep” Pechman hosted the Digital Gym store opening June 8. (Courtesy Media Arts Center) in a group setting,” Van Thillo said. In addition to the freelancer and short film series, they also offer three-hour crash courses in the digital software Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Pro. The recent launch of the Digital Gym was about five years in the making, Van Thillo said, and is an outgrowth of Media Arts Center’s relocation to North Park. He said the reception within the neighborhood has been overwhelmingly positive. “Before we took over this building a little over two years ago, it had broken windows and graffiti,” Van Thillo said. “There were all sorts of things living inside. This definitely was an area in need of revitalization, and it fit our mission perfectly.” Van Thillo and other Media Arts Center staff and volunteers used their intuitive creativity and gave the space a complete overhaul. Collaborative efforts with a number of San Diego-based organizations helped make the vision a reality. For example, members of LISC San Diego, an organization focusing on neighborhood revitalization, chipped in and painted the interior of the facility. Also, Media Arts Center was able to obtain a low-interest loan through San

Diego-based CDC Small Business Finance. “It’s definitely been a lot of work and a challenge,” Van Thillo said of the past several years, “but we’re starting to see the fruits of our labor.” From a neighborhood revitalization standpoint, Van Thillo said with pleasure that other new developments have been dotting El Cajon Boulevard, occupying blighted buildings that had previously been vacant. “It’s been wonderful seeing the transformation take place,” he said. The Digital Gym will once again participate in the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association’s Boulevard Nights summer open house, held Saturday, July 20 from 6 – 10 p.m. The quarterly block party centers around the businesses on the 2900 block of El Cajon Boulevard, with

residents coming out to enjoy craft vendors, live music, art and, thanks to the Digital Gym, film. Although he basks in the recent growth, Van Thillo said he and other Media Arts Center leaders have grander visions on the horizon. “The goal is certainly for us to stay neighborhood and community based,” Van Thillo said. “But it would be great if we had a presence in other neighborhoods in San Diego.” The Digital Gym currently also includes a store and theater, showcasing mostly independent productions. Called the Digital Gym Cinema, proceeds help fund the programs. The schedule of upcoming screenings includes: •“Focus on San Diego: Celebrating Our Region’s Filmmakers and Films Produced in San Diego,”

A child plays with a special media gadget at the June 8 opening. (Courtesy Media Arts Center)

Friday, July 19 to Sunday, July 21 •“Broken,” Monday, July 22 to Thursday, July 25 •“Berberian Sound Studio,” Friday, July 26 and July 27 •“Broche de Oro,” Friday, July 26 to Aug. 1 •“Grabbers,” Aug. 2 and Aug. 3 Digital Gym hours are from 12 – 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 12 – 8:30 p.m. Sundays. For information on screening times and ticket prices for the Cinema, as well as registration for workshops, visit Digital Gym’s website or call 619-230-1938. For information on other services and programs offered by Media Arts Center, visit


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


Summer love in South Park

July 20 Walkabout helping to make the neighborhood a popular destination

Rebecca’s Coffee House decorated a “love bug” for the 2012 Summer Walkabout (Courtesy South Park Business Group)

By Anthony King SDUN Editor

This week marks the return of the Summer of Love South Park Walkabout, offering residents and guests an opportunity to see all that South Park businesses have to offer. The Walkabouts, held quarterly and organized by the South Park Business Group, have become increasingly popular destination events. “The Walkabouts are busy nights for the retail shops and restaurants here,” said Marsha Smelkinson of the business group, “and go a long way to building a customer base for the rest of the year.” The evenings started before the group was incorporated, which was formed to represent “locally owned” and “owner-operated” small businesses, she said. There are currently over 70 members. “The Walkabouts have played a major role in putting South Park on the map as a uniquely charming neighborhood destination for shopping and dining in San Diego,” she said. While not an official Business Improvement District, the South Park Business Group is funded in part by grants from the City’s micro-district program. The grants help underwrite the Walkabouts that, in turn, “enable us to invite people from all over the area, including visiting tourists,” Smelkinson said. The business group is looking to collect demographic and statistical information to help evaluate and potentially expand their marketing efforts for the Walkabouts, Smelkinson said. “Because we have no malls or national chains here, we have no ‘deep pockets’ to underwrite advertising,” she said. Over 35 businesses participated in the Wild West Walkabout held in March, ranging in location from Juniper and 30th streets north; 30th Street and the Burlingame Garage; Fern Street; Grape Street at 30th Street; and Beech Street from 30th Street to Dale Street. A free trolley service will be available from 6 – 10 p.m. and Urban Safaris will provide a one-hour guided walking tour, leaving at 6:30 p.m. from the information table near The Grove, 3010 Juniper St.

The trolley circulates the entire area, with boarding stations at The Grove and Grant’s Marketplace at 2953 Beech St. “Some folks aren’t as familiar with the businesses along Beech Street as they are with the ones on Juniper or Grape [streets],” Smelkinson said. “The Walkabouts give them a chance to visit the Beech Street area and see the very special shops and eateries there.” New shops set for this weekend’s Walkabout include the recently opened cafe Piacere Mio at 1947 Fern St. and Lulu’s Nail Spa & Boutique, which changed ownership and held a grand reopening Friday, July 12. Smelkinson said the new owners doubled the size of the spa, located on the corner of 30th and Kalmia streets. “Buona Forchetta will have a ’70s-themed costume party along with sidewalk platters,” Smelkinson said, “and at The Next Door Gallery, San Diego artist Lupita Shahbazi opens her art show, ‘Life is a Circus.’” Goldline Salon at 3009 Beech St. will feature the urban tribal dance duo Okapi Sun, who have recently been making the rounds in the San Diego music scene. They played at the North Park Community Association’s Bird Park Summer Concerts on June 29, performed several shows at The Casbah – including an upcoming concert Aug. 8 – and played at the Hard Rock Hotel Downtown and the Lafayette Hotel in North Park. Following the Walkabout, the group has a gig scheduled July 27 at North Park’s Bar Pink. “That’s quite a line up,” Smelkinson said of the night’s Walkabout events. At last year’s Summer of Love Walkabout, Rebecca’s Coffee House – a staple in the South Park scene at 3015 Juniper St. – decorated a Volkswagen Beetle in traditional 1960s “love-bug” style. Smelkinson said rumor has it that the Beetle will make a welcome return on Saturday. This year’s free Summer of Love Walkabout is Saturday, July 20 from 6 – 10 p.m. For more information, including a map of the neighborhood and participating businesses, visit or call 619-200-4269.u


COURTNEY were taking it off the wall.” They came in a month later and told her it was a house-warming gift, the kind of story she said she loves to hear about her artwork. “I know what it looks like here and in my room, but I used to wonder where it ended up,” she said. “It’s neat to see that it’s on someone’s wall and how it fits in the room.” Two paintings, however, are not for sale. One depicts Andy Warhol, whose life and art fascinate Klos so much that she has read 10 books about him and collects Warhol memorabilia. The painting is the first that she completed that she was “completely happy with,” she said. Klos was equally satisfied with her painting of Steven Tyler singing “Dream On,” but that is not the only reason the painting holds special meaning. Dream is her favorite word; it is why she wears a “dream” necklace and has a shooting star tattoo. “Dream On” is also her signature karaoke song.

Simon & Garfunkel painting by Klos (Photo by Bonnie Nicholls)

Klos began dreaming of leaving her small Michigan town in her teens, and planned to go to New York City. Instead, she came west to visit friends, and said she loves working in South Park, which she described as “idyllic,” “tight-knit” and it’s own “little entity,” like a Norman Rockwell painting. “Everyone looks out for each other,” she said. “I was always try-

ing to escape to a big city and then I ended up right back in a small town in a big city. It’s like I’ve kind of come full circle.” Klos paints in her room at home, and she always listens to the music of the artist as she works. “I never paint without music,” she said. “That’s a big part for me. It sets a certain mood.” She uses a photograph as a reference point, and while she was taught in art class to sketch the shape of the face first, she said she has her own way of doing things, always starting with the left eye. Klos works at Rebecca’s 40 hours a week and is a full-time student, taking business classes at City and Mesa colleges, so there is not a lot of time to paint. But painting is when she said she is happiest. When she does, she moves furniture out of the way, throws down a black tarp, turns on the music and gets inspired. “When I’m painting, that’s when I feel most like myself,” she said. For more information on Klos, visit Rebecca’s at 3015 Juniper St., or visit


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


Council moves forward with bike-sharing program Public-private partnership approved with Florida-based DecoBike LLC By Anthony King SDUN Editor

The City Council unanimously approved a “corporate partnership agreement” with Florida-based DecoBike LLC at the July 9 council meeting, a press release from Council President Todd Gloria’s office stated, marking a “giant step” toward an active bike-sharing program for the region. “Imagine, people will be able to take the trolley, Coaster or Bus Rapid Transit from other areas of the County into Downtown, and use bike sharing to explore areas or get to meetings and events that aren’t within easy walking distance from transit,” Gloria said in the release. Initial set up for the program began in 2012 with then-Mayor Jerry Sanders. Under the partnership approved July 9, DecoBike will oversee the “financing, implementation, management and operation” of the self-service system for 10 years, the release stated. The agreement, which Gloria said represents a $7.2 million “capital investment to the City,” will see between 1,800 and 2,200 bicycles available for the public to rent by using a membership or credit card at various locations strategically placed throughout the City. Renters will be able to use the bicycles as a transit link to their final destinations, and the bicycles can then be parked at any station once they are no longer needed. DecoBike will now seek and gather input from the community and design the network of bikeshare station sites. Initial plans call for 180 – 220 stations and approximately 3,200 – 3,900 bike docks, stretching from Downtown into Uptown and farther north into La Jolla, a DecoBike release stated. The company’s founders

Colby Reese, Ricardo Pierdant and Bonifacio Diaz were at the July 9 Council meeting, and Reese called the “public-private partnership” exciting and beneficial for everyone. “We are touched by the enthusiasm of the community,” Reese said in the DecoBike release. “This is a journey that everyone benefits from.” DecoBike plans to release a “crowdsourcing map” in August, allowing the public to make suggestions on station locations, they said, adding that survey results show bike-share users are 80 – 90 percent more likely to frequent businesses near these stations. The agreement allows for “advertising and sponsor branding” on the stations “to help offset operations and capital costs while also earmarking a portion of revenues for improving bicycle infrastructure throughout the City,” DecoBike representatives said. Taxpayer funds will not be used to launch the program, with the company investing the initial $7.2 million. DecoBike LLC currently operates similar bike-share programs in the Miami Beach, Fla. region and Long Beach, New York, with plans to begin service in Miami. Pricing options for the Miami Beach program are $15 or $25 per month for a resident membership that includes unlimited 30and 60-minute rides, and hourly or monthly rentals for visitors. These prices range from $4 for a 30-minute access pass to $24 for a one-day access pass. Monthly rentals for visitors are $35 and include 30, 60-minute rides. San Diego rates will be set within the coming months. Ultimately, however, the focus at the San Diego Council meeting was on creating a link with current public and private transportation systems.

