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Muni Diaries

The Muni Diaries podcast is where you'll hear true stories that happened on public transportation in San Francisco and the Bay Area, presented by the editors of MuniDiaries.com. Since our launch in 2008, we've gathered stories from over 4000 transit riders. Riding the bus with a black crow on your shoulder? Eating a pint of ice cream with the butt end of a lighter on the N-Judah? Exchanging the fine points of making a perfect lumpia with your bus driver’s mom? These are just a few of the everyday delights/weirdnesses that actually happen on Muni. To submit your own story, read more bus tales, or submit one of your own, visit MuniDiaries.com.
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 20, 2017

Who gave you your first "San Francisco education"? In this episode, Broke-Ass Stuart shares the story of living in a house on Golden Gate where his housemates were artist, thinkers, and some of Burning Man's original participants.

You might know Broke-Ass Stuart from Brokeassstuart.com, where he lists cool things to do if you don't have a lot of money. He is also a travel writer, TV host, a poet. He has a column in the San Francisco Examiner called “Broke-Ass City,” and he ran for mayor a few years back. Check out Stuart's Patreon page where you can support his site and podcast.

Stuart tells us that he actually went to Burning Man for the first time after his housemate P gave him her ticket. Go to MuniDiaries.com/podcast to see a picture of Stuart at his first burn.

So, what is YOUR defining San Francisco moment? If you're inspired by Stuart's story, please share this podcast with your friends and share your own story by emailing us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

Dec 13, 2017

When a poet lands in San Francisco, even our city may  not be enough to make this love affair last. Today's podcast is from Vietnamese American author Andrew Lam. He was the web editor of New America Media for many years. In 2005, he published his first book, Perfume Dreams. He is also the author of the book Birds of Paradise, about the Vietnamese immigrant community in the Bay Area. He is working on a fourth book tentatively titled, Stories From the Edge of the Sea. The book is a collection of stories about love and loss, many of the stories are based in San Francisco and Vietnam.

Today's story is excerpted from Andrew's new collection of stories. You can find a transcript of "The Shard, The Tissue, an Affair" on MuniDiaries.com. To submit your own story, please email us your pitch at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

Nov 28, 2017

Comedian Irene Tu was a Muni celebrity last year and turned her friends into last-minute paparazzo to chase that fame. 

Irene Tu is a Chicago-born, San Francisco-based stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. In 2017, the San Francisco Chronicle singled her out as an “artist on the brink of fame,” on the heels of being named one of the “Bay Area’s 11 Best Stand Up Comedians” (SFist) and one of 20 “Women to Watch” (KQED). Irene hosts several popular shows in the Bay Area: Man Haters, The Mission Position, and Millennials Ruin Everything (they do). You can follow her @irene_tu and find her on irenetu.com.

Got your own San Francisco story? Submit your own diary by emailing us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/sanfranciscodiaries.

Nov 14, 2017

Dixie De La Tour is the founder of Bawdy Storytelling (“The Moth for Pervs,” per LA Weekly), America’s Original Sex+Storytelling series featuring Real People & Rockstars sharing their bona fide sexual exploits, live onstage. In this episode, she reaches back in time to those bad old days without Tinder, and you have to call the telepersonals to find Mr. Right/Mr. Right Now. 

If you enjoyed the Muni Diaries podcast, please share our podcast and rate it in iTunes so people can find it!

And if you have your own story to tell, pitch your story at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com

Nov 1, 2017

This week's story is from our reigning Muni Haiku champion, Baruch Porras-Hernandez! You can see him at Muni Diaries Live on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Elbo Room. Tickets are at munidiarieslive18.eventbrite.com

Baruch tells a story of taking a visiting friend on her first Muni ride, promising that nothing will go wrong. And if you've been on Muni at all, you know that's a hard promise to keep.

Baruch Porras-Hernandez is a Pushcart Prize nominated writer, performer and standup comedian, named one of the 13 Top Bay Area Writers to Watch in 2016 by 7×7 Magazine in San Francisco. He’s been featured in Writers with Drinks, has performed several times with Radar Productions, LitQuake, and is a winner of Literary Death Match, Write Club, The Moth, and of course, Muni Diaries. 

Oct 24, 2017

This episode features Ronn Vigh, whose attitude and wit earned him a comparison to a young Joan Rivers by SF Weekly. A yoga instructor, Ronn puts his teachings of compassion and letting go (and working on your core) to practice on Muni. You can find Ronn on Twitter @ronnronnvigh.

Oct 10, 2017

An unmarked door at a SOMA diner turned out to be a portal that led to a mysterious place, as storyteller Steve Pepple discovers one evening. Steve is a designer at OpenGov, where his work aims to make cities more liveable, whether he's working on a budget or a bus. 

What's *your* unexpected San Francisco experience? Is there another portal that opened your eyes to something that's quintessentially SF? Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/sanfranciscodiaries to submit your own story. 

Oct 3, 2017

Na'amen Gobert Tilahun is a writer whose craft spans multiple genres. The follow up to his 2016 novel, The Root, is The tree, which is coming out later this year. You can find him at naamentilahun.com. In this episode, he shares the magic of the late night metro ride.

 

 

Sep 20, 2017

Writer Hiya Swanhuyser is writing a book about a lost piece of San Francisco history, the Montgomery Block building, which stood where the Transamerica Pyramid stands today. It was there for 107 years, and was a crucial gathering place for artists and writers, including Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and thinkers and political people including Emma Goldman and Sun Yat-Sen, among many many others.

Listen and share this San Francisco Diaries episode on the secret past of the Montgomery Block.

Sep 12, 2017

You know Sal Castaneda as your long-time KTVU traffic reporter. We grew up listening to him in the mornings, and here he is at Muni Diaries Live with his tale attempted (and imagined) bravado on the 44.

Aug 29, 2017

Kirk Read is a writer and storyteller who grew up in Virginia. His memoir, How I Learned to Snap, was named an Honor Book by the American Library Association. He works in the healthcare industry and has curated a host of literary events around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Aug 14, 2017

You've seen the marquee, "Touch our junk" on Bush street probably a thousand times. Storyteller Jesse James brings us deep into the back room of the famed adult theater where he unwittingly becomes an employee after a brief interview. 

Today's story is a part of our new series, San Francisco Diaries! We are expanding our lens to gather stories about our fair city, and we welcome your stories about the people and experiences that make our city what it is today.

What makes San Francisco our beloved city? How has living here shaped you?

Pitch your stories at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.  

Aug 1, 2017

Storyteller Jesse James recounts a day that started with ordering a Thor hammer on Amazon -- easy peasy, right? But of course Muni had other plans for Jesse's day. 

Jesse James is the former Muni haiku champion, return storyteller, and has had battle of wits against Airbnb's ridiculous ads. You can find him on Twitter at @LoudGayAmerica.

Jul 18, 2017

Say you're frustrated waiting for the bus and you fire off a tweet, "Where the hell is my bus?", there are three people at the SFMTA whose job is to respond to you to make sure you're ok. We found these very patient humans at the SFMTA whose jobs we never want to have, and ask them: what's it like to be on the receiving end of all our ire? 

As it turns out, it's not all terrible. SFMTA's Schad and Rick tell us all about behind the scenes stories of responding to your Muni complaints and real life crisis -- everything from violent crimes to a lost scarf.

You can find Schad, Rick, and their colleagues at @sfmta_muni.

Jul 5, 2017

Filmmaker H.P. Mendoza's dad was a Muni driver for 25 years. Add that to a life time of San Francisco transit-riding, H.P. has lots of fodder for another original composition about cinema, Muni, and an ode to the Mission district.

Bonus: in this very musical episode, we're also featuring Mesquite and Mustard, the western fiddling band with a spirited original song about Charlie the Muni Rider, the "man who never returned."

Jun 20, 2017

Storyteller Jerry Lee Abram shares a story of the ultimate Pride party at a Muni stop. Remember when Muni shelters were domed (not doomed!) and … and just worked? One Dyke March, Jerry and his friends climbed up on one said shelter and took it all in. 

Jun 13, 2017

Comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan shares a tale of her trip to Big Lots on Muni with her pop. Hilarity ensued, of course. And a new slogan for this site and Muni general is born. 

Dhaya Lakshminarayanan is the 2016 winner of the Liz Carpenter Political Humor Award (previously awarded to Samantha Bee, Wanda Sykes and satirist/humorist Mark Russell) presented by the National Women’s Political Caucus. She is also a storyteller and runs storytelling workshops and corporate events. You can find her on DhayaComedy.com.

Jun 6, 2017

Science writer Annalee Newitz fulfilled our geek dreams by sharing a story of how Muni is actually on the side of righteousness when an obnoxious driver gets in its way. Bonus: she also recounts the early days of being in the tech industry in the Bay Area. Look out for her new sci-fi novel coming out in September called AUTONOMOUS, which does not contain any Muni bus references but does feature a pirate with her own badass submarine.

May 31, 2017

Glynn Washington, host and executive producer of NPR’s Snap Judgment, gave everyone a lot of food for thought when he was confronted with a mugging on his commute. 

May 22, 2017

Technology journalist (and BuzzFeed San Francisco bureau chief) Mat Honan had once used Muni data to find out when the next bus was coming. Imagine that! He dug deep into Muni’s history to find out why Forest Hill station smells the way it does—and what is really wafting through the air when you take a deep breath at Muni stations.

May 16, 2017

Gabe Armstrong stepped out of the sound booth (he is the audio engineer at the Elbo Room) to share his own Muni story, which happened during Bay to Breakers. Riding public transit can really change your perspective of what you should and shouldn’t be afraid of in life, Gabe says. And how did he learn this? By hauling the remainder of his B2B vehicle on Muni while under the influence of jello shots, of course.

May 9, 2017

Learning the rules of Muni isn't easy, especially when you've just moved from the driver-centric state of Florida. Storyteller J. W. Friedman shares a tale of how, as a Muni newbie, he encountered an unexpected superhero on the bus. 

J is also the host of the podcast I Don't Even Own a Television, a podcast all about terrible books. You can check out his hilarious book reviews on IDontEvenOwnATelevision.com.

May 2, 2017

BART operator Kelly Beardsley lets us in on one little secret about driving BART: passengers love pressing the intercom button to chat with him about annoyances big and small, or even to just shoot the shit with him for no reason at all.

Apr 25, 2017

Did you know there was a movie theater on 17th Ave. and Geary that used to play lots of children’s films? That was just one of the destinations that this Muni Diaries storyteller would see on her Muni journeys growing up in San Francisco. Comedian and native San Franciscan Yayne Abeba started riding Muni by herself when she was 7, along with all her relatives ages 1 to 6.

Apr 11, 2017

Self-described San Francisco political nerds Cynthia and Jeremy Pollock took time out from writing the League of Pissed Off Voters voting guide to share how they became Twitter-famous from riding Muni. We found Cynthia and Jeremy when they tweeted a photo of Cynthia holding a crow on Muni, and of course we had to know how this all happened.

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