Page 1











2 3 Welcome to HQ7 5 Calendar of Events 7 9 11 12 15 16 17 19 21 22 23

community Year in Review The Village Has a Voice The Fight Against H8 Changing Face of Hillcrest Preserving Our Livability From Our Councilman Save Hillcrest Let the Sunshine In Light My Fire Change Needed at City Hall

43 45 46 47 49 51

characters Elinor Meadows The Beauty on Duty San Diego’s First Mystic The Great Jaguarina San Diego Rainmakers


53 55 Food for Thought 57 Lalo’s Two Decades 59 Hillcrest Taste of Morocco


61 63 Balboa Park’s Trails 69 I ♥ North Park 71 Mysterious Tenor

How many tennis courts are at Morley Field?

25 26 29 31 33

history Hillcrest Reflections History of the Park Manor GSDBA 30th Anniversary Threads of Whitson History

73 75 76 77 79

neighbors i hb Dryden Historical District NP’s Councilman Allen Hitch University Avenue Gateway History of Morley Field



35 37 The Bobolink Boyz 39 San Diego’s Visionary 41 The Man Behind the Expo

81 83 Support Local Business 85 The Art of Freecycle 87 The Cream of the Crop 89 91 93 95 97

services Get on the Bus Mills Act Benefits Trivia Answers Smart Car, Smart Boys

Volume VII July 2009 – June 2010

Reproduction of any material in this issue is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. All contents copyright 2009. HillQuest does not warrant or make representations as to the quality, content, accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links and other items contained in this issue. Material in this publication has been compiled from a variety of sources and is subject to change without notice. All photos are property of HillQuest unless otherwise noted.

history pioneers characters dining

Contributors Ben Cartwright Carl DeMaio Donna Frye Timothy Gahagan Todd Gloria Bob Grinchuk Barry Hager Michael Kelly Janet Mulshine Michelle Nack NP Historical Society Moumen Nouri Reuel Olin Jerry Schad Rebecca Smith Dan Soderberg John Taylor Mike Tidmus Andrew Towne Betty Willis


Layout/Design Timothy W. Brittain


Publishers Ann Garwood Nancy Moors


3742 Seventh Avenue, Ste B San Diego, CA 92103-4348 (619) 260-1929

ach HillQuest brings an annual reflection on changes to our neighborhood. Last November, two qualified contenders battled to represent us at city hall. As a bonus, both were gay. After a hard-fought election with more than its share of nastiness, District 3 chose Todd Gloria (see page 17) as our new council representative. His struggle now is to maintain services in our financially strapped city. It’s great that Hillcrest has an abundance of individuals willing to make a difference — whether it’s picking up litter, marching for injustice (see page 12) or being a watchdog for bureaucratic waste. Volunteers continue the work to build an even better community. After the battle over the 148-foot 301 University project, concerned activists formed Save Hillcrest (see page 19) to preserve the neighborhood character from inappropriate development. The mission of this new nonprofit is to educate the community on projects that could adversely change the quality of our lives. In early spring, the Hillcrest Town Council (see page 11) elected its first board. It’s hard to imagine this neighborhood being around for over a century without a residents’ group, but we now have a voice, and the timing is perfect since the city is in the process of updating our community plan. We encourage everyone to become involved in this new vision for our neighborhood and to give input regarding the next blueprint for Hillcrest. We hope that you enjoy HQ7, and learn something new about this special place so many of us call home.





Which Hillcrest Town Council board member attended the Obama inauguration?


JULY 18 & 19 LGBT Pride’s “Stonewall 2.0 — Activism for Equality” themed 35th annual events are highlighted by San Diego’s largest parade, followed by a two-day festival in Balboa Park.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 Hillcrest Mardi Gras will celebrate their 9th annual street fair along University west of the Hillcrest sign. Lots of beads for one and all.

SUNDAY, JUNE 6 Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon — This annual footrace moves through the neighborhood early (around 7am) with bands every mile. It’s worth a view as several runners WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5 don unique costumes. Come cheer Movie on the Roof — Enjoy an them on. outdoor movie on the top of Whole Foods Market’s parking structure. This year’s feature is Ratatouille. Free! SUNDAY, AUGUST 9 CityFest — Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the re-lighting of the iconic Hillcrest sign. This

history pioneers characters dining

SUNDAY, JULY 5 Hop in the ’Hood — Celebrate the arrival of the seventh edition of HillQuest with live music on Seventh Avenue between Robinson & Pennsylvania. The Flower Power parade of non-motorized, greenery SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31 and flower decorated floats begins Nightmare on Normal St. — San at noon. Diego’s best costumes will gather on Halloween night along Normal Street north of University Avenue.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 13 Toast to Hillcrest — Stroll your way from bistro to bar and raise a glass to Hillcrest. Discounted tickets only $19 thru July. Visit HillcrestHistory. org for more details on this adultonly fun-raiser featuring wine, spirits & nibbles.


year’s event will culminate with a party under the sign. Bring your dancing shoes, sunhat and shades for a fabulous Sunday in the heart of the ‘hood.


JUNE 16 THRU AUGUST 27 Twilight in the Park — Enjoy hour-long free concerts at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:15pm all summer. Enjoy swing to Zydeco to harmony. Perfect for a family picnic.


Visit the calendar for daily events.




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Enjoy comfort cuisine for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the friendly, family atmosphere of Babbo Grande. Fido is welcome on the “Bella Terrace” our pet-friendly back patio.

What parade is held at the Hop in the ’Hood?

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Sittin’ on a stoop at the Hop in the ’Hood

Turn off your TV Leave your house Know your neighbors Greet people Look up when you’re walking Fly your flag with pride Ask for help when you need it Sit on your stoop Plant flowers Use your library Hire young people for odd jobs Play together Buy from local merchants Share what you have Help a lost dog Take children to the park Honor elders Support neighborhood schools Have potlucks Fix it even if you didn’t break it Help carry something heavy Garden together

Pick up litter Read stories aloud Dance in the street Talk to the mail carrier Listen to the birds Barter for your goods Start a tradition Ask a question Organize a block party Bake extra and share Open your shades Sing together Share your skills Take back the night Turn up the music Turn down the music Listen before you react to anger Mediate a conflict Seek to understand Learn from new and uncomfortable angles Seek to hear the unheard Get involved in life


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JULY 8, 2008

MARCH 21, 2009

An Interim Height Ordinance was Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan passed limiting new development marches through Hillcrest before to 65 feet in Hillcrest. a rally marking the 6th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.




DECEMBER 8, 2008

Todd Gloria is sworn in as CD3’s first openly gay councilman.

JANUARY 28, 2009

Openings: Fiji Yogurt, Mankind, The Modeling Center, David’s Coffee (at Cafe Eleven), Beyond Juice, Pasha, La Coffee Cake, Barry’s Bootcamp, Which Wich, Pinkberry, Mille Feuille and 5th Ave Deli.

The Uptown Community Plan update Closings: British Invasion, Hula’s, kicks off at a meeting led by SD’s House of Heirlooms, Dolce Freddo, Capri Yogurt, Radiant Health & Planning Director, Bill Anderson. Chiropractic, Vespa Store, Studio Blue, Abi, Corvette Diner, Ranoosh MARCH 10, 2009 Neighborhood residents elect the and Assembly. Hillcrest Town Council’s first board She will be missed: Aida Mancillas. of directors. Artist, optimist, activist and dear friend to the community. Think of Aida when crossing the Vermont Hillcresters celebrate St. Patrick’s Street pedestrian bridge. Day throughout the neighborhood.




After sitting dormant for over a year, the Mi Arbolito tower at Sixth & Upas comes to life.


APRIL 16, 2009


Benjamin Nicholls becomes the fourth director for the Hillcrest Business Association.


JANUARY 5, 2009

Save Hillcrest receives its nonprofit status from the federal government…on the same day, after years of neglect, the Robinson Avenue bridge over 163 on gets a paint job.


MARCH M ARCH 19, 2009


MARCH 17, 2009


Who is the boy depicted in the wall mural at Lalo’s?

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Thanks to the Hillcrest Town Council, our neighborhood does have a voice for the residents who participate. The Hillcrest Town Council meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8pm in the Joyce Beers Community Center. Please join us.

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The neighborhood group invited each of the District 3 City Council contenders to their first forum facilitated by the League of Women Voters. A wide representation of politicians and government officials sought neighbor input — from Mayor Jerry Sanders to Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña and US Congressmember Susan Davis. Community preservationist Barry Hager talked to neighbors about the importance of the Interim Height Ordinance (IHO), prompting neighbors to voice their wishes to extend the proposed 65-foot height limit from Brookes further south to Upas Street. The IHO was approved by the City Council in July of 2008. After the state allowed gay couples to wed (see page 12), representatives from the County Clerk’s office explained the procedure so same-sex couples could apply for marriage licenses. The Development Committee implemented a Development Watch on the website to alert residents about building permits issued in our community. The committee also assembled design principles, which will be used to update the current Uptown Community Plan. The Neighborhood Improvement Committee (NIC) organized quarterly clean-up efforts and coordinated an “after Pride” cleanup that earned the HTC $900. In addition the committee presented several LION (Let’s Improve Our Neighborhood) awards to recognize outstanding enhancements to Hillcrest properties.


he Hillcrest Town Council (HTC) began a third year by electing its first board of directors. Eight candidates were nominated in February 2009 for elections the following month. The first board of directors are chair John Taylor; vice-chair Juli Peters-Hyde; secretary Nancy Moors; treasurer Tim Gahagan and member-at-large Ann Garwood. Will having a board change the HTC? Not really. The steering committee will continue to set the agenda, and the board will implement the voice of the people. Elections may have been the most exciting landmark for the HTC over the past year, but so much more was accomplished, including:



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LION awards presented by Judy Nagel to Carmen Lucci & Nick Hubbard.



s I got off the bus at Upas and Fifth, the driver said, “Looks like a big day for you people.” I smiled and replied, “I hope it’s going to be a big

day for all of us people.” Camera in hand, I walked to the northwest corner of Balboa Park. I was early. A few hundred people milled around, unfurling banners on the ground, joking and drinking coffee. As the number of people continued to grow, I told myself to keep expectations low and focus on the reason we were gathering here on this sunny November morning. Earlier in the year, on May 15, the California Supreme Court, in a 4–3 decision, ruled that marriage is a fundamental right for all citizens. In so doing, they struck down, as unconstitutional, an existing statutory ban and Proposition 22, a ballot initiative that prevented the state from recognizing same-gender civil marriages. In the months following that decision, an estimated 18,000 same-gender couples were married in California — including many of our friends and neighbors here in San Diego. At the same time, anti-LGBT organizations, including some churches, began to pour money and resources into our state to support a new ballot initiative — Proposition 8. Similar to Prop 22, Prop 8 was intended to limit civil marriage to one man and one woman. The contest leading up to November 4’s Election Day was the costliest and certainly among the most hotly-contested and divisive ballot initiatives in California history. While many shed tears of joy at the news of the election of our first African-American President, we also awoke to the sobering reality that a slim majority had taken away marriage equality in our state. The Saturday

“The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

About the Author: Mike Tidmus is a daily blogger at where you can read or view photos and posts about the fight against Prop 8 — and beyond.

