Interview: Joe Edwards

The urban visionary, shaper of The Loop and endless entrepreneur fills in the blanks.

What is your current mood or state of mind?
Excited.

What makes you happy?
Music.

What is your idea of misery?
Seeing anything in decline‰ÛÓwhether it’s in relationships or in an area of the metropolitan community.

What did you eat for breakfast today?
One egg without the yolk, half a piece of wheat toast, a bowl of Raisin Bran, a glass of O.J. and a glass of milk. I sometimes eat breakfast twice a day‰ÛÓat 10 o’clock at night, too. It bookends the day.

What is one word that describes you?
Idealistic.

What is your favorite occupation?
I admire astronauts‰ÛÓfor their courage and levelheadedness under pressure.

What is your favorite color?
Blue.

What is your favorite food?
Hamburgers. I eat one a day on average‰ÛÓsometimes two. [His faves: Carl’s Drive-in for the best griddled burger, Blueberry Hill for the best grilled burger, Eclipse Restaurant for the best $20 burger.] I kind of go by a "three B" diet: breakfast, burgers and bourbon.

What turns you on?
A laugh‰ÛÓa real, genuine laugh from someone. That’s marvelous and just gives you energy.

What do you consider a turn off?
Man’s inhumanity to man.

What talent do you wish you had?
To be able to sing well.

Who is your favorite author?
John Fowles.

What do you love?
Seeing other people have a good time‰ÛÓit makes it all worthwhile.

What are you most looking forward to?
The day the Loop Trolley becomes a reality.

What is your personal motto?
"Treat people with respect and consideration."

What is your latest obsession?
I’m on the tail end of an obsession with collecting moon memorabilia for the display cases at the Moonrise Hotel and Eclipse Restaurant. I think the 3-D experience strikes a chord in people; it always has in me, and I think that’s why I’ve always been a collector.

What is your favorite word?
Yessssss‰ÛÓwith lots of s’s.

What is your least favorite word?
Hurt.

What historic figures would you most like to meet?
Abraham Lincoln and Marilyn Monroe.

Who is your personal hero?
Both of my parents. They gave me the confidence to try different things.

What is your hidden talent?
I can raise one eyebrow at a time. I can also focus so hard on something, like a table, that it makes them jiggle‰ÛÓmy eyes, not the table.

If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what would you say? Stay nai?ve. In my younger days, if I would have known how many obstacles would have been in the way of realizing certain dreams, it would have been hard psychologically to get started on them. Also, do what you’re interested in‰ÛÓthat gives you the energy to get through the tough times.

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Photography by Jay Fram

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