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.

Only in San Francisco

Until the store in Pier 39 of the same name (Only in San Francisco) starts selling Eau de Urine parfum and employs a yelling, angry schizophrenic mascot, I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on their choice moniker.

Favorite thing overheard on the 49 last night:

“I’m just doing this until I get into in clown school in January.”

If you’re wondering, “this” is living in a work-here-and-get-free-room-and-board hotels off Van Ness. (I thought those were whorehouses?)

Anyway,  many in SF (and in many major city) seem to be in a state of flux. I’m only doing this until I get into grad school. I’m working as a barista because I got laid off.  I had a high-stress job, now I’m working on my writing and taking it easy. But I wonder how many other people around the world hear “clown school” in relation to a career on their ride home.

Maybe that Only in San Francisco store can start selling clown attire for the budding painted-person-entertainment industry.


How is that comfortable?

Time for another incredulous installment of “is this you?”

I could smell your whiskey as soon as you stepped on the bus, you referred to the Latino driver using the ever-condescending “amigo!” and you sit like an asshole. I know the bus wasn’t full, but that’s no excuse.


Bus tourism: The little idea that could

This bus-tourism article from The New York Times Travel section just tickles me. I’m a big proponent of buses (yes, really), especially as a way for visitors to get a quick-and-dirty look at local life. The NYT story claims that by using one of their suggested $7.50-per-day city bus tours – an idea likely borne out of the dismal economy – you can see most of Manhattan in 3.5 hours of bus time, plus a few short walks and/or Subway rides.

Since it takes an hour, roughly, to get between any given Point A and B in San Francisco on Muni, bus tourism is a tragically laughable concept once you translate the idea for our fair city. For comparison’s sake, based on square-footage, Manhattan Island is a little less than one-half the size of San Francisco.

San Francisco has an identity crisis. This manifests itself in a number of ways, including copious, self-conscious references to it being a “world-class” city with “world-class” stuff. You can find such references in everything from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s 2008 inaugural address to his endorsement of a contemporary art museum in the Presidio to just about any time someone official talks about San Francisco International Airport. Sadly, the world-class city with world-class stuff doesn’t have world-class transportation, effectively disqualifying it from consideration to host the 2012 Olympic games.

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Self-conscious realization gone wrong

Is this you? Please don’t talk on the phone so loudly next time.

I realize you were lost on your way to meet friends and Muni did you some horrible injustice (welcome to the club). But once you say “Wait, I’m bothering people on the bus” to whoever you’re talking to, you basically have about 30 seconds to get off the phone before you become the biggest asshole on the bus. FAIL. Visit Muni Manners for more helpful hints!



The F-Market/Wharves line is actually really fun during the day. There is still your requisite group of tourists frantically wondering whether they missed the stop for Alcatraz or Pier 39, but it’s much less hurried or crowded around 11 a.m.

That’s not to say it doesn’t come with its share of odd visuals.

First up, we have the back hair that waved at me throughout the entire (thankfully short) journey from Pier 39 to the Ferry Building. I found it pretty remarkable how contained, yet not, this not-so-fashionable statement was. That reminds me, I don’t think I cleaned the lint trap out after my last dryer load (extreme close-up after the jump) …

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what was that?

I was on the loudest bus Wednesday. And that’s saying a lot coming from someone who’s regularly accused of being the loudest person anyone knows.

I live along the 31-Balboa line. Though I only know two other people who live on this line, I highly recommend a ride just for the quick-and-dirty, 40-minute lesson in San Francisco neighborhoods and people. It starts on Market, just south of the Financial District. It goes past the nicer parts of Market (until you hit the mall), then past the not-so-nice parts (mind the needles). Straight through the Tenderloin it goes, through the Western Addition and Fillmore, past Laurel Heights and into the Richmond, toward its final stop by the ocean. By extension, you can imagine the bus has a range of clientele, from FiDi yuppies to awkward USF students to cadres of obnoxious, fearless teenagers to petite Asian ladies armed with pink plastic bags.

You can probably tell where I’m going with this. No, I’m not race-baiting; I despise all willing disrupters of the bus ride equally.

But let’s focus on those obnoxious, fearless teenagers for now. They were not only loud talkers; they used the rude, yet effective “Can I get by, shit!?” to cut through the standing crowd. They then used the actual bus as a drum to accompany their impromptu song for which people silently (read: passive-aggressively) shot them angry looks. The irony meter (and everyone’s patience) tipped when a man aggressively asked them to quiet down. He then proceeded to yell into his phone about some hot chick at Starbucks.

I think that ride even beat my morning journey on the F; the one with a whole classroom of eight-year-olds.

What do you think is the loudest line? Please let me know so I can avoid it at all costs.

Tara Ramroop isn’t that loud. OK, maybe she is, but never on the bus.

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