John Maceri is the executive director of Ocean Park Community Center, a Santa Monica-based social services agency. Before participating in a UCLA/Zócalo panel discussion about overcoming homelessness in cities, he talked in the Zócalo Green Room about his various facial-hair styles, Real Time With Bill Maher, and deburring gaskets.
What’s the best place in Santa Monica to go on a date?
There are several good places. I’d have to say The Lobster.
What’s one sport you wish you played as a kid?
Growing up, I was a swimmer. I wish I would’ve played tennis, because it’s a very competitive sport, and it’s very physical.
What relaxes you?
Playing with my dog and going to flea markets.
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
When I was in high school, I worked for a very short time in a factory deburring gaskets. I used to have to hold them with tweezers and grind out rough spots.
What’s the most important piece of advice you would give someone who’s homeless and wants to get off the street?
Don’t lose hope.
I’ve seen pictures of you clean-shaven, with a mustache, and with a full beard. What determines your facial-hair style?
I grow more facial hair to hide more wrinkles.
What’s in your front yard?
Palm trees and grass.
Which would you rather go to: a great concert or a great museum?
Great museum. I love history, and I’m somebody who enjoys learning. I’m fascinated by how we preserve culture.
Where are you at 9 p.m. on a typical Friday?
Usually at home, watching Real Time With Bill Maher.
Do you have a hidden talent?
I don’t know if this is a talent, but I’m a flea market junkie, so I’m really good at spotting interesting things from a distance.