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following the election saw 8,000–10,000 people take to the streets of Hillcrest for a march to protest the passage of Prop 8. The turnout exceeded all expectations. It was clear all along that not all San Diegans opposed Prop 8. Hotel magnate, Doug Manchester, and the Caster family who runs a self-storage empire, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to take away marriage equality in California. Both became the subjects of successful boycotts by Californians Against Hate. Local attorney Charles LiMandri signed on as general counsel for the National Organization for Marriage, and Hillcrest gadfly James Hartline and Pastor Jim Garwell of Skyline Church attempted to position the ballot initiative as a battle of Biblical proportions. Another call went out for a second march against Prop 8. The event’s grassroots organizers took advantage of every new means of communication. The call was Twittered, FaceBooked, MySpaced and blogged, but there was no way of knowing what the response would be. Then, on the morning of November 15, people began arriving in Balboa Park. There were people who admitted they’d never marched for anything before. Activists represented every community imaginable. They came alone and in groups. The marchers brought their children, some in strollers, and they brought their dogs. They carried handcrafted signs, banners and flags emblazoned with rainbow colors as well as stars and stripes. Some brought their marriage certificates, and all shared their passion and determination that the bigotry inherent in Prop 8 must not be allowed to taint the Constitution of the State of California. “You just have to make your voice heard, that’s all. This is a terrible injustice. I’m 80, and I’m prepared to spend every Saturday for the rest of my life marching,” said Marion Rothman, who had recently married her partner. In all, close to 25,000 people marched peacefully, though noisily, from Balboa Park through downtown to the County Administration Building where they listened to speakers and music. The turnout for the march was double the combined counts of concurrent marches in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In big cities and small towns across the country and in some foreign countries, at exactly the same hour, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets for equality and fairness under the law and against California’s Prop 8, which had taken away both. Attorney Gloria Allred, who, on the day after the election, challenged Prop 8 in court, told the San Diego crowd, “It ain’t over yet!” adding, “We’re not going to be over it until we win equal rights under the law.”




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n the final year of her life, my grandmother was fond of saying, “I wish my parents were still alive to see this. They would not believe the

changes in this place!” After enjoying neighborhood photos of the past

15 community

Changing Face of Hillcrest

About the Author: Tim Gahagan has lived all over Hillcrest and currently enjoys living on Herbert.

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Gone is the four-story Victorian hospital at Sixth & University and the brick Florence School further to the west. Also long gone are the trolley cars, which rattled down the middle of University Avenue past the three-story Victorian school at Vermont Street (see below), first built as a SDHS gym annex, then moved here to accommodate the burgeoning new bedroom community. It was replaced with a parking lot for Sears & Roebuck, so popular at Christmas time that directions to available spaces were made from the rooftop. But it’s also now gone, replaced with the Uptown District, a mega-complex of stores and condos (see HQ6). Even the Spirits Shop at Fifth & University (see page 26) is missing. Could this all have happened in one short century? Some charming old buildings remain, but their personalities have changed. Saint Joseph’s surgical annex, moved to become a furniture store at University & Eighth, is now a wholesale outlet store; the large dance hall on University is Legends; and the former Craftsman Union Hall is now the bustling LGBT Center. The original Vermont Street Bridge is gone too, but a new one made of steel, art and inspirational poems now enhances pedestrian journeys. We can’t stop change, but we can direct it. There is still time for all of us to make a difference by providing input for our next community plan or by making individual marks on what Hillcrest will become. It makes me smile knowing our neighborhood has been named as one of America’s best. It’s the people, the trees, the buildings and the walk-ability that make up this community I call home. Regarding the change, I’d tell my grandmother that I don’t believe it either.

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been transformed.


100 years, I am also amazed at how our small community of Hillcrest has



he poor economy has slowed development and Hillcrest residents have gotten a breather from the assault on our neighborhood. With

a community plan update finally in the works, residents must address an infrastructure deficit that includes inadequate park and recreation facilities, poorly maintained roads, sidewalks, sewer pipes, insufficient parking and

What was the name of Jaguarina’s horse?

police presence, litter, graffiti, traffic jams and inadequate water. Soon, we will have water rationing, but our city continues to issue building permits. Why should existing taxpayers suffer a water shortage so more people can move here? It is long past time for residents to fight back and insist that all development be supported by the man-made and natural infrastructure that population growth requires. As the community plan is updated, my motto as a member of Uptown Planners (the local advisory group) will be “Infrastructure first.” This means not allowing a situation to develop in which city officials and political leaders make the empty promise that “the infrastructure will be provided” and then break that promise as they have in the past. The recently updated City General Plan is little more than an elaborate promise of sufficient infrastructure — an assurance that can only be enforced by expensive California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuits paid for by residents. This “planning by lawsuit” is not only expensive and unpleasant; it shows how little our city and state leaders really care about the welfare of residents. I mention state leaders because they are implicated in the “growth at all costs and infrastructure be damned” ethos that shapes California planning and development. Don’t be deceived by the rhetoric of “smart growth,” “green development,” “sustainable development,” “mixed-use development,” etc. These are Orwellian terms of deception meant to persuade you that concern for the environment guides the planning, when the very opposite is true. Unfortunately, the health of the environment and your quality of life are the last things that the powers that be in this city and state care about. About the Author: Andrew Towne is a board member of the Uptown Planners and a voice on the Hillcrest Town Council.


n 2007 when the American Planning Association honored Hillcrest as one of the Top 10 Great Neighborhoods in the nation, residents



It’s a wonderful place to live, work and play! Residents are diverse. Both homeowners and renters, young and old, gay and straight, people of all nationalities and colors contribute to the local flavor. Residents are highly engaged and are proponents of smart growth and preserving community character. Whether replacing the Vermont Street footbridge or fighting inappropriate development, Hillcresters are active in local planning issues and the fight to maintain neighborhood integrity. I have long felt a kinship with this community, through my past work as chair of The Center and Congresswoman Susan Davis’ representative to the area. I am pleased that as your councilmember, I am able to continue my support and protection of Hillcrest’s heritage and populace. About the Author: Todd Gloria was elected councilman of San Diego’s District Three on November 4, 2008.

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Hillcresters have much to celebrate and festivities are held throughout the year. San Diego LGBT Pride is an annual celebration that takes place in July — with a parade and a two-day festival in Balboa Park. CityFest’s annual street fair features live entertainment and much more. Other events include the Toast to Hillcrest, Mardi Gras and a weekly farmers market (see page 87).


Hillcrest has a small-town feel with all the urban conveniences. The commercial district has an eclectic mix of restaurants, stores, bars and clubs. Hillcrest also is home to one of the largest hospital complexes in the city.


Located north of the Zoo and Balboa Park, Hillcrest offers a variety of social and cultural activities. The neighborhood is filled with vintage craftsman homes and newer, upscale condominiums on tree-lined streets that are pedestrian friendly. Its famous neon sign is a connection to the community’s past and a shining light on its exciting future.


do business.


diverse, vibrant urban village — a unique and special place to live and


were pleased but not surprised. Hillcrest has long been recognized as a


How’s YOUR garden grow? ÊÊ->˜Ê ˆi}œÊ œÕ˜ÌÞ

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he spark behind Save Hillcrest began in June of 2005 when three local community activists (John Taylor, George Wedemeyer and Rick

19 community

Invest $1 to Protect Our Community Character? Wilson) realized that the public was completely unfamiliar with how development was built. The trio began to talk to business owners, neighbors and patrons of coffee shops to keep them informed about the


Hillcrest would be transformed if the proposed 12-story 301 University

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Save Hillcrest is an organization dedicated to educating neighbors on land-use regulations and developments that affect the quality of life in the Uptown area. For as little as $1 a year you can become a member of the Save Hillcrest team. Join us at and become a member today. You’ll receive periodic electronic updates on projects planned for the neighborhood and notifications of recent changes to state and local zoning laws. Visit to learn how your involvement can make a difference.


The activists began collecting over 2,000 signatures on a petition voicing the public’s outrage to the tower and the process that followed with the City of San Diego’s Planning Commission. Eventually, Save Hillcrest joined forces with Friends of San Diego, Inc. and raised funds so that a lawsuit could be filed against the 301 University developer and the City of San Diego (see HQ6). The group prevailed in the lawsuit, and the developer was required to complete a full California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of the project. Community concerns regarding vertical development in Hillcrest increased with proposed high-rises along Fifth Avenue. An Interim Height Ordinance (IHO) was needed more than ever. Many thanks to Mission Hills resident Barry Hager for making the IHO come to fruition. Volunteers decided to incorporate Save Hillcrest as a nonprofit so the community could be better educated about new developments planned for our neighborhood.


beyond a 100-feet radius.


land-use process in which the city is not required to share with those

Where are Hillcrest Town Council meetings held?




an Diego enjoys abundant sunshine, but unfortunately the sun does not always shine as brightly at City Hall. The concept of sunshine in

local government is clear and simple: The public’s business should be



Make city contracts more transparent. We proposed that all taxpayerfunded contracts over $25,000 be posted in an easily searchable way on the city’s website; and that contractors with cumulative contracts exceeding $25,000 also be listed, with links to each individual contract. Fully disclose documents in a timely manner. Too often things are missing from the docket materials presented to councilmembers, or details are presented too late for proper review. We have proposed new rules to ensure timely public disclosure of documents. Require public records. As the city continues to use outside contractors we need to ensure that the public has the ability to see how their tax dollars are being spent. It is critical that any private entity contracting with the city be held to the same standards as the government. By enacting reforms such as these, the long-range forecast for San Diego will become more clear and sunny. About the Author: Councilwoman Donna Frye represents constituents in San Diego’s District 6 — and beyond.

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Last summer Councilmember Carl DeMaio and I created the bipartisan “Council Governance Project,” which generated proposals for additional reforms for an open government. One essential change already adopted by the Council is to increase the number of evening meetings, enabling more citizens to participate. But much more is needed, including the following:


In 2004 City Council colleagues joined me in implementing several reforms. An important one required that citizens have the right to comment on items heard in closed session, and that these sessions are to be transcribed. The purpose was to emphasize that closed sessions should be the exception, and not the rule.


what elected officials are doing and why.


citizens, the ultimate decision-makers in our democratic system, about


conducted in public. Open government is the only way to properly inform



n a beautiful day in July 2007, four San Diego firefighters from Station

5 in Hillcrest took a short ride in a big red fire truck for the city’s

annual Pride Parade. A contingent of department brass marched ahead of the truck, and a paramedic ambulance followed up behind. A month later the firefighters and their attorney filed a lawsuit against the city claiming they had been sexually harassed. Despite an apology from lesbian fire chief, Tracy Jarman, and a change in department policy on parade staffing by volunteers only, the lawsuit proceeded.

When was the Hillcrest sign brought back to life and relit?

Their attorney claimed the four “brave, Christian firefighters” were the targets of sexually suggestive taunts who endured catcalls when crowd after “witnessing barely-clothed men they th eyy loo llooked ooke kedd aw away ayy fro ffrom rom m th thee cr crow owdd af performing simulated sex acts” during their 90-minute ride. (Note their journey was six feet off the ground, encased in steel with the windows rolled up, the engine rumbling, the dispatch radio crackling, music playing on their headsets and no parade spectator or participant within ten feet of the fire truck.) That horrendous experience left the firefighters with headaches, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, other stress-related disorders and the possibility of a multi-million dollar payoff. The firefighters’ attorney seemed to be trying to put San Diego’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and the Pride Parade itself on trial. A notice on the attorney’s website read, “Don’t let the radical gay agenda trample our Christian beliefs and constitutional rights.” The first trial ended in October 2008 with the jury unable to reach a verdict as to whether harassment had occurred. In February 2009 hopes of a huge settlement for the men were dashed when the second jury ruled in their favor, but awarded only $34,300 to the foursome. The following month, SD’s City Council voted unanimously to appeal the decision. Despite what was obviously an anomaly, the citizens of Hillcrest to whom I’ve spoken still have the highest regard for our firefighters and paramedics who make our community a safer place in which to live. About the Author: Local resident Mike Tidmus is the creator of “A Blog From San Diego.” Visit for his daily updates.


hen I ran for City Council I knew things were pretty bad. As a taxpayer watchdog I’ve fought for years to shine a light on what’s going on

with taxpayer monies — and guard against special-interest influence on city



decisions. Across the socio-economic and political spectrum of our diverse

Open & Honest Government: Working in a bipartisan fashion, I have teamed with Councilmember Donna Frye to propose sunshine rules for city government (see page 21). Jobs-Friendly Climate: This begins with local tax reform to support our small businesses. In January I began to raise awareness of the city’s practice of billing the self-employed for business taxes. I have proposed a four-point tax and regulatory relief package to support and educate these small businesses. Cleaning up the mess at City Hall won’t be easy, but with a commitment to work cooperatively in the public interest, we can create a city government San Diegans can be proud of again. About the Author: Carl DeMaio, the first gay man elected to the SD City Council, represents Council District 5.

pioneers characters dining fun neighbors

Rebuild Community Infrastructure: Unfortunately, the city has allowed its core community infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, water pipes and public safety facilities) to decay. Instead of diverting scarce dollars to lavish projects such as a $743 million new City Hall, we must make these infrastructure issues the top priority. In addition, through improved oversight we need to improve how infrastructure dollars like Development Impact Fees (DIF) are spent. Without reform, San Diegans risk paying more and getting less.


