Archive for San Diego Life

Immigrant Blessings, part 2:: Los Angeles

I was back in La Puente/Hacienda Hts (in Los Angeles County) not too long ago, visiting a friend at El Pueblo Burger, an old High School hangout. Its a Mexican burger joint, located in a strip mall along with a Chinese bank, nude strip mall, random computer store, and some more stores, across the street from a Korean strip mall with another eclectic mix- fitting for an area that comes close to being half Latino and half Asian.

I needed to use the restroom, and so I went through the doors marked “men.” I was taken aback at first. “Wow, when was the last time I saw all this graffiti?”

You see, I’ve spent the last eleven years of my life in North San Diego, living in communities that are majority white, and definitely upper class. Public bathrooms in these parts are clean; ie- no graffiti. And so I wasn’t used to what I saw at El Pueblo burger, I wasn’t used to the setting I had grown up in and considered normal. Funny (or disturbing, perhaps)- I know people in my part of San Diego would quickly call Hacienda Hts “ghetto.” Graffiti? Sure. Ghetto? If this is ghetto, then what should we call —- ?

There’s something about being part of a big, multicultural city in the U.S. that is special. Especially Los Angeles County. You get exposed to almost everything- socially, culturally, religiously, educationally, and so on. I guess it comes with the territory- over 9 million people live there, and at least 224 different languages are spoken (San Diego County has 3 million residents speaking 100 lanugages). And there’s nothing like being a part of it all- contributing, learning, shaping.

Sure, Los Angeles has its down sides- traffic, pollution, and so on. But there’s no place quite like it where anyone (but particularly immigrants) can bless and be blessed.  I’m glad it’s part of my heritage.


Multiculturalism: recent trends in our community


I love the diversity of the church I’m a part of. Recently, my wife and I hosted three interns and a staff member. There we were- Latino, Filipino, Caucasian/Malaysian, Latina/Arabic, and Chinese. Loved it.

Part of what helps us get along is the reality that we are all strong in the English language, we are all “native” English speakers, and communicate together with English.


Recently, though, we’ve been having a number of non-native English speakers come, mostly first generation Chinese immigrants. What I find interesting is that many of them have been to the Chinese speaking/immigrant churches in the area, but wanted a more multicultural experience. And so they’ve been coming, bringing their children and all. It’s good to see that the desire for multiculturalism is not just a postmodern, Gen X and Y, college-educated desire…

Easter Fair

For all those in the UTC, San Diego area… 

San Diego Chargers and Grief


If you are a football (american) fan and have kept up with this season, and if you happen to be a Chargers fan, you know how heart-wrenching the loss was yesterday… *Sigh*

Not to belittle the more serious losses of life, but as I was reflecting on my feelings after the game and trying to imagine what the Chargers may have been feeling, I thought of the typical grief cycle people go through when they experience loss in life.

Phase 1: Impact

Phase 2: Withdrawl and Confusion

Phase 3: Adjustment

Phase 4: Reconstruction/Reconciliation

Again, I don’t want to belittle the bigger losses of life, but I think it healthy to realize that everyday losses in life, including football games, are legitimate and real losses that we need to learn how to deal with in a healthy way.

Coming January 7, 2007. Spread the word.  (Don’t worry, it’s not a porn site)


Latino Christians, Unite!

Pass this on to people you know…

National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

From Russia, with Love

“Our food is robust, for heroes of the table… as for parking, it is postively Darwinian: survival of the fittest!”

So says the top of the menu at Pomegranate, the Russian- Georgian Restaurant here in San Diego (so City Beat, which voted this establishment the “Best Russian Food” for 2005).

We went for our 5th Wedding Anniversary (we have this tradition of trying a new ethnic cuisine every anniversary), and the food was excellent. We started with a salad sampler containing two Russian salads and four Georgian salads. The salads were mostly sweet, full of garlic, with hints of vinegar. I definitely recommend the dish if you go. From there, we moved on to our main dishes. My wife had the Chakhokhbili- a Georgian chicken dish, while I had the Lamb Shashlik- skewered lamb with special spices and an ever tasty pomegranate sauce. Both were excellent, “robust” as the menu says.

If you’re in San Diego, this is definitely a place to check out. Oh, and be prepared- the menu wasn’t joking about the parking. It’s definitely survival of the fittest (we went at 8.15pm and circled the neighborhood 2-3 times before finding a spot).

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From top to bottom: Salad Sampler, Shashlik, Chakhokhbili, Zhukov Tort


You can write on the walls here, too, so look for our entry…


2302 El Cajon. Blvd.

San Diego, CA 92104