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Helping the ‘working hard but falling short’


Ways to Work program offers families in need a dream deal By Morgan M. Hurley SDUN Assistant Editor

Disarray to design

➤➤ DINING P. 11 ‘The Daughter of the Regiment’ opens San Diego Opera’s 2013 season on Jan. 26 with a stunning production set at the end of WWII. (Courtesy Washington National Opera)

San Diego Opera’s winning hand International season opens with ‘The Daughter of the Regiment’ Dining at D Bar

➤➤ THEATER P. 13

By Charlene Baldridge SDUN Reporter

It may come as news to some that San Diego Opera (SDO) General and Artistic Director Ian Campbell knows how to play his cards. Throughout his long career in grand opera – 30 years of it devoted to the City’s well-run 48-year-old institution – Campbell has kept cards on each singer he’s heard on stages in the U.S. and abroad. Campbell’s frequent European sojourns to discover new talent and his penchant for introducing new singers on their way up are legendary: sopranos Sondra Radvanovsky and Latonia Moore, this season’s Aida, are but two examples. When he hears

someone with extraordinary talent, Campbell has been known to rush backstage after the performance and offer a contract on the spot. Occasionally, the director plays a card that is trumped by circumstance, but that does not happen often. The opera network, comprising singers, managers, conductors and artisans, tells enquiring potential debutants that San Diego is a lovely city, SDO treats its artists well, the music-making is of high quality, and the audiences enthusiastic and informed. The 2013 season, including four performances each of four operas plus two performances of another

see Opera, page 14

Culinary predictions through the crystal ball January’s offerings

Uptown, celebrity chefs dish on what’s in and what’s out for 2013

➤➤ HOME P. 18

By Frank Sabatini Jr. SDUN Reporter

Tinsel town influence

Dining trends over the past decade have been paradoxical, with some changing faster than it takes to consume a pork slider and others displaying the tenacity of an under-ripe artichoke. In regards to food and drink offerings, as well as the types of restaurants that fill our landscape, we asked several chefs what culinary fads lurk on the horizon and which ones they feel should be left behind in 2012.

Index Opinion…………………6 Briefs……………………7 Feature…………………8 Dr. Ink…….……………….12 Classifieds……………15 Fitness…………………19

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Deborah Scott Indigo Grill, Island Prime/C-Level, Cohn Restaurant Group Upcoming: “More small restaurants and bars are using food trucks to supply their menus, bringing the cost of build-out down. Thorn Street Brewery in

Outgoing: “Fancy techniques and crazy avant garde stuff.”

Sam ‘the Cooking Guy’ Zien (Courtesy Sam Zien)

North Park is a great example. They repurposed an old warehouse into an ale house, and are currently using a rotation of food trucks to keep the menu fresh.”

Sam the Cooking Guy (Sam Zien) TV personality Upcoming: “I think we’ll see quite a few restaurants start carrying interesting, less-expensive cuts of meat like skirt steak, flatiron steak and rib eye cap. They’re super delicious and you don’t have to play $20 a pound for them like aged steaks. I’d also like to see more butchers come back and more sustainable fish on menus.” Outgoing: “I’m a fan of pork belly, but enough already. I’d also like to see the term ‘farm-to-table’ go away. Isn’t everything ultimately farm-to-table? And … cake pops. Blow them off the map.”

see Trends, page 10

United Way of San Diego County (UWSD), a 90-year-old organization that brings local communities together, partnered with a local nonprofit to offer lowrate car loans and other financial ser vices to local “underemployed” members of the region. Ways to Work is a national program that offers case management, financial education, low-interest loans and other ser vices to highskill workers who are unemployed or working below their skill levels. Many of these workers are living at or just above the poverty line, a recent Ways to Work press release stated. “Public transportation in our county can be limiting, and we want to help San Diegans get wherever they need to go,” said UWSD President and CEO Doug Sawyer in the release. “Ways to Work has shown a strong return on investment and high success rate, helping struggling parents improve their self-sufficiency.” Last August, UWSD made a two-year commitment with the Leichtag Foundation of Carlsbad, Calif. to bring the Ways to Work program to San Diego. The main thrust of the program is to get fixed, low interest-rate loans for individuals with lower credit scores. The loans would ser ve to purchase a used, reliable vehicle, enhancing the recipient’s availability to work and contribution to their families. The vehicles are also intended to help participants advance in their careers, reduce tardiness and absenteeism, allow them to respond more immediately to the needs of their family, and give them the opportunity to pursue

see Work, page 5

Fred Martinez in his new car (Courtesy United Way of San Diego County)


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013


From disarray to design: Wardrobe stylist fashions a fit for clients at a crossroads A Whim

& A Prayer Celene Adams It’s been said that our closets are “time capsules” of our lives. Every time we open their doors and survey their contents, we’re presented with who we are, who we’ve been, who we want to be and how far we are from being where we want to go. So it comes as no surprise to Debbie Roes, a San Diego-based wardrobe stylist, that clients often consult her when they’re facing a turning point in their lives. “Whether they’re returning to the dating scene, getting married, job hunting, being promoted, moving into middle age, or making a weight change, people tend to want to adjust how they dress when they move from one stage of life to another,” Roes, a former life coach with a master’s degree in psychology, said. Yet, while clients are often motivated to achieve the objectives that such transitions inspire – looking sexier, more professional, or younger, for instance – the transformation process often yields deeper rewards than appearance. “Clients are often surprised by the memories that return and what they learn about their attitudes toward their bodies and spending,” Roes said. “It’s not just clothes. My process works on multiple levels.” In business one year, Roes is herself somewhat surprised at her new line of work. Because even

though she’s always been fascinated by fashion, she never dreamed she could become a stylist. “I had an eating disorder for about 20 years,” the tall, willowy brunette said. “I’ve been about 50 pounds lighter than I am now and 40 pounds heavier. But whatever my weight, I always felt uncomfortable with how I looked. And even though I’ve always liked fashion … because I had body-image issues, I dressed in … lots of flowing, baggy clothes.” It wasn’t until Roes hit 40 that she began to want to emerge from all the fabric she’d been hiding behind. “I wanted to look more polished and sophisticated,” she said, but, at the time, “I could have been nominated for ‘What Not to Wear.’” The TV show, in which two stylists make over a fashion “train wreck,” was Roes’ constant companion for five years, as she searched for ways to express herself through clothing. She watched every episode, reviewed every rerun, and supplemented what she was learning by reading “volumes” about fabric, fit, and fashion. But even after discovering which looks worked for her, why, and how to achieve them, she couldn’t see beyond her new appearance. “If you had asked me back then whether I would ever get into doing this myself, I would have said, ‘Are you crazy? I couldn’t do that,’” she said. Roes’ lack of confidence was exacerbated by the fact that, although her eating disorder was abating, she also suffered from clothes hoarding, a condition that affects

Debbie Roes offers fashion makeovers for clients at turning points in their lives. (Courtesy Debbie Roes)

about 5 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Consequently, it wasn’t until Roes addressed her hoarding issues, in part by hiring a professional organizer to perform an audit on her cluttered closet, that she began to see more than style in her reflection. Now she also saw substance and skill. Closet audits are the first stage of any wardrobe redo. In an audit, a stylist assesses clients’ existing wardrobes, reviewing what works, what doesn’t, which items can be altered, and which pieces the client never wears but could if they knew what to wear them with. Roes’ own closet audit took six hours, she said. But although most clients don’t need anything near that much time, this initial step is usually the one they find most intimidating. After all, not only are their past and present lives on display, so to speak, but the audit

requires them to try on outfits they already own. “‘Do I have to take off my clothes in front of you?’ is the most frequently asked question,” Roes said, laughing. The intimacy of the closet audit, however, is where her personal background becomes especially handy. “I think the fact that I have the background in psychology and that I’ve had my personal issues as well, is one of the things that helps me to be good with my clients. I have a lot of compassion for the different issues that people have,” Roes said. “Maybe it’s not a conscious thing, but it seems like the emotional issues come up a fair amount of the time.” While Roes speculates that her own experiences and her openness about them create rapport with clients and may contribute to the type of clients she attracts, empathy isn’t her only specialty.

Finding a fit, for instance, “is key,” she said. Consequently, one of her services is assisting clients to tailor their clothes so they look custom made. “I help clients to alter what they have already to make it work better for them. Or in some cases, I help them to alter the new things,” she said. Altering one’s existing clothes rather than buying new ones also saves money, and, since many clients are on a budget, keeping the process affordable is important. “I do a lot of resale shopping,” Roes said. “We gear where we shop based on how much clients need. If they don’t need a lot, then maybe we go to the mall and just get a couple of things [so] it’s not going to cost a lot. But if they need a lot of pieces, then often we’ll go to resale stores, where we can get more.” One client she worked with recently, for example, was able to buy 22 items, several of them designer pieces, for under $300. “I don’t know what the 22 items would have cost full price, but I’m certain I saved at least $500, even factoring in [Roes’] time,” the client, who requested anonymity, said. There’s a lot of prep work both Roes and her clients need to do before a successful shopping expedition can take place, including questionnaires about lifestyle, values, objectives, color and style preferences, and personality. “Before visiting clients’ closets, I ask for five adjectives that describe their current style and five that describe their desired style. Then, we

see Whim, page 9


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013


Boy Scouts allowed to lease Balboa Park property from City

Ninth Circuit reverses district court decision that was in favor of lesbian couple; calls discounts for discriminatory organization ‘incidental’ By Anthony King SDUN Editor

In a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision handed down Dec. 20, San Diego is allowed to lease property in Balboa Park and Mission Bay to the Boy Scouts of America at discounted rates, overturning a lower, district court ruling from 2003. The 2003 ruling stated the City’s agreement with the Scouts – who can legally exclude gays and lesbians, as well as those who do not adhere to the organization’s stated religious beliefs – was unconstitutional. The San Diego-Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts is headquartered on 18 acres in Balboa Park, in a 50-year lease that originated in

1957. The lease was extended for an additional 25 years in a contentious Dec. 2001 Council decision. With the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a lesbian couple and an atheist couple sued the City over the lease, saying they and their sons were excluded from using the facilities because of the Boy Scouts’ discriminatory policy, resulting in the 2003 district court decision that was appealed to the higher court in San Francisco. Under the lease terms, San Diego receives $1 a year in rent for the space in Balboa Park, plus an additional $2,500 yearly fee. In return, the Boy Scouts are responsible for spending $1.7 million over seven years for capital improvements on the park site, as well as

a $1.5-million aquatic center in Mission Bay. The Ninth Circuit ruling called the discounts “incidental” and “indirect,” a sentiment Assemblymember Toni Atkins said was false. “Today the court told the children of San Diego that discrimination against them and their families based on sexual orientation or religious practice is ‘incidental.’ I could not disagree more,” she said in a statement on Dec. 20. Atkins was a member of the City Council in 2001 when the lease for the Balboa Park space was up for Council action. The Council voted 6-3 in favor of the extension, with Atkins, Donna Frye and Ralph Inzunza voting against it.

