What’s Johnny Depp Doing on Muni?

Found on the 27: Jack Sparrow
Photo by Brian

On Friday we posted a photo by Brian of Johnny Depp I mean Jack Sparrow on the 27. Who is this man? We asked Brian and here’s what he had to say:

This is a cellphone picture I took on Wednesday of my new friend, Sebastian Michellod, who stayed with me this week via couchsurfing.org. He is originally from Switzerland, but has been living in Central and South America for the past four years, traveling, making videos and documentaries. More recently, he has been dressing as Jack Sparrow, working his way north to try and meet Johnny Depp (who has been “impersonating him”). He just left for LA to catch the Los Angeles premiere of Pirates 4, and will also be in Las Vegas for another event. He is an amazingly kind and talented person, and I recommend that anyone meet him if provided the opportunity.

According to Sebastian’s Facebook page, his goal is to meet Johnny Depp in Los Angeles. I approve of that goal, Sebastian.

And if you’re at Bay to Breakers, be sure to send us stories and photos of any interesting characters — Jack Sparrow included — that you see on and around the bus today.

Who You Callin’ A Hot Mess?

Lil Miss Hot Mess takes the 27.

Photographer Julie Michelle’s feature on I Live Here: SF yesterday starred Lil Miss Hot Mess, who is seen here waiting for the 27. Lil Miss Hot Mess takes us on a night out on the town in San Francisco, with a few of her good friends.

At the club, my friend B. who was visiting from New York (mainly to see the Spice Girls reunion tour with me) went home with this guy. You kind of have to know B., but it was basically the most precious thing ever — if there were a gay Precious Moments statuette, it would look like them holding each other on the side of the bar.

I will never look at Precious Moments figurines the same way ever again.

Read about the rest of the evening with Lil Miss Hot Mess on I Live Here:SF.

20 minutes on the 27-Bryant

27 Bryant
Photo by Troy Holden

We don’t know how to characterize Devin’s ride on the 27 except to say that it contains the best of “just another day in San Francisco.” Lend him your eyes.

The 27 arrives so late that I’ve walked backwards along its route half a dozen stops, past the tourist/convention hotels and up where things start getting hilly. It’s the hottest evening in recent memory, at least 85^F and no real breeze. When it arrives, almost empty, the 27’s air conditioner is running full blast, but instead of producing cold air it instead produces a smell of burning plastic with which the rows of open windows aren’t really keeping up.

The stop at Market & 5th is always an adventuresome one. There must be a clinic or city medical service facility nearby, because the folks who get on are often poor or homeless, run down and with bits of fresh gauze and bandages sticking to them. Back-door fare evasion is so common on this route that the driver barks “front door exit only” repeatedly at a couple about to get off. The only would-be evader tonight, though, is an irritable man with bulging plastic bags and an unlit cigarette dangling from his lip, who tries to talk the driver into a free ride. When that fails and the driver orders him off, he departs with a modicum of obscenity, gesture and as an afterthought, the statement “I’ve got a transfer here somewhere.” Rhetorically, I think that statement’s meant to be used somewhat earlier in the argument.

Our regular customers include a frail middle-aged woman who has great difficulty climbing the stairs and reaching the first seat; a nondescript man in a suit, one or two teenagers and a slightly elderly man carrying a bucket full of water and small gray fish, into which he peers occasionally with a look of slight concern. He’s also hooked up a battery-operated air pump to it which hums and bubbles away to itself.

One stop later and we acquire a polite man in a wheelchair (the 27 is a busy route for wheelchairs, having only one on this stretch is actually a bit unusual). The man in the suit vacates the wheelchair bench and folds it up for him, for which the polite man in the wheelchair thanks him. Everyone seems cheered by this exchange and an air of happy anonymous conviviality ensues for a few blocks.

Somewhere around Folsom, we pick up a burly man in a jean jacket with the sleeves ripped off and an airbrushed wolf on the back. The airbrushed feathers dangle from the seams on his shoulders just above the wolf’s head. He plonks down on the seat in front of me, and I brace for the wave of B/O that I associate with the wearers of sleeveless garments during heat waves. It doesn’t come — in fact, he smells fairly nice, like he’d been taking refuge from the heat in an air-conditioned shop that mostly sold herbs and had a small line in incense. He even somewhat displaces the smell of burning plastic from the malfunctioning air conditioner, and the sense of relief afforded by this lasts several blocks, or roughly up until the moment when the polite man in the wheelchair abruptly and vigorously shits himself.

