City Heights, San Diego, CA
EXPRESSING AND UNDERSTANDING
Nestled between I-805 and I-15, City Heights is an eclectic neighborhood consisting of single-unit homes, family-owned business, and people from El Salvadorans to Ethiopians. I captured the multitudes of this neighborhood through casual observance. Taking in this neighborhood on my daily walks to appreciate each detail that it could show me as I came to learn and fall in love with this area. From the Park de la Cruz skatepark to Addis market, the hidden sights in City Heights are as numerous as the ethnicities in its populace. Following my photo series in Boston, this series also views people as the thread that makes up the fabric of their community. With that, the quality of the metaphorical cloth isn't determined by surface-level observances, but the deep, imbued health and wellness of the people.
Historically, City Heights has been a landing place for many refugees, Vietnamese, Laotian, Thai, and Somali specifically. There has been significant wealth gaps emerge between these immigrant communities and the rest of San Diego due to institutional racism and divestment from these communities. Further, the health of this community suffers due to this wealth gap that has been created. Now, many of these immigrants are being steadily pushed out as rent prices increase and gentrification slow trickles from North Park across the highway into City Heights. However, this photo series shows this community is still alive and vibrant despite the circumstances.
All of these photos were taken in public areas throughout the City Heights neighborhood in San Diego, CA starting in November 2021 and ending February 2022. I took all of these photos in true street photography fashion. Hiding in the shadows ready these amazing moments.
City Heights in Winter Photobook: An Urban Ethnography
To present these photos in their truest sense, I commissioned a photobook to be made by NotNiceCreative. The goal of this book was to capture the people of this community in their truest light. The cover is shown below.
If you're interested in a copy, please contact me via the contact form in the menu bar.
click on any photo for a back story