Serving San Diego’s Premier Urban Communities for 21 Years sdnorthparknews.com
NORTH PARK SCENE
Vol. 21 No. 2 February 2013
SAN DIEGO’S Hip Neighborhoods
Community Corner Vol. VII: CAN THANK How the city builds things
Bud Fischer The late real estate icon helped guide the rebirth of North Park
BY OMAR PASSONS
Our city has a few ways to build new physical infrastructure (e.g. roads, fire stations and libraries). The primary system for paying for these types of infrastructure is through the Capital Improvement Program, often just called the CIP. This is a very complicated process but it’s really important because it impacts the physical environment that we as citizens have for going to the park, getting
BY TOM SHESS
Bud Fischer at the Layfayette Hotel in this mid-’90s photo
On Jan. 24, Arnold “Bud” Fischer one of the important figures in helping North Park emerge from being a blighted neighborhood into one of the hippest neighborhoods in America, succumbed to lung disease. He was 80. Bud Fischer was also one of the first developers to invest in historic neighborhoods like North Park and the Gaslamp Quarter, when both areas had seen better days. He was a keen businessman who had a knack for seeing the big picture. His real estate deals in the Gaslamp
and North Park paved the way for others to jump on board. He started the fiscal parade toward better days. In North Park, the community is a success because of two significant projects that he undertook. Both were historic properties. Lafayette Hotel In the mid-’90s, one of Fischer’s partnerships purchased the bankrupt Lafayette Hotel for $2.125 million in 1995 and invested $2.5 million more in renovations to the historic property. By February 1999, the refurbished hotel celebrated a grand reopening.
Today, the hotel (back to being called the Lafayette) is a hotspot for lodging, dining, live jazz venues just like it was after its original grand opening on July 1, 1946. North Park Theatre Fischer succeeded in his goal to rehabilitate the 1928 North Park Vaudeville Theatre into a commercial success. In the early 2000’s, he faced more reasons not to support the project than positives. But Fischer saw the big picture. He knew that if the historic theater was going to be able to support itself, it had to include viable tenants and provide places to park for those
SEE SCENE, Page 5
SEE FISCHER, Page 6
Alice In Wonderland Mural Discovered On SDSU Campus BY ANGELA CARONE | ARTS AND CULTURE REPORTER, KPBS
The Birch kicks off it’s 2013 season with CHICAGO, opening February 15th See more on Page 16
Archeologists often have to be great detectives. A professor at San Diego State has used his detective skills to find hidden historic murals on the university’s campus. KPBS culture reporter Angela Carone says he’s discovered a new one, featuring a beloved character from children’s literature. Hardy Tower is one of the oldest buildings on the campus of San Diego State University. It has a bell tower and its Spanish revival style architecture stands apart from newer campus construction. SDSU professor Seth Mallios has been on a mission to find SEE MURAL, Page 10
Albert J. Lewis painted the Alice in Wonderland mural when he was an art student at SDSU. He’s now 88 years old and lives in San Diego with a caretaker. Photo: Mary Jane Conlan.
A low-res photo taken before the Alice in Wonderland mural was painted over in the 1980s. Photo: Evelyn Kooperman.
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(619) 889-5420 | www.aftonmiller.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
A F TO N S E L L S S A N D I E G O Specializing in North Park and Metro Area since 1986 SOLD - $546,000
SOLD - $489,900
SOLD! - $605,000
SOLD - $692,000
SOLD - $769,000
SOLD - $449,000
3027 Granada | 3br 1ba
3655 31st St | 2br 1ba
4632 Marlborough | 2br 1.5ba
2914 Redwood St | 3br 3ba
2428 33rd St | 3br 2.5ba
4795 50th St | 2br 1ba
SOLD - $428,000
SOLD - $276,500
SOLD - $649,000
SOLD - $845,000
SOLD - $650,000
SOLD - $562,000
3311 Juniper St | 2br 1ba
3681 Grim | 3br 2.5ba
4869 Marlborough | 3br 2ba*
3415 Villa Terrace | 3br 2ba
4558 Delaware St | 2br 2ba
2438 33rd St | 3br 2.5ba
SOLD - $615,000
SOLD - $675,000
SOLD - $799,000
SOLD - $640,000
SOLD - $565,000
SOLD - $175,000
4806 Adams Ave | 2br + FR
3161 1st St #2N | 2br 2ba *
2503 Bancroft St | 4br 2ba
3210-12 Felton St | 2br units
4365 Alder Dr | 3br 2ba
3690 Florida | 1br condo
SOLD - $375,000
SOLD - $628,000
SOLD - $387,000
SOLD - $530,000
SOLD - $460,000
SOLD - $510,000
3572 Marathon | 3br 2ba
4607 Janet Pl | 4br 3.5ba
4502 Euclid Ave | 2br 1ba
4720 51st | 3br 2ba
2515 30th St. | 2br 1ba
3788 Park #4 | work/live
SOLD - $475,000
SOLD - $746,000
SOLD - $800,500
4751 Jean | 3br 2ba
2735 33rd St | 4br 4.5ba
4165 Middlesex | 3br 2ba
SOLD - $545,000
SOLD - $559,000
SOLD SHORT SALE - $243,000
3687 4th #408 | 2br 2ba *
4812 50th | 4br 2ba *
2173 Haller St | 3br 2.5ba
SOLD SHORT SALE - $595,000
IN ESCROW - $229,000
IN ESCROW - $775,000
NEW LISTING! $675,000 | 4654 Natalie Drive
Remodeled Talmadge 3 br 2ba 1,520 ESF Spanish on Natalie Drive! Outdoor living at its best! Lovely private brick patio, fountain, built in BBQ, great home for entertaining. Step-down living room, forced air heat and air.
COMING SOON! $850,000 | 4604 Edgeware Road 4142 Lymer Dr | 3br 2ba
3774 33rd St #5 | 2br 2ba
3795 Alabama | 4 units
IN ESCROW - $649,000
IN ESCROW - $235,000
REDUCED - $460,000
3674-72 Texas | 2 units
4549 33rd #4 | 2br 2ba
3523 Nile | 3br 2ba
REDUCED - $489,000
COMING SOON - $475,000
AVAILABLE - $665,000
Kensington Spanish 3 units. Exceptionally detailed 2br 2 ba Spanish house with courtyard plus two 1br units and 3 garages. Great for owner occupant, tremendous emotional appeal! Nicely upgraded. 4677 Winona | 3br 2ba
2320 Landis | 2br 2ba
3256 N Mtn View | 3br 2ba
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Ask Dr. Z (Editor’s Note: South Park’s Dr. Tara Zandvliet -Dr. Z — answers common — and not so common — health questions for our readers.) Q. Is the flu more dangerous this year? If so, why? The flu strain this year is a stronger virus than many other strains of flu and more likely to cause complications. It does not appear to be infecting more people than usual, just earlier and harder. If it continues for the usual number of months, almost all of us will be exposed and many of us will become infected. It is the same flu virus we had in 2003. It is not as deadly as Swine Flu of 2009, though, since that was a completely new virus and every single one of us was vulnerable to it. It is not a “super-bug” resistant to all treatments, so if you have a fever and body aches, go to the doctor and get the anti-viral that can help prevent the complications. Why do I keep mentioning complications? Because it is complications like dehydration and pneumonia that cause the deaths and hospitalizations. Flu is a dangerous disease because of them. Q: What do I do if I think I have the flu? The first thing is to go to the doctor and have the test to confirm it, because it may be something different, like walking pneumonia, which is more dangerous. Once you are diagnosed, you can choose to take the antiviral medicine to shorten and lessen the severity of the illness. You must do this in the first two days of symptoms, though. Next, SLEEP! Sleep is the body’s natural defense against this illness, so go to bed. Then, DRINK and stay hydrated to prevent the first of the complications. Finally, if you start to get better, then have a “relapse” of your fever, go straight back to the doctor This two-phase illness is usually the transition of the flu into a pneumonia, which again is one of the worst complications. Q: How long do I have to keep my kids out of school, or me out of work, once I am better from the flu? The flu is contagious for seven days after start of the fever, so a full week. Do NOT go back earlier, even if you feel great, because you will just infect the other people at work or the other kids in your child’s school. That may not be so bad for them, but if they bring it home to a newborn or an elderly or sick person they live with, it could mean life or death. For children, they can actually be contagious for up to 11 days. So I usually recommend they stay home a full week after they start to feel better, not after the first day of illness. To you bosses out there, the loss of productivity and work piling up can be stressful for you, but overall the business will benefit if they don’t cause the loss of work from all of your other employees as well. Q: Should I get the flu shot? This is a personal question and I can’t answer for all of you. If you want the best defense against the flu, get nine hours of sleep a night, reduce stress, eat lots of veggies and fruits and boost that immune system. Wash your hands obsessively or use hand sanitizer for the rest of the season. AFTER that, the flu shot is the best defense we have; so if you don’t want to chance it or can’t afford to get sick for a week (or have young/old/weak persons you are around a lot) then by all means get the flu shot, too. Dr. Tara Zandvliet welcomes your questions. Send them to email@example.com. She practices at 2991 Kalmia St. Phone: (619) 929-0030.