Exhibit 4.4 of the Council proposal shows a second city's DecoBike station in use. (Courtesy San Diego City Council) “The addition of DecoBike in San Diego will help to complete the City’s transportation networks as a highly efficient first-mile, last-mile commuter program, which is very complimentary to the City’s existing public transportation systems,” Pierdant said in the release. “I’m … excited about this latest way of delivering a new transportation option,” Gloria said adding that by increasing the number of bicycles in San Diego could increase ridership on existing public transit. Andy Hanshaw of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition called the agreement with DecoBike a “turning point” for the region’s transportation systems. “We couldn’t be happier about City Council recognizing San Diego’s strong bicycling culture and giving DecoBike the green light to grow our community,” he said in a Coalition press release. Part of that culture includes the upcoming CicloSDias San Diego event on Aug. 11, where a designated route from City Heights through North Park, South Park and Golden Hill, and ending in Logan Heights, will be closed to automobile traffic. A CicloSDias

Mini is scheduled for Sunday, July 21 at Golden Hill Park from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Regarding the bike-share program, City, Coalition and DecoBike representatives all said it would be complete and in place early 2014. The bicycles will come

with adjustable seats, baskets and LED lighting. “The advantages of a bikeshare program are too vast to ignore,” Hanshaw said. “We’re giving commuters more options to benefit the environment and their own personal health.”u


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


Correction In the July 5 issue of San Diego Uptown News, we incorrectly stated the Art Happy Hour at Expressive Arts @32nd & Thorn occurred the last Friday of the month [see “Cultivating your artistic self,” Vol. 5, Issue 14]. It is currently scheduled for the fourth Friday of each month, taking into account some months have five Fridays.u

3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775 PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 EDITOR Anthony King (619) 961-1952 ASSISTANT EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 EDITORIAL INTERN Anna Frost REPORTERS & COLUMNISTS Charlene Baldridge Logan Broyles “Dr. Ink” Dave Fidlin Michael Good Andy Hinds Dave Larabee Bonnie Nicholls Frank Sabatini Jr. Brian White DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954

Letters Join together to fight unequal pay

Gala Foods an important part of South Park

This is exactly what AAUW has been fighting for, for years and years. All women need to join together to combat unequal pay [see “Closing the wage gap,” Vol. 5, Issue 14]. One of the key things is to demand transparency. Many employers don’t allow their employees to discuss their wages so the employers can easily get away with discriminating against women. I recommend that every man and woman read Lilly Ledbetter’s book, “Grace and Grit.”

I do not know how Susan Bugbee comes and goes in her daily work and personal life, but if it includes driving a car and going to a job or any type of store to shop, I assume she needs to park. The parking lot serving our local grocery, food truck, coffee shop, and other venues is NOT a wasteland. It is typically well-used and filled with customers during the weekdays and weekends. [see “Golden Hill addresses additional park space,” Vol. 5, Issue 14]. I would appreciate it if Bugbee would stop suggesting she is speaking for the community. The grocery store itself has been [a] target for many years by those who prefer to drive outside the community and buy fancier, costlier groceries. They disdain the aesthetics of Gala more than the reality of inexpensive produce, milk and dry goods. My family drinks more than two gallons of Lucerne milk per week, and Gala has a great bargain price, compared even to Costco, which we also frequent. We visit the store by car and on foot (last-minute pickups at dinner hour, when doing the nightly walk) at least five times [per] week on average. It’s a very important part of everyday life and a big convenience. We would be lost without Gala. The owners have been poorly treated by many in the self-appointed cadre of the branding-obsessed South Park community. The rest of us need no brand. We know we live in South Park and value the grocery store and the parking lot and the open space and big sky it creates.

—Jane Niemeier via

Manufacturing a foundation of economy I would like to thank your magazine for running the article on Diving Unlimited International in the June 21 – July 4 edition of Uptown News [see “Diving with a good name,” Vol. 5, Issue13]. Such manufacturing businesses form a foundational segment of our economy, but are often overlooked in the popular press. I appreciate your bringing this one up from the deep, as it were! —Heather, via email


—Dee Lawton, via sduptownnews.comu

Retiring soon? Don’t forget tax implications By Jason Alderman If your retirement is not far off, you’ve probably already started to estimate what your living expenses will be after the regular paychecks stop. Most would-be retirees remember to include routine expenses like housing (rent or mortgage), medical bills and prescriptions, insurance premiums, transportation – even food and entertainment. But don’t forget to factor in taxes, which can have a substantial impact on your cost of living, depending on where you live and what your sources of retirement income will be. Here are a few tax-related issues to consider when budgeting for retirement: Social Security: most people can begin collecting Social Security benefits as early as age 62, albeit at significantly reduced amounts than waiting until their full retirement age (65 for those born before 1938 and gradually increasing to 67 for those born in 1960 or later). Although many states don’t tax Social Security benefits, the federal government does. Depending on your “combined income” (adjusted gross income plus nontaxable interest earned plus half of your Social Security benefits), you could end up owing federal income tax on a portion of your benefit. It’s complicated, but basically:

•Single people whose combined income is less than $25,000 aren’t taxed on their Social Security benefit. For combined income between $25,000 and $34,000, up to 50 percent of your benefit may be taxed. Over $34,000, up to 85 percent may be taxable. •For married couples filing jointly, benefits aren’t taxable for combined income below $32,000; benefits for income between $32,000 and $44,000 are up to 50 percent taxable; over $44,000 is up to 85 percent taxable. •To learn more about taxation of Social Security benefits, read IRS Publication 915 at Some people discover after beginning to collect a reduced Social Security benefit that they can’t make ends meet and must go back to work, which can backfire: If your annual wages exceed $15,120, you will lose $1 of Social Security benefits for every $2 you earn over that amount (investment income doesn’t count). Rest assured, however: These benefit reductions are not completely lost: your Social Security benefit will be increased upon reaching full retirement age to account for benefits withheld due to earlier earnings. IRA and 401(k) withdrawals: after age 59 ½, you can start withdrawing balances from your IRA without paying the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty, although exceptions are made

in cases including disability, qualified first-time homebuyer distributions and certain medical expenses. However, you will pay federal (and state, if applicable) income tax on IRA withdrawals: except for Roth IRAs held at least five years, whose contributions have already been taxed. With 401(k) plans, you can withdraw funds after age 55 without the 10 percent penalty if you are no longer employed by the company sponsoring the plan. Other taxes: some people move to another state after retirement thinking they’ll lower their tax burden. For example, seven states do not tax personal income; however, another two tax only dividend and interest income. And five states charge no sales tax. But because other taxes and cost-of-living expenses vary significantly by community, you should only consider such moves after doing thorough research. The Retirement Living Information Center ( features breakdowns of the various kinds of taxes seniors are likely to pay, state by state, including those on income, sales, fuel, property and inheritances. The bottom line is be sure to consult a financial advisor long before retirement to make sure you fully understand all the many tax and income implications. —Jason Alderman directs Visa’s financial education programs. Follow him on Twitter @ PracticalMoney/.u

Sheri (Griscom) Hayeland (619) 961-1957 Portia Jacobs (619) 961-1963 Kyle Renwick (619) 961-1956 SALES & MARKETING SPECIALIST Isabelle Estrella ART DIRECTOR Rebecah Corbin (619) 961-1961 PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Vincent Berling (619) 961-1961 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 SALES INTERNS Charlie Bryan Baterina Martina Long OPINIONS/LETTERS San Diego Uptown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email both to Include phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to DISTRIBUTION San Diego Uptown News is distributed free, every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2013. All rights are reserved. Printed in the United States of America.


UptownBriefs UPCOMING CONCERT TO BENEFIT STRUGGLING VETERANS The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus (SDGMC) is partnering with the Veteran’s Village of San Diego (VVSD) for the chorus’ summer show, a press release from SDGMC said. Called “Feelin’ Groovy - Songs of the ‘60s”, the show will feature songs of peace and protest from the Vietnam era. Three concerts will be held at the Birch North Park Theatre, at which the SDGMC will collect cash donations. Show times are July 27 at 8 p.m., and July 28 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. In addition, chorus members are holding a two-week men’s clothing drive to support the VVSD’s annual “Stand Down” program. Stand Down provides a number of services and necessities to veterans who are homeless in mid-July, including meals, medical care, haircuts and employment counseling. “Given that our upcoming concert’s music is from the Vietnam War era, we wanted to team with the Veterans Village because of their great work helping veterans in need,” SDGMC Director of Outreach Marc Mangiantini said in the release. To purchase tickets to “Feeling Groovy,” visit or call 877-296-7664. Tickets range from $25 to $40. Discounts are available for seniors, students, military and groups of 10 or more. NORMAL HEIGHTS SODA & SWINE RAISES $1,800 FOR YMCA Soda & Swine restaurant in Normal Heights held five days of “Dine & Donate” in order to raise money for the new Copley-Price Family YMCA, located in City Heights. Diners at the restaurant helped owners donate $1,807, as the restaurant pledged 50 percent of food sales to construction and renovation of the YMCA. The new facility breaks ground this fall. “Facilitating the development of community has always been ingrained in our core vales,” said co-owner Arsalun Tafazoli in a press release. “The development of institutions like the YMCA are a crucial part of the foundation of any community so we are really excited to have this opportunity to contribute to their efforts to develop this project in our neighborhood.” Soda & Swine is located at 2943 Adams Ave. and the fundraising event took place July 1 – 5. ONLINE RESOURCE CREATED FOR FORMERLY INCARCERATED Announced July 9, County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, County Sheriff William Gore and County Supervisor Ron Roberts launched a web resource for formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. In collaboration with 2-1-1 San Diego, the Post-Incarceration Re-Entry Resources website directory – called HOPE, or Helping Others Pursue Excellence – will be combined with the County Public Health Re-Entry Toolkit to offer an extensive resource for individuals released from local jail or state prisons that are faced with reentry. “This page is an important resource for those being released from custody as they work toward becoming sober, productive, law abiding members of our community,” Dumanis said in the announcement. Top reentry needs identified on the website include housing and shelter, mental health, substance abuse, physical health, employment and

education, and state and federal document links. “Former inmates and their families can now locate all of these resources in one place, helping them stabilize their lives and not reoffend,” she said. 2-1-1 San Diego connects the entire population with community, health and disaster services through free, 24-hour phone service and searchable online databases. Roberts said service providers, churches and community groups told the Re-Entry Roundtable they needed a more extensive resource for ex-offenders, and the group created a hard copy informational pamphlet as a result. “The Re-Entry Roundtable’s work to put this information online makes it easier to get the information to those who need it most,” Roberts said. For more information and to visit the website, see