Balance the Budget: After decades of running a deficit, the city must balance its budget for real without accounting gimmicks or raiding our reserves. This will require that we live within our means. Our new City Council must finish the job of pension reform, implement voter-mandated efficiency reforms and trim city salaries/benefits to sustainable levels.


Reforming our city government is my top priority, and I believe with political will and cooperation from our leaders this can happen. As such, I’ve committed to four priorities for restoring SD’s fiscal health and rebuilding public trust.


city, people are also expressing a strong desire for fundamental change.

When is the monthly meeting for Hillcrest residents?


Do you have old Hillcrest photos & memories to share?


“Hillcrest has tremendous potential because of the location and the stability of the residents. But it needs some hard work in planning and designing, such as better circulation and sign control. I like Hillcrest so much I live there.” —John E. Hirten, author of San Diego, A Portrait of a Spectacular City, its Treasures, Traditions and Promise, 1969 “Actions without vision just passes time; Vision without action is merely a dream; Vision and action can change the world.” —Joel Barker, futurist Now is the time to visualize the next chapter of Hillcrest history. Our neighborhood plans are currently over 20 years old and in many cases no longer reflect the needs of the community. Hillcrest has an opportunity and a challenge to make certain that community aspects, which we cherish most, are preserved, including historical homes, buildings and other resources. Help save Hillcrest history by ensuring that new projects or politicians do not obliterate our community’s charm and character. Please participate in the process by attending the Uptown Planners meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at 6pm in the Joyce Beers Community Center.


reflections I

remember Hillcrest as my earliest home. When I was born at Mercy Hospital in mid-1949, my parents and sister Carol lived in a one-

bedroom apartment in Ocean Beach. Six months later my family moved to a two-bedroom duplex on Sixth Avenue in Hillcrest, because my father owned a liquor store called The Spirits Shop, at Fifth & University just west of Ray Drug store with the Hurricane Cafe on the other side.

Who was responsible for removing North Park parking meters? What night offers Hillcrest bargains?

My father learned of the duplex because Morton Johnson was a good customer. The Johnsons — Mort, Mildred and their teenage children Bobby and Wilma — lived in the front house and had built the duplex after the war. This home was my complete environment until I was old enough to walk with my sister, by ourselves, to Florence School during the week or to the commercial district on the weekends. My first best friend, Lyndell Altie, and I would walk or skate up and down the blocks, until we got bikes and were able to ride farther through the neighborhood. The sidewalk in front of the house on the south side ended at an arbor over the canyon edge. It was a small, lath-enclosed area, with a bench on one side, and a thick vine branch growing through the lath along the other side. The branch was sturdy enough for us kids to sit on and gently swing back and forth. On weekends, our family did many things together — yard-work, shopping, going to the library in Mission Hills or family picnics. To get away, we’d go to Warner Hot Springs, or join my grandparents, aunts and uncles for picnics after church in the park or in the country. Torrey Pines was a favorite place to barbecue and play on the beach. On Saturdays we occasionally Park. occasiionally had ppancake ancake breakfast picnics at Pr PPresidio esidio Park k.

community history pioneers

Even after I moved away and attended college in Northern California, I always returned to Hillcrest. We sold the home that had been built before WWII and later, in 2000 for health reasons, my parents moved away. The first house I lived in was long gone, sliced from its canyon perch to make room for apartments. Whenever I’m in San Diego, I make that trip to see how places from my past look now, and relive a few wonderful memories of my Hillcrest childhood.


About the Author: History buff Janet Mulshine now lives in Oakland and hopes that all of San Diego’s canyons don’t disappear.


As we got older, exploring Mission Hills on foot or bikes became easier. We liked to visit the nursery at the end of Brant, where you could catch tiny frogs that lived among the larger potted shrubs and trees. And we loved the softies at the Foster Freeze on the northwest corner of Dove & Washington, and stopping by the five-and-dime on Goldfinch. The Ace Drug Store was the place to look at new comics or have a coke at the soda fountain.


At the eastern end of Montecito was a huge canyon. Parts of it were cultivated, including grape arbors and fields of flowers and crops. There was a large tree growing up a gentle slope, with a rope hanging from a large branch. We all took turns, but when I swung out the rope slipped between my hands, and I went flying into the bushes. We walked back to Mrs. Thompson’s, and she called my mother. That evening my left arm began to ache terribly, and I ended up with a cast.


Weekends by this time included Saturday matinees at the Hillcrest Theater. Everyone I knew went to the show each week. Then we could usually spare some money from our allowances for candy at Hammond’s or Sprouse-Reitz.


We shopped at Carl Thudium’s market on University. Mr. Thudium was a good friend of my father and went to our church. We also shopped at the Piggly Wiggly on Sixth between University and Robinson. Frequently, we went downtown on Friday evenings after dinner and my parents shopped for items like clothes and home accessories. Marston’s and Walker Scott were the main department stores back then.



Our favorite restaurants were Caesar’s at Sixth & University, Pernicano’s on Sixth, Jimmy Wong’s on University, the Chicken Pie Shop at Fifth & Robinson, Anthony’s on Pacific Coast Highway, Manuel’s in Old Town, and later, Consuelo’s on University.

What is the cost of the First Avenue Bridge retrofit?


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pon entering the gracious lobby of Park Manor Suites Hotel, the Italian Renaissance designs of noted architect Frank Allen unveil the

elegant style of the seven-story landmark. If you haven’t been before, stop



by this red brick apartment hotel built in 1926, which spans the block

pioneers characters dining fun neighbors shopping services

Master architect Frank Allen first came to San Diego in 1911 as a director for the upcoming Panama-California Exposition, which was to begin four years later in what is now Balboa Park. He designed the iconic Cabrillo Bridge as well as many of the exposition buildings and gardens. A decade later, Allen gathered a group of investors (including child actor Jackie Coogan’s family) and designed the hotel’s 82 suites in five different types each containing a living room, dining area, sleeping/ dressing areas and bathroom. Hailed as one of San Diego’s most elegant apartment hotel residences, the architect and his wife promptly moved in immediately after completion. Today 75 of the original suites are offered to guests. The posh penthouse, first designed as a solarium and lounge still features fabulous panoramic views. This floor, now the Top of the Park Restaurant & Bar, is definitely worth a visit to enjoy the sweeping views of San Diego Bay, downtown, uptown and the verdant Balboa Park. The Top of the Park has received numerous awards as a premier wedding or event space. Each Friday evening it’s packed with a gay happy hour. Another restaurant on the ground floor, Inn at the Park, is known for its continental flair, delicious prime rib dinners and nightly cabaret performances at the piano bar. The building was in disrepair in 1978 when Dr. Stanley Willis II envisioned a return to its former glory. This Renaissance man with an impressive array of accomplishments — noted psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, law professor, thespian, yacht racer, ranch owner and world traveler — Stanley Willis endeavored to make Park Manor Suites the beacon of arts, civility and tolerance that it is known for today. Though Dr. Willis passed away in 2004, this unique historic landmark lives on, run by the trust that bears his name.


along Spruce Street from Sixth to Fifth avenues.



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he Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) celebrates its 30th Anniversary in 2009, 30 years of building community through business.



supportive chamber of commerce. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economic growth for member businesses and advocating mainstream acceptance of diversity within our society and in the business


GSDBA is San Diego’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and community-

Strategic alliances, successful collaborations and community involvement have made GSDBA one of the largest specialty chambers in the county. GSDBA is the second largest gay, lesbian and supportive chamber in the nation. Eight hundred members strong it remains true to its roots of supporting community businesses and offering programs, networking opportunities, social activities, professional development and advocacy related to business. In 2004 GSDBA became a founding member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, taking an active role in national level advocacy efforts and programs to meet the needs of small businesses. The national partnership offers members access to national procurement contracts. At the 30-year mark GSDBA remains true to its mission to promote business development in order to increase economic opportunities for its members, the LGBT community and all who support business equality.

Proud Member of

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GSDBA’s signature publication, the business resource Directory first published in 1979, has grown from 16 pages to 320 pages. Each year 30,000 copies are printed and distributed throughout the county.


From 1979 to 1993 GSDBA was run solely by the board of directors. In 1994 the board hired the first executive director, Meredith Vezina, and the GSDBA office moved into its Fifth Avenue location where it remains to this day. The year 1994 also marked the birth of the first Business Networking Group (BNG), thanks to the leadership of founding member Marci Bair. Today there are seven thriving BNGs, each with 12 to 35 members who meet every week, providing a team of colleagues ready and able to make business connections.


when gays and lesbians experienced much discrimination.


and support within the gay and lesbian business community at a time


community. GSDBA was created to foster cohesion, mutual interaction




What was Top of the Park’s original use?



illiam Wesley Whitson moved to San Diego in 1886 as an industrious 21-year-old who worked as an undertaker and reporter

before serving as a city councilman. In 1906 his sister-in-law, Laura



George Hill estate, a 40-acre hilly tract just north of downtown could be purchased for only $115,000. An adjacent parcel recently sold for half a


Anderson, a secretary in a law firm, shared a juicy business tip that the

million dollars — this was indeed a bargain! The estate was bounded by

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The neighborhood consisted of S.F. Holcomb’s general store (see page 81), one church, a chapel, a handful of homes and St. Joseph’s Hospital. WWW put in streets and curbs, subdivided the property and began selling lots from a small building on Fifth just north of University. With rooftop signage broadcasting his “Hillcrest Tract Office” to hundreds of trolley riders each day, the area formerly referred to as University Heights quickly took on a new name — Hillcrest. The community boundaries have since expanded to include some 700 acres of commercial and residential property north and west of Balboa Park. Whitson also set up a mill to supply “the first cheap lumber in San Diego” for hundreds of homes. Far too many of these fine Craftsman homes have been demolished for the construction of office and medical complexes. In the late 1980s, Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) supported the Historical Site Board’s (HSB) request to consider the benefits of an historic district overlay to preserve the character of this older neighborhood. On January 27, 1988, the proposed demolition of an unusually fine Craftsman house at 3969 Third Avenue was heard by the HSB. SOHO research indicated with sufficient certainty that it was an original Hillcrest Company-built home. Maria Burke Lia, an attorney representing the owner/developer, argued against historic designation for the property. Unfortunately, the HSB sided with the attorney, and another thread in the fabric of our community’s character was lost forever.


dini n ng g

ch ha ara ract c ers

Sixth Avenue on the east and Lewis Street on the north.

p on pi one neers

University Avenue on the south; Second (now First) Avenue on the west;

What is the name of the mural along Tenth Avenue south of University?