“In the decade since this case was first filed, Americans have increasingly embraced LGBT families. Our government should do no less,” Atkins said. Leading the Ninth Circuit’s three-judge, unanimous decision was William C. Canby Jr., who said the discounted lease does not promote the organization’s religious mission, and benefits the City because of deferred maintenance expenses on the property. “There is no evidence that the City’s purpose in leasing the subject properties to the Boy Scouts was to advance religion, and there is abundant evidence that its purpose was to provide facilities and services for youth activities,” Canby wrote. Also in the decision, Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld said, “Revulsion for a group so intense that one cannot bear to be on property they manage cannot, in a tolerant society, be deemed harm sufficiently concrete as to confer standing to sue.” Plaintiffs in the case were lesbian couple Lori and Lynn Barnes-Wallace, as well as atheists Michael and Valerie Breen. The couples sued the City before the 2001 lease extension. After the 2003 decision, in which the City was

named co-defendant, the Council voted 6-2 to withdraw from furthering the lawsuit and agreed to a $950,000 settlement with the ACLU for legal fees. Then-City Attorney Casey Gwinn issued a statement at the time, saying the Boy Scouts did not support the City financially in any way. “The Boy Scouts have repeatedly and pointedly refused to support the City in helping to pay any of the potential attorney’s fees involved in this case,” Gwinn said. “They want the City taxpayers to continue to argue the case even though they have acknowledged that they are a religious organization and even though they refuse to share in the potentially enormous attorney’s fee award that will be ultimately awarded to plaintiffs.” Attorneys for the couples said they were “reviewing all options” in the Dec. 20 decision, according to the Los Angles Times, which include an appeal to a larger panel of the Ninth Circuit. “Just because a court says you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it,” Atkins said. “I hope that the current City leadership will find ways to affirm the value of all boys and to welcome them in all taxpayer-funded parks.”u

The San Diego-Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts of America is headquartered in Balboa Park. (Photo by Anulak Singphiphat)


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013




Pizza from URBN Coal Fired Pizza (Courtesy h2 public relations)

Pizza Week sparks giving back Joe Mangini will ‘raise the dough’ for Sandy Hook Support Fund By Anthony King SDUN Editor

National Pizza Week has inspired one local restaurateur to give back to a cause close to his heart. Jon Mangini, owner of BASIC Urban Kitchen + Bar and two locations of URBN Coal Fired Pizza – one in North Park – is also a native of New Haven, Conn. and recently travelled to New England following the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. “You hear about the tragedy all over the news, and it’s devastating, but going back home and visiting the town, seeing the banners and signs, and bearing witness to a community that is in the midst of unimaginable grief really hit home for my family,” Mangini said in a release. Mangini’s wife, Lisa, was raised 15 miles from Sandy Hook Elementary, in Trumbull, Conn. “After coming back to the West Coast, I wanted to do something to show support in my own way,” Mangini said. Called “Raising the Dough,” the entrepreneur decided to dedicate all pizza proceeds from his New Haven-inspired pizzerias directly to the Sandy Hook Support Fund, which was created in the aftermath of the Dec. 14, 2012 tragedy. The fund was set up in a partnership between the United Way of Western Connecticut and Newtown Savings Bank “to provide support services to the families and community,” the website states. Twenty children and six adults died in the shooting, and two people were wounded. From 5 – 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, 100 percent of the proceeds for all pizzas purchased at each of the locations will go directly to the fund. National

Jon Mangini (Courtesy h2 public relations) Pizza week is Jan. 6 – 12. URBN pizza features, among others, the Neapolitan style of pie that originated in New Haven, Conn. Locals refer to it as “apizza,” and it is characterized by a thin crust, a “crispy shell” and a “soft inside chew” the release stated. Organizers are recommending reservations, as they anticipate a large crowd. URBN is located at 3085 University Ave. in North Park. BASIC is located at 410 10th Ave. in the East Village, and the Vista, Calif. location is at 204 Main St. For more information visit or call 619-255-7300, and to learn about the fund, visit newtown.

further education. “Our goal is to help those we call ‘working hard but falling short,’” said Shaina Gross, UWSD vice president of impact strategies and mobilization. “We want to strengthen families and make people more nimble and responsive.” Gross said she has spoken to many in the community who cannot afford to live closer to where jobs are available and, in many instances, public transit is a limiting and challenging factor for them finding and keeping jobs, since it often does not run at times when jobs are available. “Studies have shown that national participants of this program have received pay increases, promotions [and] taken on extra shifts, all because they can drive,” she said. “In addition, 82 percent have gotten off of [government] benefits. [These benefits] are supposed to be a temporar y solution, not a permanent solution. A program that helps to make them more self-sufficient is ideal.” Since August, Gross said they have offered 10 loans countywide, but have established a first-year goal of 100 loans, so they are eager to get the word out to potential applicants. If the program does well, Gross said they expect to meet its two-year commitment and then become perpetually sustainable. Criteria for Ways to Work eligibility is simple, Gross said: applicants must already be working with an income and have children to support. Custody is not a requirement as long as the applicant can prove responsibility. Grandparents in a supportive or caretaking role and parental workers within the LGBT community are also encouraged to apply. “Typically we are looking for people who could not get a loan at all [or] who would need to use the ‘Pay Now’ or buy at a 25 percent interest rate,” Gross said. Those selected will first at-

(l to r) Nina Vaysburd, Shaina Gross, Laurin Pause, Filipa Rios and Veronica Villarreal celebrate the Ways to Work program at Drive Motors in Normal Heights. (Courtesy United Way of San Diego County)

tend financial education classes offered by two supporting sponsors, Jewish Family Ser vices and the Community Resource Center. The two-to-three hour classes cover the requirements of the program, the client’s credit report will be gone over, a budget for the client’s household will be established and other financial assistance ser vices will be offered. Once the class has been completed, the application process and vehicle search will begin, which Gross said takes six to eight weeks. A handful of car dealerships in each region have committed to the program for the betterment of the community. Uptown’s Drive Motors Superstore, located at 3380 El Cajon Blvd. in Normal Heights, is one such dealer that has signed on.

“Drive Motors understands the value of the program,” Gross said. “They have committed to keeping an eye out for cars that meet the price range, have had their inspections and to hold the cars for participants for the length of the process.” On Dec. 20, 2012, former homeless veteran Frank Martinez was the most recent participant of the program, getting an 8 percent loan for a car he purchased from Drive Motors. Martinez, who works at the Veterans Affairs (VA) office in Mission Valley, heard about the program through the VA. “It is so exciting,” Gross said. “I feel like we’re removing a barrier and opening doors to allow people to help themselves.” For more information or to apply, contact Jewish Family Ser vices at 858-637-3008.u


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013


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 REPORTERS & COLUMNISTS Celene Adams Charlene Baldridge Logan Broyles “Dr. Ink” Dave Fidlin Monica Garske Michael Good Andy Hinds Cynthia Robertson Frank Sabatini Jr. Dave Schwab Brian White


To resolute or not to resolute for 2013? By Dave Nadolski

This year you can do it. You can make and keep those New Year’s resolutions for a better you in 2013. They don’t have to be big ones and you don’t need a ton of them. Just set goals for yourself and stick to them. Below I’ve suggested healthy and helpful resolutions to help you get started. 1. Take time to unplug. Our society is tech obsessed. Don’t get me wrong, technology is amazing, but it’s also unhealthy to never unplug from it. Don’t forget to take time from each day and just “be” without reading your work email or checking Facebook updates. 2. Pick a new activity. No one said you have to run on a treadmill to get in shape. Pick a fun activity that doesn’t feel like you’re working out. 3. Have Fun. Sounds easy enough, eh? Take time out of each day for a little fun, either on your own or with your kids. And don’t forget to laugh, too. 4. Save $500 for a flight. Find a way to save

approximately $500: take your lunch to work or skip your everyday latte habit. Now take that money and spend it on a flight to see a friend or family member who lives far away. 5. Learn useless facts. Yes, you read that right. Learn random facts about TV shows, music, movies or the life span of animals. Now squeeze in these facts whenever you meet someone new, when you’re in an elevator and it’s uncomfortable or when there’s a lull in the conversation at a party. 6. Bike to work. Seriously. Get yourself a decent bike or KickBike and leave the house a little early each day. Throw on a backpack and get fit going to work, or grab a city bus on the way to work and bike home. 7. Find ‘your people.’ Interested in a specific sport or hobby? Find a group to join where you can exercise your interest and make new friends. This in itself is healthy for the mind, body and spirit. 8. Volunteer. Keep giving back way past the holidays. Volunteer once over the next 90 days.