COUNCIL PRESIDENT CALLS ATTENTION TO GAPS IN HANDLING HARASSMENT In light of the allegations against Mayor Bob Filner, Council President Todd Gloria is requesting that the City make changes to how harassment in the workplace is approached, a press release from Gloria’s office said. City staff needs better education on how to report any harassment or other improper behavior, Gloria said in the memo. In addition, he recommended that employees should be able to report harassment by the Mayor to an organization that is outside his super vision. Gloria also asked the City to provide safe, alternative workspace options for employees remaining in the Mayor’s office. Lastly, all documents that may relate to the allegations of harassment by the Mayor should be retained and preser ved, Gloria requested. Gloria said he feels it is critical to support City employees and provide ser vice to San Diegans at this point in time. “The best way to restore trust in the City is to continue to protect the interests of our citizens. Though we are working with an incapacitated Mayor’s office, the City Council is dedicated to doing its part in running an efficient and effective municipal government,” Gloria said in the release. HBA OPEN HOUSE WILL DISCUSS CREATION OF MAIN STREET ORGANIZATION The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) will be holding a quarterly open house meeting on Thursday, July 25, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Champion Ballroom Academy at 3580 Fifth Ave., and will include drinks and light appetizers, during which members can network. The meeting will focus on the possibility of creating a Main Street organization and will familiarize members on how that would affect Hillcrest businesses and HBA projects. In addition, a construction project that will begin later this year along University Avenue will be introduced by an official from the City. For more information, visit FAMILY HEALTH CENTERS HOSTS TAMALE FUNDRAISER Council President Todd Gloria joins several other elected officials at the Spirit of the Barrio Family Health Centers of San Diego fundraiser, squaring off in a tamale-making contest Friday, July 19. Held at the Logan Heights Family Health Center, Gloria will compete against San

San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013

Diego Councilmember David Alvarez, Santee Councilmember Jack Dale, Unified Port of San Diego board chair Ann Moore, Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom, Chula Vista Councilmember Mary Salas and Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez. For more than 25 years, the Spirit of the Barrios brings more than 500 supporters out for Family Health Centers, a non-profit organization providing affordable health care and services, with a commitment to uninsured, low-income and underserved populations. The tamale contest at 5 p.m. serves as a special “happy hour fundraiser” that will also include entertainment, organizers said. The Spirit of the Barrio is from 4 – 6 p.m. For more information call 619-515-2562.

LOCAL COMEDY-MUSIC DUO SEEKS FUNDING FOR CD San Diego transplants Nicki Walker and Melanie Peters, aka Nick & Mel – a local music and comedy duo who have also been called the “lesbian Smothers Brothers” – are preparing to lay tracks for their upcoming CD “Songs in the Key of Divorce.” Full of songs described as “robust, gay-centric acoustic rock/blues with comedy, parody and soul,” the CD was written while the musicians were going through separate breakups at the same time. To help finance “Songs in the Key of Divorce,” Nick & Mel have launched a Kickstarter campaign, a crowdfunding method designed for creative outlets. Those who wish to donate to the project will receive a variety of swag in return, based upon the specific amount pledged. Deadline for the campaign is 1:30 p.m. on Aug.1, when at least $4,500 must be pledged or no funding will take place. Nick & Mel was recently named as the “special guests” opening for Poppy Champlin’s “Queer Queens of Qomedy” show to be held Sept. 7 at Birch North Park Theatre, and the local-based duo hopes to have their CD released prior to that date. For more info or to link to their Kickstarter campaign, visit NickandMelMusic/. TASTE BAJA PLANNED FOR WHOLE FOODS HILLCREST Whole Foods Market Hillcrest at 711 University Ave. will be hosting a “cross-border food and wine explosion” event Friday, July 26 – 28, organizers said. Called ¡Taste Baja!, attendees will have the opportunity to taste food and drink from Mexico’s Guadalupe Valley, Ensenada and Tijuana. “The event offers a unique opportunity to see, hear and taste why Northern Baja has become a hot new destination for wine and food lovers,” organizers said. Food, wine and beer tastings will take place at the store’s patio area near the parking lot. The Friday schedule from 3 – 7 p.m. includes participating wineries, breweries and food carts, as well as a chef cook off at 6 p.m. On Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., additional wineries, breweries and chefs will be on hand, including students from the Culinar y Art School, Tijuana. The final day, Sunday from 12 – 5 p.m., the wineries and food venders will be joined by La Guerrerense, “The best food cart in the world,” per culinar y celebrity Anthony Bourdain. Organizers said space will be limited, and are asking attendees to use alternative transportation. For the complete schedule and participating vendors, call 619-294-2800.u




Answer key, page 19

Uptown Crossword

Body Builders

Answer key, page 19



San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013





ful for First 5 San Diego, which leverages aid from various public and private organizations to help further their mission. First 5 collaborates with a several service providers in the County, from South Bay Community Services and Family Health Centers of San Diego to SAY San Diego, Vista Community Clinic and North County Health Services, among others. “This is a perfect example of how the County is developing partnerships with businesses that champion the principles of Live Well San Diego,” Roberts said. Live Well San Diego is a County initiative adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2010 to help residents become healthy, safe and thriving, the program’s three components. Implemented in stages, Live Well San Diego started with Building Better Health in 2010. The second stage, Living Safely, was adopted in 2012 and the third, Thriving, will be implemented in the future. “It is a clever way of reminding families that eating more fruits and vegetables is an important step in keeping children healthy and instilling life-long healthy habits,” Roberts said of the First 5 initiative. Vons Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations Carlos Illingworth said the company, with 276 grocery stores in Southern California and Southern Nevada, takes its responsibility of their neighborhoods seriously. Vons is a division of Safeway Inc., a Californiabased food and drug retailer. The company operates over 1,600 stores in North America. “Our company deeply believes in the communities that we serve,” Barker said, reiterating Illingworth’s sentiment. “That is why we look forward to promoting the health and well-being of children … through this healthyeating initiative.” Barker, Medeiros and Roberts also unveiled a San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) bus that was completely wrapped with the First 5 promotional logo. For more information on First 5 San Diego, visit or call 888-534-7785.u

Faulconer, Lorie Zapf, David Alvarez, Myrtle Cole and Scott Sherman, Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, Council President Todd Gloria and Congressmembers Susan Davis and Scott Peters, among others. Several of the mayor’s staff have also resigned, most notably his Chief of Staff Vince Hall. On the day following the initial allegations, Mayor Filner released a DVD recording to the press, saying he “diminished” the office of mayor with his behavior by “not fully respecting” women, and that he “needed help” and would pursue sexual harassment training. The next day, on July 12, the U-T San Diego’s editorial board stated that Filner deserved “due process,” something Filner repeated in his next statement on Monday, July 15. In direct contrast to the video, he now said he didn’t “believe” he was guilty of sexual harassment, was “entitled to due process,” would be “vindicated” and would not resign. Frye, along with attorneys Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs – three previous supporters who are now top detractors – held a second press conference that same morning offering more specifics regarding the allegations, but the accusers remained anonymous. On Tuesday, July 16, the City Attorney released a statement clarifying the mayor had retained his own counsel and is not being represented by their office at this time. It is important to note that so far, no formal charges have been filed against the mayor and the local Democratic Party has yet to request his resignation. However, as a result of recent events, San Diego Uptown News reached out to the local community, asking what citizens feel about the situation. Many chose not to go on record. Luke Terpstra, community leader • University Heights I would have no comment about the mayor at this time, just disappointment. Ben Gomez, paralegal • North Park I am a firm believer that anyone charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Only in a judicial court system can one’s guilt or innocence be determined. Unfortunately, the allegations against Mayor Filner are mounting and have become a distraction for all City government employees to do official City business. Additionally, Mayor Filner is losing the majority of his supporters. Even if the mayor were to be proven innocent he would not have a support system to help him effectively fulfill his duties as mayor. If he genuinely cares for the City it would be prudent for him to resign and let the citizens decide on a new ADVERTORIAL

BluFi Lending 1450 Frazee Rd., Suite 301, San Diego, CA 92108 619-972-3209 | What rising mortgage rates mean to homebuyers Mortgage rates are rising, and what does that mean for homebuyers? Is it time to face the end of the good times in mortgages? No! Rising rates may seem painful, but they contribute to the proper growth and long-term stability of the housing market and economy as a whole. Let’s review some hypothetical consumers who’d like to buy a new home and see what rising rates mean to them. Susan wants to refinance Susan already owns her home, but would like to refinance. Now that rates are rising, she’s concerned she missed out. The truth is, with rates as low as they were for such a long time, most people have already refinanced. But if you are like Susan, don’t give up. If your current mortgage rate is six percent or higher, the math might still make sense for a 30-year fixed rate or other programs such as a 5/1 ARM. The bottom is probably past, but considering the average mortgage rate since 1971 is 8.64 percent, we’re still far below average. Will is renting now, but wants to buy his first home Will has been renting his home but is ready to become a first-time homebuyer. The Housing Affordability Index (found at is positive for many homebuyers so the timing is great. If you’re like Will, you should compare your rent payment to your potential new mortgage payment. A licensed Mortgage Banker can provide a rent vs. buying scenario to help determine if your goal of homeownership is realistic. Once he determines what he can afford, the most important step for Will is to get pre-approval from his lender. Pre-approval makes him more appealing to sellers because it demonstrates his commitment and proves that he has his finances in place. When you’re ready, look for a lender that can give you pre-approval within 24 hours. Erica wants her next home to be her dream home Erica has been in her “starter home” for a while and she’s ready for a bigger home. The difficulty for her is there is a lot of competition right now. Housing inventory is still

low and some markets like San Diego are even seeing bidding wars. If you’re like Erica, be prepared for fewer seller concessions, and do everything in your power to close on time. Work with a lender that guarantees fast funding, as this helps ensure you get the best rate, and makes you a more appealing choice for the seller. Overview Buying a home is still very affordable! When you want to buy a home and the rates are rising, the best thing you can do is work with a lender who keeps the process moving quickly so you can take advantage of the best deal as soon as possible. Pre-approval, fast funding and a clear timeline of the mortgage process can get you into your dream home.

