Local Designer Showcase

A deejay spins thumping house music in one corner. Models decked in local designs parade down a catwalk. Shoppers sip martinis while perusing gallery-quality art and a maze of booths displaying jewelry, bags, shoes, clothes and more. This patchwork of pop culture all comes together at the Thread lifestyle and fashion show (2001 Pan American Plaza; threadshow.com), held every three months at the Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park. Next show is June 18. (Photo illustration from Neighborhood, a boutique at 4496 Park Boulevard in University Heights.)

Way To Survive the Stingaree Wait Line

Across the street from San Diego’s new “it” bar/restaurant is San Diego’s oldest bar. Have your designated driver hold your spot in line at Stingaree. The rest of you can run over to Tivoli for lemon-drop shots. Keep in cell phone contact with your place-holder.

Organizing Service

Dana Korey is “chairman of order” at Away with Clutter (858-481-9191). She’ll show up at your home or office with “clutter terminator” Michaela Kuechenhoff and show you how to reorganize your space. They’ll tear down your mess and show you how to put it back together in an orderly manner. And they’ll never refer to your belongings as “junk.

Jeans Store

True Religion. Red Engine. Rock & Republic. These are few of the roughly three dozen brands of jeans for sale at L.A. Fairchild Denim Bar (2029 San Elijo Avenue, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, 760-487-1277). Laura Ann Fairchild’s boutique “saloon” is in the Seaside Marketplace. Shelves are brimming with Chip & Pepper and Earnest Sewn for the ladies, and plenty of Modern Amusement and Johnny Cotton for the fellas.

Upgraded Dive Bar Food

NuNu’s is an age-worn gin joint that’s never stopped for lipo or augmentation of anything. In the past, hamburgers here were served pleasantly greasy. Now, the kitchen has a name—The Corner Stone Grill at Nunu’s (3537 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest, 619-295-1258). Chef Wes offers a bun choice for burgers, a shrimp-and-spinach quesadilla, and he’ll even whip up an albacore tuna salad. Try his lumpia (a Filipino eggroll with beef).

Po’ Boy

Bud’s Louisiana Food Shoppe (2034 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy, 619- 239-4210) has roots in New Orleans. Bud’s po’ boy sandwiches have a Cajun charm. Options include fried shrimp, barbecue shrimp, fried oyster, spicy andouille, fried catfish and sloppy roast beef. Wash them down with a Dixie lager. Bud’s is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday.

Trolley Stop

The most uptown stop on the San Diego Trolley line is out at San Diego State University, where you disembark at an underground station. Glass elevators take you to a park-like setting at ground level, where the grass is green and the maturing trees welcoming. It’s also the best commute to a Chargers game from here, but don’t tell everybody.

Commuter Bar

One of the best things about the SDSU trolley stop is it’s just 50 paces from Louie’s Suds ’n’ Sun. The price of a beer is fair; the view of attractive students is a bonus. This was Monty’s Den before the administration forced the name change on owner Lou Holton in the wave of political correctness that wiped out campus mascot Monty Montezuma.

Tennis Courts

Morley Field, at the northeast corner of Balboa Park, is a tennis buff ’s dream. With 25 pristine courts, a pro shop packed with tennis duds, and good food from the Café Expresso (call ahead and your food will be waiting), the Balboa Tennis Club (619-295-9278; balboatennis.com) has no equal. A day pass is $5 for adults; $2 for juniors.

Newsstand

North Park’s Paras Newsstand (3911 30th Street, 619-296-2859) is a reader’s paradise, with everything from Paris Vogue to porn on the shelves. They’ve been in business since 1949, and stock local, national and international newspapers, along with racing forms, sports rags and just about every magazine imaginable.

Esthetician

“They’re my friend first, client second,” says esthetician Sara Elizabeth Kuite of Sara Elizabeth Skincare (4026 Hawk Street, Suite H, Mission Hills, 619-977-7546). The personal attention is one reason for Sara’s popularity (book at least a month out); another is her passion for skincare. Her treatments are both affordable and innovative, blending Eastern philosophy with Western technology.

Outdoor Movie Venue

Recline in an ergonomically savvy zero-gravity chair and take in a cinematic classic alfresco at Cinema Under the Stars (4040 Goldfinch Street, Mission Hills, 619-295-4221). The 35-film season (which also features a theater-grade THX sound system) runs from May until October, Thursday through Sunday at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $12, or pay the $60 membership fee for season-long reservation privileges.