February 2013 | sdnorthparknews.com | 5
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our drinking water, getting to work, going for bike rides and many other aspects of our lives. Not every project is a “capital project” that goes through this process. Things like construction, purchase or major renovation of buildings, utilities and facilities make them capital projects. Things like routine maintenance, ordinary road resurfacing, and so forth are not capital projects, so they go through a different process and are funded differently. Even though it’s complicated, there are plenty of ways to think about the CIP that help make it easier to deal with. I’m going to break it down into a few parts: The Money, The Buildings and The Process. The Money We spend lots of money on capital projects. Upgrading a sewer system is’'t cheap; neither is replacing a fire station roof (or building a new station altogether). Before we can get too far into this topic there are a couple very important things to know. One, the money isn’t in one big pot that can be spent all willy nilly like a nice shopping spree. The money is actually divided into several smaller pots that all have their own restrictions on the types and locations of projects on which they can be used. “That seems like more bureaucratic nonsense to me,” you might be thinking. But let me explain. One of the sources of money for capital projects is Developer Impact Fees (DIF). When a real estate developer wants to build a shiny new shopping mall, the city is allowed to make that developer pay a fee for certain impacts associated with that mall. This might be installing better traffic lights to handle more traffic or putting in additional sewer pipes to handle the restroom needs or other types of things that are related to that shopping mall. Since DIF money is for project-specific impacts, you can’t just use it anywhere in the city. Here is one basic source and a paper abstract in case you want to know more on why the limitations exist. No one would reasonably say that a new
shopping mall in Mira Mesa has an impact on the traffic pattern in San Ysidro, so you can’t use the DIF from the Mira Mesa mall to fix traffic problems in San Ysidro. It’s also illegal to require developers to pay for stuff that have no connection to their projects. One other quick example is TransNet funding. A little bit of the tax we pay at the gas pump goes into this thing called TransNet, which is basically a fund for to help pay for transportation impacts. You drive on the road, you pay some gas tax, we use the gas tax to fix that road. Simple, right? Well, you can't use the TransNet money to pay for fire stations because fire stations aren’t transportation-related. The bottom line is that even though the budget for the CIP seems really big, the money can't just get passed around like the city was the banker on a game of Monopoly. The Buildings The process is really about paying for major buildings and facilities that impact our daily lives. Of course, The CIP addresses more than just buildings, and certain water and wastewater facilities and storm drains and transportation projects all also get built through the CIP. The Process There is really a year-round process of thinking about, planning for, creating and modifying the list of projects to be included in the CIP. However, the city staff generally begins in earnest around October of each year. For 2013, the department responsible for the CIP solicited feedback from the network of community planning groups across the city through the Community Planners Committee, which is a group of all the chairpersons of the individual planning groups across the city. That feedback was a prioritization by neighbors and planning groups which were ultimately turned over to the city. I am still looking into what may have happened as a result of that effort. In any case, the prioritization process continues into the early part
The Caregivers’ Journey You need to draw the line Take a deep breath and buckle your seatbelt. You’re a caregiver: Sure you feel overwhelmed. It goes with the job; there’s not a family caregiver around who doesn’t feel stressed to the max — a lot of the time. Caregiving is a rollercoaster. You go up and you go down, sometimes at virtually the same time. So buckle up and try to enjoy the best parts of the ride. An important way to prepare for this journey is to set boundaries. You might not want to; you might believe you can do it all, and you might feel guilty if you can’t. But trust me, you have to try, try real hard. Because if you don’t set limits, you’re going to reach yours before too long. And then, you won’t be any help to your loved ones. Though I didn’t always stick to my boundaries, I always made the attempt. I phoned my parents at their retirement home five days a week — not six or seven. I saw them for dinner and shopping on Wednesdays. I’d put out big fires as needed, but I tried to wait on the
BY MARSHA KAY SEFF
little ones that often died out by themselves by the following day. I didn’t phone my parents on weekends and asked them not to call me then, “unless you’re dead, and, then, think twice before dialing.” When I went on vacation, I left my sister in charge and I did not leave a phone number. My parents knew about all the boundaries I set and respected them. In fact, they realized that if I became stressed and overwhelmed, they couldn’t count on me. When I shared my boundary rules with an older acquaintance, she told me I was too selfish to be a caregiver, that my parents should move in with my sister. This woman didn’t understand; obviously, she’d never been a caregiver. Family caregivers experience an internal tug-of-war daily over how much they can divvy up between kids, spouse and aging loved ones. It’s impossible to do justice to any of them without setting limits. It’s tough saying “no,” but you need to learn. You can’t be responsible for every aspect of your loved ones’ care and it’s not your responsibility or even in your power to make them happy. You need to
of the next calendar year and the mayor presents a budget to the City Council by April 15 of each year. This means if you want to get involved, one of the best things to do is to start contacting your local community planning group and your City Council office not later than September or October for the next year. This is, of course, a somewhat simpli-
fied explanation of how all this stuff works. The idea isn’t to make everyone an expert on every little aspect. It’s to give you enough information to get more involved if you want to. The easiest way to be heard will almost always be your City Council offices, to varying degrees I have found the staff extremely responsive and pleasant to interact with about issues. Another important thing for neighbors to realize is that these priority decisions are made in large part by a group called the Capital Improvement Program Advisory Committee, or CIPRAC for short. The CIPRAC is made up of people from all sorts of city departments and they get together to work through prioritizing the CIP projects that will get funded each year and also to talk about strategies for improving the process. There are at least two major aspects of prioritizing what we want our city to build, but before we can talk about what the CIPRAC does it’s worth taking a moment to think about the big picture. The Big Picture We’ve got a city that we can probably all agree we want to be as safe as possible. This probably means we need fire stations and police stations and water/sewer pipes that work properly. We might even agree that we need some parks for people to play in and we need some buildings and major structures at the beaches to keep us safe. The real big picture questions start coming in when we think about the other
realize that you can’t do it all no matter how hard you work at it. You need to ignore the relatives who don’t chip in, but still believe it’s their duty to tell you how thin you need to stretch yourself. And you need to get over rationalizing that no one else can care for your loved ones as well as you. Actually, that might be true, but it’s not worth losing yourself in the process. There’s no doubt that lacking clear boundaries leads to increased stress, depression, anger and burnout. To protect yourself, you have to identify your limits and give yourself permission to set them. Relinquish self-doubt and guilt; they won’t help you or your loved ones. You also need to make caring for yourself a priority. Putting yourself first gives you energy and peace of mind to be there for others. You need to seek support and ask for it. When your family or friends ask what they can do, don’t be shy. Tell them. Helping you is a gift they might enjoy giving. Caregivers live their daily lives very close to their boundaries. But if you recognize them and believe it’s OK to set them, life will be more manageable. As a caregiver, taking the time to renew yourself is imperative. Don’t be afraid to do it.
types of investments we want our hard earned tax dollars to go to, where in our city those investments should be and what kind of timetable we might want for getting those investments done. This is the big picture because it’s about how we see ourselves as a city and how we want to spend our money to get to that vision. A parallel example might be what I want out of life with the money I make working. If it’s really important to me to be able to travel to Italy every year, I might want to invest in property there to make the long-term expenses low. Or if I want make a bike my primary transportation, I may want to invest in some top-of-the line bike with a booster pack and really good tires. Those decisions involve trade-offs. Similarly, if we want our city to be a place where all of its residents are able to be and feel safe, then we’d need to prioritize catching up the parts of the city that don’t have enough fire stations or street lights with the parts that do. Or, if our highest priority is attracting and keeping major corporations that have good-paying jobs and those corporations say they will only come with better transit infrastructure between Downtown and the major universities, then that might drive our decisions for the future. Whatever we decide, it is the most basic first step before we can get to prioritizing the very large list of projects that need doing. Prioritizing the Projects The City Council has adopted Council Policy 800-14, which lays out a prioritization guideline for all of the projects in the CIP. The idea is to have some objective standards for figuring out which of the long list of projects should be done first. One overarching consideration probably should be how the project fits into our vision of what we want to be as a city. But on a practical level there are several other things the city needs to consider. So the actual policy includes things like whether the project has a major safe-
ty impact and whether there is funding available and the condition of the asset that might get the funding. All these things come into play. The CIPRAC in Action The budgeting process for the following year’s CIP budget actually gets moving in October of each year as the CIPRAC starts to get information on projects from each of the “asset-owning departments.” This is a shorthand term that refers to departments that actually take care of physical assets, as opposed to more managerial or administrative roles. The Parks and Recreation Department is an asset-owning department because it has all the parks and recreation centers — actual assets — as opposed to the Engineering and Capital Projects Department, which has an important role in designing and administering projects but doesn’t own any actual assets. Last summer, the city sought priorities for projects that communities thought ought to be built through the CIP. This several-month process resulted in a very large list being submitted from communities across San Diego. On Feb. 6 and 8, the CIPRAC will meet and consider whether any of those projects can be funded and how many. If you weren’t involved in the process this year but want to be more involved for the future, there are plenty of ways to do so. Two of the easiest are volunteering with the North Park Community Association or the Greater North Park Planning Committee. The NPCA focuses primarily on issues that impact residential neighborhoods in North Park and tries to work to help solve problems and make the community an inviting place for the people who live here. The NPPC is the formal advisory committee to the city for land use issues and its focus is on how systemic land use and policy decisions shape our community. he NPCA is at www.northparksd.org and the NPPC is at www.npplanning.org. Omar Passons is a local attorney and volunteer who writes a periodic column about community issues. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @omarpassons.
