Prying eyes find family ties on Muni


It’s hard not to peek at someone else’s phone on Muni, even though we know should keep our eyes in our lane. When storyteller Senait Hailemariam glanced over at her commute neighbor, she found a touching departure from the normal social scrolling. Here’s her story:

I was reading my book when I heard the woman sitting next to me on the bus make a loving sound, half a chuckle and half an ‘aww’. I glanced out the corner of my eye to see her kiss the tip of her finger and lightly touch her phone screen.

Stealing glances at her phone I realized she was watching security footage from a camera perched above a liquor store or bodega of some kind and the object of her affection was a young boy in a striped shirt who made an appearance in the frame.
Continuing my prying, I noticed the time stamp was set for an hour ahead. I assumed she was watching her family, who lived somewhere other than California, as they worked into the night.
I couldn’t help but cry watching this woman quietly warming her heart on the commute home.
Maybe I’m just emotional, but I thank the universe for this beautiful example of love.

Senait was also a recent storyteller at Muni Diaries Live, and you can hear her story on the Muni Diaries podcast.

You too can add an entry to our collective journal. San Francisco Diaries is looking for your personal stories about what it means to live here, and what makes our city “so San Francisco.” Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox is always open!

Photo by @yellow_line_art

Who is the Polk Street Pizza Lady?

Andrea Carla Michaels says that she had never done anything two days in a row, until a light-bulb moment and sense of commitment to her neighborhood changed her mind. Two years ago, she found her calling as “Pizza Lady,” which takes her, daily, through the alleys off Lower Polk Street. In today’s podcast, she shares the story of how that came to be.

Listen to her story by clicking on your favorite option below—all come with a special discount code for our upcoming Muni Diaries Live 10th Anniversary show!

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Andrea just celebrated her 25th anniversary in San Francisco. Originally a standup comic, game show writer, and, for a brief stint, a writer for Designing Women, she now spends her time naming companies, constructing crossword puzzles for The New York Times and, as you’ll learn in this podcast, feeding folks.

Know another San Franciscan with a story to tell? We are always looking for tales of what makes living in San Francisco meaningful to you. Submit your own story or nominate a San Franciscan you know by emailing us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. And please share this story with your podcast-listening friends!

Photo by Kathleen Corey

Dog on Muni just getting his TV fix

This moment of complete and utter cuteness was brought to you by @missnorasf, who asks, reasonably: “Can everyone on my commute be replaced with dogs and also can I be a dog?”

Hmm…I might skip the sniffing-butts part, but having at least half of my commute be replaced by puppies watching Animal Planet sounds like a pretty great idea to me.

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

We’re celebrating 10 years of storytelling on and off the bus with our anniversary show on April 21, 2018, at the Elbo Room. Listen to the latest Muni Diaries podcast episode for a listener-only discount code and get your tickets today!

Three things to do when someone passes out on BART

What would you do if you saw someone passed out on BART and you’re not really sure what’s going on? This happened to rider Ginger M., who saw a young man on BART who was not in such good shape. As she considered the possibilities, she saw another passenger approach the man with such compassion and kindness that really made an impression on her.

Here’s Ginger’s story:

While riding on BART in the afternoon to work there was a person so passed out that they were hanging over the end of the seat. There was much blond hair hanging down and food strewn around.

 

1st thought: Junkie?
2nd thought: Are they dead?
3rd thought: Are they okay; is this a person who has been drugged and assaulted?
4th thought: Should I tell someone?
5th and full thought through this entire thing: Should I do something?

 

While I was asking myself all sorts of questions, a black man who was sitting behind me moved up to sit behind this person, whom other people had moved away from. He sat for a moment and then spoke to the passed out person who turned out to be a young man in velvet pants.

 

They talked. Talked in good ways.

 

We all got off at the same stop together and I watched that wonderful man walk with him to get him to a good place.

I will never forget that act today. One of courage. And one of great compassion. To that man today, I honor you.

A good lesson of compassion on public transit or anywhere. Thanks, Ginger! 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!

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

Reer: Catty Muni bus ain’t having none of it

This 47-Van Ness:

a) is taking its Catbus aspirations way too far.

b) finally found a way to react to being San Francisco’s punching bag day in and day out.

Punk rock cat was more punk rock than all y’all, and nothing was cooler than Sunglass cat’s medically necessary duds, but we never quite expected one of our transit chariots to actually become a cat.

Thanks for the tip, @jchrthomas.

Have a favorite story on (or along) the 47? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with your favorite tale (or tease to a tale) about SF living.

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