Stories from San Diego neighborhoods

Normal Heights, Sabre Springs, Fallbrook, Alpine, and Olive Street in North Park

Southeast San Diego

Nowhere Zone

The rise, fall, and rise of Normal Heights

“I’d been renting an apartment over on Georgia Street, the sort of border area between North Park and Hillcrest. From one month to the next, they raised my rent by $200. I’m a teacher at City College. I could qualify for only a $145,000 loan. What could I buy for $145,000? Nothing in North Park. Nothing in Hillcrest. So I looked around. Drove around Normal Heights.”

By Abe Opincar, Nov. 27, 2002 | Read the full article

Good Life in Sabre Springs

In the aftermath of the van Dam killing

Dad leaves for work. Mom stays home. Kids ride their bikes in the street. Dogs run free across the green lawns. Flowers grow even from the street drains. One homeowner confessed that her biggest problem with Sabre Springs is that kids let their softballs fly into her yard. And everyone knows everyone and everyone waves and says hello to everyone. People are so nice here it makes you question your own perhaps questionable nature.

By Jill Underwood, Aug. 8, 2002 | Read the full article

Neighborhood: Small Towns of San Diego


As we wait I tend to think of what we’ll do after the haircuts. We could eat at the soda fountain across the street, in what used to be a drugstore but is now the Café des Artistes and a gallery. We could walk another hundred yards and ask the librarian if there are any new books about the Titanic.

By Laura McNeal, Dec. 24, 2003 | Read the full article

Where the Mountain Meets the Sky

How long can Alpine stay rural?

“We had grapes, for example. Grapes were hauled from here to the railroad station in Lakeside. We had wheat, olives, citrus fruit, barley. Chickens and turkey ranches. Also, John Harbison was a beekeeper and had a big beekeeping operation at the far end of Harbison Canyon.”

By Abe Opincar, Oct. 19, 2006 | Read the full article

A Quiet Cul-De-Sac in North Park

Neighborly life on Olive Street

Neighborhoods are not good simply because they are not bad, because rape and pillage are not going on at the end of the block and cops are not on permanent patrol. A good neighborhood is rare — clearly exceptional, fine-tuned and running well.

By Jangchup Phelgyal, Nov. 9, 2000 | Read the full article

A House and a Tree Spell Contenment to Me

Olive Street residents can't get much closer.

One portion of Olive, a quiet cul-de-sac in North Park, has just 15 homes — 22 counting those off the alley. Here neighbors jog together, go to the movies in a pack, and check with others on Friday night to see who wants to order take-out. Weekend mornings, someone is sure to have a fresh pot of coffee brewing, and neighbors know they can pop in, pour themselves a hot cup, then go home without the requirement to sit and chat.

By Jangchup Phelgyal, Nov. 16, 2000 | Read the full article

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