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The LAist Interview: Lisa Napoli

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If you need your NPR in the morning like you need coffee, you know the voice of Lisa Napoli. As one of the hosts of the Marketplace Morning Report, she delivers business news in a way that's bearable at 6:50am.

Lisa's a journalist with somewhat terrifying multimedia skills: She's produced documentaries, reported for NPR, worked in television and written for the New York Times. Oh, yeah, she's done the internet thing, too.

A New York native who spent a chunk of time living in the south before returning to Manhattan, Lisa came to LA for the Marketplace gig more than a year ago. In the picture, she's interviewing an enormous artichoke. Apparently, it was somewhat prickly (har har).

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Age and Occupation:
41, journalist (Marketplace, the public radio show)

How long have you lived in Los Angeles, and which neighborhood do you live in?
I live downtown, and have been here for 18 months.

What's your preferred mode of transportation?
Foot, although it's my dream to have a chauffeur.

What's the best place to walk in LA?
Recreationally, the beach. Otherwise, downtown.

If someone moved Central Park here so I could resume my weekly walk around the loop, life would be perfect.

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What are your favorite movie(s), book(s) or TV show(s) based in LA?
I love the Aphex Twin Windowlicker video that was shot on the edge of downtown. And I hear Wonder Woman climbs the building I live in but I haven't seen it yet. And as a frequent visitor to Echo Park, I love that scene in Chinatown....

What radio stations/shows do you listen to?
Since I don't commute in the car, not much. But I absolutely love Jason Bently and Garth Trinidad when I do hear them.

What's the best place you've gone while reporting a story?
Covering the Clinton campaign in 1992 was amazing, but watching David Koresh for weeks in Waco was a close second.

And going to Botswana and Namibia on a press junket with Ben Adair was a close third.

What's the best place you've gone in Southern California while reporting a story?
To a remote field in Ramona for a piece I wrote for the NY Times recently.

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Share your best celebrity sighting experience.
I'm a total celebrity idiot. I was sitting next to someone famous whose name I can't remember at a tiny cafe in Santa Monica a few weeks ago and when my friend arrived and explained it was some famous actress, I barely knew what she was talking about.

What is the "center" of LA to you?
Wherever I am at the moment.

What is the best place in LA to a) get a taco b) do yoga c) buy a CD?
a) Grand Central Market
b) the Ketchum YMCA
c) buy a CD?!?!?

It's 9:30 pm on Thursday. Where are you coming from and where are you going?
Given that I have to be at work before dawn, I'm probably in bed.

If you were forced to live in a neighboring county, which would you choose? Ventura County is a wussy answer.
But it's the only place.

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Los Angeles is often stereotyped as a hard place to find personal connections and make friends. Do you agree with that assessment? Do find it challenging to make new friends here?
I think that's as untrue as it is about NYC. It's all a matter of being open. I've loved living here from the minute I arrived and have found it incredibly easy to connect with people.

Drinking, driving. They mix poorly, and yet they're inexorably linked. How do you handle this conflict?
I have people over to my house.

What do you have to say to East Coast supremacists?
East Coast snobs are annoying as West Coast supremacists. It's really not an either-or situation.

But I'd also say: There are far more smart people here than you think.

Where do you want to be when the Big One hits?
In my apartment, watching the Disney Concert Hall to see how it gyrates.