We asked Francesca about New York, some of her most beloved memories, shoes, and which generation she believes is the greatest.
Did you walk to school growing up?
I walked to the bus stop.. couldn’t walk to school lol. Long Islanders drive everywhere... plus my parents put me in “the best private school” closest to us. It was a good 30-45 minutes away from my home.
What song was in your head the first time you fell in love?
Ha! It was probably a Madonna song like Crazy for You - I was all about Madonna in the 80’s. I’m divorced twice and been single for 2+ years... now if I fall in love again, I bet it’ll be a Dua Lipa song.
What is the greatest (most memorable or sentimental) pair of shoes you’ve ever owned? Can you tell us how you acquired them? How you wore them? What made them memorable?
Unfortunately I don’t have a pic. There are 2 that come to mind.
1. A pair of snakeskin black cowboy boots from my days on Club MTV that I’d wear with a black body con dress or a fuchsia body con dress and a black motorcycle jacket. Those shoes were so comfy, I could dance my ass off through all the tapings of the show for that season
2. My first pair of Free Lance Paris shoes. They were these crazy awesome high-ish healed loafers that Labucq’s Kitty loafer remind me of so much. I lived in Paris doing my MBA and I’d strut my stuff all over the city in those shoes feeling like the hottest Asian American girl in anything I wore with them.
What is in your opinion the best 5-10 year “era” of New York City?
I’m all about today. Coronavirus with the consequences and repercussions has been distressing but as we learn and adapt with the changes, I can say that despite it all, the past 5-10 year era has been the best for me. My family and I have been through a lot of disappointments and dark moments but as for LIVING in the city, I have enjoyed every aspect of this city the most recently- from a cuisine standpoint, exploring NYC’s culinary arts has gotten even better than ever. On the art and design front, I am in awe with the newness that ever ceases to bloom and amaze as accessibility, diversity and inclusion have become prevalent in more ways. I have my children and the school system to thank for opening my eyes to so many other aspects of the city that I didn’t know when I was younger... and looking at today, as the city opens up and people manage this new world, I am finding even more new ways to enjoy this gorgeous place I call home.
Are you glad you didn’t have a phone growing up?
I had a house phone that I used to take apart from time to time because I was curious to know how it worked. But looking in retrospect I am glad I didn’t have a cell phone! I just lived the moment- wherever I was. No one was pulling me away to some other place or their issue when I wasn’t actually available to deal with it. Today, my brain can be hijacked at any second by some iPhone thing- an email, text, call, a new app. Sometimes when I forget my phone, I get excited that I can “live incognito” and just enjoy what is happening right in front of me. No one can find me till I let them in.
How is your daughter most similar to you? Most different?
I look at Madison and I remember how beautiful I felt at that age like I know she feels now. I think we are similar in that experience at her current age. Vanity aside, I think we are similar in how strongly we feel about injustices. Physically, we have the same smile and my eyebrows used to be as thick as hers. Although our hair is different colors, we have the same hair and emotionally, we both love a good cuddle and we are both artists. Which brings me to how we most different - Physically, she’s taller than me, her father’s European genes have infiltrated her Asian ones and refined them. Emotionally, she cries a little too easily at moving moments in movies.... and falls asleep during movies... I don’t know why I ever take her to movies..lol. And on the absolute biggest difference between Madison and I - its our artistry, I can’t draw or paint if my life depended on it. I was an off broadway singer and had a couple of rock bands when I was younger. My lovely Madison doesn’t think she is a good singer - i think she actually is- but She is a super talented painter. I am in awe of all her work
Any words of wisdom for zoomers / millennials?
Be yourself always. Everyone else is taken anyway.
Take some time to meditate everyday. Quiet the mind, so you can see the world clearly
Do what makes you happy and bring that to the world to benefit others around you
Are boomers the real “greatest generation”?
I have to google what a boomer is…. Hahahah
So, a boomer is currently from 57-75 years old. I am a Gen X’er, born in 69.
So, I would never think a boomer is the greatest generation. Gen X’ers... I don’t think we’re all that great, but I see an article from USA Today that says, “When someone responds to someone or something with "OK, boomer," they are basically calling that thing old, out-of-touch and resistant to change.” I then would fully disagree that a boomer is the greatest generation. Anyone out of touch and resistant to change baffles me. We change every day, every second. That’s all part of life. Resistance is futile.
But the Boomer shoes by Labucq? Crazy cute, crazy comfy. I’m in love with those.