BluFi Lending ask for Manny Alfelor leader so that the city can get back on the road to recovery and progress. Melanie Peters, musician • University Heights My reaction has changed over the last few days. When I first heard about it, it felt like a mud-slinging campaign by his detractors. In fact, I supported his decisions on some of the development issues, and the deals made by previous administrations in regards to taxes and deals cut to help hotels and businesses Downtown. I even voted for him. It’s a bit movie-like to first have the republicans gnawing at his heels for making big changes and roughing up the status quo, and then all of a sudden, there’s a cry of foul play and a call for him to resign. So, at first I thought it was hoopla. There’s a part of me that thinks it still is, but if there is one ounce of truth in this story, I want him gone. We live in the most beautiful city in the world, and I’m sick to death of the mismanagement of it, the corruption and greed that’s plagued it since I moved here 20 years ago. I want a city that’s in the news for being a great vacation spot, has a fair housing market and great jobs and companies to work for. I thought I voted for the right change to make that happen, but one shred of truth to this story and I’m out. God only knows what will happen next, though. My vote is for a noncareer politician to do get the job done. Sista Moon, retired • University Heights I am angry and sad and conflicted about the allegations being made against Mayor Filner. I don’t want to believe them because I have a personal story about something positive and life changing he did for a member of my family. Every time I’ve met him, three times now, he’s been gracious and professional. I am concerned there is an avalanche effect of accusations by lawyers and politicians (neither of which have a very high reputation for integrity) who may have other, less honorable intentions. I don’t trust the deeply conservative San Diego power elite who are used to pulling the strings on what goes on, from hotel taxes to Sunroad easement permits. I love what Filner has done so far in his short term as mayor, not going with the program, much to the distress of the City Council. I respect that Filner put his life on the line during the Freedom Rides. Yes, he’s an old man, and maybe there might be some mental issues going on, that’s why I need to see proof and am giving him the benefit of the doubt. That being said, if after he gets his day in court, and it is proven that he sexually harassed his staff, then yes, he should resign. Until then, it’s just a witch-hunt as far as I’m concerned. Dwayne Crenshaw, community activist • Encanto I have worked with and voted for Bob Filner many times over the years as a long-time resident of his congressional district. Sadly, the Mayor Filner of today is not the leader I knew before. In his own words, he has told us there is “a monster inside” of him, he has not “fully respected women,” and that he “needs help.” I sincerely hope he gets help, and, if he wants due process to fight these allegations even after his own admissions, both the help and the process must play out on his own time and on his own dime. For the good of the City, Mayor Filner must resign. Margie Palmer, writer • University Heights I think it is sad and unfortunate that Mayor Filner is putting his pride and ego ahead of the well being of the City of San Diego and the voters that elected him. The rumors of this type of inappropriate behavior have been swirling among politicians and the media for years – and within those circles, the biggest surprise seems to involve the hammer having taken this long to drop. Scott Markey, personal trainer • Hillcrest This is becoming a major situation for the City of San Diego. I realize that I, and most of San Diego, do not have all the facts at the moment. I can only go by what I see and read from our news publications and the television commentary. Everyone should be afforded due process, but having said that, Mayor Filner himself has admitted to some serious guilt, which of course needs to be investigated. I think that he has done a good job as mayor up until this point, but that does not excuse any sexual harassment charges that may or may not be brought upon him. From what I understand, he has obtained his own counsel that he himself is paying for. Fair enough. However, if more women come forward and there is validity to their statements, and Mayor Filner decides to use the City’s attorneys, this could be a long, drawn-out process and cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Before this happens, he should step down and let the City and the voters put in place a competent replacement. Stephanie Torres, criminal investigator • University Heights As someone who grew up in and around politics most of my childhood and teenage years in Hartford, Conn., it was always clear to me that good leaders should know when they need to stand up and when it’s time to stand down. It’s very apparent that Mayor Filner’s continued desire not to step aside is very indicative of the selfishness we don’t need representing our city and this attitude lends even more credence to the allegations currently against him. Buckminster Duck, political cartoon character • Bankers Hill I am disgusted and embarrassed for both the City and the mayor’s office. The truth needs to be told from both the mayor and the accuser. No one gets to hide behind any curtains here (Oz perspective). When both parties tell the truth, then legal steps need to be taken – retain, recall or resign. Either way, this is great “duck-fodder” and I feel a TOOOOOOOOOOON coming on!u


A yarn bomb goes off in Kensington spent was to buy zip-ties to hold the yarn in place,” one said. When I looked confused, Reilly explained: “You On June 11, a yarn bomb know, those plastic things exploded at the Kensingtonthey use on suspects instead Normal Heights Branch of handcuffs.” Library in a multicolored I didn’t know, but recascade covering handrails, mained silent fearing one of poles and trees. More than them would show me. 24 knitters spent three Russo said the library hours creating a huge users not only borrow and yarn-wrapped makeover, return books, but also want so visible from sidewalks to help maintain the knitted and streets that one gawker creations, including a recresaid, “I didn’t know we had a ation of the new San Diego library there.” Public Library logo, which The overall community was placed on a prominent reaction: surprised. Pleastree in the park. Russo antly and happily surprised. showed me where borrowThe yarn bomb was the brainchild of an avid group Volunteer Othella shows off her San Diego Public ers put down their books long enough to tighten of knitting librarians: KensLibrary knit. (Courtesy Lynne Russo) loose ends or pull up areas ington’s Lynne Russo and that sagged. leave them in desolate areas to Rancho Bernardo’s Karen Reilly, “We picked Kensington as see who noticed. along with Christina Wainwright our first library because it is “Very cool,” Reilly said, and I and Leslie McNabb. While the ideally positioned to show off our had to agree. group’s motto is “Get Cozy with work,” Reilly said. “The KensingThe two ladies talked to me a Good Book,” just take one look ton theme was stripes, and we outside the Kensington library at our revitalized library and one hope the yarn stays up for two surrounded by their handiwork. can wager the ladies relaxed months.” The yarn could well “Our goal is to bring art to the with knitting needles and yarn stay put longer. community with bright, easily instead. What’s next? The San Carlos removed graffiti,” Reilly said. “The idea originated in the Library in January 2014, to help All the yarn is donated, and Netherlands in 2004 when the celebrate their 40th anniversary. some supporters – all who enfounders wished to transform “Rubies,” Reilly said of the anthusiastically help volunteer time cold, sterile public buildings,” and supplies, Russo said – mail in niversary. Russo said. So start saving red yarn, for samples of their work. “Into a knitted landscape,” all knitters will be invited to cast The pair smiled and laughed Reilly added, finishing Russo’s on at this anniversary bash. through the interview, talking thought. over each other or adding to “Knitted Landscape,” the —Dale Larabee is a 40-year what the other said. They were ladies explained, was the name resident of Kensington, who is clearly proud of their team’s of a Scandinavian yarn-bombing an occasional writer for local handiwork. collective whose group members newspapers.u “The only public money we would cover rocks with yarn and By Dale Larabee SDUN Columnist

San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013



FOOD BRIEFS By Frank Sabatini Jr. SDUN Reporter

In an update regarding the upcoming Har vey Milk’s American Diner, which will replace the iconic City Delicatessen & Baker y, co-partner Mike “Big Mike” Phillips said the transition will occur “as soon as possible, hopefully early summer.” Phillips has joined forces with restaurateur Tom Brown and media-marketing consultant Frank Lechner to open what is considered the first-of-its-kind eatery honoring the civil rights achievements of the LGBT activist. The venture has received licensing support from The Harvey Milk Foundation and human rights activist Stuart Milk, who is the nephew of the late Harvey Milk. Brown, who has worked extensively in the restaurant business,

will initially head up the menus. The offerings will focus on comfort cuisine while catering also to vegetarians and those on glutenfree diets. In addition, the diner will expand on City Deli’s bakery selection, retaining some of their original recipes. “We’re stepping into a restaurant that has given so much to our community for the past 30 years,” Phillips said. “We literally have some big shoes to fill.” Remodeling will occur in phases, Phillips said, assuring that the colorful relief work on the building’s exterior will remain intact. “That was put up there many years ago when it was a market. It’s a historical part of that corner in Hillcrest.” The restaurant will operate as City Deli until the transition is complete. 525 University Ave., 619-295-2747.

