San Francisco Diaries: Finding Satan’s jacket at the Elbo Room

The Elbo Room has been the home of Muni Diaries Live for many years, and just before its San Francisco location closed permanently, co-owner Matt Shapiro joined us on stage to share one of the many memorable, behind-the-scenes tales from the famed club. He had worked for years as the manager and booker at the Elbo Room, which housed the legendary lesbian bar Amelia’s in the 1960’s (the bar swaps out its signage for Amelia’s old sign for Pride). In 2010, he and co-owner Erik Cantu bought the bar.

Matt’s San Francisco Diaries story involved Satan, his leather jacket, and the lengths that club owners will go to keep a promise.

Listen to his story here:

You can still visit the Elbo Room’s Oakland location in Jack London Square where its old signage is proudly displayed in the front of the building.

Meanwhile, Muni Diaries Live continues! We have found a new home and our next show is on April 6th at Rickshaw Stop in Hayes Valley. Tickets are on sale now.

Put a lid on it: Urban still-life on Muni

blue chairs Tostitos lid, missing jar

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.

In some Sliding Doors parallel universe, the lid meets the bowl of milk on Muni (seriously), the discarded durian, and the party is brought for real.

Have an important dispatch for your fellow riders? Muni Diaries only exists because of your stories and submissions, so tag us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter with your finds or observations. Our email inbox (muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com) is always open, too.

NSFW: “Good vibes” found at Muni stop

Every day is a new opportunity to find something left on Muni that’s truly weird, possibly gross, and definitely appealing to our inner 13-year-old humor. There’s that bowl of milk that someone abandoned on the bus, then there’s the friendly leopard left waiting at the Muni stop. Today’s find is of an intimate sort. On Twitter, rider Kiley (@kilodeer) hipped the SFMTA to this item left at the bus stop:

Hey @sfmta_muni@SF311, you might want to come collect the wiggling dildo someone left at Filmore and Jackson, outbound on the 22-Filmore. (Stop 14623) This is the most San Francisco thing ever. Also, I’m sorry. @munidiaries

Kiley tells the SFMTA that they should be glad she only posted a photo of this dildo and not the video. Well, here at Muni Diaries headquarters, we are not one to let opportunities pass us by! Kiley kindly sent us the actual video of said wiggling dildo. Behold and also NSFW and whatnot:

Read more

See Muni Diaries at the Betabrand Podcast Theater on March 7!

We’re coming out of our humble podcast studio, rosé in hand, to record our first live episode at the Betabrand Podcast Theater! On March 7, we’ll bring our podcast live to you at the Betabrand store on Valencia Street, where you’ll hear hilarious and true stories from on and off the rails, and watch us chat live with some of San Francisco’s most seasoned commuters.

You’ll hear tales from storyteller Dhaya Lakshiminarayanan and The San Francisco Chronicle’s Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub. And just for the Betabrand Podcast Theater, we’ll bring you a new segment called “Ask Driver Doug” featuring longtime Muni operator Doug Meriwether.

Tickets are only $5 for our first live podcast event, so get ’em while they last!

Betabrand Podcast Theater presents: Muni Diaries

Tickets: $5

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Doors: 6:30 p.m., Show 7 p.m.

Betabrand

780 Valencia Street (between 18th and 19th Streets)

San Francisco, CA 94110

Take Muni there: 12, 14, 22, 33, 47, 49. Or take BART: 16th Street Station.

Illustrated train delay scarf fetches handsome sum on eBay

When German writer Sara Weber tweeted about her mom’s interesting way of knitting scarves, she probably never imagined it would set the internets ablaze. But take it from us—people love talking about transit and transit delays. Apparently, they love when both are captured as creatively as this.

Weber tweeted about her mom’s knit pattern based on train delay times:

“My mother is a Munich-area commuter and enthusiastic knitter. In 2018 she knitted a “train delay scarf.” Two rows per day: gray for less than 5 minutes, pink for 5 to 30 minutes delay, red for a delay on both trips, or once more than 30 minutes.”

Weber’s mom channeled her public transit frustrations into a knit pattern in the style of a temperature blanket. You can see that, in the spring, things were pretty OK given the gray and blue stripes, but in the summer, railway replacement traffic caused massive delays in Germany, which gave the scarf its wide swath of red. Thanks to fellow yarn enthusiast Shannon Okey, who translated Weber’s tweet, we found out what happened next.

The scarf went viral on social media in Germany, and the women decided to auction it off for charity on eBay. According to The Guardian, the scarf fetched more than $8,000. Guess who emerged victorious? Germany’s biggest rail company, whose delays have earned the ire of many commuters—including the knitting mom.

Isn’t it ironic…don’t you think?

Can you imagine if Muni bid on and bought your handmade scarf illustrating bus delay frustration? Thanks to Muni Diaries friend @edcasey for discovering this super relatable transit rider story.

Got your own story, whether it happened on or off the bus? We’re all ears! Submit a tip or a story via email at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com, or tag us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @munidiaries.

Quit ‘dragon’ me around with you on Muni

Rider Sharon alerted us to this initially startling, ultimately awesome dispatch and new installment of strange cargo on Muni. Fond of sketching fellow passengers on Muni, Sharon couldn’t have found a better subject that day—but San Francisco is always up for a curiosity challenge if you’re up for it.

So when you need to transport a dragon skeleton for whatever reason, now Muni is officially the way! Sharon even did a quick sketch of the passenger and her winged friend, which you can see on her Instagram account.

Strange cargo is one of our favorite types of submissions here at Muni Diaries. How else would you transport your cat tree (cat included), mattress (which looks like it just barely made it up the #backdoor steps), errant frog, or giant Styrofoam?

Exactly.

f you have a story to share (strange cargo or otherwise), we want to know about it. Tag us @munidiaries on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram, or email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. Want more strange and wonderful Muni tales? Subscribe to the Muni Diaries podcast on your fav podcast listening app!

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