I truly believe anything is possible. I've always had that mindset. Sometimes all you have to do is ask. So when my father-in-law, who loves reading Willie Brown's column in the San Francisco Chronicle, suggested that I should try and meet the former Mayor, I immediately agreed and got to work. I posted briefly about it here, but wanted to share more about my afternoon with Mr. Brown.
Growing up in San Francisco, Willie Brown was pretty much the celebrity of the town. Seeing him walking on the street or at an event was like seeing the president. When he had his cameo in Princess Diaries, it was thrilling. He was in office from 1996-2004 and still remains an icon in the city.
When I emailed his office to get together I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly they got back to me to set up a time. So a few days later I was headed to the St. Regis Hotel to meet Willie Brown! He is a blast! I asked him everything from why the hell did he meet me to what did he miss most about being Mayor to his fashion inspiration.
We chatted and laughed for about forty five minutes. The whole time I kept thinking THIS IS WHAT SAN FRANCISCO IS ABOUT! It's the people in this wonderful city that make it so special. A lot of people who grew up in the city have been sharing this disdain for the way the city is changing: the tech shuttles, the new high-rises, the VC money every where, the isolation. Why can't we all just go back to living in Willie's World? Things were stylish, people were connected, and there was a camaraderie that was felt all the time and not just when the Giants were winning World Series trophies.
We also talked about his fun adventures with girlfriend Sonya Molodetskaya. You've probably read about her in 7x7 or seen her about town in her signature style. She's always supporting good causes and knows how to have a great time. Willie told me that they're going to Paris Fashion week in the New Year and I asked him to take me in the suitcases (I'll just have to follow her front row Dior experience from her Instagram). Although Sonya is very fashionable and gets recognition for her styling, I tried to suggest that Willie that he is the original fashion blogger. People would always see what he was wearing and document it. He was the first person whose outfit you looked at first, yes, even before Dede's ball gowns.
Could you ever imagine emailing some tech executive and asking them to get together and them actually saying yes? I honestly can't (unless it's my husband Jesse at BuildingConnected). But after sharing Hotty Toddies in the St. Regis Bar with Willie Brown, I'm not sure I want to. Oh, and I thought it was so funny that the thing he misses most about being Mayor is the police escort! I agree, it's way to hard to get around in this city now.