Bunny by the Bay
playboy rings in the new year with san francisco belle leslie bianchini
Can the daughter of an Illinois turkey farmer find happiness as a Playboy Bunny in San Francisco? "Definitely," says January Playmate Leslie Bianchini, who is precisely that. "Even though we left the farm and moved to California when I was ten," she explains, "down deep, I'm still a country girl. You know, the great outdoors, horses, exercise, all that. I don't especially like most cities, but San Francisco is different, somehow. It has a unique personality, happy and melancholy all at once. It's an endlessly refreshing place that I just love to explore."
Following graduation from high school in Woodside, California, Leslie tried her hand as a business major at Foothill College, worked as a salesgirl at Saks and then "loafed for a while" before becoming the Door Bunny at her favorite city's hutch. "It's the perfect job for me and I'd like to stay with it for some time. I've met all sorts of interesting people and the great thing is that my days are my own." Since Leslie is the enthusiastic owner of a pet pony named Toby, she spends several afternoons a week out at the stables, exercising him; on other days Miss January -- who commutes from nearby San Carlos -- is likely to indulge her passion for clothes by embarking on a shopping trip to the city. "I spend an embarrassing amount of money on clothing," she admits, "but I'm crazy about the new fashions. They're so bright and ingenious that I can't get enough of them."
Her rambles through the Bay City often become dusty searches through resale shops for antiques ("I keep hoping to find a five-dollar Tiffany lamp, but still, junky things I can fix up are fun"), and they frequently turn into impromptu sight-seeing tours. "I guess it's my version of wanderlust. I've always wanted to go to Europe; but until I do, I suppose I'll always be a hometown tourist." A practice, we're sure you'll agree, that should encourage travelers to see San Francisco first.
Photography by Mario Casilli