The Ruby Room has closed, but it may likely reappear under the same name at a different Hillcrest location. Co-owner Sean Cute and his wife Brittni are currently shopping for other properties with the hopes of further expanding Ruby Room’s art-music concept, and perhaps team up with a brewer. “We’re not in a crazy rush to find a new place, but when we see something that looks right, we’ll go for it,” Cute said. In the meantime, the bar’s remaining partner, Paul Smith, has rebranded the original property as The Merrow, named after a Scottish mermaid. Upgrades to the sound system and remodeling of the floors, restrooms and bar occurred, and Smith reopened on time for a performance by three local bands on July 5. “There’ll be two faces to The Merrow,” Smith said. “I want to reestablish it as a bar for daytime and early-evening crowds, but continue with selective shows and performances later at night.” 1271 University Ave., 619-299-7372.u


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


(l to r) Antipasto plate, house-made tiramisu and spaghetti with seafood (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


Restaurant Review

OLIVETTO RISTORANTE | 860 W. WASHINGTON ST. (MISSION HILLS) | 619-220-8222 Dinner prices: Salads and appetizers, $5.95 to $10.95; pasta and entrees, $12.95 to $24.95 With barely a whisper, the restaurant formerly known as Olivetto Café & Wine Bar changed hands last year and modified its name to Olivetto Ristorante. The food remains Italian, but most of the recipes originate from a family matriarch living in Bologna, Italy. Regarding an appetizer that exposes us to the simple yet exquisite pairing of Gorgonzola and celery on crostini, new owner Angelo Fiore said, “My mom told me that if I put it on the menu, I can’t go wrong.” No doubt, the crisp snap of diced celery turns the heavyweight cheese into

something unusually refreshing. The input from overseas didn’t stop there. Fiore obliges by using bright San Marzano-style tomatoes for the marinara sauce while omitting fennel-spiced sausage from meaty Bolognese that’s layered into lasagna. The inclusion of Italian sausage is an American custom, although in Fiore’s homeland the combination of modestly salted ground beef and top-quality pork is good enough. “Sausage kills all the flavors,” he said while showing off some of the staples he imports from Italy such as authenticated Grana Pada-

no grating cheese, smooth-roasted Essse Caffe coffee and a few desserts shipped frozen from the leading Italian wholesaler, Bindi. In addition, the focaccia bread and sheet pasta are made in-house. Fiore, who travels back to Italy often, said that his menu isn’t a reinvention of Italian cuisine but rather a means to showcase the purity of dishes he grew up with in his mother’s kitchen. Not surprising, the menu also starts off with baby eggplant filled with ricotta and spinach; bruschetta with imported balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil;

and classic antipasto featuring prosciutto, salami and mortadella complimented by lightly brined artichoke hearts. In addition, there are several salads ranging from a basic “mista” with lemon-herb vinaigrette to the heartier Del Campo incorporating eggs, olives and mushrooms. While plowing through the lasagna Bolognese, my companion trained his fork on spaghetti allo scoglio, a mélange of fresh clams, shrimp and mussels over pasta. Bravo for the ever-so-subtle liquid of white wine with a little garlic dressing the dish. Fiore and his

mother know darn well that nothing kills the flavor of shellfish more effectively than those pasty cream sauces used commonly in American-style Italian restaurants and the touristy kitchens of Rome. We never made it beyond the menu’s pasta section and into the “secondi piatti” category, but nor did we leave as much as a crumb on the plates we ordered. The protein entrees include things like veal saltimbocca, arugula-topped New York strip steak, chicken Marsala and a tempting veal chop that’s simply breaded and panfried, which I trust would measure up to the memorable fried veal I’ve eaten in northern Italy. At the meal’s end, I broke my hiatus for tiramisu since it’s one of the few desserts made in-house and a confection that my companion never passes up. The liqueursoaked slab was juicy and springy, with manageable measures of creamy mascarpone cheese. Paired with Port or the coffee that Fiore imports, you can’t go wrong. Olivetto’s wine list offers a full range of global labels that escape the shelves of most commercial outlets, particularly the Italian productions from Abruzzo, Puglia and Tuscany. The bottles are stacked in handsome wall units at the end of a small bar that overlooks the airy dining room. Though the interior has hardly changed from its previous incarnation, the food carries the traditional flavors that you’d find simmering in any Bolognese household.u


2489 San Diego Ave. (Old Town) | 619-297-4330 Happy Hour: 3 to 7 p.m., and 10 p.m. to close, Monday through Friday

Fast tracking into Old Town’s busiest restaurant Come On G e t H a p py ! D r. I n k

In terms of longevity and national popularity, the Old Town Mexican Café has its neighbors beat along this teeming, little stretch of San Diego Avenue. Since opening in 1979, the multistorefront operation has become ground zero for front-window tortilla making and mob scenes occurring outside the entrance. But if you’re willing to perch at one of the café’s large bars or a nearby high top at the start of weekday happy hour, the wait time for throwing down drinks and heavy nibbles is minimal. A friend and I arrived at 3 p.m., when the discounts on margaritas, well drinks, Coors Light and appetizers go into effect. As a trio of dour-faced staff at the front desk managed a buildup of customers seeking tables in the dining room, one of them half-pointed to the main bar when we mentioned happy hour. Several stools were available, and a second bar behind the liquor wall was pretty much empty. The bartender compensated for our lackluster greeting. In a flash, he replaced the dinner menus we were originally handed up front with happy hour menus while enthusiastically providing the specs on his margaritas. There are two to choose from. The house version ($4) is made with Azul Tequila, “the rack stuff,” as he termed it, whereby the traditional margarita ($5) uses Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila. Both are shaken with commercial sweet-and-sour mix. They’re a buck extra respectively if you order them outside of happy hour. Well drinks and Coors Light drafts are also reduced by $1, each selling for $3 during this time. We weren’t thrilled that

Queso with chorizo & onions (Photo by Dr. Ink) only the cheapest beer in the lineup is reduced in price while taps for Shock Top, Victoria and Stone IPA winked down at our basic-tasting house margaritas. Nearly two dozen different appetizers are half-price during happy hour, which netted us a hefty order of nachos with guacamole and sour cream for about $3.85 and a cast-iron skillet of queso with chips and fresh tortillas for just over $4. The latter required mental limbering from our margaritas to maneuver. Creamy queso this wasn’t, but rather chunks of white cheese half melted into sautéed onions, peppers and chorizo. With each scoop of a tortilla chip came many unruly strings and droppings. The salsa we were initially

given was bland, prompting my companion to shout, “New York City!” Our bartender then pulled out the good stuff from a plastic pitcher that appeared out of nowhere. With the taste of garlic and cilantro now coating our tongues, tequila running through our veins and bigger lines forming outside, we were clearly back in Old Town.u

Ratings: Drinks:

The “house” and “traditional” margaritas receive decent pours of Azul or Jose Cuervo tequilas that are well disguised by tart sweetand-sour mix. Coors Light on draft is the only beer discounted during happy hour.


Most of the appetizers are either deep-fried or laden with cheese with the exception of ceviche, which we didn’t try.


You save $1 on drinks, but appetizers are discounted at 50 percent, resulting in substantial dishes that end up costing $5 or less.


The bartender was charming and customer-service oriented. Conversely, the front-desk and wait staff appeared rushed.


The house margarita (Photo by Dr. Ink)

Despite no happy hour on the weekends, the deals on weekdays run from 3 p.m. to early evening, and then resume at 10 p.m. for those seeking a nightcap.

San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013



San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


Shakespeare Festival (Above photos by Doug Gates)

(Photo by Jim Cox)


(Photo by Michael Lamont)

(Photo by Michael Lamont)

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Volume 5, Issue 15 • July 19–Aug. 1, 2013 • San Diego Uptown News

Portland’s garage rockers hit up the Tin Can July 25 By Logan Broyles SDUN Reporter

Don’t let their name fool you; the New York Rifles are actually a Portland, Ore.-based three-piece 1960s-style garage band that will be swinging through town Thursday, July 25. The trio is playing at the Tin Can Ale House in Bankers Hill, with opening performances by Just Like Jenna and Focke-Wolves. It will be one of the final shows of an 11-stop West Coast tour during the month of July to promote their latest album, “Girl Shaped Girl.” The album was released in 2012. “Girl Shaped Girl” is the group’s third release on the indie labels Empty Records and In Music We Trust. Their first release, “Faraway Faster,” came out in 2008, and their second was “Make A Wish,” in 2009. Lead singer and guitarist Scott Young said a fourth album is on the way, hopefully by the end of the year. “The plan is to get back into the studio as soon as we get back from this summer tour,” he said. “Probably we’ll have a new album out in the next six months or so.” Young has a raspy twang behind his voice that sounds a bit like a male version of Janis Joplin, and just like that famous ’60s rocker, he seems to scream his lungs out over each guitar-heavy song that the group plays. “It’s rock ‘n’ roll; it basically goes under that umbrella,” Young said. “It’s always a tricky thing to figure out. It has some ’60s garage, ’70s rock and an ’80s kind of feel to it in some places.” The band’s sound is “all over the map,” Young said, in terms of what each member likes and what

they were listing to on the radio growing up. He also said they have been moving in a different direction over the last three years, becoming a “conglomeration” of 1960s garage rock that is both “heavier” and “darker.” The New York Rifles are a unique band that has gone through many transformations and lineup changes over its sixyear existence, and has currently settled on a core lineup within those last three years. Young sings and plays guitar, Jamie Gould plays bass, and Nate James takes on drums. Young first put New York Rifles together six years ago, but a love triangle caused that incarnation of the band to fall apart. After giving up on the band, fate intervened in the form of the

New York Rifles performing in Portland, Ore. (Photo by Sean Domingo) Empty Records label, whose producers called Young literally one week after the breakup to see if he had anything recorded. That call inspired him to give it a second go. “I sent over a recording we had made and they liked it,” Young said. “I put the band back together, but it took about a year to get things rolling again because I kind of just pieced together a band with friends that were just helping out temporarily.” That initial recording got a lot of airplay on college radio, and the Young kept searching for permanent members.

