Oscar Garza is a news editor at KPCC, Southern California Public Radio. Before interviewing California poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, he sat down in the green room to talk vinyl and Prince, composting and alligator po-boys.
What’s your favorite largely unknown spot in L.A.?
It’s really not unknown, but I’ve recently had to spend some time every Saturday morning in Playa del Rey near Ballona Creek. You know there’s nobody out there on Saturday mornings-it’s really beautiful. It’s probably not as known as it ought to be, and maybe people don’t know there are walking paths through the creek. That’s my current favorite. It’s very peaceful, very quiet, a lot of birds.
What do you proselytize for?
Well, somewhat quietly but certainly something that’s on my mind a lot is waste and trash, and I’m trying to work myself up to starting a compost heap in our yard. I recently worked with one of our KPCC reporters for a series she did on trash, and it was somewhat astounding that despite all the efforts and how good we feel about ourselves when it comes to recycling, 70 percent of our trash goes to landfills. I think that’s going to be the tipping point to start composting.
What’s your favorite kind of music to dance to?
Sixties, ’70s R&B.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I like eating--I consider myself a sort of amateur foodie. But I guess I’m not that adventuresome. I have had grasshoppers in a Oaxacan restaurant; that might be the extent of it. I couldn’t bring myself to have an alligator po-boy in New Orleans.
What’s the most you’ve ever paid to see a musical act?
I guess probably about a hundred bucks. I think I paid that much to see Prince a few years ago. The most recent live act I saw is a really fantastic singer/songwriter named Bhi Bhiman, a very unlikely talent of Sri Lankan heritage who grew up in St. Louis.
What vegetable best describes you?
Are you good at keeping secrets? Who can vouch for this?
I am. Want me to tell you one? All my friends would vouch for that.
What’s your favorite season?
Probably fall. Just because as much as we have a fall in Los Angeles, I do like the transition. And there’s a very brief period in the fall when baseball, basketball, and football are all being played. And it’s a sports fan’s nirvana.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
What’s the last record you bought?
My find on Saturday was a Barry White 45 from 1981 from Spain.