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

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

Taking my date to a fertility party…with snakes

Love comes in all forms, and in San Francisco, you’ll encounter love and relationship rituals you never imagined possible. For example (and what an example), writer Anna Pulley shares a story about a fertility party she covered as a reporter. This may also be why she’s not allowed to plan dates anymore—WORTH IT!

She is the author of The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (with Cats!), which Cheryl Strayed called a “must-read,” which Tegan and Sara said was “an adorable and hilarious way to start the day,” and which Jennifer Tilly said was “thoroughly charming.”

In addition to aweing the creative rich and famous, she gives sex and relationship advice on her blog and in weekly advice columns for The Chicago Tribune’s RedEye and (formerly) AfterEllen. Anna also holds the distinction of competing in the very first Muni Haiku battle in Clarion Alley.

Listen to Anna’s story here:
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p.s. As fertility ritual parties go, you might not want to listen to this episode with your kids; or just be prepared to do lots of explaining!

Got your own very-SF strange and wonderful ritual to report? 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.

San Francisco Diaries: How I met the pigeon version of me

Being an adult isn’t easy, especially when you live in San Francisco where “everyone is perpetually in their late-20s to mid-30s.” So when you end up in San Francisco alone when you’re 22, you do what anyone would do: Go wild and make age-22 type of mistakes.

“Looking back now, it’s a miracle I didn’t die. I got in a lot of shady situations. I lost my beloved leather jacket. I left my Blackberry in a cab. In recovery, they say you have to hit rock bottom before you can get better. But my rock bottom just kept getting lower and lower. I drunkenly ran through the surf on Ocean Beach at 1 a.m. and almost got swept out to sea. I hooked up with a Santa Con Santa on the back patio of Mad Dog in the Fog. I was 22 and alone and nobody was around to stop me so I kept going and kept pushing the limits of what I could get away with and still live.”

Today’s story is from Vivian Ho, who you may remember was the criminal justice reporter at The San Francisco Chronicle from 2011 through 2017. She’s reported on the Mario Woods shooting, the San Francisco Police Department, wildfires, and she recently published an incredible investigative piece called “A Life on the Line.”

She’s seen a lot of San Francisco, from the incredibly serious and life-and-death moments to the more quirky and offbeat happenings around town. This story falls under the more quirky side of the spectrum—and we’ve never felt more spiritually connected to the cooing pigeons on our fire escapes.

Listen to her story here:

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Special thanks to Vivian for sending over the first photo she’s ever taken with Drew, before the pigeons came into their lives.

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!

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