“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 42 in an ongoing series.
Name: Marco Polo Cortés
Residence: Merrimac in Little Italy
Personal deets: Born in Chula Vista and been in San Diego for 53 years. Lived downtown for 17 years.
Pets: Roxy is an 8-year-old Chiweenie. She gets so excited and does a 360-spin every time I’m about to put her on a leash to go out.
Work deets: Four years ago, after leaving the political world, I started my own hospitality consultant business. I’m president of Marco Polo Permits Inc., which helps companies navigate the unglamorous world of the permitting process.
Working from home: My building is a loft. Perfect for the live-work lifestyle. I wake up and respond to emails, walk Roxy, grab a coffee and work on my laptop and meet with clients throughout the day.
Why move downtown: To be part of the excitement and opportunity that new urbanism brings. There are new developments, residences and residents, businesses and always new ideas and concepts.
Streaming/watching: Special Ops: Lioness, Spy Ops, Oppenheimer.
Transportation breakdown: Walking 85%, Uber 15%.
Go-to coffee shop: Pappalecco Cafe for an espresso. The service is great and I feel like I’m transported to Tuscany.
Lunch fave: The service is also great and it’s a very family-oriented environment at Davanti Enoteca. I love the Escarol salad with salmon–and I also get to order off the menu.
Dinner spot: Vinarius Wine Bar & Restaurant. Service, ambiance, everything is great.
Best Bar(s): The new Bar One and the very old/historic Waterfront.
Favorite memories: Street Scene in the 1990s. The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. Watching Italy win the 2006 FIFA World Cup and then watching “The Blues” win the Euro Cup in 2021.
Padres: Yes! Loved going to the first Opening Day of Petco Park in 2004. And beating the Dodgers in the 2022 playoffs.
Homelessness: It affects my senses and compassion. There has to be a comprehensive solution.
Mayor Todd Gloria: Keep doing what you’re doing. People want immediate gratification. Real change is hard.
District 3 City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn: He and his staff are very accessible and great with follow up.
Parking advice: It is what it is!
Parting advice: Always plan ahead.