Potty-themed party celebrating S.F.’s celebrity bathroom concludes $1.7 million toilet saga

by Nora Mishanec at sfchronicle.com

A gaggle of television camera operators and smartphone-toting residents trained their lenses on San Francisco’s newest public toilet in Noe Valley Town Square on Sunday, where a party was underway celebrating its completion after prolonged controversy. 

Janell Pekkain was tempted to test out the celebrity toilet that made international news for its original $1.7 million price tag, but she demurred, daunted by the media spotlight. 

“I don’t want to be filmed,” Pekkain, 61, said.

Rarely, if ever, has a single stainless steel toilet garnered so much attention. The party marked the end of more than a year of bureaucratic wrangling and public hand-wringing over the bathroom’s cost, which ultimately came to about $200,000 after a Nevada company donated a prefabricated unit. 

A group of acrobats juggled plungers. Children circled a maypole clutching long strands of toilet paper. Partygoers downed lemonade and chocolate cupcakes adorned with poop emojis. Organizer Leslie Crawford said the event, dubbed the “Toilet Bowl,” embraced the oddity of honoring an otherwise unremarkable public potty. 

“This whole thing got so ridiculous, so why not be ridiculous?” Crawford said.