“Life in the Bay Area stood still”: A reporter’s recollection of the ’89 earthquake

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. As we look back over the 28 years since the temblor, Bay Area native Diana Gapuz walks San Francisco Diaries past the Battle of the Bay World Series, the ill-fated Cypress Structure, and a surreal commute in the aftermath to the KCBS newsroom in this firsthand account. We’ve all been supporting friends and family impacted by the fires in Northern California, and it’s reassuring to know that San Franciscans have always supported one another when disaster strikes. Here’s Diana:

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We were rushing to get out the door, to watch Game 3 of the A’s-Giants World Series with friends. Several sharp jolts stopped us in our tracks. My husband, Marc, picked up our 17-month old daughter Emma, and we stood in a door frame.

The ground stopped moving. After years in news radio, hyperconscious of time, I nailed the length of the quake — 15 seconds. I called into my station, KCBS, first on the air to describe what I felt on rock-solid Albany Hill. Maybe spoke for 15 seconds. Then the anchor moved on to a reporter in the field.

Time to get on the road. Emma and I were heading to Berkeley to hang out with my morning co-editor, Christina. Marc was meeting friends in Oakland. By the time we reached Christina’s house, we were slowly realizing this wasn’t your usual tremor. Reporters from across the Bay were describing frightening scenes and frightened people. Read more

Listen up: The hottest new hip-hop tribute to San Francisco is here

You heard it here first: the newest hip-hop tribute to our City by the Bay. This new song by longtime denizen J. W. Friedman is a musical diary entry encapsulating why a lot of us chose to live (and stay) here. Add this to your essential Yay Area playlist ASAP.

The exclusive new jam name-checks all things local: layering (seriously, you have to), intersections all over town, and the barge in the Bay just outside of AT&T Park.

Muni Diaries Live attendees might remember as J as Satellite High, who first blew our minds with a whole album dedicated to Muni (read the interview here and watch this live performance). Sharp-eared podcast listeners may also recognize his name and style from our theme music.

Take a listen to the new tune:

J is also the cohost of the wonderfully snarky podcast, I Don’t Even Own a Television, wherein he and cohost Chris Collision read terrible books from beginning to end just so they can review them for the masses. To get an IRL sense of their sense of humor, come see Chris Collision at our Muni Haiku Battle, LitCrawl Edition this Saturday at Clarion Alley.

So does your street or Favorite SF Something get a shout-out in J’s new song? He sent us the lyrics so you can find out:

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How one Bernal Heights shop survived the unexpected

Over the last few weeks, many of you already submitted San Francisco Diaries entries, ranging from a first job at the Nob Hill Theater to the secret history behind the Transamerica Pyramid. At San Francisco Diaries — home of Muni Diaries — we will still feature your Muni stories (after all, how can you talk about San Francisco without talking about Muni?) alongside stories about what makes San Francisco oh-so-SF.

Today’s San Francisco Diaries entry is from Eden Stein, who gives us an intimate look at what it’s like to nearly lose the business that you created, and how she survived nearly a decade as its owner.

Eden’s store, Secession Art & Design, is Bernal Heights’ neighborhood art gallery and indie artist collective, which recently, quietly, moved to a new location. You might have seen Eden out and about in the neighborhood, saying hello to the folks at Ichi Sushi or tending to her shop on Mission Street. Owning an independent gallery (or any small business, for that matter) in San Francisco is no easy feat, especially in these changing times.

In the summer of 2014, my heart dropped when I got a letter from my landlord saying that they decided not to renew my lease at the gallery I built, but gave me an option to stay by renting my storefront month to month. For any small business, this is the red flag: that you have no rent protection or rights. Secession Art & Design was just about to celebrate its 7th anniversary. After tears and some whisky, I realized I would have to walk away from what I had created. I picked myself up and started the quest for a new gallery and boutique location for myself and more than 60 independent artist and designers I represent.
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Introducing: San Francisco Diaries

For the last 9 years, we’ve been collecting stories from over 4,000 people about life on Muni. We think of Muni as the collective living room of San Francisco, and in this living room, anything can happen. With your help, we’ve documented what it’s like to live in our foggy city for nearly a decade.

Often, Muni Diaries feels like a long love letter to San Francisco: from falling in love with a rider who returns your lost wallet to helping a young man with his tie, we’ve captured some very human moments in our city. Our public transit has been the lens through which we say: this is San Francisco.

Every day, you, our readers and diaries submitters, reenforce how much you care about living here. And we want to know the rest of your story. What else makes San Francisco the city we know and love?

Today we are introducing a new series: San Francisco Diaries. We’re expanding our lens of storytelling, and we want to hear your stories about how San Francisco has shaped you. Whether it’s a story about growing up in San Francisco, making your own mark on the map, or finding the moment when you know you’re really from here — San Francisco Diaries is your place to add your slice of life.

To kick off San Francisco Diaries, we have a special episode of our podcast from storyteller Jesse James. Jesse shares a story about how he unwittingly got a job at the Nob Hill Theater after a very brief interview. For those of you who have passed by the “Touch Our Junk” marquee on Bush, you definitely don’t want to miss this. Listen to the first episode of San Francisco Diaries on iTunes, Google Play, or download the episode.

You can continue to submit your stories about Muni (after all, what’s our city without it?), and stories about San Francisco by emailing us or tagging us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Photo by @yellow_line_art