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

Of all the best pickup lines happening on Muni…

Comedian Dominique Gelin has given every sign on public transit to say, “Go Away.” She’s sat in the most strategic seat to avoid strangers, avoided eye contact, and yet, it doesn’t always work.

In today’s story, Dom walks us through how one crucial mistake led to her meeting a smug pickup artist on Muni. You can listen to her story by downloading the epidoes below, or just search for Muni Diaries on any of your favorite podcast apps:

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Speaking of pickup lines, maybe what Dom needed was a burrito as a prop, as another Muni rider so aptly illustrated in an earlier story? Follow Dom on Twitter at @heydomgelin.

And for podcast listeners, today’s episode has a special discount code for Muni Diaries Live tickets! Our 10th anniversary show is just two weeks away, so be sure to get a ticket here. We want to celebrate with you!

Photo by Right Angle Images

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