TBT: Roaring ’20s 33-Stanyan

Market_Street_Extension,_original_condition_at_switchback,_Mono_and_Caselli_1921_AAB-6185

Does this look familiar to our 33-Stanyan (er, 33-Ashbury/18th) regulars?

Today, it’s the scene of unparalleled Muni operator skill — the Market-Clayton switchback is srsly no joke. These same streets back in the day, 1921 to be exact, weren’t easy to navigate for ye olde streetcars, either. But operators came up with a creative solution to a problematic switchback. More on the Market Street switchback at Mono, Caselli, and Clayton from FoundSF.org:

This sharp turn from Clayton to Market was not negotiable by early streetcars so operators would “switch” the backs of the passenger seats at Market Street, thereby “switching” the streetcar in the reverse direction.

Before, in 1925:
Market-and-Clayton-switchback-(Market-called-Falcon-until-1927)-c-1920_SFDPW

After, in 2010:

Castro1$switchback-1919
Photo: Michael Greene, San Francisco, CA

Thanks to reader Robert Holt for the tip.

More #TBT:
Ever heard of Muni’s 1-Sutter?
Awesome vintage video documents fight to save cable cars

Passengers boo poor behavior off their Muni ride

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A few nights ago when I was sitting at Upcider on Polk, I saw two women wearing impossibly high heels making this poor 19-Polk Muni shelter into their own strip club. They were twerking and dancing at cars that drove by, using the Muni shelter structure as temporary poles. They attracted quite a few of the Marina-overflow crowd and then abruptly left their pop up strip joint about 15 minutes later.

This brings me to a story submitted to the Muni Diaries inbox by Kevin Mitchell. Kevin saw something similar escalate on his bus, and fellow bus riders had an interesting tactic to show their disapproval.

From Kevin:

I was on the 49 in lower Mission about six years ago. It was around 3 pm.

I was sitting in the back reading and I noticed some commotion.

In the middle of the day, in broad day light, a “lady of the night” (or possibly “lady boy of the night”) was very openly giving oral sex to a grossly intoxicated 5 foot nothing man, still holding his malt liquor high with a huge grin.

Now, this could end here, and be a story of disgust or possibly a musing on Puritanical values, a story of the depravity of man. But it actually became a moment of bonding between 20 or so strangers and me.

Collectively, without prompting, we just starting boo-ing.

“BOOOOOO!!! BOOOOO!!!” the whole bus joined in.

What could have been dark and scary now became something we could laugh at and dismiss.

We took the power away from the situation. We made a collective choice.

“BOOOOO! HAHAHHA! BOOOO! HAHA!”

The two perpetuating the act stopped at starting laughing as well. They got off at the next stop.

We all clapped and cheered as they walked out.

Cheering, booing, or pointing and laughing (as storyteller Yayne Abeba describes in this week’s Muni Diaries podcast) — what’s your preferred way of communicating bus etiquette breach?

Easter Bun-day again: bunny in a bonnet on Muni

rabbit bunny on muni in a bed by dhmspector

Attention on the concourse, and be still our beating hearts, we’ve received word of a bunny in a granny cart on Muni. And it’s wearing a…rabbit coozie? It kind of makes the rabbit look like it has bangs, to which we say: werq, Muni bunny.

I’m not up on my rabbit facial recognition skills, but I don’t think this is the bunny on a leash we recently posted. Which means, cross all fingers and toes, that this is a budding trend.

Thank you @dhmspector for the Instagram submission.

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!

For real? Real time signage at Civic Center BART

BART real time from Erich

No, BART didn’t break again (but the day and week are young!)

It appears a new real-time transit arrival time sign is being installed at the Civic Center Station recently. At last, you can find out when the train is arriving before you enter the fare gates. That’s right — before you rush into the turnstile and hear Electronic BART Lady or Electronic BART Guy proclaim it 15 minutes to the next SFO train. Thanks to Erich and Amy from Capp Street Crap for the tip.

The screens are a part of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)’s Hub Signage Program, announced in 2011. Here’s what the signage looks like for Muni, as seen at the Embarcadero Station.

Massive power outage muddies Muni, BART commutes

muni power outage cgoodyjenks

A major power outage is shutting down the north side of the city today, forcing the closure of Montgomery Street station for about two hours until a generator was brought in. In the photo above by @cgoodyjenks, the 1-California buses were stalled waiting for the power to come back on. PG&E said via Twitter that crews are working on the issue and expects power to be restored to “most” customers by 1 p.m.

Curbed posted some haunting photos of Montgomery Station before the power was back on. Read more

Those sexy springtime tales from Muni Diaries Live

MDL muni diaries live 17 elbo room crowd

Can riding the bus bring together 200 people to cheer whenever they hear a Muni line called out? The answer is “100 times yes,” as we experienced IRL at the Elbo Room last Saturday at Muni Diaries Live. For this show, we brought some seriously talented storytellers who, like you, shares their tales of what it’s like to live in San Francisco, one Muni ride at a time.

We kicked off the show with comedian and writer Irene Tu, who was a Muni celebrity last year and turned her friends into last-minute paparazzo to chase that fame.

MDL muni diaries live 17 elbo room irene tu

J. W. Friedman, the host of I Don’t Even Own a Television, reviews bad books on his podcast. For Muni Diaries Live, he brought his own Muni story of an unlikely, potty-mouthed hero on the bus.

MDL muni diaries live 17 elbo room j w friedman

Dixie De La Tour is the founder of Bawdy Storytelling, true stories of sexual adventure. And of course, one of those adventures took place on Muni’s 5-Fulton.

MDL muni diaries live 17 elbo room dixie de la tour

We brought back Baruch Porras-Hernandez, our Muni Haiku champion, to share his own Muni story.Because, as we learned that night, when you cajole your suspicious out-of-town friend into Muni, all the while guaranteeing safety and a blissfully uneventful ride — you may just be eating those words for lunch.

MDL muni diaries live 17 elbo room baruch porras hernandez

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Vivian Ho has written thousands of stories about our fair city. But the one that everyone remembers, of course, is the saucy one that happened on BART.

MDL muni diaries live 17 elbo room vivian ho

Writer Na’amen Tilahun recalls one eventful evening in the Castro, and the potential dangers of solo inebriated Muni Metro rides.

MDL muni diaries live 17 elbo room naamen tilahun

The Muni Haiku Battle took a brief hiatus, but it’s back in full force! This battle pit current champ Baruch against Irene, whose mantel is lined with golden dildos she’s won from Tourettes Without Regrets in years past. So who took home the Muni Haiku title this year?

MDL muni diaries live 17 elbo room irene baruch haiku

After some heated 5-7-5 exchanges (some involving Easter eggs in body cavities), Baruch was named victorious, taking/wearing home the newest trophy!

MDL muni diaries live 17 elbo room baruch irene haiku results

We’re pretty big on wearable trophies in recent years, which means obviously this trophy is a cape. Rather befitting of this poetic hero, we must say.

MDL muni diaries live 17 elbo room baruch haiku cape

Thank you to everyone who came out to the show and shared your stories with us. Muni Diaries is made of your stories, so we truly couldn’t do this without you! Our next show is on Nov. 4, but if you get lonely without us in the six months in between, perk up your ears to the Muni Diaries podcast on iTunes and Google Play.

Photos by Right Angle Images.

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