Living in the city in which “Muni humper” incidents polluted our transit experiences not once (the first we were tipped off was in 2009), not twice (2017), but three times (2017 the sequel), I’m more than a little wary of crotch-to-shoulder distance. I’m also more than a little wary, full stop.
Japan, Mexico, and Brazil, among other nations, recognized this pervasive (and disgusting) problem and did something about it with women-only trains. In Osaka recently with girlfriends, I finally got to experience one of these myselfâ€”and it’s as good as I thought it would be.
In addition to beholding the wonder of trains running like clockwork, amid a culture that demonstrated an amazing level of public politeness and modesty, I appreciate the acknowledgement that the female experience on public transit â€”or at work, or in our home lives, or, or, or…â€”can be different in a bad way. Also them seats were heated and Hello Kitty is on the train car wrapper.
Our pre-show rehearsal is a necessary part of the live storytelling gameâ€”but it’s also a nice reminder of why we’re still collecting your stories about San Francisco commute life and, since 2017, of life all over this city we call home. We call the phenomenon surprise tears, where something universally true or poignant hits us all and then the eyes get stingy and we’re rooting around in our purse for tissue.
You’re in for a treat come Saturday. Get tickets today:
Muni Diaries Live (<- tix on Eventbrite) Sat., April 6 Doors: 5:30 pm Show: 6:30-8:30 pm
The Rickshaw Stop 155 Fell St (between Van Ness and Franklin)
Also! Today, April 3, is our 11th birthday: Thanks for coming along on the ride, however unpredictable and kooky it may have been, for all these years. We’d love to celebrate with you in our new home.
As it turns out, Chris is also the creator of these interactive street car maps. I think he deserves an award for being the transit fan of the month?
What are some of your favorite transit gear? Here are some of our past favs.
Hey, we have a live show coming up next Saturday, April 6! Maybe you’ll come and sport these fancy new pins? Muni Diaries Live is back at our new home, Rickshaw Stop in Hayes Valley. Get your tickets today!
Got important news for your fellow riders? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with your dispatches. Our email inbox, firstname.lastname@example.org, is always open, too.
Tostitos apparently trademarked “Get Together Already” (a discussion for a different day), an imperative one Muni rider took to heart. One passenger on a 9-San Bruno was so keen on bringing the party, they left this lid and assorted snack detritus behind. Yes, it’s rude and messy, but this decidedly urban still-life gave me pause and I didn’t hate it.
Have an important dispatch for your fellow riders? Muni Diaries only exists because of your stories and submissions, so tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with your finds or observations. Our email inbox (email@example.com) is always open, too.
Gwen Carmen is a cancer survivor and longtime teacher in the San Francisco Unified School Districtâ€”but some of her best stories come straight off our own local transit. In this episode, Gwen tells a story about taking BART to see one of Aretha Franklinâ€™s final performances at the Oakland Coliseum. On her journey home from the concert with a group of fellow riders, Gwen finds herself in the middle of a crime scene that brings the journey to a haltâ€”but not the end.
You might remember Gwen from the live shows or from Episode 62 of this podcast, in which she told a story about serving sweet, sweet justice to a bus creeper while riding the 24.
You might remember storyteller Nuala Sawyer, News Editor at SF Weekly and haver of what most of us would agree was a pretty shit year back in 2013. She told the story on stage at Muni Diaries Live in November 2018, and it gave us not-so-surprise tears again when we added it to our podcast lineup recently.
The podcast episode ended up having an impact on an anonymous podcast listener, too. That person sent Nuala this handwritten letter to SF Weekly and, just when you think you’re out of Muni-related surprise tears…
“Thank you for telling it. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for placing yourself in a vulnerable position with the man and with the audience of Muni Diaries. As you impressively seem to know, honesty and vulnerability change [sic] peopleâ€”us as well as those around us,” the listener wrote. We couldn’t agree more, Listener. Thanks, Nuala, for sharingâ€”in more ways than one.