Retail Therapy

Featuring 200 stores and restaurants, Fashion Valley (7007 Friars Road, 619-688-9113) is the region’s ultimate one-stop shopping destination. Home to upscale department stores Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s, the center also has 40 exclusive boutiques (and growing), including Tiffany & Co., Kiehl’s, Louis Vuitton and A/X Armani Exchange.

Feng Shui Expert

She was a scientist before she became involved in the study of the environment and how it affects you. Today, feng shui expert Cathleen McCandless (858-454-7933; sandiegofengshui.com) works as a consultant for clients who include Intel, Nike and Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Her quick feng shui tip? Watch your back. Our survival instincts are active in every room, which is why we want a booth rather than a table when we go to restaurants: Our backs feel protected. You get that same sense of well-being when furniture is arranged so backs don’t face the door.

Happy Hour

The Prado (1549 El Prado, 619-557- 9441) in Balboa Park may be best known for its fine dining, but it also offers a happening Happy Hour. Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6 and 8 to 11 p.m., all well drinks, draft beer pints and house wines are $2.50. Pick up a passionfruit or house Margarita for two and a half bucks, too. Appetizers range from $2.50 to $4.95, a bargain for a grilled chipotle chicken quesadilla, to name one.

Local Brew

Local BrewSince opening its first brewery-restaurant downtown in 1989, Karl Strauss (1157 Columbia Street, 619-234-BREW) has added three more San Diego locations (La Jolla, Carlsbad and Sorrento Mesa) to quench San Diegans’ thirst for quality brews. Sample the smooth, hoppy flavor of best-seller Karl Strass Amber Lager, or savor one of the special releases available seasonally.

Wine Bar Special

In the Encinitas Lumberyard, Meritage Restaurant & Bar (897 South Coast Highway 101, Suite F104, 760-634-3350) hosts Wine Lovers’ Night every Monday and Wednesday. Wine enthusiasts and neophytes cram the bar to take advantage of the 50 percent discount on all bottles. The wine list is extensive, and the bar staff is friendly and knowledgeable.

Bargain Wine Shop

Matt, Mark and Rich sample every wine before they stock it, so those who visit the San Diego Wine Company (5282 Eastgate Mall, 858-535-1400) get expert advice. Great bargains, too. The Grove Street Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County and the Napa Valley Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay each sell for $7.99.

Rooftop Bar

Altitude, atop the Gaslamp Quarter Marriott (660 K Street), doesn’t need an attitude-adjustment hour. It’s always friendly here. Twenty-two stories up, with a commanding view of the Petco Park diamond, it’s also a cheap ticket to a Padres game. No cover; no dress code; and definitely no attitude.

Upscale Beach Bar

The beachfront bar in Tower23’s Jordan Restaurant (723 Felspar Street; 858-270- 5736) in Pacific Beach is known just as much for the view inside. This is where the sultry, sun-kissed set comes to sip martinis. A menu favorite is the lemorange martini (pictured on our cover). It’s a blend of Ketel One Citroen, Absolut Mandarin and Cointreau, poured into an icy martini glass and finished with a twist of lemon and orange.

Yoga Teacher

Encinitas resident Tim Miller has studied and taught Ashtanga yoga for more than 25 years. He recently relocated his Ashtanga Yoga Center (1905 Calle Barcelona, Suite 218, 760-632-7093) to Carlsbad, in The Forum shopping center. Yoginis come from around San Diego County—and the world— for Miller’s teachings on the ancient practice of yoga in his affable, unintimidating style.

Baseball Park

(Besides Petco)

The words “America’s Most Scenic Ballpark” are painted across the scoreboard at Point Loma Nazarene University’s Carroll B. Land Stadium (3900 Lomaland Drive, 619-849-2575). With its immaculately manicured grounds framed by swaying palm trees and the Pacific Ocean, that’s a well-founded claim. Seating in plastic chairs—not benches— places fans comfortably close to the action.

New Theater Company

Their mission is to educate youth and produce original stories by contemporary playwrights—but who thought of that name? Mo‘Olelo Performing Arts Company (619-342- 7395; moolelo.net) took it from the Hawaiian word for story, legend or narrative, since founders Seema Sueko and Kim Palma were raised in that state. So far, the organization has won a KPBS Patte McDonald Playwriting Award and the Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Artistic & Cultural Achievement Award.

