Muni Diaries Podcast

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The Muni Diaries Podcast features stories from Muni Diaries Live, plus new stories from our archive. To subscribe, find us on iTunes, Google Play, or use this RSS link. New episodes will be released every Tuesday, so look out for great new stories from the bus!

If you have your own Muni story you’d like to share, email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. And remember to rate us on iTunes if you like what you hear!

This Week’s Episode

Episode 16: Courtney Riddle day dreams of driving Muni

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Courtney Riddle is the zine ambassador of Market Street, selling small handmade books out of a formerly abandoned newspaper kiosk, The Grand Newsstand. She’s been spreading zines to unwitting tourists for more than a year now. When not sitting in peculiar street furniture, she makes her own zines, does calligraphy, daydreams about urban planning, and rides unusual Muni lines (how about that 36?).

In this episode, she shares her aspiration of becoming a Muni driver, but there’s just one small problem she had to overcome.

Listen to the episode here:

Episode Extras

Courtney’s fan club band (and their coordinating outfits) were the highlight of Muni Diaries Live! Watch their performance in this video.

 

Recent Episodes

Episode 15: Ariel Dovas and his first kiss…on Muni

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Whether you’re a happy observant of Valentine’s Day or you’d rather set fire to photos of your ex, you’ll probably enjoy this story by local filmmaker Ariel Dovas. Ariel shared the story of his first kiss, and because he’s a San Francisco native, of course this happened on Muni! Cue all the jitters, nerves, and where-do-I-put-my-lips moments.

Ariel is also the creative director at BAYCAT (Bayview-Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology) and co-founder of the collaborative art space The Secret Alley.

Listen to the episode here:

Episode Extra
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Ariel was kind enough to dig up some old photos of himself. Teenage awkwardness seems completely adorable now.

See a video of Ariel telling his story on stage at Muni Diaries Live

Episode 14: Caitlin Gill on the kind of couples who make out on Muni

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In preparation for Valentine’s Day, comedian Caitlin Gill shares tales of warning for love birds who like to suck face on Muni. Hint: not a very good idea.

Episode extra
You can follow Caitlin Gill’s performance schedule on her website or @robotcaitlin on Twitter.

Episode 13: Peter Hartlaub Remembers the ‘Muni Booze Cruise’

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When he was a kid, SF Chronicle writer Peter Hartlaub would take public transit to 49ers games at Candlestick with his dad. Years later, he discovered “transit utopia” aboard the 77X-Candlestick Express to the stadium. That bus was filled with the rowdiest, most colorful, most loyal and dedicated football fans this city has possibly ever known. Now Candlestick and the 77X are memories, gone, but clearly not forgotten.

Episode extra: Peter sent us an update to the story he tells in this week’s episode. Read it here: An update on Peter Hartlaub’s 77X-Candlestick Express story

Episode 12: Writer Justina Wu on what happens when a stray animal boards the bus

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Writer Justina Wu is the producer of Beyond Borders Storytelling, a series of bi-monthly workshops and story jams for travel adventurers. In this week’s story, Justina tells us about how one Muni driver really took charge of a crazy situation.

Episode 11: Aussie transplant Sarah Hunt becomes an SF local

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Recent Aussie transplant, cartoonist, and writer Sarah Hunt tells the story of what it’s like to arrive in a strange, new land that mirrored the one she grew up watching in movies and TV. It has to be a good thing for those of us who’ve been here a minute to see San Francisco, BART, and the Mission through Sarah’s fresh, loving eyes. Hear about all those things we take for granted as Sarah experienced them for the first time.

Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahuntress.

Episode 10: Cara Tramontano meets SF’s most enthusiastic Muni operator

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Comedian Cara Tramontano is a model Muni rider, and one day she meets her match: the world’s most enthusiastic Muni driver named Edison. Edison drives Muni for one very particular, quirky reason.

Follow Cara on Twitter @thecara.

