World Series = Long Awaited Linda Vista Mural?
Plus: Bird Rock Coffee in Morena District, John dough LV Artwork, LV News Update, and Buildings in Linda Vista
One more sports mural has made an appearance in a neighborhood bordering Linda Vista. Unfortunately, Linda Vista itself has once again missed out in the mural chase. No doubt, our community is not getting the respect it deserves. That has to change this year. I contend the 2023 baseball season presents a perfect opportunity to get an LV sports mural or two, because as everyone knows this is going to be a Padres World Series year!
Before we talk baseball, let’s talk about soccer. With the team’s new season beginning this weekend, the San Diego Loyal SC recently unveiled three murals painted by popular San Diego-based Ground Floor Murals. Each mural features different Loyal team members wearing the team’s new uniforms. One of the murals was painted in Chula Vista, another in Hillcrest, and another on the wall of the team’s Mission Valley headquarters office (located at 655 Camino De La Reina). The mural in Mission Valley (as seen above) features SD Loyal goalkeeper Duran Ferree.
Though happy to see the new mural in Mission Valley, we at the Linda Vista Update are sad to see that Linda Vista has once again missed out on a sports mural. We remain a community without any kind of monument or art work commemorating local sports figures or teams; this in spite of the fact that murals commemorating different San Diego Padres players—and now SD Loyal SC members—have been popping up all over the rest of San Diego, courtesy of the two teams partnering up with the talented Ground Floor Murals. In addition to the aforementioned murals in Chula Vista and Hillcrest, we have seen Padres murals appear in such nearby places as Kearny Mesa, City Heights, and Ocean Beach, to name just a few lucky San Diego communities.
Why has Linda Vista been left out of the mural binge? What have we done to deserve this punishment? Are we on some sort of a blacklist of unworthy communities? Are we not seen as a sports loving community?
No one seems to be able to answer those kind of questions. But it’s not like we lack any suitable areas for a mural. This newsletter has pointed out in the past that the wall hosting the faded mural adjacent to the Linda Vista Library could serve as a great place for a new, bright, colorful mural featuring one or two San Diego Padres. An artist could easily incorporate a book/reading theme to any such sports mural. Someone on the Padres roster must like to read books, right? Identify that Padre, and then let’s feature him on the mural!
As everyone knows, this is the year the Padres are expected to go all the way—it’s World Series or bust for our highly paid team. So what better way to celebrate this winning season than to have a Padres mural go up in Linda Vista? Years from now LV residents will be able to point at a certain wall in the community and tell their grandchildren, “Look at that Padres mural. It was painted the year the Padres won the World Series.”
I suggest Linda Vista community leaders promptly get in contact with the Padres organization and Ground Floor Murals and start planning what the mural is going to look like and where it is going to be painted. The October Classic will be here before you know it. Tell them we want off the community mural blacklist. We’re as artistic as any other community. I realize the Padres just spent a fortune on Manny Machado’s new contract, but they must have a few coins left to pay for a mural.
Community leaders, let’s get the word out. We want that mural!!
Powered by Great Coffee in Morena District
We recently heard, to our dismay, that Sur Coffee has permanently closed. This was a very nice coffee shop at the foot of Linda Vista Road, near Napa. So, we were on the lookout for another coffee shop to try in its place.
We heard about Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in the Morena District, which is close enough for us, so we decided to go there after our workout at the YMCA.
We read a little about it on the internet before going there and discovered that they are Farm to Cup which means that its coffees can be classified as either Direct Trade Coffee, Farm Gate Coffee, or Auction Coffee. You can read about these classifications on line, but basically it means better profit for the growers and higher quality coffee for the consumer. It also means that Bird Rock Coffee Roasters has made good relationships with the farmers. Over the past few years this has had a very positive impact for farmers, resulting in better quality of coffee as well as better quality of the farmers’ lives.
Bird Rock Coffee is at 1270 Morena Blvd. Their hours are Monday thru Sunday from 7am to 4 pm. There is adequate parking in front of the establishment, as well as street parking. Upon entering, we were surprised at how busy they were. The interior vibe is industrial, and the large windows make it bright and airy. There was a nice breakfast crowd and the inside has adequate space for groups of any size. There were quite a few customers seated at various tables all leisurely enjoying their drinks. There is also a little outside table area. Since we hadn’t been there before, we took a little while to acclimate ourselves. We did notice that there was another building across the street that said Bird Rock Roasting Lab, so I imagine that is where the beans are actually roasted. I read that they recently purchased a large building in the Little Italy area that will make them capable of roasting the large quantity of beans they need for their growing business. The folks are very friendly and the crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves. They had a large selection of coffees including lattes, cappuccinos, expressos, teas, and pastries. I asked Justin, a staff member, for a recommendation and he said I should try the Guatemalan coffee called Santa Ana which contained pineapple, maple syrup and coconut notes and was one of the Coffees of the Day. I was happy to take his advice as I am not a coffee expert. For Steve who is a tea drinker, there were several teas to choose from, both hot and cold, caffeine and no caffeine, so he chose a black breakfast tea. We also picked out a vanilla scone and had it heated. It was very large and enough for the two of us. Very vanilly.
