LIVING IN THE CITY: A Singular Sensation in the Marina District

Audrey Jacobs shares colorful stories about community building, dating and an upbeat vibe that permeates downtown San Diego

“Living In the City” is the San Diego Sun’s feature Q&A with downtown San Diego residents. It’s a way to get to know the city by meeting the people who live here. This is number 29 in an ongoing series.

Name: Audrey Jacobs

Location: CityFront Terrace in the Marina District. Moved from Dallas to San Diego in 1988. Lived downtown while studying at SDSU and stayed until 1996. Then I left, got married and raised a family in South Park and Kensington. Now I have an (almost) empty nest (youngest son at San Diego High School) and am thrilled to have bought my place in March 2022.

Talk this way: When I moved here from Dallas I took eight months of voice and diction training to remove my thick drawl.

Status update: I’m totally single. If you know any smart, funny, Jewish men, please send them my way! 

Funniest memory: I went on a first date with a freshly divorced guy. He and his ex both live downtown. I was excited to try a restaurant he’d been talking up all week. When we walked in, he gasped, pointed and said, “That’s my wife!” White-faced, he backed out of the restaurant. He apologized.  I compassionately laughed and hugged him. “It’s okay darling,” I said. “I’m just pissed she got here first!”

Audrey Jacobs: Single and always up for a mingle.

Work deets: At Bernstein Private Wealth, my clients call me their “financial bodyguard.” As a financial advisor, I guide and protect entrepreneurs to navigate the startup lifecycle to fund, scale and sell their companies. I also guide families and nonprofits on how to invest with intention. My superpowers are raising money, tax planning, investment strategy and making introductions (as seen in my TEDx talk “How to be a Matchmaker in Work, Life and Love”). 

Working from home: I work from home most days. I take the trolley to my office in UTC once or twice a week. Sometimes I host downtown meetings at The Reading Club, the Consortium Holdings private club on the top floor of the InterContinental San Diego hotel.

Volunteering: I’m Chief Connector and Curator for TEDxSanDiego. It’s my first year in this role. Check out the 2023 lineup: TEDxSanDiego.

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Audrey (front and center) and aspiring TEDx speakers at auditions at Downtown Works.

Why live downtown: I’ve always loved a walkable life. Downtown is the ultimate experience where you never have to use your car. It’s also full of magic and surprises. I feel like I’ll never discover all of the wonderful places and meet all of the amazing people. I also love the incredible creative vibe of the bars, restaurants and cafés that continue to pop up in every downtown neighborhood.

Best aspect of your building: Everyone at CityFront Terrace is incredibly friendly. The staff is phenomenal and the management is superb. Neighbors are kind and welcoming. When I moved downtown I worried I couldn’t continue to host large parties. But the outdoor dining areas and community room are fabulous. 

Transportation breakdown: 80% walking and 20% driving. I also use the trolley to get around. The Blue Line ends exactly at my office building in UTC.

Perking up with Achilles coffee.

Go-to coffee shop(s): I go between an Achilles pour over and Bird Rock Coffee. Also have an internal battle on who makes the better lavender latte–The Invigitorium or Parfait Paris.

Let’s lunch at: The to-go food at Rovino, The Foodery Italian market in the East Village. On a hot weekend day I like the rooftop at Rustic Root in the Gaslamp Quarter.   

Dinner faves: Any place by Consortium Holdings. Plus Callie, Juniper & Ivy and Herb and Wood.  

Best bars: I love the intimate speakeasy in the back of Neighborhood. You and Yours has some of the best gin drinks in town (woman-run distillery!). There are the rooftops at Kettner Exchange and Born and Raised on warm nights. Cocktails are divine at Huntress. I’m in love with the gypsy jazz jam sessions the second Saturday night of each month at Hidden Craft! I’m most loyal to The Reading Club where I host my monthly Wonder Woman gatherings.

Happy hours: Incredible ones at Whiskey House, Cowboy Star, The Lion’s Share, The Nolen, Davanti Enoteca and Nobu. 