Episode 9: Klee Wiggins Owes Her Life to Muni

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For SF native Klee Wiggins, Muni isn’t all that bad. After all, if not for Muni, she might not be here to share her comedy with the world. Her origin story starts in the ’70s, when, as Klee describes it, Muni was a “mafia of sorts.” Stories in her early San Francisco life are tied intimately to various bus lines, including some that no longer exist.

Episode extra:
Check out the serendipitous way we stumbled upon Klee somewhat randomly:
Listen to Klee Wiggins at Muni Diaries Live: ‘I wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Muni’

Episode 8: Kristee Ono on how she found her own Muni community

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Comedian Kristee Ono loves burritos, chapstick, and driving. One unfortunate incident involving two of those loves forced her to end up on Muni Metro one night. As bars closed and the train filled with drunk passengers, what began as your everyday judging of fellow public transit riders took a strange, beautiful turn.

Take a listen:

Episode extra:

Watch Kristee tell her story at Muni Diaries Live at the Elbo Room. You can find Kristee on her blog and Twitter.

Episode 7: Tarin Towers—Muni cuties and expecting the unexpected

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Tarin Towers is a writer, author of Sorry, We’re Closeand a longtime San Francisco resident. She’s been riding Muni since 1995; the 22-Fillmore, a transit-stories treasure trove, was her chariot to a graveyard shift in the Japantown Denny’s. In this episode, she tells a tale of transit during the dot-com wave, cute people on the bus, and expecting the unexpected.

Take a listen:

Episode 6: Beth Spotswood Learns to Ride Muni

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San Francisco writer Beth Spotswood tells the tale of how a group of Muni riders banded together during a slight bus malfunction. With the help of a good friend and her phone’s audio recording app, Beth became a Muni pro during the course of one commute home.

Take a listen:

Episode extra:

Listen to audio that Beth recorded of her bus driver telling boarding passengers which Muni route it was:

Episode 5: BART operator Kelly Beardsley’s story on scatology

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Kelly Beardsley is a BART operator who has been telling stories about his wacky jobs in and around town for the last 10 years. Over the course of 16 years, he has worked as a bike messenger, a locksmith, a tow truck driver, a school bus driver, a tour bus driver, and now a BART train operator. In this episode, he tells us how BART operators deal with some serious shit.

Take a listen:

Episode extra:

Here’s Kelly in his uniform at work:

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Episode 4: Wonder Dave’s hot and discreet Muni convo

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Storyteller Wonder Dave uses his time on Muni wisely and explains the etiquette of a hot phone conversation on the bus.

Take a listen:

Episode 3: Jesse James on the life blood of San Francisco, the 38-Geary

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Storyteller Jesse James and his mom visited San Francisco years before he would eventually moved to the city, and Muni was a large part of the impression Jesse was left with. “All of my stories are on the 38, because it’s the lifeblood.”

In this episode, hear Jesse describe one of his first Muni rides ever.

Take a listen:

Episode 2: BART efficiency expert Mandy Hu

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In this episode, storyteller Mandy Hu shares how she finally changed her habits as the most efficient BART rider in town.

Take a listen:

Episode 1: Chris O. and his surprise Muni reunion

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Chris O. regaled us with a story of running into someone he knew from a past life on the bus. Chris O. is a musician and hair stylist at Honeycomb Salon in Noe Valley who has an impressive record collection.

I was taking the 19-Polk bus for the first time. In 2003, the buses that were used for the 19 line were the most florescent light-flickering, brownish yellowy interior-having, murdery buses in the whole city. They just looked like you were gonna die on them. We all get on the bus and I notice there is this guy staring at me. I thought: Is this like a “Cruising me to have sex thing, or pretending to cruise me to have sex thing so you can kill me?”

Take a listen:

Episode extras:

  • Watch Chris O tell this story live at Muni Diaries Live (video)
  • Follow Chris O on Instagram (@hairbychriso) to see his hair styling
  • A photo of Chris’s record collection:
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Event photo credit: Right Angle Images