Girls to the front: A women-only train experience

Living in the city in which “Muni humper” incidents polluted our transit experiences not once (the first we were tipped off was in 2009), not twice (2017), but three times (2017 the sequel), I’m more than a little wary of crotch-to-shoulder distance. I’m also more than a little wary, full stop.

Japan, Mexico, and Brazil, among other nations, recognized this pervasive (and disgusting) problem and did something about it with women-only trains. In Osaka recently with girlfriends, I finally got to experience one of these myself—and it’s as good as I thought it would be.

In addition to beholding the wonder of trains running like clockwork, amid a culture that demonstrated an amazing level of public politeness and modesty, I appreciate the acknowledgement that the female experience on public transit —or at work, or in our home lives, or, or, or…—can be different in a bad way. Also them seats were heated and Hello Kitty is on the train car wrapper.

San Francisco ladies have a lot to be proud of in spite of the occasional frotteurism that can taint (as it were) our journeys. One Muni hero looked an attacker right in the eyes in defense of a fellow passenger and an entire set of women formed a literal line of defense between another Muni passenger and her assailant.

Not everyone knows (or believes) it, but Muni Diaries is a lady-driven venture. Join us this Saturday at Muni Diaries Live for IRL stories and merriment. Tickets and details in the link.

Pics by roopisonfire and travel buddy Ericka.

How to hold an impromptu Bible study on Muni

One Muni rider was recently privy to a scene that was nothing like the Sunday school you remember:

This guy on the 38R has a blunt in his ear, is taking pulls from a bottle of Patron, and is reading the New Testament aloud to his trans woman friend. They’re legit having bible study. This is wild. Even for 11 pm in The Fillmore.

He just got to the part where Judas hanged himself. “That’s crazy, huh.” The woman is falling asleep. Just when you think you’ve seen everything…

Now they’re at the part where Peter denied Jesus three times. He’s surprisingly empathetic. “I mean, I get it. If hella people would have been mad at me for being his friend, I wouldn’t have said anything either.”

They got off on Masonic. I have so many questions. I feel like Ed Norton when he met Tyler Durden in Fight Club. They were the most interesting single-serving friends I’ve ever met.

From Muni rider @MexicanMarauder

I never thought I’d say this, but I kind of want this guy to tell me his version of the rest of the Bible. For now, I’ll have to tide over things with this Simpsons Bible Stories episode, I guess.

Want more Muni hilarity? Muni Diaries Live returns this Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Rickshaw Stop! Tickets are over here this way.

Photo by @dbo.g

Muni Diaries Live: We do it for the surprise tears

Our pre-show rehearsal is a necessary part of the live storytelling game—but it’s also a nice reminder of why we’re still collecting your stories about San Francisco commute life and, since 2017, of life all over this city we call home. We call the phenomenon surprise tears, where something universally true or poignant hits us all and then the eyes get stingy and we’re rooting around in our purse for tissue.

You’re in for a treat come Saturday. Get tickets today:

Muni Diaries Live (<- tix on Eventbrite)
Sat., April 6
Doors: 5:30 pm
Show: 6:30-8:30 pm

The Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell St (between Van Ness and Franklin)

Also! Today, April 3, is our 11th birthday: Thanks for coming along on the ride, however unpredictable and kooky it may have been, for all these years. We’d love to celebrate with you in our new home.

Pic by Right Angle Images

A surprising reunion at the Castro Safeway

Growing up nerdy is not easy anywhere, especially in Birmingham, Alabama. Storyteller Dhaya Lakshminarayanan thought she’d left those teenage memories behind when she moved to San Francisco. But one day, she unexpectedly reunites with one of her long lost friends who shares those high school memories.

Upon finding each other at the Castro Safeway, Dhaya and her friends embark on a new friendship that involves an urban rodeo and other very San Francisco experiences.

Listen to her story:

This story was recorded at the Betabrand Store on Valencia Street in San Francisco, as the inaugural Betabrand Podcast Theater. She’ll be there this Thursday, April 4, with Muni Diaries Live alum Kristee Ono for “Get Present Immediately: two meditating comedians.

Want more live storytelling on and off the bus? Muni Diaries Live is back this Saturday, April 6! Come on down to Rickshaw Stop to commiserate and celebrate with your fellow riders. Tickets are on sale now.

Commute flair: We need these Muni enamel pins

I love an enamel pin and flair-ing up my denim jackets with reckless abandon. Which is why these enamel pins from Chris Arvin’s online store has me all kinds of transit twitterpated. He’s got cute stickers in the shop, too.

Please hold, I’m just getting my wallet out to buy everything.

As it turns out, Chris is also the creator of these interactive street car maps. I think he deserves an award for being the transit fan of the month?

What are some of your favorite transit gear? Here are some of our past favs.

Hey, we have a live show coming up next Saturday, April 6! Maybe you’ll come and sport these fancy new pins? Muni Diaries Live is back at our new home, Rickshaw Stop in Hayes Valley. Get your tickets today!

Got important news for your fellow riders? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with your dispatches. Our email inbox, muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com, is always open, too.

Riding Muni all day leads to falling in love with San Francisco again

Remember when we told you about the two Chronicle reporter who rode every Muni line for an entire day? Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight gave us a sneak peek of their plans last year, and in today’s podcast episode, they came back to the Betabrand Podcast Theater to tell us how it all went.

There are 84 Muni routes covering our 7×7, and the duo had meticulously planned their one-day adventure. But as we all know, just when you have a plan to be on time somewhere, Muni has other ideas! Heather and Peter told us that in the middle of their journey, a fellow rider reminded them that the 2-Clement (also my line!) doesn’t run late and that they might miss their goal if they don’t catch one soon. Already exhausted from waking up before dawn, Heather and Peter thought they might not make it, but this rider revamped their plans so that they can catch all the routes they need.

They also told us how they found an adorable lost dog (who they lovingly named Felton, after finding him on the 54-Felton) during their Muni journey. In the end, surprisingly, riding Muni all day made these two seasoned journalists fall in love with our city again. Who would have known?

Listen to the interview here:

Loved what you heard on the podcast? Our live show is coming up where you can hear stories in real life at Rickshaw Stop! Get your Muni Diaries Live tickets right here.

Photo by Jessica Christian

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