Interview #97: Larkin Page-Jacobs

Larkin Page-Jacobs

Larkin Page-Jacobs. 

Best name. Striking voice. All around swell person. 

(Seriously, I challenge you to find a more awesome name.) 

I met Larkin a few years back when my cooking co-op got together to bake a bunch of cakes.

I'll admit at first I was a little starstruck when we met as I knew her voice from WESA, but luckily I didn't scare her away with my fan girl antics and we became pals in no time. 

Four years later from the fateful cake extravaganza, it was very special to have coffee with Larkin and learn more about her background. Yes she is from Oakland, CA and she chooses to live, work, and play in the Steel City. 

Congratulations, Pittsburgh! You win.  

And I can't believe Eat 'n Park's chicken noodle soup was not on my radar before our recent conversation. It's super delicious and so comforting especially if you have a cold. 

Enjoy Larkin's Q&A! 

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Name: Larkin Page-Jacobs

Job Title: Reporter/Host, All Things Considered

Neighborhood you live in: Highland Park

Coffee Shop Drink of Choice: regular old coffee

Current Shampoo Preference: Whatever smells good. Right now it’s hotel mini bottles.

Why do you choose Pittsburgh as your home?
It took me a long time to choose Pittsburgh. I moved to the city thinking I’d be here for two years at the most. I missed my hometown (I’m from the Bay Area) and Pittsburgh felt foreign to me. But a growing family of friends and a new found love for public radio reporting kept me here. I slowly came around to the idea that Pittsburgh was worth the commitment. These days my friends and the city are my tethers - and I don’t think I’m alone - a transforming Pittsburgh is holding onto dynamic people who could live anywhere, but now choose to stay.

Who do you spend your time with?
When I’m not with Robert Siegel, Audie Cornish and Melissa Block, I’m with friends, my beau and my dog, Books.

What are your favorite aspects of your job?
Getting to ask questions to my heart’s content. Learning about intriguing people, projects and uniquely Pittsburgh stories and experiences. Giving listeners a little insight about what’s happening in their hometown and state. Doing the traffic (kidding).

Do you have a soul food?
Shrimp. All. Day. Guacamole, Runts.

What are some of your recent personal goals?
To be a better communicator. To write more succinctly. To say yes even when I feel like no. Yes is usually much more fun and makes for a better story.

What are your favorite Pittsburgh restaurants?
Park Bruges, E2, Salt, Eat’n Park’s chicken noodle soup, Food Glorious Food, Slice on Broadway, Allegheny Wine Mixer’s olives.

Describe your ideal day.
Sleep in a little. Small breakfast. Read a few newspapers. Take a sunshine soaked hike with the dog at Frick. Baseball game and cold beer. Win! Someone just handed me flowers - so nice! Go for a swim. Potluck with friends, backyard fire pit, good music and conversation - no mosquitoes. Late night pizza. Dancing isn’t out of the question.

What is the most memorable live show you have seen in Pittsburgh?
My friend Julia Erickson is a principal dancer in the Pittsburgh Ballet and she invited me to watch the Nutcracker from behind the scenes. It was fascinating and beautiful - an entirely different performance of coordination and timing that few get to see.

What do you think Pittsburgh will be like in ten years?
I think it will shed its dingy post-industrial association and it will be more expensive. The air will be cleaner, the roads smoother. But Pittsburgh will never be a top U.S. city until it becomes more diverse. That will be a true gauge of Pittsburgh’s success.

What do you love most about the city?
Pittsburgh is still a land of opportunity. It’s a place where goals that would be out of reach in other cities are still attainable. I love that there’s always a big park a short distance away. That you can swim at your neighborhood pool for a few bucks. Great sports. A vibrant nonprofit community that works hard for the betterment of the city and those who call it home. A downtown that is unrecognizable from what it was 15 years ago. I love that the city is big enough to meet new wonderful people, and small enough that everyone can have the same conversation about a giant rubber duck. Rivers and hills, old brick houses, and a neighbor who shovels your walk just because.