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coming to theater events. By the time Fischer affixed his name to the rebirth of the theater he had built a solid reputation with City Hall that he walked the walk. City Hall and others dealing with Fischer, like Downtown businessman Dana Blasi, praised him for his honesty and loyalty. He got things done. When things got iffy with regards to getting city and community support for his vision for the reborn theater, he put his cards and reputation on the line. He knew if the theater and the entire North Park business sector were going to thrive,
it had to have a ton of parking. A headline in the June 2002 issue of North Park News was very telling: “No Garage; No Live Theater.” Reporter Terrance Burke penned, “Before the curtain rises on a refurbished North Park Theatre, so must a parking garage. The show won’t go on without one, in the view of Bud Fischer of Trilogy Real Estate, whose theater redevelopment proposal was approved by the San Diego City Council in April (2002). ‘If they (the city) will build a garage, you will have a live theater. No garage; no live theater.’” In October, 2005, the theater and the garage opened for business. It is no coincidence that the retail and residential rebirth of North Park went into high gear
after that. Today there is a plaque on the wall of the theater’s 29th Street entrance near the box office, which thanks Bud and Esther Fischer for their vision. If you turn around from that plaque you will see a very large parking garage. That parking garage is one of the huge selling factors that retailers took into consideration before investing in North Park locations. All those cool businesses that now occupy North Park were made possible because a new generation of business types jumped on the bandwagon. They got the big picture that Bud Fischer drew for them. Bottom line: North Park is the hippest neighborhood in America
because of the skill and vision of one of San Diego’s keenest businessmen. Now, as we sit enjoying a dinner at West Coast Tavern, located in the North Park Theatre, let’s lift a craft beer and toast: “To Mr. Bud Fischer and to the city of San Diego and North Park’s community leadership for listening to the man.” And on a personal note: one more testament to Bud Fischer’s loyalty and honesty was the fact he was married to Esther for 60 years. Tom Shess is the former publisher of the North Park News. Read his blog at www.tomshess.blogspot.com.
www.sdnorthparknews.com Serving San Diego’s Premier Bungalow Communities Chairman/CEO Bob Page BobPage@sandiegometro.com Publisher Rebeca Page RebecaPage@sandiegometro.com Editor Manny Cruz Manny@sandiegometro.com Art Director Chris Baker email@example.com Advertising Sales Ada Laura Duff (858) 442-7766 firstname.lastname@example.org -----------------------------Writers/Columnists Todd Gloria Ann Jarmusch Jennifer Kester Donna Marganella Bart Mendoza Katelyn O’Riordan Sandy Pasqua David Raines Delle Willett
Fischer stands in the original 1946 Imig Manor pool designed by Johnny Weissmuller, the Olympic swimmer turned Hollywood actor. Photo by Tom Shess.
Council President’s 2013 New Year Message BY COUNCIL PRESIDENT TODD GLORIA Successfully overcoming San Diego’s recent challenges was achieved through collaborations with our workers, the private and nonprofit sectors, the public, and the mayor and City Council. This collaborative approach is how we’ll make more progress in 2013. City finances have rightly preoccupied our attention for the last decade. Working with our employees to reduce costs and adhering to common sense budget principles has allowed us to balance the budget, build our reserves, regain our credit rating and restore neighborhood services. External pressures like the fiscal cliff, redevelopment dissolution and voter initiatives may slow our plans to restore more services. Auditing, efficiencies, managed competition and increased use of technology are all a part of the solution. This will be done with input from the public and our employees to ensure they are done right. With our finances under control, now is the time to address the needs of our neighborhoods. It is estimated that nearly $1 billion is needed to repair our
struction of the much-needed permanent Mission Valley Fire Station, replace our outdated computer aided dispatch system to reduce emergency response times, and finish 232 miles of road repairs this fiscal year. Our ability to retain businesses and jobs is improved when we protect our natural resources and preserve our quality of life. We will work to preserve more open space and support our mayor’s call to reduce our carbon footprint by making the city a leader in renewable energy and active transportation like biking and walking. San Diegans can expect to see their city working hard on their behalf in 2013. San Diegans can count on me as The City Council will vote this year to finish council president to keep the council 232 miles of road repairs this fiscal year. focused on our community’s priorities, operating in a bipartisan fashion, and At my direction, the council created a willing to collaborate with anyone interstanding committee on infrastructure. I expect the committee will act to streamline repair efforts to speed up the work, stretch our existing resources farther, and create jobs. It will engage neighborhoods to prioritize the repair projects they want through a new multi-year capital improvement plan. Decades of neglect will not be undone in one year, but substantial progress will be made in 2013. This year will feature the completion of the year-round homeless services center and the new Central Library. The council will vote this year to start conroads, water and sewer pipes and public facilities like fire stations and parks. It is clear that we can no longer afford to ignore this problem.
Amber PeOa, an employee of Boulevard Fitness, with manager Anthony Najera.
Photography Manny Cruz Sande Lollis Letters/Opinion Pieces North Park News encourage letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please address correspondence to Manny@sandiegometro.com or mail to Manny Cruz. Please include a phone number, address and name for verification purposes; no anonymous letters will be printed. We reserve the right to edit letters and editorials for brevity and accuracy. Story ideas/Press Releases Do you have an idea for an article you would like to see covered in this newspaper? We welcome your ideas, calendar item listings and press releases. For breaking news, please call us at (619) 287-1865.
ested in moving our city forward. For all other news items, please email Manny@sandiegometro.com.
Councilman Todd Gloria can be reached at ToddGloria@sandiego.gov; (619) 2366633; 202 C Street, MS 10A, San Diego, CA 92101; and on Facebook and Twitter. Visit his website at sandiego.gov/cd3.
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North Park News distributes copies monthly to residents and businesses of North Park, South Park, Golden Hill and Normal Heights. The entire contents of North Park News is copyrighted, 2012, by REP Publishing, Inc. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without prior written consent. All rights reserved.
February 2013 | sdnorthparknews.com | 7
15 on the 15th: Old House Fair Returns To South Park For the 15th year, San Diegoâ€™s Old House Fair will return to South Park, this year on Saturday, June 15. The annual event is a free public daylong festival that includes exhibits, experts, arts and crafts and family fun activities. As always, the event will be staged in the historic South Park neighborhood, along the streets that make up the intersection of 30th Street and Beech Street. Again a highlight of the event will be the Historic Home Tour, which will include docent-led visits to five houses in the neighborhood, all built in the
first half of the 20th century. South Park is widely noted for its interesting array of Arts & Crafts, Craftsman, and Spanish-style homes, as well as some Art Deco and Art Moderne designs built mid-century. Tickets for the Historic Home Tour will be available for purchase beginning in April. Tours also available at the Old House Fair are a guided trolley tour and a walking tour of the surrounding neighborhood. More information on the event is available on the website, www.TheOldHouseFair.com. The website also
includes a copy of last yearâ€™s Program and Resource Guide, available for free download. The booklet features articles and photographs of homes on the earlier tour. Exhibitors at Old House Fair Build Restoration Business Because the Old House Fair attracts San Diegans (and others) who appreciate old houses, those contractors and services that specialize in restoration and renovation use the event to reach clients and customers.
The Clay Artists of San Diego exhibit pottery at the Old House Fair. All exhibitors are featured in the souvenir Old House Fair program booklet.
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Three (and a Half) Canyon Walks in South Park South Park is a hip little community featuring Craftsman and Spanish-style homes in San Diego. It’s two miles from Downtown and some of it is under the flight path. It has experienced a resurgence of late, with new restaurants and shops opening every few months. One of the things I like most about South Park is how easily I can become transported from urban life to a walk in the country. San Diego has tons of “finger” canyons, a few of which appear just a few blocks from my front door. Here are three and a half walks (it’s a half because it only starts in South Park) that I love. The first three are super short. 1) Juniper Canyon Open Space Recently, we walked along Juniper Street east of 30th Street past Felton Street where the road, bordered by guard rails, dips down and then goes up again. At the bottom of the dip is a trail on either side. We chose the south walk and found ourselves immediately surrounded by sage, oak and twittering birds, from California towhees and blue jays to yellow-rumped warblers. We walked parallel to a creek bed (slightly damp but no standing water) and briefly had to traverse it to stay on the path. We came across “No Trespassing” signs that signaled us to skirt two houses built down there, and after passing those, found ourselves going east
and coming to a fence. According to the city of San Diego, there is no outlet. The better trail, we discovered earlier last year, is past the guard rail on the north side of Juniper. This one is the longer of the two trails and takes you all the way to an outlet on Nutmeg Street. You can enter it from Nutmeg or Juniper. It’s closer to the houses along the canyon, but you still get the feel of the country. 2) Switzer Canyon Switzer is the canyon bisected by 30th Street between South Park and North Park. Maybe you’ve wondered what all that open space is on either side as you’ve zoomed past? We’ve entered the canyon on the west side, at the end of 28th Street near the golf course. We traveled east toward 30th, and technically, that section of the trail ends before the street. We didn’t know any better, and stupidly bushwhacked our way up to 30th. We’ve also started from 28th Street and kept going south along the golf course. You pass the canyon, walk by some houses on your left, and head toward a large thicket of eucalyptus trees, where we’ve sighted owls before, and if you keep going, you’ll end up at the Grape Street Dog Park. You can also walk along Switzer Canyon east of 30th. That section goes from around San
BY BONNIE NICHOLLS
Marcos Avenue and dead-ends before you get to 32nd, or so the map says. We’ll have to explore that one. 3) 32nd Street Canyon Surprisingly, we’ve only done this trail a couple of times, probably because the trailheads are further from us, one at the end of 32nd Street just north of C Street and another between 32nd and 33rd on C Street. When we first moved to the neighborhood, this open space was getting a lot of press, because the school district planned to build a school (now Golden Hill Elementary) nearby, and it was critical to those who loved the canyon to maintain an undisturbed environment as much as possible. The trail ends right before Cedar Street, and rightly so, because it’s super steep, although I’ve seen kids scrambling down to the trail.. 3-1/2) Florida Canyon, Starting at 26th and Golf Course Drive We’ve done this one the most, when we want a long hike in the ‘hood. I call it a “half” because it only starts in South Park, but the bulk of it is not. We head out from our house and go toward the corner of 26th Street and Golf Course Drive, strolling downhill 26th under the oaks toward Pershing Drive. Once at the intersection of Pershing and Florida Drive, we take the east side of Florida and walk along the dirt trail there (Balboa Naval Hospital is on the west side). Watch out of mountain bikers. We usually cut past the Morley Field dog park and the tennis courts, avoiding Morley Field Drive, and head up toward Upas Street (and grab lunch at Cardamom Cafe).