Food shopping: I’m loyal to the Little Italy Farmers Market. Also shop at The Market By Buon Appetito on India Street. I’m praying one of the new developments in downtown includes a Trader Joe’s. 

Preparing to shop at the Little Italy Farmers Market.

Scariest moment: Decades ago, I lived in a loft above Sixth and Market. One night a guy jumped out in front of me with a knife and demanded my valuables.  Back then, I didn’t carry pepper spray. But I always wore my large pet boa constrictor around my neck as a scarf. I fed my snake, Halo, a mouse that morning. When Halo smelled fear he thrust forward and vomited the half digested mouse onto the mugger. He dropped his knife, screamed like a little girl and ran away. The word on the street spread. From then on everyone called me “The Snake Lady.”

Parts of downtown to avoid: I am not afraid of any part of this city. 

Cost of living: It’s not New York, San Francisco or L.A., but it’s easy to spend too much when you live here. I’m mindful to balance eating out and cooking at home.  There are so many ways to enjoy downtown for free–just read publications like The San Diego Sun

☀️To read the entire Living In The City series, go to: Profiles. ☀️

The birthday sailing trip to a Rady Shell concert.

Fond memories: Last year, a dear friend who lives on his yacht invited me to gather friends for a birthday sail. We anchored by the Rady Shell and listened to a Leon Bridges concert. 

Comic-Con: My Rabbi, Zalman Carlebach of the synagogue Chabad of Downtown, is so inviting. During Comic-Con on Friday night and the Saturday morning, the synagogue is filled with people praying in amazing, hilarious costumes. 

Padres games: I’m fortunate to go to games with clients and friends. Last season, while I was walking by Petco Park, I was handed tickets to a viewing party for the postseason–Game 5 against the Phillies (in Philadelphia). Even though we lost, it felt even more like community, since people were there to support the team during an away game. 

Petco Park: Offering community in East Village. 

Homelessness: As a Jew, I believe God creates a disparity of haves and have-nots as a way for those of us with abundance to create justice in the world by giving to those who have less. I’ve served on the board of the Second Chance organization and worked with a downtown real estate developer who created Single Room Occupancy hotels, as transitional housing for the homeless. There will always be people struggling and living on the streets. It’s the responsibility of those of us who are not, to uplift others by giving dignity (by smiling and saying hello), volunteering our time, or donating to organizations that help the most vulnerable in our community.

Mayor Todd Gloria: We have a city with extraordinary possibilities and challenges and he’s balancing the two. I’m thrilled about the new developments downtown. I’m grateful Mayor Gloria has the vision to make San Diego a world-class city. My firm is financing the Horton Plaza redevelopment.  I appreciate that the mayor supports creating more tech and biotech jobs both at The Campus at Horton and RaDD/HQIQ along the waterfront, as well as revitalizing Seaport Village. 

District 3 City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn: I appreciate how Stephen takes time to listen to his constituents. I appreciate how he visits the downtown neighborhood HOAs and values the input of residents.

Audrey recommends Bluza Boutique in Little Italy.

Fashion forward: The best downtown clothing shop is Bluza Boutique in the heart of Little Italy on India Street. 

For art’s sake: We need a more active and concentrated arts district. I’d love downtown to provide more subsidized housing for artists in the East Village–to live/work in exchange for opening their homes/studio for monthly studio nights.  Creative artists add vibrancy and culture to a city. I do acknowledge the amazing arts community that gathers weekly for free events downtown at Creative Mornings

Podcast list: My firm Bernstein Private Wealth’s “The Pulse” and “Women & Wealth,” “Ten Percent Happier,” “The Ezra Klein Show,” “The Daily,” “Unlocking Us” with Brené Brown, and “Smartless” with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes. And TED Radio Hour.

Parting advice: Check out the entertainment, cultural and educational events in the East Village at Quartyard and UC San Diego’s new event venue Park & Market. SDSun

(To contact Audrey, follow her on Instagram (Audrey_Jacobs613) or at [email protected])

☀️ Want to tell your downtown San Diego “Living In The City” story? Email [email protected] ☀️

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