In 2019, storyteller Kurt Schwartzmann told what is still one of my favorite Muni Diaries Live stories about being unhoused and reliant on the kindness of strangers, namely Muni drivers, for temporary warm shelter. In the thick of the pandemic, when we needed it most, he repaid the city with love. That is, he collaborated with artist Deirdre Weinberg on one of the famed Hearts of San Francisco. We had him back at Muni Diaries Live in April, as he is still looking for one Muni operator in particular. Maybe you can help him?
We’ve gotten our share of “teens on the bus” stories, but it is a special treat hearing from young folks themselves—thoughtful, civic-minded people who are inspired by public transit to participate and create.
Tanea Lunsford Lynx is Chair of the Spoken Arts Department at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts and one of the artists behind Muni Raised Me, a multimedia exhibition by San Francisco born-and-raised artists exploring a central question: What does Muni mean to the people who grow up riding it? Tanea brought their students to the Muni Raised Me exhibit to perform their own original poetry about Muni in a guerrilla-style spoken word show, and we had the privilege of sitting in to listen and record.
It warms our hearts to see the next generation keeping it transit-oriented. Muni Diaries Live alum Hayden Miller helped navigate a Muni bus in real-time (for real, listen to his story) and articulates his thoughts at SFMTA Board meetings on the state of transit—all while in high school. And we know a new crop of engaged Muni riders, like Tanea’s students, are coming up alongside him.
Lucky us: There was so much inspiring material, we curated it into a two-part series.
Part 1: Tanea shares her perspective on the exhibit and spoken-word event, plus some student performances
IYKYK: San Francisco doesn’t leave us that easily, even when we leave it. Katie Havercamp and LeBron James the cat (yep) learned it bigtime firsthand, and I’d bet that many people you know have strong feelings on the topic.
Sheila McElroy has spent her professional life studying, writing about, and talking about place: how our sense of it grounds us in history and provides context for how we see, move around, and make sense of the world. In this story, told at Muni Diaries Live in November 2022, Sheila takes us through her personal sense of place and the role it, especially San Francisco, plays in her journey.
If you didn’t even know we had a podcast until you saw this post, or until an obviously excellent friend with great taste sent it your way, don’t forget to subscribe to the Muni Diaries podcast so you don’t miss another minute of these real-life tales from on and around the bus. We’re on all your favorite podcast-listening apps.
How often do you ask yourself, “What would you do if this happened to you on Muni?” Storyteller Keli Dailey explores that very difficult question on stage at Muni Diaries Live, where she shared a tale about an unexpected turn of events on the bus. Keli is an award-winning journalist, performer and educator. She teaches media classes at the University of San Francisco, Saint Mary’s College of California and Mills College, where she also leads the Communication program.
She says that she believes in the power of comedy to communicate news, and that’s something we can definitely identify with here at Muni Diaries headquarters.
We don’t often talk about the behind-the-scenes stuff at Muni Diaries because we are really about your stories. But occasionally something happens at Muni Diaries headquarters that just makes us go, “I can’t believe that happened.”
One of the great things about running Muni Diaries is that we get to try any and all ideas, and along the way we met really great people who also have fun and wacky ideas. Sometimes those fun and wacky ideas turn into a whole another thing altogether. And in this case, one idea to incorporate a Muni shelter into our art show with photographer Julie Michelle turned into a battle for the heart and soul of San Francisco.
In today’s podcast, Tara and I dive into our archives to share the backstory of how we came to briefly own a Muni shelter, and why we are still searching for it today.
You might have seen these two awesome people who joined the Muni Diaries crew earlier this year, and in today’s episode, you’ll get to know more about our new editors, Kat Siegal and Sarah Katz-Hyman. If you are a part of the local Transit Twitter community, you are probably already familiar with their names (and witty tweets), and today they’ll share what makes them so passionate about San Francisco.
We’ve always admired Kat and Sarah’s deep knowledge of public transit, their local activism, and their love for this city. You’ll meet Kat and Sarah live at our next Muni Diaries Liveshow on Nov. 3, 2022! Use the code PODCAST to get a listeners-only discount. See you there!