Outside Lands/Muni History Lesson

You never know what you’re gonna learn when you take a leisurely walk in San Francisco.

Tara and I headed out to the ocean from 28th Avenue and Balboa the other day. We took Balboa, but decided to walk back up Cabrillo to see what was in a mixed-use development neither of us knew about. As we approached La Playa, we noticed some large signs behind a group of trees, topped by clown faces. Once we overcame our indignation that clown imagery would be so wantonly employed in public, we decided to inspect. It turns out the signs serve as a marker, a written history of Playland, which used to exist at that spot. That part we already knew. What we didn’t realize was the extensive street car and steam bus circuits that served the amusement park back in the day.

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In October, I wrote about how Muni dedicated one of its historic streetcars on the F-Market/Wharves line to slain San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. Though best known for his tireless fight for equal rights in the LGBT community, he was also Muni’s best friend in Silly Hall, as he called it, advocating for better transit in San Francisco. He was the first SF supervisor to regularly use his FastPass and the first SF supervisor to take Muni to work every day from his home in the Castro.

I learned these things after stepping into a packed-to-the-gills, green-and-white F-car yesterday afternoon, not realizing it was the Harvey Milk car I wrote about a couple months prior. I took these blurry photos with my phone before it crapped out on me, and spent a lot of time staring at the old photos and reading the info in this mobile tribute. This was the same car featured in Milk, the critically acclaimed Gus Van Sant movie about Milk and his time in San Francisco politics.

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Mission needs repaving. I need a job

Rode a 49 down Mission the other day for the first time in a month or so, and I noticed that the stretch between 16th and Cesar Chavez has actually gotten worse. It’s like kids have been out there with pickaxes, tearin’ shit up.

Perhaps the Obama administration’s infrastructure-stimulus plan can start right here in the heart of the Mission. I am now officially unemployed, and would love to get all Habitat for Humanity, only on road repair. Sign me up!

How courteous

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but on both of my buses this morning, the driver announced next stops, and gave connecting routes, over their bus’s PA. Not only that, but you could also make out what they were saying.

Is this a new attempt at better transit? Anyone else notice this lately?

A Muni Diaries First: A Song for the 38-Geary

San Francisco musician Shane Papatolicas shares a song about a ride on Muni, specifically along the famed 38-Geary line.

Sometimes on the 38

We haven’t had the good fortune to see him perform yet, but here’s an excerpt of a review of Papatolicas at San Fran Voice:

Shane simplifies his feelings: “Sometimes I read the paper and I get depressed. Sometimes I stand and stare at the ground”. Either way, whether waxing poetic or putting it plainly, Shane’s lyrics grasp the truth of what he’s trying to say.

If you have Muni-related audio, video, photographs, or art you’d like to share with the world, please let us know by emailing Muni diaries.

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