Muni Diaries Podcast

The Muni Diaries Podcast features stories told at Muni Diaries Live, as well as stories recorded in-studio for our spinoff project, San Francisco Diaries. To subscribe, find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or use this RSS link.

Like our theme song? Our podcast theme music is by J. W. Friedman, whose talents know no bounds. Take a listen to the full version of “I’m on the Bus” and the San Francisco Diaries theme song.

If you have your own San Francisco story you’d like to share, email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. And remember to rate us on iTunes if you like what you hear.

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Ep. 122: Finding the silver lining in teach on Zoom

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

And that wasn’t even the hardest part.

Listen to her story:


Browse Recent Episodes

Ep. 121: How the beloved Boat Tram became a real boi

You’ve seen the open top F-Market street car, but how did this iconic tram become a social media sensation? Designer and transit advocate Chris Arvin shares how the life of Boat Boi started on Twitter. This episode is a blast from the past from the stage of Muni Diaries Live! Listen to their story:


Ep. 120: Aruna dreams of kimchi

Aruna Lee is the founder of San Francisco-based Volcano Kimchi, whose organic kimchi and sauces are made in her “Fermentation Lab” in the Dogpatch. 

In this episode, Aruna shares the story of how she eventually came back to food, building her small business in a tough town with her childhood memories as inspiration.

Listen to her story:


Ep. 119: A print magazine of our very own: Meet the San Franciscan

Proving that San Francisco is still a place that celebrates grassroots efforts, locals Erica Messner and Amanda Legge have launched a new magazine about our city, The San Franciscan

Listen to their story:


Ep. 118: Opening night at the Rickshaw Stop

We talk to Dan Strachota, the talent buyer and managing partner at Rickshaw Stop to hear about their first indoor show. 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.

Listen to the interview:


Ep. 117: Combating amnesia: a conversation with Shaping SF’s Chris Carlsson

What can history teach us about this pivotal moment as we drop most COVID-related restrictions in San Francisco? We chat with Chris Carlsson, the director of Shaping San Francisco about his perspective.

Chris is a writer, San Francisco historian, tour guide, and writer. He recently published his new book, “Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes and Radical Histories.”


Ep. 116: When true love leaves you in stitches

Storyteller Kathleen Auterio moved to San Francisco from Massachusetts to do new things. It was the year 2000, and everything seemed to be on track: she had an apartment, a roommate, and a job at SF Weekly managing the adult ads in the back of the paper—a job that accepted her as a proud metalhead. After meeting a new guy at the paper, though, they would soon come face to face with a relationship trust exercise involving a field hospital surgery.

Listen to Kathleen’s story:


Ep. 115: Facing my Moonies childhood in San Francisco

Storyteller Teddy Hose grew up in the Unification Church of the United States, whose followers are more commonly known as the Moonies after founder Sun Myun Moon. Teddy shares his story of returning to San Francisco as an adult to start his life as an artist. San Francisco was, ultimately, the best place for him to examine his family’s past and the imprint it has left on him today.


Ep. 114: Your 2020 commute as summarized by Muni Diaries readers

Here at Muni Diaries HQ, we usually end the year with a fun and lighthearted “Top Most WTF Moments of the Year” type of countdown. But in 2020…where do we even start? So here are some highly memorable moments from your commuter tales, in this Dumpster fire of a year.


Ep. 113: “Hearts in San Francisco” to inaugurate newest member

If you think San Francisco needs to gripe less and do more, look no further than artists Kurt Schwartzmann and Deirdre Weinberg. They’ve partnered on the newest of the Hearts of San Francisco—which have benefited the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation since 2004.


Ep. 112: Artist Paul Madonna on the “Spirits of San Francisco”

In a time when negativity might reign especially supreme, two chroniclers of San Francisco got together to create a new book that encourages people to see the familiar in a new way.


Ep. 111: What every transit rider should know about this year’s ballot

San Francisco Examiner transit reporter Carly Graf to talk about this year’s ballot measures that can change the landscape of public transportation as we know it today.


Ep. 110: Chronicle reporter shares BART busker afterstory

Swan describes the aftermath of what happened after her coverage of the anti-panhandling proposal on BART put rapper Tone Oliver in the limelight.

Listen to her story:


Ep. 109: Bailing out a rookie Muni driver

Muni operator Ricardo sheds some light on why way-too-crowded bus is sometimes followed by a nearly empty bus right behind it, and how he tried to bail out a rookie Muni driver in this predicament.


Ep. 108: Playing Muni driver, if only for a few minutes

Hear a throwback tale of simpler times when the highlight of your year is when the Muni driver let you in on a few secrets. 


Ep. 107: Painting the pandemic void, one storefront at a time

Lisa Vortman, the Co-Founder, Director of Photography, Media and Storytelling of Paint the Void, shares the story of the first mural she photographed for the project. The nonprofit has matches mural artists with over 84 shuttered storefronts.


Ep. 106: Why the SFMTA head says riding Muni is “the right thing to do”

Jeffrey Tumlin, the Director of Transportation at the SFMTA, joined us to provide his take on the upcoming Muni service expansion, and some personal insight into the more human side of our municipal transit system.


Ep. 105: SF Neon historians in search of an iconic sign

Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan are the creators of San Francisco Neon, an organization that advocates for our city’s vintage neon signs. Here’s their story:


Ep. 104: Missing the Muni madness that connected us all

Amanda Staight, stalwart San Franciscan and Muni fan, put her thoughts on Muni in the pandemic into verse for our podcast.


Ep 103: One day, I found you on Muni

How often do you let a moment of connection pass you by? Rider Wil shares a conversation with a stranger on the bus.


Ep 102: how one Bernal shop survived through the decade

Secession Art and Design’s Eden Stein tells a story about one evening when a man walked in, intending to rob her store.


Ep 101: Discovering the Secret Alley

It all started when a couple of friends found themselves at a quirky sci-fi film set. Cofounder Noel von Joo shares how the Secret Alley became a surprising gathering place.


Ep 100: A new anthem for Muni riders

Oakland-based songwriter Jefferson Bergey wrote a new song called “Give Up Your Seat” just for Muni Diaries.


Ep 99: “My little hat” on multicultural Muni

Rider Timo shares a story about the time when someone on the bus asked him why he was wearing his yarmulke.


Ep 98: When the entire bus stood up for you

Rider Teresa submitted a story of how a group of women banded together when they saw another woman in a bad situation. 


Ep 97: Walking San Francisco’s 49 Miles Scenic Drive

Kristine Poggioli and coauthor Carolyn Eidson became the first people known to have walked San Francisco’s historic 49 Mile Scenic Drive over the course of a year.


Ep 96: San Francisco Diaries: New year, new way to practice kindness 

Two years ago Andrea Carla Michaels found her calling as “Pizza Lady” and you can find her daily in the alleys off lower Polk Street.


Ep 95: Of ‘ladyspreading’ and leggings on BART 

Comic Annette Mullaney shares a BART story that took a long time to see the light of day.


Want more Muni Diaries podcast?

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