San Francisco Diaries: How two BFF.FM radio hosts brought Herb Caen to Market Street

Muni made you late for work, you step in shit on your way home, and your local bodega has just turned into yet another artisanal lip balm boutique? If you’re grumpy about San Francisco’s many changes, today’s story about an art project on Market Street might be just the right antidote.

We met storytellers Luke and Chris a few weeks ago — you might know them as Sequoia and The Early Bird on BFF.FM cheery morning radio show, Rollover Easy. Rollover Easy is a morning radio show that has a “healthy dose of positive news, banter, and interviews with interesting San Francisco locals.” Luke and Chris are up every Thursday morning at 8 a.m. to report on and chat with locals over coffee.

They are realists about San Francisco’s changes, but they remain endlessly positive about things that make this city special. You’d think they’d be busy enough with a weekly morning radio show, but these two took it upon themselves to build an art project to celebrate our city. In today’s San Francisco Diaries episode, Luke and Chris share how their mutual love for Herb Caen led to an installation on Market Street. With little construction experience, these two San Franciscans were determined to make Herb Caen come alive to fellow pedestrians.

Listen to their story:

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Here’s Luke at the Herb Caen typewriter installation:

We will be at the Roll Over Easy studio next Thursday, October 25, with Luke and Chris in real life! Tune in and tweet to @rollovereasy and @munidiaries to tell us about your morning.

Got a San Francisco diary you’d like to share? Email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com to submit your own! 

Photo by Luke Spray

Muni Diaries Live is back on Nov. 3!

Our favorite night of the year is back on Saturday, Nov. 3, but this time we will have to say goodbye to the Elbo Room, which has been the home of Muni Diaries Live for nearly ten years. The Elbo Room building is on the market, and the beloved bar will be closing in Jan, 2019. Won’t you come and help us give them a proper send-off?

Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite. Stay tuned for details on our new venue for 2019 and beyond.

A sneak peek of our lineup:

– Alexandria Love is a writer from Oakland and also the current reigning champion of the Dirty Haiku Battle at Oakland’s Tourette’s Without Regrets. You can also follow her writing on her website, hereswhythatsfunny.com.

– Irene McCalphin is a writer, singer, burlesque dancer, model, speaker, kinkster, and geek.

– Joe Kukura is a long-time San Francisco journalist whose work you have seen in Thrillist, SF Weekly, SFist, and more.

– Matt Shapiro is a musician and the co-owner of the Elbo Room. After working at the Elbo Room for years as the manager and booker, Matt and co-owner Erik Cantor purchased the bar in 2010.

– Nuala Sawyer is the news editor at the SF Weekly. She writes about a little bit of everything: City Hall, the courts, homelessness, immigration, housing, crime and transportation.

– Rachel Lark is a San Francisco based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her music has been featured on The Savage Lovecast and Salon.com and she tours regularly throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Grab a ticket, and we’ll see you at the Elbo Room on Nov. 3!

Muni Diaries Live 

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 (tickets)

Doors: 6 p.m.
Show: 7 p.m.

Elbo Room
647 Valencia Street, San Francisco

Take Muni there: J-Church, 12, 14, 22, 33, 49, or BART: 16th or 24th St. Stations

Photo credit: Right Angle Images

Mom of the year makes Muni birthday cake dreams come true

This is gonna make you want to be a kid all over again: train-obsessed kid (and pro Muni rider) Calvin just celebrated his birthday with possibly the most best cake ever. Mom Sonia presented him with this adorable mini Muni bus cake, complete with the 23-Monterey line sign and his name on the side. How awesome is this? The look on his face says it all.

Let’s take a close look at the edible version of the 23:

Once more, from the side.

Sonia tells us that the cake is by My Favorite Bite, and it was wholly approved by the birthday boy.

We’re just suckers for Muni-themed stuff, like this birthday party (with BART temporary tattoos!) and even this racing car from a couple of pretty cool Bernal dads.

If you’ve spotted some more Muni or BART-themed goodies in the wild, you know who to call! Email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

Muni Diaries Live is back on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Elbo Room. Help us give the Elbo Room a proper send-off! Tickets are on sale now.

A Muni-themed poetry throwdown because San Francisco

If you’ve been to our live shows, you know one of the highlights is the Muni Haiku Battle: a Muni-themed poetry throwdown. Suffice it to say we have had some intense 5-7-5 syllable battles onstage, covering the gamut of topics (see: bodily fluids on seats) and stuff you might encounter on Bay Area public transit.

To give you a taste of what it’s all about (and entice you to see it in person at our next show Nov. 3!), this podcast episode features our most recent battle from start to finish. That battle of wills, which took place at our 10th anniversary show in April, pit reigning champion Alexandria Love against challenger Jessica Cohen. Jessica is an illustrator and self-described infrequent performer/fortune teller. She grew up in the East bay and went to college in San Francisco. Alexandria is a writer from Oakland and also the reigning champion of our inspiration: the Dirty Haiku Battle at Oakland’s Tourette’s Without Regrets

You can see our next Muni Haiku Battle at our fall show: Muni Diaries Live, Nov. 3, 2018 at the Elbo Room (tickets on sale now!). Alexandria goes up against challenger, local writer/journalist Joe Kukura.

Listen to this week’s episode:

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Photo by Right Angle Images.

San Francisco Diaries: Trapped under Civic Center with an active shooter overhead

In this episode of San Francisco Diaries, Louis Evans shares a story of one seemingly uneventful day when he was leaving the underground parking lot at Civic Center, only to learn there was an active shooter situation above ground.

In the confusion that ensued, Louis and his partner sat in their car for hours, turning over doomsday scenarios over in their heads—including their plan of attack if the shooter wandered into the garage. The story took an interesting turn after our heroes realized they weren’t the only people stuck in the garage.

Louis is the host of a new literary event, Cliterary Salon: a show featuring rowdy, original stories about female sexual pleasure, feminism, or really anything in that umbrella, bringing a spirit of fun and sexuality to a literary scene that tends to focus on the cis male experience.

Listen to his story here:

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You, too, can add an entry to our collective journal! San Francisco Diaries is our spinoff podcast series, which celebrated its first birthday this month. It’s all about personal stories about why you live here and what makes our city “so San Francisco.” Tag us with your tale on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox is always open, too.

Photo by @omiB91

The boat is back for Muni Heritage Weekend

Muni heritage is this weekend, when you’ll be able to ride vintage Muni cars including the Boat Tram. On Saturday and Sunday, you can ride vintage streetcars like Streetcar 1, dating back to Muni’s opening day in 1912.

You might also see “Dinky,” or Streetcar 578, built in 1896 in San Francisco and the oldest operating streetcar in the United States.

More from the SFMTA:

Other free vintage vehicle rides departing from the museum include Muni Trolley Coach 776 dating from 1950, and 1975 Muni Trolley Coach 5300 in the classic “Sunset” orange colors created by San Francisco designer Walter Landor. The recently renovated 1956 Mack Motor Coach 2230, 1938 Motor Coach 042 and 1969 Motor Coach 3287 will also be offering free rides.

There’s also a cable car bell ringing demo at noon! Find out more about Muni Heritage Weekend.

It’s all happening this weekend 12-5pm at the San Francisco Railway Museum on 77 Steuart Street (just across from the Ferry Building). If you are lucky enough to get on one of these vintage cars, tag us #munidiaries on Instagram to submit your Muni Heritage Weekend diary!

Photo by @sfmtaphoto

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