A Muni ride puts you in much closer proximity with our city’s less fortunate – instead of just walking over yet another homeless person huddled in a blanket or ignoring yet another outstretched hand for spare change, a Muni ride makes you look at people in the eye. Or does it?
I was on the 38-Geary on Sunday when a older man wearing a trench coat got onboard. He sat across from a toddler bouncing on her mom’s lap, and the next thing I know, the man started singing a pretty, soulful tune to the little girl. “The girl of my dreams…ain’t no mountain too high…nothing can keep us apart.” “You know what I’m talking about,” he says to no one in particular.
He rambles on and tells the bus that his name is Fillmore Holmes (“That’s right. That’s my real name.”) and sings right in front of Virgin Records downtown. “My last show is on August 23! Are y’all going to come see me at my last show?”
He is not technically one of the crazies, but his unusual habit of starting up conversations and engaging with strangers renders him an acutely annoying oddball. He is a middle-aged man, soft around the edges, always in dorky business casual. He often baits everyone with something banal like, “Man, it’s sure crowded today.” And should anyone respond, next thing you know he is asking them about where they are from and trying to connect with San Francisco trivia. One innocent couple held the door for him and the next 10 minutes were a barrage of T.M.I. snippets of his life. Doesn’t he get it? Morning commute is not a time to be chipper and chatty. The coffee may not have kicked in yet, and it takes zen power to survive the ride.
I was on one of the Market Street buses a couple of weeks ago — the 71-Haight, I think — heading toward the Ferry Building. The bus was nearly empty and a couple of folks got off just as I hopped on. As soon as the bus doors closed, the driver turned to a young couple sitting in the elderly/disabled section and said, “Check your bags. The guy who was sitting next to you is a pickpocket. Let me know if he took anything and I’ll call the cops.”
She waited while they frantically checked their bags. Fortunately, nothing was taken and the bus wasn’t seriously delayed. But I liked that this driver was looking out for out-of-towners possibly distracted and dazzled by their unfamiliar environment.
It almost made up for the 38L driver yesterday who spent more time yelling at every single passenger than actually driving… – Beth W.
By no means is it the first, but I felt I had to report this T-shirt found over at RAG co-op in Hayes Valley:
It’s made by a local company called Love Project. Despite the hippie-ish name, they make mostly SF-related things.
The folks at Mission Mission snapped an awesome picture that reflects how we sometimes feel about Muni…
Check it out here: Mission Mission.
I decided to play Muni races today — the 5 against the 21. I’m fairly certain that the 5 line outmaneuvers and outruns the 21. (The block-to-block stops on the 21 draws this conclusion.) But the 5 stops about three streets farther from my final destination (Ashbury and Fell), which is why I always opt for the 21 — pure laziness. But the question was: Could I overtake the 21 on foot once the 5 dropped me at my destination? This was something I’d pathetically pondered more times than a sane person should.
As I waited for the bus on Market and Second, I saw my shot to answer this ever-nagging question. Just behind the approaching 5 poked a 21 — back to back. They both came to a stop. So I decided to test my theory, and hopped onto the 5. After we loaded and left, I watched the 21 out of the rear window until the two buses made the split near Seventh street. The race was on.