“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: Sin Bosier, aka “Miss SIN DIEGO”
Locations: Gaslamp Quarter and Bankers Hill
Occupation: CEO of GaslampEvent.com and DowntownDolls.com (an event management, promotion and modeling agency). Executive event producer of:
- Gaslamp Mardi Gras (February 25-26, March 1, 2022);
- Irish 4 A Day (March 11-12, 17, 2022)
- San Diego Zombie Crawl (October 27-29, 2022)
Personal deets: Borne in Singapore, schooled in Australia and worked in London, Munich and Asia Pacific organizing high tech conventions before calling San Diego home.
Pet: Whiskey, a long-haired dachshund, who is also the company’s mascot.
Sin is a “Trailblazer of Downtown San Diego” and a “Women in Tourism & Hospitality” honoree.
Reason for moving downtown: I came to San Diego on a tourist visa in 2000. Exploring then-seedy downtown led me to Club E Street Alley, where I met the visionary Mike Viscuso. He hired me to launch On Broadway, the 35,000-square-foot nightclub-event center (now PARQ).
Business history: A year later, helped revamp The Bitter End (now The Tipsy Crow). We brought sexy back to one of the oldest bars in the Gaslamp Quarter, quadrupled event sales and helped clinch a number of awards for the three-story bar. In 2005, I invested in Confidential, a loft/lounge at the corner of Fourth Avenue & E Street, and launched Gaslamp Event Management (GEM) and Downtown Dolls.
Working in the Gaslamp Quarter: My office is in the historic LBC—Louise Bank of Commerce Building (835 Fifth Avenue). Both the building and I have been dubbed “The Queen of the Gaslamp.” Been there 17 years and still love it, and love being walking distance to my downtown clients. I kept the office during the pandemic—even when all our events were forced to cancel. Couldn’t bring myself to part with her. When you face business and personal challenges, you gotta “keep calm and carry on.”
Personal connection to Gaslamp Quarter history: LBC is rich with history. In 1893 entrepreneur Isidor Louis opened Maison Doree, the finest oyster bar in San Diego. It became a favorite haunt of Wyatt Earp, the legendary American West lawman. LBC then became the Golden Poppy Hotel, a famous house of ill repute run by fortune teller, psychic and early marketing genius Madame Cora.
Her “ladies” wore dresses of different solid-colored hues. They’d parade the streets and hand out colored marbles matching their dresses and their hotel rooms. “Gentlemen” would bring the colored marble to the hotel and be directed to a room of the same color.
Cora and I both ran a “marketing” business out of the same space, just 100 years apart. I call my models “Downtown Dolls.” I “parade” us all in costumes down Fifth Avenue, handing out colored beads to men and women during Gaslamp Mardi Gras, Irish 4 A Day and San Diego Zombie Crawl. Some of my neighbors joke that I am Madame Cora reincarnated.
The historic Louise Bank of Commerce Building.
Living in the city: In 2016, after 15 years of coastal living, I rented out my Del Mar townhouse and moved downtown to Barrio Logan. From home, I could walk to the Gaslamp Quarter arch, passing the Hilton Bayfront, Petco Park, San Diego Convention Center and Hard Rock Hotel in 20 minutes.
In 2020, rented out my Barrio Logan loft, closed an escrow and moved to Bankers Hill. Both my office and residence now share the 92101 ZIP Code.
Barrio Logan vs. Banker’s Hill: Barrio Logan has grit, grunge, cool vibes and is the hub of an emerging arts district. There are galleries, boutiques, brewpubs and craft coffee shops. It has Chicano Park, home to the largest concentration of Chicano murals in the world.
Bankers Hill is a melting pot of Little Italy, Hillcrest and Mission Hills, with jet-set vibes (being near the airport), and a high walkability score. It has Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. It’s where culture, science and nature collide.
Best aspect of your location: My four-story rowhouse has no HOA fee (which can range from $1,200 to $2,000 in Bankers Hill). There’s a private rooftop and hot tub (clothing optional). And a panoramic view of the city skyline. In that view, I look out and see a revitalized downtown that I was a part of. It feels gratifying. Mum and dad would be proud.
Sin relaxes in her Bankers Hill hot tub with the San Diego skyline in the background and Whiskey on guard at bottom left.
Pandemic passages: My mum passed away in Singapore on May 17, 2021. I hadn’t seen her in 2-plus years and was unable to fly back due to strict quarantine rules. I had to deliver the eulogy over WhatsApp. My last visual of mum was watching her being pushed into the cremation chamber.
Pandemic challenges: The manditory shut down of live events and indoor activities severely impacted my clients and my businesses. Witnessing downtown turned into a ghost town and bars all boarded up was saddening. Homelessness and crimes rose, including break-ins into my office building.
Scariest downtown moment: A female transient kicked my dog, Whiskey, for barking at the corner of Fifth & E. The valet from Gaslamp Plaza Suites ran over to help and called the police. Luckily, Whiskey was not concussed.
Homelessness: When leaving after dark, we escort our event staff or have a buddy system so they’re not walking alone to their cars. We carry pepper sprays and have Clean & Safe number saved for non-emergency issues.
Sin (bottom, left) and her team help make Gaslamp Mardi Gras colorful.
The new face of downtown events: More downtown high-rises have led to less open spaces for special events in the Gaslamp and East Village. Festivals and concerts have found great homes in Waterfront Park and Petco Park. The dazzling $85 million Rady Shell (home for the San Diego Symphony) is an architectural marvel.
Favorite downtown memories: The late, great Street Scene. Mardi Gras when there was a parade (the parade ended in 2018). The inaugural Wonderfront Festival in 2019 was wicked.
- American Junkie. I enjoy kicking off the night at A.J. It’s fuss-free and the fun meter stays high throughout the night and day. On Tuesday (Fat Tuesday especially), you can get a delicious all-you-can-eat taco buffet for $5. The colorful Junkie Cup and Crispy Rock Shrimp are must-tries.
- Camino Riviera. SDCM Restaurant Group delivers a sultry slice of Mexico’s Riviera Maya to the northern end of Little Italy. With a deep appreciation of the artistry and architecture of the region, Camino Riviera was designed to replicate the wanderer’s experience.
- Juan Tequila. Live reggaeton music that gets me on the floor every time. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can take credit, too, for his Teremana Tequila.
- Greystone Steakhouse. Quality meat aside, there’s the ambience and hospitality of GM Sara Arjmand and her staff.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Sin leads the downtown charge to be Irish 4 A Day.
Parking advice: There are three parking structures that are relatively inexpensive. Park It On Market on Sixth & Market. Parkade on Sixth & K. For our special events, we partner with Laz Parking on 707 Broadway to allow event attendees to park for a flat rate of $10, with free overnight option.
Must-dos for visitors: We work in association with the San Diego Tourism Authority and the Gaslamp Quarter to curate the best venues for locals and visitors to experience during Fat Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween. Event attendees get an Opening Party, fine-dining deals, free entry to 15-20 downtown nightclubs and bars, hosted libations, live music, DJs, dancing and a Finale Party at mega clubs like PARQ. We partner with hotels downtown like Andaz, Hotel Indigo and Pendry to offer special play-and-stay room rates.
Tickets: Go to ClubVIP.TicketSauce.com. The benefits add up to more than $400 at $25-$40 ticket prices. With the mask mandate lifted as of February 16, gathering with friends is more relaxed and enjoyable, again! SDSun
To get 10 percent off Mardi Gras tickets use the promo code: SDSun10.
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