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Tuesday, December 3, 2019


In 1989 when our family moved to one of San Diego’s older neighborhoods, North Park hadn’t yet earned its historic stripes.

Instead, city fathers and mothers were looking to get aid for the 80-year-old community that the feds deemed a blighted area.
In the mid-90s Baby Boomers got their second wind and began buying up single-family homes because San Diego’s urban sprawl had reached its outer limits.  Folks were looking for affordable housing close to the downtown area.

Below. The North Park Dryden Historic District, a cluster of wide-eaved, pitched-roof homes designed by local son David Owen Dryden, sits along 28th and Pershing Streets.  Photos by Sandy Huffaker for the New York Times.
North Park fits the bill.  Older craftsman style homes were selling cheap and they were easy to rehabilitate into modern homes.

As the neighborhood gentrified thanks to an amenable leadership from City Hall pushed by aggressive mom and pop journalism that fired up community groups, the grime of crime was scrubbed off and by the turn of the 21st-century merchants were coming back.
Historic North Park was reborn.
University Avenue offers an array of restaurant options, including City Tacos, where the chile relleno taco, a guero chile stuffed with Oaxaca and cotija cheese — is a popular choice.
 Soon, the torch was passed from boomer activism to millennial entrepreneurship.  The cheaper commercial rents were gobbled up by the craft beer movement that is today stronger than ever.
Craft beer booms in a Craftsman neighborhood. North Park Beer Co.
West Coaster Beverage Magazine photo.
Did the locals see this second coming—coming?
Of course, we did and articles in American Bungalow, Old House Journal, and Arts & Craftsman Home led the way.  In 2012, Forbes Magazine called North Park one of America’s Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods.” There went the ‘hood from historic to hipster.
Now, the mighty New York Times has gone beyond travel snippets about North Park and gone the whole nine yards in a full-length real estate feature called “North Park: Rewards of Walkability.”
No one’s calling North Park blighted anymore.

For the entire feature click here.
Upas & 28th Streets, where North Park meets Balboa Park. photograph

Each Thursday late afternoon to early evening you'll find the North Park Farmer's Market along North Park Way.
North Park Main Street photo.

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