Live Music Venue

The music spans big band to bluegrass, reggae to rock, salsa to ska. The Belly Up Tavern (143 South Cedros Avenue, 858- 481-8140) in Solana Beach’s upscale Cedros Design District attracts an eclectic mix of major headliners to its intimate seaside venue. Local bands are equally at home on the Belly Up stage, credited for jump-starting the careers of many San Diego musicians.

Personal Trainer (Female)

Jennifer Schaub of Forme Physique (906 10th Avenue, Studio 107, 619-233- 3661; jenniferschaub.com) says you don’t need to spend countless hours in the gym and deny yourself the foods you love to get in shape. “I teach my clients how to live a healthy lifestyle and realistically achieve their goals,” she says. Schaub trains everyone from ultra-marathoners to workout newbies at her urban loft-gym.

Hospital Waiting Room

Says a recent patient: “UCSD’s Thornton Hospital [9300 Campus Point Drive, La Jolla, 858-657-7000] should have a dress code. It has self-playing grand pianos, marble floors, tropical courtyards and gold-plated elevators. I think my friends felt underdressed when they came to visit.”

Banjo Maker

If banjo phenom Bela Fleck endorses it, you know it’s got to be good. Spring Valley’s Deering Quality Banjos (3733 Kenora Drive, 800-845-7791) makes more than 50 styles, including the Goodtime, the Vega and the crisp-toned Calico. They range in price from $399 to custom models selling for, whoa, $50,000-plus.

Quarterback Who Got Away

We’re crossing our fingers for Philip Rivers. But in Drew Brees, we had a tested QB who did take the Chargers to the playoffs in 2004 and was a Pro Bowler. And unlike Eli Manning, Brees wanted to play here.

Bet for a Rear-End Collision

Utterance of the words “the merge” will make any local driver cringe. The intersection of I-805 and I-5 northbound is one of San Diego’s notorious bottlenecks, and the site of countless close calls and near-misses on a daily basis. Be extra vigilant from 5 to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Onion Soup

It’s one of those chilly nights in Southern California when only something steaming will warm the soul. Head for Savory (267 North El Camino Real, Encinitas, 760-634-5556) and order the traditional gratinée onion soup, rich brown beef stock thick with onions. A crouton loaded with Gruyere floats on top— then it’s broiled until the cheese melts and sticks to the spoon when you dig in.

Free World-Class Museum

Gaze into the pensive eyes of Rembrandt’s St. Bartholomew or check out The Cranberry Harvest, Island of Nantucket by Eastman Johnson. They’re among the stunning works that transport the viewer to another time and place at the underrated and intimate Timken Museum of Art (1500 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619-239-5548). Remarkably, admission costs nothing.

Eyeglass Repair Shop

They pinch your nose; they hang crooked on your face; an arm broke off—and you need them fixed fast. Get those specs repaired while you wait at Hot Shots Eyewear Repair (690 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 102, Carlsbad, 760-720-9115). If the owner thinks the job is too easy, he does it for free. He also collects used glasses and donates them to the needy. How cool is that?

Local Chocolatier

Premium chocolate melts so easily it often leaves you with deliciously lickable fingers. Chuao Chocolatier (937 South Coast Highway 101, Suite C-109, Encinitas, 760-635-1444) uses the finest Venezuelan cocoa beans, and truffles and bonbons are made with traditional European techniques. The heart-shaped passionfruit caramels could replace sex. Well, almost.

Plumber

Clogged drains? Slab leaks? Need to move a toilet? Ring up C-Me Plumbing owner Glen Touchette (10828 Charing Cross Road, Spring Valley, 619-454- 1886). He’s licensed, has 25 years of experience in service and repair, plus a rep for honesty. Polite, too. His answering machine says he’ll wash his hands before he calls you back.

Fresh Fish Market

Big on bivalves? Buy perfect plump raw oysters at family-owned Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill (3667 India Street, Little Italy, 619-497-0914). They also cook 22 kinds of fish, delivered fresh daily. Order garlic butter on grilled halibut or Cajun spices on the catch of the day. The cioppino and chowder are made from scratch, as are the salad dressings and a spicy cocktail sauce.