Bonnie Nicholls on a canyon walk.
Canyonlands web site, www.sdcanyonlands.org (look under the Maps tab). You can also find maps on the Open Space Canyons and Parklands section of the city of San Diego web site: sandiego.gov. Do you have a favorite Where to Find Canyon Walks in San walk? I’d like to hear about it. E-mail Bonnie Nicholls at bonnie. Diego email@example.com. You can find canyon walks in your neighborhood by visiting the San Diego
(A South Park Life is a blog published online by Bonnie Nicholls, a resident of South Park. Visit “A South Park Life” online at southparksandiego. blogspot.com. This article is adapted from a recent post.)
February 2013 | sdnorthparknews.com | 9
The creek bed is part of the walk at Juniper Canyon.
Paesano's Neighborhood Specials
South Park Events 2013 The charming neighborhood of South Park (not far from Balboa Park and Downtown San Diego) is home to several special events during the year. More information and an e-mail newsletter sign-up link may be found on the neighborhood’s website, www.SouthParkScene.com.
five homes built in the early 20th century, and a bonus visit to the restored 1912 Fire Station No. 9. Also offered are guided trolley and walking tours through neighborhoods famed for preserved Craftsman and Spanish architecture, tree-lined streets and local flavor. July 20 (Saturday), 6 to 10 p.m. Summer of Love Walkabout From Kalmia to Beech Street, you'll find shops open late, entertainment, specials, and surprises. Free trolley 6-10 p.m. Guided walking tour 6:30 p.m. www.southparkscene.com.
March 23 (Sat.), 6 to 10 p.m. Wild West Spring Walkabout South Park’s neighborhood merchants invite you to kick up your heels at our Wild West Walkabout. Explore new eateries, browse through colorful shops and galleries, enjoy music and Oct. 5 (Saturday), 6 to 10 p.m. other entertainment and check out the Artoberfest 2013 Walkabout annual Beech Street Buckaroo BBQ. The shops and sidewalks of South Free trolley 6-10 p.m. Guided walking Park are filled with artwork and local tour 6:30 p.m. southparkscene.com. artists. Enjoy browsing, specials, music June 15 (Sat.), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and more. Free trolley 6-10 p.m. Old House Fair (15th annual) www.southparkscene.com. This free festival at 30th and Beech Streets welcomes thousands of San DieDec. 7 (Saturday), 6 to 10 p.m. gans and visitors to South Park, to enjoy Twinkle Twinkle Mix & Mingle Holtours, visit with restoration experts, iday Walkabout browse and shop art vendors and Enjoy festive lights, music of the seaantiques, and enjoy music and food son, unique holiday shopping, strolling galore. The highlight Historic Home carolers, and more. Free trolley 6-10 Tour ($25) includes docent-led visits to p.m. www.southparkscene.com.
To highlight last year’s Summer of Love Walkabout, friends decorated this classic Volkswagen in front of Rebecca’s Coffeehouse on Juniper Street.
(Mon thru Fri. 11am-2pm) Lunch Special: Your Choice of Entree: Lasagna,Ravioli,Manicotti,or Spaghetti w/ meatballs. Served with salad and garlic bread. Only $4.99 SINCE1967
+10% of ALL TO GO ORDERS Dine in or Take Out Open 11-12/4:30-8:30 Sat 4:30 - 9:00 Sun 5:00 - 9:00
3647 30th St. 291-4090
will be donated to our neighborhood schools at St. Patricks (just tell us the school you would like to help when you pick up your order!)
Don't forget Tuesday Nights for live Italian music. Wine Wednesday 20% off all our wines!
Visit our website: PaesanoOfNorthpark.com
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pus music club. It was saved days before the building was demolished. Another photograph of the Alice in CONTINUED FROM Page 1 Wonderland mural taken by Evelyn all the hidden, undiscovered murals on Kooperman before her favorite mural the university’s campus. was painted over in the 1980s. Mallios spends a lot of time in Hardy People give him mural tips all the Tower, searching for clues. time. A couple of years ago, he’d heard He’s looking for murals that used to rumors about an old Hardy Tower cover the walls and ceilings throughout mural featuring the characters from the the building, which used to be home to beloved children’s book “Alice in Wonthe university library and art departderland.” But he wrote it off as only a ment. Many of the murals date back to rumor. “There have been numerous the 1930s and ’40s. Over the years, wild goose chases that haven’t panned they’ve been painted over or lost to new out with anything,” says Mallios. construction. But then came Evelyn Kooperman. Mallios, an archeologist and head of She’s a retired librarian and author of the anthropology department at SDSU, two books on San Diego trivia. When she was a little girl in the 1950s, her mother used to take her to see two murals tucked away in Hardy Tower. One featured the character of Odysseus. The other, was the “Alice in Wonderland” mural. “I just thought they were wonderful,” says Kooperman. “They were big and bright and colorful. And I just loved them and every year I would say to my mother, ‘I want to go see Alice! I want to go see Alice!’” Kooperman told Mallios about the mural that meant so much to her. “Best of all, she had snapshots of it,” says Mallios. “The murals were painted over after 1984 but she had these pictures.” The low-resolution photographs revealed a six-foot mural surrounding a large window on a stairwell landing. It SDSU Professor Seth Mallios has been on a mission to find all the hidden, undiscovered depicted Alice peering down the rabbit murals on the university’s campus. hole. She was surrounded by other characters from the book, including the Jaberrwocky and, of course, the white rabbit. Eventually Mallios found what he suspected was the mural wall in a rarely used stairwell in Hardy Tower. It was painted a boring beige. But the paint was chipping, which revealed a colorful under layer. Special thermal imaging confirmed it. The Alice mural was still there. Turns out it was painted by Albert J. Lewis in the 1940s. He studied art at SDSU on the G.I. Bill. Lewis is now 88, but still lives in San Diego with a caretaker. Mary Jane Conlan is Lewis’ daughter and lives in New York. She remembers how angry her father was when they painted over the mural in the ’80s. Conlan told her father over the phone that his mural had finally been discovered. He was pleased. Conlan didn't realize how pleased until later, when he told his caretaker: “They found my rabbit!” Conlan says the mural’s discovery means the world to her father, who taught high school art for years. “He didn’t get a lot of recognition,” says Conlan. “He sold a few paintings but not a Another photograph of the Alice in Wonderland mural taken by Evelyn Kooperman before her lot and for something like this to hapfavorite mural was painted over in the 1980s. pen at this point in his life, it seems like a minor miracle really.” Back in Hardy Tower, Mallios shows me the signs of water damage on the mural wall where blisters on the surface paint puff out almost an inch. The mural needs to be saved soon before the water leaks cause more damage. “I worry about rainstorms,” Mallios explains. “Every time it rains, I worry about this mural.” Mallios is currently raising money to save the mural. He’ll then hire a conservator who will gently peel the mural off the wall. The plan is to put it in the children’s literature section of the SDSU library by 2015, which marks the 150th anniversary of when Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in A thermal imaging study confirmed that underneath the flat beige paint, the colorful Alice mural Wonderland” was first published. was still there. Photo: Seth Mallios.