My coffee was really good. It was mild, very tasty and smooth. Steve enjoyed his tea and scone.
We were told that Bird Rock Coffee Roasters has been around since about 2006 and at this location about 5 years. They have other locations such as Little Italy, Liberty Station and in various places which you can check out on their website. You can also see that they have won many awards both locally and nationally.
The prices are reasonable and coffees, teas, and pastries are in the $4.00+ range.
So while we will miss Sur Coffee, we know we will continue to enjoy Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. I don’t think they will be going away. Give it a try.
John dough’s Latest Interpretation of Linda Vista
We featured the work of mysterious San Diego artist John dough (a pseudonym) in a previous issue of the Linda Vista Update. In that issue we featured some of his art work that uniquely portrayed our community, as well as other San Diego communities—in a street art sort of way. We recently found the work above in a local Linda Vista-associated Facebook page. We think the piece effectively depicts an interesting melange of LV images that reflects a certain aspect of our community’s character. Looking ahead to 2024, I wonder how popular a Linda Vista art-themed calendar might be if John dough could be hired to draw images for each month?
LV News Update:
—Farmers Market: The Love, Linda Vista Farmers Market will be open today from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Linda Vista Plaza Shopping Center. Come and get your fresh fruit and vegetables. There will be 30 vendors offering their various products. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, there are plenty of arts and crafts and delicious ethnic food booths.
—Parking Near Francis Parker School: The Linda Vista Town Council (LVTC) has been working with Francis Parker School to resolve parking problems (caused by campus construction) for residents living in the vicinity of the school. These residents are encouraged to read the recently published parking related instructions/solutions published by the LVTC, as provided here.
—Car Show Rescheduled: The 5th Annual Kearny Alumni Car Show has been rescheduled for Saturday March 11. Check out the below flyer for details.
—Food Distribution: Help spread the word about this great activity. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, located at 6840 Osler Street in Linda Vista, will conduct its monthly food distribution this Saturday March 11 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm in the church parking lot. Both cars and walk-throughs are welcome to participate in the food distribution. You can read a previous issue of the LV Update to learn more details about this food distribution, to include household size and income qualifications.
—Soccer Season Opens: The San Diego Loyal SC plays its first game of the season this Saturday March 11 at 7:00 pm. The game will be played at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium. The Loyal will play Detroit City FC. Ticket info can be obtained here.
—Linda Vista Town Council: The Linda Vista Town Council will hold its monthly general meeting on Wednesday March 15. Meet and Greet begins at 6:00 pm and the official agenda part of the meeting begins at 6:30 pm. The meeting will be held at the American Legion Post 731 which is located at 7245 Linda Vista Road.
—SDPD RSVP Volunteers: The San Diego Police Department’s Western Division is looking for you to join their Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP) Program. According to SDPD Officer David Surwilo, “You too can become a part of the solution by the joining to assist with neighborhood safety and crime prevention. You need only to be at least 50 years of age and be free to commit a minimum of three and a half days per month of your time. Following an RSVP Police Academy, plus some on the job training, you will be ready to wear the SILVER BADGE OF THE RSVP.” Click here to learn more details about joining the program.
—The Kittens are Coming: San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) is preparing for the upcoming kitten season. Kittens will be depending on the services of the SDHS kitten nursery to prepare for their eventual adoption. In anticipation of kitten season, SDHS is conducting a Kitten Virtual Shower to ensure enough supplies are available for the Kitten Nursery and Foster Program. Please click here to learn what you need to do to contribute to the Virtual Kitten Shower. We encourage you to click here to view a fun video of the SDHS’s Kitten Program.
—LV Multi-Cultural Fair/Parade: The ever popular Linda Vista Multi-Cultural Parade and Fair will be held Saturday April 29. If you or your organization wish to participate in the fair and/or parade, please visit this site to apply for parade, entertainment, booth, volunteer, or sponsorship opportunities.
Shouldn’t We Welcome These New Buildings?
Linda Vista is no different from any other community in the sense that it is subject to the constant influence of change. Though many long-time residents like to note that Linda Vista has been able to preserve much of the same feel over the years—successfully maintaining, to a large degree, the working class community character that first began forming with its initial construction during World War II—the truth is much change has creeped in. And that’s a good thing. No one wants a community to grow stale. You can’t get improvement without change. Fortunately, the change that many Linda Vistans most fear—gentrification—has so far been kept to a minimum. Though some working families have indeed struggled to find affordable units, there has not been a mass migration of LV families priced out of every LV neighborhood.
