Frank Gomez travels around San Diego every day as a building inspector, admiring the good homes in good neighborhoods, often in the city’s northern half. When day turns to evening, Gomez returns to his house in Encanto, where the difference between his neighborhood and others can feel like, well, night and day.
At night, it’s dark around Gomez’s home, though he lives close to one of Encanto’s main commercial areas. Many streets in San Diego’s southeastern neighborhoods share the same story. Gomez believes the darkness breeds vandalism and gang activity, some of the area’s most persistent problems.
“If you really want to take a better look at this neighborhood, come here at night,” Gomez said. “You’ll see it better.”