You’ll feel really good about it and probably end up volunteering again over the next 275. 9. Call Someone. Pick up the phone and dial a phone number instead of texting, instant messaging or using Facebook. Do this at least once a week and talk for 10 minutes. 10. Stop making resolutions you don’t keep. Make good, attainable New Year’s resolutions and keep to them. At least try them out for a few months by making an honest effort. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You get in shape, eat healthier, spend more time with your family, stop smoking and get out of debt. I bet you could live with that. —Dave Nadolski is the founder of KickBike America (, a scooter and a bike rolled into one that is the new, fun way to commute and get a great workout. The revolutionary bike and scooter hybrid is the perfect combination of getting fit while running small errands, going for a casual stroll or just heading up the road to a visit a friend. KickBike is a fun and functional way to get the whole family involved in a daily workout. With eight models available, there is one for everyone: mom, dad and even the kids.u

Letter from the Editor

Looking forward to a happy 2013 The year has turned and soon we will have moved into Februar y and March, without taking a breath to enjoy Januar y and all that the New Year has to offer. The national fiscal cliff has been avoided, for now, and San Diego stands in a healthy financial position. While some businesses are closing, the economy in Uptown shows increased signs of improvement, with new business and developments popping up each and ever y week. With Mayor Bob Filner and Council President Todd Gloria leading the City, I rest secure in knowing our communities will be well taken care of. In fact, the first meeting of the Hillcrest Town Council, on Jan. 8, will host Filner, and the Jan. 10 Mission Hills Town Hall meeting will see Gloria addressing his goals for District Three. We look for ward to welcoming Councilmember Marti Emerald, who will now represent Kensington and Talmadge, into our paper’s coverage, too. I am also excited to introduce a new column for San Diego Uptown News, called A Whim and a Prayer. Written by Celene Adams, the column will focus on local business entrepreneurs who offer specialized ser vices to our readers. Adams saw success with a simi-

lar column while writing in New Mexico, and for those interested in being featured, you can find her contact information at the end of the column. In striving toward our goal of being the best resource for our readers – through our in-depth, hyper-local news stories, business features like Adams offers, and pertinent and respected advertising – we will also continue to list and highlight community meetings on our Calendar of Events. Knowing when the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation meets, for example, is the first step in building stronger community involvement. We will be that step. It continues to be an honor to provide our dedicated readers and advertisers a common ground, and I thank both for your support and for helping to make San Diego Uptown News an integral piece of the Uptown community. We are fortunate to live in the wonderful neighborhoods we represent, whether it be Old Town, Mission Hills, Hillcrest, Normal Heights, Golden Hill, South Park, University Heights, North Park, Kensington, Talmadge or Bankers Hill. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013. —Anthony King, editoru

Letters Mixed response, missed options in local music scene And that, in a nutshell, is why no one takes SD music seriously [see “The year in music,” Vol. 4, Issue 26]. —Dan, via During the year Martinis Above Fourth and the MA4 Cabaret Supperclub has brought world class cabaret to Hillcrest, featuring musicians, singers [and] comedy personalities, plus promoting local entertainers to their patrons [see “The

year in music,” Vol. 4, Issue 26]. Be sure to check out our website during 2013. —Jim Simpson, via

Listen more, talk less to understand violence As a former military member, medic and lawenforcement professional, I can tell you that a man with a sharpened stick and a burning desire to kill you will do it. The task at hand is not to take away all the sticks, but to understand the desire [see “Why I’m thankful for our strict gun regulations,

even if they might not work,” Vol. 4, Issue 26]. If people really want to stop the violence, they need to listen more and talk less. They need to ask questions, and they can’t be afraid of the answers. But most violent crime is in the inner cities, and the answers will peripherally involve race. And people aren’t ready to talk about that yet. So they push an agenda instead, one that has been proven by the CDC and NIJ to do nothing to improve the quality of life in the inner cities. So who really cares about stopping the violence? No one I can find. —Eric, via sduptownnews.comu

DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Katherine Harkenrider (619) 961-1955 Brennan MacLean (619) 961-1957 Jennifer Muth (619) 961-1963 Deborah Vazquez (619) 961-1956 ART DIRECTOR Rebecah Corbin (619) 961-1961 ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Anulak Singphiphat (619) 961-1954 ACCOUNTING Denise Davidson (619) 961-1962 SALES ASSISTANTS Marie Khris Pecjo Andrea Goodchild Michael Burlaza 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 For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION San Diego Uptown News is distributed free, every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2013. All rights are reserved. Printed in the United States of America.



Resources and Culture, Marti Emerald for Public Safety and Housing, Faulconer for Audit, and Lorie Zapf for Land Use and Housing.

TALMADGE MAINTENANCE ASSESSMENT DISTRICT STARTS YEAR WITH NEW BOARD MEMBERS Elected October 2012, new board members of the Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District (TMAD) will begin service at the first TMAD meeting of the year. Held Jan. 22, the group will welcome Erik Judson, Erin Judson, Fred Lindahl, Kevin Heiss, Martin Flores and Rudy Heilig to the district board. Outgoing board members include Cindy Seabloom, Debbie Sanders, Elvia Sandoval, George Diefenthal and Gil Sandoval. The six new members were selected from 11 eligible individuals, and the board meets on the fourth Friday of each month. Founded in 1999, TMAD is funded by property taxes in the Talmadge neighborhood, as well as City and County grants. The money is used to improve the community through landscaping and restoration of community structures, including last year’s completion of the Talmadge historical streetlights. The Jan. 22 meeting will be held at Franklin Elementary School, located at Monroe and Copeland avenues. For more information contact Lindahl, the TMAD chair, at

SUSPECT IN NORTH PARK ROBBERY STILL AT LARGE The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) wants the public’s help in identifying the suspect who robbed a North Park gas station in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve. According to the press release, a clerk at the USA Gas Station located at 3255 University Ave., just west of the 805 freeway, said a Hispanic male in his mid 20s entered the store and brandished a shortbarreled silver revolver at the clerk and demanded money. When the clerk refused, a struggle ensued during which the suspect hit the clerk in the face with the gun. He then reached over the counter and fled the store with the entire register drawer. The struggle was caught on surveillance video, which is available at SDPD Downtown headquarters on Broadway at the customer service counter. The suspect was between 5 foot 5 inches and 5 foot 8 inches tall, had a medium build, and a dark blue hooded sweatshirt pulled over a white bandana on his head. Anyone with any information on this robbery is asked to contact the SDSU Robbery Unit at 619-531-2299 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

2012 CRAIG NOEL AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNCED The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle announced Dec. 21, 2012 the nominees for the 2012 Craig Noel Awards, which will be handed out in a ceremony Feb. 4 in La Jolla, Calif. The Old Globe’s world-premiere production “Allegiance—An American Musical” lead the nominations with Moxie Theatre’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” with six nominations each. Cygnet Theatre’s “Parade” and The Old Globe’s “The Scottsboro Boys” both received five nominations. In addition to The Old Globe and Cygnet, other theater companies in Uptown were recognized with nominations, including nods for Diversionary Theatre’s “Harmony, Kansas,” “Pippin” and “Altar Boyz” and several productions for ion theatre company, based in Hillcrest. Deborah Roberts has been nominated for Outstanding Costume Design for San Diego Musical Theatre’s “White Christmas,” which played at the Birch North Park Theatre, and Uptown resident Shaun Tuazon received an Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical for his role in Circle Circle dot dot’s “Deconstruction of a Drag Queen.” The nominees represent over 45 San Diego theatrical productions and 110 local artists. In addition to the 23 designated categories, eight additional awards will also be handed out, from Outstanding Young Artist to Actor of the Year.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS TO HELP TEEN ‘HEAL THE WORLD’ Named after a Bay Area philanthropist, the Helen Diller Foundation put an idea she had into action six years ago and it has now given more than $1 million to 30 Jewish teens through an award called Tikkun Olam, which is a central precept of Judiasm and means “Heal the World.” This year the awards are expanding nationally, offering $36,000 to 10 teens “whose volunteer service projects demonstrate a determined commitment to make the world a better place,” said a press release. Deadline for nominations is Sunday, Jan. 6. Nominees should be a U.S. resident, between 13-19 years of age, and self-identify as Jewish. They can be nominated by their teachers, community leaders, rabbis or themselves, but cannot be nominated by their family members. Community service projects they are involved in must be on a volunteer basis and can benefit either the Jewish community or the general population. “It has been a joy to celebrate so many incredible Jewish teens over the past six years, and to support them in their efforts to repair the world,” said Helen Diller, president of the sponsoring foundation. “This opportunity to empower and nurture teens throughout the United States is a dream come true, and a simple way to foster the spirit of tikkun olam among our future leaders.” According to the press release, past recipients have gone on to create nonprofits, social media fundraising campaigns, and a wide range of projects that support causes such as education, tolerance issues, autism awareness, anti-poverty efforts, environmental responsibility, wildfire safety and others. Those wishing to nominate a teen by the deadline must do so online:

