Archive for June, 2006

La Boheme condos – San Diego real estate drops?

La Boheme in Northpark San Diego

Note:

This page is the most popular page on my blog b/c everyone is researching the La Boheme condos. Please leave your comments or new information so that we can all learn from it. Thanks.

In January I was driving through the North Park area and I saw a new condo development that was being built: La Boheme. I was very intrigued because it was in the heart of the North Park redevelopment area. You could walk out your door and be within a few yards of the newest restaurants and shops. And just around the corner is the North Park Theater hosting the San Diego Lyrical Opera. How exciting!

To make a long story short, I was on the verge of buying a condo until I noticed that a group of townhouses on the same block were for sale as well. When I looked at the townhouses, they were much nicer than the condos, had ALL the upgrades, had a private garage and were in the same price range as the condos. What struck me as odd was that the townhouses weren’t selling. If the townhouses weren’t selling, then that doesn’t speak well for the future of the La Boheme condos which weren’t nearly as nice.

It has been five months since I made this discovery and my theory appears to be correct. When I originally talked to the sales rep they were offering me $10,000 towards closing costs if I bought by the end of January. It is now the end of June and they are still advertising that offer. Not only that, but they are now giving you two years of no HOA fees as well. That’s a huge incentive.

In my opinion, the ploy of giving you $10K towards closing costs is probably a scam b/c these lenders are known for giving you a worse deal than you can get elsewhere. And you know that the developer is getting a kickback too. So it’s not costing them anything to give you this offer. But to give you two years of no HOA fees is the equivalant of taking money out of their pockets. They would only do this if they were desperate.

Oh yeah, remember those townhouses that were right around the corner and were a much better deal? Out of eight townhouses, five months later three are still unsold. Doesn’t look good for either place. La Boheme is a 300 unit complex. That’s a lot of units to sell in a market where people aren’t buying. And my new theory about why they don’t list all the properties for sale at one time – so you don’t realize how many units they still have to sell.

For the past five years, the San Diego real estate market has been known for selling properties on the same day they are listed. People often got into bidding wars. Those days are long gone. Now properties sit on the market for months without selling. How quickly things change.

Here is the link to La Boheme and here.

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Sipz Restaurant Review

Sipz is a vegetarian restaurant with a twist. The menu has many meat type dishes listed, but they are all “mock” meats. Yes, everything is tofu! The menu lists Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai. entrees. Some are Sweet and Sour Pork, Chicken with Basil, and Crunchy Chowmein.

Even though all the meats are “mock”, the entrees are delicious and you won’t notice that you are eating vegetarian. Their San Diego locations are in Clairemont and Poway.

A full review is posted here: Sipz Vegetarian Fuzion

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Cavite – Phillippine terrorism movie

cavite terrorism plot in phillipines

On Saturday I went to see the new release of the movie, Cavite, in Hillcrest. Even though the film has a very limited released at the Landmark theaters, it got some good write-ups and the plot sounded interesting. To my surprise, both of the directors were there to promote the movie.

Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana both went to school in San Diego and were on hand to answer questions about the movie. I'm not going to go into all the details, but I found it interesting that these two guys created this film stricly by saving up their money from their day jobs. After filming the movie, they had to sell their equipment to pay for editting it. In all, the project cost them $7,000.

I really enjoyed the movie. It was quite suspenseful the majority of the time. It started out pretty slow with the lead character Adam (played by Ian?) in the airport talking to his girlfriend about her being pregnant. This dragged on for quite a while and I was starting to wonder when something would happen. Luckily, things picked up when Adam's mom wasn't at the airport and he gets a phone call from a terrorist saying that he had to do what he was told if he wanted to see his mom and sister again. From that point forward Adam is directed to travel all over the city of Cavite in the Phillipines carry out the order of the terrorist (who seems to know Adam's every move). The movie also addresses the moral delimma of deciding just how important your family really is.

My favorite parts of the movie were seeing the dark side of the Phillipines. Adam has to travel through some pretty seedy parts of the country and it shows us a bleak picture of that part of the country and the conditions that the people are living in.

I really enjoyed seeing the cultural parts of the country. While being driven around in a jeepney, Adam is instructed to go to a market and buy a balut egg and eat it. This is an egg with a chick actually in it and the juice from the egg looks pretty disgusting. They also showed scenes from a cock fight (not very pretty) where the rooster dies (don't tell the animal rights people about this movie). The terrorist also spoke in tagalog the entire time while Adam would respond in English. This gave authenticity to the movie.

Considering that this is not a mainstream movie, you may not get a chance to ever see it. But I definitely enjoyed it and was glad that I got a chance to meet Ian and Neill.

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Nine-Ten restaurant in La Jolla San Diego

It seems apropos that Nine-Ten is tucked away on the corner of the Grande Colonial Hotel with no view of the Ocean, though it is within earshot of it. For here, you come for the Epicurean experience. Not sunset, not décor (simple but elegant), not beautifully appointed people (though there are no lack of them here), and certainly not to pick-up a date.

All of these things might distract you from the really good and imaginatively cooked food. The "Espresso and Chocolate Braised Boneless Short Rib" is one such example. It's tender, subtle, intriguing and – most importantly – delicious. The wine list has received commendations from no less an authority than the Wine Spectator. The three-course lunch special for $24 is a steal, especially if pick for your entree scallops with risotto and chocolate molten cake for dessert. The two of alone adds up to $24. Incidentally, at least for dinners, don't expect to zip in and out of Nine-Ten. Though the cuisine is American, the kitchen psyche is very French. Expect long lapses between courses.

Nine-Ten
910 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037
858-964-5400

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Moondoggies for beer, margaritas and sports

This popular sports bar in Pacific Beach is where the post-college-twenty-something types show up every weekend to relive the spirit of Spring Break.
Think loud music, think TV screens, think taut bodies and copious quantities of beer and margaritas. The food is surprisingly good and somewhat urbane for a meat market establishment like this. The burgers come with blue cheese and, in truly Californian fashion, the menu, which changes regularly, has been known to feature seared ahi with wasabi aioli, Fajitas and even risotto. The line gets long late in the evening. The heated patio is the ideal place to see and be seen.

Moondoggies
832 Garnet Ave
San Diego 92109
858-483-6550

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Dizzy’s in San Diego for live jazz

Chuck Perrin, owner of Dizzy's in the Gaslamp, envisioned a temple for unadulterated enjoyment of live jazz when he opened Dizzy's. He succeeded. You come here to listen to music, most of it performed with passion and energy, and nothing else. Perrin has kept the space – in a former warehouse right by the gleaming new Petco Park, open and sparse. The seats are foldout chairs lined up neatly before a small stage. And he sells only tea and coffee as an afterthought. But nobody seems to mind and the calendar is packed. Thus far, the venue has seen Grammy nominated Chris Walden Big Band to Orquesta Binacional de Mambo (Latin Big BandMusic) to local jazz musicians like Peter Sprague.

On their website you'll find a calendar, photo gallery and more info.

Dizzy's – Where the music matter most
858.270.7467
344 Seventh Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

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Great photography tips blog

While researching which digital camera to buy, I came across a great blog with tips on improving your digital photography skills. I added a permanent link to my bookmarks section (on the right) so you can check it out. Here is the blog topic that made me discover the site. It's just some simple comments about how to hold a camera to get the best shots, but very informative for amateurs like me: holding a camera.

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