Video: How to get toned arms while commuting on BART

No more excuses about why you can’t make it to the gym. This BART rider brought a set of weights on the train and, putting us weekend warriors all to shame, started doing a serious arm workout at a time when most of us are zoned out. Thanks @brian.cardinale on Instagram for sending this inspiration.

We like to say that public transit is our shared living room. Lately, it’s proven to be our kitchen (like this woman prepping her dinner veggie on Muni) and, now, even our gym. Seen any other inspired uses of commute time? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com is always open!

Sloshed on Muni: Keeping tabs on live cargo

We love your photos, your videos, and your tweets. But going back to our roots with a good old-fashioned story-story still gives us the warm fuzzies.

James, 71, spends his mornings in retirement walking around San Francisco and then takes Muni home. Here’s James with a sloshy, delightful tale from the 29:

I caught the 29-Sunset early afternoon at 25th & Clement about six months ago for my destination near San Francisco State University. Boarding the bus was a very inebriated man carrying a very large plastic snack jar, which contained water (half full) and three very large, live frogs. The individual sat directly behind the driver. As the bus drove, this individual’s jar was sloshing a lot and he was having trouble sitting up. Two girls on the bus were laughing and asked the man if he could show them one of his frogs. The man took one of the frogs out, waving it in front of the girls who were squealing. The frog got loose and started hopping down the aisle of the bus. At this point, the man placed the jar on the seat beside him and started to weave down the aisle, caught the frog, and returned it to the jar on his seat. He departed the bus several stops later. An unforgettable scene.

Early-afternoon drunkles, pets gone awry, and connecting with strangers; this Muni story really sums it up, doesn’t it?

Got other important news for your fellow riders? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox, muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com, is always open!

Pic by Natalie McNear on Flickr

What could go wrong on your first Muni ride?

So you decide to take a visiting friend on her first Muni ride, promising that nothing will go wrong. And Muni is basically like…”LOL.”

In this week’s podcast, storyteller and reigning Muni Haiku champion Baruch Porras-Hernandez shares his story of what happened after his innocent promise to a friend. You can see him at Muni Diaries Live this Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Elbo Room. Tickets are at munidiarieslive18.eventbrite.com.

Listen to his story here:
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If you like what you’ve heard on the Muni Diaries podcast, please share and rate it on iTunes so other people can find it, too. And we hope to see you this Saturday at the Elbo Room to watch Baruch go head-to-head with new challenger, Alexandria Love!

How extra-SF are you getting with your Halloween costume?

A friend grew up in the Castro, in the ’80s. Adorably, she thought trick-or-treating was something kids only did on TV.

Celebrating Halloween in the Castro was more than just fucking around in the city. The party raged for decades, and many touted it the best Halloween celebration in the country. When I worked at The Examiner in 2006, the party turned deadly, and its status as a city-sanctioned event was canceled from then on. In 2007, additional evening reporters were planned to cover a night of adjacent festivities that, fingers crossed, didn’t turn into calls to the local police stations.

But celebrating Halloween in the city was exactly that: celebrating. And by god, we love celebrating in costume. What’s the most extra-SF Halloween costume you can think of this year? Wrap yourself in gray chiffon as Karl the Fog? Or go all out as the Golden Gate Bridge?

Photo by @Best San Francisco

Or, pull a really punny costume about Muni that only you can enjoy. Via @mcsheffrey

Let’s keep San Francisco’s Halloween a damn good party where everyone also makes it out in one piece. Don’t forget to send us your San Francisco Halloween pics, whether you’re walking your costumed kids around their elementary school or crushing a box of Franzia on Muni Metro. Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com is always open!

Pic by Ken Banks on Flickr

An inspiring video profile of a BART station agent

Five thousand people took an exam to become a BART station agent. Of those people, 100 were chosen to be interviewed. Of those, BART hired 30. One of those 30 is William Cromartie.

Every day, Cromartie encounters 4,000 people, many of whom he greets by handshake or fist bump, as he believes in stepping outside of the station agent booth. “I stay outside. That’s where the people are,” he says.

Local filmmaker Ivan Cash was so inspired by him that he made a short documentary about the station agent. From the filmmaker:

After meeting William on my commute to/from Oakland and witnessing his warmth and friendliness firsthand, I knew I had to make a film about him. I hope his story inspires more people to open up their hearts to strangers. Thank you, William, for inspiring me and countless others!

We know that the people working at our BART and Muni stations have a tough job—some of them have been kind to share their stories onstage at our live shows. BART operator Kelly Beardsley regaled the crowd with drama over the BART intercom, as well as a visceral story about a poop artist on the train. And Muni operator Driver Doug gave us the ultimate skinny with his behind-the-scenes stories. If you have a favorite driver or station agent, write us and give them a shoutout! Our inbox is always open for your stories.

Thanks to @k_e_e_n_a_n on Instagram for the tip.

<em>Want to hear more of these stories live on stage? Muni Diaries Live returns Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Elbo Room. Get your tickets here.</em>

Coveting thy neighbor’s Walkman on Muni

We don’t usually know how close we came to getting jacked on the bus. One rider, Curtis Richard Tom does. He recalls a unique o/h on Muni conversation that provided oddly, unsettlingly intimate insight into a would-be theft. Here’s Curtis:

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This happened back when cassettes were the main mechanism in personal music devices. I was using a recordable Walkman, with manual/auto level record, pitch/speed control.

I had some blank space at the end of a tape. I hadn’t had a chance to flip the cassette yet, so I still had my headphones on. Through the foam ear pads, I could hear the couple in front of me having a quiet argument.

“Yeah, it’s a nice one, but no,” said the girl.

“Why not?” Asked the guy.

“You see how tight it’s strapped up under his armpit?” My Walkman was webstrapped pretty close.

“Yeah, so?” he countered.

“You’re not getting it from him unless you knock him out. Subduing him might be possible, but it wouldn’t be trivial. Forget it.”

He looked me in the eye once. “Yeah, fine.”

I was done listening to the silent hissing of my blank spot of tape and finally flipped it like I hadn’t heard them.

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More overheard convos:
A misinterpretation of your “meaning”

Photo by @zacharyzito

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