Local activist and retired tradeswoman Molly Martin is back on the podcast with a story that starts during her revolution-minded college years in Washington state and takes us through the middle of the AIDS crisis in 1980s San Francisco. Molly is pictured above, back row, far right, in the fabulous crop top circa 1973.
She says this group, which called itself the Rosa Luxemburg Collective, is making a sign for No Way LPMA (the League for the Promotion of Militant Atheism). Larry, the central character in her intersectional story, is in the middle, hand outstretched. Here’s Molly:
DJ Steve Fabus has been called “one of the founding fathers of San Francisco’s gay disco scene,” and we were lucky enough to welcome him recently into our podcast studio. In today’s San Francisco Diaries episode, he shares a story many of us have heard or seen secondhand but was 100-percent real life for him. He moved to the city as a young gay man in the 1970s. At the time, he said he and his friends felt there was “power in numbers” as the gay movement gained momentum…to say nothing about “this amazing party going on,” he recalls.
Fabus has enjoyed a long career that spans from the disco era to today. He started DJing parties at his own flat, just around the block from Harvey Milk’s camera store. Harvey Milk, disco legend Sylvester, and other counterculture luminaries like Peter Berlin, the Fabulous Cockettes, and Pristine Condition became regulars at his events.
As Fabus found popularity and success spinning at venues like the Trocadero Transfer and I-Beam, the AIDS crisis also started to affect many people around him. In today’s episode, he describes the evening he found himself in the DJ booth providing the soundtrack to Sylvester’s farewell party.
On Instagram, rider @trasteverekev spotted the newest banned activity on BART: cross country skiing. I think we can agree that might be a bad idea on a moving vehicle. With no snow. Nice job hacking the sign, whoever this guerrilla graphic artist may be!
Got more important transit news? We want to hear all about it! Seize the day and add your commute story to Muni Diaries! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh, and our live show is back on Nov. 2! Hear true and hilarious Muni tales (with or without cross country skiing). Tickets for Muni Diaries Live is on sale now.
When you see something you really want on Craigslist but you don’t have a moving truck, do you look at your Clipper Card and think, I can do this? We know at least one person did, and we have the footage to prove it. Rider @captum.cdxv tipped us off to this video of an ambitious mover who somehow hauled a giant dresser on this Muni train. Things went a bit dicey when he tried to exit at Civic Center station, though.
The dresser was so tall that it was stuck at the train door. Apparently, for 20 to 30 minutes, more and more SFMTA station agents arrived to figure out what to do. Presumably somebody finally yelled, “Pivot!” and the dresser was out the door at last.
Did you know Muni Diaries is also a podcast? We are doing a live recording of our podcast next Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Betabrand Podcast Theater! The theme is “Hidden San Francisco,” and our special guests, Carolyn Eidson and Kristine Poggioli, are the first known people to have walked San Francisco’s scenic 49 Miles route. Tickets are only $5 and comes with free wine. See you there!
If you have other important rider news to report, we want to hear all about it! Seize the day and add your commute story to Muni Diaries! Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or email us at email@example.com.
Rider Michael Z. cuts and polishes stones for a hobby. Since the stones are super heavy, he decided to go multi-modal this day, jumping from his bike to a Muni bus. The journey didn’t go exactly as planned. In his own words:
Rush hour traffic on the #7 to the upper Haight:
I, an avid bike rider, already had a long day messing with a lot of heavy rocks and minerals all day long. I was backpacking about 55 lbs of rocks in my pack while riding my bike and decided to ride the bus to my destination.
I boarded at Market and Van Ness with my bike on the rack in front of the bus; it was so crowded that I was standing right at the front of the bus. The driver and I struck up a conversation about bikes and we were pulling up to Market and Haight Streets; some passengers got off and some got on.
The driver was about to leave when this kid ran up to the bus, threw down this pink sorry thing of a bike, ran to the bike rack, and proceeded to pull my bike off the bus.
The driver said [to me], “Hey, isn’t that your bike?”
I looked and said, “Yea.”
The door flew open for me as the kid was trying to figure out how to shift gears to go faster. That was not going to happen since my bike was only geared for single speed. So, with 55 lbs of rocks on my back, I ran and caught up to him and clotheslined him over the handle bars of the bike and got on top of him. I was about to nail him in the face. But seeing how young he was, I decided against it and told him it was his lucky day (or not so lucky) and told him to get a job and buy a bike.
I got my bike, and, to my surprise, the bus driver had waited for me. I put my bike back on the rack and got on the bus, and the whole bus started clapping their hands, some saying good job and so on.
What a crazy day. Thanks to the bus driver on the Haight Street line who waited for me at the scene of the bike-jacking. There IS a story to tell on every line.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a fixie and an action-movie-worthy chase scene beg to differ. Thanks, Michael, for this cautionary tale! (Legit wondering what happened to the pink bike, though.)
Yesterday I crossed over. I became one of “those people,” the ones who fail to pretend not to hear the crazy shit that people say on public transportation.
“White people always pay their fare,” white dude sitting across from me said. Loudly, because I could hear it through the music I was listening to in the earbuds. He said it again. “White people always pay their fare.”
“That’s not true,” I said.
He looked shocked and surprised that someone had responded and that someone was me.
The conversation continued as you might expect: “What country are you from?”
“I was born here.”
“I wasn’t raised a racist. I’m not racist. I’m not prejudiced. Are you?”
I confessed that sometimes I did harbor some prejudices and that I thought most people did.
“Speak for yourself!” He said.
He had the gall to try to cozy up to me by talking up our shared historical cultural experiences (because railroad building apparently), trying to create an “us vs. them” connection, presumably “us vs. other black and brown people.”
And then when he figured out that I was a “bleeding heart,” he started accusing me of being someone who would hire a bunch of “illegals from China” if I could, [just] to undercut his wages.
“In America,” he said, “we don’t live like they do.”
“I’m tired of hearing you,” piped up a young white man from the back of the bus to this dude.
“This is America. This is my First Amendment right,” the dude said.
“Well, it’s my First Amendment right to tell you to shut up.”
Angry dude starts to get off the bus and young dude in the back of the bus said, “It’s also my right to do this!” and began sexily kissing his boyfriend sitting next to him.
Angry dude starts screaming, “F____t!” But the door of the bus has closed, and we’ve started moving.
Oh, that sweet, sweet bus revenge as the back door closed in on the angry dude—and on Pride weekend, too! Thank you to rider Shirley for submitting this tale. It’s good to know that your fellow riders have your back.
Our commutes are a mere microcosm of life in San Francisco, and we are always looking for your stories to round out the experience. Add your own diary to our collective online journal by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.