Portraits of Muni and BART riders in space

We’ve all had those “anywhere but here” moments of fantasy on Muni. But artist Kevin Lewis took his commute one giant leap beyond merely a daydream. He recently finished illustrating and writing a sci-fi graphic novel/adult picture book (tentatively titled “BARTians”), featuring 70 drawings of his fellow Muni and BART passengers. Instead of portraying them staring at their phones, Kevin transformed these passengers into doing so much more, literally above and beyond planet San Francisco.

You’d think she was riding BART, but through Kevin’s creative eyes, this young lady is actually on her way to a coronation to continue (or upend) her mother’s legacy.


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Artist Jeremy Fish finally shares the story of the Silly Pink Bunny heist

Some of you may remember Silly Pink Bunny, a sculpture by local artist Jeremy Fish, which held court in the Lower Haight until 2013. Jeremy joined us on the podcast to tell the story, in his own words, of the bunny’s evolution from a goofy pink (and occasionally peed-on) neighborhood fixture to the revered bronze bunny sculpture it is today.

Jeremy himself says that the story behind the bunny is almost more interesting than the actual piece of art. Seeing as how this story connects art, taggers, grand theft bunny (that’s a thing, right?), crowdfunding, community, and condos, we’re inclined to agree.

Listen and/or download here:

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Spoiler alert: Though the demise of the original Silly Pink Bunny was captured on video for posterity, many (us included) were very curious about how the icon was preserved. Read more

Muni-themed birthday party activates the transit nerds in all of us

For one Muni-obsessed kid, this is the best birthday party you can ever imagine. Helpful friend Addie posted on Twitter about this amazing birthday party by mom Tania, who should be getting an award for Mom-of-the-Year. Here’s why.

First you’ve got the LRV lines on cupcakes (with rainbow sprinkles!), see above.

Then, there’s the Clipper card temporary tattoos:

(Grownups who are not commitment phobic: check out these three real Muni tattoos).

And mom made tote bags of birthday kid’s name using the Muni worm as inspiration. How cool is that?

We know a couple of other moms with Muni-obsessed kids (paging Heather Knight of #totalMuni2018!). You guys should totally talk.

And for future reference, here’s the best Muni-themed wedding we’ve ever seen, complete with Fast Pass place cards and bus-shaped chocolates. In case you need to throw another Muni-theme party, in, say, 20 years.

Thanks Tania and Addie for bringing this Muni-themed birthday party into our lives.

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!

The ONE thing you shouldn’t do on BART

Reporter Vivian Ho has produced lots of serious journalism, having covered everything from the Mario Woods shooting, to the San Francisco Police Department, to wildfires. She also authored an incredible investigative piece called “A Life on the Line.” But there’s this one story that was a bit of a departure from her usual beat that has followed her around.

It starts something like this: “If you miss BART during the strike, this might make you miss it a bit less: A man accused of trying to make love to a train seat was acquitted of felony indecent exposure and released from San Francisco jail Monday.”

Now, there’s a lede.

If you’re a regular Muni Diaries reader, you’ll know that BART’s seats are no stranger to the naked pretzel, making “NSFW twerking” possibly the most searched keyword we’ve seen on our site yet. But this one takes the cake.

Listen to Vivian’s story here:
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Vivian also told a sweet story about a pair of pigeons in her apartment in this San Francisco Diaries story earlier this year on the podcast. If you liked this episode, we have a little favor to ask: Won’t you let us know what you think on iTunes by leaving a review? It’ll make our day.

Photo by Right Angle Images, featured photo via BART.gov

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

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