People

New mayor Jennifer Roberts doesn’t do a lot of sitting

mhames@charlotteobserver.com

C5 recently dropped by the Government Center to catch up with newly installed mayor Jennifer Roberts as she embarks on a new vision for the Queen City. Before she cracked open another administrative policy binder, we asked her three questions:

  1. What are you reading?
  2. What are you listening to?
  3. What are you watching?

As with many others before, we’ll take those answers and find the meaning, theme or message.

What are you reading?

Well, I have about six books on my nightstand. There’s one: “Trapped in Four Square Miles,” by Sam Wazan. He is a local author, and it’s about growing up in the Middle East during a war-torn time. I don’t know if it is autobiographical, but it gives a great feeling of how it is to live while bombs are dropping around you. It’s very interesting, but I haven’t finished it, yet.

I like non-fiction but read fiction if it is a page-turner. And, I will tend to pick up whatever my children are reading.  I always read The Charlotte Observer and Wall Street Journal daily, as well as The New York Times on Sundays. And, I keep up with Twitter news feeds. I wish I had more time to read for fun.  Though, lately, I have been reading our city’s zoning book.

What are you listening to?

I don’t do a lot of sitting. When I go hiking or biking, I don’t listen to music. I like to listen to nature. If I am biking down a greenway, I want to hear the sounds of the greenway, the kids playing and the birds singing. I want to hear the city noises as well as the natural noises.

However, when I am in the car, I’m usually listening to public radio or to Spanish talk shows and news like CNN Espanol. I am always practicing my Spanish.

Around the house, I am usually listening to my husband play piano or other music, such as classical, jazz, merengue or bachata to pop, rock, bluegrass or the Beatles. I listen to anything.

What are you watching?

I am not a big TV watcher. Sometimes, when time permits, I will rent an entire TV series and watch it through. I recently watched “House of Cards,” “Battlestar Gallactica,” “West Wing” and “Game of Thrones.” I am a sci-fi fan. I am looking forward to seeing the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” movie. I also love “Star Trek.”

I love fast-paced action movies such as “James Bond,” “Mission Impossible” and the “Bourne” movies. I watch “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family.” It is good to have some humor since the world is so serious.

What does all of this mean about you?

I have a very broad perspective. I have lived overseas and I speak other languages. I like to have a variety of cultural inputs that show in the music I like. It is a global perspective that appears in the books that I read. I am a news wonk; there is so much to learn about the world. I am a curious person. I get a lot of information from people.  I understand people, where they come from and what they’ve experienced. That is important.

Photo: Mark Hames/Charlotte Observer

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