GSDBA TO HOST FORMER FILNER CAMPAIGN CONSULTANT As part of their monthly professional luncheon series, the Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) will welcome Tom Shepard, a veteran Republican political consultant with over 30 years experience. Shepard helped guide former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders into public office and, most recently, led the mayoral campaign of Mayor Bob Filner, a Democrat. Successful ballot measures Shepard championed include the Convention Center, Padres baseball ballpark and Legoland amusement park. Past speakers for the GSDBA luncheons include Council President Todd Gloria, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Congresswoman Susan Davis and Downtown San Diego Partnership CEO Kris Michell, among others. The luncheon, which will have Shepard speak to the crowd before a question and answer period, will be held at Wang’s North Park restaurant, located at 3029 University Ave. in North Park. Tickets for the event include lunch and cost $25 pre-pay and $30 at the door. For more information and tickets visit or call 619-296-4543. COUNCIL PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES 2013 COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES The San Diego City Council voted Dec. 17, 2012 on the appointment of committee members, which will be effective until December 2013. Council President Todd Gloria made the announcement, and also proposed the introduction of a new committee. “I am proposing creation of the Infrastructure Committee to bring necessary focus to the condition of the City’s streets, sidewalks and structures,” Gloria said. “I have heard the call of San Diegans that they are tired of driving over potholes and tripping over sidewalks. This committee will be able to develop comprehensive solutions to a citywide challenge.” Councilmember Mark Kersey will head the Infrastructure Committee, highlighting the condition of the City’s infrastructure as a priority. Councilmember Sherry Lightner will replace Councilmember Kevin Faulconer as Council president pro tem, becoming the first woman to hold the position. Lightner will also report on how the committees are functioning and reexamine the committee structure in six months time. The report will coincide with a possible election of a new councilmember in District Four as Councilmember Tony Young takes over as chief executive of the American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties in January. Other heads of committees will remain in place: Gloria for Budget, David Alvarez for Natural

San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013




Answer key, page 16

Uptown Crossword

LOCAL PR FIRM CHOSEN BY REGIONAL BRANCH OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD In time for its 50th anniversary celebration this year, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Inc. has chosen local public relations firm Scatena Daniels Communications to handle marketing and provide strategic leadership for the milestone. “As a communications agency committed to non-profits and socially-responsible companies in San Diego County, we are thrilled to work with Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest and help share their story of commitment and leadership of providing professional, reproductive health care services throughout the region,” said Arika Daniels, founding partner, in a press release. Scatena Daniels was launched in 2009 by Daniels and Denise Scatena and encompasses all aspects of marketing, public relations and social media. Planned Parenthood of Pacific Southwest provides confidential and comprehensive medical services to residents of San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties, and has one location in Bankers Hill.u

Super Sleuths

Answer key, page 16


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013


Hillcrest Town Council

Community-focused grassroots group enhances quality of life

By Luke Terpstra SDUN Guest Columnist

“To provide a voice and enhance the quality of life for Hillcrest renters and homeowners, and to support actions that benefit our neighborhood.” This has been the Hillcrest Town Council’s (HTC) mission statement since the beginning, and this article would not be complete without starting at the beginning where all the pieces of the puzzle came together. The first meeting was Jan. 9, 2007 when a very grassroots group began to put together their voice. What makes activists gather, stand and speak? For the first meeting of the HTC it was neighbors’ concerns for graffiti, crime and inappropriate development that was changing the character of Hillcrest. Change is a natural thing. It is to be expected and appreciated, however it does not get a free pass. This was of major concern to the early council members. The newly formed HTC joined other organizations that backed the Interim Height Ordinance (IHO). The IHO would limit height in Hillcrest to 65 feet until everyone

could participate in a comprehensive update of the Uptown Community Plan. The IHO was passed by the San Diego City Council in July 2008, and has since been extended twice. The Uptown Community Plan is in the process of being updated. In August 2007, a group of concerned citizens – later established as the nonprofit Save Hillcrest – won a lawsuit aimed at stopping a high-rise development at 301 University Ave. The developers had failed to provide an Environmental Impact Report and their approvals had been invalidated. Hillcrest has a rich character. In 2007 (as Hillcrest was celebrating it’s centennial year) the American Planning Association announced that Hillcrest had been designated one of the Ten Great Neighborhoods in America. That didn’t just happen; it was because our neighbors, business members and LGBT community care, and we think every day about what we are doing for and to our neighborhood. The HTC listens to the community through conversations that we have with our neighbors, through the “contact us” feedback section on our website at or during our meetings in the public comment period. In the week before each HTC meeting, an e-blast flyer is sent out to the “HTC list,” informing neighbors about who is going to speak at

A Place of Transformation

Moving through the holidays and into New Year, it seems many of us want things to be somehow better than they have been maybe even for life to be an exciting adventure! Whether it’s the resolutions we eagerly create or just a feeling of wanting things to be different than they have been, we find ourselves wanting. Universal Spirit Center is a gathering of people who activate the sometimes hidden potential within each person. This January we offer three different opportunities to discover the potential that lies within each of us. We invite you to check out any of the three courses the first night with no cost or obligation to see if this experience is calling you to the newness and excitement you’ve been wanting. You might want to check out our website above or give us a call. Regardless of what you decide, have the best New Year ever!

the meetings and issues that may be discussed. If you would like to be on the email list, you may contact us on the website or give any board member your address at a meeting. The list is only used for announcements. The organizational structure of the HTC starts with the board of directors: five community-building minded people who live within the boundaries of the HTC are elected or appointed every year in March. In 2013, we will be filling three board positions. We rely on new board members for fresh ideas and renewed interest. If you are interested in talking about how you can serve, contact us. The Steering Committee meets on the last Monday of every month to plan the HTC meeting. This is where ideas are born and decisions are made regarding who we might invite to be guest speakers. The Steering Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. at Ortega’s, A Mexican Bistro at 141 University Ave., whose owner graciously allows us to meet in the upstairs dining room, and we thank him. Among some of our longstanding sub-committees is the Development Committee, where interested members keep an eye on projects that show up on the horizon. They also have assembled design principles, which will be used to update the current Uptown Community Plan. We have a Neighborhood Improvement Committee (NIC),

which began as the Hillcrest Clean T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More), originally created by the Hillcrest History Guild. They still store all our cleaning equipment for us, and we thank them. If anyone has any free storage space to store our cleaning supplies, that would be great. Please contact us. Everyone knows the Clean T.E.A.M. by the orange T-shirts they wear, along with the brooms, dustpans and rolling barrels they use to clean the streets. When you see them please thank them for their help in keeping Hillcrest clean. They organize quarterly community clean ups and partner with San Diego LGBT Pride every year for an after-Pride clean up along the parade route. San Diego Pride generously donates money to the HTC, which helps us continue our work. In addition, the NIC presents the popular L.I.O.N. awards (Let’s Improve Our Neighborhood) a few times a year to recognize enhancements to Hillcrest properties. The HTC also enlists the help of neighbors as representatives. For example, we have a representative for the Uptown Community Plan Update who serves on the Development Committee and we have two representatives who were elected by the HTC to serve on the Uptown Parking Advisory Board. The parking board chose one of our representatives to be their president and chose the

other to be their secretary. Finally, we have two representatives who serve on SANDAG’s Uptown Regional Bike Corridor Advisory Group. These volunteer representatives serve honorably on their boards and groups and also keep the HTC informed on their progress. Other ad-hoc committees are formed at the board’s discretion to focus on a particular issue or problem. We celebrate HTC’s successes like saving Filbert’s Tree from the chain saw at Richmond Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, opening the second lane at Tenth and Robinson avenues to minimize the bottleneck of backed-up traffic, the Clean T.E.A.M. marching in the Pride Parade and the L.I.O.N. awards. We also celebrate the fact that the HTC was formed, organized and continues its forward march with the help of activists and volunteers who love their community. It is their help and commitment that motivates the HTC to carry out its mission. The HTC meets the second Tuesday of every month (except December), at 6:30 p.m. at the Joyce Beers Community Center on Vermont Street in the Uptown Shopping Center. We serve coffee, cookies and community spirit. There are no fees or dues, however we do “pass the hat,” and if you feel like putting in a couple of bucks it would be much appreciated. —Luke Terpstra is the current board chair of the Hillcrest Town Council. He moved to Hillcrest in May 1995 with his husband David from Vashon Island, Wash. Luke can be reached at u



begin our time together by spending about 15 minutes discussing their objectives,” Roes said. Determining clients’ needs in this way, before starting to shop, makes selecting items once in the store more efficient and effective. However, it’s also time consuming, which is why Roes has decided to add virtual consulting to her repertoire. “[Virtual consulting] takes more prep work on the clients’ part, but it costs less,” she said. In virtual consultations, clients do the up-front work themselves, taking photos of their existing clothes and sending them to Roes, who suggests different combinations, color choices, accents, additions or alterations, and directs them to where they can buy complementary pieces. The venture is just one of several that she foresees implementing, along with writing ebooks about her clients’ transformations, creating a membership-based online community with videos, webinars and client forums, partnering with local businesses to provide workshops, conducting group sessions, and consulting at swap parties. “I’m good at seeing the possibilities,” she said, laughing. Indeed, it seems possibility is largely what styling one’s wardrobe is all about. “There are no rules,” Roes said. Nothing is fixed, so there’s no need to worry about wearing white after Labor Day or matching shoes and bags. While fashion pundits tend to make cut-and-dried pronouncements about what people need in their closets, clothing choice is not a one-sizefits-all proposition, Roes said. It’s “an organic process,” one that’s particu-

lar to the changing circumstances of every individual’s life. It was Austrian-American psychologist Ernest Dichter who first made the analogy between our closets and our lives. As Dichter put it, “Each time the door is opened, all [our] possessions, past and present, fall out.” Perhaps, if Dichter had hired a stylist, he would have added that it’s possible to turn such disarray to design. —A Whim and a Prayer profiles the trials and triumphs of entrepreneurs intrepid enough to put their fanciful ideas and unique talents to the test in today’s volatile marketplace. If you are a local business owner and you would like to be featured in this column, contact Celene Adams at or visit

Business owner:

Debbie Roes Business type: Wardrobe styling Years in business: One Services: In-person and virtual styling, wardrobe audits, gift certificates

