San Diego Sun: SpeakEasy. March 14, 2022

The SD Sun's editor slips onto the cover of The Reader; Team USA Shortstop Nick Allen commits to a Boone; and other downtown-centric news

Here it is! The first installment of your premium subscription to the San Diego Sun: SpeakEasy. Feel free to brag to family and friend about the exclusive downtown news-and-notes club you’ve joined. Encourage others to come along for the ride. And, thank you for supporting independent journalism!

Jaywalker? Lawbreaker. “Mr. Downtown”

San Diego Sun editor Ron Donoho during his Reader cover shoot. (Photo by Matthew Suarez)

I made the March 10 cover of our local alt-weekly San Diego Reader. They painted me as something of a bad boy, with the headline: “Jaywalker? Lawbreaker.” The subhead reads: “We’re all a little criminal.”

Wait. What?

The cover story by Thomas K. Arnold is about lesser laws that commonly get broken on a daily basis. Like speed limits, keeping your dog on a leash, biking on hiking paths and other misdemeanor offenses.

Arnold phoned me to specifically ask about people jaywalking in downtown. Here’s the verbatim blurb from the Reader:

Ron Donoho is gaining a reputation as Mr. Downtown. He’s the editor of the San Diego Sun, an online publication devoted exclusively to Downtown news, events and happenings. Asked if he’s noticed any commonly broken laws, he’s quick to single out jaywalking. “There was a span of time when police would crack down on it, but I would say that police could go down to the Gaslamp Quarter on any given day and fill out their quotas,” he says. Then he adds, “I do not encourage jaywalking, nor do I encourage people to crack down on jaywalking.”

I asked Donoho, who lives and works Downtown, whether he ever jaywalks.

“Is this on the record?”


“No comment.”

Here’s the magazine cover….

For the record, I’m not jaywalking in the photo. Keen observers and downtown habitués will recognize the location as Market Street and Fifth Avenue, in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.

That intersection has the only diagonal crosswalk in the city. I’m diagonally crossing Market Street, with the blessing of the street sign.

I called up Arnold to get his take on the cover photo for the story he wrote. We both chuckled about it.

Then I asked him for a quote.

“On the record, Ron Donoho is not jaywalking on the cover of the San Diego Reader,” Arnold says. “He’s legally crossing at a crosswalk. I probably jaywalk more than Ron Donoho, because I’m a very impatient person.”

On Deck: Allen-Boone Nuptials

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Last one I promise Best Day Ever @nickallen10_

Congratulations to San Diego native Nick Allen on his recent engagement to Savannah Boone. Their Fall 2023 wedding will be a bonding of two local baseball families.

Allen, 23, was drafted out of Francis Parker High School in 2017. He was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the third round. The slick fielding shortstop played on Team USA, which won a silver medal in the “2020” Olympic Games in Japan.

After playing for the AAA Las Vegas Aviators last season, Allen is currently on the 40-man roster for the Athletics. He’s in training camp now.

Allen and Boone, 26, met at a San Diego party. He proposed on February 26 at their mutual friend’s rooftop deck, which preceded a 70-person dinner at Sardina’s Italian Restaurant in Bay Park.

The Boone family tree has produced three generations of major leaguers. Savannah’s father, Bret Boone, played for six MLB teams, including the San Diego Padres in 2000.

The bride-to-be’s uncle is Aaron Boone, who played in the bigs for 12 years and is currently the manger of the New York Yankees.

Aaron and Bret’s father is Bob Boone, who played for three big league teams and managed two others. The family patriarch was Ray Boone, a Hoover High grad who played pro ball for 13 years.

Nick Allen’s father is overjoyed about his son’s engagement.

“It’s amazing,” Tom Allen says. “Savannah is a great gal and the two of them are a great fit. And she definitely understands the baseball lifestyle–it’s in her family.”