Edwin Capps (1860–1938)


native of Tennessee and raised in Illinois, Edwin Capps came to San Diego in 1886 and began careers as both a real estate agent and a

mining engineer. He became a civil engineer in 1893 and designed the new police station in 1911. He served twice as San Diego mayor (1899–1901 and 1915–1917). In his second term Mayor Capps and the city council hired Charles Hatfield (see page 51) to deal with the ongoing drought. Between his stints as mayor, Capps designed the wonderful Spruce Street suspension bridge in 1912. The footpath floats among treetops, gracefully suspended from two steel cables anchored to concrete piers at either end. The lightness of the bridge allows it to sway and dance in response to the wind and your footsteps. Don’t miss it. Kudos, Capps!


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What canyon lies 50 feet below the Quince Street Bridge?

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ob Grinchuk and Reuel Olin were married at the San Diego County Administration Building on June 17, 2008, the first day it was possible to do so. One reason for their impatience might be that they had been a loving couple “living in sin” (as they dryly put it) for 35 years. Another is that they take seriously their responsibility as role models and leaders in the gay (and wider) community. Those many years ago, Bob and Reuel met at a faculty tea at a New Jersey college (they both have Ph.Ds). Subsequently Bob moved into college administration and Reuel managed employment and training programs as an executive for ITT Corporation. After moving to San Diego 25 years ago, they embarked on an entrepreneurial journey, which began with the purchase and renovation of a fourplex in South Park. This led to the formation of Bobolink Property Management. They purchased and managed several apartment communities i i mainly i l iin Uptown, among them the historical Casa Grande Apartments on University Avenue, which they recently sold after 16 years. They took advantage of their management expertise in running education programs for the San Diego County Apartment Association, on whose board Bob would later serve and become its president — being awarded the association’s prestigious Award of Excellence for his service. Bob and Reuel also developed management certification courses for apartment associations around the country. Along the way, they acquired The Villa Resort in Palm Springs and created The Wine Lover, a wine bar in Hillcrest, now celebrating its tenth anniversary. After becoming founding members of the San Diego Men’s Chorus (for which they funded a KPBS documentary), they decided half-jokingly to divvy up their community activities, with Bob taking the “straight” organizations and Reuel the “gay” ones. Consequently, Bob still serves on each of the boards he has chaired, the Hillcrest Business Association, Uptown Planners and the Uptown Partnership. Among many other boards and commissions, such as chair of Mercy Gardens — housing for people with AIDS — and Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), he was also vice president of the San Diego Housing Commission’s Board of Commissioners. Meanwhile, Reuel was executive producing director of Diversionary Theatre in its early years, and served on the Mayor’s Task Force on Voter Rights, the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices and the San Diego Human Relations Commission. Additionally, he was president of the Greater San Diego Business Association and chair of the LGBT Community Center, spearheading its move to Centre Street. Bob and Reuel have been strong supporters of The Center. Among other philanthropic activities, they funded the Olin-Grinchuk Senior Space and the West Wing of The Center’s Youth Housing Project downtown. Both are recipients of the Third Council District’s Community Spirit Award.






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What was hung from the re-built Quince Street Bridge?




n April 15, 1867, San Francisco merchant Alonzo Erastus Horton sailed into San Diego Bay, and while awaiting a ride to the town


San Diego’s


beyond the sagebrush. Just as William Heath Davis (17 years earlier), Horton believed that for San Diego to prosper it needed to be located on the harbor, and his land purchase set a new city in motion. A first bid of


center (now Old Town) he strolled up a knoll and envisioned a city

But the bubble eventually burst, and a ly, reducing depression hit San Diego badly, the population from 40,000 to 16,000. eeds to a Horton was left holding deeds h overdue great deal of property with oke. In his taxes. Suddenly, he was broke. final years, Father Horton who had created his city of dreamss became San Diego’s unofficial greeter, welcoming passengers as they arrived by steamer ships. This statue of our founding father stands across from downtown Horton Plaza. The city map, once held in his hands, has been missing for years.

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Horton thought Fifth Avenue should become San Diego’s main artery and had an extensive wharf built as its foot to assist the arrival of prospective land buyers. As the new burg began to eclipse Old Town in importance, property values exploded. The boom extended throughout st arrived on the new railroad connecting the 1880s. Those from the East ountry. the city with the rest of the country.


The clever entrepreneur bartered or sold his acreage for needed services and lumber — and gave away land to people who pledged to build homes immediately. Horton also donated property for the city courthouse and several churches plus enough whitewash to paint two sides of each building that faced the bay. The enthusiastic salesman was an honest, somewhat eccentric promoter whose marketing strategy was simple: If the buyer were not satisfied at the end of one year, he’d buy back the property.

sh ho opp p ing

a month, Horton had bought 800 acres for just $265 (33¢ per acre).

sse erv rvic ice ess

too much. Then he lowered his offers and continued to buy. In less than


$100 for 200 acres was met with laughter: The novice had paid five times

Who is the San Diego blogger with a focus on Hillcrest?



n 1886, as an 18-year-old, G. Aubrey Davidson moved to San Diego with his parents and soon became a bookkeeper in the Atchison,

Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway office. He

community m


two years later. In 1907 he gave up the railroad career and returned


moved to their Los Angeles agency

to San Diego, where he became Trust & Savings Bank and its successor, the Southern Trust & Commerce Bank of


founder and president of the Southern

“These buildings of this Exposition have not been thrown up with the careless unconcern that characterizes a transient pleasure resort. They are a part of the surroundings, with the aspect of permanence and far-seeing design. They might endure for a century and still appear the things of beauty which they are. Time will hallow them with its gentle touch.” As the 2015 Exposition Centennial approaches, we celebrate the foresight of those who gave us San Diego’s Panama-California Exposition and the heart of Balboa Park. About the Author: Michael Kelly is president of The Committee of One Hundred, which recently honored Davidson with its first Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Award in appreciation of his vision for Balboa Park.

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On January 1, 1915, an opening day crowd of 15,000 people visited the Expo in Balboa Park as Exposition president G. Aubrey Davidson gave the official opening address at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. This is a prescient excerpt from that speech:

shopp pin ing g

San Francisco also wanted to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal and won the right to host the officially recognized Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915. Preparations here went ahead without formal recognition, and the Panama-California Exposition of 1915–1916 would change the face of Balboa Park and the future of San Diego.


Davidson served as president of the city’s Chamber of Commerce in 1909, when he proposed the idea of hosting a World’s Fair to call attention to San Diego and to bolster an economy still shaky from the Wall Street panic of 1907. The Panama Canal was scheduled for completion in 1915, and we would be the first American port on the Pacific Coast north of this new shorter connection to the East Coast.


San Diego.

Who was the ďŹ rst gay man elected to the SD City Council?



The wacky cast at the Crest Cafe


an Diego (and espcially Hillcrest) has more than its share of characters. Skepical? Take a stroll around the neighborhood! A few other San Diego characters include: 1769’s founding friar Junipero Serra was a 5'2", 110-pound priest who bared his chest then beat himself with rocks and sticks to demonstrate the evils awaiting sinners in hell. Our first mayor Joshua Bean (brother of famed Judge Roy Bean) sold the city hall to himself, stopped attending council meetings over a pay disagreement, then oversaw the execution of a popular Indian leader. No wonder his 1852 murder remains unsolved. The former gunslinger Wyatt Earp owned the Oyster Bar and gambling hall at 837 Fifth Avenue in the Stingaree. Upstairs was the Golden Poppy brothel where each room was decorated in a different color and each painted lady wore an outfit to match the décor. It is rumored that Earp owned the building at the corner of Fifth & University (now Mille Feuille) and that he pitched horseshoes in the alley behind Fifth Avenue Books.


Rhythm And the method Original rock-blues -indie band Available for booking!

How many days in 2008 could California gay couples legally marry?


an Diego native Elinor Soule Meadows (1914-2002) is remembered as an activist, artist, teacher and neighborhood character. She attended

college with a scholarship to the San Diego Academy of Fine Arts in 1931.



That followed with a bachelor’s degree from SD State College in 1936 master’s. Most of her career was spent teaching art at local high schools, Mesa College and San Diego State. After retiring in 1979, this Bankers Hill


before attending Columbia University in 1941, where she earned her

With the help of San Diego City Councilman Bob Filner and TV Channel 10 newsman Ed Lenderman, a reopening was celebrated on August 21, 1990. Elinor showed her appreciation by hanging a large smiley face from the newly rebuilt footbridge.

characters dining fun neighbors shopping

After hanging large paper tears from the span to express her sadness, Inspired by a 1987 SD Union photo. the 74-year-old activist gathered over 1,000 neighborhood signatures to help save it, holding a “bridge in” with Rush to gather support for the structure. Elinor posted a hand-painted poem at the closed entrance: “I am an old bridge. I was the pioneer structure across a lovely canyon. I have carried my share of walkers. I have provided a place to view the bay. A quiet place to pause, to stop and think. I have seen many changes. The bay is busy, the air is heavy, the streets are crowded. My people need me more than ever. But where are they? No one crosses me now. It’s enough to make an old bridge weep.”


Elinor was the driving force behind saving the 1906 Quince Street pedestrian bridge from permanent closure by the city. For decades, Elinor and husband Rush had lived on Maple Canyon just north of the bridge in a 1921 Craftsman apartment house where they shared their lives with eight cats, four dogs and an assortment of tenants. In July of 1987 termites and dry rot forced the city to close the old bridge “for structural evaluation until further notice.” Afraid that it would be torn down, Elinor took the lead to save the wooden walkway built 50 feet above this beautiful urban canyon.


resident continued to be a positive influence in her community.


The Beauty



an Diego arrival Judy Forman is a local legend and colorful character who has served fabulous breakfasts and lunches at her unique eatery,

the Big Kitchen, for nearly 30 years. This self-appointed mayor of Golden Hill isn’t afraid to share opinions on just about anything. Issues close to her heart include civil rights, giving opportunities to those in need, preserving the neighborhood where she’s lived since her 1979 San Diego arrival — and winning euchre games.

When was the Georgia Street Bridge built?

Years back she attended a City Council meeting on medicinal marijuana with a friend battling breast cancer. Judy went along to be supportive, but before she knew it was standing at the podium advocating the herb’s benefits on ill and dying friends. Her efforts also thwarted the 1986 Miss California Pageant. “I hate it when women are exploited,” she explained, adding, “Life is so much bigger than breasts.” “Judy the Beauty” also helped organize the Golden Hill Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit that worked to obtain grants for neighborhood improvements including an after-school program. Other efforts resulted in a new Brooklyn Elementary School playground and a leash-free dog park, one of her proudest achievements. Judy’s focus is to create “a nurturing, multi-ethnic community of different economic levels.” In 2005 she was recognized as Woman of the Year from the 76th Assembly District as an “outstanding member of the community, business owner, friend and for her unparalleled dedication to the community.” Her restaurant, nominated as “One of the best places for breakfast in America” by Bon Appetit magazine, was also featured by cooking guru Rachael Ray. The Big Kitchen’s walls are plastered with photos, flyers and posters from happy customers and many celebrity fans. These days, the popular icon is still on duty between her travels to Upstate New York, enjoying quality time with her parents, and the Pacific shore. Always drawn to the ocean, Judy recently discovered a special place near the Ocean Beach Pier to enjoy her downtime with the rhythm of the waves. Très bien!

With the help of Lawrence Tonner, his longtime companion/secretary, the fancy man held séances in the music parlor of the ornate Victorian Queen Anne and entertained the upper crust, including Mrs. Alonzo Horton (see page 39). Jesse was the toast of San Diego, but soon became restless. He again traveled to Europe, giving concerts for artists and royalty before settling in London where he wrote eight successful books under the pen name Francis Grierson before returning to the US at the outbreak of WWI. His death in Los Angeles came at the conclusion of a benefit recital, on May 29, 1927, when at the end of the closing number Jesse sat silently with his fingers resting on the keyboard. At the age of 79 he had completed his final performance. Today’s fate of the Villa Montezuma (at 20th & K) remains in question. The operator, the SD Historical Society, has been unable to keep the house open to the public, and the owner, the City of San Diego is looking for someone to manage and help restore this cultural gem.

history h pio ione ne eer es characters dini di n ng ng

His nomadic lifestyle dependedd on generous offers of patrons, andd eventually he was enticed to our sunny ny shores by the High brothers — a pairr of local developers who hoped Jesse would put down roots and sprinkle spiritualist list stardust. They promised a mansion built to his specifications. The result was the 1887 Villa Montezuma, named after the ocean liner that brought Jesse to America.