Market niche: Often works with clients experiencing life transitions and/or personal issues Business philosophy: Unleashing

possibility and working with what you have


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013

Helping the ‘unbanked’ get affordable financial services

By Jason Alderman SDUN Guest Columnist

According to a recent survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the U.S. Census Bureau, 17 million American adults now live in “unbanked” households, while another 51 million are considered “underbanked.” In other words, over 28 percent of households either have no traditional checking or savings accounts (unbanked); or their basic financial needs aren’t being met by their bank or credit union so they also rely on alternative lenders like check-cashing services or payday loans (underbanked). There have always been millions of Americans who are either unable to – or choose not to – conduct their financial transactions through a bank. Common reasons cited include: • Don’t have enough money to need an account • Don’t write enough checks to justify monthly fees and minimum balance requirements; just buy money orders when needed • Lack of proper identification • Denied accounts due to bad

banking track record • Language barriers • Bad previous banking experience or lack of trust in banking institutions. Big retailers and other alternative financial services providers have rushed to fill the void for customers who can’t – or won’t – use banks or credit card issuers. For example, lists dozens of prepaid cards that offer many of the same functionalities as regular credit or debit cards, including direct deposit, online purchases and bill pay, ATM access, et cetera. Other businesses provide such varied services as check cashing, money orders, wire transfers, and payday, pawnshop or car-title loans. However, charges for these services can quickly add up. After you’ve paid a fee to cash your paycheck and bought money orders to pay your monthly bills, you probably will have spent far more than the $5 to $15 a month a regular checking account typically costs. Although monthly checking and savings account fees at large banks have risen, you still may be able to find free or low-cost accounts at banks and credit unions. To find competitive bank account rates, visit To find a credit union for which you might be eligible, use the Credit Union Locator at ncua. gov. High fees aside, there’s also a safety risk factor to being unbanked. Carrying or storing cash at home tempts robbers; also, money can easily be destroyed in a


fire or other natural disaster. Plus, money deposited in FDIC-insured banks is insured up to $250,000 per account (similar insurance is available to credit union accounts through NCUA). It’s also more difficult for unbanked consumers to improve their credit scores due to lack of access to credit-building products like credit cards and loans. To help bring unbanked and underbanked people into the system, an increasing number of public and private programs like Bank On ( are being formed. These voluntary partnerships between local or state governments, financial institutions and community-based organizations provide low-income people with free or low-cost starter or “second chance” bank accounts and access to financial education. In addition, many financial education resources are available, including: •, the government’s website dedicated to teaching Americans the basics about financial education • FDIC’s MoneySmart program of financial education workshops ( • Practical Money Skills for Life (, a free personal financial management program run by Visa Inc. There’s no law that says everyone must have a traditional banking relationship. But if you choose to go unbanked, carefully investigate the financial consequences, you may not be saving money after all. —Jason Alderman directs Visa’s financial education programs. Follow Jason on Twitter: PracticalMoney.u


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013



Joe Magnanelli CUCINA urbana

TRENDS Jon Mangini URBN Coal Fired Pizza, BASIC and Gang Kitchen Upcoming: “It’s gotta be Asian because ever since I started the project for Gang Kitchen [now open in the Gaslamp District], I’ve seen more Asian places opening up. Everything’s about noodles, so I think I’m on the right trend. I’m also hopeful that we’ll see more fine dining restaurants opposed to fast and casual.” Outgoing: “Please, no more restaurants that make you feel like you’re in a forest of repurposed wood the second you walk through the door.” Karen Krasne Extraordinary Desserts

Joe Busalacchi (Courtesy i.d.e.a.)

Upcoming: “I think we are going to see smaller portions served at restaurants. People aren’t eating as much as they used to so creating smaller portions with more options to choose from will be essential to pleasing the customer. We’re already seeing a trend towards using less flour and switching to organic, gluten-free options.” Outgoing: “Oversized entrees.” Elijah Freebairn Uptown Tavern

Joe Magnanelli (Courtesy h2 public relations)

Upcoming: “Recently on the East Coast we’ve noticed a lot of in-house distilling where bars have oak barrels and are making their own whiskey. But I was inspired to bring the concept to the heart of the house with barrel-aged balsamic and red wine vinegars. I think it’s something totally unique for 2013.” Outgoing: “I’ve recently saw someone post a picture of a caprese salad with a mozzarella balloon, parmesan powder and balsamic caviar, all on top of a poor-quality Roma tomato. The tomato is supposed to be the star of the dish. You don’t need to manipulate ingredients to the point of non-recognition. Let’s get back to basics.” Ricardo Heredia Alchemy

Karen Krasne (Courtesy Red Coral Public Relations)

Upcoming: “Gluten-free will continue to grow. Customers’ enthusiastic feedback keeps me developing more layer cakes, cookies and layered mousses in a glass [trifle style]. Desserts can be just as delicious and decadent without gluten. Even brides want their cakes as such.” Outgoing: “I’d like to see the trend of mixing odd things like bacon and veggies with chocolate go away.” Joe Busalacchi A Modo Mio and Busalacchi Restaurants

Elijah Freebairn (Courtesy Alternative Strategies, Inc.)

Upcoming: “I’m a big fan of off-cut types of protein such as pork or beef cheeks and short ribs instead of filet mignon. We’ll continue seeing slow-braising techniques for these meats because they turn out way more flavorful.” Outgoing: “I’d like to do away with tapas-style menus, which doesn’t seem so cost-friendly to consumers. I’d rather see it go more toward appetizers, entrees and desserts for a complete experience.”

Ricardo Heredia (Photo by Marisa Holmes)

Upcoming: “I see more chefs getting involved with cocktail making and pairing them to their foods. I’m also seeing Scandinavian food slowly emerging, with chefs using indigenous Scandinavian ingredients with modern cooking techniques.” Outgoing: “I’m sick of seeing menus beat down and overuse the term ‘sustainability’ when it may not be 100 percent true.”u

DINING Fried chicken between cheese waffles (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013

3-D dining


Avocado three ways (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)


The holiday sweets I encountered last month sucked. A tin of homemade cookies that my aunt sent were reduced to crumbs in the mailing process. A box of cocoa-dusted truffles I purchased for a party tasted like cheap fudge. And the apple pie our hosts served after Christmas dinner was store-bought. To make up for lost sugar, I headed to D Bar with a sweettoothed companion in tow. Yes, the “D” stands for “desserts,” but it also signifies “drinking” from a full liquor inventory and “dining” from a menu of savories that live up to the magnificent confections conceived by acclaimed pastry wizard Keegan Gerhard and his wife, Lisa Bailey, also an accomplished pastry chef. By order of anyone who has dined at D Bar since it opened last year, save room for dessert, specifically the “cake and shake,” which features a wedge of three-layer chocolate cake made with sour cream and Madagascar chocolate frosting. The sour cream, says Keegan, tenderizes the crumb. Blatantly so, its melt-in-yourmouth texture bewitches upon first bite. Gerhard, who also emcees the “Food Network Challenge” TV shows, was twice named one of the top 10 pastry chefs by Chocolatier Magazine. His use of rich and silky chocolate continues across the dessert menu in “faux foster banana imposter” involving chocolate cremeux piped between two Belgian waffles that are topped with the caramelized fruit. A seat at the spacious dessert bar (highly recommended) put us in direct eyeshot of the pastry team assembling the creation practically non-stop, with an occasional molten chocolate cake being yanked from the oven. Savories are cooked in a concealed kitchen at the rear of the D Bar’s lofty interior, which

also features a booze bar and table seating throughout the middle area. But no matter where you sit, full wait service for the entire menu is provided. Visiting for dinner, we began with a couple of appetizers that differed dramatically in terms of weight and refinement. The “avos avos avos” involved three treatments of avocado on the same plate: as fondue with goat cheese; raw and dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper; and a fried wedge encased in crispy filo strands. Exquisite. More substantial was a deep bowl of “crue fries” that likely resembled in calories those heaping portions of carne asada fries I’ve devoured after late-night bar crawls. These are deliciously flooded with cheese sauce, shaved Jack and cheddar, bacon and Ranch dressing. There is also garlic, Parmesan and chives at work. Your chances of accommodating dessert diminish greatly if you consume the fries solo.

D BAR 3930 Fifth Ave. (HILLCREST)

619-299-3227 Dinner prices: Starters, $6 to $12; entrees, $11 to $25; desserts, $8 to $15

From the entrée section, my companion ordered short ribs that were braised in Coca Cola and served de-boned over buttery mushrooms and grits spiked with mascarpone cheese. The dish appealed to his Midwest roots. Unlike similar beef recipes I’ve tried using cola; the caramel flavoring wasn’t lost here. The residual sug-

ar from the soda found a welcome host in the tender meat, titillating without tasting overly sweet. The “Southern fried Belgian” is a newfangled version of chicken and waffles, constructed into manageable sandwich form. Honey mustard replaces the customary maple syrup while a dash of cheese goes into the waffles. Tradition is upheld, however, with superlative buttermilk batter encasing the chicken. Needless to say, half of the sandwich came home with me and proved equally filling the next day. Other entrees that appear worth a re-visit include spicerubbed Porterhouse pork, spaghetti with Fontina-stuffed Kobe meatballs and scallops with risotto that is speckled with cocoa nibs. In addition to our “cake and shake,” we encroached on a fruity, non-chocolate dessert called “spring break ’98,” inspired by a trip to Jamaica Gerhard made in his college days. Pineapple and rum naturally factored in,

resulting in a thick ring of the fruit roasted in the liquor and complimented greatly by ginger-macadamia crumble and homemade coconut ice cream. It was our fast pass to the tropics on a painfully chilly night. With a glass of bubbly Moscato d’Asti we kept parked alongside (or a tiramisu martini or chai-infused whiskey if you will), D Bar is a one-stop shop for culinary indulgence. Hang around the dessert bar long enough and you’ll also learn a few valuable tricks pertaining to the art of pastry.u


