How one woman served sweet, sweet justice on Muni

Gwen Carmen is a survivor: She’s taught middle school and beaten cancer. So you know she wasn’t going to let a creeper on the bus get off easy. When a man’s wandering hands met storyteller Gwen’s seat, she was shocked. But she didn’t spend too much time in wondering WTF—here’s how she tracked him down and got her own version of bus creeper justice.

Gwen told this story at Muni Diaries Live’s 10th anniversary show and our jaws were on the ground. Listen to her story here:

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Gwen is an activist, actress, educator, and writer whose work appeared in Essence magazine, Plexus feminist newspaper, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and numerous other small presses during the ’80s and ’90s. She was the editor/publisher of La Morena Women of Color bilingual newspaper.

Thanks to you, we’ve heard amazing stories of women standing up for themselves and each other—like this tale of riders who, one by one, walked over to support a woman being verbally harassed. Another time, riders on this bus collectively said No Way to body shaming.

Keep it up, San Francisco.

Got your own story to share? We are all ears! Pitch your own Muni or San Francisco story to us at muni.diaries.sf@Gmail.com. You can help us keep the light on at Muni Diaries HQ by supporting us on Patreon

Photo by Right Angle Images

Everything you need to know before riding all Muni lines in one day

No one’s can-do spirit (and tolerance for municipal mishaps) is stronger than that of tenacious journalists. Enter San Francisco Chronicle reporters Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub with a not-so-simple goal: riding all of the Muni lines in one day.

They called it, appropriately, #TotalMuni2018. In today’s podcast episode, the intrepid pair walks us through the who, what, why, and how of this very ambitious goal. You’ll hear all the important Muni codes they learned (the most important one being the bathroom break code!), and how they plotted this day.

Listen to their story:

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Peter and Heather said that #TotalMuni2018 was actually one of the most incredible days they have had in San Francisco, where riding the bus actually was a “reminder of how amazing San Francisco and San Franciscans are.” That’s exactly what we think too.

You might also remember that Peter is no stranger to the Muni Diaries universe. You can hear his first Muni Diaries Live story here, when he took the last Muni ride to Candlestick Park.

If you liked what you heard on our podcast, subscribe on iTunes and Google Play so you don’t miss an episode. You can now support our endeavor on the Muni Diaries Patreon page, where the lowest membership level is cheaper than a Muni ride!

Photo by Right Angle Images

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

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

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

Muni Diaries Live: Turn up the volume

Twice a year, we take Muni Diaries out of the interwebs and into real life at Muni Diaries Live. If those stories, told to a packed crowd at the Elbo Room last Saturday are any indication, Muni is still the spot to mine storytelling gold.

Comedian Tirumari Jothi, whose tale of an out-of-this-world conversation (rings of Saturn included) had the crowd in stitches. You can see him this Friday, Nov. 10th, and the Comix Experience Outpost on Ocean Avenue.


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