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An English boy of immigrant parents, Jesse grew up in Illinois during the Civil War years. In 1863 his musical talents were discovered, and the young man traveled alone to play piano and sing on the East Coast. Shortly, he was performing in the salons lons of rich and famous Parisians where his recitals charmed audiences. s. With t his enormous hands and abnormally long ong fingers, Jesse could play two octavess with each hand, and became a master of improvisation who credited his musical performances to interaction with the spirits of famous composerss channeling through him.


to our sleepy little town during its first economic boom in the 1880s.


seer, musician, vocalist and author who added an interesting chapter

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he flamboyant Jesse Shepard (1848–1927) was a world-famous mystic,

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Custom paper & apparel printing


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How many holes are on the Morley Field Disk Golf Course?


Looking for the right place for family and friends to stay while they visit San Diego, or considering your own Getaway in Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Finest City? Check-in to the historic Park Manor Suites, located just steps away from Balboa Park, within walking distance to the world famous San Diego Zoo and just 1/4 mile from the center of Hillcrest. Visit us online to make a Hotel Reservation, to see our delicious Lunch & Dinner Menus and Weekly Hotel Specials.




lla Hattan was an 1859 Ohio product of an English father and a


The Great


Spanish mother who became a legendary swordswoman most known

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Astutely managed by Fred Engelhardt, Jaguarina quickly bbecame the toast of San Francisco iin the 1880s, as she won bouts with aany weapon against all comers, first oon foot then on horseback. After rrunning out of challengers, they bbegan a vaudeville tour through CCalifornia. At the end of 1887, the aathlete and her manager retired to sseparate ranches in Ensenada, but tthe following October a San Diego ccontest was promoted featuring a German master-at-arms, Captain G CConrad Wiedemann. A crowd of 7,000 packed the Pacific Beach Race Track to watch tthe man vs. woman fight. Both oopponents wore masks, helmets aand breastplates. The match was sscheduled for eleven “attacks” or rrounds. When Jaguarina entered the track riding her favorite black steed, Muchacho, the betting was heavy with the German as the popular favorite. The opponents fought through several attacks, and at the end of 11 rounds the score was Wiedemann over Jaguarina 5–4, but because no points were awarded in the fourth or fifth rounds, the judges extended competition for two additional bouts or until a total of 11 points were scored. As the trumpets blared and the attack began, the clash of blades left Jaguarina with a shattered sword. Quickly replaced, she stormed her opponent, found an opening and scored a point. It was 5–5. The tie brought the crowd’s roar to a fevered pitch. Jaguarina began the final round again charging at the Bavarian, swinging her weapon and forcing his sword arm away from his body, allowing her to lunge forward with her blade and strike his breastplate for the winning blow. The spectators instantly erupted into cheers, as hats were flung into the air. Wiedemann fans protested, but the referee awarded Jaguarina the pivotal point. San Diego had a new hero, one who had clearly dented the armor of male superiority.


thespian was described as beautiful, large and powerful.


for an 1888 battle in our dusty little town. The stylishly stout sometime


a tasty treat since 1984 Located in the heart of Hillcrest, City Deli is celebrating their 25th year of serving the community. The bright and colorful building with its checkerboard trim and distinctive fruit decoration make this restaurant a neighborhood landmark. The popular restaurant has been a meeting place for business people, friends and families since 1984. City Deliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s menu offers page after page of yummy selections with breakfast served all day. Enjoy a martini, margarita or mojito at the full service bar or dine al fresco in the comfortable sidewalk dining area. Their homemade desserts are the best! Check out the pastry case full of

What is the cost to join in the fun at the Redwood Bridge Club?

cakes, cookies and pies just inside the front door. City Deliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s baker will create the perfect taste treat for your wedding, bachelorette party, bar mitzvah or birthday. Come by, say hello and enjoy the hospitality of owners, Alan and Michael. When you dine at City Deli youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be dining with friends!


alifornia’s liff i ’ ddrought ht conditions diti thi this year h have causedd some scientists i tii t to hurry up sea water conversion and sewage recycling experiments

in an effort to find a way to come up with the scarce liquid called water.”

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over 22 years ago. Even more unbelievable is the fact that the US Navy built a desalination plant on Point Loma in 1960. We were told the water

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Sounds like today’s news, but actually that was printed in the SD Union

Hatfield explained to the press that the damage wasn’t his fault (the city should have taken adequate precautions), and the brothers wanted their money for filling the reservoir. However, the council reneged saying that it rained too much. Charley sued the city in a case that lasted until 1938, when a court declared the 1916 flood was an act of God. “Hat” always felt cheated because the brothers never got a cent for their work in creating the promised rain.

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Within a couple weeks a steady rain began, growing heavier day-byday. On January 27 the Lower Otay Dam burst, washing livestock, homes and people out to sea. As damage continued to climb, it seemed the rains would never end. All but two of the city’s 112 bridges were swept away, and the SD River through Mission Valley flooded from cliff to cliff, cutting off all highways to the north.


Charley called himself a “ “moisture accelerator” — never a rainmaker. After the City C Council agreed to pay him $10,000 if he could help our $ drought-plagued Charley his brother Paul (on the right) d h l d county, Ch l andd hi immediately began their work. The dynamic duo created a secret chemical concoction, which they burned in evaporating tanks atop three 20-foot “rain-enhancing” towers on the shoreline of the empty reservoir.


di Several HQ editions back a after 2004’s extraordinarily high rainfall, we joked that S San Diego historians might t think that Charles Hatfield was b back in town. In December of 1915, after four dry years a the first expo underway, and c fathers made a deal with city C Charley to fill the Morena Reservoir.

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was delicious, but four years later the plant was moved to Cuba.


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What was the former use the LGBT Center building?

— Barry B.

“The wait is never too long, and the restaurant is beautiful — soft lighting, luxurious textures, rich colors. Fabulous service all around and the owner/chef is such a super nice, down to earth guy that always greets his guests either at the door or tableside and never forgets a face.” — Trisha R.

“Great atmosphere and service with awesome food. Their tagines are amazing and the appetizers are incredibly tasty.” — Roy K.

3940 Fourth Avenue •



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Pasta plates at Babbo Grande


he National Restaurant Association predicts Americans will spend $566 billion dining out this year. Why not stretch your dollars (see page 55) in Hillcrest. From casual cafes to San Diego’s finest restaurants, special offers and discounts provide great incentives to let someone else do the cooking (and the dishes). Hillcrest has a long-established reputation for wonderful dining experiences where your taste buds may travel the world from Afghanistan to Thailand and Morocco to Mexico. Hillcresters take their eating seriously — so much so that annual events are held. Crowds attend both the HBA’s Taste of Hillcrest (formerly the Taste of Uptown) in the spring and the Toast to Hillcrest in August. This fun-raiser for the Hillcrest History Guild combines wine, spirits and nibbles with a double-decker bus tour (for adults only). Visit before the end of July to buy $19 tickets. But don’t wait for annual events. Every Tuesday evening, restaurants throughout Hillcrest offer specials such as a half-price bottle of wine or a free dessert with the purchase of your meal. Take a stroll through the neighborhood after Tues Nite Out dining to discover discounts from other local merchants, too!

Who is CD3’s first openly gay councilman?


njoy dining out? We do, too, but it can become quite pricey unless you’re resourceful. Wisely planning how, when and where you eat (and drink) will stretch your dollars.

Enjoy happy hours — Baja Betty’s pours $3 margaritas; Martinis Above Fourth offers two bucks off their namesake; The Wine Lover serves glasses of vino for $4; Wit’s End features $1 off your pick from their wall of beer; Bite has a champagne happy hour; and Number One Fifth Avenue promotes discounted specials until 7pm. Clip & $ave — Check out’s coupon page that offers discounts for neighborhood businesses. Print only the deals you want, save money and trees!

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Share it or take it home — If you don’t have a large appetite, split an entree and an appetizer with a friend. Or better yet…follow Sir Lloyd’s lead and bring an empty plastic container along for your leftovers. Save restaurants the cost of your to-go containers.


What day of the week — Dine out during the week rather than on weekends. Restaurants throughout Hillcrest offer specials on Tuesday nights. Lalo’s features fabulous fish tacos; Crest Cafe cuts the price of bottled wine in half; St. Tropez offers all-you-can eat crepes; Kous Kous offers a free appetizer with entrees; and Urban Mo’s serves tasty mini-Mo burgers. Every day is a winner with Suzanne at The Philly Grill.


What to order — Always remember to ask about “daily specials.” These deals, featuring fresh or seasonal items, may not be on the menus but are often a good bargain. If you’re a senior or have kids, inquire about special menus or discounts providing smaller portions for a smaller price. Jimmy Carter’s Mexican Cafe has a specials board, all muy bueno.



When to eat — Breakfast usually gives you the most bang for your buck. If that’s not possible, try lunch or brunch, which tend to be cheaper than dinner. The new David’s Coffee at Cafe Eleven is a great place to start your day; Amarin Thai has $4.99 lunch specials; and early bird dinners at City Deli are popular favorites.






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ddie “Lalo” Opana was born in San Luis Obispo and grew up in the Imperial Valley. The 1969 Holtville High School graduate moved to



San Diego in pursuit of a food service management degree. While at Mesa hand. While managing Culpeppers (on the lower level of the Park Manor Hotel) Eddie was offered a bartending job for the-soon-to-be-opened


College, he worked for Mulvaney’s Steak House, learning the business first

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Eddie became an entrepreneur in 1989 with the opening of Lalo’s — Hillcrest’s answer to tasty, healthy fast-food Mexican cuisine. (You’ll find no lard here.) The first Lalo’s location remains at 1266 University Avenue in the Hillcrest Colonnade. Eddie added Lalo’s Fish Tacos, Etc. in Point Loma a few years later, but in 1998 the neighborhood’s transformation prompted him to sell. At the same time, Hillcrest restaurateur and former owner of Cafe Eleven, Ed Moore (see HQ6) sold Livingston’s Chicken Kitchen in Ocean Beach to Eddie. Just a block from the ocean, Livingston’s continues to serve the best chicken in town. Eddie’s chores begin at dawn when he checks the Hillcrest restaurant’s cleanliness and prep work before assembling the fresh salsa bar. By 7am he’s on his way to Ocean Beach where he repeats his daily tasks. In 2004–05 Lalo’s space doubled, adding beautifully designed walls and hand-painted menus by artist Rik Ericson, who also created the mural depicting Eddie’s son Gabriel and his dog Blue Boy on a Cabo San Lucas beach. Longtime employees have added to their consistently good menu. Eddie’s wife Linda also pitches in to help the family business by working the counter for the midday lunch crowd. Try one of Eddie’s favorite soups overflowing with fresh veggies or one of their popular menu items like fresh, boneless, skinless chicken breast burritos and great fried or grilled fish tacos. Stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Lalo’s Mexican Grill is open from 7am until 1am, Sunday–Thursday, with extended hours until 3am on Friday & Saturday.

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Caliente Race Track in Tijuana as their food & beverage manager.


Harbor House in downtown’s Seaport Village. His final employer was the


OPEN Wed-Sat 11am8pm VOTED BEST

Original Philadelphia Style Sandwich WARNING: HABIT FORMING

Who is the rector of Hillcrestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest church?

