Uptown Briefs – December 19

Posted: December 19th, 2014 | News, Opinion & News, Uptown Briefs | No Comments

Shop Hillcrest

The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) is encouraging everyone to support locally owned businesses and Shop Hillcrest this holiday season.


(Courtesy HBA)

To sweeten the pot, the HBA is offering every shopper the chance to win a $1,500 shopping spree, courtesy of dozens of Hillcrest businesses.

Check off everyone on your holiday shopping list and stop in for a bite to eat, all while giving back to your neighborhood and giving your neighborhood the opportunity to give back to you.

All you have to do is Shop Hillcrest — each visit to a participating retail or dining location will reward your purchase through Dec. 24 with a raffle ticket. Go to five locations, make a purchase a four of them, receive four raffle tickets; go back the next day for more purchases and get more raffle tickets; each raffle ticket is a separate chance at winning.

After Dec. 24, all raffle tickets will be tossed into a hat and placed in the running for a basket filled with $1,500 worth of gift cards and services. The winner will be announced Monday, Jan. 5, through social media.

There is something for everyone on your list in Fabulous Hillcrest. To date, participating businesses include Pure Barre, The Smoothbar, Empire House, Adam & Eve, Village Hat Shop, Green Fresh Floral’s, Americana Clothing, Cody’s Home + Gift, Obelisk Mercantile, Establish, Crest Café, Gioia’s Room, Urban Optiks Optometry, Uptown Tavern, Detour Salon, Babette Schwartz, Luigi Vera, Urban Mo’s, Baja Betty’s, Gossip Grill, Hillcrest Brewing Company, Local Habit, Purity Apothecary, 100 Wines Kitchen, Artist and Craftsman Supply, The Wine Lover, Pretty Please, Mankind, Blue Stocking Books and Beauty By Dolly.

For more information and a complete list of up to date participating businesses, visit

South Park high school athlete to play in Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Jan. 4

When football fans tune in to watch the United States Marine Corps’ fourth annual Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Jan. 4 at 6 p.m., they’ll get to see one of San Diego’s own take the field. Frank Buncom IV, a safety at Saint Augustine High School in South Park, will play for the “West” team in the game at StubHub Center in Carson, California. Buncom, a senior at the Catholic high school, is the grandson of San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame linebacker Frank Buncom II, has a 4.0 GPA in school and plans to study neurology in college. Nearly 90 student players in all were chosen and will be honored with a week of activities “promoting leadership and positive life choices.” For more information on the game visit

Home Start toy drive distributes gifts to more than 500 local children

The 7th annual Home Start Holiday Toy Drive was held on Dec. 17, distributing over 1,300 toys to San Diego children in need. The distribution celebration in City Heights at Price Charities allowed for children and teens of Home Start families to select their own gifts from what had been collected.

Home Start is a North Park-based nonprofit that works with families year round to prevent and treat child abuse. Their countywide programs provide services to children “living in poverty who require immediate, comprehensive solutions to ensure their safety and healthy development.”

For more on the organization visit

Old Tiger releases holiday song to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities

a1676806388_2Normal Heights-based band Old Tiger has released a Christmas single to benefit the local chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHCSD). The song, “The Best Part of Christmas,” was self-recorded in part at singer Dustin Lothspeich’s home in Normal Heights as a way to “give back during the holiday season.” Local radio stations 91X and FM94.9 have played the tune recently to help spread the word. Visit to hear the track and purchase it for $1. 100 percent of the money raised from sales will go to RMHCSD.

RMHCSD provides a “home away from home” for families of children being treated for serious and life-threatening conditions at local hospitals.

To learn more about the organization visit

Buddhist lama to visit San Diego

A Buddhist lama from Eugene, Oregon, is bringing his Buddhist teachings to Hillcrest for a week long urban retreat in San Diego, from Dec. 28 to Jan. 4.

Venerable Archarya Lama Orgyen Zangpo, a practitioner in the Dzogchen Longchen Nyingthig lineage of Mahayana Buddhism, is known to be quite accessible and inspiring when sharing his teachings. He is authorized by His Eminence Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche as a Dharma Teacher of The Buddha Path and has taught the fundamental principles of Buddhism in the United States and Asia. Rinpoche has trained thousands of students around the world and written more than 30 books.

The teachings are designed to help students apply Buddhist principles to enhance their happier and experience less suffering in their everyday lives. The focus will be on how one discovers the true causes of happiness, which Buddhist wisdom says lie within us. Through learning, contemplation and mediation, participants will find ways to unlock their innate potential and relax dependence on relationships, careers, reputations and materialistic endeavors.

The retreat will take place in Hillcrest at a private home; the address will be provided upon registration. Suggested prices for the six days and five nights from Dec. 28 to Jan. 4 are as follows: advance, $200 for adults (age 18-59 who register and pay by Dec. 21); $250 for onsite registration; $100 for senior citizens (age 60 and up); $150 for anyone who has attended a previous retreat with an authorized Dzogchen Lineage teacher; $100 for anyone who has completed a Dzogchen Lineage Internship; and $30 per day drop-in rate (only available to those who have previously attended a DL).

Attendees will also be encouraged to offer “generosity” to the teachers. No previous Buddhist experience is necessary to attend. Those from all spiritual backgrounds are welcome and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Registration is limited.

For more information or to register, email

Art show at local bridge club features outgoing president

Throughout December, the works of renowned impressionist Lois J. Weingart Simmons will be on display at the Redwood Bridge Club, located at 3111 Sixth Ave., in Balboa Park.

Weingart Simmons first launched her own studio gallery in the Gaslamp Quarter in 1979 but moved to Old Town about three years later. She closed that gallery upon her retirement five years ago, and around that time, she launched a monthly art exhibit at the Redwood Bridge Club. Two years later she was elected president of the club and turned management of the monthly exhibit over to Trish White.

Weingart Simmons conceptualized “imagism,” an art genre she said is made up of abstract colors but with an image clearly visible, in the 1980s. She will have several imagism pieces, along with many of her impressionism pieces, on display in at the bridge club. Her second book on imagism will be released in 2015.

For more information about Lois’ work, visit

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