“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 an ongoing series.
Name: Whitney M. Treadwell (“Whit”)
Location: Luma in the Columbia District. I’ve also lived downtown at CityFront Terrace and Horizons (Marina District), Breeza (Little Italy) and The Louie (Bankers Hill).
Personal deets: Originally from Seattle. I came to San Diego in 1996 as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Thought I’d stay two years for my tour and grad school at the University of San Diego. Now, I’ll probably never leave.
Significant other: My wife, Alicia Hopkins, and I have been together five-plus years; married for two. Favorite memory: We met at ArtWalk in Little Italy. Then we got married at the Rock and Roll Wedding Chapel at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The officiant was dressed like KISS guitarist Ace Frehley (see photo, above).
Pets: Our home is run by two cats, Tanith (a tortoiseshell) and Asherah (American shorthair).
Best shows streamed during the pandemic: American Horror Story, True Blood, Chernobyl, Hot in Cleveland, and John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise.
The heart of it all: the Gaslamp Quarter at night. (Mitch Diamond/Getty Images)
Reason for moving downtown: I love being in the heart of it all. There is always something to do and it’s a fun and exciting way to live.
Working from home: I was recently hired as director of technology project management at Jack in the Box Restaurants. Am currently remote and interact for work via Zoom and/or MS Teams. Looking forward to getting back to the office, likely on a hybrid schedule.
Best aspect of your current location: Luma has a rooftop pool, BBQ, Jacuzzi and jumbotron TV—great for watching sports (Go Chargers!). It’s a five-minute walk or shared ride to everything downtown, with access to North County via Coaster or Trolley.
Worst aspect of your current location: The building’s tenant base are young professionals who like to party hard and stay up late. Also, there was a recent flood due to a fire sprinkler accident. Fortunately, our unit wasn’t affected.
Best reason to live downtown: Year-round activities. Walkability. Proximity to the airport (direct flights to Maui, Cabo, Vegas). Daily access to the harbor and Balboa Park. Plus, we have the best climate in the country.
Worst aspect of living downtown: Crowds, homelessness, sanitation, scooters and traffic.
Queenstown Public House. (Facebook)
- Queenstown Public House in Little Italy. Order the Hangover with tater tots and a Bloody Mary.
- Close second: Davanti Enoteca and its Bloody Mary bar.
- Crack Shack in Little Italy (order the Fire Bird and schmaltz fries).
- Bar One in Little Italy (Scorpio Sando with tater tots).
- Point Loma Seafoods (squid sandwich).
Alicia and Whit on the top-floor patio at Mr. A’s.
Must-do dinners: It’s a long list…
- Special Occasion: Mister A’s in Bankers Hill.
- Unique: The Lion’s Share in the Marina District.
- Italian: Barbusa in Little Italy.
- Pizza: Isola in Little Italy.
- Asian Fusion: Animae in Pacific Gate.
- Seafood: Top of the Market at The Fish Market on the harbor
- Steak: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in the InterContinental Hotel.
- Sushi: Nobu at the Hard Rock Hotel.
- Ramen: Underbelly in Little Italy.
- Dessert: Extraordinary Desserts in the Columbia District and Banker’s Hill.
A large pie at Basic Pizza.
- Basic Bar & Pizza in East Village (great for Padres pre-gaming).
- Roy’s San Diego outdoor patio bar at the Marriott Marina (try the ribs and butterfish with your cocktail).
- Grant Grill at the Grant Hotel (get a Blood Eagle cocktail).
- Nunu’s Tavern in Bankers Hill (classic dive bar).
Downtown San Diego at dusk. (Photo by Michael Lee/Getty Images)
Safety: You need to remember it’s a big city with big-city problems. Use common sense. Increase your awareness, know where you are going and have a plan—especially if you are out for a night on the town.
Homelessness: It’s a nuisance that has become a progressive problem. Some people are not mentally well and need serious care. Some are on drugs and need rehab. Most are just down on their luck. I’d like to see an increase in city budget regarding health and human services to assist them in getting off of the streets—and not burden SDPD with being all things to all people.
City infrastructure: Getting better all the time, and I appreciate the continued development. I’d like to see Fifth Avenue between Broadway and Harbor Drive converted to a pedestrian-only shopping/restaurant walkway, like the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
Whit and friend Jim Lavelle at Petco Park.
Parking advice: You’ll find it, unless the Padres are playing at Petco Park. Better yet, take the trolley or Coaster into town.
Padres games: Last year, the first fully open attendance day (post-COVID lockdown) was incredible. I love the players we have (Fernando Tatis, Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer). The addition of manager Bob Melvin formerly of the Oakland A’s, is very exciting. I hope to see them in the World Series very soon.
Only in downtown: When I lived at CityFront Terrace, there was a guy who would walk nude at night and on weekends. People were always on the lookout for this streaker.
Last insider tip: In the summer, The Pearl Hotel in Pt. Loma sponsors free movie nights in their bar/pool area. The movies are always classics: Animal House, Caddyshack, Jaws. It’s a fun, campy way to enjoy dinner and drinks. SDSun
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