1974 San Diego guide to ethnic neighborhoods

Italian, Middle-Eastern, Mexican, Filipino, Chinese, Portuguese

BRITISH: a large population scattered all around town; the larger numbers in El Cajon, Chula Vista, La Mesa, and San Diego. They have a cottage at the House of Hospitality in Balboa Park and have formed several clubs: the Trafalgar Club, by far the largest, has about 5000 members; they hold dances every month and even have a dart team! The Club Room is located at 852 5th Ave. (235-4366). The English Speaking Union of the U.S. has about 250 members and is a social organization. Joseph Sutter is the president (435-5029).

CHINESE: there used to be a much larger Chinatown around 5th and Island downtown, but now only a few stores and restaurants remain. Between 3500 and 4000 Chinese live in San Diego, according to the people at the Chinese Social Service Center, 428 3rd St. Even if you’re not Chinese, you can get any help you need there from translations and interpreting to welfare and naturalization questions. You can take classes in Cantonese or Mandarin at the Chinese Community Church, 1750 47th St. They cost $9 a month and meet on Tuesday evenings from 4 to 6 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 12:30 p.m. They usually only accept students from 4 to 14 years old, but the teacher will accept you if you are strongly motivated. Call 262-5433 or 234-4447 for details.

FILIPINO: about 9400 Filipinos live in San Diego county with the largest portions in Imperial Beach and National City. They participate regularly in festivals around town and in Balboa Park.

FRENCH: the French consul in San Diego could not pinpoint any particular French quartier. And as Ms. Rigby, the president of the Alliance Francaise, told me: “De Gaulle wondered once, how you could govern a nation that produces 400 different cheeses.” All this to tell you that the French are a pretty individualistic lot, and you won’t find them in any special location. Many French restaurants dot this town, and sometimes the owners are actually natives.

ITALIAN: this area was much easier to define because an Italian community is still thriving along India St., between Date and Laurel and from Kettner to Union. The Italian Church can be found at the comer of State and Date Sts. Di Filippi’s and the Italian Village take care of any ethnic food craving you might get, both located in the 1700 block of India St.

JAPANESE: The minister of the Japanese Community Church, at 19th and E St., was unable to define a community as such. There is, however, a handful of Japanese farmers located in Otay Mesa who have been there for some time. You will find a Japanese Community Center at 541 E. 24th St. in National City, and a few restaurants scattered around town. They do most of their shopping at Woo Chee Chong’s, the Oriental supermarket on 16th and Market Sts. in San Diego and at the new store, located at 1415 3rd St. in Chula Vista.

MEXICAN: Mexican and Chicano people make up a large portion of Southeast San Diego. Along Logan Ave., Chicano artists have painted the arches under the Coronado Bridge, and the Chicano Federation is located at 1960 National Ave. Mexican foodstores and restaurants operate all along Logan Ave.

MIDDLE-EASTERN: quite a few North Africans have ended up in Southern California, mainly because of the climate. There are no specific settlements, although 400 families are spread around the county. The Lebanese-Syrian Club for Women is actually made up of Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian and Syrian members. St. George’s Antioch Orthodox Church at 4175 Poplar St. in San Diego is a place of worship for all Arabic-speaking people. The Middle East Gourmet Shop at 1901 El Cajon Blvd. carries Syrian bread and pita and most all other Middle East specialties, and many of the big chain food stores stock couscous, the staple food for North Africans. Antoine’s Sheik Restaurant at 2664 5th St. serves Lebanese food as does the Old Damascus Restaurant at 3683 5th.

GERMAN: they’re all spread out too, but the Sausage King Old Country Meat and Sausage Co., at 811 W. Washington St., could fulfill your yearning for German foods, and German magazines and newspapers. They have a store at 319 3rd St. in Chula Vista, and 7097 University in La Mesa. The Black Forest Delicatessen at 6305 El Cajon Blvd. also services the 23,000 Germans of San Diego County.

GREEK: North Park was at one time quite populated with Greeks, although now you can find them all over the county, according to the clergy of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church at Cyprus and Park Blvd. You can still count them in Hillcrest, La Mesa and Clairemont. The A and G Market, at 1807 Robinson, carries an extensive choice of Greek foods, and Athens Market, 414 E. St., sells Greek specialties and pastries, and has a little restaurant in the back which is popular with the downtown lunch crowd.

PORTUGUESE: a large portion of the fishing industry is made up of Portuguese, and they have congregated in the Roseville area between McCawley and Canon Sts. in Point Loma. The Portuguese-American League of San Diego meets in Portuguese Hall, 2818 Addison St. in Point Loma. The Portuguese are active participants each year, in the Cabrillo Festival, in honor of one of their explorers. They worship at St. Agnes’ Catholic Church, 1140 Evergreen.

POLISH: the Polish-American Association of San Diego has its headquarters at 1934 30th St., and the county’s 5000 Poles congregate mostly in East San Diego. The Polish Women’s Alliance meets at the headquarters and you can also take Polish classes there on Monday night at 7 p.m. Polish masses are held at the Carmelite Monastery, 5158 Hawley Blvd., every Sunday. At the Bazaar Del Mundo, in Old Town, The Gifted Hand specializes in Polish artifacts. For delicious Polish food, go to the 3 Mermaids at 3539 Adams Ave.

RUTHENIAN: this is the old name for the Slovaks of Czchoslovakia, a part of old Austro-Hungary, the priest for the Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Church at 5154 Hawley, explained to me. Some enterprising parishioners make Kilbasa, the Polish sausage, and home-made pastries every day, which they sell on the •Church premises. Mass is at 10:15 a.m. on Sundays.

UKRAINIAN: after living under Hitler and Stalin, then establishing a parish in Saskatchewan and Massachusetts, Father Kurylo came to the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help at 4014 Winona Ave., in 1966. His parish consists of 40 members but he estimated about 400 Ukrainian families live in and around town.

VIETNAMESE: it seems that most Oriental people live in the National City, Chula Vista and Imperial Beach areas, and the Vietnamese, though they used to concentrate themselves in Coronado for easy access to the Navy’s language school, are now also spread out over all the South Bay area.

SERBIAN: there are two Serbian churches in San Diego serving the 150 Serbian families here: St. George’s Serbian Orthodox Church on 3025 Denver St. in Clairemont and Venerable Mother Angelina Serbian Orthodox Church at 4808 Trojan in East San Diego. The Clairemont church overlooks Mission Bay and is famous for its beautiful mosaics.

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