2041 University Avenue â&#x20AC;˘ (619) 688-9437

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Amarin refers to a deity in Thai culture â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the king of all angels. Their approach to food quality & service extends through dessert.â&#x20AC;? pĂ&#x160;Ă&#x20AC;>Â&#x2DC;Â&#x17D;Ă&#x160;->L>Ă&#x152;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2C6;Ă&#x160;Ă&#x20AC;]Ă&#x160;E/Â&#x2C6;Â&#x201C;iĂ&#x192;

Patio Dining Party Room for Up to 50 $ 4.99 Lunch Specials





grew up on the other side of the world in Marrakech, spending time swimming, playing handball and being active in the Boy & Girl Scouts

(in Morocco they’re not separated). As a teen, my father convinced me to become a military leader, so I entered a prestigious Junior Air Force



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About the Author: Moumen Nouri is passionate about sharing the cuisine of his Moroccan homeland at Kous Kous (below Fourth Avenue).

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Hospitality is the pride of Moroccan culture; so I pursued a career closer to my heart. After obtaining a three-year chef degree in my hometown, I completed a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management in Tangier. Throughout these college years I dreamed of a restaurant with the look and feel of what is now Kous Kous. Priorities and realities of life that many immigrants face postponed my dream for many years, but in 1996 I made my way to the central coast of California, working in some of Carmel’s finest restaurants. A few years later I seized an opportunity to move to a more vibrant (and much sunnier) San Diego. I searched for a special location to nest my restaurant vision in an open-minded community. Hillcrest was the perfect neighborhood to embrace my concept fully. After a long, painful process, Kous Kous became a reality in 2005. It took another year before I was able to design and create the dream exactly as I had envisioned it back in my homeland — featuring great Moroccan cuisine, personable and efficient service in a soft, warm environment that’s sexy with a hip vibe. Kous Kous is tucked away in a setting below street level at 3940 Fourth Avenue. I welcome you to stop by and experience the flavors of my childhood. Despite its hidden location and a difficult economy, my restaurant is thriving thanks to so many of you who have grown to love our exotic dishes. Please allow us to enrich your palate as you discover how rich, diverse and pleasing Moroccan cuisine can be.


Academy. I soon realized that I was not meant to be a soldier.




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Sunday croquet at Redwood Circle


ake nine wickets, add wooden balls and mallets, then mix with great friends, and you have a wonderful recipe for fun. Actually there are several ways to enjoy our big backyard of Balboa Park on the cheap — or for absolutely nothing at all. Enjoy a nature trail (see page 63 or the park fold-out map on page 66). The San Diego Lawn Bowling club offers free lessons to county residents. What a deal! Call (619) 238-5457 for details. Volleyball games are held on the lawns along Sixth at Olive: join in the fun. This is also a great people-watching spot on the weekends. At 3111 Sixth Avenue the Redwood Bridge Club offers free lessons Tuesdays at 6pm followed by playing. Every Monday–Saturday afternoon duplicate bridge begins at 12:15pm for $2 per session or $35 per year. $5 games are held Thursdays at 6:30pm. Balboa Park rangers lead free one-hour walking tours every Tuesday and Sunday at 1pm. Meet at the Visitor Center in the House of Hospitality. Every Tuesday a variety of museums offer free admission. Check the calendar for the rotating schedule. Timken Art Museum and the nearby Botanical Building are always free. On the east side of the park, Morley Field’s (see page 79) Disc Golf Course is open from sunrise to sunset. Greens fees are $3 weekends or holidays, but only $2.50 on weekdays.




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Who is considered the founding father of San Diego?

420 Robinson Avenue (619) 294-4848


ewcomers and visitors to San Diego quickly find out just how much Balboa Park has to offer — now add trails to that list. Local activists



About the Author: Jerry Schad’s Afoot and Afield San Diego County is the definitive guidebook for local and regional hiking.

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The first improvements were highlighted in October of 2008 when Mayor Jerry Sanders inaugurated the “Balboa Park Trails” system at the northwest corner of the park. That’s exactly where you’ll find the Sixth & Upas Gateway. Five numbered trails (ranging from 1.5 to 6.5 miles) radiate out from that intersection. Each trail is suitable for walking, running and sometimes skating or biking. The routes offer everything from smooth sidewalks to rough paths darting up and down the park’s steep canyonsides. All are configured as loops, and their designated direction takes maximum advantage of the scenery. A satellite-image-based map was merged with a series of GPSdocumented routes and significant advancements in park signage that are designed to highlight topography and park landmarks. These improvements help guide the user and gauge the level of difficulty of the trails. The routes are marked with color-coded numbered signs (blue for the Sixth & Upas Gateway) to show distance, degree of difficulty and change of route direction. A committed group of community volunteers envisioned and developed this system in partnership and with guidance from the Department of Park & Recreation and the Balboa Park Committee. Across Florida Canyon a second gateway serving four more trails was unveiled in the spring of 2009 at the Morley Field sports complex. More trails emanating in Golden Hill, the Park Administration parking lot and Marston Point are planned. The longer trails tend to lead into the more hidden areas, such as the “Marston Hills Addition” section of the park, a branching canyon bottom that touches several of Hillcrest’s residential streets. Maps of the trails (and more) can be obtained as PDF downloads when visiting maps/maps.php or see the fold-out maps in this book.

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of pathways within the park.


have spearheaded an effort to identify, map, mark and reconstruct miles

64 Advertiser All Saints’ Episcopal Church & Pre-School

Page # Map

Advertiser Amarin Thai Babbo Grande Baja Betty’s Bite Bread & Cie Cafe Eleven City Deli Crest Cafe Kous Kous L&L Hawaiian BBQ Lalo’s Mexican Grill

Page 58 6 32 56 48 54 50 54 52 65 30




# Map 4 H-3 5 J-3 6 H-3 7 H-3 8 C-3 9 I-3 10 D-3 11 D-4 12 C-2 13 D-4 14 H-3

Advertiser GSDBA San Diego Pride

Page # Map 10 2 D-4 78 3 J-4

Advertiser Page Martinis Above Fourth 58 Number One Fifth Avenue 32 The Philly Grill 58 Rich’s 68 Sanfilippo’s 38 St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro 56 Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill 32 Which Wich 62 Whole Foods Market 44 The Wine Lover 62 Wits End 62

# Map 15 C-2 16 D-3 17 K-3 18 G-3 19 D-6 20 D-4 21 C-3 22 D-3 23 E-3 24 D-2 25 D-4

Advertiser Page # Map Ann Callahan’s Bed & Breakfast 8 26 B-3

Advertiser Page Ad Ink Advertising Agency Cover Tony Azar & Trent St. Louis 38 Eaton Electric, Inc Cover Jeff Keeny, DDS 1 One Dot Salon 20 Services & Beyond 32

# Map 27 E-4 28 J-3 29 E-7 30 J-4 31 D-6 32 D-3

Advertiser Page # Map Sign King 96 33 D-5 State Farm Insurance 40 34 G-3 Rod Strober, DDS 98 35 C-7 Studio Forma 30 36 E-7 The UPS Store 36 37 B-2 Urban Optiks Optometry 4 38 J-3

Advertiser Buffalo Exchange Cathedral Column One Fifth Avenue Books Flashbacks Grah Safe & Lock

# Map 39 D-3 40 D-3 41 C-3 42 D-3 43 D-3 44 G-3

Advertiser John’s Fifth Avenue Mankind Tap Lighting Twirl Wear It Again Sam

Page 82 82 8 84 84 28

Page 84 82 78 82 84

# Map 45 C-3 46 D-7 47 D-5 48 D-3 49 D-3

Advertiser Jimmy Carterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mexican

Page # Map 56 2 EE-2

67 community

Advertiser Page # Map Natural History Museum 34 1 II-4


35 DD-1

Studio Forma


36 EE-1

Balboa Park 411


egin your visit to Balboa Park at the Visitors Center located in the House of Hospitality. Maps, schedules, museum hours and other info are available. The staff is friendly and helpful. Admissions: There is no entry fee to the park itself, but admission to the museums and attractions vary. Visitors may buy a Passport to Balboa Park and visit all museums for one price. Free Tuesdays: Every week rotating museums offer free admission on Tuesdays. Visit the calendar for info. Parking: Small lots throughout the park ďŹ ll up early. Two centrally located lots are behind Spreckels Organ Pavilion and near the Starlight Bowl. Even larger lots offer more asphalt along Park Boulevard. Tram service: There is a free tram in the park (note red-dotted path) that stops at Upas Street and Sixth Avenue. The tram operates seven days a week; 8:30am-6:00pm with extended hours during summer months. The drivers even act as quasi tour guides. Enjoy! Questions? Call the Visitors Center at (619) 239-0512.


Rod Strober, DDS


Advertiser Page # Map Alejandra Rodriguez Attorney 78 8 EE-4 Alan Schmitt & Associates 78 9 DD-5


Map EE-1 EE-1 EE-1 EE-4 DD-2

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# 4 29 5 6 7

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Page 94 Cover 38 10 10

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Advertiser Evelyn Ascough, DDS Eaton Electric, Inc. Michael Eller Salon Fortunate Fields Johnson & Johnson



Advertiser Page # Map Park Manor Suites Hotel 48 3 EE-2


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THE TIGHTEN UPS • Live blues, soul, rock & roll

What is the name of Hillcrest’s original wine bar?

LAURA JANE “Vintage Vegas” Songbird Karaoke Emcee DJ




s a San Diegan who grew up in Hillcrest (but never lived there), I’m now a happy North Park resident who enjoys my two-mile roundtrip

jog/walks to the Hillcrest sign. University Avenue’s colorful corridor is lined with interesting shops and a cast of characters. Some faces change,



I push on, knowing the beautifully restored Birch North Park Theater awaits my arrival as I approach the active intersection of 30th & University with its diverse array of hipsters, homeless, street preachers, musicians and more. North Park (see page 73) has become a totally hip, arts and culture district. Sometimes I take a detour down Ray Street past the art galleries that make this lane so unique. Heading south I pass an amazing assortment of well-kept homes in an area designated an official “Historic Craftsman Neighborhood.” At 29th & Upas, Bird Park offers spectacular views of downtown and the Coronado Bridge. The sidewalks here are imprinted with the names of each species found in the neighborhood, and if seen from above, the walkways are also shaped like a bird. This is my home…birds of a feather? Perhaps. But it’s in these neighborhoods where you’ll also find my heart. About the Author: Ben Cartwright will again be the host onboard the double-decker bus for this year’s Toast to Hillcrest on Thursday, August 13.

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At Florida the street markers change into shapes of the North Park sign. Passing The Philly Grill I wave to Suzanne and smile at the rainbow flags atop Pecs on my way toward the Texas Street hill. University Avenue dips again before reaching my favorite landmark — John Lennon’s “Eyes” looking west toward Hillcrest above Tobacco Rhoda’s. In a doorway below stands a life-size mural of a young woman leaning against the wall. Her realism startles me virtually every time I jog by.


on my way home, offering a panorama of 92104.


77) connects the two neighborhoods, and it’s a wonderful downhill break


but several become familiar oddities. The Georgia Street Bridge (see page

What North Park area has been nominated for historic designation?




was thrilled to hear that wonderful, clear voice reverberating from the canyons. It was vibrant, perfect. I was pruning a succulent on the

71 community

The Mysterious

leaving New York City. I was quite prone to musical outbursts, and released my creamy-smooth Streisand in all its glory into the echoing hills, only to


little patio of my new Hillcrest apartment, wondering how I would survive

find myself engaged in an impromptu duet with a faceless, musically gifted

As the last of my boxes were unpacked, I grabbed a feather boa purportedly worn by Liza Minnelli and tap danced my way onto the patio for a little “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” When the faceless voice followed with a startlingly accurate version of Ethel Merman’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” a rock wrapped with a note was hurled onto my patio. Thinking it at last to be a message from the mysterious tenor, I hurriedly opened it. It read: “Shut the Hell Up!” That was the last night we shared our musical talents. (Though we may have unknowingly sung a duet during a drunken karaoke party at the Caliph.) I still live in Hillcrest, nestled in the green chaparral covered hills. And sometimes, in the deep of night when it seems just a bit too quiet, I wonder what the mysterious tenor is singing — and if he, too, was almost hit by a flying projectile on that final fateful night under a clear San Diego sky. About the Author: Local scribe Michelle Nack’s memories were first shared online in the SD Reader blog.