Blinds Repair

Bob Struiksma, a.k.a the Blind Man, has been in business for 50 years. He carries lines that are hard to find in department stores, and they’re custom madeto- measure. For you goth types, he can even get blinds in glossy black. He stocks parts at his east San Diego store (Walkley’s Venetian Blinds, 4359 Dwight Street, 619-284-9764), does repairs, and he even cleans mini blinds ($5 and up).

Wedding Dress Maker

When the eponymous owner of Allyson Simon Brides (919 Sixth Avenue, 619- 702-1649) travels to Paris, she hand-picks the silks to be used in her next collection. Simon has showrooms in L.A. and New York, but San Diego is home base. Her trademark pink gowns have graced the pages of nearly every known bridal book. Brides-to-be are seen by appointment only.

Pet Groomer

Poodles, Pomeranians and pups of all persuasions get groomed at Hair of the Dog (4783 Narragansett Avenue, Ocean Beach, 619-223-3080). The shop is so popular, there is typically a week’s wait for an appointment. But when pooches are finished, they are sweet-smelling and ever so stylin’.

Pet Emergency Room

Every dog and cat gets its own security blanket—a great source of comfort when you have to go to the Pet Emergency & Specialty Center in La Mesa (5232 Jackson Drive, Suite 105, 619-462-4800). Humans like the fact that it’s open 24 hours, seven days a week, and staffed with 16 veterinary doctors including two surgeons and two internal medicine specialists.

Line Dancing Teacher

Grab your boots and cowboy hat and learn to electric slide across the dance floor. Shirley King has been teaching line dancing for more than 10 years, and even the staff at the Foothill Adult Education Center (1550 Melody Lane, El Cajon, 619- 401-4122) take her classes on Monday and Thursday afternoons. Shirley also teaches Thursday nights at the Coronado Adult Education Center (650 D Avenue, 619-522-8911), and they tell us “people just love her.

Place To Sip a Margarita

Hernandez Hideaway (19320 Lake Drive, 760-746-1444) is the best way to end that Sunday drive—it’s a casual Mexican restaurant right off the Del Dios Highway in Escondido. Wash down a big plate of nachos with the signature Margarita. It’s the same formula they’ve used since 1972, made with a shot of tequila that locals describe as a “real fair pour.” (No Margarita if you’re the driver.)

Improv

Get your giggle on at The FunHouse (6822 El Cajon Boulevard, 619-465- SHOW). TheatreSports, an improvisational theater company, is known for unscripted skits inspired by their founder, Keith Johnstone. Fairies and lovers fool around Bard-style in Fakespeare. The captain and the crew on the USS Improvise get guffaws from galactic adventures with space aliens.

Affordable Housing

The commute may be problematic, but we recommend Des Moines, Toledo, Oshkosh, Texarcana, Kingman, Tuskaloosa or Tulsa.

Beach Rental Shop

Such a deal. Cheap Rentals Mission Beach (3689 Mission Boulevard, 858-488-9070) will supply bikes, ’blades and boards for $5 to $10 per hour. And if you want to catch your first wave with a board rental, they’ll give you detailed surfing instruction sheets for free. If you are destined to eat sand, at least you aren’t shelling out $90 per hour for your first surf lesson.

Hike

The steep trails to the top of Cowles Mountain in Mission Trails Regional Park (1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, 619-668-3281; mtrp.org) will take you to the highest spot in the city: 1,591 feet. Catch your breath and take in the 360-degree view. First-timers like the shorter 3-mile scenic route that starts from the south at Golfcrest Drive. But if ya think you’re so tough, go ahead—begin at Big Rock Park, and add almost a mile and a half.

Dentist for Wimps

No shots, no drills, no pain. Too good to be true? Not at David Eshom Dental Health & Beauty (8899 University Center Lane, Suite 245, San Diego, 858-455- 9151). Eshom uses state-of-the-art laser technology instead of the drill in many of his procedures. Laser dentistry is not only painless, it helps detect tooth decay earlier, eliminating future need for that costly root canal.

Little-Known Museum

Imagine San Diego in the 1880s with fictional character and exhibit narrator Gemma Penthorpe. She’ll point out the glassware, dishes and personal items from her era at the San Diego Archaeological Center (16666 San Pasqual Valley Road, near Escondido, 760-291-0370). The objects were discovered during an excavation four years ago in San Diego’s East Village, and they are among many of the items from our history at this museum located near the Wild Animal Park.

