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Hip Downtown Defies 'Laid Back' Image of San Diego

Downtown living
There is a broad range of living options downtown including high-rise, mid-rise, and low-rise condo living opportunities.

This is not a place to live for the timid or those looking for serenity. Downtown is happening day and night. The hi-rise towers, rocking nightclubs, tourists, sidewalk cafes and restaurants of every flavor combine to make living here charged with energy. It can be noisy and hard to find a parking spot. But if your passions include art, music, dining, baseball or shopping, then there isn't a better place to live than downtown San Diego. The Gaslamp Quarter, Marina District, the Columbia District and Little Italy offer variations on the Downtown living experience.

LEFT: This is a dog-friendly downtown. RIGHT: Petco Park is one of the many major attractions available to people living downtown.

"There is a constant energy," said Alex Dychter, a native San Diegan who has lived downtown for over ten years. He lives on 6th Avenue in a four-story mid-rise condominium. As a lawyer specializing in labor and employment law, Dychter enjoys walking to work.
"I Really enjoy the ability to leave my building and walk down the street and interact with people on a constant basis, whether to get a cup of coffee or a sandwich, or dry cleaners. A week will go by without driving," Dychter said.

San Diego skyline and bay
The San Diego Bay and Downtown skyline are postcard perfect.

Another local, Mallory Bullord has lived downtown for over a year. She's a young professional, single and lives with her small dog - a Shiba Inu. "A lot of people who live downtown have dogs" Bullard said. "It's really dog friendly and many restaurants and coffee shops let me take my dog inside." She cites Café Chloe (721 9th Ave.) and Zanzibar (707 G St.) among her favorite places to dine out. Bullord lives in the Jonathan Segal Building industrial lofts on 9th Avenue. "I like being able to walk out my door and walk to Petco Park and all the shops and restaurants."

Certainly there is no shortage of places and styles to eat downtown. Just in the sixteen square blocks of the Gaslamp District there over 200 restaurants. From upscale steakhouses, international cuisine, pizza, California contemporary to fancy desserts - you could taste something unique and delicious every day of the year.

San Diego Convention Center
The San Diego Convention Center.

"I love downtown because I can eat at a different restaurant nearly everyday - and I do!" said Bennett Peji. "It feeds both my appetite and my creativity." Peji is president of his company, Peji Design (777 Sixth Ave.), specializing in civic branding and design. Peji also serves as the Commissioner of Arts and Culture for the City of San Diego as well as Mayor Jerry Sander's Civic Leadership Team and the Boards and Commissions Advisory Group.

Bennett Peji
Bennett Peji creative force for Downtown San Diego.

"The unique food and environments inspire my imagination as a designer and arts commissioner. I take the notion of downtown exploration to the max," Peji explains. "I want new experiences everyday." He encourages his staff to try the many arts and culture offerings that downtown has to offer. "Immersing ourselves in the vibrant culture downtown helps us generate more creative solutions on our projects."

According to Peji, all of downtown is an art district. There is an arts opening nearly every weekend. There are dozens of Museums, from the Maritime Museum to the Museum of Contemporary Art to the Childrens Museum. There are dozens of theater and performing arts groups, from Moolelo to the Opera to the Symphony. San Diego produces more original theater than almost any city in the world including many that are Broadway caliber. And, of course, there are dozens more galleries, exhibitions and concerts of amazing variety. There is also public art and a burgeoning design scene downtown, from the Urban Trees sculptures along the Harbor, to the New School of Architecture.

Nightime Downtown is the hot spot for dining and dancing. The Gaslamp Quarter is overflowing with restaurants and sidewalk cafes.

At night, downtown streets are overflowing with people. If you're looking for a chic lounge, sports bar, or live music, you can find it every night of the week.

Coco Cabuquit is a young artist/entrepreneur that has lived Downtown for nearly ten years and enjoys being able to walk to restaurants and favorite nightclubs. "The night life is exciting and as a local, I know where to go," she said. Her favorite spots for dancing are Whiskey Girl (600 5th Ave.) and Tipsy Crow (770 5th Ave.).

Being a major tourist destination, downtown if filled with visitors from all over the world. More than 200 cruise ships a year call at the cruise ship terminal. It's also popular for people living in San Diego County. They all come for the restaurants, nightlife and major attractions of Petco Park, Horton Plaza, Seaport Village, the San Diego Convention Center and the Star of India. To escape the hustle, you can always take a sunset boat cruise on San Diego Bay to view of the beautiful evening lights of the skyline. These attractions are part of the daily experience for the 28,000 people that live downtown in Americas Finest City.

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Balboa Park

Morley Field
2221 Morley Field Dr.


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1313 Park Blvd.

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225 Cedar St.


Garfield High School
1255 16th St.

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1405 Park Blvd.


Roosevelt Middle School
3366 Park Blvd.

Clark Middle Scool
4388 Thorn St.


Sherman Elementary
301 22nd St.

Jefferson Elementary
3770 Utah St.

McKinley Elementary
3045 Felton St.

Golden Hill Elementary
1240 33rd St.

St. Patrick's Catholic School
3266 Nutmeg St


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