San Francisco Diaries: Finding Satan’s jacket at the Elbo Room

The Elbo Room has been the home of Muni Diaries Live for many years, and just before its San Francisco location closed permanently, co-owner Matt Shapiro joined us on stage to share one of the many memorable, behind-the-scenes tales from the famed club. He had worked for years as the manager and booker at the Elbo Room, which housed the legendary lesbian bar Amelia’s in the 1960’s (the bar swaps out its signage for Amelia’s old sign for Pride). In 2010, he and co-owner Erik Cantu bought the bar.

Matt’s San Francisco Diaries story involved Satan, his leather jacket, and the lengths that club owners will go to keep a promise.

Listen to his story here:

You can still visit the Elbo Room’s Oakland location in Jack London Square where its old signage is proudly displayed in the front of the building.

Meanwhile, Muni Diaries Live continues! We have found a new home and our next show is on April 6th at Rickshaw Stop in Hayes Valley. Tickets are on sale now.

Lost in Chinese translation: Please Support the Door?

Nobody wants to be that person holding the door open and breaking Muni, alarm blaring, multiple pairs of eyes throwing daggers, so this is generally good advice.

But rider Dave on the Muni Diaries Facebook page noticed that something might be lost in translation on this sign. The Chinese translation of “Please do not hold the doors” actually reads, “Please do not support or help the doors.”

(Well, the door might need a little help in the form of riders collectively yelling “Step down!”)

Being Chinese-speaking myself, I think the word “扶” can also mean “to physically hold.” Could the translation also be interpreted as, “Please do not lean on the doors”?

Chinese-speaking riders, help us out: what should the sign really say?

Saw something noteworthy on your ride? Your fellow riders want to know! Add your commute story to Muni Diaries by tagging us on FacebookTwitterInstagram; or you can email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

San Francisco Diaries: How a bookstore clerk became the owner of Green Apple Books

Pete Mulvihill is living every book lover’s dream: owning the bookstore he loves. Pete took a winding road to co-owner of the city’s beloved Green Apple Books, and we can’t thank him enough for keeping this space alive.

If you haven’t been to Green Apple Books, you owe it to yourself to make a trip: the sprawling bookstore on Clement Street features both new and used books, with witty staff commentary peppered throughout the shelves and many nooks and crannies (figurative and literal) to explore.

In this episode of the San Francisco Diaries podcast, San Francisco Diaries episode, Pete walks us down that winding road to co-ownership.

Listen to his story:

Want more bookstore tales? Check out our earlier episode with Alan Beatts of Borderland Books.

If you liked what you heard on our podcast, please consider supporting us on Patreon! Every dollar helps us keep the lights on and get even more stories into your ears.

Photo by Lynn Friedman.