“Finally we settled on the current lineup about three years ago,” he said. “I’m big on meeting people for the first time and playing together, because when you play together with friends you kind of already have an established relationship of how you work with each other. … When you meet people with the idea of getting a band together, you lay out how you’ll work together from the ground floor up.” For Young and his band mates there are few things in life that make more sense than the intoxicating feeling they get when performing onstage in front of an

energetic crowd of music lovers. “Being on stage for 45 minutes is where I feel the most comfortable, and maybe it just has to do with having control over what’s happening,” he said. “Even if you’re having a train wreck of a night up on stage you’re still in control of the train wreck, whereas you’re not always in control of the things that happen to you in your everyday life.” The New York Rifles show at Tin Can Ale House starts after 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 and the Tin Can is located at 1863 Fifth Ave. For more information visit


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


Moving fast through the USA Master of the voice, Eliza Jane Schneider’s one-woman performance is perfect for the awestruck observer By Charlene Baldridge Theater Critic

show recounts tales of males and females of all ages and from all walks of life. They are mostly simple folk, whom she interviewed on a 317,000-mile odyssey spanning more than a decade. The people include a lesbian medicine

The reviewer’s favorite line in Eliza Jane Schneider’s “Freedom of Speech” – the extraordinary 1,000-mile-per-hour show Schneiperder wrote and is currently per forming – is probably “Everybody should play the fiddle and kill their own food.” Moxie Theatre is the producer, and founding Artistic Director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg directs the 90-minute solo performance, which plays at Diversionary Theatre through Aug. 11. Seen the day following a “not guilty” verdict in the trial that’s dominated the news of late, “Freedom of Speech” seems an unblinking, uncensored, non-judgmental look at all kinds of Americans. No mat matter your opinion of the verdict, it nearly soothes the viewer regarding the frailties, foibles and downright stupidity of humanity. Even one who suffers fools badly will find something to cherish and keep. Eliza Jane Schneider Schneion stage der’s one(Photo by Daren Scott) woman

WHERE: Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. (University Heights) WHEN: Thurs. – Sat. at 8 p.m. & Sun. at 2 pm (no performances July 25 – 28) through Aug. 11

INFO: 619-220-0097 WEB: woman of the Chippewa nation, a woman from Faulkner country, a white supremacist Schneider kissed before gleefully informing him that she is a Jew, and not to be forgotten, the aforementioned fiddler. Schneider took her trip in an old ambulance, sleeping on the gurney. She does actually play the fiddle as well as a guitar, and sings everything from folk to grand opera. Her “Caro nome” from “Rigoletto,” sung to distract a would-be rapist, is not too shabby. She displays her array of amazing characters replete with all manner of dialects – her specialty – and accents, tics and ignorance. She is the homely anthropologist of and apologist for United States eccentricity, a regular Studs Terkel of 21st century Americana. The

Schneider in her preferred transportation mode (Photo by Ash & Arrow Photography)

undersigned admits her uppity prejudice and intolerance and, even after the play’s concluding exhortation, her unchanged nature. Perhaps Schneider’s purpose is to provoke self-examination. Less pretentious and less message-laden than the material of Anna Deavere Smith, “Freedom of Speech” does not lead or persuade, but allows the observer to draw his or her personal conclusions. The only viewpoint is that of awestruck observer. The work is entertaining

without preaching. People say the darndest things, and Schneider manages to come off her odyssey with a modicum of tolerance, even love for her fellow humans. Wish I could say the same. Schneider is a well-known dialectician and voice-over expert who gave voice to many of the women on “South Park” and played Liza on “Beakman’s World.” Her show is presented by Moxie Theatre, and plays at Diversionary Theatre through Aug. 11, with one dark week.u

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San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013

Getting comfy with ‘Company’ Amazingly talented & deep cast, production team uphold this Sondheim classic By Charlene Baldridge Theater Critic

Currently, Cygnet Theatre and Artistic Director Sean Murray are engaged in what they do best. That is musical theater, and more specifically, the work of Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim and George Furth’s bittersweet 1970 “Company,” in its original run a recipient of six Tony Awards, is the fourth in a string of Cygnet-Sondheim productions that include “Sweeney Todd,” “A Little Night Music” and “Assassins.” Originally staged by Hal Prince, “Company” opened Cygnet’s 11th season Sunday, July 13 at the comfy Old Town Theater. The loosely strung story concerns Bobby, a 35-year-old bachelor whose birthday is celebrated by numerous married friends. Bobby has three girlfriends (played by Mary Joe Duggan, Ashlee Mayer and Katie Whalley) and a huge aversion to one-on-one commitment. Whether the deliciously clever content is more bitter than sweet is in the eye and ear of the beholder. The fact remains that for a Sondheim lover, the score is rife with such favorites as “Marry Me a Little,” “The Ladies Who Lunch” and the penultimate “Being Alive,” in which Bobby comes to terms with who and where he is. As played by Andrew Wells Ryder, a graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts (Murray’s alma mater), Bobby is not a narcissist or a homosexual.

He is merely reassessing life on the brink of middle age. Though Ryder’s vocal quality can be beautiful, he tends to overstress in the big emotional moments; however, his appeal is great, a good match of man to role. Standout performances abound, especially that of riotously funny, impeccably timed Eileen Bowman, who plays Amy, the longtime live-in girlfriend of Paul (winning San Diego newcomer Matthew Naegeli). When it comes to the white dress and the ceremony, Amy declares in her big Act One number, “I’m not getting married today.” Linda Libby, über sophisticated as the much-married Joanne, brings the house down in “The Ladies Who Lunch.” She’s paired with the long-suffering Larry (David Kirk Grant). As Jenny, Athena Espinoza displays fine vocal and

comedic gifts in a scene in which her husband David (Andy Collins, hirsute for the role) and Bobby are smoking pot. She claims not to be affected by her tokes but shows all the signs. As Marta, the most idiosyncratic of Bobby’s girlfriends, Mayer makes an indelible impression with “Another Hundred People.” Melissa Fernandes also

scores with vocals, karate throws, cartwheels and brownie sneaking as Sarah, married to Harry (Andrew Oswald), who purports to be on the wagon. Likewise, Wendy Waddell beautifully realizes Susan, married to the latent homosexual and father of her children, Peter (Kürt Norby). It’s an amazingly talented and deep assembly. In addition to

“Company” WHERE: Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St. (Old Town) WHEN: Wednesdays through Sundays through August 25

INFO: 619-337-1525 WEB: The cast of “Company” (Photo by Daren Scott)


Murray’s adept and sensitive textand character-derived direction, the company is upheld by Music Director Patrick Marion’s unseen, five-piece band, the choreography of David Brannen, the immaculate set design of Ryan Grossheim, Jeanne Reith’s costumes, Peter Herman’s wigs, Chris Rynne’s lighting, and Ross Goldman and Matt Lescault-Wood’s sound design. George Yé is fight director. Sondheim fans will want to book return tickets. The uninitiated yet curious must purchase now before tickets become extraordinarily scarce. Sondheim, born in 1930, is the greatest American lyricist-composer of the century.u


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


Women’s Museum exhibit examines roles through the years By Anna Frost SDUN Reporter

Nearly 100 years of comics, all featuring and written by women, sit behind the doors of the Women’s Museum of California, located at 2730 Historic Decatur Rd. in Liberty Station. Running until Sept. 1 – and coinciding with July’s Comic-Con International – “Wonder Women: On Paper and Off” is an extensive collection of flappers, super heroines, mischievous teenage girls and other bold women from across the decades. The exhibit, in line with the museum’s overall goal, looks at the work of women of the past and present, exploring their connection. “Our mission is to preserve the past and inspire the future,” Art and Programs Director Kathleen Adam said. Adam also serves as exhibit curator. “This show looks at women in the comic industry starting in about 1900 and going until today, and it’s kind of reinstating this idea of preserving what has been done and how it has inspired what we have today,” she said. The exhibit occupies the majority of the museum, leading viewers through a timeline of comics from newspapers and books that address and reflect social and political issues of their period. The women who wrote and illustrated these comics struggled against a strong gender bias for decades. “Women really had a hard time

breaking through the glass ceiling within the comic industry, just like in the majority of the industries,” Adam said. “It’s another example of women having to break through barriers, and they did that by perseverance.” Though all of the comics in the exhibit tell the story of women’s journey across the decades, several starkly reflect the struggles and triumphs of specific eras. Adam said they intentionally made the exhibit “organic” to encourage discussion and feedback. The first piece displayed, a newspaper comic from 1914 titled “Dimples,” was discovered in a thrift shop. Artist Grace Drayton’s comic features a little girl scolding her puppy as it knocks a wagon over in pursuit of a rabbit. The comic is printed in color, and illustrations of women and girls fill the margins of the full page, including a little girl holding a suffragette sign. A decade later, the comics of Ethel Hays portray the glamorous, independent flapper woman of the 1920s. In one piece, the main character, wearing a drop-waist dress and a short bob cut, quips about partying and her inability to cook, breaking the mold of the traditional woman of the time. The women of the 1940s continued to challenge the role of women. Crime-fighting, fiery heroines appeared in the form of Señorita Rio, a nightclub entertainer by day and Nazi-fighter by

night; Glory Forbes, known as “The Woman in Red;” and a slew of other brave women who fought for justice, and often saved men. Yet these were not the only fiery females of their time. The women who wrote and illustrated their stories broke down gender barriers with just as much spunk. A spirited letter from the Committee for Women Cartoonists addressing the men of the National Cartoonists Society – an organization that barred women from joining – is displayed in the “Wonder Women” exhibit as an example of artists’ fearless trailblazing. Another sign of the times is seen in the romance comics of the 1950s, which supported the woman’s role in the home in postWorld War II. As male cartoonists returned from fighting, they pushed women into what they deemed as a gender-appropriate job, an exhibit post said. One such comic, titled “You Can’t Fool Love,” depicts a woman agonizing over why her lover has not proposed at the same time as reflecting on how she never thought she would want to be married. Modern comics from the mid-1990s to the present returned to challenging social issues by addressing topics such as body image, acceptance of same-sex relationships and domestic abuse. Some of the women are illustrated to have more realistic body types, as opposed to an idealized female body portrayed in most comics. Part of the exhibit acknowledges and discusses the hyper-sexualization of women in comics as well. Jackie Estrada, administrator of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards for 23 years, is scheduled to appear at a panel discussion Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. Senior Artist Laurie Fuller and Senior Character Artist Kacey Helms, both of Sony Online Entertainment, will join Estrada on the panel. The museum is open 12 – 4 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays. For more information about the exhibit or panel discussion, which is open to the public, visit the or call 619-233-7963.u