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I dropped hints to the neighbors, hoping my singing partner would be revealed, as each night my musically amorous partner joined me in a steady stream of fabulous Broadway show tunes. These hills were alive (quite literally) with the sound of music. We were good, very good. I was no amateur, and my tenor played me like a fiddle, lilting harmonies dancing around my high Cs like fairy dust about Peter Pan. If the mysterious tenor could make it here — perhaps I could also survive in what I feared was a cultural wasteland.


The unusual configuration of little canyons, with cottages and condos strewn about, prevented me from distinguishing, based on acoustics, exactly from where the voice came. But I continued the song, desperate for musical theatre. “With one person...” he chimed in with a highly emotive “…one very special person.” Like pure silk! I was home! Hillcrest had welcomed me with a serenade!


was having a hallucination brought on by theatre withdrawal.


stranger — a tenor of the highest caliber. As we continued, I wondered if I

Who is the executive director of the Uptown Partnership?




n 1893 San Diego merchant Joseph Nash sold 40 acres of land northeast of Balboa Park to James Monroe Hartley (no relation to the former councilman). The Hartley family planted a lemon grove, but discovered that irrigating the new trees was problematic. Water was hauled in barrels from a small reservoir on El Cajon Avenue. Hartley named the area (bordered by University Avenue to the north and Dwight Street to the south, Ray Street to the west and 32nd Street to the east) after himself, calling it “Hartley’s North Park.” The name stuck, appearing on all city maps by 1900. James Hartley died in 1904, and the eldest son, John (“Jack”) established Stevens & Hartley, North Park’s first real-estate business, with his brother-in-law William Stevens. In 1907, with the opening of the Georgia Street Bridge (see page 77), development quickly moved east. In 1910 the Hartley family began developing their land into homes and commercial buildings. Today most folks identify the neon North Park sign, located just west of Hartley’s “busy corner” at 30th & University, as the heart of the North Park community.


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In 2007 the North Park Historical Society nominated the Dryden area for designation as a historical district. The group submitted an application to the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board detailing the history and significance of this neighborhood. City staff members began reviewing the application in 2008. Potential benefits to residents of a designated historical district include:


• Protection against a change in zoning or increase in allowable density • Potential Mills Act benefits of property tax reductions • Preservation of the neighborhood’s unique historic character • Enhancement of home values


The homes along Pershing Avenue and 28th Street are among the earliest houses of North Park, built primarily between 1913 and 1926 during one of San Diego’s greatest local building booms. Fine examples of Dryden’s work include the exuberant oriental-style Craftsman residence at the corner of 28th & Capps Streets (above), and the stately redwood board and shingle home at the corner of Myrtle and 28th streets. Many other homes in this area built by other designer/builders such as Alexander Schreiber, the Melhorn Construction Company, Ralph Hurlburt and Charles Tifal, all of whom are recognized by San Diego as Master Builders, contribute to the historical significance of the neighborhood.


orth Park is known for the charming and varied architecture of its residences. Many homes reflect the Arts and Crafts Movement ideals of honesty and close connection between a structure and the earth. The homes along Pershing Avenue and 28th Street, from Upas to Landis streets encompass 22 bungalows and gracious two-story houses built by David O. Dryden, a master of the Craftsman style. Another 15 homes in this neighborhood were constructed by Edward F. Bryans, who not only built in the Craftsman and Spanish Revival styles, but also built many of the Neoclassical and Spanish Revival style apartment buildings along Park Boulevard.




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Visit for an update on the progress of this important historical district.



ere’s the guy to thank for the removal of parking meters in North Park. It all started in 1959 when merchants in City Heights wanted

to attract shoppers who had been wooed to the new College Grove Center, which had free parking. Business owners campaigned for the removal of parking meters along University Avenue between Euclid and 54th Street. At the same time, the East San Diego Chamber of Commerce filed suit in Superior Court in opposition to the meters, and the Uptown Merchants Association led by Allen Hitch, petitioned to force an election to end the city’s meter program.

What is Hillcrest’s newest 501c3 nonprofit organization?

nessman owned The North Park businessman a carpet store and was the ormed president of the newly formed merchants group. When the re city announced that more parking meters wouldd shortly line the streets of his business district, Hitch took a stand and became an overnight activist who ran for city council with the promisee rs. to remove the meters. The bow-tied Hitch argued, ued, “After 25 years parking meters have become passé, a hindrance ndrance to business and are now rendered useless.”” ndered useless His opponent, three-term Councilman George Kerrigan supported merchants’ wishes to straighten out the curves on University Avenue between Euclid and 54th Street, but agreed with his council peers that the parking meter issue should not be on the ballot — after all, the City of San Diego generated $877,454 a year in revenues from the devices — money it needed to balance the budget. No one paid much attention to Allen Hitch at first, but his message was well-received by constituents, and with the slogan “Switch to Hitch,” he was elected for three terms from 1961–1973. He made an unsuccessful run for mayor in 1963, after campaigning for the removal of the International Cottages in Balboa Park. Chances are he might have been elected mayor had he only continued his crusade against metered parking. 50 years later, North Park still has no meters. Perhaps Hillcrest needs an Allen Hitch, too.

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he Georgia Street Bridge is a symbol of development and a designated local, state and national historic landmark. In the early 1900s, urbanization was stymied by the formidable ridge of Georgia Street, which rose from the flatlands east of Hillcrest and fell suddenly into the ravine of Florida Canyon. The rapidly expanding electric streetcar (trolley) lines could not pass through this barrier. But early in 1907, the high ridge of Georgia Street was cut and bridged at University Avenue with a redwood truss bridge. This allowed a single line of the streetcar to be extended eastward from Hillcrest to Fairmont Avenue, which opened North Park to suburban development. On August 11, 1907, the San Diego Union announced, “University Avenue Electric [railway] is now under construction. The beautifully located territory at the intersection of that Avenue and 30th Street is sure to be the most valuable of that section. NOW is the time to purchase.” The streetcar was essential for expanding residential development because at that time, an automobile was a rich person’s commodity, costing as much as a house. By 1913, the single track car line along University Avenue had become inadequate for the growing ridership and double tracking was needed, which meant a wider opening under Georgia Street. The following year architect James Cromly whose masterwork in reinforced concrete still stands today replaced the wooden bridge. The columns and spandrel arches reflect the Mission Revival style, with a grand arch spanning 66 feet. The vertical cut is buttressed with concrete walls that were paneled to echo the pattern of the bridge arches. The bridge reflects the City Beautiful movement in civic design of monumental character. Even though it’s been taken for granted, targeted by graffiti vandals and periodically targeted by Caltrans and the city for demolition, the Georgia Street Bridge survives. It is the icon that embodies the entrance to North Park — a welcoming gateway that is unique, historical and masterful in both design and construction.



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ALEJANDRA RODRIGUEZ 2550 5th Avenue, Ste. 1030


Who with Lynn Susholtz and Gwen Gomez created the art on the Vermont Street Bridge?

Visit weekly for updates


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orth Park’s Morley Field Sports Complex — located at the corner of Texas & Upas streets in the northeast section of Balboa Park — offers

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History of Morley Field


an optimistic message from the past. The city’s determination to ease local this popular, multi-faceted recreation facility. Since the late 1800s this area of the park had remained a rough-covered chaparral while other


unemployment during the 1930s Depression resulted in construction of

Currently the area includes 25 tennis courts, Bud Kearns Memorial Pool, a dog park, the municipal golf course, a senior center, a tiny tots play area, group picnic areas, an archery range, a multipurpose ball field, a velodrome, bocce courts, a fitness course, pétanque courts and a disc golf course. In January 2008 the beloved shoe tree on hole #2, which was around for decades, came down in a windstorm. But, a new “tree” is growing to take its place.

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The recreation center is named after John Morley, who served as a Balboa Park superintendent from 1911 to 1939. His guidance and inspiration for the park’s cultivation created many of the beautiful gardens remaining in the park today. View the North Park Historical Society’s virtual archives at to enjoy more articles about the history of Morley Field, the Velodrome, national high school cross-country races and the Balboa Tennis Club.


Plans for a summer opening in 1932 needed to be postponed after completion of the large pool was persistently delayed. Finally, a spectacular public dedication was held in 1933 on a warm, sunny New Year’s Day perfect for the ceremony. Thousands attended the festivities, which included a parade, drill teams of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a beauty pageant.


But in 1931, the municipal golf course on the eastern park boundary was built as a special project for unemployment relief. At a special election in March of 1932, San Diego voters approved a $300,000 bond issue to employ local workers. On March 29 a project committee of North Park businessmen, including George Klicka and Paul Hartley, revealed plans for a center that featured a swimming pool, heating plant, clubhouse, two baseball diamonds, eight double tennis courts, ten shuffleboard courts, a children’s wading pool and sand pits.


sections developed.

Who was president of the Chamber of Commerce in 1908?



Amy Capano owner of Cathedral

Hillcrest’s First Store Hillcrest had no sidewalks or paved streets in 1906 when S.F. Holcomb opened his department store at 1071 University Avenue (west of Vermont). A story in the local newspaper some 20 years later reported the “store has grown and expanded to its present 100-foot frontage on University, and inside it is a veritable ark with treasures of the earth on display on a hundred tables. All merchandise is out on the counters and the prices are plainly marked.” Local customers spent hours browsing the interesting goodies that filled the counters. The founder’s son took over the business in 1925, and Frost had many new marketing ideas including redoing the window displays “oftener than the phone company changes numbers on its customers” reported the paper. Holcomb also gets credit for adding University Avenue’s first sidewalks. The department store closed when owners retired to their remaining store in Chula Vista. During its final year, customers said it smelled like an old country store — which makes sense because it was and did. (Mayer Reprographics has sat in this spot since 1982.)


(619) 291-0933 3840 fifth ave 3 san diego ca 92103

Who is the new executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association?

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n en•tre•pre•neur is someone who creates and finances a new commercial enterprise in hopes of making a profit. That is not easy

these days. Most everyone has taken a hit to the wallet and needs to spend money more wisely. Keep in mind, when you suffer, our local businesses do too. HillQuest would like to encourage readers to continue to shop in Hillcrest. Pennies from each purchase made at local area merchants help our community maintain its diverse character, which in turn draws more shoppers to enjoy its uniqueness. Seems like a win-win, huh? Keep in mind, there are no bailouts for these little stores. Unable to run at a shortfall, those without enough revenue, just disappear. This is heartbreaking to owners and a loss to the neighborhood where each business is a thread in our community fabric. Please do what you can to fortify your favorite stores — whether it’s with dollars or merely a smile and wave of support. Let them know you care. Hillcrest has an assortment of services and merchants who offer everything from shoe repair to ornate fountains. Entrepreneurs have an enormous investment of pride in their businesses, along with their time and money. Running a small business is a labor of love open to public traffic. Strolling up Fifth Avenue in the heart of Hillcrest, you’ll discover a wonderful sampling of businesses that bring consumers from throughout the city into our neighborhood. Browse through the aisles of Bluestocking or Fifth Avenue Books, two of SD’s last independently owned bookstores. Flip through the racks at a variety of clothing stores including Buffalo Exchange, Flashbacks, Wear It Again Sam and Twirl. University Avenue is also lined with great shops selling gay literature, hardware, gifts, furniture, clothes, hair supplies, cards and candles. Behind these independently owned shops and the assortment of services, restaurants and neighborhood bars are entrepreneurs struggling to make a living. Please support them — dollars spent locally just make sense.

