How do you take up personal space on public transit

Storyteller Irene McCalphin has often experienced the invasion of personal space on public transit, but this one time she decided enough was enough, and she was going to take up the space she deserves.

As co-founder and massage therapist of A Sovereign Embodiment Healing Collective and Board-member of the Body Political, Irene blends magic with massage, storytelling and performance art to liberate, heal and reclaim space for marginalized community.  They’re currently working on a book and facilitating the creation a healing and retreat space for queer femmes in Grass Valley, CA. You can find her writing on MammyIsDead.com.

You can also see Irene’s first Muni Diaries entry involving a burrito as deterrent for pickup artists.

Listen to her story:

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8 of the most SF things that happened on Muni in 2018


We don’t have to look far to remember why we live here whenever the rent, downtown traffic, and constant fog get us down. In the last year, your stories and photos have been daily reminders of the quirky, delightful, and lovable San Francisco that we know so well. We sifted through all of your submissions this year to find some of our favorite moments in the city, as seen on and off Muni.

1. We found one sure way to avoid awkward holiday conversation, see above via @cityslickerSF

2. San Franciscans banded together during the two weeks of wild fire where N-95 masks became de rigueur.

3. Our Strange Cargo collection got a lot more adorable with this kitten-on-a-cat-tree situation.

via Bay City Beacon

4. Why did Elvis leave the building? To take Muni with six of his clones, we think.

via @sfstreets415

5. Muni went head to head with the parking enforcement officer this year on Halloween. Who will win? We’re putting $10 on the kid.

via @thenewbedford

6. Everybody rides Muni, even the parrots of Telegraph Hill.

via @jenmkirch

7. I mean, how can anyone leave cereal milk behind?

via @mr9erfan

8. Don’t die of cuteness, but this dog catching up on some Animal Planet on Muni is pretty much everything.

via @missnorasf

Ok, one more. Bonus round: “FRONT DOOR! FRONT DOOR!”

via @uknowmarcus

Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry to our collective diary this year! We can’t do this without you, and we’ve been collecting your Muni and San Francisco stories for nearly a decade. If you have a story that makes you say, “this is what San Francisco is all about,” we want to know! Submit your stories and photos by tagging us @munidiaries on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

You can support the city’s original online transit journal by subscribing to our podcast or helping us on Patreon or our Etsy store where you can find Fast Pass goodies on sale right now.

A most Muni Black Friday sale: Show your SF pride!

Nothing boosts your SF cred (or at least sparks conversation with a n00b) like an ode to the dearly departed Muni Fast Pass. Fellow San Franciscans, no matter the cut of your jib, head on over to our Black Friday sale in the Muni Diaries Etsy shop, where everything is 20% off!

You’ll find tote bags, tees, baby onesies, and Muni Diaries 10th anniversary posters designed by local graphic designer Craig Fowler.

Aren’t the posters sweet?

Thanks, as always, for supporting our project. Here’s what we’re most thankful for this year at Muni Diaries HQ.

The San Francisco we’re thankful for


This year we celebrated 10 years of telling your Muni tales, and one whole year of sharing more San Francisco stories that happen off the bus. Your stories have a way of reminding everyone why San Francisco is still alright after all.

Because of you, our listeners, readers, and supporters, we hosted two of our local bookstore heroes in studio: Alan Beatts of Borderlands Books and Pete Mulvihill of Green Apple Books (look out for his episode in the coming weeks!) And we got Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight in front of a live audience to preview their epic, around-the-world-in-one-day-style trip on Muni.

Because more than 4,000 of you submitted stories to us every day for the last 10 years, we were able to celebrate our 10th birthday exactly how we wanted: with a packed room filled with friendly faces—shouts out to our artist and photographer friends who, until then, we had never met in real life but came bearing birthday presents of Muni art and photos. We even learned from the door staff at Elbo Room that some of you insisted on paying for your ticket even as someone donated their extra. These kindnesses are not lost on us even in the busy shuffle of show night.

This year, we’re so, so thankful for those of you that took out your wallets and supported us on Patreon: we know it’s expensive to live here, and your willingness to help us keep the lights on (and replace those microphone cables that the cats chewed up) is appreciated.

We were able to have one more evening at the Elbo Room, where Nuala Sawyer shared a story of one small moment that made a big difference—encapsulating why we do what we do.

And let’s not kid ourselves: because of you, all of our Muni rides are a little better, or at least a little funnier. Without this comMUNIty, we wouldn’t know that the trending hashtag for the N is #NJudas, and the correct way to haul your new cat tree is on an LRV, with a kitten on a leash eating out of a little bowl perched on said cat tree (true story).

So, from the Muni Diaries headquarters, thank you for sharing, riding, listening, reading, and contributing in your own way to life in the best city in the world.

Photo by @gurpreetz

Free Muni Friday, because bad air quality

The air quality went from red (bad) to purple (even worse) today due to the wild fires up north, and the SFMTA announced that Muni will be free Friday, per the mayor’s request. You won’t need to tag your Clipper cards or use a transfer tomorrow, according to the SFMTA’s announcement. Hopefully this limits your traveling outdoors, and please keep those windows closed when you board.

All schools within the San Francisco Unified School District are closed, as is with most colleges in the city.

Stay safe out there, everybody.

Photo by @SanFranciscoCityandCounty.

7 reminders from Muni Diaries Live about why you still love San Francisco

Last Saturday, 200 Muni riders squeezed into a crowded and hot space (for fun!), and they weren’t even cranky about it (we think). We’re talking about Muni Diaries Live, our fav night of the year where we celebrate the human-to-human moments that happen as we move from point A to point B.

We laughed, we cried (really, there were surprise tears), and our storytellers reminded us why we chose to live here after all. For our 20th show, singer/songwriter Rachel Lark (above) cracked everyone up with songs that so many of us can relate to, including “It’s Hard to be a Feminist and Still Love Dick,” which is still in my head two days later. Check out this version of the song she did with Muni Diaries Live alum Kate Willet.

We opened the show with a special story in poetry form from Alexandria Love, standup comedian and writer from Oakland. True to our San Francisco roots, the poem is an ode to our dear Karl the Fog.

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