says he’s been all over the campus. “I’ve crawled into every ceiling, under every building, I have found a couple of other murals. I’ve found sketches of murals.” On a tour through Hardy Tower, Mallios points to where he’s found murals and where he suspects there are others. He reaches up and lifts a drop ceiling panel to show me his latest discovery. It’s an incomplete sketch of a bare-chested Egyptian woman. Mallios grins. “There are so many mysteries in this building.” Mallios has already saved three historic murals, including two 1930s, WPA-era murals from Hardy Tower. The other was a mural outside of a cam-
February 2013 | sdnorthparknews.com | 11
Monitoring Pollution the Smart Way
SOURCE: JACOBS SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
Small portable sensors allow users to monitor exposure to pollution on their smart phones Computer scientists at UC San Diego have built a small fleet of portable pollution sensors that allow users to monitor air quality in real time on their smart phones. The sensors could be particularly useful to people suffering from chronic conditions, such as asthma, who need to avoid exposure to pollutants. CitiSense is the only air-quality monitoring system capable of delivering real-time data to users’ cell phones and home computers — at any time. Data from the sensors can also be used to estimate air quality throughout the area where the devices are deployed, providing information to everyone —not just those carrying sensors. Just 100 of the sensors deployed in a fairly large area could generate a wealth of data — well beyond what a small number of EPA-mandated air-quality monitoring stations can provide. For example, San Diego County has 3.1 million residents, 4,000 square miles — and only about 10 stations. “We want to get more data and better data, which we can provide to the public,” said William Griswold, a computer science professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego and the lead investigator on the project. “We are making the invisible visible.” The CitiSense sensors detect ozone, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, the most common pollutants emitted by cars and trucks. The user interface displays the sensor’s readings on a smart phone by using a color-coded scale for air quality based on the EPA’s air quality ratings, from green (good) to purple (hazardous). Researchers provided the sensors for four weeks to a total of 30 users, including commuters at UC San Diego and faculty, students and staff members in the computer science department at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Computer scientists presented findings from these field tests at the Wireless Health 2012 conference in San Diego earlier this year. User experiences The sensors turned out to be great educational tools for their users. Many people assume that pollution diffuses equally in the air. But that’s not true. It actually remains concentrated in hot spots, along main roads, at intersections and so on. The sensors made this clear for users. Wendy Chapman, an associate professor at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, was one of them. She often bikes to work and discovered that pollution on her route varies widely. She was exposed to the most pollution when she used the bike path along State Route 56. But when she drove home on that same road, she had virtually no exposure. “The people who are doing the most to reduce emissions, by biking or taking the bus, were the people who experienced the highest levels of exposure to pollutants,” said Griswold.
Users discovered that pollution varied not only based on location, but also on the time of the day. When Charles Elkan, a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, drove into work in mid-morning, the readings on his sensor were low. But when he drove back home in rush hour in the afternoon, readings were sometimes very high. Elkan said being part of the study allowed him to gauge how worried about pollution he should actually be. Air quality in San Diego is fairly good, he added. “It’s a valuable study,” Elkan said. “I think it’s going to have a big impact in the future.” Elkan added that he could envision a day in the near future when the sensors used by CitiSense would be built into smart phones, allowing virtually everyone to keep tabs on the levels of pollution they encounter every day. Of course, that means people might start worrying more about pollution as something they can see and measure. Many of the users in the study did take action to limit their most severe exposure to pollutants. For example, bicyclists found out that they could avoid a great deal of exposure by simply biking one block away from a busy street. Commuters who took the bus avoided waiting near the vehicle’s tail pipe, where the air quality was poor. One user convinced his supervisor to install new air filters in the office after registering poor air quality readings on his sensor. Researchers also noticed that the users were sharing the information they collected, not only with family, friends and colleagues but also with strangers who asked them about the sensors during their commute or in public places. In other words, the sensors turned cell phones into a conversation starter, rather than devices that isolate their users from those around them.
built and deployed 20 of them in the the device is immobile. source code that it is difficult to quickfield. These innovations to extend battery ly update any one aspect of the softlife were made possible by Krueger’s ware. Technical challenges previous work in service-oriented archiCitiSense is funded by a $1.5 million CitiSense would not be possible with- tecture, which can keep various compo- grant from the National Science Founout the expertise of computer science nents — like machine learning, power dation. Qualcomm Inc. donated funds faculty members and graduate students management and security code — for the cell phones used for the project. at the Jacobs School of Engineering. In much more separate than in traditionaddition to principal investigator Gris- al software systems, where functional (Photos courtesy of Jacobs School of wold, the team includes School of elements are often so woven into the Engineering) Medicine and Calit2 professor Kevin Patrick; computer science professors Ingolf Krueger, Tajana Simunic Rosing, Hovav Shacham and Sanjoy Dasgupta; as well as graduate students and postdoctoral researchers Piero Zappi, Nima Nikzad, Elizabeth Bales, Celal Ziftci, Nichole Quick and Nakul Verma. A key factor in the project’s success was a breakthrough made by a group led by Dasgupta. Computer scientists used an artificial intelligence method, called Latent Variable Gaussian Regression, to capture high-quality data from the sensors in an uncontrolled environment. The method allowed researchers to remove noise from the data. “Sensors will differ. Sensors will fail,” Griswold explained. “People will breathe on A view of the inside of the CitiSense sensor: the three cylindrical components detect ozone, them. We wanted to make sure we got nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. good data in these conditions.” Technical challenges remain. The data exchanges between smart phones and sensors use up a great deal of the phones’ batteries. During field tests, researchers provided users with two chargers — one for home and one for work — to ensure that their phones were not going to run out of power. To extend battery life, researchers are experimenting with uploading data from the sensors to the phones every 15 minutes or only when the user wants to retrieve the information. Computer scientists also have developed methods to turn off a phone’s GPS — a huge drain of the devices’ batteries — when The CitiSense sensor worn on a backpack.
The future of the project What’s next? Some of the sensors are currently on loan to researchers at San Diego State University who are gauging air quality in San Ysidro, a community right on the border between the United States and Mexico, and one of the most polluted areas in San Diego County. Researchers hope to secure a grant from the National Institutes of Health to monitor air quality for school-age asthmatic children in that area and to determine what can be done to limit their exposure to pollutants. The ultimate goal of CitiSense is to build and deploy a wireless network in which hundreds of small environmental sensors carried by the public rely on cell phones to shuttle information to central computers where it will be analyzed, anonymized and delivered to individuals, public health agencies and the community at large. The sensors currently cost $1,000 per unit, but could easily be mass-produced at an affordable price. So far, Griswold’s team has The CitiSense sensors transmit their air quality readings to smart phones.
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Dating on Wheels “Rolling Romance” is a dark comedy about sex, drugs and disability. The film focuses on two people, Orson and Janice, who meet online and decide to go on a date. It sounds like a typical date movie except that both Orson and Janice have muscular dystrophy. Orson, played by David Holt, is a sarcastic yet naïve guy who ends up on one of the worst and funniest dates of his life with the sweet, yet rebellious Janice, played by Emily Goss. Written by screenwriter Michael Carnick of Del Mar, “Rolling Romance” aims to show that people with disabilities struggle with finding love just like their non-disabled counterparts. “I want audiences to know that disabled or not, everyone is searching for love and companionship,” says Carnick. “We go on bad dates, we get burned, we rebound and we have the same experiences everyone else has.” Like many people, Carnick has tried online dating in the past without much success. “The script was inspired by a real life encounter with online dating,” says Carnick. “The event was so surreal that I knew it had to be experienced by others. At the moment it happened, it was like a part of me was sitting outside myself and enjoying the schadenfreude of the whole thing. I mean, it’s two people in electric wheelchairs, dating. The whole
thing was just so unusual, but at the same time very familiar.” Carnick was born with a rare condition called congenital fiber-type disproportion. The condition manifests as a non-progressive form of muscle weakness, similar to the characters in his film. It has confined Carnick to a wheelchair for most of his life. However, Carnick hasn’t let his physical limitations stop him from pursuing his dreams. While studying theater and dance at UC San Diego, his feature film, “Who’s Driving Doug?”, won first place at the 50th anniversary Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards. Judges for the awards included Pulitzer Prize winner A. Scott Berg, Creative Artists Agency partner Robert Bookman and New York Times best-selling author Johnathan Kellerman. Carnick was the first undergrad to receive the award. After graduating from UC San Diego, Carnick went on to get his MFA in creative writing for the performing arts from UC Riverside. Today, he continues to write screenplays that focus on disability awareness and how it feels to be a minority. “Being disasbled, I am very conscious about how others perceive me,” says Carnick. “When people meet me for the first time, they are sometimes unsure of how to interact with me. I believe that humor is a great way to bond people
Short film by Del Mar screenwriter provides a glimpse into the online dating scene for people with disabilities together. If I can get people to feel comfortable at laughing at a disabled person’s bad date, then I think I’ve done a little bit to bridge the gap.” “Rolling Romance” producer Melissa Harkness is one of Carnick’s strongest supporters. “Mike is one of the funniest writers I’ve ever met, but also one of the most heartfelt,” she says. “He’s so open and honest about disability and dating. It’s rate to find a writer who can write so frankly about his experiences.” Harkness met Carnick while both were in the MFA program at UC Riverside. They had planned to work on a film together in school but the right opportunity never presented itself. Then, along came “Rolling Romance.” “Michael was looking for a director for the film and asked me if I knew anyone,” sais Harkness. “I read the script and thought, ‘This is fantastic. I’d love to make this happen.’” To direct, Harkness brought on David Conley, a seasoned cinematographer and editor who has worked on a wide range of features, short films, music videos, commercials, promotional materials and behind the scenes. His most notable projects include “Les Miserables,” the “Twilight” series and “Bounty Killer.” “This is such a human and relatable story,” says Conley. “It’s dark at times, but it has this wonderful comedic ele-
ment. I had not yet met Michael when I read the script, but I loved his balance of humor and drama. It’s what sold me on the project.” Not only does Conley bring a wealth of film experience to the project, he also brings his own camera equipment, a big bonus for a short film being funded almost exclusively by Carnick’s family, and donations from the Kickstarter campaign that recently launched. “Kickstarter makes it simple to be Cinematographer David Conley part of this wonderful project,” says Harkness. “All it takes is a dollar, and you’re involved.” For those who want a preview of the film and Carnick’s comedy, the Kickstarter campaign provides a short video where Carnick, Harkness and Conley dish about their online dating experiences. People can also like the film on Facebook or follow it on Twitter Del Mar screenwriter Michael Carnick (@RollingRomance1). “This film puts two people with disabilities in lead roles,” says Conley. “They aren’t the sidekicks, they’re the leads, and that’s one of the major themes of this film, that disability doesn’t, and shouldn’t define who people are.” “Rolling Romance” was scheduled to film in January. For more information about the film, cast and crew, visit www.rollingromancefilm.com. Producer Melissa Harkness
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ARTS & CRAFTS
The Floor is the Key to Style BY MARY ELLEN POLSON | ARTS & CRAFTS HOMES AND THE REVIVAL
With its marbled tiles in a checkerboard pattern and black border, this recent vinyl composition tile floor mimics period linoleum. Photo: Gridley + Graves.