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013


3755 Sixth Ave. ( H I L L C R E S T )


Happy Hour: 4 to 7 p.m., daily

Wine wind down Come On G e t H a p py ! D r. I n k

Comfy couches, warm lighting and a bottle of expressive Syrah from Chile were among the therapeutic creature comforts that greeted us at Jake’s on 6th Wine Bar after the razzle-frazzle of the holidays passed. Our trio needed a budget break, so we conjured up $18 for the Carabantes Syrah, which behaved like a slightly pricier wine given its soft tannins and soothing floral notes. The Syrah is among several bottles marked down during happy hour, and without an additional corkage fee. “We don’t ever charge corkage fees. We don’t believe in them,” said Jennifer Totah, whose parents opened the well-appointed wine bar

four years ago. Malbec, pinot noir, chardonnay and something called “sweet tea wine” are among the other bargain choices that top off at $18. The latter seems strange, although I’m told the tea wine isn’t excessively sweet and that Southerners have been concocting it ever since they started infusing tea into vodka. Although as a committed fan of distilled grapes, I left off with the notion of “maybe next time or maybe never” for trying the tea juice. The happy hour set can also purchase wines by the glass for $2 off or dabble in the suds from an extensive craft beer selection at $1 off for drafts and bottles. Additionally, a couple bucks are saved when ordering from the abbreviated food menu, which features olive tapenade for $5, a “garden delight” panini for $7 and a small fruit and cheese board for $9. We poked into mildly flavored

hummus instead, served with sliced baguette for $4. With a bottle of fine wine running through our veins and a modest measure of carbs resting in our bellies, we came away spending just over $7 apiece. The atmosphere at Jake’s is what every wine bar should be, with sturdy wood tables mixed among clean, upholstered furniture and evenly distributed soft lighting that compliments wood and stone-façade accents throughout. A row of windowed Bread and doors in hummus, front sepawith a rates the Syrah roomy in(Photo by terior from Dr. Ink) a smokingfriendly patio. In addition to daily happy hour, wines by the bottle are half off on Mondays.u

Restaurant Week returns Over 20 Uptown eateries set to participate Jan. 13 – 18 By Anthony King SDUN Editor

RATINGS: Drinks:

Both the wine and beer lists are fairly ambitious, offering labels that fall between obscure and semi-commercial.


The happy hour menu is limited, but it offers shareable noshes at good prices.


Order by the bottle, and you won’t pay more than $18. Also, no corkage fees are added.


Jake’s is family-owned and staffed, which means they are knowledgeable about the inventory. Customers are greeted in a welcoming manner.


Two thumbs up to daily happy hour, especially in a prime Hillcrest location where guests are afforded plenty of comfort and wiggle room.

Sponsored by the San Diego chapter of the California Restaurant Association (CRA), the City’s biannual Restaurant Week returns this month. For one week, Jan. 13 – 18, over 140,000 people are expected to participate by visiting numerous restaurants, including several in Uptown. Restaurants will be offering three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for $20, $30 or $40 per person. There are over 180 eateries scheduled to offer the special prices. In addition, several restaurants will be offering two-course lunch menus, starting at $10 per person. “San Diego Restaurant Week is the best time to relax at the newest tapas bar one night, dine al fresco by the bay the next and then end the week with an indulgent dessert at one of the city’s most remarkable five-star restaurants,” organizers said in a press release. A quick search online shows over 20 restaurants in Uptown slated to offer discounts to patrons, including Taste of Thai in Hillcrest, The Red Door Restaurant and The Wellington Steak and Martini Lounge in Mission Hills, and Cafe Coyote in Old Town, among others. Organizers said participating is easy, with no need to buy tickets or bring coupons. “There are no passes to buy, no coupons to carry and no cards to punch, only a quick call to the restaurant of your choice to make reservations,” they said. The complete list of restaurants, including prices, cuisine offered and location, is available on the official website, where individuals can search the database by a number of criteria. For instance, 100 Wines Hillcrest is listed by Mediterranean cuisine in the Uptown neighborhood, offering dinner for $30. Hexagone in Bankers Hill is searchable by French cuisine, as well as those offering lunch for $20 and dinner for $40. Alternately, the CRA is offering a Restaurant Week application for smartphones, where patrons can find details on all participating restaurants, compare menus and make reservations. Organizers are recommending advance reservations for all diners, including lunch and dinner. “San Diego is quickly becoming one of the nation’s most diverse and sophisticated culinary destinations,” the release stated. “Restaurant Week … brings the city’s vibrant food scene to life for one week of delicious dining, showcasing the freshest ingredients, most flavorful dishes and tastiest culinary gems that San Diego has to offer.” For more information, including a complete list of participating locations in Uptown, visit sandiegorestaurantweek. com or call 619-233-5008.u



Pg. 17

Volume 5, Issue 1 • Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013 • San Diego Uptown News

Been there, done that the best of 2012, & be there: exciting comings up

‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ (Photo by Kevin Berne)

By Charlene Baldridge SDUN Theater Critic

A short note on what the nearsighted critic thought the best of onstage 2012: I once wrote a year-end wrap up with subcategories like “Everyone else hated it; I loved it. Everyone else loved it; I hated it.” Then there was a category titled “Few bothered to attend.” This year is no exception. There might be a new category titled “They raved; I was indifferent,” all of which causes one to ask, “Did we really see the same thing?” Among the 180-some events, readings, concerts, operas, plays and readings I attended this year, there were many over which others, including laypeople, vehemently contested my views. Some did not see what I saw; others complained that I was way too kind or way too cruel. Oh, maybe not cruel, but perhaps a bit less accepting. It’s an odd thing, loving the art form and occasionally finding the execution falling so far short of what might have been. And one never wants to be the executioner when those on the other side of the lights try so hard. One such confrontation took place at a holiday party where I heard another critic say, “Ask

‘The Scottsb

(Photo by He

Charlene. She liked it.” The subject was “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” a new musical directed by former Artistic Director Des McAnuff recently at La Jolla Playhouse, and inspired by several Flaming Lips albums. I am not a Flaming Lips fan, but I did some research and listening, and found their lyrics simple and profound when dealing

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so abstractly with the diagnosis and death of a promising young woman who loses her battle with cancer. The album was inspired by a friend of Lips leader Wayne Coyne, who is known sometimes for riding atop his audience in a gigantic plastic bubble. You’ve got to love that. I knew from the get-go that Yoshimi couldn’t win: the can-

‘Hoodoo Love’ (Photo by Crissy Pascual/Infinite Media Works)

‘Pippin’ (Photo by Ken Jacques)

cer rollercoaster was truthfully portrayed, the pink-robot enemies (and one gigantic friend) in Yoshimi’s bloodstream were so wondrously conceived, the closing song so strong in its message, that I was totally involved and devastated by the battle and with the take-away message that we must love one another while we can. The spectacle was equaled

‘Deconstruction of a Drag Queen’ (Photo by Rich Soublet)

only by Jake Heggie’s opera “Moby-Dick.” The scenic designer for both was the amazing Robert Brill. Productions I adored also include the world premiere of “Tortilla Curtain,” an adaptation of T.C. Boyle’s novel, produced by San Diego Repertory; circle circle

see Theater, page 14


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013




(Jan. 26 – April 28), is especially pleasing to Campbell. He is staging the West Coast premiere of an opera he much admires (Idelbrando Pizzetti’s “Murder in the Cathedral,” March 30 – April 7), and championing a special engagement of the first Mariachi opera (José “Pepe” Martinez and Leonard Foglia’s “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna,” March 13). Other operas in the repertory are Gaetano Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment” (Jan. 26 – Feb. 3), Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Samson and Delilah” (Feb. 16 – 24) and Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida” (April 20 – 28). All are performed in their original languages with English supertitles. The bilingual “Cruzar” has both English and Spanish supertitles. “The Daughter of the Regiment” features the return of two extraordinary singers, soprano L’ubica Vargicová as the regiment’s tomboy darling, Marie, and tenor Stephen Costello as Tonio, the peasant who loves her. Kevin Burdette portrays Sergeant Sulpice, Tonio’s rival, and divas Ewa Podleś and Carol Vaness make cameo performances as the Marquise de Birkenfeld and the Duchess of Krakenthorp respectively. Campbell wanted to go beyond the Tyrol and lederhosen, so he went with this production from Italy’s Teatro Comunale di Bologna, which moves the time and setting to France in the waning days of World War II. French-Canadian conductor Yves Abel makes his SDO debut. Based on the biblical story and blessed with Saint-Saëns’ voluptuous score, “Samson and Delilah” features Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Nadia Krasteva in her company debut as Delilah. She is paired with renowned tenor Clifton Forbes as the heroic Samson, dependent upon his unshorn locks for his strength. The production is known for its dance, costumes and of course, the collapse of the temple. Campbell said he has been fascinated by “Murder in the Cathedral” (based on T.S. Eliot’s verse drama) since the 1970s, when he laid hands on a pirated reelto-reel tape of the opera’s 1958 La Scala debut. “We have a lot of information about Sir Thomas Becket, even though he was assassinated at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170,” Campbell said. “I also wanted a vehicle for Ferruccio [Furlanetto, a renowned Italian bass who sings here frequently], who loves the role and has performed it twice.” Because there is no production in the U.S., where it has never been performed in a fully staged professional production, SDO created its own, with production design by the renowned Ralph Funicello. La Scala’s Donato Renzetti makes his SDO debut as conductor. One of the most popular, spectacular and aria-laden operas in the repertoire, “Aida,” concerns an Ethiopian slave (Moore) in the ancient Egyptian court who is in love with the battle hero Radames (tenor Walter Fraccaro). Radames is betrothed to Aida’s mistress, Amneris (mezzo Jill Grove). As part of his battle spoils, Radames has captured Aida’s father, Amonasro (Mark S. Doss), and brings him to court along with other enslaved Ethiopians (the famous Triumphal


