South Park’s ‘ArtOberfest’ Walkabout

Tacos, thrillers and a little nostalgia help celebrate neighbors & businesses

By Jessica Dearborn | SDUN Reporter

This year’s fall “ArtOberfest” Walkabout in South Park was themed Altars and Icons, and showcased up-and-coming businesses, music and art thoughout the neighborhood. People gathered and enjoyed a unique collaboration of fun and festivities Saturday, Oct. 5, with live music humming in the background, the inviting aroma of food saturating the air and rich colors surrounding a curious and friendly crowd.

Francisco Moreno, a South Park resident and owner of Tacos La Mezcla, held the grand opening of his new food truck that evening. Moreno creates a variety of taco dishes inspired from various tastes from all over the world. His menu is ever-evolving, he said, yet offers staples such as Korean Asada tacos served with Asian coleslaw and peanut ginger dressing; fish tacos made with fresh Alaskan cod; and carnitas tacos in which Moreno commented confidently: “I challenge anyone to make better carnitas than ours.”

All produce used is fresh and organic, and he composts all of his food waste. Tacos La Mezcla is open Wednesday and Thursday from 12 – 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 1 – 10 p.m. at 2221 Fern St., between Ivy and Juniper streets.

David Sias and his band Barnwell Shift played a set that night. (Photo by Jessica Dearborn)

David Sias and his band Barnwell Shift played a set that night. (Photo by Jessica Dearborn)

Tacos La Mezcla employee David Sias and his band Barnwell Shift played a set that night, as people lined up in front of Moreno’s food truck to place their orders and enjoy a cold beer.

A few strides down the street is business neighbor Plum Pottery (2361 30th St.), where South Park resident and writer Ron Argos held a book signing for his newly published book, “The Courage to Kill.” Argo’s book is a murder-mystery thriller with a premise based on the book “The Courage to Heal,” which tackles the concept of repressed memory. After deciding the area of repressed memory “wasn’t explored enough in fiction,” Argo said, he began his research to investigate the area and to eventually write a tale based on his findings.

With a plot based in San Diego, “The Courage to Kill”  probes the “dark mazes of recovered memories, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, betrayal and serial violence,” a press release for the book said.

Argo, a Vietnam War veteran, former journalist and writer, is not new to the art of the novel. His first book, “Year of the Monkey” published by Simon & Schuster, was first written as his thesis at San Diego State University while obtaining his master’s degree in English literature. Argo describes himself as “a Hemmingway type of writer, sweating out every word.”

web BEST_copy_in_jpg_6mb_5-13“The Courage to Kill” is the first of a series. For more information on Argo and his books, visit

Continuing with the Walkabout, I journeyed to 30th Street and met with brothers Tino and Sal Gonzalez, who co-own a new retail shop called La Cueva Nostalgia, located at 2209 30th Street. The store is filled with items ranging from cowboy boots, pictures, dolls, clocks, decorations and other nostalgia items, described as “vintage, and objects of interest.” Pieces are themed toward mainly motorcycles, punk rock and religion, and the brothers’ primary buyers have been local artists and musicians. Their best customers yet are women, they said.

La Cueva Nostalgia’s theme derives from what both brothers had in their garages. Tino Gonzalez owns the property next door to the store, and what was once his garage where they worked on their motorcycles and held band practice, turned into what is now their shop.

They said that they have both been in the South Park area for many years, and that with the opening of their new business, they hope to get back to the grassroots of the neighborhood’s history of artists.

During Walkabouts, the Gonzalez brothers serve free barbeque sandwiches and host a number of bands that play in the front yard of the property next door. A few of the bands playing at this Walkabout were Juju Satori, Cumbia Machin and Creepxotica.

La Cueva Nostalgia’s regular store hours are Saturdays from 3 – 10 p.m. As they both have other full-time work, the brothers said to check in with them as to when they are open otherwise: or 619-857-1163.

Items in La Cueva Nostalgia are themed around brothers Tino and Sal Gonzalez’s vintage tastes. (Photo by Jessica Dearborn)

Items in La Cueva Nostalgia are themed around brothers Tino and Sal Gonzalez’s vintage tastes. (Photo by Jessica Dearborn)

All in all, the presentation from all participants that evening was impressive. From the warm street lighting to the colors and visuals, it is obvious South Park strives to celebrate neighbors and businesses alike, and is open to everyone.

The South Park Business Group’s Luminaria Holiday Walkabout is Dec. 7, and will be in conjunction with the neighborhood’s Luminaria Festival. Visit or for more information.

One Comments

  1. milton says:

    Wow a great summation of the evening. Makes wish i had been there. I loved the way she described the setting around the business and she was so descritive. Great job Jessica!

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