LIVING IN THE CITY: Meet East Village’s Most Bubbly Person

Urban organizer Jeana Wallace brings downtown San Diegans together via a Bubble Pop Up event and a condo-wide Friends-giving dinner
Jeana Wallace and Breaks.

“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 30 in an ongoing series.

Name: Jeana (pronounced GEE-nah) Wallace

Location: The Element in East Village.

Personal deets: Born in beautiful Santa Cruz. Lived in San Diego for 20 years. Moved into The Element three-and-a-half years ago. Wanted to live downtown for the action and walkability.

Pets: A nearly-11-year-old pit bull named Breaks. Regarding her name: People think she needs to put on the brakes. Or, she breaks things all the time. Actually, though, my favorite genre of music is breakbeats. I find myself singing the chorus a lot from Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” that goes… “I’m Kurtis Blow and I want you to know that these are the BREAKS!”

Bubble Pop Up event at Fault Line Park.

Memorable moment: The annual Bubble Pop Up sponsored by Regency West Insurance on International Bubble Day (March 14). Think flash mob with bubbles. The event was created to give back to the community after COVID. And to create smiles and cheer. It’s held at Fault Line Park and is a way to meet neighbors and promote mental health.

Work deets: I’m a health insurance broker and the owner of Regency West Insurance Services, Inc. Been in the business for 27 years; self-employed for 17.  

Working from home: I wake up, walk Breaks and commute from my living room to my home office. Trying to save the world by insuring one person at a time. I specialize in creative approaches for small businesses (under 100 employees). Plans are rich in benefits and low in premiums. Happy to be a resource with no obligations to readers. It’s my mission to at least point people in the right direction.  

Best aspect of your building: I’d never lived in a high-rise before this. I love my building because it gives me the feel of downtown with a sense of a smaller community. We only have eight floors (69 units). My first year, I planned a November Friends-giving for all my neighbors. I brought ham, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Floors 1-2 brought appetizers; 3-4 salads; 5-6 sides; 7-8 desserts. Everyone wore name tags with their unit numbers on them. It was so much fun meeting new friends.  

Worst aspect of your building: Trash, safety and homelessness on my street.

Inside the Downtown Central Library.

Why live downtown: Walkability to new businesses, restaurants and events. I enjoy walking/running/exercising by the bay at the convention center and through Seaport Village. Or taking the ferry to Coronado to workout or enjoy it there. Also great to be near The University Club (member for 12 years), Rady Shell (attended several concerts) and the Central Library. I often take friends on tours. Great gift shop. And, did you know they have the smallest book in the world there? 

Downtown negatives: The trash and safety issues that come with homelessness. I’m from Santa Cruz and moved here from San Francisco so I’m not new to homelessness. However, after COVID–when San Diego let out low-level offenders from incarceration–it seems like both issues have been taken to the next level.  

Transportation breakdown: 75% driving and 25% walking. I’d love to increase walking but haven’t been able to move all routine appointments/meetings downtown, yet.  

Scooters: I don’t mind them as long as they’re parked in specific spots and patrons aren’t driving them in the middle of the street. Love the option to ride one home if I take a long run and don’t feel like running back.  

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria at this year’s Bubble Pop Up event at Fault Line Park.

Downtown politicians: I can’t imagine what it takes to tackle the ongoing issues crossing their desks. I’m a new board member with the East Village Residence Group and am looking to get more involved. I met Mayor Todd Gloria and a representative from District 3 City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn’s office at The Bubble Pop Up event. I appreciated them showing up to discuss concerns. I think there is more to be done but am not sure anyone knows the answer. For now I reserve my judgment and appreciate all that they are doing for our city.  

Homelessness: I have an uncle who experiences mental health problems. Homelessness triggers me everyday. My home office looks out over 15th and Market, so it’s a constant. I’m friends with the folks at the Clean & Safe call center and am so thankful for all that they do for our city.  

Scariest moment: Being assaulted trying to enter my front door. We’ve also had homeless people break into our complex and sleep in hallways/stairwells. Areas to avoid: In East Village, east of 15th Street and south of Island Street.

Brigantine at Portside Pier.

Let’s lunch at: Three great places:

  • Portside Pier’s Brigantine or Topsail restaurants, for the view and walkability. Love oysters, too!
  • Herb and Wood, for roasted oysters and bone marrow. Everything is delicious, the decor is delightful and I love their music playlist.
  • BeShock Ramen’s owner is a sake sommelier. My go-to is the Pork Chashu Bowl. Happy hour is not bad, either.

Dinner fave: What’s not to love about Cowboy Star? Food, service and ambiance are always on point. Great happy hour! Bonus points for supporting small local businesses.

Best bar:  My “go-to” spot is The University Club. It feels like Cheers ’cause everyone knows my name…and you can’t beat the happy hour or the view. 

Best Bakery: Check out IZOLA Bakery for their pop-up brunches on the weekend. My favorite is their flights of sourdough bread, and the Tahitian Vanilla Knots. 

Go-to coffee shop: Hob Coffee East Village’s Taro Latte with a shot of espresso. Decor is nothing special; service is always great. I’m usually getting my coffee to go on a walk with my dog and they’re super dog friendly.   

Food shopping: I have a little red shopping cart like my grandma used. I walk it across the street to Albertsons (great because it has a Starbucks, CVS Pharmacy, etc.).

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

Fan fervor during last year’s postseason run by the Padres.

Padres games: I’m really looking forward to this season and will be at the East Village Opening Weekend Block Party! Love that the park is practically in my backyard and I can walk there.  

Streaming and watching: I’m ashamed to admit it but I’m a sucker for dating reality shows:  Perfect Match. Love is Blind. Love Island. The Real Housewives franchises. I’m fully aware this is a total waste of my time and is not reality. Please don’t judge me.  

Visitor parking advice: Park in Old Town and take the trolley. Once you get downtown, use the Circuit App (Fred) for a free ride anywhere downtown. Or, jump on a scooter.

Parting advice: I use King of Happy Hour to find all the cool spots. After a happy hour at Cowboy Star, I head over to Lotus Thai for a Thai Tea Float (think rootbeer float) with mochi.  SDSun

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

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top