“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 32 in an ongoing series.
Name: Roy Marshall
Location: Park Boulevard East condo building in East Village
Personal deets: Boston is my hometown. Have lived in San Diego for five years and been downtown for three years. Am a student at NewSchool of Architecture & Design. I live with my fiancé (we’re getting married at the end of June!).
My podcasts: NPR, Bloomberg, Simple Talk, Global News Podcast, The Journal and Today, Explained.
Best aspect of living downtown: The environment of city life and the easy to access businesses and resources. And the ability to walk everywhere.
Worst aspects of living downtown: The price of goods and the lack of culture and identity. Also, the amount of animal/human poop everywhere.
Affordable housing: Why are we not making it possible for more people to own downtown property? Owners tend to care more for property and their surroundings than renters. Who is affordable housing really affordable for? Who is it designed for? A 400-square-foot apartment for $2,000 a month is not affordable, or reasonable, for anyone. We need to take a look and connect affordable housing with how humans in America should be living.
Coffee shop: Café de L’Opera has the best baked goods in town. I usually go for a mocha or dirty chai, along with a croissant, cookie or breakfast sandwich.
Dinner spot: Nothing on the menu at Animae disappoints. The menu changes constantly and everything is good.
Transportation Breakdown: 90% walking, 10% driving.
Scooters: Like them–but hate that you can never adequately park them.
Parking advice: Get ready to pay. If you plan to spend $100 on a night out, know you’ll need to take $40 and put it toward parking. That can go up to $70 on San Diego Padres game days.
Padres games: I go whenever the Boston Red Sox are in town. It’s always fun and the food at Petco Park is great. Wish some of the food prices were more cost friendly. It shouldn’t cost $400 to go on a date at a game.
Scariest experiences: It’s been a few things. People hitting or getting hit by the trolley. Shootings at the Central Library (where a school is located inside). Drug overdoses at the entrance to my building.
Parts of town to avoid: Imperial Avenue. A/Ash streets. The Civic Center area. The Post Office. The Central Library (even though I live next door). The San Diego City College trolley stop.
Homelessness: I encounter it every day. The smells are terrible and I feel bad because there is little that can be done at the moment.
Advice for Mayor Todd Gloria: He should venture through downtown–not the main streets–and help the city get an identity through architecture and culture. Right now I couldn’t tell you what kind of city San Diego is.
General suggestions: 1. Find a way to penalize people who don’t pick up after their pets. 2. Add more events and outings for the community (not for tourists).
Final word: If you’re looking for things to do, venture outside of Fifth Avenue and the Gaslamp Quarter. There are tons of places with better food and drinks. SDSun