March 8th, 2010


San Diego, CA - Barrio Logan by Night, Race/Ethnicity in the City

Setting: Barrio Logan neighborhood, San Diego. 2004 - Present day.
Searched: variations of "barrio logan", "history", "images"; checked out Wikipedia and the community tags on California.Found some great resources about the history of the neighborhood and especially Chicano Park, but very little about the area at present. Have also tried Google Earth, with limited success.

Question 1: I need some fine-grain information about San Diego and specifically about Barrio Logan. I've combed through pictures of Chicano Park, seen the demographic stats and looked at Google's local business listings. I've also read about the influx of Anglo-owned small-industry and the consequences for residents' health, and the move to preserve and restore Chicano Park. But I'm finding it very hard to translate this kind of broad-brush information into an accurate portrait of the neighborhood on a day-to-day basis, and especially at night. Anybody got details for me?

Question 2: Wikipedia has given me demographic values, but can't tell me how communities are organized--and, well, "Asian-American" is not truly descriptive. Does San Diego have a particularly thriving Chinese or Bosnian or Korean or Shiite community? Likewise, when Wikipedia says, "black or African-American," is it conflating a strong Nigerian, Sudanese or South African presence with the African-American community? I'm really looking for anecdotal or personal experience, here.

Any info gratefully received.
witty charming and elegant

Vinegar Sponges used in pregnancy

I have a character, in a fantasy world with late 18th/early 19th levels of technology and medicine. She has been using a sponge soaked in vinegar as a contraceptive, but now thinks that she might be pregnant. She isn't sure, and she's still having sex-- would it be safe for said character to continue to use the sponge?

I've googled "vinegar sponge pregnancy" but it just comes up with women craving them, and using them as cleaning products during pregnancy.

Cigarette smoke vs Pipe smoke

Setting (for what it matters): Victorian

Searched: Cigarette smell, pipe smell, cigarette smell vs pipe smell, tobacco, rolled cigarettes, etc. I now have a lot of info on how to get cigarette smell out of things, which is not useful to me because I don't smoke.

Okay, two questions.

1) I have a character who is a complete chain smoker and rolls his own cigarettes. I myself am a non-smoker and generally make polite little coughing noises at just the mention of the word "cigarette". However, whenever I encounter a pipe smoker I find that I absolutely love the smell. Why is it that pipe smoke smells woody and sweet while cigarette smokes smells absolutely foul? Is it because of the way the tobacco burns in a pipe vs. how it would burn in a cigarette, or is the tobacco itself different? If you rolled up a cigarette with pipe tobacco would it smell less terrible?

2) Would rolling your own cigarettes be cheaper in the Victorian Era? I have no idea how brand names and taxes would affect the prices then as compared to now.

I realize this may sound completely pointless and random. Thanks in advance!