A plank oak floor with a tung-oil finish made by Sutherland Welles.
Small hexagon-shaped floor tiles are a bathroom standard.
A plank oak floor with a tung-oil finish made by Sutherland Welles.
Bungalow floors and more: For Arts & Crafts-inspired homes built at the end of the Victorian era and into the 20th century, many flooring types are appropriate — and available again today. The standard for formal rooms public and private, wood floors suggest durability even as they convey understated beauty and depth. Slate and limestone create drama in a foyer or bath. For practical durability and virtually limitless color choices, you can’t beat a resilient floor in the kitchen or family room. For Arts & Crafts homes built at the end of the Victorian period and into the 20th century, all of these alternatives are appropriate. Thanks to reclaimed wood from abandoned factories and barns, remilled floorboards full of character are still available from specialty lumber companies. Reclamation means you can get species tapped out a century ago, including longleaf heart pine and chestnut, without a single new tree being harvested. It was in this period that hardwood strip flooring became popular, with boards usually measuring about two inches wide. These are edge-matched
boards in durable woods such as maple and oak, as well as heart pine. A new option—the engineered floor — can give the look of either strip or plank flooring at far less cost. An engineered floor is actually a composite: layers are bonded together to form a dimensionally stable “board.” The top layer is usually a thin slice of hardwood. Engineered floors are ideal for overlayment on a vinyl or concrete floor. Resilient, nonabsorbent, long-wearing flooring materials have the ability to “bounce back” from spills and abrasions. An amalgam of ground cork and linseed oil, linoleum is a great (and historic!) medium for inlaid floor patterns in jewellike, speckled Jaspé patterns. Although today’s rubber flooring is sold in sheets and tiles primarily to the commercial trade, it too lends itself to inlaid patterns and designs. Cork is a luxurious, easy-on-the-feet flooring material, perfect for a later house. (Cork tiles can be laid in a checkerboard to mimic earlier styles for, say, kitchens.) And vinyl tile, ubiquitous since the 1950s, is an extremely versatile medium. Check out commercial vinyl for more traditional and long-wearing designs.
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OLD GLOBE PRODUCTIONS COME ALIVE A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PREMIERE & A HENRIK IBSEN MASTERPIECE
“The Brothers Size” (Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre) Another cycle, another unique AfricanAmerican voice; another otherworldly story grounded in gritty reality. Chicago-based Tarell Alvin McCraney is the new wunderkind of the American theater, whose much-admired trilogy, “The Brother/Sister Plays,” is set in the projects of the Louisiana bayou, deftly combining the African-American present with West African Yoruba mythology. The stunning first section, “In the Red and Brown Water,” was presented at UC San Diego in late 2012. Now the Old
Globe is presenting the Southern California premiere of “The Brothers Size,” which opened in New York in 2007. (The third segment is “Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet”). “The Brothers Size” is a stylized drama of love and sorrow. The Chicago Tribune called it “the greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more.” The brothers of the title are Oshoosi, fresh out of prison, and Ogun, his upright, hard-working older sib (the only character to appear in all three plays in
the trilogy). Then there’s Elegba, Oshoosi’s friend from prison, who preaches the gospel of the Good Life. The names, which lend timelessness to the story (set in “the distant present”), come from Yoruba beliefs: Oshoosi is traditionally depicted as a wanderer and solitary hunter; Ogun is the shape-shifting god of war and iron; and Elegba is the trickster spirit of chaos. Oshoosi is torn by his good and evil nature, his ambivalence toward his brother and his place in society. According to the playwright, the trilo-
gy is “inspired by Yoruba life and traditions, steeped in Southern rhythms and cadences, and seamed shut with the fire of urban music and dance.” Read that as an open invitation to attend, enjoy, be enlightened and inspired. “The Brothers Size” runs through Feb. 24 in the Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre in Balboa Park. Ticket prices start at $29; available at (619) 2345623 or theoldglobe.org.
The Brothers Size By Tarell Alvin McCraney Directed by Tea Alagić Scenic Design by Peter Ksander Costume Design by Michelle Hunt Souza Lighting Design by Gina Scherr Sound Design by Paul Peterson Original Music by Jonathan Melville Pratt Dialect Coach, Jan Gist Casting by Caparelliotis CastingStage Manager, Diana Moser
LEFT Tea Alagić, director of ‘The Brothers Size.’
CENTER Okieriete Onaodowan stars as Oshoosi Size in ‘The Brothers Size.’ Photo by Henry DiRocco.
RIGHT Tarell Alvin McCraney, ‘The Brothers Size’ playwright.
‘A Doll’s House’ — a True Landmark of of Modern Drama In a time of financial desperation, a young wife makes a dangerous decision, taking an illegal risk to save her husband’s life. Years later, her secret comes back to haunt her, and its revelation will shake the foundations of her entire world. Written in 1879, Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” is a true landmark of modern drama. Director Kirsten Brandt and Ibsen translator Anne-Charlotte Hanes Harvey collaborate to create a new adaptation of the play expressly for the Globe’s intimate Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. “A Doll’s House” continues the Globe’s Classics Up Close series, which takes dramatic masterworks out
from behind the proscenium arch, allowing audiences to experience great drama in new and often unexpected ways. Opening night is March 28. The production runs through April 21. Kirsten Brandt (director and translator) previously directed “Hold Please,” “Lobby Hero,” “Christmas on Mars” and “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow” at The Old Globe. Her regional directing credits include La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, TheatreWorks, San Jose Repertory Theatre and North Coast Repertory Theatre. Brandt was executive artistic director of Sledgehammer The-
atre from 1999-2005 where she produced 23 theatrical events, directed 15 productions and wrote “The Frankenstein Project, NU: Parts I & III” and “Berzerkergang.” She served as associate artistic director at San Jose Repertory Theatre where she directed “Rabbit Hole,” “Splitting Infinity,” “Groundswell” and “Legacy of Light.” Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is often considered the father of modern drama. His plays are still highly topical, and after Shakespeare, his works are more frequently performed than any other playwright in the world. He began writing plays in 1850, and his best-known works
Playwright Henrik Ibsen.
include “A Doll’s House” (1879), “Ghosts” (1881), “An Enemy of the People” (1882) and “Hedda Gabler” (1890). Many of Ibsen’s plays are realistic, issuedriven dramas that focus on social criticism. “A Doll’s House” was Ibsen’s international breakthrough. His later plays shift to psychological and symbolic drama. His four last dramatic works, “The Master Builder” (1892), “Little Eyolf” (1894), “John Gabriel Borkman” (1896) and “When We Dead Awaken” (1899), are frequently characterized as dramatic self-portraits, as artistic confessions in the name of self-scrutiny and self-awareness.
‘A Doll’s House’ Director Kirsten Brandt.
A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen Adaptation by Anne-Charlotte Hanes Harvey and Kirsten Brandt Directed by Kirsten Brandt World Premiere Adaptation Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre Conrad Prebys Theatre Center
Translator Anne-Charlotte Hanes Harvey.
February 2013 | sdnorthparknews.com | 15
San Diego Youth Ballet Brings ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to the Park An enchanted castle. A magical forest. A prince in disguise. And one girl, pure of heart, whose love could break the spell. Explore the timeless themes of inner beauty and prevailing love as the classic story of “Beauty and The Beast,” through the lyric art of ballet, is performed. The production runs March 23-30 and all performances take place in the historic Casa del Prado stage. Tickets, on sale now, start at $10. For more information on show times and tickets, visit www.sdcyb.org or call (619) 233-3060.