In Other Attributed News…

  • Nyet, Nyet, Nyet. Let’s slow down and breathe before attacking everything Russian operating in the United States. The owner of Pushkin Russian Restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter is reporting abuse and bomb threats. Ike Gazaryan, who hails from Armenia and employs several Ukrainians, says he fully supports Ukraine as it proudly fights off Vladimir Putin’s Russian army. (CNN)
  • Gimme Shelter. Two members of the San Diego Sun’s 2022 list of “Homelessness Influencers” were recently busy penning an insightful op-ed. Peter Seidler and Dan Shea wrote about using government properties as immediate solutions for unsheltered people, in tandem with longer-term affordable housing solutions. (Union-Tribune)
  • Go Gentry Into The Night. Another member of that Homelessness Influencers list is now leaving his job, amid grumblings, as reported by SD Sun. Richard Gentry is stepping down as president and CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission at the end of March. He’d been in the post since 2008. (Voice of San Diego)
  • It Takes a $3-Billion Village? The Port of San Diego is currently reviewing a $3-billion proposed redevelopment of Seaport Village. This plan calls for a 500-foot tower, along with an aquarium, new hotels and eateries, and a concert venue. I’m not holding my breath for the grand opening. Nor would I wager the farm on a 500-foot tower getting local approval. (10News)
  • De-Vending City Streets. The San Diego City Council has adopted rules that create a vendor permitting system. Downtown areas affected include Seaport Village and the Embarcadero. The city council must have done something right. Half the concerned parties like the new rules and the other half hate them. That’s a win. (Voice of San Diego)

The Fifth Avenue Bikeway is open for business.

  • Wheel Good. The Fifth Avenue Bikeway is cleared, painted and open for business for bicyclers looking to pedal between downtown and Hillcrest. I lamented about the pace of construction progress on the “curb-protected” bikeway in an October story. Luckily, no major injuries were reported between then and completion. (SDSun)
  • Indie Neighborhood. The Digital Gym Cinema may have closed its doors in North Park, but it’s set to reopen them downtown. Fabulous for its showcasing of independent movies and foreign films, the Digital Gym will also help host the San Diego Latino Film Festival. New address: 1100 Market Street, in the UCSD @ Park & Market building. (CBS8)
  • High On Movies. The Rooftop Cinema Club Embarcadero at the Manchester Grand Hyatt opens its new season March 17. The outdoor venue offers first-come, first-served seating and a food-and-drink menu. Up to watch young versions of Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles framed by downtown’s panoramic views? Never mind the title of the film being screened: “10 Things I Hate About You.” (Fox5)
  • Hey, Bartender! Post-COVID, the three-day Bartender’s Weekend returns to The Lafayette Hotel, running March 20-22. Hosted by industry vets Chris Patino and Erick Castro and fueled by the mad geniuses at CH Projects. Yes, there’s a pool party, and a downtown bar crawl. And, a post-bar-crawl after-party on March 22. (ThereSanDiego)
  • Fin. Tin Fish, a favorite indoor-outdoor spot for Padres pre-gaming, is leaving the Gaslamp after dishing out fish tacos for more than two decades. Coming soon: Sandbox Pizza & Wings, whose origin story traces to Pacific Beach. (SanDiegoVille)

SpeakEasy Deals

Free sandwiches at Lucky’s Lunch Counter on March 16.

  • Lucky Day. Lucky’s Lunch Counter (338 Seventh Ave.) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary by giving away free overstuffed sandwiches on March 16. Lucky’s pays homage to old-style Chicago deli counters. The free sandwich special will run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until supplies last. You have to sign up for a free newsletter to get your choice of a corned beef, pastrami, honey-roasted ham or other meaty sammies.
  • Irish Eyes Are Saving. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Gaslamp Quarter by participating in the Irish 4 A Day bar crawl on March 17. It’s like 15 parties rolled into one. Get tickets HERE. Use the promo code: SDSun10 and get a 10-percent discount on tickets.
  • Walk This Way. Out of the Ordinary Group Adventures has a Get Fit Walking program that’s both fun and a physical fitness boon. (Check out the story about the company’s downtown scavenger hunts.) Groups that want to participate in Out of the Ordinary’s “Hidden Gems” or “Secret Beaches” walks can go HERE for details. Use the promo code: SDSun11 and get an 11-percent discount on tickets.
  • Champagne Wishes. Garage Kitchen & Bar (655 Fourth Ave.) now offers a Bottomless Mimosa deal…seven days a week. For $20, get all the champagne and mixers you can swallow. The deal is valid for two hours, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Garage also has a pretty swell Happy Hour deal: 51-percent off all drinks (excluding top-shelf) from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. SDSun

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