San Diego, United States
Duane, 58
Architect, Artist, Gadabout
see his San Diego city guide

ask Duane about

beaches parks mexican food museums food markets brewery comfort food

What do you do and why do you do it?

Even as a kid I was fascinated with buildings, architecture, design, painting. Architecture satisfies the left brains, right brain. Art, painting, graphics makes you look for inspiration everywhere and look at details others miss.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?

I was a dishwasher at a crappy all-night dive restaurant at the beach, night shift. I was 15 years old. I remember the sassy waitresses (fondly) and late night diners (not so fondly) to this day.

Were you born and raised in San Diego? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to San Diego?

Born in Buffalo, raised in Myrtle Beach, started a career in Washington DC, moved to San Diego with an ex, because of his job.

What’s your current hood in San Diego and what’s the best/worst thing about it?

Downtown, Marina district. It's a great urban residential area and close to all things downtown like restaurants, bars, bay.

What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?

I listen to all genres of music but I have difficulty getting into country.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Anything Adele.

Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?

The Tudors: history, sex, backstabbing conniving characters. About to binge watch it all over again. Chopped: Love the food network. I love to cook, so seeing the inventiveness of the chefs is a great learning experience. Listening to the judges and their comments helps me learn how to experience food.

Name some spots in San Diego that are good for a Tinder date.

Well it's been a long time since I had a first date. How about visiting one of the museums in Balboa Park and having dinner or drinks at The Prado?

Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).

trump, literally.

Who’s your hero and where in San Diego would you take them out for a serious hang?

Michelle and Barack Obama. I think they would like a pub in North Park or Normal Heights.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

I have a hubby that loves to shop and buy my clothes.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

The worst part of town is the Midway District with traffic, long stop lights, ugly shopping malls, strip clubs, used car dealers, chain restaurants and no redeeming factors. Please don't stay in that area.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I wish I took the time to bike completely around Mission Bay. It's been awhile. (You can rent nice bikes in Pacific Beach.)

Where do you go in San Diego for a casual night out?

Bankers Hill. It has the park, theater, restaurants, bars.

Where would you go in San Diego to celebrate some freaking good news?

Mr. A's is pretty awesome and has been a special location in San Diego since the 60's. (It has been updated.) It is where I proposed to my husband.

What’s your choice of transportation in San Diego and why?

Car, Uber or Lyft. Don't try public transportation. The San Diego Trolly is nice but it's quicker and cheaper to just drive.

What are the San Diego spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Balboa Park, La Jolla Cove, Sunset Cliffs.

What are the San Diego spots tourists should run from screaming?

Most tourist spots are also local spots, but most San Diegans avoid Sea World, Horton Plaza, Sea World. Did I mention Sea World?

Tomorrow’s your last day in San Diego. How do you spend it?

Balboa Park during the day and watching the sun set at La Jolla Cove.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

I'd have to say my favorite 'vacation city' would be Waikiki, which is easy to get to from the west coast. When I am there, I love getting up in the morning and going for a morning swim. Fresh pineapple and papaya taste better in Hawaii and I feel healthier just being there. Favorite 'city' to visit would probably be London. I Love all the history and museums. and Christmas time is fantastic.

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Giulio Paletta