Who is the Hillcrest banjo-playing beauty who strummed her way to television in 1966?


BOOKS BOUGHT & SOLD — No appointment necessary — Validation at Sunset Parking Lot on Fourth Avenue behind our store

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Avenue 5thBOOKS 3838 Fifth Avenue • (619) 291-4660

that you do need, all at no cost to anyone?

It’s the Freecycle Network, an international e-mail group dedicated to keeping usable items out of our landfills. Started six years ago in Tucson, Freecycle now has over six million members worldwide. San Diego has over 20,000 participants.



here can you give away items you no longer need and find items




TIPS: If you are giving something away, describe the item, its size and condition. Is it broken? That’s okay. Someone might be able to repair it or use it for parts. If you are requesting something from a donor, say a few words about why you want the item, and when you can pick it up. “Thank you” and “please” go a long way. Some people will give their donations to the first person to reply; others prefer to look at several posts and then choose the “right” person. If you are offered an item, be prompt in picking it up. Freecycle can be a fun and efficient way of reducing landfill waste and keeping useable items in our community. Enjoy! About the Author: Rebecca Smith is a happy SDFreecycler who lives in University Heights.

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To give an item away, place an “offered” post to the list. Interested people will reply to you by email. Choose whom you want to give your item to and where they can pick it up (“on the porch” or “next to the gate” are popular spots). Once you have given your item away, you will need to post a “taken” message.


There is no selling, trading, borrowing or bartering on Freecycle. There is also no discussion — just posts offering or requesting items.


You may post messages with items you want to give away or request items you need. Posts will indicate that an item is “offered,” “wanted,” “taken” or “received,” a description of the item and the neighborhood where it is located.


All you need is Internet access and email. Go to, click on “groups” then type San Diego Freecycle in the search box and join.


How does it work?




Argentinean Gourmet Empanadas

Bread & Cie

Saranya & the Black Thai

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HBA info booth

Pita & Hummus


Divine Madman Coffee

7th Day Buskers

Seb’s Pannis

R&L Farms Urban Plantations

Suncoast Farms Lone Oak Ranch Citrus

Hidalgo Flowers Sage Mountain Farms

Pasta Olives Cheese

Kawanos Farms


Eggs & Honey

Smit Orchards

Business Association

Maldonado Growers




ant some mouth-watering strawberries or sweet red cherries? From 9am to 2pm every Sunday, rain or shine except for Christmas and

New Year’s Day, the Hillcrest Farmers Market bustles along Normal Street


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north of University and south of Lincoln. Consistently voted the best of San

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The outdoor market has nearly 150 vendor booths with everything from cappuccinos and fresh flowers to bee pollen, eggs and honey. Farm picked produce is displayed on tables for your shopping pleasure. Tasty food booths with scrumptious items like crepes, gyros, panninis, empanadas and Thai food fill the west side of the market. It also includes many exciting products and services from artisan crafts to massage, and plants to olives, pasta, cheese and hummus. Need an extra copy of HillQuest’s Urban Guide? Stop by the HBA info booth north of the 7th Day Buskers acoustic roots music. It’s a great place to meet neighbors and support the local business association. The certified market is the largest moneymaker for the HBA, which uses the income to improve the area for local merchants. The organization will add covered tables and a visiting chef series this year. With toe-tapping tunes filling the air, a stroll among the picturesque booths is a splendid way to spend a Sunday morning or afternoon. Bring your camera; the plentiful produce and colorful bouquets provide a cornucopia for any shutter. As a bonus, many vendors graciously let you sample their faire before buying. (Note: Adhere to health regulations. Unless they are service animals, please leave your dogs at home.) FYI: If you are driving to the market from the core of Hillcrest, take a shortcut by using the 163-north ramp on Tenth Avenue then quickly exiting on Washington Street (note the white dotted line with arrows on the fold-out map). Other traffic tips at


was created in 1997 by the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA).


Diego’s many fabulous farmers markets, this weekly community gathering

Where is Villa Montezuma located?



Has the time for Hillcrest parking meters expired?


uotes to executive director Warren Simon for his “Heard In Hillcrest” column in the November 1992 Hillcrest Highlights newsletter.

“Hillcrest is unfairly metered. Customers pay here to park, but can park free in La Jolla and North Park.” — David Cohn, Corvette Diner owner “Each meter brings in an average of $730 for a $3 million total.” — Tom Williams, City Traffic Engineer “We’re not against enforcement, but we need fairness more than anything else.” — Carol Arko, bar owner “If I had Hillcrest’s meter enforcement franchise, I’d be a rich man.” — Tom Stoup, Blue Door Bookstore owner The city says that Hillcrest can have the meters removed if we don’t want them. Should the community take the same steps as North Park in 1963? (See page 76.)


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What liquor store was located on University west of Fifth in 1950?

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f anyone had told me a year ago that I’d become an inveterate and steadfast bus rider, I would have responded with a New York

“Fuhgedaboudit.” Although I still have welts from decades of NYC subway



People you might not ordinarily meet socially assemble here. Those grumbling malcontents who need to “share” sometimes incite communal discussions that offer insight into the proletarian temper. Such as “This city is 50% faggots and 50% lesbians.” (This will interest census takers next year.) Sure I’ve encountered grumpy, monosyllabic drivers, but most are upbeat, offering a lesson in how to defeat doldrums and desuetude. They take care to secure wheelchairs of the disabled who are often examples of terrific gumption, too. Public transport can, in fact, bring out the best in human spirit, acts of kindness; some people still give up seats to those more in need. A young woman asks an older woman sitting in front of her the meaning of a word in her textbook. Soon they are exploring one another’s very different lives. The assembled “en masse” warn a readily compliant driver of someone running to catch a bus. But ultimately passengers of any age can feel a little smug about being good citizens as the honored guests of public transport. About the Author: Reuel Olin is one of the cute boyz on page 37.

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Even the negatives of public transport show glimmers of light. Such as those famously noisy cell phone conversationalists offering inadvertent glimpses into private lives and priorities, from the inane (“I’m passing the deli now, dear”) to the fraught (“I’m leaving you for someone better”).


However, I’ve traded a membership in this gas-guzzling society for my monthly senior MTA pass (one of the many perks of being a “Super Adult” as the Brits charitably call us). By plunking down $18, I get chauffeured aboard buses, trolleys and trains practically countywide, but primarily I ride the #3 and #11 lines for pain-free transportation to/from Hillcrest or my downtown gym. It’s also a great way to avoid fighting for pricy parking.


that “If you can’t drive somewhere, don’t leave the house.”

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Brian Best’s Garden Spirit

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n 2008, San Diego’s Mills Act program narrowly escaped a set of proposed “reforms” that would have essentially gutted the program

93 community

Benefits of Historic Designation & the Mills Act

About bout tthee Author: ut o Attorney Barry Hager president of the community is preside preservation group Mission prese Hills Heritage and is a Hil former board member fo oof Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO). O

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A property can be historically designated if it is determined to be historically significant based on specific criteria. If so designated, an owner can execute a Mills Act contract with the city, which provides for certain property-tax reduction in exchange for the owner agreeing to maintain the historically significant features of the property. The tax benefit depends on the years of ownership and various other factors. As the owner of any historically designated property knows, restoring and maintaining the historical elements of vintage homes can be costly. While offsetting just a portion of such costs, the Mills Act program is the only financial incentive offered by the City of San Diego to owners of historical properties to encourage the owner to restore or maintain a vintage property rather than tear it down or remodel it beyond recognition. On the other hand, preserving vintage historically designated homes offers many benefits to our city and its residents. A restored home brings a spark of pride to an older neighborhood, which often fuels other restoration efforts, thus stabilizing older neighborhoods. This is evident in many areas such as Mission Hills, where restored architectural gems line the streets. Restored neighborhoods showcase our heritage and attract cultural tourism, which is evident in the tour buses and GPS go-cars that stream through the streets of Hillcrest and Mission Hills. Lastly, studies have shown that historically designated properties raise nearby property values such that the loss in property tax revenue is more than compensated for by the general increase in the property value of other homes in the neighborhood. By encouraging historic preservation, the public benefits of the Mills Act program far outweigh the cost. Fortunately, this important program will remain intact for the foreseeable future.


benefit all of us.


primer about historic designations, the Mills Act program and how they


(see HQ6). Why all the fuss about the Mills Act program? Here is a brief


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Advanced dentistry. Caring heart.

What hangs from a new tree at Morley Fieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Disc Golf Course?

Beautiful smiles.

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50. 52. 54. 56. 58. 60. 62. 68. 70. 72. 74. 76. 78. 80. 82. 84. 88. 90. 92. 94. 96. 98.

$2 a session; $35 a year Craftsman Union Hall Todd Gloria Nine Father Tony Noble Kous Kous Alonzo Horton The Wine Lover Dryden District Carol Schultz 3545 Sixth Street Save Hillcrest Aida Mancillas G. Aubrey Davidson Benjamin Nicholls Mickie Finn 20th & K streets The Spirits Shop 9am–2pm Shoes Rough Magic Elinor Meadows


25 John Taylor The Flower Power Parade 1,478 Lalo’s son Gabriel Sewing machine salesman Muchacho Villa Montezuma J. Beers Community Center 25 years ago (8/16/84) 2nd Tuesdays 6:30-8pm Tuesday $12,700,000 Ruth Hayward Penthouse The Loading Dock Maple Canyon A smiley face Mike Tidmus Carl DeMaio 141 1907 19 holes


2. 4. 6. 8. 10. 14. 16. 18. 20. 22. 24. 26. 28. 30. 32. 34. 36. 38. 40. 42. 44. 46. 48.

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Numbers on the left are the question pages.

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ost left-hand pages have a trivia question. Here are the answers. Amuse yourself and baffle your friends with these surprising facts.




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What was the last movie screened at the Guild Theatre?



ou have probably seen these guys around Hillcrest in their new little Smart car. Realtors Tony Azar and Trent St. Louis love living

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worked with extraordinary clients over the past decade. Finding people a special home or assisting in the sale of their properties has been a very rewarding experience. They love what they do and look forward to


in the Marston Hills section of Hillcrest and feel quite fortunate to have

Tony is a longtime member of the Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) and was instrumental in setting up the Tuesday morning business networking groups as well as the organization’s first corporate sponsor. In 2007 Tony supported the Hillcrest Centennial events, and he continues to help a variety of community programs including University Heights’ Summer Concerts at Trolley Barn Park. Their international travels led them to Costa Rica, where they now have property that sits in the Punta Islita Reserve overlooking the Pacific. The country’s natural beauty rejuvenates them every time they visit but, of course, they always look forward to returning to Hillcrest.

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Four years later, in 1999, Trent left Kaiser and opened California Key Realty in University Heights. Tony joined the office the following year. The company was successful and, after five years of growth, in late 2004, the business was sold to Century 21 Horizon. Trent and Tony then began their most recent venture as Realtors at The Metropolitan Group located at 1709 University Avenue in Hillcrest.


They met 19 years ago in Los Angeles. Trent was working as Human Resources Director for Kaiser Permanente, and Tony was a banker. Kaiser was starting up a facility in San Diego during 1995, and they asked Trent to move south to head up the HR department here. The boys made a couple of trips to look for a new home and immediately fell in love with Hillcrest. Their passion for this community helped to make up their minds, and they were on their way to becoming 92103 residents.


each day.

Who gets credit for saving the Quince Street Bridge?


HillQuest Volume 7 2009-2010  

HillQuest Volume 7 2009-2010 An Urban Guide to Hillcrest, San Diego, CA

HillQuest Volume 7 2009-2010  

HillQuest Volume 7 2009-2010 An Urban Guide to Hillcrest, San Diego, CA