Mr. Mayor, What Are Your Thoughts on Good Charlotte and Charcoal Water?

By
Photography Richie Shazam

Published June 12, 2019

Eric Garcetti, perhaps more than any city politician in power today, is a pop culture polymath. Aside from being the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles, his résumé includes appearances on TV shows such as The Closer and Angie Tribeca, a friendship with Jay-Z, and an R&B single he recorded to notify Angelenos about the closing of the 6th Street Bridge. (It was called “101 Slow Jam.”) Here, L.A.’s youngest mayor on record—and frequent mention on the 2020 presidential shortlist, despite his insistence that he has no plans to run—responds to 13 topics chosen at semi-random.

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BAGELS

“Your average New York bagel is absolutely better than the average L.A. bagel, although we are enjoying a revival. Wlost a lot of good places during the carb crash of the ’90s. That put us behind, but were rebuilding. 

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 CHARCOAL WATER

I dont have much use for charcoal water. As mayor, I sell water for a living. Our water is cleaner than anything that is bottled, by the way. Its much tastier and cleaner than you think. We dont do underground water like New York doesWhen I became mayor, we took away that chlorinated taste that everybody thinks defines L.A. water. Under my watch, its gained a smoother, better taste. 

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 STANDING DESKS

I dont have time for desks, standing or sitting. My desk is usually the front seat of a car. I should say that it’s the passenger seat so that people dont freak out. 

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 LEBRON JAMES

I hope that he gets the team around him to restore greatness to the Lakers, because theres no question that every great—from Kareem to Magic to Kobe to himhas to play in L.A. at some point. I hope we do well in the off-season, and I hope his groin recovers. He cant leave his Laker career without a ring or two. Im ready for a parade.  

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 THE PRICE IS RIGHT 

I looked forward to being sick as a kid so that I could watch The Price Is Right. It was my fantasy, one day, to be there and to reach into that pocket and pull out 100 bucks because I had guessed right on the nose what the price was. Ive never gone to a taping, but Ive lined up before. Maybe now I can get in. 

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 POST-PUNK ROCK

I owned every Siouxsie and the Banshees album that ever existed. I shut down Hollywood Boulevard once for a Depeche Mode concert, and Ive been into emo rock since it was called death rock. I think that Americans are more and more emotional than everand we need emo rock more than ever before. 

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 GOOD CHARLOTTE 

I became friends with those guys [Benji and Joel Madden] and their wives [Cameron Diaz and Nicole Richie, respectively] when they came to support me during my race for mayor. We just hit it off. My challenge is to try to tell stories in politics better, and for them, its bringing the political to the storytelling. Igoing to plead the Fifth right now on recommending a song of theirs because I dont want the brothers to get jealous, but if you twist my arm Ill say Girls & Boys.’” 

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 WOLFGANG PUCK

Wolfgang embodies whats great about L.A. We dont care where you come from, what corner of the earthcome here and make the future. I mean, who thought of putting lox on pizza? And now, hes the template you see for this city, which has the most creative, explosive food scene in the world.  

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AM RADIO

I listen to the news on AM radio, but I miss KDAYwhich was the first hip-hop station on AM radio here. Theyre still aroundbut theyre on FMI miss the purity of the really crappy AM acoustics. This was back when I was 13, when I had a breakdance crew and was breaking into Electric Boogaloo with my parachute pants on and challenging people to popping contests. 

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 DEL TACO 

I love their new color and logo. Theres something that was always cleaner about Taco Bell, but Del Taco secretly has great fish tacos—the best breaded fish tacos. 

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 WEST SIDE STORY 

ItRomeo and Juliet meets New York meets love meets passion meets dancing meets race meets police corruption meets, like, everything. It holds up. Having played Bernardo in high school, Im really sorry to have seen him pass. Hes really the glue that holds it all together. 

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 MOON JUICE

I have somebody here who loves Moon Juice. Ive never tried it, though, so I have no idea. Heres what I say: Go to a Mexican restaurant and get the jugos and aguas for a fifth of the price. 

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 MAYOR QUIMBY FROM THE SIMPSONS

Hes an inspiration to me. He has the right accent. Hes always focused on the right things. He’s just had a string of bad luck. I assure you my aide didnt whisper in my ear once during this interview. Never.  

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Special Thanks: Grand Hyatt New York