Foundations of a strong future | The Triangle

Foundations of a strong future

A sit-down with Frankie Alchanati

Photo courtesy of Jenil Patel for The Triangle

Listen to this episode of “Last Call” online!

When thinking about my guest for this episode, my mind does not have to travel far. In fact, it goes back to my Intro to Political Science class on Pearlstein’s first floor in 2017’s Fall Quarter.

I remember it clearly: sitting in the front row watching Professor Rosenberg give his lecture, walking us through the concepts of oligarchy and democracy at a measured pace. Sitting to my left, a bespectacled, slender, fidgeting individual, always on the edge of flight, oblivious to the class events.

The feeling was mutual, because I didn’t know, at least from her computer screen, what was happening in her head. Regardless, I knew she was someone who took work ethic to a different level.

On that basis, I and Franchesca Alchanati, or Frankie, became good friends.

We connected through our love of culture and adventure. Through the years, we went to films together, studied at the University of Pennsylvania’s library, and planned small excursions during the little spare time she had. She was even a multiple-time guest on my other podcast, “Owlia’s Opinions,” as a panelist and an interviewee.

We had scheduled the follow-up interview for “Last Call” on Nov. 8 of last year, as I wanted to tape the episodes in chronological order of airdate.

However, we were forced to cancel last minute. And so, much like Frankie, I had to quickly improvise and adapt, creating an interview that was multiple shades of exciting and interesting.

That particular day, I had already finished taping another “Last Call” episode, waiting at Hagerty for Frankie’s arrival. All of a sudden, I received a phone call from her, letting me know she was on her way and running late due to coming straight from work.

True to character, she was frantic and panicking, heavily indecisive as to what drink she wanted. In the end, she picked a Trader Joe’s Sparkling Water. The rest, as they say, can be found in this episode.

Interestingly, despite everything I knew about Frankie, including her upbringing in Los Angeles and inspiration for studying architecture, there was so much I didn’t know, such as her ability to see the architecture in a building, no matter what the aesthetic. Although I thought I knew what to expect, there were plenty of surprises. Thus, it allowed for an interview that was equal parts familiar and strange yet wholly informative ⁠— one that helped further stabilize our unique dynamic and create a mutual understanding of the worlds we inhabited.