Muni lessons learned: I love you and hang loose

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I’ve long maintained that you can actually see the best in humanity on Muni (let’s call it hu-MUNI-ty) if you look closely. I think it’s especially true when you’re taking the bus to an errand you don’t particularly want to be doing.

I was on a 5 recently, and the bureaucratic underpinnings of my tasks ahead easily overshadowed the peppy songs on my Pandora station and the equally peppy group of developmentally disabled adults and two chaperones that joined me on the bus on Market Street.

Try as it might, the eye-rolling promise of red tape couldn’t stop the positive train from rolling right through my cranky little heart.

Despite a couple of their wheelchairs nearly getting eaten by cranky back doors (seriously, bus), the group of about 10 all made it on safely. The chaperones started signing to each other as the bus went along its way, and one of their charges seemed fascinated by their hand dances. She was so fascinated — and within my eye line — that I was fascinated. I stared at the lot of them, definitely in the mood to see something, anything, well, nice.

Whether intentionally or not — I like to think it was a happy accident, like our friend Bob Ross used to say — she started molding her own fingers into the shaka and the signal for I love you, smiling ear to ear the entire time.

It made my entire day. Days later, I’m still thinking about it.

Muni has told us this before, and it’s probably about time we start listening to it: Please love back.

Hear our best Muni stories live on stage! Muni Diaries Live is back on Nov. 5 at the Elbo Room. Online tickets have closed, but you can still get them at the door, which opens at 6pm. See you there!

Pic by Gino Zahnd on Flickr.

Mystery rider’s sweet Post-It reminder for all

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Some really nice and positive-thinking person stuck this Post-It note next to the Priority Seating sign on Muni recently:

“Beauty is loving who you are and letting that radiate through your smile, walk, talk, and overall being.”

Right on, fellow rider.

Thank you to Leila on Instagram for this reminder to get us through the week!

Other great random notes worth remembering:

Celebrating Muni in wonderful, wearable screenprint

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Image courtesy of overstep_design on Instagram

Because who doesn’t need screenprinted designs of, surely no coincidence, some of the most colorful Muni bus routes?

The shirts (detail shot above) are the craftsmanship of Overstep, a T-shirt and graphic arts studio based (duh) in Northern California. They’re at the Ferry Plaza artist market every week Friday through Sunday, or good old-fashioned mail order is also an option for T-shirts. Check out the Overstep Etsy shop here.

Say what you will about her, but Muni is one hell of a muse.

Do you chat with strangers on Muni?

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This strikes me as one of those “some do, most don’t” type of things.

The title of this post is a question based on this story of a young bloke who tried to get people talking to one another on the London Underground. The probably noble effort, however, didn’t go as planned:

Jonathan Dunne, who is originally from the US, says it was “difficult” to even get commuters to take one of the free pins.
“I think I could have been handing out £5 notes and the same amount of people would have taken them,” he tells Newsbeat.

The BBC’s Newsbeat has the story.

Free pin or not: Is random, spontaneous chatting on Muni or BART something you would do?

Pic courtesy BBC

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