Art of Elan Presents ‘In Your Dreams’ For their sixth season, Art of Élan is exploring, through music, the quirky world of the subconscious in “In Your Dreams,” set for March 5 at the San Diego Museum of Art, 7 to 8 p.m. The concert schedule promises a musical journey through all of the unpredictable, terrifying, sensuous and whimsical things that happen in your dreams. The third concert of the season is a
voyage through Indian classical music and its influence on modern-day composers. From the music of the recently passed Ravi Shankar to the explosion of Bollywood films, Indian sounds have infiltrated our culture. Featuring specialists in the Indian classical tradition as well as Robert Aldridge’s “threedance,” a highly rhythmic and lyrical work for violin, marim-
ba and tabla, this program draws connections between yesterday and today, while reminding us of the transportive nature of music. Renowned New York musicians Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Roopa Mahadevan (vocals) and Rajna Swaminathan (mridangam) will make their San Diego debut and present an extended set of traditional Carnatic music. Tickets are $20 and $25.
Art of Elan founders Kate Hatmaker and DeMarre McGill
San Diego Opera Presents West Coast Premiere of ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ San Diego Opera’s 48th International Season continues on Saturday, March 30, with the West Coast premiere of Ildebrando Pizzetti’s opera “Murder in the Cathedral.” Based on the T.S. Eliot play of the same name, the opera follows the final month of Thomas Becket’s life as he defends Canterbury Cathedral from King Henry II. Returning to sing one of his signature roles is San Diego Opera favorite, the Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto as Thomas Becket. American soprano Susan Neves makes her company debut as the First Chorister. Returning singers in this production are American tenor Allan Glassman as the Herald, American tenor Joel Sorensen as the First Tempter and First Knight, American bass Malcolm MacKenzie as the Second Tempter and Second
Knight, Egyptian bass Ashraf Sewailam as the Third Tempter and Third Knight, American bass Kevin Langan as the Fourth Tempter and Fourth Knight, American tenor Greg Fedderly as the First Priest, American baritone Kristopher Irmiter as the Second Priest, American bass Gregory Reinhart as the Third Priest and American mezzo-soprano Helene Schneiderman as the Second Chorister. Italian conductor Donato Renzetti makes a company debut leading the opera from the podium. San Diego Opera General and Artistic Director Ian Campbell will take to the director’s chair to stage the production. Performed in Italian with English translations above the stage, these are the first performances of “Murder in the Cathedral” at San Diego Opera.
The sets and costumes of “Murder in the Cathedral” were built and owned by San Diego Opera. The sets were designed by Ralph Funicello and the costumes were designed by Denitsa Bliznakova. The lighting designer is Alan Burrett. “Murder in the Cathedral” was composed by Ildebrando Pizzetti with the libretto based on the Italian translation of T.S. Eliot’s play “Murder in the Cathedral.” The production had its world premiere at Milan’s Teatro all Scala on March 1, 1958. These performances mark the West Coast premiere of this opera. “Murder in the Cathedral” will have a live radio broadcast on Saturday, March 30, at 7 p.m.on KPBS radio, 89.5 FM (97.7 FM Calexico) and online at www.kpbs.org.
16 | sdnorthparknews.com | February 2013
SAN DIEGO MUSICAL THEATRE ANNOUNCES 2013 SEASON OF MUSICALS
‘Chicago’ director Ron Kellum
North Park Theatre to host three productions for the year to Massachusetts and regional productions of “They’re Playing Our Song,” “Of Thee I Sing” and “Chicago,” among others. Tickets range from $26 to $56. Show Based in roaring ’20s Chicago, times are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 lover and convinces her hapless hus- p.m. Information at (858) 560-5740. band Amos to take the rap ... until he finds out he’s been duped and turns “The Sound of Music” on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death May 10-26. Book by Howard Lindsay row, Roxie and another “Merry Mur- and Russel Crouse, music by Richard deress,” Velma Kelly, vie for the spot- Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein light and the headlines, ultimately join- II. ing forces in search of the “American Dream”— fame, fortune and acquitThe final collaboration between tal. This sharp-edged satire features a Rodgers & Hammerstein was destined dazzling score that sparked immortal to become the world’s most beloved staging by Bob Fosse. musical. When a postulant proves too Director Ron Kellum has spent 20 high-spirited for the religious life, she years in the entertainment industry, is dispatched to serve as governess for performing on the Broadway stage, the seven children of a widowed naval choreographing celebrity entertainers captain. Her growing rapport with the on a film set and even staging thou- youngsters, coupled with her generossands of cheerleaders on a football ity of spirit, gradually captures the field. He penned his first book, “The heart of the stern captain and they Gypsy Survival Guide to Show Busi- marry. Upon returning from their honness,” choreographed “Iron Man 2” eymoon, they discover that Austria has appeared on “The Amazing Race” and been invaded by the Nazis, who directed several musicals, including demand the captain’s immediate ser“Rent” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” and “A vice in the navy. The family’s narrow Chorus Line,” among others. escape over the mountains to SwitzerChoreographer Randy Slovacek’s land on the eve of World War II prowork has been seen across the country, vides one of the most thrilling and from the 11,000-seat Muny Theater in inspirational finales ever presented in St. Louis to 99-seat off-Broadway the- the theater. aters in New York City. Credits include choreographing and supervising the “Ain’t Misbehavin’” National touring company of “Hello, Sept. 27-Oct. 13. Book by Murray HorDolly!” starring Carol Channing, com- witz and Richard Maltby Jr., music by panies of “A Chorus Line” from Texas Thomas “Fats” Waller.
“Chicago” the musical Feb. 15-March 3. Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, Music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb.
The inimitable Thomas “Fats” Waller rose to international fame during the golden age of the Cotton Club, honky tonk dives along Lenox Avenue, rent parties, stride piano players and that jumpin’ new beat, Swing. Although not quite a biography, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” evokes the delightful humor and infectious energy of this American original as a versatile cast struts, strums and sings the songs he made famous in a career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood and concert stages in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Ticket Information: Contact the administrative office at (858) 560-5740 or visit www.sdmt.org. Show Times: Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
‘The Sound of Music’ features music by Richard Rogers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.
Music by Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller is featured in the San Diego Musical Theatre production of ‘Ain’t Misbehavin.’
Choreographer Randy Slovacek
February 2013 | sdnorthparknews.com | 17
THE ACTOR AS TEACHER Veteran actor Jerry Phalen conducts acting classes for the joy of seeing his students build self-confidence BY MANNY CRUZ
Jerry Phalen started pursuing stage acting way back in high school, but it would be years later before he turned his talents into a professional acting career. “When I was in high-school I was extremely shy, but I made myself try out for every play and was accepted in most of them,” say Phalen, now in his ’70s. “For whatever reason, I was able to overcome much of my shyness. But then when I went away to college I needed to study something that would give me an income, having come from a home where my father had died at an early age.” Phalen, who has lived in Bankers Hill for the past 16 years, says he studied architecture and interior design while attending school in Chicago. “I made it a point to see every play and musical that came to the city,” he says. “I was in awe of actors who could go on stage and be so relaxed and so believable. But I put my dream of being an actor behind me in order to make a livelihood. “Years later, when I was fortunate enough to have made a good living from design and architecture, I seemed unfulfilled. I entered group therapy where I had quite an awakening as to not only who I am but as to what I really wanted to do with my life. “After quite a few months I told my group I was bored with what I was
doing and they asked me what I would like to do with my life. I said, ‘you will all laugh.’ After much hesitation, I said, ‘Well I would like to be an actor and sing and dance.’” No one laughed. No long after, Phalen enrolled in acting school and took voice lessons for eight years. “Unfortunately I never learned to really dance well but did have a wonderful choreographer in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and I did fairly well as Charlie (the second lead). After four years of acting classes my wonderful mentor, teacher and friend, Angelo Karas, told me to audition. That was really frightening. But I took myself to Pompano Beach Fla. and auditioned for the lead in ‘Denny,’ a so-so romantic comedy in a community theater that seated 300 people. I was really green but I struggled through it. I guess I wasn’t too bad as they gave me three more lead roles.” Emboldened by his success, Phalen auditioned for some equity theaters and
Actor and teacher Jerry Phalen conducts acting classes for all ages at the LGBT Center in Hillcrest.
was cast in major roles in Florida. Today, Phalen is teaching acting at the LGBT Center in Hillcrest, wanting to give back to students what he says he has been privileged to learn.” His next class — which is open to all ages — starts on Feb. 11 and ends on March 25. He will start another class in the fall.
in San Diego.” June Yamamoto, a businesswoman and one of Phalen’s current students, says she took his class to overcome her fear of speaking in front of people, which helps in her business. “I had tried speech classes but wasn’t building the confidence I felt I needed,” she says. “I tried this out to reach beyond my comfort zone and try something for fun as well. First, I learned that standing on a stage is frightening, with eyes watching. But with Jerry’s coaching, I was more focused on what he suggested rather than the eyes from the audience watching me. Jerry has made the classes fun rather – Jerry Phalen than terrifying for me with his helpful suggestions and his sin“My class has helped so many cere desire to help his students in betterbecome more self-confident in every- ing their acting skills.” day life,” says Phalen. “I have seen shy“I am a working actress,” says Michele ness disappear from many of my stu- Arrowsmith-Rowe, another student in dents; they feel more comfortable not the class. “So I appreciate how Jerry’s only in public speaking but in every class is a professional and working envikind of personal relationship. I volun- ronment. Also, as an artist, I love that he teer my teaching and I am not paid, has also created an atmosphere where it which is a real opportunity for students is a safe place, for the actor, to create, who can’t afford expensive workshops grow and develop one’s craft.”