Can gentrification continue to be held at bay? That is the question we all ask ourselves. I contend there is one architectural development—one that has already made its appearance in Linda Vista—that could surprisingly play a role in minimizing any possible gentrification.
One component of the LV community that has seen a degree of incremental change over the years is the architectural style of the residential buildings. The architecture that originally flowed out of the government’s World War II-era effort to provide affordable housing for defense workers—detached, one story housing units—still dominates many neighborhoods. Though there have been many condo/townhouse developments added in the past 30-40 years, the height of most of these developments has mainly remained no more than two to three stories high. There have been exceptions to this rule—one major exception being the large development of Pacific Ridge, located across the street from the University of San Diego, but no one seems to raise objections about the height of this development.
However, one new building that has raised a degree of concern is the one currently being built on the grounds of the old Bank of America building on Ulric Street in downtown Linda Vista. I have encountered several local residents who see this type of multi-story building as portending bad things to come for the community. Comments/questions like “It’s too tall” and “It doesn’t fit in with the architecture of the rest of the community” and “How much more car traffic will all these new residents create?” and “Will there be enough parking for all the residents?” have been frequently heard. Similar concerns have been raised about the new affordable housing complex built adjacent to Linda Vista Community Park on Ulric Street. Both of these complexes fit many of the characteristics of what is commonly referred to as 5-over-1 buildings-- a type of multi-family residential apartment building constructed with up to five stories above a podium (usually for retail or resident amenity space). This style of building is popping up throughout the country as a relatively affordable alternative for people wanting to live in urban or suburban settings.
Without much notice, these buildings have recently cropped up in the Silver Terrace neighborhood of Linda Vista (the area between the University of San Diego and Friars Road). There are four such recently constructed 5-over-1 buildings (actually, in this case, three to four stories high). These buildings especially cater to USD students who are required to move off of campus for their junior and senior years.
Of course, 5-over-1 apartment buildings are popular with developers because they provide more apartments per acre than single family homes, and thus become very profitable, and because they are relatively inexpensive to build.
Are these 5-over-1 or similar sized/shaped apartment buildings something to fear for Linda Vista? Do they signify an approaching threat of gentrification with their bringing new residents into old, established neighborhoods? Do they contribute too much to added density? And do they add too much of a bland, cookie cutter architecture to neighborhoods that want to preserve their unique character?
I suggest we closely watch how these new buildings impact our neighborhoods. We should consider the fact these kind of buildings may provide, in part, the affordable housing that our Linda Vista community seeks. Yes, the relatively bland architectural style of 5-over-1 buildings may not be our first choice—we all prefer to live in an area populated by houses fit for Architectural Digest—but the World War II-era homes that were built in Linda Vista were not so much stylistic as they were functional and affordable. As stated in a historical study maintained by the Linda Vista Library, the original LV World War II-era houses were designed by Public Buildings Administration architect C.D. Persina to be “functional and simple,” and “The houses share(d) a common floor plan, allowing for low-cost and efficient construction.” Maybe that’s the same kind of “style” trade-off that must occur with these 5-over-1 buildings?
Will these new buildings cause more parking problems, and contribute to kind of infrastructure problems (i.e. frequent traffic jams) associated with too much density? Do they negatively detract from the neighborhood’s unique charm or character? Those are the kind of questions that must be answered over time. With these 5-over-1 buildings popping up in different neighborhoods of Linda Vista, let’s hope someone is studying the situation, and that the results of such studies are seriously considered by City officials when determining if more of these building should be constructed in our community.
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Sur Coffee closed?! So sad!! :(
Hello and thank you for your weekly newsletters, they are always warmly welcomed. I am wondering about your journalist approach to this week's newsletter though, as it takes quite a strong stance on LV's lack of murals, yet it does not appropriately point out that we do indeed have 3 murals, 4 if you count the fading mural outside the library. Next to All-Star Haircuts, on Linda Vista Road is a beautiful mural, directly facing the library is another beautiful mural painted by members of the community and LV's Ebenezer Church, and on the road outside of Montgomery Middle School is yet another beautiful mural painted by long-time LV resident Janet (who takes it upon herself to do much of the graffiti clean-up in our neighborhood). All this to say, while it would be fantastic to have yet another mural in our neighborhood, it is unfortunate that your newsletter did not point out the current murals, two of which were completed by our own residents. Again though, I would like to say that I am most grateful for your weekly insights as it has made me so much more knowledgeable about this community I call home. I am looking forward to future newsletters!