Hanging out with Carlos Santana in Precita Park

Did you know Carlos Santana is from Bernal Heights? Good for you. Did you hang out with him at the park as a kid? We guess not. Bernal resident Orlando Galvez grew up in the neighborhood, and the famed musician was a regular part of Sunday afternoons in Precita Park. Orlando recalls that time fondly, when the entire park smelled like “cannabis and fried chicken,” and “spectacular, sparkling low riders” roam the streets.

Orlando recounts this San Francisco diary entry from the late 1960s to the good folks at Bernalwood:

I remember when I was a six year-old boy, watching Carlos Santana play his guitar. I thought he was the coolest kid in the Precita Park. When Santana was playing, I would even drift away from my beloved satellite spinner to get a better view.

Precita Park was a weekend mecca where hippies, Black Panthers, Symbianese Liberation Army radicals, and neighborhood Chicanos with their spectacular, sparkling lowriders would all gather around the playground right near where the satellite spinner still spins today.

“Oye Como Va” always got the party started.
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Meaningful conversation with a minion on Muni

Overheard conversations are even better when it’s between two unlikely new friends. Here’s one such moment, reported by Muni rider David Ngo (@design_0_0 on Instagram).

Can’t believe what I witnessed today on the SF muni. A weird but beautiful moment:
“Where are you from?”
“Kuwait”
“I’m Jewish but I grew up with all Muslim friends.”
“I’m Muslim. But what is this?”
“I’m a minion. My name is Stuart.”
“Oh I have seen this film. You can still be Muslim in your heart even if you are born Jewish.”
“Yes I believe we are all the same”
“Thank you. I like the way you think. Goodbye Minion”
“Goodbye. maʿ al-salāmah”

Got other important observations about only-in-SF moments? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com is always open!

Introducing: San Francisco Diaries

For the last 9 years, we’ve been collecting stories from over 4,000 people about life on Muni. We think of Muni as the collective living room of San Francisco, and in this living room, anything can happen. With your help, we’ve documented what it’s like to live in our foggy city for nearly a decade.

Often, Muni Diaries feels like a long love letter to San Francisco: from falling in love with a rider who returns your lost wallet to helping a young man with his tie, we’ve captured some very human moments in our city. Our public transit has been the lens through which we say: this is San Francisco.

Every day, you, our readers and diaries submitters, reenforce how much you care about living here. And we want to know the rest of your story. What else makes San Francisco the city we know and love?

Today we are introducing a new series: San Francisco Diaries. We’re expanding our lens of storytelling, and we want to hear your stories about how San Francisco has shaped you. Whether it’s a story about growing up in San Francisco, making your own mark on the map, or finding the moment when you know you’re really from here — San Francisco Diaries is your place to add your slice of life.

To kick off San Francisco Diaries, we have a special episode of our podcast from storyteller Jesse James. Jesse shares a story about how he unwittingly got a job at the Nob Hill Theater after a very brief interview. For those of you who have passed by the “Touch Our Junk” marquee on Bush, you definitely don’t want to miss this. Listen to the first episode of San Francisco Diaries on iTunes, Google Play, or download the episode.

You can continue to submit your stories about Muni (after all, what’s our city without it?), and stories about San Francisco by emailing us or tagging us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Photo by @yellow_line_art

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