Tara Ramroop has laughed, cried, and commiserated with this amazing community from the start. She's been writing for as long as she can remember and riding Muni for more than a decade.

In true Muni style, Muni Diaries Live arrives two years late

We will absolutely squeeze as much mileage out of that joke as we can, sorry not sorry.

Almost exactly two years after canceling our 2020 show and thinking we might be up and running by the summer (LOL), we finally brought Muni Diaries Live back to the Rickshaw Stop last week. We celebrated our 14th (!) birthday with another sold-out crowd—no small feat after isolating ourselves for two years—and man, it felt great to hear stories in real life.

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Arriving: Muni Diaries Live is on April 7!

After almost exactly two years of pandemic-induced hiatus, Muni Diaries Live is back at Rickshaw Stop on Thursday, April 7!

Our 14th (!) birthday is also a few days prior, and we can’t wait to celebrate another year of that transit life with all of you.

We’re forever changed from the last two years, and we don’t anticipate to cleanly pick up where we left off in 2020. Muni has always been a litmus test for what’s happening more broadly in San Francisco, and word in The San Francisco Chronicle is that ridership hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, it’s unclear when it will. But people are still moving and shaking around this most dynamic town, and we’re here to celebrate that.

Per San Francisco guidelines, show will be vaxxed only. As of now, masks are no longer required indoors, but there is absolutely no shame in the mask game.

Our spectacular storytellers:

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So close, yet so far—when your hangover turns south on Muni

Pic by ashleyszwec

One of my favorite things about Muni Diaries is how naturally people share stories or “you won’t believe what happened” anecdotes. Sometimes those come in as longer write-ups or poignant images, but they’re often snack-size snapshots that sneak into our social feeds. From a reader on the Muni Diaries Facebook page:

One time I was super hungover trying to get home to the Sunset. I secretly puked in my own bag. I was only 2 stops away and didn’t feel like I could walk. I was almost there!!! (This was more than 10 years ago btw.)

I feel you, and I see you, reader. I also think this was the most polite option for all involved.

If you’ve cleared your last meal and are curious about how often this happens on Muni, listen to this podcast episode how it played out for Muni Diaries Live storyteller Kristee Ono, dig into our Muni vomit archive or come clean with a story of your own.

When we say “story,” it doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to involve vomit, but it does have to be your own experience in this funny place we call home. Email munidiaries.sf@gmail.com, or tag us @munidiaries on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook.

San Francisco Diaries: Finding the silver lining in teaching on Zoom

Educator Kelly Gregor Hartlaub had been a librarian for some time until the pandemic hit, until she was suddenly called back to frontline classroom teaching, on Zoom, for distance learning. Her first task as a Zoom teacher? Sex education. Yikes.

But that wasn’t even the hardest part. In today’s podcast episode, Kelly shares the emotional, mental, and practical challenges of distance learning, how she and fellow teachers kept going, and how an English-learning student having an especially hard time helped her in kind.

Listen to Kelly’s story:

We met Kelly a few years back, and here she is in the photo above (third from left), about to dig into a delicious burrito with some of San Francisco’s bloggerati (including Burrito Justice, Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight from The San Francisco Chronicle and the Total SF project, and yours truly).

We’re always looking for stories about how San Francisco has changed and transformed you, whether it happened on Muni or off. 

If you’ve been inspired by a story on our podcast or gone to one of our storytelling shows and imagined yourself on stage, we are here to help! Please email us your story idea at munidiaries.sf@gmail.com, or tag us @munidiaries on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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How the beloved Boat Tram became a real boi

Pic by Adolfo Echeverry Photo for Market Street Railway

People can’t help but smile when they see the Boat Tram, one of the Market Street Railway’s most unique and beloved vehicles. Which is why there’s no better inanimate object to take on an entire online personality.

How timely, as the Boat Tram is back in business by Fleet Weekend for those marking their calendars, according to The Bold Italic. Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays look like your best chance of a sighting or a ride going forward, but like many celebrities, their whereabouts are vague.

In honor of its return, we’re bringing you storyteller Chris Arvin, the person behind Boat Tram’s online persona, AKA Boat Boi. Tune in to hear about how Chris married a keen interest in transit with the power of the internets to turn Boat Tram into a real boy. Er. Boi.

Chris told this story at our 2019 Muni Diaries Live, the last time we were all in the room together, footloose and covid-fancy-free.

A product designer who is passionate about cities and public transit, Chris sits on the SFMTA Citizen Advisory Council and speaks often and strongly in favor of transit-friendly policies and plans. You might also know Chris from the adorable pins, stickers, Clipper card covers they’ve designed at their store, transit.supply.

Listen to their story:

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrisarvinsf, and keep up with Boat Boi @boattramsf: by far the hippest social media presence of a transit vehicle, if you ask me. Here are some of the moments that Chris mentions in the podcast episode:

Though we did not, in fact, see you all in the spring for the next Muni Diaries Live, having Boat Boi on my jacket puts a spring in my step nonetheless.

We are always looking for stories of people who make San Francisco the beautiful city it is today, on and off the rails. If you have a story to share or someone to nominate, email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

San Francisco Diaries: Meet a local historian who is anything but jaded

What can history teach us about this pivotal moment as we drop most COVID-related restrictions in San Francisco? Between mask-ne treatments and socializing awkwardly, we chatted with Chris Carlsson, the director of Shaping San Francisco about his experience and his perspective on our reawakening city.

Chris is a writer, San Francisco historian, tour guide, and writer. He recently published a new book, Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes and Radical Histories. Chris has seen a few cycles of San Francisco history since the 1970s. He was involved in many activist groups in the city, including a group that modified billboards about Muni fare in the 1980s. Who knew we would still be arguing about Muni fares today.

You might think he has seen it all, but in our conversation about his new book, we found out that this historian is anything but jaded about the future of San Francisco. “The more you understand history, the more you realize there are constant moments of possibility,” he told us—and I’m inclined to believe it’s true.

Listen to his conversation with Muni Diaries here:

We are looking forward to hearing your tales about returning to life, work, and other ways that living in San Francisco means to you now. Submit your own story or photo by tagging us @munidiaries on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Photo by FoundSF.

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