The iconic "San Francisco Twins," the Brown sisters, are going through their first separation in decades, and it's deeply sad. Despite being only eight minutes older, Vivian has been suffering from symptoms of Alzheimer's disease for about a year, and was recently hospitalized at Davies Medical Center after a fall at the Nob Hill apartment she shares with her 85-year-old sister. A doctor is prohibiting her from returning home, and this has left Marian Brown dining alone each night at Uncle Vito's Pizza at Bush and Powell, where she and her sister would habitually share a small pizza.

Even sadder is that Marian can only afford to visit her sister twice a week now because the cab ride is a $30 round trip. Former mayor Willie Brown has vowed to help the twins out, and he's encouraging people to make donations to the San Francisco Emergency Fund at Jewish Family and Children's Services. Also, individuals are encouraged to treat Marian to her nightly personal pizza and chocolate cake at Uncle Vito's ($20). Meanwhile, a relative from San Diego has been helping Marian figure out if there's an assisted living facility somewhere where she and her sister could live together, even if it's in separate rooms.

The Brown twins for years have shared a one-bedroom apartment on Nob Hill that now costs them $1,088. It's looking like they will have to move, as a doctor won't allow Vivian to return home without supervision from medical professionals.

Marian, for her part, says she's lonesome. She and Vivian only lived apart for three years early in life when they were schoolteachers in different towns in Michigan. Since then, they've become icons of San Francisco, and have earned residuals over the years appearing in TV commercials for Virgin Atlantic, Reebok, IBM, AT&T, Apple, and others. Those residuals have mostly dried up, and Marian is trying to find a practical solution for their current predicament. So sad.