Lauren Reynolds

Anchor, reporter, Channel 10 News “The best place to take younger kids is the San Diego Model Railroad Museum (1649 El Prado, 619-696- 0199) in Balboa Park. My boys love to watch the trains run. There’s a Thomas the Train room where they can play, and the volunteers enjoy teaching kids about model trains. The cost is $5 for adults, and it’s free for kids. You can also buy an annual membership for about $20.”

Neighborhood Produce Market

Ten bucks will get you a week’s worth of quality fruits and veggies (some organic) at Leucadia’s Just Peachy market (1354 North Coast Highway 101, 760-635-3656). The selection is always fresh, the staff helpful, and they carry a variety of international and specialty products. The locally grown strawberries are luscious.

Organic Food Store

The Whole Foods market in Hillcrest (711 University Avenue, 619-294-2800) is for the health-conscious crowd, for sure. The meat and fish are organic; so are the brown eggs. And the sandwiches sprout lots of sprouts. But it’s not all carrot juice and wheat grass. There’s also a decadent bakery and a coffee bar with a chocolate fountain.

Branch Library

The Hervey/Point Loma branch (3701 Voltaire Street, 619-531-1539), with its marble exterior and a children’s area that captures Point Loma’s Portuguese heritage, is a destination library. Surfboards double as reading desks, and there’s even a periscope from a U.S. Navy submarine. Lots of books, too, of course.

Rooftop Bar

Altitude, atop the Gaslamp Quarter Marriott (660 K Street), doesn’t need an attitude- adjustment hour. It’s always friendly here. Twenty-two stories up, with a commanding view of the Petco Park diamond, it’s also a cheap ticket to a Padres game. No cover; no dress code; and definitely no attitude.

Shoe Repair

Boots made for walking end up at El Camino Shoe Repair (2235 El Camino Real, Oceanside, 760-433-4244). There’s always two rows of shiny cowboy boots ready to be picked up on the shelves, a testimony to this shop’s expert work. But they can reheel those Manolo Blahnik slingbacks in a heartbeat, too. Reasonable and efficient while-you-wait service.

Cliff Dumas

Host, KSON’s Cliff & Company “Listeners are always asking us to suggest great things to do with the kids in the country. My wife, Lisa, and I love to take our two daughters, Grace, 4, and Ellen, 11, to Lake Poway to feed the ducks. For lunch, it’s the turkey-and-green-chile sandwich at the Chicken Pie Diner (14727 Pomerado Road, 858-748-2445).

Local Boutique Featured in Vogue

A recent issue of Vogue named La Jolla’s JEP Boutique (5701 La Jolla Boulevard, 858-551-0600) one of the top 25 shops in warm-weather destinations around the world. Trovata is its best-selling line (check out the punk-preppy blazers), and it also carries the hot Denim Birds brand. Fashion-forward guys and girls will appreciate the funky-to-classic range of designs. Vogue subscription not necessary.

Piano Bar Pianist

At Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe, there’s no question who’s boss at the piano. A talented musician and engaging personality, Randy Beecher (619-287-4953) has been entertaining the hoi polloi here for 13 years. And with no misplaced ego, he eagerly shares the microphone with his singing guests—to the delight of the crowds who pack the bar. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m. to midnight.

Car Wash

Drop off your car at Ecopit (7007 Friars Road, 866-326-7485) and shop Fashion Valley. When you’ve found the perfect pair or two of shoes, drop the packages in your spotless, hand-washed car. Ecopit uses a biodegradable water-based solution to make your ride gleam. So the guilt you feel for spending that much for shoes is offset by the fact that you care about the environment.

North County Dive Bar

You won’t have to lie to your significant other when asked where you’ve been all night. The Office (110-A Aberdeen Drive, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, 760-753-7766) recruits a youngish mix of surfers, professionals and students with its cheap beer and billiards tables. The bartenders are friendly (so are the bouncers), and the vibe is shabby surfer-chic (think flip-flops paired with $200 designer jeans).