CalendarofEvents FRIDAY, JULY 19

Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) Preschool stor y time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 W. Washington St., free Trolley Barn concerts: 6 p.m., latest University Heights CDC summer concert in Trolley Barn Park featuring Theo & the Zydeco Patrol, intersection of Florida Street and Adams Avenue, free Pioneer Park concerts: 6 – 8 p.m., Ballad Mongers take over Pioneer Park in Mission Hills for tonight’s Concerts in the Park show, Washington Place and Randolph Street, free Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest San Diego Six, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Indiscreet” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – noon ever y Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free Old Town Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. ever y Saturday, Harney Street, free Mission Hills book sale: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Friends of Mission Hills Branch Librar y book sale, Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 Washington St. Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 W. Washington St., free Artists sale: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Mission Hills Artists Summer Sale, with unique artisans and live entertainment all day, Goldfinch Street and Fort Stockton Drive, free Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays,

Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) UH Librar y Children’s Program: 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts event for children, University Heights Librar y, 4193 Park Blvd. T-32 third Saturday stroll: 4 – 8 p.m., stroll the businesses of Thorn & 32nd streets, with new events monthly, North Park Ian McClagan: 7:30 p.m., piano player Ian McClagan takes the stage for AMSD Concerts, 4650 Mansfield St., $20 – $47 Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “The African Queen,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


CicloSDias mini: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., prepare for the larger CicloSDias event in August with this mini event, where bicycles and pedestrians take over Golden Hill Park with no automobile traffic, 26th Street and Russ Boulevard, free Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “The African Queen,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) Mission Hills summer reading: 10:30 a.m., popular summer reading program with today’s guest Sparkles the Clown, Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 Washington St. Ken-Tal planning group: 6 p.m., first day of subcommittee meetings of the Kensington-Talmadge Planning Group, Franklin Elementar y School, 4481 Copeland Ave. The Boulevard Cooking: 6 – 7:30 p.m., the first Monday

class of the El Cajon Boulevard BIA cooking classes, Flavors of East Africa, 2322 El Cajon Blvd., $125 for five classes through Aug. 19, International Summer Organ Festival: 7:30 p.m., featuring tonight’s guest Jane Watts, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free


Bankers Hill mixer: 6 – 8 p.m., Bankers Hill Business Group business mixer, Planet Rooth Design Studio, 3334 Fifth Ave., free Pajama stor y time: 6:30 – 7 p.m., children are invited to come dressed in their pajamas, Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 W. Washington St., free Talmadge MAD: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District, Franklin Elementar y, 4481 Copeland Ave.


Baby playgroup: 10 – 11:30 a.m., babies up to 18 months old are welcome, Normal Heights United Methodist Church, 4650 Mansfield St. UH Librar y Mad Science: 4 p.m., Summer Reading Program’s latest event, University Heights Librar y, 4193 Park Blvd. LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 W. Washington St., free Hillcrest Parking: 5 – 6:30 p.m., regular meeting of the Hillcrest Parking Committee, 3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 202 Ken-Tal planning group: 6 p.m., second day of subcommit-

San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013 tee meetings of the KensingtonTalmadge Planning Group, Franklin Elementar y School, 4481 Copeland Ave. Bankers Hill-Park West: 6 – 7:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Bankers Hill-Park West Community Association, First Centur y Plaza penthouse, 3535 First Ave. SR 94 workshop: 6 – 8 p.m., community enhancements workshop of the state Route 94 expansion project affecting Golden Hill, organized by SANDAG, Sherman heights Community Center ballroom, 2258 Island Ave. North Park Community: 6 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the North Park Community Association, all are welcome, Lafayette Hotel’s La Salle Room, 2223 El Cajon Blvd. Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest San Diego Youth Symphony, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free Myster y book group: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., discussing the selection of the month, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 Washington St. Burlingame Association: 7 p.m., regular meeting of the Burlingame Neighborhood Association, Mazara’s Trattoria, 2302 30th St. Robin Henkel: 8 – 10 p.m., Robin Henkel Band with Whitney Shay and Billy Watson, blues and jazz, ArtLab Studios, 3536 Adams Ave., all ages


North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. ever y Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free


HBA open house: 5:30 – 7 p.m., quarterly open house for the Hillcrest Business Association, discussing the creation of a Main Street organization, Champion Ballroom Academy, 3580 Fifth Ave., free Community mixer: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., regular community mixer for the Greater Golden Hill CDC, RSVP required, Giorgino’s, 1237 28th St., free for members and $10 for guests, 619-234-9141 NP Action Team: 6 – 7:30 p.m., meeting of the grassroots community group North Park Action Team, North Park Community Center, 2711 Howard Ave., free Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest Cor velles, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Torn Curtain,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) Preschool stor y time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 W. Washington St., free Trolley Barn concerts: 6 p.m., latest University Heights CDC summer concert in Trolley Barn Park featuring Bill Magee Blues Band, intersection of Florida Street and Adams

see Calendar, page 21


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San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


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New Adam & Eve Store opening in Hillcrest Adam & Eve Franchising Corporation is proud to announce the opening of its newest store on Saturday, July 6, in the Hillcrest district of San Diego, operated by franchisees Jan and Bryan Lovering. Adam & Eve stores are upscale specialty retail boutiques for discerning couples to explore romance and erotica that invoke the quality, class and comfort associated with the Adam & Eve brand. “We are very excited to create a welcoming and comfortable intimacy boutique that will let our customers shop and explore in a fun, friendly environment,” said co-operator Bryan Lovering. The San Diego location will help customers learn new and exciting ways to explore intimacy and reignite the passion in their lives. The Adam & Eve staff, whose main goal is to exceed customers’ expectations, is highly trained and knowledgeable about our wide range of products, which include lingerie and apparel, shoes, books, games, pleasure products, and instructional & selfhelp manuals. “Our store is going to provide customers with quality, top of the line merchandise from well-respected brands to bring a bit of extra class and romance into our shoppers’ lives. We are really excited about this opportunity,” Jan Lovering said. The store is located at 415 University Ave. and will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

415 University Ave. San Diego, CA 92103




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San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


A tale of two WCs It was the best of bathrooms, and then it was the worst of bathrooms


Michael Good All it took was a little water in the wrong place and a short conversation with her contractor to turn Dee Quashnock’s spectacular art deco bath into a major headache. Long story short: the only way to repair structural damage in the walls was to remove the floor-to-ceiling tile that made her bathroom so spectacular. She had to destroy her bathroom in order to save it. In the annals of old house owners, Dee’s dilemma is hardly unique. In the 1920s, literally thousands of art deco bathrooms were built in Spanish style houses in Kensington, Talmadge, El Cerrito, North Park, South Park and Mission Hills, not to mention Point Loma, Normal Heights, University Heights and Marston Hills. Like Dee’s, the walls were coated with waterproof, easy-toclean, colorful tile in maroon and black, pink and red or yellow and brown. And like Dee’s, whenever something went wrong inside those walls, the tile had to go. The coup de grâce usually didn’t come from water inside the bathroom, it came from leaking roofs, leaking windows and leaking pipes that brought water inside the walls, where it slowly did its work, aided by termites, fungus and mold. But water isn’t the only enemy of Jazz Age bathrooms. They have the 21st century American homeowner to contend with, and his or her accomplice in architectural crime: the home décor reality show and the designers

who dream of someday being on it. Due to a number of factors – ignorance of history, ego, America’s color-adverse, fifty-shades-ofbeige esthetic – designers tend to confuse the two eras of early 20th century bathroom design (and, seriously, there are only two of them, so it shouldn’t be hard to keep them apart). A brief history of the bath: for 99.99 percent of human history, bathrooms didn’t exist. Finally, at the turn of the 20th century, properly vented toilets became widely available, along with municipal water systems that provided adequate water pressure and sewage disposal. But suspicions about “bad air” in the bathroom and the dangers of bathing prevented the whole concept from catching on. By 1920, only 20 percent of American homes had flush toilets. Prior to the World War I, most bathrooms were relatively sedate. They were usually white, with a white porcelain toilet, sink and bathtub, white hexagonal tile on the floor and subway-style tile on the walls. There were small variations, but most houses, regardless of size or cost, had remarkably similar bathrooms. They were utilitarian places, like operating rooms, where something mysterious and possibly dangerous happened. Cleanliness was thought to be an upper-class preoccupation, and of little real value. That all changed in 1918 when a third of Americans came down with the flu. About five percent died. The pandemic affected mainly young adults. Women were hit particularly hard, especially pregnant women. In 13 studies conducted during the flu pandemic, mortality among hospitalized

women ranged from 23 percent to as high as 71 percent. We didn’t need any further convincing that there were germs in this world, and that they had to be stopped. The first line of defense was the bathroom. Up until this point, what went on in the bathroom had been a private matter. Then Hollywood opened the door. But rather than emphasize the clinical, sanitary quality of the bathing experience, Hollywood made it fun. Movies and movie magazines showed stars engaging in all sorts of glamorous activities in the bath: reclining in tubs, vamping in front of vanity mirrors, flouncing about in dressing gowns. While wedding dresses turned white in the ‘20s, bathrooms got color. The bath became a place to escape, relax and rest, not just to perform sanitary ablutions. The 1920s was a crazy, contradictory time for women. They got the vote in 1920. By 1930, one-in-four were working outside the home. A number of timesaving appliances were introduced during the Jazz Age, from vacuum cleaners to clothes washers, garbage disposals to refrigerators. But the amount of time women spent on housework didn’t really change. They were still spending 50 to 60 hours a week, but now they were doing the work themselves, rather than directing servants, tradesmen and delivery guys. If they were going to have to clean the bathroom themselves, they were going to make it their own. So not only did baths become more fashionable, they became more restful as well, outfitted with benches to sit on while you dressed, better lighting and

Modern bathroom, circa 1912: Wall-mounted sink and toilet tank, any color as long as it’s white (Courtesy Michael Good)

Modern bathroom, circa 2013: A nod to the past, but with more storage and (not shown) a shower with a second hand-held nozzle and a built-in bench. (Courtesy Michael Good)

mirrors, alcoves for showers and tubs, separate rooms for toilets, additional sinks and heaters, and even bidets and floor-mounted foot-washing basins. Cabinets popped up everywhere, topped with tile or linoleum, so makeup, toiletries and perfume wouldn’t damage the furniture. Built-in vanities and separate dressing areas began to appear as well as multiple cupboards with more storage for cosmetics, perfumes, shaving supplies and electric curling irons. In the ensuing century, the devices and doodads have only increased exponentially, like a flu virus. Today, it takes discipline to squeeze a modern bathroom into an antique


