Turn the Lights Down Low at Muni Diaries Live


All Photos by April Malvino

Put on some of that soft mood music and turn down the lights, it’s business time at Muni Diaries Live.

If you weren’t at the show Saturday night, you missed one of the hottest evenings we’ve had to date. We heard stories about making love and finding love on the bus; learned anatomical details about strangers we have never met; and all the other strange but wonderful things that can happen on public transit.

San Francisco culture writer Hiya Swanhuyser (above) opened the show by taking us on a familiar bus tour of our beloved city.

Broke-Ass Stuart recounted how he met his first love on the 71, back when he was even more “young, broke, and beautiful” than he is today. It takes some serious courage to tell a room full of 200 strangers about doin’ the dirty with your first love, and Stuart had us captivated.

Returning audience favorite Jesse James told us why guardian angels can come in many forms, and sometimes they even ride public transit. Jesse’s parents were in the audience Saturday night to hear Jesse entertain us with his side-splitting tales.

Muni Diaries is made from your stories, so as always, we invited some brave members of the audience to come up on stage to tell a story and win great prizes provided by Rewinery, Gama Go, and Timbuk2. Hannah (above) is the brave soul who told us how to quickly evacuate the bus if a fellow passenger makes a bodily function-related announcement.

Audience member Nick had a short “haiku” about a proud body part.

Our third audience storyteller, Nat, is fluent in Mandarin, but Cantonese would have been more helpful when he accidentally bumped into an old woman on the bus. We hope she’s forgiven him.

Nat and Hannah were neck-in-neck in the applause-o-meter on Saturday night, but first place went to Hannah, who took home two packed swag bags from Gama Go. Here’s our own beautiful Tara with some of the goodies that we gave away.

If you signed up to tell a story but didn’t get called on stage because of our time constraints, please write us! We want to hear from you!

Mahsa Matin and Elyse Bova shared the sweetest moment of the show by telling the story of how they met — on Muni. We received Mahsa and Elyse’s story in January this year and just knew that we had to have them on stage. Mahsa (San Francisco’s best one-woman band) had the audience dancing in their chairs with her rendition of “Kiss” by Prince while Elyse twirled with a huge smile on her face.

We welcomed poet Joyce Lee back to the stage again on Saturday. Joyce just got back from traveling the world, and witnessed a terrifying incident on the bus in Turkey that makes her (and us) realize how lucky we are to be in San Francisco.

Love it or hate it, Muni is our mini-living room, where we get to look one another in the eye and realize we’re all in this together. And judging by the packed crowd at the Elbo Room Saturday night, I think we’re all glad to be in a city filled with so many amazing stories happening every day.

You can see more photos of the evening at our photographer April Malvino’s page. We’ll have videos from the evening too, so keep your eyes peeled!

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