Jill Sutherlin didn’t set out to become the guardian of a beloved Mission safe space, but the pandemic and a few other twists and turns led her to become one of its fiercest protectors. She takes us through some of those twists and turns in this story, which she told on stage at Muni Diaries Live in April 2023.
Jill proudly hails from Oakland. She is the co-owner of The Refinery Grooming Club: an independently owned, upscale barbershop and the backdrop of this story. She is also a DJ at Bff.fm: an internet-based, community-run radio station in San Francisco, and founder of United Streets Direct Care, a nonprofit donating on-site hair-care services to unhoused communities in the Bay Area and Modesto.
Did you super-tuned in listeners catch the mention of our ongoing 15th birthday celebration? We’re keeping the party going at Muni Diaries Live on November 2! We have some anniversary surprises cooked up and tickets are available nowon Eventbrite.
Educator Kelly Gregor Hartlaub had been a librarian for some time until the pandemic hit, until she was suddenly called back to frontline classroom teaching, on Zoom, for distance learning. Her first task as a Zoom teacher? Sex education. Yikes.
But that wasn’t even the hardest part. In today’s podcast episode, Kelly shares the emotional, mental, and practical challenges of distance learning, how she and fellow teachers kept going, and how an English-learning student having an especially hard time helped her in kind.
We met Kelly a few years back, and here she is in the photo above (third from left), about to dig into a delicious burrito with some of San Francisco’s bloggerati (including Burrito Justice, Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight from The San Francisco Chronicle and the Total SF project, and yours truly).
We’re always looking for stories about how San Francisco has changed and transformed you, whether it happened on Muni or off.
If you’ve been inspired by a story on our podcast or gone to one of our storytelling shows and imagined yourself on stage, we are here to help! Please email us your story idea at email@example.com, or tag us @munidiaries on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Aruna Lee is the founder of San Francisco-based Volcano Kimchi, whose organic kimchi and sauces are made in her “Fermentation Lab” in the Dogpatch. Aruna grew up in a Buddhist monastery in Korea, where every meal included an assortment of kimchi.
When she arrived in San Francisco in 2001, doing anything related to food was the furthest thing from her mind as she settled into her new chapter. In this episode, Aruna shares the story of how she eventually came back to food, building her small business in a tough town with her childhood memories as inspiration.
Proving that San Francisco is still a place that celebrates grassroots efforts, locals Erica Messner and Amanda Legge have launched a new magazine about our city, The San Franciscan. Launching a magazine (a print one, at that) is no small feat, especially as the pandemic pushed us farther from each other. In this episode of the podcast, Erica and Amanda call us back around the campfire to share how they made their dream into reality, despite a little legal hiccup from their other favorite urban mag.
After shuttering for more than a year since the start of the pandemic, San Francisco venues finally opened their doors to indoor events last week. We talk to Dan Strachota, the talent buyer and managing partner at Rickshaw Stop to hear about their first indoor show about a week ago. Rickshaw Stop is also the home of Muni Diaries Live, so we were especially relieved to know that the venue is back in business.
Dan shares the behind-the-scenes details of their first show (featuring local bands Zola and Zelma Stone), and all the unexpected things that happen after 16 months in hibernation.
Dan has been the managing partner at Rickshaw Stop for nearly a decade, and the talent buyer for 17 years and counting. He has been an outspoken advocate for independent venues in San Francisco.
We’re always looking for stories from people who love and care about San Francisco. If you have a story to share, or want to nominate someone to be on the podcast, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And keep up with your Muni musing with us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
What can history teach us about this pivotal moment as we drop most COVID-related restrictions in San Francisco? Between mask-ne treatments and socializing awkwardly, we chatted with Chris Carlsson, the director of Shaping San Francisco about his experience and his perspective on our reawakening city.
Chris is a writer, San Francisco historian, tour guide, and writer. He recently published a new book, Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes and Radical Histories. Chris has seen a few cycles of San Francisco history since the 1970s. He was involved in many activist groups in the city, including a group that modified billboards about Muni fare in the 1980s. Who knew we would still be arguing about Muni fares today.
You might think he has seen it all, but in our conversation about his new book, we found out that this historian is anything but jaded about the future of San Francisco. “The more you understand history, the more you realize there are constant moments of possibility,” he told us—and I’m inclined to believe it’s true.
Listen to his conversation with Muni Diaries here:
We are looking forward to hearing your tales about returning to life, work, and other ways that living in San Francisco means to you now. Submit your own story or photo by tagging us @munidiaries on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.