THEATER dot dot’s “The Deconstruction of a Drag Queen,” which resurfaces in fringe festivals in San Diego and elsewhere this year; Moxie Theatre’s “A Man, His Wife and

General and Artistic Director Ian D. Campbell will direct ‘Murder in the Cathedral.’ (Courtesy San Diego Opera) March). Having been discovered in an attempt to escape, Aida and Radames die together, proclaiming their love in one of grand opera’s unforgettable scenes. Italian conductor Daniele Callegari makes his SDO debut in the pit. Renowned designer Zandra Rhodes, who began her opera career at SDO, creates sets and costumes. Featuring Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitián, the semistaged “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna” (To Cross the Face of the Moon) concerns the Mexican-American Mark Velasquez (Brian Shircliffe) who questions his place in a bicultural world that sweeps him from Michoacán to Texas. Broadway director Leonard Foglia (“MobyDick”) stages the Mariachi opera, which has been acclaimed in Houston, Texas and Paris. Jeff Nevin, well-known Southwestern College Mariachi teacher, said that Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitián is the most important ensemble in the history of mariachi music, and is considered the best mariachi in the world. “Pepe Martinez has been their onstage music director, [and] the face of Mariachi Vargas for about 40 years,” Nevin said. “He’s a legend as a performer and composer.” Campbell said he expects the two performances to sell out. In addition to three conductor debuts this season, Campbell’s deck also includes eye-catching opera posters created by artist R. Black, a San Diego native who got his start 12 years ago with flyers and posters for local underground clubs. Now an artist in residence at Shotgun Players in the San Francisco Bay Area, Black created the poster for actor-playwright Woody Harrelson’s recent off-Broadway play, “A Bullet for Adolf.” Tickets for SDO’s 2013 season are available now. There is no rise in prices this year, and some tickets are being sold at substantial discounts. Three- and four-opera season tickets are still available. Not part of the subscription packages, tickets for “Cruzar” are individually priced. For specific dates and times, further information, and tickets, visit or call 619-533-7000.u

His Hat” and “The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek”; ion theatre company’s productions of “Topdog/ Underdog,” “Chicago: A Speakeasy Cabaret,” “The Little Flower of East Orange,” and “Julia”; The Old Globe’s “Scottsboro Boys” (I paid to see it again), “Richard III,” “Good People,” and “God

of Carnage”; Mo’olelo’s “Hoodoo Love”; La Jolla Playhouse’s wondrously prophetic “Blood and Gifts” and the world-premiere musical “Hands on a Hardbody”; Moonlight’s “Sweeney Todd” and “Fiddler on the Roof”; Lamb’s Player’s “Joe vs. the Volcano”; UCSD’s “In the Red and Brown Water”; Cygnet’s “Parade”; and Diversionary’s “Pippin.” In the “I didn’t see what others thought so wonderful” category I find the Old Globe’s pop culture musical “Nobody Loves You” and “Allegiance—A New American Musical,” the latter with a great story and performances and so-so music. To look for in Januar y: the world premiere of Hershey Felder’s “American Stor y” at the Birch North Park Theatre Jan. 4 – Feb. 3; one-night only reading of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” with Ken Ruta and Jonathan McMurtr y at North Coast Repertor y Theatre Jan. 15; “Pygmalion” with Robert Sean Leonard at The Old Globe Jan. 12 –Feb. 17; the Pulitzer Prize winning “Clybourne Park” Jan. 10 – Feb. 10 at San Diego Repertor y; and San Diego Opera’s “The Daughter of the Regiment,” opening Jan. 26 at the Civic Theatre.u


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San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013




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Puzzle from page 7

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CalendarofEvents FRIDAY, JAN. 4 Preschool story time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Nosh San Diego: 3 – 6 p.m., the original North Park walking tour with stops at The Linkery, Urban Solace, West Coast Tavern, El Comal and Heaven Sent Desserts, 21+, reservations required up to eight people, $55, SATURDAY, JAN. 5 The Point Cleanup: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., wear comfortable shoes and bring gloves, water and sunscreen for this University Heights cleanup event, Rhode Island Street and Golden Gate Drive Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – noon every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free Old Town Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, Harney Street, free Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free SUNDAY, JAN. 6 Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Sunday, Hillcrest DMV, 3960 Normal St., free Prayers for World Peace: 10:30 a.m. to noon, guided meditation drop-in class, Vajrarupini Buddhist Center, 3344 Fourth Ave., Bankers Hill, $10 donation Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Bark, free MONDAY, JAN. 7 North Park Urban Design: 6 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the North Park Planning Committee’s Urban Design/Project Review subcommittee, North Park Recreation Center, 2719 Howard Ave. Bankers Hill Neighborhood Parking Committee: 5 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the parking committee, Merrill Gardens, 2567 2nd Ave. TUESDAY, JAN. 8 Hillcrest Town Council: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., today’s guest speaker at the monthly meeting is Mayor Bob Filner for a “Meeting with the Mayor” question and answer talk, Joyce Beers Community Center, intersection of Vermont Street and Cleveland Avenue, free Adams Avenue board meeting: 8:00 a.m., regular monthly meeting of the Adams Avenue Business Association board, 4649 Hawley Blvd. HBA board meeting: 5 – 6:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Hillcrest Business Association board, Joyce Beers Community Center, 3900 Vermont St. Robin Henkel Band: 8 – 10 p.m., Robin Henkel Band with Whitney Shay and Billy Watson, ArtLab Studios, 3536 Adams Ave., donation accepted Pajama story time: 6:30 – 7 p.m., children are invited to come dressed in their pajamas, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free North Park design committee: 5:30 p.m., regular monthly North Park Main Street design committee meeting, 3076 University Ave., free WEDNESDAY, JAN. 9 North Park Main Street: 7:30 – 9 a.m., regular monthly board meeting, 3076 University Ave., free LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch

Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Ken-Tal Planning Group: 6:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Kensington-Talmadge Planning Group, Franklin Elementary School Auditorium, 4481 Copeland Ave. Lion’s Club of North Park: noon – 1:30 p.m., regular weekly lunch of the North Park Lion’s Club, 3927 Utah St. Golden Hill Planning Committee: 6:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Greater Golden Hill CDC committee, Balboa Golf Course clubhouse, 2600 Golf Course Dr. The Boulevard board meeting: 4 – 5 p.m., rescheduled from Jan. 2, El Cajon Boulevard Business Association board meeting, 3727 El Cajon Blvd. Old Town Community Planning Group: 3:30 – 5 p.m., regular monthly meeting, Whaley House Museum, 2476 San Diego Ave. The Boulevard design meeting: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., regular El Cajon Boulevard Business Association committee meeting, 3727 El Cajon Blvd.

THURSDAY, JAN. 10 Mission Hills Town Hall: 6 p.m., regular meeting of the Mission Hills Town Council with special guest Council President Todd Gloria outlining district goals for 2013, Francis Parker School, 4201 Randolph St. North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free Adams Avenue Promotions Committee: 8:30 a.m., regular monthly meeting of the Adams Avenue Business Association Promotions Committee, 4649 Hawley Blvd. FRIDAY, JAN. 11 Preschool story time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free SATURDAY, JAN. 12 PF Sloan: 7:30 p.m., 1960s musician PF Sloan performs as part of the AMSD Concerts series, 4650 Mansfield St., $20 - $47, UH Library Children’s Program: 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts event for children, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd. Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – noon every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free Old Town Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, Harney Street, free Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Ray at Night: 6 – 10 p.m., monthly art walk featuring over 25 galleries and businesses, Ray Street in North Park, free SUNDAY, JAN. 13 Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Sunday, Hillcrest DMV, 3960 Normal St., free Prayers for World Peace: 10:30 a.m. to noon, guided meditation drop-in class, Vajrarupini Buddhist Center, 3344 Fourth Ave., Bankers Hill, $10 donation Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Bark, free MONDAY, JAN. 14 Spider Heart: 9 p.m., San Francisco-based band with vocalist May Black, Eleven, 3519 El Cajon Blvd., $4, 21+ TUESDAY, JAN. 15 Adams Avenue Business Planning & Development: 8:00 a.m., regular monthly meeting of the Adams Avenue Business Association committee, 4649 Hawley Blvd.

