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 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
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Muni Diaries





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Apr 1, 2020

We like to say that Muni is San Francisco's living room, and you never know where a conversation with a fellow bus rider will lead. In today's episode, rider Timo shares a story about the time when someone on the bus asked him why he was wearing his yarmulke. 

Muni Diaries is made of stories by everyday San Franciscans, and in these times, your stories are more important than ever! We will continue to publish stories from our archive and hope this takes some stress off of your day while sheltering in place.

Photo by @jjinsf on Twitter.

Mar 21, 2020

In these times when most of your fellow bus riders are looking at their phone and have headphones on, reader Teresa submitted a story of how a group of women banded together when they saw another woman in a bad situation. 

Muni Diaries is made of your stories. If you have a tale to share, email us at

Feb 27, 2020

Kristine Poggioli and coauthor Carolyn Eidson became the first people known to have walked San Francisco’s historic 49 Mile Scenic Drive over the course of a year. You know the route, or at least you've probably seen the light blue signs with seagulls on them all over town. They’ve published a book about their experience called Walking San Francisco’s 49 Mile Scenic Drive.

In this episode, you’ll find out all about their journey and what they discovered along the way.

Jan 13, 2020

Storyteller Andrea Carla Michaels has worn many hats over the years, as a standup comic, writer for a game show, and briefly a writer for Designing Women. She now spends her time naming companies and constructing crossword puzzles for the New York Times. Two years ago she found her calling as "Pizza Lady" and you can find her daily in the alleys off lower Polk Street. We first aired this story in April 2018, and we feel like the new year is the right time to how to make a difference this year, no matter how big or small.

Got a story about how to  make a difference in our city? Pitch us by email at

Dec 24, 2019

Storyteller Annette Mullaney is a standup comic based in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle named her one of six "comics to catch" in the Bay Area. She describes her comedy as self-deprecating, feminist, existentialist, smart, vulgar, and full of big words to prove she's been to grad school. In this episode, she shares a BART story that took a long time to see the light of day. But we're so glad she worked up the courage to share.

If you have your own story to share on our podcast, send us a short pitch to 

Dec 3, 2019

On her way home from a baby shower, storyteller Maureen Bogues encountered what most of us hope we wouldn't on Muni. Fueled by adrenaline, she chases after a mugger who took her phone. What would you do in this situation?  

Maureen is a writer, editor, and occasional public speaker who has been featured at Beyond Borders Storytelling. This story was taped at Muni Diaries Live at Rickshaw Stop in November, 2019.

Do you have your own Muni story to share? Pitch us your Muni and San Francisco stories by emailing us at



Nov 20, 2019

Storyteller Dhaya Lakshminarayana is a stand-up comedian and winner of the Liz Carpenter Political Humor Award. She's also the subject of the documentary “NerdCool.” This story was recorded at Exploratorium After Dark in 2019. 

If you have your own story to share on our podcast, pitch your stories at

Oct 28, 2019

Today's story is from Molly Martin, a long-time activist and Bernal Heights resident. She was an organizer of Occupy Bernal, which saved many homes in the neighborhood from foreclosure.

Molly is also a tradeswomen activist and is working on a book about the history of women construction workers in the Bay Area. Her story takes us back to 1973 San Francisco.

Subscribe to the Muni Diaries podcast so you don't miss a minute of our new episodes! Muni Diaries Live is back on Nov. 2, 2019 at Rickshaw Stop. Go to to get tickets. 

If you have a San Francisco story to pitch, email us at


Oct 21, 2019

DJ Steve Fabus literally provided the soundtrack to one of the most tumultuous periods in San Francisco history. He has been a fixture in the underground music scene in San Francisco since he moved here in the '70s—he described it as a calling that brought him to the city. In today's episode, Steve shares the story of how he found himself at the turn table for the farewell party of disco legend Sylvester.

You can hear stories like these live on stage at the next Muni Diaries Live show on Nov. 2, 2019, at Rickshaw Stop. Tickets are on sale at 

Oct 3, 2019

Today's podcast episode was recorded live in Clarion Alley as a part of Litquake's LitCrawl in 2017. Storyteller Jesse James shares a story about his days working at the now-closed Nob Hill Theater, the famed all-male adult theater. One evening while working behind the counter, Jesse sees a familiar face walking in, and hilarity ensues.

