Meet the newest editors in the Muni Diaries crew

We are excited to introduce two awesome people who are joining the Muni Diaries crew to make this quirky diary of city living even more fun. If you are a part of the local Transit Twitter community, you are probably already familiar with their names: Kat Siegal and Sarah Katz-Hyman are joining the Muni Diaries Crew as our new editors! 

We’ve always admired Kat and Sarah’s deep knowledge of public transit, their local activism, and their love for this city. I feel so fortunate that as Muni Diaries grows into its teenage years, we are keeping the storytelling strong by adding two incredibly thoughtful (and witty) San Franciscans to the crew. 

Here’s more about Kat and Sarah, in their own words:

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Arriving: Muni Diaries Live is on April 7!

After almost exactly two years of pandemic-induced hiatus, Muni Diaries Live is back at Rickshaw Stop on Thursday, April 7!

Our 14th (!) birthday is also a few days prior, and we can’t wait to celebrate another year of that transit life with all of you.

We’re forever changed from the last two years, and we don’t anticipate to cleanly pick up where we left off in 2020. Muni has always been a litmus test for what’s happening more broadly in San Francisco, and word in The San Francisco Chronicle is that ridership hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, it’s unclear when it will. But people are still moving and shaking around this most dynamic town, and we’re here to celebrate that.

Per San Francisco guidelines, show will be vaxxed only. As of now, masks are no longer required indoors, but there is absolutely no shame in the mask game.

Our spectacular storytellers:

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Vote for the best Muni Diaries entry of 2021

And just like that, 2021 is nearly over, but we aren’t calling it done until we celebrate all of you who submitted a Muni Diaries entry this year! Despite this seemingly never-ending pandemic, you’ve tweeted your commute, sent us your stories on Facebook, and even came on our virtual podcast recording. We’re closing out the year with a vote for the best submission of the year.

We are celebrating these five submissions this year:

  1. A new mom’s gratitude for Muni drivers by Cole Brennan.
  2. Finding the silver lining in teaching on Zoom by Kelly Gregor Hartlaub.
  3. Muni comes through when you leave your purse on the 22 by Thea Selby.
  4. Limp Bizkit, Live 105, and Muni walk into a time machine by @pfungcollects.
  5. When your hangover turns south on Muni, from Setera V. from the Muni Diaries Facebook page.

Vote for one of these five story submissions in 2021 before Dec. 31! The winner gets a Muni Diaries goodie bag, and of course, our endless gratitude.

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San Francisco Diaries: Opening night at Rickshaw Stop

After shuttering for more than a year since the start of the pandemic, San Francisco venues finally opened their doors to indoor events last week. We talk to Dan Strachota, the talent buyer and managing partner at Rickshaw Stop to hear about their first indoor show about a week ago. Rickshaw Stop is also the home of Muni Diaries Live, so we were especially relieved to know that the venue is back in business.

Dan shares the behind-the-scenes details of their first show (featuring local bands Zola and Zelma Stone), and all the unexpected things that happen after 16 months in hibernation.

Dan has been the managing partner at Rickshaw Stop for nearly a decade, and the talent buyer for 17 years and counting. He has been an outspoken advocate for independent venues in San Francisco.

Listen to the interview:

We’re always looking for stories from people who love and care about San Francisco. If you have a story to share, or want to nominate someone to be on the podcast, email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. And keep up with your Muni musing with us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

San Francisco Diaries: Meet a local historian who is anything but jaded

What can history teach us about this pivotal moment as we drop most COVID-related restrictions in San Francisco? Between mask-ne treatments and socializing awkwardly, we chatted with Chris Carlsson, the director of Shaping San Francisco about his experience and his perspective on our reawakening city.

Chris is a writer, San Francisco historian, tour guide, and writer. He recently published a new book, Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes and Radical Histories. Chris has seen a few cycles of San Francisco history since the 1970s. He was involved in many activist groups in the city, including a group that modified billboards about Muni fare in the 1980s. Who knew we would still be arguing about Muni fares today.

You might think he has seen it all, but in our conversation about his new book, we found out that this historian is anything but jaded about the future of San Francisco. “The more you understand history, the more you realize there are constant moments of possibility,” he told us—and I’m inclined to believe it’s true.

Listen to his conversation with Muni Diaries here:

We are looking forward to hearing your tales about returning to life, work, and other ways that living in San Francisco means to you now. Submit your own story or photo by tagging us @munidiaries on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Photo by FoundSF.

Welcome back, Muni streetcars!

I commuted on the streetcar from downtown to Fisherman’s Wharf for seven years with a dense hodgepodge of locals, tourists, 30-child field trips, and the occasional iguana named Skippy. The experience didn’t often match the old-world charm and good intentions, so complaining incessantly about the F-Market/Wharves became my theme. As a newly minted San Franciscan, it was my duty to find a bug for my bonnet and take to the internet with that rage.

But lots of strained relationships improve with time. I can hear the distinctive “whrrrrrrrrrrr honk honk” from my apartment as streetcars fly along the tracks, and can even tell the difference between the PCCs and the wooden, Milanese ones that kick like bucking broncos. I went public with my change of heart, calling it my favorite line during the TotalSF installment of Betabrand Podcast theater.

So let me acknowledge again that I’ve gotten over my attitude problem and am thrilled that the streetcars are back in commission after a long, covid-prompted hibernation. Check out these recent photos from our enthusiastic transit community, and tag us in your own happy snaps of normalcy @munidiaries on Facebook, Insta, or Twitter.

The story behind @boattramsf AKA Boat Boi, as relayed by Chris Arvin, remains a Muni Diaries Live crowd favorite. Listen for it soon on the Muni Diaries Podcast!

Featured photo by @vickys_photo and @panobug

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