“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 40 in an ongoing series.
Name: Robyn Spencer
Residence: ALX East Village
Personal deets: Born in Sherman Oaks. I’ve lived in Rosarito (Mexico) and other parts of San Diego–downtown for six years, with my amazing son, Jackson.
Work deets: I own the events services company Mob Squad. With my 20 years of experience, we work with restaurants and venues on day-to-day event queries and create booked business and new relationships.
Working from home: My day starts off in full Mom mode with breakfast, lunch prep and school drop off. The beauty of my job is that I have the freedom to work from home, looking out over downtown, or in one of my clients’ restaurants.
Best part of your location: ALX is one of the best apartment buildings in East Village. Solid walls, top-of-the-line appliances, an amazing maintenance and management team. It has the look and feel of a boutique hotel. The common spaces are well thought out and the rooftop pool deck is everything! And there’s our speakeasy for gatherings. FYI: We have a back-up pump for utilities. If other buildings go down, ours is still ticking.
Worst part of your location: Not everyone is considerate. Since there’s no HOA, some neighbors leave trash around, pet droppings in the elevators or speed through the garage. Little things here and there–but that’s apartment life.
Best reason to live downtown: Many people save and save to visit San Diego. Living downtown offers the feel of being on permanent vacation. We’ve got: Michelin-star restaurants, award-winning salons and studios, Petco Park, concert venues, bowling, waterfront, education and other services. All within walking distance. With the influx of convention guests and tourists you can consistently make new connections and friends.
Worst aspect of living downtown: The unhoused population, mixed with the overserved people pouring out of bars and nightclubs.
Best coffee shop: We have an amazing free coffee machine right in the ALX lobby. If I’m going to grab a cup of joe, look for me outside of Quartyard at Seahorse Coffee.
Best bar(s): Level 9 at Hotel Indigo, The Grant Grill at The US Grant, Lobby Bar at The Westin San Diego and Garibaldi at InterContinental San Diego.
Favorite lunch spot: Tobey’s 19th Hole in Balboa Park. Best view of downtown and potato salad in the city. The staff has been there for years and makes you feel right at home. It’s also fun to watch the golfers!
Dinner devotee: Meze Greek Fusion. Order the Saganaki to start–it’s a cheese dish made tableside (fun show and sooo good). I’m a fan of the Souvlaki. Jackson orders the Solomos (feta-and-spinach stuffed salmon). Don’t forget to order a jar of their house hot sauce to take home.
- Best Salon Services: Lizzy and the team at Tailored Hair.
- The crew at Noir Haus Nails.
- Best clothing shop: Wotown. Their vintage threads and new designs are fun and current.
- Best Bank: Dave Miles and the team at U.S. Bank.
Streaming: Beef, Jury Duty, Documentary Now!
Podcasts: Smartless, You Must Remember This, My Favorite Murder (weird, I know, but Georgia and Karen are hilarious).
Favorite event memory: Padres Opening Day Block Party–the food, the excitement, the entertainment. Loved hosting the pizza-eating contest and watching guests go at it and try to trip each other up. The winner was so great; he shared his prizes.
Transportation breakdown: About 60% driving (to and from school, and client event visits) and 40% walking. Not a biker.
Parking advice: Park It On Market garage (Sixth Avenue & Market Street); or the yellow spaces on the streets after 6 p.m. and before 6 a.m.
Scariest moment: Walking up to my car parked in Cortez Hill to find another woman sitting inside attempting to steal it. What a morning.
Homelessness: It makes me sad. I’m also a bit torn and becoming intolerant of those that prey on the unhoused with the drug issues and trafficking. I have never seen so many people “expire” right on the sidewalk that leads to my home.
Mayor Todd Gloria: It’s a hard job and while I enjoy his team and their efforts, the experience is lacking with how to tackle the bigger issues and big picture. It’s come down to photo ops and acoustics versus true problem solving.
District 3 City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn: It’s got to be more than optics. I do appreciate his efforts as well, but the backing just doesn’t seem to be there. Connecting with a broader group of constituents might help.
We need more: Cultural events. Not just food and wine, but more festivals celebrating cultural backgrounds that make this city great.
Parting advice: FRED (Free Rides Everywhere Downtown). Download the Circuit app and travel all over downtown for free. Great when you’re going to the grocery store and can’t carry it all back, seeing a show at the Rady Shell or going to the Civic Center (in heels). SDSun