If you'd like to hear more stories live, we have two events coming up: a live podcast taping at Betabrand Podcast Theater on Oct. 3, and Muni Diaries Live at Rickshaw Stop on Nov. 2, 2019. Tickets are on sale at

Sep 28, 2019

Leef is the owner of Mission Comics and Art on Mission and 18th Street. He’s a San Francisco native who is passionate about making an open, inclusive space that celebrated the creative people in San Francisco. The store features lots of mainstream AND indie comic books and a gallery space.

In today's episode, Leef shares the story of the AIDS Memorial Grove from the perspective of the city gardener's family. Leef's father was one of San Francisco's city gardeners, and helped build the the grove before it became the space we know today. 

Go to to see photos of the grove with Leef and his family. 

If you are looking to hear stories like Leef's and the tales you have heard on this podcast, we are having two events this fall: a live podcast recording at the Betabrand Podcast Theater on Thursday, Oct. 3, and our Muni Diaries Live fall show at Rickshaw Stop on Saturday, Nov. 2, Go to to buy tickets and see more information. 

Aug 22, 2019

Muni is the through line in this week's podcast story from Simone Herko Felton, a senior at Lowell High School in San Francisco. Simone has lived here all her life and takes the 23-Monterey to go to school daily. She explains what it's like to be a high school student in San Francisco taking this cross town bus, and why this particular line is symbolic of her multi-ethnic identity.

Simone is the President of the literary magazine at Lowell High School called The Junkyard. If you have a story to share, we are all ears! Pitch your story to

Aug 7, 2019

Do you often wish you said something to someone who was acting inconsiderate or rude, and you spend days thinking about what you should have said? In this episode, our storyteller didn't hold back and called out a rude fellow shopper at the checkout line, and the results would surprise you.

Justina Wu is a writer, storyteller, and producer of Beyond Borders Storytelling, a series of travel-themed workshops and story jams.  Check out Beyond Borders online at, and mark your calendars for the next show on August 14 at PianoFight in the Tenderloin.


Jul 24, 2019

Our previous episode featured Smiley Poswolsky, a self-described Millennial workplace expert who quit his stuffy Washington, D.C. job to become a writer in San Francisco. His story about personal growth and change, with NOPA/Western Addition in a prominent guest-starring role, really got our listeners talking more broadly about the state of our city—a hot topic lately.

For this episode, we invited Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight from The San Francisco Chronicle, and Bernalwood blog founder Todd Lappin, to give us their take on San Francisco's oft-discussed existential crisis, and to share their own experiences with this town we call home.

Got something to say about Smiley's story or the state of our city? Email us your thoughts at, or tag us #sanfranciscodiaries on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Jul 9, 2019

Smiley Poswolsky quit his D.C. government job and left his suit-wearing days behind in order to become a writer in San Francisco. A few years in, he found himself realizing that some of the things he was excited about the city were also perhaps ruining the place he loves. But who has the right to define what this city is about?

Poswolsky is an expert on millennials in the workplace, a topic that he speaks about professionally, and he is the author of the book, The Quarter-Life Breakthrough.

The state of our city has been a hot topic lately. Got something to say about Smiley's story and the current state of our city? Email us your thoughts at, or tag us #munidiaries on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Jun 24, 2019

This weekend is Pride weekend, and we are highlighting stories from our LGBTQ community.

Today’s story is from Kurt Schwartzmann. Kurt is an artist, printmaker, and photographer. In 2006, he lost all vision in his left eye due to complications of AIDS. In the first half of 2007 Kurt was homeless and living on the streets of San Francisco. Muni buses, running around the clock, often provided him the only safe place to sleep at night. He dedicated his first series of 64 drawings to Muni operators, depict his view of what's in front of the "yellow line."

This story was told at Muni Diaries Live in April, 2019 at Rickshaw Stop. If you'd like to see more of Kurt's art, visit

And remember to subscribe and rate this podcast if you liked what you heard! If you have your own story of Pride to share, email us at

Jun 12, 2019

Ady Lady is a writer, performer, and all around funny person who's been described as wildly funny by The San Francisco Examiner. She's written and performed two solo shows: Sara Jane Tried to Shoot the President and From Piss to Bliss. She says she actually started writing From Piss to Bliss in a desperate attempt to maintain a state of love while riding Muni. 

This story was recorded at Muni Diaries Live at Rickshaw Stop in April, 2019. 

If you liked what you heard on the Muni Diaries podcast, don't forget to rate our podcast on iTunes and share it with your friends. Follow us @munidiaries on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to stay up to date on the latest entry in our collective online journal.

