Secrets to life in San Francisco, as heard at Muni Diaries Live


What can happen on one bus ride to really change your life in San Francisco? Last Saturday, our Muni Diaries Live storytellers told the standing room-only crowd at the Elbo Room all about the surprising interactions on Muni that can change you in small and big ways.

We started the show with Gabe Armstrong (above), who stepped out of the sound booth (he is the audio engineer at the Elbo Room) to tell his own Muni story on stage. Riding public transit can really change your perspective of what you should and shouldn’t be afraid of in life, Gabe says. And how did he learn this? By hauling the remainder of his B2B vehicle on Muni while under the influence of jello shots, of course.


Cara Tramontano (@thecara) is Muni Diaries’ Twitter best friend. At Muni Diaries Live, she let us in on the secret of how she met her favorite bus driver. We’ll all be looking out for Edison on our bus rides from now on.


Comedian Kristee Ono had one big fear in life, and it happened on her Muni ride. But the comMUNIty (sorry, see what I did there?) on Muni banded together to help one another out yet again.


We have had a lot of musicians at Muni Diaries Live, but we had yet to meet anyone whose entire hip-hop album is about the psychology of public transit! Satellite High charmed the entire audience with songs about Muni, especially one love song looking for a fellow transit enthusiast. Here’s a pickup line that I encourage you to use: Hey girl, you like buses too?


Storyteller Jerry Lee Abram whispered backstage to warn us that his story is a little on the NSFW side, but it’s a good thing that the Elbo Room is 21+.


Driver Doug was back on stage to tell us all the things he has observed about Muni riders over the last 17 years. Here’s our PSA: the twerking you do to the Clipper card reader to scan the card in your back pocket? It’s been publicly documented.


We welcomed brave new Muni Haiku Battle challenger Baruch Porras-Hernandez to the contest at this show, and he brought some choice words to the stage.


But reigning champion Ronn Vigh has had at least a year’s worth of experience writing about Muni in 5-7-5 form. Can Baruch unseat our witty champion?


Our celebrity judges were split, and the final tie-breaking round had us all on the edge our seats.


But Baruch ultimately upset Ronn to take the crown, which in this case came in the form of a bright orange sweatband and matching arm bands. We have a new champion!

We’ll have videos of all the glorious shenanigans from the show in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, if you are inspired by these storytellers, and we hope you are, our inbox is wide open for your own Muni stories too! And we’ll be back in the spring with more true tales from San Francisco public transit.

All images by Kevin Wong

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