Swing those crazy legs east on Adams to the 3300 block and check out that mews today, oh boy. That is El Paraiso, an award-winning time capsule of cottages and arcade apartments lining a garden walk where residents still simmer enough Sunday gravy for their neighbors.
If you live here you are less than a hundred steps to the front door of Casa Sanchez, where Damaso serves up bomb-ass chilequiles for the champagne brunch on Sundays. You are now circling the vortex of the Heights, as you can see by the neon landmark arching over Adams at Felton. Looking east down Adams from under this sign at the right time of day you can see Mt. Helix miles distant. At night the reflection of the sign in a car’s windshield is California poetry.
On the south side of Adams is Completely Video. Completely Video is one man, James, and if you are his customer he knows your name and circumstances, recognizable without condition, prompt or fame. Here in Normal Heights you are part of the process.
At night the reflection of the sign in a car’s windshield is California poetry.
Keep going past The Ould Sod pub to hear conversations on the outside smoking bench like:
“What do you think about Jesus?”
“Don’t blame Christ-he’s gone.”
Normal Heights is located on a triangular plateau between the 8, 805 and 15 freeways about five miles northeast of downtown San Diego. This story first appeared in San Diego City Beat.