“I have seen shyness disappear from many of my students; they feel more comfortable not only in public speaking but in every kind of personal relationship.”
Phalen’s acting career blossomed after he jumped into the profession full-time. Two years ago, he directed a full professional production of Tennessee Williams’ “Suddenly Last Summer” in San Miguel, Mexico, which won good reviews. He has acted all over — in Chicago, Miami, Wisconsin, Mexico and in San Diego. Phalen attended the University of Illinois and graduated from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He also graduated from Angelo Karas’ School of Acting in Chicago. “I enjoy acting, directing and teaching and feel that my class is a wonderful opportunity for students of all levels to learn without having to pay enormous sums of money for classes, since our class is free, which I believe is unheard of in the city of San Diego,” says Phalen. “Why do I do this? Because I love teaching and working with students and the gratification I receive when I see the changes that can be made for those wanting to make the effort. My motto is to motivate actors to the best of their abilities and help them achieve their dreams.”
Actor and teacher Jerry Phalen counsels a few of his acting class students, from left, Michele Arrowsmith-Rowe, Raymond Torres, Dana Byrne and June Yamamoto.
18 | sdnorthparknews.com | February 2013
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Introducing Best of North Park: Vote for your favorite! SUBMIT THIS BALLOT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN DINNER FOR TWO AT ONE OF NORTH PARK’S FINE RESTAURANTS ENTRY RULES: You choose your favorites. Tell us who the best of the best is and you’ll be entered into our free drawing. Please complete at least 50 % of the ballot. One ballot per person. Ballots must be submitted by email or post marked by FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2013. VOTE ONLINE: sdnorthparknews.com BY EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org BY MAIL: North Park News, P.O. Box 3679, Rancho Santa Fe, CA., 92067 Contact Info (must be filled out for your votes to be counted) NAME ____________________________________________________ ADDRESS ___________________________________________________________________________________________ CITY/ZIP______________________________ Daytime phone (
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Once Upon a Wedding’ opens at the Lafayette Hotel Comedy also will feature food, music and interactive entertainment The musical comedy “Once Upon A Wedding” will open in a new venue, the Lafayette Hotel, on Feb. 14 and 15. An evening with food, music, dancing and interactive entertainment will be featured, with the comedy showcasing hit songs from the ’50s to day. “Once Upon a Wedding” is produced and performed by Laughing Tree Productions, directed by Lisa Laughbaum, who also stars in the show as Liza, the wedding singer. “This show is all about fast-paced laughts and interactive entertainment,” says Laughbaum. “The audience really becomes like a part of the family, and gets to experience all the joys of attending a real wedding without the pressure of buying a perfect gift.”
The program includes a gourmet dinner, wedding cake, coffee service, a champagne toast and non-stop entertainment. Show times at the Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., are 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 and 15. General admission is $64.95; seniors are $59.95; and children 6-12 years of age are $49.95. For information, call (760) 591-3113. Synopsis “Once Upon a Wedding” follows Daisy Dudley and Davis Do-Wright as they celebrate their love in front of family and friends on their wedding day. But what should be the happiest day of their lives quickly turns into mayhem with mishaps of epic proportions. When the wedding coordinator,
minister and wedding party go missing, Daily decides she can’t continue, and it’s up to the wedding cooordinator-in-training and the wedding singer to keep the day from becoming a complete disaster. The shenanigans of Daisy’s lessthan-happy parents, her great-uncle Julie, and Davis’ free-spirited sister, Debbie, make for a hilarious laugh-out-loud good time. “Lisa (Laughbaum) is admittedly ‘an amazing multitasker’ who spends her mornings at Encinitas preschools, presenting her Children’s Music Workshop, a music appreciation program she created after she graduated from UC San Diego in 1990,” said reviewer Pat Launer in a review for La Jolla Patch. “Her 10-CD collection (“one for every month of the school year”) is selling well on
Amazon and iTunes (under the name of Miss Lisa). She also has a children’s theater video business, and part of her Emmy-nominated cable TV show can be viewed online by searching for ‘Little Red Caboose.’” Laughing Tree Productions The San Diego-based company produces children’s programing, including the Emmy-nominated pilot, “The Children’s Music Workshop,” winner of a Parents Guide Award. The group performs at school assemblies and has created 10 children’s music CDs, one for each month of the year. For more information, visit www.laughingtreeproductions.com.
Lisa Laughbaum plays the wedding singer.
Chris Ball plays Davis DoWright, the groom.
The cast of ‘Once Upon a Wedding.’ Photo: PPI Studios.
Ian Laughbaum plays the wedding coordinator-in-training.
Lindsey Pino plays Daisy Dudley, the bride.
February 2013 | sdnorthparknews.com | 19
By Bart Mendoza
From Melancholy to Garage Rock Singer songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill performs at Lestat’s on Feb. 16. Currently working on her seventh album, Berryhill is a master at crafting story songs, setting tone and mood with an intoxicating mix of words and instrumentation. Tunes can range from the melancholy of “Beautiful Stranger” to the garage rock of “She Had Everything,” never less than engaging, especially live. Despite some major accomplishments to her credit, Berryhill remains one of the U.S.’s most under-rated performers, but if you like your well-crafted pop and acoustic tunes mixed with the sort of production and arrangement daring-do of a folk based Brian Wilson, you’re in for a treat. Cindy Lee Berryhill: Saturday, Feb. 16 at Lestats, 3343 Adams Ave. 9 p.m. All ages. Cover TBD. www.Lestats.com
Mixing it Up With The Heavy Guilt Mixing blues, folk, soul, psychedelia and rock ‘n’ roll, The Heavy Guilt have come up with their own brand of Americana. Co-founded by percussionist Alfred Howard and keyboard player Josh Rice, the six-piece band is currently readying their third album for release this spring, but in the meantime will be playing tunes from the disc at their next gig Feb. 16 at the Soda Bar. While avoiding jam band clichés, the Heavy Guilt at its best builds up a solid groove that includes both impressive instrumental passages and impassioned vocals. It only takes one listen to clearly hear how The Heavy Guilt have become one of the most popular groups in San Diego. The Heavy Guilt: Saturday, Feb. 16 at The Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd. 8:30 p.m. 21 and up. $10. www.sodabarmusic.com.
Ramona Falls’ Brent Knopf
Rendering of the USO building.
Venice: Part of Music Royalty Swingin’ With The Palominos Country music fans won’t want to miss the Palominos, performing on Feb. 9 at Rosie O’Grady’s. Anyone looking for the air-brushed sound of modern country radio will be disappointed. Instead, this is a band that deals in the roots of the music, harkening back to the Bakersfield sound, complete with “western” clothes and cowboy hats. The band includes an occasional original, but it’s the covers of everything from Appalachian folk songs to Buck Owens hits that keep the crowds happy. The Palominos music is perfect for swing dancing or as a Saturday night soundtrack for drowning a few sorrows.
The Palominos: Saturday, Feb. 9 at Rosie O’Grady’s, 3402 Adams Ave. 9 p.m. 21 and up. Cover TBD. www.rosieogradyspub.com.
In todays over-saturated music market, few bands can fill venues one night, let alone two, but then again, Venice, appearing at AMSDConcerts on Feb. 22 and 23, isn’t your typical group. Started in 1977, the quartet is part of music royalty, being either cousins of, or brothers to, ’60s icons the Lennon Sisters, but it’s an impressive career they’ve carved out on their own. As highly in demand studio and session players and vocalists, Kipp, Pat, Michael and Mark Lennon, have performed with a who’s who of the Top 40, touring or recording with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Elton John, most recently on the road through several tours with Roger Waters. However, it’s their own music that’s packing venues these days, with a catalog 15 albums deep. If you’re a fan, you won’t want to miss a second of these shows at this intimate, acoustically perfect venue, but anyone who enjoys heartfelt rock- and folk-edged tunes will love this show, from what are arguably four of the best musicians currently on the planet. With the resume to back it up. Venice: Friday & Saturday Feb. 22 and 23 at AMSD Concerts, 4650 Mansfield St. 7: 30 p.m. All ages. $22. www.amsdconcerts.com.
Ramona Falls at the Kensington Club Though Portland-based Ramona Falls is definitely a band, the reality is it’s really songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brent Knopf. Indeed, there are two versions on the group, depending on whether you are in Europe or the U.S., with Knopf as the solo link between them. Either way, the band’s sound is hard to pigeonhole, with tracks ranging from atmospheric, acoustic-based pop rock tunes (think a hard edged mid-’60sBee Gees) to more keyboard-driven workouts. Ramona Falls is currently touring in support of their most recent album, “Prophet,” stopping in at the Kensington Club on Feb. 24. The album continues with more of Knopf’s wonderful tunesmithing. While his songs like “I Say Fever” and the “Darkest Day” somehow avoided hit status on release, they deserve a wider hearing. This concert is the perfect opportunity. Ramona Falls: Sunday, Feb. 24 at the Kensington Club, 4079 Adams Ave., 10 p.m. 21 and up. Cover TBD. myspace.com/aguadulcemusic
20 | sdnorthparknews.com | February 2013