I was on the 33 on my way to Carnaval when I spotted this little guy. He was so relaxed and regal at the same time. I asked the owner if he was still a puppy and he said, “Oh no he’s a good 5 years old!” I wanted to snap a pic of his owner too since they actually looked alike with their gray (white?) hair but was too shy to ask.
Photo by Julian Walker
Showing out-of-town visitors around the city on Muni can be a mixed bag: Will this be the day when projectile vomit forces evacuation, or when a stranger brandishes the banana in his pocket? Fortunately, it was neither for rider Clay S.:
This weekend was the last weekend of my summer internship here in the city, and a few of my friends from college were in town. They were staying at my friend’s place a little north of the Haight, right on the Panhandle. I wanted to show them around town a little, and Dolores Park seemed like a good place for us to go, so I met up with them over there, and we walked over to the Haight to catch the 33.
One of our favorite Muni drivers has returned to the wheel, rider Jonathan reports. We first met Tammy in 2010 when she threw an amazing surprise party on the 33-Stanyan.
Last year Tammy was suddenly absent from our commute, and she emailed to tell us about a tragedy that had happened to her family: the death of Tammy’s son in a car accident. The outpouring of your kind comments was amazing. (see Tammy’s story)
Jonathan wrote us with an update:
Thanks, Jonathan, for the update on Tammy, who brings a smile to so many of her passengers!
A trampoline… really? a trampoline? Just the sort of thing you need on a Sunday outing I guess.
Add this to the strangest cargo you’ve ever seen on Muni. The other day I saw a couple carrying two huge pillows on the bus, and just yesterday a guy carrying a small bronze statue of two cupids kissing. In his backpack!
Thanks for the photo, Rhonda!
Photo by Julian Walker
Take it away, Mike:
Forget cheesy tour buses, let the 33-Stanyan be your guide to a real San Francisco experience. The journey starts at California and Arguello, whenever the bus chooses to grace you with its presence. Don’t bother checking the schedule. The 33 doesn’t live by anyone’s schedule. And whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of walking to Geary to check the NextBus sign. That move only guarantees that a conga-line of at least three 33s will pass you by before you even get to Clement.
I know, you may have heard tales of the mythical between-stops pickup happening on the 33. Unfortunately, current evidence is inconclusive, and do you really want to take that risk? It’s best to just be patient; the 33 is a finicky creature and will only make an appearance when the time is right. When that time comes, your tour begins.
Your friendly guide will take you on a winding route around the corner of Golden Gate Park, followed by a meandering journey through the Upper Haight. You’ll see it all as the bus traverses the neighborhood at just under the speed of walk. Watch the crazies come, watch the crazies go, watch the crazies do their crazy thing all around the bus. Hopefully the other senses are kept to a minimum, because feeling, smelling, or tasting any craziness could really ruin your day.
Feel free to make eye contact, if you please, and you’re sure to be immersed in a bizarre conversation that you’ll be able to regale your friends with later [on Muni Diaries, natch].
By the time the bus arrives at the iconic Haight-Ashbury corner to begin its climb up the hill, most of the crazies have departed, leaving only those in for the long-haul. Those who got off, though, are missing out on the best part. Up here, at the peak of the 33’s route, where Clayton meets Market, this bus has the best view in all of Muni. Take it all in! (Don’t take a deep breath, though: Remember, this isn’t some crisp mountain peak; you’re still on Muni here.)
If you’re lucky, maybe the bus will come off the wires making that sharp corner, or maybe an inbound 33 will be stuck against the wall, giving you a few extra moments to savor the scenery. From here, it’s down the hill, through the Castro and into the Mission, picking up and losing the local denizens of each neighborhood along the way. Already, the crowd has morphed from hippies and crazies to mostly gay, and now you’ll find yourself surrounded by hipsters. Where else do you get to meet such a diverse mix of people on one bus ride?
What happens after the bus leaves the Mission? Well, I can’t give away the ending — you’ll have to ride it yourself and find out! OK, honestly, I’ve never made it past Potrero, but I like to imagine that the unexplored outbound terminus is where all the magic happens on the 33. There are probably unicorns and rainbows and perhaps at least a few leprechauns involved. Or maybe there’s a whole tribe of undiscovered crazies down there. Won’t you take a ride and let us know?
Good idea. Let us and Mike know what those last few blocks of the best tour bus in town are like. Thanks, Mike.