At this point everyone physically able to do so hastily relocates to more distant regions of the bus. The frail woman at the front, being unable to escape, adopts a look of horror and turns away. The man with the bucket of fish stays put but looks into his bucket with greater frequency and more concern than before. The polite man in the wheelchair gets an apologetic look on his face and flicks his lighter around himself in a conciliatory fashion. This does nothing to abate the stench, because (a) his lighter doesn’t work, and (b) to abate a smell of this proportion would require something more along the lines of a flamethrower.

The polite man in the wheelchair gets off at the next stop, which was hopefully the one he originally intended. I make my own escape a couple of stops later; the unexpectedly pleasant-smelling man is now working his small magic on the back row of seats; the man with the bucket of fish is still looking worriedly in at them, and the bus once again smells mostly like burning plastic.

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On the air at 5 p.m. today: Muni serendipity

morning's time to get to work.
Photo by Julie Michelle of i live here:SF. Julie’s part of an photo opening tonight at Secession Gallery.

I’m doing something really fun today at 5 p.m., but before I tell you what it is, I’ve got to thank Muni for hooking me up:

Two Fridays ago, I was on the 27 with a friend when a man got on the bus with an arm load of dry cleaning he just picked up. With one hand holding his cell phone to his ear and the other holding his dry cleaning, the man casually hung his clothes on the metal hand rail and sat in front of us, the whole time talking on his cell. My friend and I thought it was a really cute and funny thing to do, and this made us and another passenger chuckle. This passenger took out his cell phone to take a few pictures of the laundry hanging in front of us, so of course I told him all about Muni Diaries and asked him to send me the photos, which we posted here.

The passenger, Mike, turned out to be a writer who was on his way to Pirate Cat Radio to talk about his work. Later that evening, I found that Mike had told Pirate Cat Radio’s Pam Benjamin about Muni Diaries, and Pam was kind enough to email me to introduce herself.

And today at 5 p.m., I’ll be at Pirate Cat Cafe talking to Pam and Diamond Dave on their program, Common Threads, about Muni Diaries! How meta is that? Please listen if you get the chance.

Muni Is My Closet

A man carrying all his freshly laundered clothes from the dry cleaner boarded the 27-Bryant last week, casually hung them all on the hand rail like no big deal, and sat down to continue his cell phone convo. Riders Karoline and Mike snapped some pictures of the rider, making himself at home on Muni. Thanks, Karoline and Mike! (click images to embiggen them)

p.s. As a commenter asked, I meant to say that I found this to be a really cute and amusing sighting about urban living – I was on the bus with Mike and Karoline, and this totally made us smile. What do you know, it’s not snark here 24-7, and a lot of times the stuff that happens on the bus makes me love living in an urban city even more.

Why I Will Never Ride the 27 Bryant Again (or at least for a while)

So I am boarding the 27 Bryant bus at Union Square heading home about 20 minutes ago. I should have learned my lesson after the incident of a crack head spit fight contest on that bus while my childhood friend was in town. But hey, that was an isolated incident, right?

Back to the story.  This homeless guy gets on the bus and sits down and starts eating some foul smelling Chinese food. I mean, this stuff smelled like it should have been refrigerated three days ago and discarded two days ago. So he is slopping this stuff down when an older lady asked the homeless man for a seat stating, ” The bus is full and your bag is in the seat next to you. Do you mind giving up the seat you bag is in?”

He states, ” Sure, if you want but I have killer lice that I can’t get rid of.”

Everyone on the bus began to simultaneously itch. The elder woman naturally decided to stand. As we travel he is slopping down this stuff and everyone is turning green. He finishes and then starts asking everyone on the bus if they have a bottle of water because he’s damn thirsty. Everyone is like, “No.”

The elder lady then says, “You know, I am sure you can get some water if you get off the bus.”

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