I Live Here: SF, Muni Edition

All photos by Julie Michelle

Julie Michelle’s I Live Here: SF exhibit closes tonight at SOMArts. Many of Julie’s portrait subjects mention Muni in their stories, proving once again that public transportation is an essential fabric of living in San Francisco. You can’t really describe living here without throwing Muni in the mix:

“No day I live here is ever the same. It might be the same Muni train, but there are new characters. It might be the same brunch place, but the stories shared always change. The people I hold dear will always be there, but our roles and relationships are always evolving.” – Kimberly

“The San Francisco I grew up in isn’t the one people imagine from watching reruns of Full House. Ingleside is a working class neighborhood served by the K Muni line. While riding the K along Ocean Avenue, I can spot tired people napping in their business suits, young couples saying goodbye at their stops, and parents reining in their rambunctious kids. While some neighborhoods can be easily pinned down with a few stereotypes, I don’t think I can say the same here.” – Anna

“San Francisco is the cool breath of fog, standing on a street corner cursing at Muni, Monday night Guinness in a North Beach pub.” – Jax

“The young dispatcher I worked with on Sunday mornings told me I should consider urban planning as a vocation, and lent me a copy of Jane Jacobs’ The Death & Life of Great American Cities. He’s a Muni driver now, and I see him occasionally on the system around town. There’s never time to thank him for illuminating my purpose, and I keep meaning to return his copy of the book.” – Megan

“Having lived in major cities for the last 10 years, I was surprised at my initial trepidation about riding the Muni. The 19 and the 47 are my lines. Today, I appreciate them because they get me from here to there and everywhere in between with a little bit of flare, if you will, but in those first few rides I distinctly remember my shoulders at my ears and a look of confused horror that was most assuredly ill-masked by my please-don’t-notice-me-I’m-just-sitting-here-minding-my-own-business face. Thanks, Muni, you really make this town feel like a city.” – Nell.

“Undeniably, we’re also a pretty random town. Each slide of the Muni doors is a theatre-like lottery where two bucks can really change your life. People are almost never what they seem.”  – Chris

“I love how this city whispers all these sweet forevers to my heart… In this city I have experienced the kindness of Muni drivers who allow me to hop on when I do not have enough money to pay the fare. I always think that they allow me to ride for free because they know that I should not be out in the streets that late at night.” – Mayanin

“Now, when people ask where I live, I can hardly contain my pride, my sense of life, when I say San Francisco. There’s nowhere quite like it on earth. From twisting drives up Highway ‘1’ North, with barely a second without a world-class view, to late nights in the Mission. From evenings in a tub overlooking the bay, to friendly heart-warming conversations with complete strangers on the Muni. From the madness of the never-ending stream of street-parties to the calm of the Botanical Gardens – all just a cycle away.” – Tom

These photos are just some of the more than 180 subjects who are featured in this exhibit, presented with art by Chris Rusak and film from Rick Prelinger. Your last chance to see this exhibit is tonight (Tuesday Nov. 30) — we’ll be celebrating from 5-7 p.m. at SOMArts (934 Brannan Street between 8th and 9th Streets). And yes, you’ll find out who will take home the 30-Stockton bus shelter too. See you there!


After school on the 22.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *