We’ve gotten our share of “teens on the bus” stories, but it is a special treat hearing from young folks themselves—thoughtful, civic-minded people who are inspired by public transit to participate and create.
Tanea Lunsford Lynx is Chair of the Spoken Arts Department at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts and one of the artists behind Muni Raised Me, a multimedia exhibition by San Francisco born-and-raised artists exploring a central question: What does Muni mean to the people who grow up riding it? Tanea brought their students to the Muni Raised Me exhibit to perform their own original poetry about Muni in a guerrilla-style spoken word show, and we had the privilege of sitting in to listen and record.
It warms our hearts to see the next generation keeping it transit-oriented. Muni Diaries Live alum Hayden Miller helped navigate a Muni bus in real-time (for real, listen to his story) and articulates his thoughts at SFMTA Board meetings on the state of transit—all while in high school. And we know a new crop of engaged Muni riders, like Tanea’s students, are coming up alongside him.
Lucky us: There was so much inspiring material, we curated it into a two-part series.
Part 1: Tanea shares their perspective on the exhibit and spoken-word event, plus some student performances
IYKYK: San Francisco doesn’t leave us that easily, even when we leave it. Katie Havercamp and LeBron James the cat (yep) learned it bigtime firsthand, and I’d bet that many people you know have strong feelings on the topic.
Sheila McElroy has spent her professional life studying, writing about, and talking about place: how our sense of it grounds us in history and provides context for how we see, move around, and make sense of the world. In this story, told at Muni Diaries Live in November 2022, Sheila takes us through her personal sense of place and the role it, especially San Francisco, plays in her journey.
If you didn’t even know we had a podcast until you saw this post, or until an obviously excellent friend with great taste sent it your way, don’t forget to subscribe to the Muni Diaries podcast so you don’t miss another minute of these real-life tales from on and around the bus. We’re on all your favorite podcast-listening apps.
What would make you take off your headphones on the bus to talk to a stranger? In this episode, storyteller Alex Randall shares how he started talking to his fellow riders, and how these “Muni chats” changed the way he looks at our city. This episode was recorded at Muni Diaries Live at Rickshaw Stop in November, 2022.
By day, Alex manages a support team at Atlassian, and by evening and weekend, he serves on the board at Z Space, leads walking tours of his favorite San Francisco neighborhoods. He says he takes the 38 Geary often and likes all things San Francisco: history, sports, art, politics, and of course, public transit. You can find him at @ArtrepreneurSF on both Instagram and Twitter.
How often do you ask yourself, “What would you do if this happened to you on Muni?” Storyteller Keli Dailey explores that very difficult question on stage at Muni Diaries Live, where she shared a tale about an unexpected turn of events on the bus. Keli is an award-winning journalist, performer and educator. She teaches media classes at the University of San Francisco, Saint Mary’s College of California and Mills College, where she also leads the Communication program.
She says that she believes in the power of comedy to communicate news, and that’s something we can definitely identify with here at Muni Diaries headquarters.
Storyteller ilyse iris magy has hella Muni bonafides: she was the first paid “staff member” of San Francisco Transit Riders, where she helped pressure city officials to actually ride the bus. She celebrated her 24th birthday by riding the 24 bus with her friends. Name a Muni line and she can tell you the route. But one Halloween evening, when ilyse found herself evangelizing the value of public transit, the Muni gods had other plans.
You can follow ilyse and her non-transit related art on Substack and Instagram at @arainbowsquared. Meanwhile, we are gearing up for the first ever Muni Diaries Art Market this Saturday, Dec. 3 at 80 Albion! We’ll be there from noon to 4pm, along with our group of great vendors who will be selling their transit and SF-themed goodies. See you there!
As a Muni operator, Mister Boston, AKA Mike Delia, has seen it all. He’s piloted many of the crosstown lines we know and love, he has been assaulted twice in the name of doing so, and he even had someone try to steal his streetcar once.
You might also know him via the limited-edition trading cards bearing his image and stats—that’s actually how we first became acquainted with him ourselves. At Muni Diaries Live this month, we welcomed him, in full Muni regalia, to share his journey as operator, trading card legend, and leukemia survivor, all of which have brought him even closer to his community of San Franciscans.
Originally from Massachusetts with an accent to match, he was bitten early by the transit bug thanks to his father, who was also a transit operator. He was recently named 2022 Muni Operator of the Year by the San Francisco Transit Riders Union.
No holiday gathering, gift-giving list, or treat yo’self season would be complete without strong San Francisco representation. We’re excited to bring you the Muni Diaries Art Market: a market featuring 10 local artisans showcasing their wares. Come see us, Muni Diaries Live alums Transit Supply and Yellow Line Art—and more!—from 12-4p, Saturday, Dec. 3 at 80 Albion Street in the Mission.