Heart of the City Archives

Sharon Stone's Basic Instinct character lived here, 2930 Vallejo Street.
One Man's Trash is Another Man's Candy
by Hank Donat

Proving once again that one man's trash is another man's treasure, our own Mrs. Bronstein, Sharon Stone, was delicately masticating a roll of Mentos on a recent flight from New York to SF when a flight attendant dove for a discarded portion of the wrapper. "He wants to sell it on Ebay," the stew's friends told Sharon. The ever-graceful star took the unfinished package of mints, pressed it in the flight attendant's hand and sparkled, "Here, honey. Get rich." 

A look at Ebay auctions with Sharon's name on them suggests the flight attendant should hold instead of sell. Only VHS tapes and a few 8x10 glossies are offered for more than a few bucks. An exception is a $550 Louis Vitton bag designed by the Basic Instinct star. "It took Sharon Stone four years to design this bag and all proceeds go to AIDS research," the seller declares. Yes, four years. Any bets on how long it would have taken if Louis Vitton bags didn't come only in brown? 

Seems like it may take Sharon just as long to find a leading man for her upcoming Basic Instinct 2. Michael Douglas, Kurt Russell, Robert Downey Jr., and Benjamin Bratt have all passed through casting consideration for one reason or another. After his mean performance at this year's Oscars my choice is Russell Crowe, just to see the stoic Gladiator star ice-picked by Sharon's alter ego, murderess Catherine Tramell. 

It is unlikely that the sequel will be the subject of such acrimonious protest by gay activists, as was Basic Instinct in 1991. Killer Catherine is bisexual and activists of the day had had enough of Hollywood portraying lesbians as man-hating psychopaths who run with scissors. Demonstrators who made their point loudly and clearly delayed filming at many City locations. They also got a lot of good ink in favor of more positive representation on screen. No chance of any demos in this post-Ellen era. For one thing the new story takes place in New York. For another, the gay community here is quite a bit rusty when it comes to protest demonstrations. 

One of many positive portrayals of gay people in today's media was MacKenzie Astin's junior attorney in NBC's "First Years," also set in San Francisco. The network canceled the series this week after three poorly rated episodes. "The Division," which stars Nancy McKeon as an alcoholic San Francisco police detective who's not a lesbian, continues on Lifetime for now. Like it or not, "Nash Bridges," remains ensconced as a San Franciscan's weekly representative in prime time. So who's demonstrating in favor of better portrayals of heterosexuals? Johnson's no Russell Crowe, but let's face it. If Benjamin Bratt had hit on a woman in a Marina sushi restaurant, as accused cad Johnson is said to have, the so-called victim never would have made it back to her table - nor to her waiting boyfriend. 

To The Dogs: When accused murderer Marjorie Knoller, whose Presa Canarios Bane mauled Pacific Heights neighbor Diane Whipple to death in January, told news cameras last week, "This has been a really difficult time for everybody. Especially me," a lot of folks were understandably offended. Then we learned that evidence of bestiality appears among D.A. Terrence Hallinan's files... Condolences go out to the widow Knoller, whose Presa Canarios Bane was also killed as a result of the attack. This must indeed be a difficult time for her. 

After the bestiality story broke, San Franciscans from South Beach to the Sunset reduced dinner conversation to an exchange of aberrant rumors that would have made Larry Flint blush. Each tale was more depraved than the one that came before it, escalating into urban legend territory. A favorite throughout the evening was the one of Janna from Cow Hollow, whose cousin relieved her Bouvier de Flanders, Maurice, on a 104-degree afternoon in Phoenix. Naturally, names were changed to protect the innocent... his name wasn't really Maurice. 

Since I'm in the doghouse with readers of more delicate taste, I offer a redeeming canine item... 

Heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to San Francisco's beloved Doggie Diner sign. The fun mascot is a relic from the days of Playland at the Beach that has been hanging by only a thread and the efforts of a few active preservationists. The doggie is in intensive care after taking a nosedive onto Sloat Blvd. during a gust of wind this week... If you're wondering what made Playland so much fun, follow the links beginning with It's-It for a few clues.

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Copyright 2001 Hank Donat
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