Jun 3, 2019

San Francisco has been a place where many young transplants found their own identity and voice. In today's episode, storyteller Colin Daly shares the tale of a house on Folsom Street where he and his group of friends found their own "chosen family" in the 1990s. The friends lovingly named the house "Camp Folsom," where a room in the Mission was only $300 and life lessons—about money, community, heartbreak, and learning to be a grownup—were included in the rent.

We are celebrating the release of Tales of the City on Netflix with our own tales of the city. If you have your own tale, we want to hear all about it! Email us your story at

May 14, 2019

When the bus came to a halt, storyteller Kathleen Auterio noticed a familiar face from her Mission neighborhood. What happened next will keep you on the edge of your seat. This story was recorded at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco.

Kathleen was born in Boston but has called San Francisco home for 19 years. She is a heavy metal and horror movie fanatic, and has told stories at The Moth Grandslam, Risk, Porchlight and many more events in the bay.

Subscribe to the Muni Diaries podcast so you don't miss an episode of true and hilarious Muni tales! And rate us on iTunes; we want to know what you think! 


Apr 30, 2019

Artist George McCalman shares a story of how he came to be illustrating strangers on Muni, inspired by growing up on the New York subway system. This in turn helped inspired his Observed column in the San Francisco Chronicle. Nowadays he documents life on and off the bus.

Trained as a philosophy-focused fine artist at St John’s University, George had a 14-year editorial magazine career before opening the doors of his creative branding studio McCalman.Co in 2011. In 2016, he resuscitated a dormant fine art calling and began obsessively illustrating, dreaming and painting everything he saw. And we are so glad he did! You can follow him on Instagram @mccalmanco, and go to to see the drawing of the riders he mentions in this episode.

Apr 16, 2019

Sureni Weerasekera is a Sri Lankan-born, San Diego-raised, & San Francisco-based stand up comedian, actor and writer. In this story, told at Muni Diaries Live at Rickshaw Stop, Sureni shares a story about how people relate to race while riding public transit.

Sureni is a contributing writer and actor for "Life of Trying" and runs two of Berkeley's top comedy shows, "Pizza Party" and "Subhumans." Follow her on Instagram @sureni. Check out her upcoming shows at:

Apr 1, 2019

Growing up nerdy is not easy anywhere, especially in Alabama. Storyteller Dhaya Lakshminarayanan thought she'd left those teenage memories behind when she moved to San Francisco. But one day, she unexpectedly reunites with one of her long lost friends who shares those high school memories. Upon finding each other at the Castro Safeway, Dhaya and her friends embark on a new friendship that involves an urban rodeo and other very San Francisco experiences.

This story was recorded at the Betabrand Store on Valencia Street in San Francisco, as the inaugural Betabrand Podcast Theater. You can follow Dhaya at

Got your own San Francisco tale to share? Email us your story submission at

Mar 28, 2019

Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight are long time San Francisco Chronicle reporters who have seen it all. But it took riding every Muni line in one day for them to remember why they love it here so much. This year, they will be embarking on a new journey called TotalSF. We invited Peter and Heather to sit down to have a chat about their experience in front of a live audience. This episode was recorded as a part of the Betabrand Podcast Theater at the Betabrand store on Valencia Street in San Francisco.

Heather also hosts a podcast called San Francisco City Insider where you can hear all the latest on local politics. You can hear Peter on his podcast, The Big Event. Peter and Heather will be doing their own Betabrand podcast theater event on May 16, 2019.

Mar 19, 2019

Matt Shapiro is a musician and the co-owner of the Elbo Room in Oakland. After initially working at the Elbo Room for years as its manager and booker, Matt and co-owner Erik Cantor purchased the bar in 2010. 

The Elbo Room has been the home of Muni Diaries Live for many years, and just before its San Francisco location closed permanently, Matt joined Muni Diaries Live on stage to share one of the many memorable, behind-the-scenes tales from the fame club. This story involved Satan, his leather jacket, and the lengths that club owners will go to keep a promise.

You can visit the Elbo Room's Jack London Square location in Oakland or find them on

Muni Diaries Live has a new home at Rickshaw Stop in Hayes Valley, with a new show coming up on Saturday, April 6, 2019! Go to to get your ticket today. 

Mar 4, 2019

Gwen Carmen is a storyteller, cancer survivor, and a long time teacher of the San Francisco Unified School District. In this episode, Gwen tells a story about taking BART to see one of Aretha Franklin’s final performances. On her journey home from the concert Gwen finds herself in the middle of a crime scene, luckily some of her previous students arrive to save the night.

You might remember her from the live shows or from episode 62, where she told a story about bus justice to our live audience about riding the 24.

If you have your own story to tell, email us at


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