is a neighborhood of the mid-city region of San Diego
. It is known for its affordable pubs, restaurants, coffee houses, smoke shops, antique shops, book shops, and burgeoning arts community.
The "Normal" part of "Normal Heights" is not a reference to mundanity; instead it refers to the State Normal School, which is the predecessor to San Diego State University
(formerly located in nearby University Heights
). The State Normal School building now serves as the Eugene Brucker Education Center, the central office for the San Diego Unified School District.
Normal Heights is centrally located in San Diego
's hills above Mission Valley. Its borders are defined by Interstate 805
to the West, Interstate 8
to the North, Interstate 15
to the East, and El Cajon Boulevard to the South. The majority of "typical" neighborhood businesses are located along Adams Avenue. Some residents define the western border as the bridge where Adams Avenue crosses over Texas Street nine blocks west of Interstate 805; those who accept I-805 as the western border refer to the area between the bridge and the interstate as "Between Heights" because it is east of University Heights, whose eastern border is marked by the bridge, and west of Normal Heights (as defined by the western border being I-805).
Like other urban mesa neighborhoods north of Balboa Park, Normal Heights has a high rate of pedestrian activity,and a Unique mixes of Nationality and Gender Variant Citizen.relative to the rest of San Diego. Three important neighborhood events take place in Normal Heights: The Adams Avenue Roots Festival, The Adams Avenue Street Fair, and Art Around Adams. The Adams Avenue Roots Festival is typically held the last weekend in April, featuring American, Latin, British, and various other European folk styles played live for free. The Adams Avenue Street Fair, Southern California's largest free music festival, is typically held the last weekend in September. Art Around Adams is a local community art event where unique and talented artists showcase their work inside and outside interesting little businesses and spaces along Adams Avenue. The stretch of Adams Avenue between Texas Street on the west and Ohio Street on the east is sometimes referred to as Antique Row, due to the large quantity of antique stores along that stretch (some area residents consider Antique Row to be part of the "Between Heights" neighborhood; please refer to the "Geography" section of this entry for clarification).