Tanea Lunsford Lynx joined us at Muni Diaries Live in April 2023 to perform I Used to Live Here, her poem evoking the magic of relatives living a mere Muni ride away, the otherworldly dimension between West Portal and Van Ness Stations, and the soothing something about 24-hour Church Street Safeway light. She was one of the San Francisco-born-and-raised artists featured in Muni Raised Me, an exhibit exploring what truly public transit means to those who depend on it—and are ultimately shaped by it.
Tanea, an artist and educator, gave me chills with her delivery and lyrical gift. She also left me hopeful that the city she “used to” live in and the characters she described can thrive in present-tense San Francisco, too.
You might remember Tanea from Muni Diaries podcast Eps. 140 and 141, featuring Tanea and her students at performing original poetry about our everyone’s favorite school bus. And don’t forget to check out Muni Raised Me co-curator Meymey Lee in Ep. 144.
Muni Diaries is 15 years old! Forget a birth-month, we’ve made it a birth-year. Join us Nov 2 for the festivities at a special Muni Diaries Live. Tickets are available now (but going fast!) on Eventbrite.
Have you been to the Legion of Honor at night? I haven’t. And I definitely won’t be going after this story.
Muni operator and Muni Haiku Battle champion Mc Allen reminds us of what can go bump (and wrong) on a late-night run. Originally shared at Muni Diaries Live in April 2023, it’s the perfect accompaniment to the seasonal festivities.
Mc (pronounced “Mack”) was once featured on the Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, the NPR weekly news quiz. He believes in the power of Slow Streets, Great Walkways, Transit Only Lanes and No Parking Signs. Mc’s poetry has appeared in The San Franciscan magazine and the Bay City Beacon. He’s been a guest of the Total SF, Roll Over Easy, 99% Invisible, and Muni Diaries podcasts, as well as a twice-victor, once-victim at the Muni Haiku Battle at Muni Diaries Live. Mc lives in Dogpatch with his wife and two kids, and you can find him behind the wheel of the 35-Eureka and the 29-Sunset.
We might have mentioned one or twice or 20 times, but we are celebrating our 15th birthday. Festivities continue at Muni Diaries Live on November 2, so don’t miss out! We have some anniversary goodies and are putting the variety in variety show. Tickets are available now on Eventbrite.
Jill Sutherlin didn’t set out to become the guardian of a beloved Mission safe space, but the pandemic and a few other twists and turns led her to become one of its fiercest protectors. She takes us through some of those twists and turns in this story, which she told on stage at Muni Diaries Live in April 2023.
Jill proudly hails from Oakland. She is the co-owner of The Refinery Grooming Club: an independently owned, upscale barbershop and the backdrop of this story. She is also a DJ at Bff.fm: an internet-based, community-run radio station in San Francisco, and founder of United Streets Direct Care, a nonprofit donating on-site hair-care services to unhoused communities in the Bay Area and Modesto.
Did you super-tuned in listeners catch the mention of our ongoing 15th birthday celebration? We’re keeping the party going at Muni Diaries Live on November 2! We have some anniversary surprises cooked up and tickets are available nowon Eventbrite.
Paving over the past to make way for the future is a story we know well in San Francisco. But few people I know have taken the time to understand what lies beneath the streets of San Francisco: who those people were, and the impact they had on the birth and growth of neighborhoods and infrastructure. Local author Beth Winegarner is the exception.
San Francisco’s Forgotten Cemeteries: A Buried History is Beth’s newest book, and it’s out now. Beth stopped by the Muni Diaries podcast to discuss how the city’s dead have impacted some of our most well-traveled roads and public transit, early NIMBY antics from our Victorian forebears, and our civic responsibility to residents who’ve passed on.
Beth is a journalist, author, essayist and pop-culture critic who has contributed to The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The San Francisco Examiner—where she first met me in the paper’s Peninsula bureau. She is the author of several books, including Sacred Sonoma, Beloved, The Columbine Effect: How Five Teen Pastimes Got Caught in the Crossfire and Why Teens are Taking Them Back, and Tenacity: Heavy Metal in the Middle East and Africa.
When we get together, the conversation often veers toward San Francisco politics and socioeconomics, and this more “official” talk wasn’t much different. Here’s Beth in conversation with … me!
Muni is San Francisco’s deep end: immediate and immersive exposure to strangers, testing our tolerance for other people’s music, aromas, food, volume, attitude, or public habits. Sometimes all of them at the same time.
This concept is what brought Muni Diaries to life. It’s also what makes Muni interesting and representative of the city it cuts through. We can still celebrate and rally around that idea thanks to folks like Meymey Lee.
Meymey is an organizer, artist, and outdoor educator, who joined us on stage at Muni Diaries Live. They touched on one of my favorite things about Muni: it can not only highlight our shared humanity, but inspire civic duty and a sense of community. We first connected with Meymey through their multimedia exhibit, Muni Raised Me, a showcase of San Francisco born-and-raised artists exploring what Muni means to the folks who grew up on it.
Say hi to your neighbors, San Francisco! It might just be Meymey. Listen to the podcast on all your favorite platforms:
We are proud to have had not just one, but two of the talented artists from Muni Raised Me at our spring show. Stay tuned for the lyrical stylings of Tanea Lunsford Lynx, an artist and educator, in an upcoming podcast episode. In the meantime, prepare to be impressed—Tanea brought their students to the exhibit to perform original poetry about life on the school bus (Muni, obvs), and we captured some of the audio in an earlier podcast ep.
Storyteller Adrianna Tan is an enthusiastic bus rider who has ridden buses in more than 30 countries worldwide. But when she finally moves to San Francisco five years ago, she quickly finds out that, in many ways, our very own Muni is not like all the rest.
Here at Muni Diaries we’ve taken an occasional peek at transit riding around the world (Tokyo subway etiquette, a passenger slide in Holland, just to name a few). So we especially appreciate Adrianna’s love for transit that extends beyond Muni. If you have your own personal history on transit to share, submit your story pitch to us at email@example.com. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Muni Diaries podcast so you don’t miss a minute of these great stories. You can find us on any of your podcast-listening apps.