Do you remember your first apartment in San Francisco? We’re guessing that it was probably tiny, too expensive, with “cozy” period charm like radiator heating that whistles loudly in the middle of the night. Yet, somehow, it felt like winning the lottery to find it. In today’s story, architect and longtime SF resident Bob Collins recalls a period of transformation (for himself and the unit) in this teeny space. In the process, he realized why San Francisco was home.
Bob has lived in the Bay Area for 30 years, with stints in the Mission, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and the Richmond. He has a blog about walking around San Francisco called Urban Ambles, told from the dual perspectives of a regular pedestrian and professional architect. His urban walks in the blog cover a cross-section of the city; just like some of our favorite Muni stories from the cross-town lines.
His urban walks in the blog cover a cross-section of the city; just like some of our favorite Muni stories from the cross-town lines.
Listen to Bob’s story:
Being an architect, Bob also created a model (naturally) of his tiny apartment before and after his transformation, loft bed and all. Check it out on his blog here.
We’re celebrating 10 years of storytelling on and off the bus with a special bonus code for our upcoming anniversary show on April 21, 2018, at the Elbo Room. Listen to this episode for the discount code and get your tickets today.
If you liked this episode, please share it with your friends and rate our podcast on iTunes. You can submit your own story to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our inbox is waiting for your tales!
Photo by @budgetplaces
SF native Katrina hit up our San Francisco Diaries Facebook page with this throwback tale from her teenage years. We were all seemingly in a state of “Who will give us a ride/pick us up/has a car/isn’t our parents?” back in those days, but the uniquely San Francisco twists give this story the edge.
Growing up in SF is a completely different experience than most other places to grow up. We did things very differently here, as I would later learn in life after leaving our bubble. This particular story is from New Year’s Eve my senior year of high school. My group of girlfriends and I had just taken our thizz, as we called it then, and decided to head outside to try and hail a cab…at 11 p.m. in Diamond Heights. Obviously, no cabs were coming and Muni wasn’t running up there anymore. All of the sudden, a fire alarm goes off and two huge fire trucks pull up. They go inside and check it out. No fire. One of my friends asks them what happened and they say, “False alarm! Don’t worry!” Right at that moment, the E hits me and I shout to one of the firemen, “Hey! Can you give us a ride down the hill? Were trying to get to the fireworks and no cabs are coming.” He looks at all of us and says, “Sure! Hop in in!” We all look at each other and climb into the two fire trucks. They give us all head sets and let us talk to each other in the other trucks. We are 8 teens on E in fire trucks speeding down the hill looking over all of San Francisco. We get to the bottom of the hill and the fire truck stops in the middle of the road, hails us two cabs, and sends us on our way. We made it to the pier right at midnight.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. You certainly don’t get from Diamond Heights to the New Year’s fireworks for midnight.
Hear more San Francisco stories and Muni musings on our podcast! Find us on iTunes and Google Play.
Pic by Stephen Kelly
This tale about relationshipping in your Roaring 20s hits home for all of us who wished we could find love—or that it would find us, as promised in the RomComs—but kept looking for it in all the wrong places.
Oakland native Alexandria Love is on the podcast today with her personal, cringe-worthy story from that time in her life, which comes with a bonus transit twist. When she’s not prompting us to marvel in half awe, half horror over our early-20s life choices, Alex is also a stand-up comedian, podcaster, and writer. She’s performed at some of the best venues in California, including Tommy T’s, The San Jose Improv, and Cobb’s Comedy Club. She is the current reigning champion of Tourettes Without Regrets’ Dirty Haiku battle with 5 victories under her belt. She was the sleeper hit at the Muni Haiku Battle at Lit Crawl in 2017, which led her to snatch top honors during a reprise performance at Muni Diaries Live.
Listen to Alex’s story here:
Got your own very-SF strange and wonderful ritual, with or without Bay Area transit twists? San Francisco Diaries is looking for your personal stories about what it means to live here, and what makes our city “so San Francisco.” Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox is always open.
Pic by Right Angle Images
Love comes in all forms, and in San Francisco, you’ll encounter love and relationship rituals you never imagined possible. For example (and what an example), writer Anna Pulley shares a story about a fertility party she covered as a reporter. This may also be why she’s not allowed to plan dates anymore—WORTH IT!
She is the author of The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (with Cats!), which Cheryl Strayed called a “must-read,” which Tegan and Sara said was “an adorable and hilarious way to start the day,” and which Jennifer Tilly said was “thoroughly charming.”
In addition to aweing the creative rich and famous, she gives sex and relationship advice on her blog and in weekly advice columns for The Chicago Tribune’s RedEye and (formerly) AfterEllen. Anna also holds the distinction of competing in the very first Muni Haiku battle in Clarion Alley.
Listen to Anna’s story here:
p.s. As fertility ritual parties go, you might not want to listen to this episode with your kids; or just be prepared to do lots of explaining!
Got your own very-SF strange and wonderful ritual to report? San Francisco Diaries is looking for your personal stories about what it means to live here, and what makes our city “so San Francisco.” Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox is always open.
Being an adult isn’t easy, especially when you live in San Francisco where “everyone is perpetually in their late-20s to mid-30s.” So when you’re 22 and end up in San Francisco alone, you do what anyone would do: Go wild and make age-22 type of mistakes.
“Looking back now, it’s a miracle I didn’t die. I got in a lot of shady situations. I lost my beloved leather jacket. I left my Blackberry in a cab. In recovery, they say you have to hit rock bottom before you can get better. But my rock bottom just kept getting lower and lower. I drunkenly ran through the surf on Ocean Beach at 1 a.m. and almost got swept out to sea. I hooked up with a Santa Con Santa on the back patio of Mad Dog in the Fog. I was 22 and alone and nobody was around to stop me so I kept going and kept pushing the limits of what I could get away with and still live.”
Today’s story is from Vivian Ho, who you may remember was the criminal justice reporter at The San Francisco Chronicle from 2011 through 2017. She’s reported on the Mario Woods shooting, the San Francisco Police Department, wildfires, and she recently published an incredible investigative piece called “A Life on the Line.”
She’s seen a lot of San Francisco, from the incredibly serious and life-and-death moments to the more quirky and offbeat happenings around town. This story falls under the more quirky side of the spectrum—and we’ve never felt more spiritually connected to the cooing pigeons on our fire escapes.
Listen to her story here:
Special thanks to Vivian for sending over the first photo she’s ever taken with Drew, before the pigeons came into their lives.
You, too, can add an entry to our collective journal. San Francisco Diaries is looking for your personal stories about what it means to live here, and what makes our city “so San Francisco.” Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Our email inbox is always open!
Many of us didn’t give city transit a passing thought before we actually had a stake in the game as real-life commuters/fans/foes. In this episode, Steve Pepple reminds us that a passion for the shared experience of public transportation can start even in the most unlikely places.
Sharp-eared listeners may also remember him from a previous episode of this podcast, in which he regaled us with a tale of the time he accidentally wandered into a secret furry party while looking for the bathroom at a cafe. But he’s got all kinds of other stuff going on: Steve is on the board of San Francisco Transit Riders, a rider-supported group for world-class transit in San Francisco. And he’s a designer at OpenGov, where he works toward making cities more livable, whether he’s working on a budget or a bus.
Listen to Steve’s entire story in today’s podcast:
– Google Play
Is your own story burning a hole in your brain? Want to share an unexpected conversation with a stranger that stuck with you? We are all ears at email@example.com.
Pic by Right Angle Images