"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: Laura Fink
Location: East Village
Personal deets: A San Diego native, I moved away for college and a number of years. I've been back for more than a decade and downtown for 7 years, with my partner, Rob. He's the reason I fell in love with East Village. He saw what my hometown eyes at first couldn’t see.
Professional deets: As CEO of Rebelle Communications, I help women leaders develop the skills and strategy to ascend to positions of power. I love being a catalyst for diverse women leaders to have an impact. We need more of us in power! I have clients develop their messaging and strategic plans from my dining table/board room. I also do local and national TV news appearances as a political analyst, often at the CoverEDGE studio on Market Street.
Best part of your building: I live in a small building near the library designed by Rob Quigley & Kathleen Hallahan. My neighbors and friends, Rob and Kathleen, are exceptional people. We laugh and we support each others foibles and eccentricities. In addition to being starchitects, Kathleen throws a killer party and Rob makes a mean martini.
Worst part of your location: We're “close to the pain” in East Village. The hurt and challenges facing people experiencing homelessness are ever-present. I understand how hard this problem is to solve. It’s also heartbreaking to witness our neighbors struggling.
Downtown inspiration: I love my home office because it enables my clients to come be out of their traditional headspace. I also love to walk outside to the Tony Gwynn statue at Petco Park (see video, above) when I am hitting a wall on a creative project, or when navigating the slings and arrows of local reporters gets rough.
Energy: Downtown is the heart of San Diego. It's where people come together in community to do so many different things--from watching a ballgame to taking in a symphony or advocating at City Hall. No other neighborhood can say that, and has that much incredible energy.
Getting around: I walk a ton to eat, drink and shop in the neighborhood. I enjoy the trolley for short hauls. My electric car is also indispensable when I need to get somewhere far or fast.
Scooters: One ran over my foot coming around the corner of 13th and Market--then the rider apologized to my brother! I find them a necessary nuisance. Stay off the sidewalk people! (This is the "Get off my lawn" of downtown living.)
Food shopping: My parents are retired UFCW union grocery workers from Albertsons. I spend my money where workers have the right to a voice on the job, so that's where I shop with my two-wheeled “granny cart.” The service deli is great for entertaining in a pinch (Hello, Elote dip or fried chicken!).
Best insider tip for downtown: Ride the ferry to Coronado and back. Eight bucks and an hour on the water will change your outlook on life. Also great to do with out-of-town guests.
Scariest moment: Pre-pandemic, I was having a great night listening to my headphones and staring at the stars. I was approached by a man who thought I was drunk. He tried to shepherd me into his car. It was clear this was a pattern for him, preying on women who left bars and restaurants late at night.
Moment of Zen: I have a neighbor who bikes up and down 13th Street towing a fluorescent yellow cart with a boom box playing funk, early rap and hip hop. If he rides by, you know it’s gonna be a great day.
Streaming favorites: Killing Eve, Insecure, Succession, Black Lady Sketch Show, Abbott Elementary, Mare of Easttown, Gilded Age. If it has well written female leads, I’m in.
Podcasts: I am predictably a Brené Brown "Dare to Lead" junkie. "Pod Save America." NPR’s "Up First" before the gym. My good friend Christina Glickman has a short, inspirational pod called "Xtra" that's a great 10 minutes of renegade positivity.
Cost of living: The housing here, like everywhere, is far too expensive. The housing crisis is real.
City infrastructure: I know too much about this professionally, and the barriers to getting things done. We’re way behind. Billions of dollars behind.
Padres games: My friend, Vanessa, is a season ticket holder. Some days, she texts me with a spare ticket to an afternoon game. I can walk two blocks to see the joyous boys of summer.
Parking advice: Pay, pray or hitch a ride. SDSun
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