In 1911, when North Park was founded, the only things besides a failing lemon grove were the rows and rows of Sear’s ready-made bungalows. Nearly 100 years since its inception, these homes stand in rows like brightly painted easter eggs in a carton. 100 years of paint and renovations show a town that has grown with each passing era.
North Park has been a destination of its own for some time now. Its cultural diversity and trendiness has always provided a sort of gravity, drawing San Diegans in. Streets lined with art galleries, tasting rooms, specialty shops, and boutiques are crowded daily by people and pets, taking in the atmosphere and exploring the surrounding area. One such new establishment to explore is Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream at University and 31st which offers a temptingly diverse selection of imported iced creams. In the spirit of broadening ones mind, and for those indecicives types, we recommend trying a flight of ice cream, which Hammond’s offers in ridiculously cute mini-tasting cones.
But Hammond’s is just one of the many new restaurants and boutiques that call North Park home and it was really just an instance of serendipity that lead us there out of the many. Along University Ave and El Cajon blvd, trendy bars, craft breweries, ice-cream parlors, and boutiques have made this town a place of cultural diversity and nightlife. The North Park Theatre stands at the center. Built at the town’s zenith in the 1920’s, the theatre brings together the “small town” history with the pedigree of art and creativity embraced by town today. Though business and people come and go, there’s something about North Park that wont change, and that’s what keeps people coming back.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thomas Williams grew up in a town where it’s weird if your hair isn’t salty or if you wear shoes all the time. A writer by trade, his days are filled exploring his passions for art, music, and literature. Education and aspiration brought him to Los Angeles and back but it’s his vagrant’s strain that keeps him discovering his surroundings and himself in the city or not.
Thomas is as at home on the surf-washed sand on the beach, in the musk of antique stores and flea-markets, or under the neon glow of dive bars and hole-in-the-wall venues. With a a love of the unexpected and the occasionally raw, Thomas is is eager to share with you a slice of his “Golden State of Mind”
Photography by Ashley Williams & Thomas Williams for Established California.