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house and still keep some sense of integrity, much less get your bathroom eras right. When I met Kristin Westerman and Linda Bright a few months ago, they were keen to preserve the architectural elements that made the living and dining rooms of their South Park Spanish Revival bungalow so distinctive. But the bathroom? Not so much. Unlike many 1920s houses, there was nothing art deco about the design of their interior. If anything, it had a sort of classical, Greek revival feel to the square, fluted red gum columns in the living room. So when they remodeled their bathroom a few months ago, Kristin and Linda kept that classic feel. They didn’t try to replicate the all white porcelain bathroom of the 1910s. Like their bungalow, which is small but high style, their bath is compact and thoughtfully designed, with taupe-colored, matte horizontal tile on the walls. They’d replicated the original medicine cabinet, and kept the sink, toilet and shower in their original locations. Best of all, the bathroom reflected their – and their house’s – personality. And, as Kristin was quick to point out, “it came in exactly on budget.” As for Dee, previous homeowners had already made some rather regrettable changes to her house, so she was determined to hold the line in the bathroom. She found a manufacturer to replicate the tile, matching the size and color, and she had it installed in the original pattern. When I saw the bathroom after it was done, I felt as if I’d stepped in the wayback machine. It was a déjà vu remodel. And sometimes that’s the best kind. —Michael Good is a contractor and freelance writer. His business, Craftsman Wood Refinishing, restores architectural millwork in historic houses in San Diego. He is a fourthgeneration San Diegan and lives in North Park. You can reach him at


CALENDAR Avenue, free Pioneer Park concerts: 6 – 8 p.m., Breezn take over Pioneer Park in Mission Hills for tonight’s Concerts in the Park show, Washington Place and Randolph Street, free Ruben Moreno: 6 – 10:30 p.m., Zydeco musician Ruben Moreno performs at 7 p.m. after dance lessons at 6:30 p.m., Centro Cultural De La Raza, 2004 Park Blvd., Balboa Park, $10 Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest San Diego Civic Dance Arts, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Torn Curtain,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. ever y Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free San Diego Canyonlands: 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., free guided tour of Switzer Canyon by San Diego Canyonlands, learn about protecting and restoring natural habitats, 2800 Maple St. at 30th Street Old Town Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. ever y Saturday, Harney Street, free Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 W. Washington St., free Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) UH Librar y Children’s Program: 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts event for children, University Heights Librar y, 4193 Park Blvd. Solar open house: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Sullivan Solar Power North Park open house, Kocherga residence, 3529 Granada Ave. Bird Park Concerts: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., North Park Com-

munity Association’s Bird Park Summer Concerts Series welcomes Countr y-rockers Kanan Road, Bird Park, intersection of Upas and 28th streets, free Hillcrest Wind Ensemble: 6:30 p.m., Hillcrest Wind Ensemble celebrates “The Big Apple,” Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., $15 advance, $20 at the door, hillcrestwindensemble. com Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “The Seven Year Itch,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., every Sunday, Hillcrest DMV, 3960 Normal St., free Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “The Seven Year Itch,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) Mission Hills summer reading: 10:30 a.m., popular summer reading program with today’s guest musician Craig Newton, Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 Washington St. HBA Beautification: 2 – 3:30 p.m., regular meeting of the Hillcrest Business Association Beautification committee, 3737 Fifth Ave. #202 HTC steering: 6 p.m., regular meeting of the Hillcrest Town Council Steering Committee to set the agenda for future meetings, all are welcome, Ortega’s Bistro, 141 University Ave. The Boulevard Cooking: 6 – 7:30 p.m., the second Monday

class of the El Cajon Boulevard BIA cooking classes, Tiger! Tiger!, 3025 El Cajon Blvd., $125 for five classes through Aug. 19, International Summer Organ Festival: 7:30 p.m., featuring tonight’s guest Barbara Dennerlein, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free


30th on 30th: 5 – 7 p.m., restaurants and bars on and near 30th Street in North Park offer specials throughout the evening, participating restaurants and their specials announced at 30th Pajama stor y time: 6:30 – 7 p.m., children are invited to come dressed in their pajamas, Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 W. Washington St., free

San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013 WEDNESDAY, JULY 31

Baby playgroup: 10 – 11:30 a.m., babies up to 18 months old are welcome, Normal Heights United Methodist Church, 4650 Mansfield St. Circus Minimus Puppets!: 4 p.m., Summer Reading Program’s latest event, University Heights Librar y, 4193 Park Blvd. LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 W. Washington St., free Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest Coastal Communities Concert Band, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free UH Librar y Book club and sales: 6:30 p.m., discussing “The Power of Habit,” University Heights Librar y, 4193 Park Blvd.



North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. ever y Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free Balboa Park Committee: 6 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting, Balboa Park Club, Santa Fe Room, 2144 Pan American Rd. Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest San Diego Nite Jazz Band, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free University Heights Community Association: 6:30 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting including an open community forum, Birney Elementar y, 4345 Campus Ave. Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Pretty In Pink,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14u


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


Global Gumshoe Ron Stern Berlin is a phoenix reinventing itself. Decades of war and oppression are being replaced by trendy boutiques, sidewalk cafes, retailshopping areas, and renovated his-

torical monuments and museums. Since World War II much of this German capital was in ruins after intensive bombing. Then, for more than 28 years, it was a divided city with a barbed-wire fence erected under the cover

of night, eventually turning into a permanent concrete barrier. When the wall fell, the rush of freedom and new hope was almost inexpressible. As a first time visitor, part of what impressed me the most was

that this city doesn’t hide its dark past. Instead, it’s put on display in the hopes that future generations will never forget what happened here. The Checkpoint Charlie Museum, for example, is one of the most popular spots for visitors. Inside are displays, newsreels and artifacts from those who successfully escaped. Some hid in hollowed out gas tanks, others tried to swim, and one family constructed a hot air balloon and floated to their freedom in West Berlin. There are many other public displays around Berlin with photos of people who lived under the Communist regime. You can also visit the former Gestapo headquarters; the Stasi Museum; and the departure hall for the border checkpoint at Friedrichstrasse Train Station, known as Palace of Tears, or “Tränenpalas” in German. Since the 1960s, Berlin has been on a building spree, and in some areas the city skyline looks like an eerie sci-fi film made out of construction cranes. But the locals and visitors don’t seem to mind, and tourists can get around all that on foot, by subway or by bicycle,

with the latter appearing to be the most popular means of getting around. You can rent a bike at various places around the city and you can take a variety of tours, including the Berlin Wall Tour at Berlin on Bikes, where local guides take you around and give you the fascinating history of Berlin, covering a lot of ground in just a few hours. Berlin is a place where you can see the old and new, side by side. Some of the original building façades, riddled with bullet holes from German and Russian fighting, are intentionally left intact as another reminder of the historical past. Architectural buffs and photographers like yours truly will have a field day here, as there are enough churches, government buildings, bridges and modern designs to last for a month of touring. In West Berlin, there are several streets lined with shops, restaurants, a zoological garden and statues. Seeing some of the sidewalk cafes with people having a glass of wine or beer while

see Berlin, page 23


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013


(All photos by Ron Stern)



enjoying the sunshine, reminded me of Paris, but on a more affordable level. One of the more interesting shops I visited was the Kaufhaus des Westens, or KaDeWe for short. Located on the sixth floor of this department store is a massive gourmet gallery and food court, the likes of which I have never seen under one roof. You can find just about anything else you can imagine. This is a good place to have a meal or a drink before heading out for, well, more shopping. Once I figured out the underground and train systems, it was easy to go from the West to the East. I walked to the


Stagecoach Days

(Every Saturday in July and August) Celebration of the West on the Move with children’s activities, historic interpretation, cannon and anvil firings, and more.

AUGUST Latin American Festival August 2-4

There is no need to travel to the deepest regions of Mexico in order to experience some of the world’s most vibrant Latin American folk art and Mexican pottery – just visit the Bazaar del Mundo Shops’ Latin American Festival and Mata Ortiz Pottery Market, August 2 to 4, in Old Town, San Diego. Bazaar del Mundo’s annual festival presents one of the nation’s most extensive collections of authentic Mexican folk art, traditional clothing and textiles, colorful collectibles and dazzling jewelry, plus entertainment and Mexican cuisine. Guest artisans from Chihuahua, Mexico will be in attendance, creating eye-popping Mata Ortiz pottery, a centuries-old art form renowned for its handpainted geometric and ancestral symbols.


Date: August 18 (Saturday) Literary games including “Fish for Words, Chortle This and Telegraph Crunch” will delight the entire family, as well as sack races, marbles, ring toss and other games of the period for the kids. A spelling bee will run throughout the day as well as a community-wide Never Ending Story to which anyone who wishes may contribute.

Brandenburg Gate, the World War II Memorial and the Victory Dome. I also hopped on one of the many sightseeing buses that take you around the city for a headphone-narrated tour. You can buy the tickets at many hotels and tourism offices around town. Berlin is generally more affordable than other cities of its size, which is what attracts many to come for a visit; some never leave. I met a number of people who ended up staying permanently due to the affable culture, art, food and friendliness of the people. Indeed, many locals have a fondness for Westerners and remember the Berlin airlift, where a United States aircraft dropped care packages for Berliners during the war, rather than let them starve. As you’re greeted with a sincere “guten tag” by friendly residents who call this city home, you will probably find, as

I did, that you feel quite comfortable and welcome. If you have been to Germany but have never been to Berlin, you owe it to yourself to come for a visit. Where to stay Winters Hotel – The Wall at Checkpoint Charlie: There are three Winters hotels, but the one at the wall is steps from Checkpoint Charlie and close to train and shopping areas. You can find deals in the winter for as little at 49 euros. —Ron Stern can be contacted at travelwriter01@comcast. net or by visiting and Promotional considerations were provided by Visit Berlin (, the Winters Hotel ( and other partners mentioned in this article.u


San Diego Uptown News | July 19–Aug. 1, 2013

San Diego Uptown News  

July 19, 2013 edition

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