The 33-Stanyan doesn’t live by anyone’s schedule

Castro & 18th
Photo by Julian Walker

We still have $50 to give away each day through Sunday for the best Muni review on Google Places. Just log in, write your most entertaining review of a Muni line (simply write the line you’re reviewing in the title), and use the #MuniDiaries hashtag at the end. Learn more about our first-place winner, crowned at our reunion/open-mic earlier this week. Follow Google Places (@googlesf) to learn about other fun events like that one.

Today’s winning review was penned by Mike, who writes about the 33-Stanyan. 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.

Read about upskirts and more from Thursday’s winner, ArchiJoey, who reviewed the 45-Union. Write your own review of a Muni line on Google Places, and you can win $50 tomorrow!

Why You Haven’t Seen Muni Driver Tammy

Readers of Muni Diaries might remember a Muni driver named Tammy, who warmed all of our hearts when she threw a surprise party for her passengers on the 33-Stanyan last May. If you’re a regular rider of Tammy’s new line, the 24-Divisadero, you’ve probably also noticed that Tammy has been absent for quite some time.

A few months ago we got an email from Tammy, who told us why we haven’t seen her smiling face on Muni for so many months. In November 2010, Tammy’s 19-year-old son, Deante Fuller, was killed in a car accident near Antioch. Deante’s friend, Steavean Taylor, was arrested and charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run causing death, Paul Burgarino of the Contra Costa Times reported last year. Taylor had left Fuller trapped and dying in the car when they crashed into a tree, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Tammy has been on leave ever since the accident — she said that she did not want to put her passengers in danger while she coped with the trauma of her son’s death. We met with Tammy this month to talk more about her life since her son’s death.

At our meeting, Tammy brought framed photos of Deante, his girlfriend, and their baby daughter Myonie to show me. She and Deante were particularly close because he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and struggled in school, she told me. The day before his death, Deante helped a woman whose husband had threatened to dump her off the Antioch Bridge, Tammy said. Deante was driving and saw a woman running along the freeway. The woman told him that her husband had been threatening her and Deante drove her to the police station, Tammy said.

Tammy has been working on forming a support group in the Antioch area for parents who have lost their children to violence, she said. She’s made hundreds of fliers with pictures of Deante and her address and phone number, encouraging parents to contact her if they need someone to talk to. Other Muni drivers have been extremely supportive of her family, she said, and many of them were at Deante’s memorial service. She is also working on writing a book and creating a not-for-profit organization called Heavenly Bound Angels in Deante’s memory.

(Tammy and other parents were interviewed in this Contra Costa Times story about mothers of slain children.)

When we first learned about Tammy last year, we knew that she was someone who made living in San Francisco extraordinary. Hands down, running Muni Diaries is a worthwhile experience if only for stories like Greg’s:

I hop on the first bus, frustrated that yet again it would have been faster to drive. The bus driver apologizes, saying the two buses that were supposed to be in front of hers aren’t running today. Then she offers me my choice of wrapped candy from a dish by the fare machine and for the first time I actually look around at bus 2442 driven by Tammy.

It’s like a Fourth of July party inside Tammy’s bus. There are red white and blue streamers, balloons, coils that say “happy,” banners and party lanterns hanging from the railings. Large handwritten posters adorn the windows thanking her riders and spouting truths such as “Until Muni realizes that without our passengers there’s no Muni!” and pretty much everyone has a smile on their face.

Tammy told us that she is working on a website for her support group, but needs someone with more tech experience to set up a basic site. If you want to get in touch with Tammy, you can contact her here.

Photo Diary: ‘All kinds of weird shit went down’

Photo by Heather

Heather‘s rad Muni tale is a few years old, but evergreen for us:

All kinds of weird shit went down on my bus ride back from HMCRA today–people transporting enough grape juice to quench a high school, a 60-year-old dude totally covered in (some really awesome) tattoos (we’re talkin’ legit head-to-toe, here)–but this guy wins hands down. Homie totally just rolled up onto the 33 today with this patio chair, put it down in the aisle next t to me, and sat down in it. From something like 16th and Mission to 24th and Potrero.

We missed this dude when we did a roundup of creative seating on Muni last month. Apologies.

Best of 2010: Driving Muni with a smile

In San Francisco, you really notice when people are nice. It’s not that we’re a mean town. It’s more that we are, uh, a little into ourselves. In our bubbles. Under our headphones. Zoned out. And we often exhibit little to no patience with one another, often understandably so.

And of course Muni is SF magnified times infinity.

That’s perhaps why it was so refreshing and uplifting to learn about Muni operator Tammy. Rider Greg shared his story of Tammy’s last days driving the 33-Stanyan (she now drives the 24-Divisadero) back in May. And oh how it resonated.

Nearly eight months later, it’s still my favorite diary of 2010. What’s yours?

Rocking Muni for the Giants

Video by Amber Wolf of Wiz Bang Photography

You might’ve heard that a local baseball team did the biggest thing U.S. baseball teams can do last night. That’s right, the 2010 San Francisco Giants won the fucking World Series, y’all! And Muni was right in the thick of the wild celebration.

Watch the 33-Stanyan wade through the thicket of toilet paper and Giants fans in the Castro in the video above.

Fans in the Marina atop a 30-Stockton (photo by @jcsnotes):

More fans in the Marina took over the 2-Clement (photo by SHUN [iamtekn]:
San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series Champions

San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series Champions

I got a couple of pictures of guys hopping on top of a soon-to-be-stranded 14-Mission, on Mission Street, in (you guessed it) the Mission:

Amy grabbed this short video of that same 14-Mission:

Ariel has a shot of the 22-Fillmore stuck in the Mission:
Operator On Hold

Giants fans on Muni were burning up Twitter last night too:

“Some guy stepping off the L announced GIANTS 3-0!! Driver repeated it over the PA. No reaction from riders. Me: Really? Giants!” @wallbounce

“people are sitting on 30s here on Chestnut. First Clipper now this. Anarchy!! Let’s go Giants clap x5” @jcsnotes

“28 driver now leading @SFGiants cheer.” @dalbizo

“I’ve never experienced anything like last night in SF after the win… I just remember running through cloudy MUNI buses #SFGiants@cementone

Indeed. Indeed.

Congrats to the 2010 San Francisco Giants!

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