Chief Attorney Matt Gonzalez on riding Muni while running for mayor

When you’re a candidate in one of the most memorable elections in San Francisco, riding Muni comes with a whole host of concerns that us regulars may not ever encounter.

Big ups to Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, who told this story on the Muni Diaries Live stage in the midst of a career-changing, much-anticipated trial. Taking us back to the 2003 mayoral election—in which he was neck-and-neck with current Lt. Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, he shared why riding the bus as a politician in a highly contested race means always keeping one eye open.

Listen to his story:
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We’re celebrating 10 years of storytelling on and off the bus with our anniversary show on April 21, 2018, at the Elbo Room. Muni Diaries is a thing because everyday bus riders decide to share their commute story with us, so join our community by telling us your story today. Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Plus, our email inbox (muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com) is always open!

Photo credit: Right Angle Images

New ways to wear your Muni pride

We’re celebrating ten years of telling stories that happen on and off the bus, so we’ve just reopened the doors to the Muni Diaries Etsy shop with brand new swag! Designed by Nate Tan at New Skool, our tee’s and onesies are back. Here’s our own Tara modeling the Muni Diaries Fast Pass tee at the Potrero Muni yard.

New this year: our new baby onesie model! All together now: Awwwww.

And if your little ones are not quite onesie-sized any more, they might like our new t-shirts for kids.

And new this year, a tote bag to carry all your commuting must-have’s.

Find all of these goodies at the Muni Diaries Etsy Shop. We’ll also be selling them IRL at the Muni Diaries Live 10th Anniversary Show. If you are wearing these Muni Diaries Fast Pass tee’s and tote bags around town, please send us a photo or tag us #munidiaries on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter so we can feature you!

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!

Help this BART busker get back home

We’re sad to report that a popular BART station musician needs our help to get back on his feet. A few months ago, I ran into Ron Kemp at Powell BART Station, and his gentle and warm voice caught my attention as I was about to rush into the crowd of teenagers in the mall.

It turns out that Ron caught the attention of many riders, as well as Mission Local, which featured him in a story last year. Ron lived in San Francisco for almost a decade in the 90s before he moved back to Maryland. But he was so in love with San Francisco, he moved back last year.

However, the rising cost of living in San Francisco took its toll: he was homeless, living in his car and, sometimes, in a hotel. One station agent loved his music so much that he started a fundraiser for Ron. His friend also started a GoFundMe for him to help with expenses, but our city still proved to be too expensive.

As many of us know, staying in San Francisco isn’t easy, and these recent events were the last straw for Ron. In his own words on his Facebook page: Read more

An ode to that first, tiniest apartment in San Francisco

Do you remember your first apartment in San Francisco? We’re guessing that it was probably tiny, too expensive, with “cozy” period charm like radiator heating that whistles loudly in the middle of the night. Yet, somehow, it felt like winning the lottery to find it. In today’s story, architect and longtime SF resident Bob Collins recalls a period of transformation (for himself and the unit) in this teeny space. In the process, he realized why San Francisco was home.

Bob has lived in the Bay Area for 30 years, with stints in the Mission, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and the Richmond. He has a blog about walking around San Francisco called Urban Ambles, told from the dual perspectives of a regular pedestrian and professional architect. His urban walks in the blog cover a cross-section of the city; just like some of our favorite Muni stories from the cross-town lines.

His urban walks in the blog cover a cross-section of the city; just like some of our favorite Muni stories from the cross-town lines.

Listen to Bob’s story:

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Being an architect, Bob also created a model (naturally) of his tiny apartment before and after his transformation, loft bed and all. Check it out on his blog here.

We’re celebrating 10 years of storytelling on and off the bus with a special bonus code for our upcoming anniversary show on April 21, 2018, at the Elbo Room. Listen to this episode for the discount code and get your tickets today.

If you liked this episode, please share it with your friends and rate our podcast on iTunes. You can submit your own story to us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. Our inbox is waiting for your tales!

 

Photo by @budgetplaces

San Francisco Diaries: A teen tale of thizz and New Year’s Eve transportation

SF native Katrina hit up our San Francisco Diaries Facebook page with this throwback tale from her teenage years. We were all seemingly in a state of “Who will give us a ride/pick us up/has a car/isn’t our parents?” back in those days, but the uniquely San Francisco twists give this story the edge.

Growing up in SF is a completely different experience than most other places to grow up. We did things very differently here, as I would later learn in life after leaving our bubble. This particular story is from New Year’s Eve my senior year of high school. My group of girlfriends and I had just taken our thizz, as we called it then, and decided to head outside to try and hail a cab…at 11 p.m. in Diamond Heights. Obviously, no cabs were coming and Muni wasn’t running up there anymore. All of the sudden, a fire alarm goes off and two huge fire trucks pull up. They go inside and check it out. No fire. One of my friends asks them what happened and they say, “False alarm! Don’t worry!” Right at that moment, the E hits me and I shout to one of the firemen, “Hey! Can you give us a ride down the hill? Were trying to get to the fireworks and no cabs are coming.” He looks at all of us and says, “Sure! Hop in in!” We all look at each other and climb into the two fire trucks. They give us all head sets and let us talk to each other in the other trucks. We are 8 teens on E in fire trucks speeding down the hill looking over all of San Francisco. We get to the bottom of the hill and the fire truck stops in the middle of the road, hails us two cabs, and sends us on our way. We made it to the pier right at midnight.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. You certainly don’t get from Diamond Heights to the New Year’s fireworks for midnight.

Hear more San Francisco stories and Muni musings on our podcast! Find us on iTunes and Google Play.

Pic by Stephen Kelly

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