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What are you grateful for, Pacific Beach?

Thanksgiving thoughts
(Milan Kovacevic)

With Thanksgiving only weeks away, PB Monthly asked some Pacific Beach residents and workers what they are grateful for this year.

Here are their perspectives in the midst of the continuing coronavirus, but also at a time that people are coming together again.

Mark Seamon
Mark Seamon
(B.J. Coleman )

Mark Seamon

Seamon served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years. He is finance officer for the Turquoise Street Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5985 and American Legion Post 552. He lives in North Pacific Beach with his wife, Vicky.

“I am grateful that we are healthy, not sick, and we are together again, not wearing masks. We are back to more normal, too. But everything changes, we know.”

Jay Fabian
Jay Fabian
(B.J. Coleman )

Jay Fabian

Fabian works as a general contractor in Pacific Beach and nearby areas and loves to go fishing. He has been living and working in PB for 22 years, in construction trades and hospitality.

“I am grateful for my health, for the great weather here too. I am grateful for the beach; being surrounded by water is very energizing.”

“All the boat ramps and launch ramps are something to be grateful for. Everything is so close, and I go out fishing with friends at least once a month.”

“I’m also grateful when the tourists leave. It’s nice to have our community back for the locals. There’s a different, upbeat happy energy with local residents.”

Bijan Borna
Bijan Borna
(B.J. Coleman)

Bijan Borna

Borna is general manager at Bayside Landing on Ingraham Street in Crown Point. He has been living and working in PB since 2008. His wife, Kelly Mort, who previously worked at Bayside Landing, is studying for a nursing degree. Their daughter, Charlie, is soon to be 5 years old.

“I am grateful for friends, family, and great regulars at Bayside Landing. We made it through the pandemic, and I am grateful to still be able to work.”

Nancie McLees
(B.J. Coleman )

Nancie McLees

McLees has lived in PB for 22 years. She has served as American Legion Auxiliary Unit 552 Chaplain for 11 years. Her husband, Jerry, served in the Army.

“I am grateful for my three children who call daily, for updates on my husband, Jerry’s, dementia and how I am faring. I am thankful too, for the American Legion Post watching over my husband.”

She said she is grateful to Jerry for being “brilliant” for 16 years, and for the cross-country travels they’ve experienced together.

“We visited Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Wyoming, Montana, Niagara Falls, and we went on a Mississippi River cruise.”

Laura Ambrose
Laura Ambrose
(kat gebauer)

Laura Ambrose

Ambrose is co-owner with her husband, Jeff, of Woodstock Pizza on Garnet Avenue. The couple has lived in PB for 30 years. The Woodstock administrative offices on Turquoise Street oversee eight restaurants throughout California. Their company has been in business for 28 years. The PB Woodstock Pizza storefront on Garnet has been there for 13 years.

“As a business owner in Pacific Beach, I am very grateful for a more normal year. We made it through the pandemic conditions, our family made it through, our team made it through, and our customers have come back again.”

“Our sales have been better than pre-pandemic. I hope and do believe we are at the tail end of the pandemic.”

“I am grateful that we have more medical solutions for this pandemic illness and we are on an upward trajectory out of this.”

Shannen el Qasem
Shannen el Qasem
(B.J. Coleman )

Shannen El-Qasem

El-Qasem has lived in Pacific Beach for three years. She moved from Massachusetts, where her family lives, after living for 10 years along the south and East Coast. El-Qasem is a new Realtor, working in acquisitions and development. Her current project is a commercial development, food hall Old Town Urban Market, slated for a soft opening by late November or early December.

“I am grateful for my neighbors. We have a great local neighborhood, friendly, helpful, and I love everyone in our neighborhood, everyone happy to say hi while I’m walking my dog. This is a blessing to live in this neighborhood.”

“I am grateful for family and friends. Even though my family members are far away, I can talk to them always and that is nice.”

“I am super grateful for everything, for air in my lungs, for where I live, to be alive and healthy. I have an amazing girlfriend, an amazing puppy.

Destiny Young
Destiny Young
(B.J. Coleman )

Destiny Young

Young was born and raised in Pacific Beach for 22 years. She began working in PB 15 years back, and was recently promoted to assistant manager at PB’s Bayside Landing after six years as a bartender and server. She moved with her family to Ocean Beach two years ago.

“I am grateful for lots of things, I am grateful for having a mom who is accomplishing all her goals. I am grateful for Ranger, my dog who’s a flat-coated retriever 14 years old.”

“I love my job, where I can talk to people. I love living here to get near the water when I need to. I love having been noticed, to be promoted for my hard work. I appreciate my good bosses.”

“I am grateful for feeling very loved. I feel love from my boyfriend.”


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