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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So close, yet so far—when your hangover turns south on Muni

Pic by ashleyszwec

One of my favorite things about Muni Diaries is how naturally people share stories or “you won’t believe what happened” anecdotes. Sometimes those come in as longer write-ups or poignant images, but they’re often snack-size snapshots that sneak into our social feeds. From a reader on the Muni Diaries Facebook page:

One time I was super hungover trying to get home to the Sunset. I secretly puked in my own bag. I was only 2 stops away and didn’t feel like I could walk. I was almost there!!! (This was more than 10 years ago btw.)

I feel you, and I see you, reader. I also think this was the most polite option for all involved.

If you’ve cleared your last meal and are curious about how often this happens on Muni, listen to this podcast episode how it played out for Muni Diaries Live storyteller Kristee Ono, dig into our Muni vomit archive or come clean with a story of your own.

When we say “story,” it doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to involve vomit, but it does have to be your own experience in this funny place we call home. Email munidiaries.sf@gmail.com, or tag us @munidiaries on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook.

San Francisco Diaries: Finding the silver lining in teaching on Zoom

Educator Kelly Gregor Hartlaub had been a librarian for some time until the pandemic hit, until she was suddenly called back to frontline classroom teaching, on Zoom, for distance learning. Her first task as a Zoom teacher? Sex education. Yikes.

But that wasn’t even the hardest part. In today’s podcast episode, Kelly shares the emotional, mental, and practical challenges of distance learning, how she and fellow teachers kept going, and how an English-learning student having an especially hard time helped her in kind.

Listen to Kelly’s story:

We met Kelly a few years back, and here she is in the photo above (third from left), about to dig into a delicious burrito with some of San Francisco’s bloggerati (including Burrito Justice, Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight from The San Francisco Chronicle and the Total SF project, and yours truly).

We’re always looking for stories about how San Francisco has changed and transformed you, whether it happened on Muni or off. 

If you’ve been inspired by a story on our podcast or gone to one of our storytelling shows and imagined yourself on stage, we are here to help! Please email us your story idea at munidiaries.sf@gmail.com, or tag us @munidiaries on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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How the beloved Boat Tram became a real boi

Pic by Adolfo Echeverry Photo for Market Street Railway

People can’t help but smile when they see the Boat Tram, one of the Market Street Railway’s most unique and beloved vehicles. Which is why there’s no better inanimate object to take on an entire online personality.

How timely, as the Boat Tram is back in business by Fleet Weekend for those marking their calendars, according to The Bold Italic. Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays look like your best chance of a sighting or a ride going forward, but like many celebrities, their whereabouts are vague.

In honor of its return, we’re bringing you storyteller Chris Arvin, the person behind Boat Tram’s online persona, AKA Boat Boi. Tune in to hear about how Chris married a keen interest in transit with the power of the internets to turn Boat Tram into a real boy. Er. Boi.

Chris told this story at our 2019 Muni Diaries Live, the last time we were all in the room together, footloose and covid-fancy-free.

A product designer who is passionate about cities and public transit, Chris sits on the SFMTA Citizen Advisory Council and speaks often and strongly in favor of transit-friendly policies and plans. You might also know Chris from the adorable pins, stickers, Clipper card covers they’ve designed at their store, transit.supply.

Listen to their story:

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrisarvinsf, and keep up with Boat Boi @boattramsf: by far the hippest social media presence of a transit vehicle, if you ask me. Here are some of the moments that Chris mentions in the podcast episode:

Though we did not, in fact, see you all in the spring for the next Muni Diaries Live, having Boat Boi on my jacket puts a spring in my step nonetheless.

We are always looking for stories of people who make San Francisco the beautiful city it is today, on and off the rails. If you have a story to share or someone to nominate, email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

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