LIVING IN THE CITY: Don’t Want to Miss a Thing…Like Aerosmith

Steven Tyler’s white limo. Postseason Padres magic. Alexandra Ferrer finds herself in the mix of all things downtown San Diego
Alexandra Ferrer and family. (Courtesy photo)

“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 24 in an ongoing series.

Name: Alexandra Ferrer

Location: Marina District for 10 years and now East Village since 2014.

Personal deets: Born a San Diegan; raised in Chula Vista. Been living with my love, Thomas Caldwell, for eight years. I have two adult kids: My son, David, is in the Coast Guard; my daughter, Emily, is studying to be a psychologist. (All pictured, above.)

Work deets: Have been a realtor since 2001 and I am now with Urban Pacific Real Estate, specializing in the downtown San Diego market. It’s a short commute to my Little Italy office, and I work from home half the time.

Rock band Aerosmith and lead singer Steven Tyler once performed in the rain at Petco Park. (Getty Images)

Favorite memory: We’re right up front by the stage for the Aerosmith concert at Petco Park (a corporate event in 2015.) Toward the end of the night it begins to rain. Aerosmith plays right through the downpour and it’s magical. After the concert, we’re at the corner of 10th and Island. A huge white limo is driving toward us. Inside the limo is the whole band! I yell: “Steven Tyler!” He yells back–smiling and waving. Then he sees my boyfriend next to me and he stops smiling. Ha-ha! At least…that’s how I remember it.

Comic-Con: You never know who you’ll run into on the street during Comic-Con. Like Star Wars characters. The first time I met C-3PO he only made those computerized noises. And Chewbacca just growled and grunted.

Padres games: I love our spectacular Petco Park and its loads of food options. I love high-fiving people I don’t know. Baseball is a beautiful elixir that bonds people from all walks of life. I had the pleasure of seeing the Padres play in the postseason and beat the Philadelphia Phillies. I cried tears of joy!

San Diego fans cheer on the Padres during the 2022 postseason versus the Philadelphia Phillies. (Getty Images)

Why live downtown: There is never a dull moment living in the city. You could be headed to sushi and run into friends that have extra Padres tickets. Before you know it, you’re heading to Petco Park, or to the Rady Shell for music. The flexibility and possibilities are immense and so much fun.

What’s going on: Always something! Check out new restaurants. Go to Happy Hours, go for brunch, take friends or go by yourself. Love outdoor yoga? Download the Meetup app and check out Yoga on Laurel and 6th on Sundays at 11 a.m.

I have a few events that will start back up after the holidays. There’s “Canine and Cocktails in the City” (for humans and their pups) and the “Social 92101 Mingle” (for folks to gather and meet people from the building across the street). Both events build community and bring people together at various restaurants in the city. Stay tuned!

Pets: I have two rescue doggos. Nina (7 years old and 13 pounds of attitude) is 65% Chihuahua with American Staffordshire Terrier. Blu is Border Collie, Berger Blanc Suisse and Australian Shepherd (6 years old and 38 pounds of heart). They are partners in chasing squeak balls and going to restaurants with us. Shout out to Knotty Barrel in East Village: They have dog bowls with shredded chicken.

Nina and Blu out on the town at the Horton Grand Hotel. (Courtesy photo)

Look both ways: While walking my dogs, or alone, I’ve nearly been hit by speeding drivers at least 10 times. Make sure you walk in the city with the thought that drivers are blinded by the sun or distracted by their phone. Your life could depend on it!

Homelessness: I feel terrible for those experiencing homelessness. A few years ago, I volunteered for data entry of homeless surveys. It was eye opening. There were 300 homeless veterans (at that time) and only two of them wanted to live on the street. It’s a crisis and I personally do not know of a solution.

Noise Annoys: If you are a light sleeper, you’ll want to invest in some good ear plugs. At the time when I bought at Horizons in the Marina District, neither the Renaissance or Pinnacle buildings were built. I endured the early morning construction noise with ear plugs.

Le Charcuterie Bar in East Village. (Courtesy photo)

Best bar(s): Callie has a fabulous wine selection from almost every corner of the globe. Le Charcuterie Bar is new in the East Village and has beautiful wines, champagne and cheese boards.

To watch sports on TV and enjoy some yummy pub food, Knotty Barrel and the new R Place Sports Bar are both fabulous. Both places have plenty of outdoor seating, too.

Coffee shop(s): In Little Italy, it’s Caffe Italia for espresso; Lofty Coffee for Aztec mocha coffee (which is spicy and has a hint of chocolate); and Pappalecco for affogato (you can add ice cream and I recommend hazelnut or vanilla–two scoops are allowed, if you walk to the cafe).

In East Village, hands down it’s Copa Vida for their coffee, service and open-air walls that spill out onto Island Avenue. I buy whole coffee beans here: Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Liberica. (Bonus: Copa has an amazing avocado toast with or without eggs on a salad. And the eye candy is topnotch, too.)

Lunch place: Mezé Greek Fusion is perfect for lunch, brunch or dinner. It’s on Sixth Avenue in the middle of everything. The restaurant walls roll up to the ceiling, so you can watch the world go (especially conventioneers). Mezé is pet-friendly and allows dogs on the patio.

Dinner spot(s): Our go-to for fancy date night is Cowboy Star or Water Grill. FYI: Water Grill has a gorgeous upstairs bar. Ask for a table up there. You’ll love it! For people watching and beautifully handcrafted cocktails, go to Lou and Mickey’s (near the Gaslamp Quarter sign).

R Place Sports Bar & Grill in East Village. (Facebook)

Transportation breakdown: 90% walking and 10% driving.

Scooters: I love seeing e-scooters zip by. Like anything new, the city and companies had learning curves. It’s smart to keep them off sidewalks now and have designated return parking areas. I personally do not use them; I’m a believer in wearing helmets.

Parking advice: If you are driving to a ball game or event at Petco Park, know that four city blocks will be closed and vehicle will be towed from Island Avenue. Pay close attention to parking signs. Also know that downtown San Diego parking garages will hike up prices from $25 to $60 for special events. If you can, avoid driving and walk, use scooters, take Uber or use the train to get downtown.

Yep, $70 for a parking spot during the Padres postseason run.

Food shopping: We use the Instacart app to have groceries delivered from downtown’s Albertsons, Ralphs, Grocery Outlet and RoVino the Foodery. There are loads of options inside and outside the city zone.

Streaming: I’m a huge fan of the Britbox app and UK crime series whodunits like Shetland and Silent Witness.

Listening to: Audible books like Keep Sharp by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, This is Marketing by Seth Godin and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

Real estate insight: With 108 active residences currently for sale in 92101, the downtown San Diego inventory is expectedly low. As of November 2022, it was still a seller’s market. More people are looking to buy than there are homes available. We can expect an uptick of sales in the spring. If we keep our eyes open we can find opportunity. Reach out, I’m happy to help.

Parting advice: If you see something in the city that’s not up to par, report it to Clean and Safe. Take a photo, note the exact location of the issue and text photos to Clean and Safe’s phone number: (619) 414-2698. Or, get the Clean & Safe app! SDSun

Want to tell your downtown San Diego “Living In The City” story? Email



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