Talmadge Community Council: 6:30 – 8 p.m., regular bi-monthly meeting for the Talmadge Community Council, a forum of Talmadge neighbors, leaders and officials, private residence, 4760 Miracle Dr. Pajama story time: 6:30 – 7 p.m., children are invited to come dressed in their pajamas, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 16 Jessica Hull: 9 p.m., singersongwriter Jessica Hull hosting a special birthday show, Lestat’s coffee shop, 3343 Adams. Ave. The Boulevard Promotions meeting: noon – 1:30 p.m., new date for the El Cajon Boulevard Business Association committee meeting, 3727 El Cajon Blvd. LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free North Park Public Facilities: 6 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the North Park Planning Committee’s Public Facilities, Transportation, Parks & Public Art subcommittee, North Park Recreation Center, 2719 Howard Ave. THURSDAY, JAN. 17 The Boulevard annual meeting: 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., annual El Cajon Boulevard Business Association meeting, 3727 El Cajon Blvd. North Park Historical Society: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting, 3795 Utah St., free North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free Greater Golden Hill CDC: 6:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the community development corporation, SDYS Golden Hill Center, 2220 Broadwayu

San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013



San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013


The Hollywood house

In the 1920s everyone went to the movies, some brought a bit of tinsel town home HouseCalls

Michael Good When the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was released almost 12 years ago, the filmmakers braced themselves. They knew Tolkien fans could go a little crazy. They just weren’t expecting them to go crazy over the sets. Since the earliest days of Hollywood, sets have been illusions: flimsy façades made of plywood, paint, chicken wire, plaster and canvas. They were designed to fool the camera, then fall apart. So when film fans showed up at the New Zealand sheep ranch where Hobbiton had been constructed, they found a moldy façade instead of Middle Earth. Fast-forward 10 years, to pre-production for “The Hobbit.” The filmmakers and the sheep rancher were prepared. This time, Hobbiton was designed as a working set and a permanent tourist attraction. This interplay between architectural reality and fantasy has been going on since the earliest days of Hollywood, when homebuilders began looking to the movies for inspiration. The collaboration went further than that: set designers became architects, movie producers became real estate developers, and studio carpenters and painters got jobs building real houses using their make-believe skills. Hollywood became both a real and imaginary place. And Americans loved it. In 1920, 38 million people attended the movies weekly. By 1930, it was 90 million per week, or 73 percent of the U.S. population. If there was a man behind the curtain for this whole wacky fusion of fact and fantasy, it

was a Hollywood set designer named Harry Oliver. Oliver was a writer, art director and raconteur who spent the 1920s designing sets for films starring Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Janet Gaynor. Oliver had a San Diego connection as well. He designed and built an adobe house for him-self in Borrego Springs in the early 1930s. And for the World’s Fair in 1935, he designed Gold Gulch, a movie set without a movie. Among the many visitors to the popular attraction was the Knott family, who in 1940 built their own version of a Western gold mining town in Buena Park. But Oliver is most famous today for two buildings he designed near Hollywood: the Spadena House and the Tam O’Shanter Inn. The Spadena house was built first on the Willat Studio lot in 1921 and moved, in 1934, to Beverly Hills. The Tam O’Shanter Inn was built in 1922 as a restaurant. It resembled a film set, both inside and out. Oliver had been influenced by German expressionists, and both these buildings are off-kilter, obviously fake and moody, but the mood is more playful than foreboding. Walt Disney loved the Tam – it was close enough to his first studio that it became his unofficial commissary – and he had his own table there. It takes no large leap of the imagination to see how the building influenced Disney’s designs for fairy tale cottages in his films. By the mid-20s Hollywood and surrounding neighborhoods were dotted with little Oliver-inspired storybook houses. The trend spread throughout the Southland, where romantic revival houses in the Spanish, English and Colonial style had already begun displac-

The Spadena House in Beverly Hills, Calif.

(Photo by Kafziel/Wikipedia)

ing the serious, honest and forthright Craftsman bungalow. Many 1920s houses were filled with whimsical touches like faux-painted woodwork, dramatic sponge-painted walls, distressed wood shutters, and fake stonewalls, turrets and towers. Some houses played with scale, like the forced perspective of a Hollywood set (or Cinderella’s castle). Instead of walking directly into the living room, as with a Craftsman bungalow, houses unfolded through narrow arched portals and small twisting staircases. It was escapist architecture. In San Diego, Hollywood found a home in Talmadge Park, a development named for the three Talmadge sisters: Norma, Constance and Natalie. They were among the biggest stars of their day but, just as in Hollywood, the stars were not the true driving force behind Talmadge Park. Natalie was married to Buster Keaton, who was an investor. Norma was married to Joseph M. Schenck, who was the head of United Artists Corporation and also an investor. Other investors included Sid Grauman, of the famous Chinese theater; Louis B. Mayer, vice president of MGM; and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, the huge (in every sense of the word) star, who, coincidentally, was also a regular at the Tam O’Shanter. The first phase of Talmadge Park began in 1925 at the intersection of Adams Avenue

and Talmadge Drive. All the houses were in the revival style. The real estate office for the development (called The Wonder House of Stone) is still there. Like a Storybook house, it’s deceptive. It appears big, but isn’t. The house is pushed to the back of the lot, making it appear part of a grand estate, which it also isn’t. And it’s not really made of stone. The Depression put an end to the storybook style, and to many of the revival styles of the 1920s. Although they had good reason, Americans didn’t want to escape anymore. They even stopped going to the movies. WeekWeek ly attendance began to drop in 1930 and never fully recovered. Today only nine percent of the U.S. population goes to the movies weekly. Is every 1920s house storybook? Not in the sense of the Spadena House. But a revival house, by its very nature, is pretendpretend ing to be something it’s not. Not that it was made to deceive. The typical 1920s homeowner knew their house wasn’t actually a little castle. They weren’t fooled by the plaster walls that had been scored and faux painted to resemble stone. They didn’t think Rapunzel lived in the tower over the entry. They knew the beams hadn’t really been carved by some gap-toothed village idiot with an axe. They knew all of this, and the fact that they knew it demonstrated their sophistication. Restoring a fairy-tale house is a lot harder than restoring an arts and crafts bungalow. There’s less information about romantic revivals, less color photography showing what the paint treatments, stain colors, faux painting and other detailing looked like. The restored Balboa Theatre, built in 1926, gives an idea of the paint treatments of the era. Or you can check out the Norma Talmadge Estate in Los Angeles on the web. It’s truly an eye opener. —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 fourth-generation San Diegan and lives in North Park. You can reach him at

Habit hacks: A personal trainer’s guide to conquering your New Year’s resolution

Brian White F itness

When you make a New Year’s resolution, what you are really saying is that you want to make a change in your lifestyle. At one point or another, each one of us has attempted to make a change. I would venture to guess that you realize making a worthwhile change is difficult. Your entire life is just a series of habits. Most are unconscious, but some are a direct result of effort and persistence. The quality of your life is 100 percent dependent on the things you do, day in and day out. If you are not aware of your current habits, it will be difficult to focus your energy into creating new ones. You can create extremely strong new habits and eliminate old

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: January 15 (Sunday) Blessing of the Animals: This event encourages visitors to bring pets for a blessing from the local Catholic priest and will include other animalthemed events, a costume and trick contest and much more. Led by Monsignor Mark Campbell, the annual Benediction of the Beasts celebrates St. Anthony of the Desert, the Patron Saint of Animals.

January 28 (Saturday) Mormon Battalion Day: Learn more about the Mormon Battalion unique contributions to early San Diego’s history and enjoy historic children’s crafts, a Dutch oven bakeoff, cannon firing, and other activities.

ones by focusing and creating the proper strategy. Here are several hacks to help you get there: • Use the 21-day method. Studies show that the if you want to create the memory traces or patterns in the brain that form the foundation of a habit you need to do it for 21 straight days, without missing a day. I have used this method in my fitness programs for years and the most common feedback I get after Twenty-one days is that it feels weird not to do the newly engrained habit. 21 days is realistic, actionable and will build all the momentum you need to make this habit a part of your life. • Choose only one habit at a time. There is no need to complicate your effort. Stay laser focused on one habit in 21 days. The only exception is you can piggyback habits that complement each other. If your goal is to exercise every day, you could also decide to have a green smoothie each morning before you exercise. • Use visual cues. Give yourself reminders everywhere. Put notes in places where you will be when it’s time for this habit: a yellow sticky note on your bathroom mirror, a note on your scale or a picture inside the snack cabinet. Whatever it takes. • Start with an easy habit. If you have a track record of unsuccess-

FITNESS ful resolutions, you may need to build some momentum and show yourself that you can achieve goals when they are properly structured. After you finish the easy “test-run” habit, you’ll be firing on all cylinders to conquer your next habit. • Do it the same every day. Make sure you perform your new habit at the same time and same place every single day. If your new habit is part of a currently established daily routine, do it then. The process must be followed. • Find like-minded people. Creating big lifestyle changes is not easy, there will be times you need support. Ask for help before you need it. Find a support group of like-minded people. Whether it’s a boot camp, yoga class or an online support group, at some point you will need someone to keep you on track. • Figure out your why. To achieve anything worthwhile, there always has to be a why. Why do you want this so bad? To impress your friends? Doctor’s orders? While that can be motivating, research proves the more you want it for yourself, the more likely you will stick to it. • Break it down to make it achievable. If your goal is to lose 40 pounds break it down into actionable habits. Set a 21-day habit to walk eight miles every day or a 21day habit to eat only grilled chicken and lightly steamed vegetables after noon each day. Losing 40 pounds is a goal, but a better strategy is to figure out the habits you need to create to make that happen. • Track your progress. In business there is a saying, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” The same goes for health and weight-loss habits. If your habit can’t be measured, then you won’t be able to manage it. You need to

San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013 know on a day-to-day basis that you are on track. Get a calendar and cross each day off as you do it. • Be grateful. Focus on all the positive things that are happening as you work on your new habit. Be grateful that your blood pressure is lower, that you need a smaller belt or that your back hurts less, and take note of all the ways this habit will help you. • Have a trigger. This is vital because it is something that will train your brain to get ready to do the new habit. If daily exercise is your 21-day habit, then a good trigger would be putting on your running sneakers right when you get out of bed. No matter how motivated you are feeling about the habit that day, accomplish the trigger and you’ll move on to the habit easier. • Do not make excuses. Don’t


let yourself off the hook during the first 21 days. Quitting is not an option and you have to be serious about the habit you are choosing. There is no reason 2013 can’t be your year. Focus on the daily actionplan; do not worry about yesterday or tomorrow. The only thing you can control is the present. I hope this list has inspired, motivated and shown you that with a few secret hacks, you can achieve all of your goals this year. —Brian White Fitness offers oneon-one training, outdoor boot-camps and has many corporate programs. One of their biggest events of the year, the 21-day boot-camp challenge begins Jan. 5. If you would like to find out more information on how they can help you make 2013 your healthiest year yet, visit


San Diego Uptown News | Jan. 4–Jan. 17, 2013

San Diego Uptown News  

January 4, 2013 edition. News for the neighborhoods in the north areas of the city of San Diego, CA

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