Place To Watch the Sunrise

Mary White was responsible for constructing Mount Helix Park (south of Interstate 8, between Bancroft Drive and Avocado Boulevard, 619-588-4901; mthelixpark. org) in the 1920s. At the top of the 1,370 foot-high summit, there’s a Christian cross and a memorial to her mother, Mary Carpenter Yawkey. When the sun rises, it starts with a tiny beam on the horizon before illuminating the whole city, a magnificent sight to see.

Chris Cantore

Host, 91X’s "Cantore in the Morning"

“Tower Records declared bankruptcy. Steve Jobs launched his iTunes behemoth. But San Diegan Eric Howarth helped rejuvenate South Park by opening an independent music store. M-Theory Music (3004 Juniper Street, 619-269-2963) has since opened two more locations. CDs, DVDs, vinyl, imports and listening stations aside, M-Theory offers free in-store performances. Genius.”

Car Rentals

A 1932 Ford Roadster. A 1957 Chevy Bel Air Sport Coupe. How about a ’74 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertible? All are available for rent from Film My Ride Picture Cars (7540 Sturgess Avenue, La Mesa, 619-838- 8116). The company rents classic cars to movie productions, for convention displays or for you to drive to your class reunion. Day rates for these classic cars run about $500.

Batting Cage

You may never be announced as a pinch hitter at Petco Park. But for every weekend warrior who still competes on a baseball team, there’s JP Longball (5232 Riley Street, Linda Vista, 619- 299-HITS). This indoor batting cage provides dirt batter’s boxes, and the batting machine arms are visible—so you can time your swing better. JP’s offers lessons for boys and girls.

Upscale Pool Hall

A pioneer in the Gaslamp Quarter, this cavernous brick building has already had one reincarnation as the Old Spaghetti Factory, which was great for kids’ soccer banquets. But now, as Dussini Mediterranean Bistro (275 Fifth Avenue, 619-233-4323), it’s for grown-ups—with a terrific menu, expansive bar and, best of all, six pristine billiards tables ($5-$10 an hour).

Waxing

Waxing is seldom a pleasant process, but the pros at Beehive Waxing Salon (2564 State Street, Suite E, Carlsbad, 760-729-5200) make it a little less, shall we say, hairy. Their specialty is the Itsy Bitsy Bikini Wax, but they also skillfully attend to the hair-removal needs of men (the unibrow is never a good look). New clients get a 10 percent discount the first visit. Peruse the in-house lingerie boutique for a new thong, free with each Itsy Bitsy or Brazilian waxing.

Place To Gallery Hop

Lock your wallet in your car and visit Gallery Nights, every third Thursday until 8:30 p.m. in the Cedros Design District (Lomas Sante Fe and South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, 858- 755-0444). Putting a little distance between you and your cash might prevent an overspending spree. Mosaic tiles, metal sculpture and hand-designed jewelry beckon the eye at Trios Gallery, and the nature photography exhibit at Ordover Gallery transports you to Vermont in the fall or the Sierra Mountains at sunset.

Upscale Breakfast Spot

Urban-chic Beach Grass Café (159 South Highway 101, 858-509-0632) stands out in beach-casual Solana Beach. Don’t expect your typical bacon- and-egg breakfast here. Favorites include the vegetable ratatouille omelet with simmered garden vegetables in a tomato-basil broth ($8.95). Or try the poi pancakes with mango marmalade and lilikoi syrup, also $8.95.

RV Park/Campground

It’s all about location, right? Pull that rig up to Campland on the Bay (2211 Pacific Beach Drive, 800-4-BAY-FUN). Can’t get better than a private beach, a swimming pool, arcade and a parking spot across from SeaWorld.

Bonfire Spot

In the middle of Mission Bay, Fiesta Island is dotted with bonfire pits, accessible until 10 p.m. It’s dog-friendly, too; pooches are even permitted to run off the leash.

Acting School

Agents, casting directors and producers visit Actor’s Workshop Studios (5703 Oberlin Drive, Suite 210, 858- 587-6666) to pluck hot San Diego talent from a pool of hopefuls. Fledgling thespians get on-camera training and help with head shots and auditions. Some students have gone on to appear on soaps, television and film.

Computer Repair Shop

The policy of PC by the Sea (2487 Montgomery Avenue, Cardiff, 760- 402-5385) is “no fix, no fee.” They do upgrades, data recovery, networking —even personal tutoring.

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