Eric Garcetti

Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Council President, only needed one word to describe himself, even though we gave him five: Angeleno. He’s the fourth generation of his family to live in our fair city, and his commitment to the place shows in his Q&A.

Q. What do you wake up to?
A. The buzz of my Blackberry. But more poetically, on a good day, I walk 231 steps up the longest staircase in Los Angeles into Elysian Park to walk or jog.

Q. What’s your favorite word?
A. Belief.

Q. What inspires you?
A. Finding the good in every person that I meet, or trying to. Unbelievable, quiet acts of generosity.

Q. What comforts you?
A. That Barack Obama is our president-elect, and that I live in the best city in the world.

Q. What do you consider beautiful?
A. Humility, generosity, and really well-designed websites.

Q. If you could live in any time, past, present, or future, when would it be?
A. As compelling as the future is and as enticing as the past is, it would be the present. It’s all that we have, and it’s probably the most exciting and important moment in my lifetime.

Q. When are you most creative?
A. At the piano.

Q. What worries you?
A. Cynicism, people’s lack of belief, and meanness.

Q. If you could take only one more journey, where would you go?
A. A trip around the world, with stops in Mexico, Namibia, Ethiopia, India and Burma.

Q. What profession would you like to practice in your next life?
A. Probably musician or composer.

Q. Whose talent would you like to have?
A. Keith Jarrett.

Q. What is your fondest childhood memory?
A. Winning a piano competition at seven years old at the Yamaha School of Music.

Q. Who is your favorite Beatle?
A. Probably Paul McCartney for being a survivor.

Q. What is your most prized material possession?
A. A music box and Bible that my grandmother, who was one of nineteen kids in a Mexican-American family in Arizona, left me when she passed.

Q. What’s your favorite season and why?
A. Springtime. It’s always that in L.A.

Q. What promise do you make to yourself that you break the most often?
A. That I’ll exercise seven days a week, or that I will remember to eat more often.

Q. Who is the one person living or dead that you’d love to have a beer with?
A. Teddy Roosevelt. I think he’d be a fun guy to have a beer with and go hunting.

*Photo by Aaron Salcido.