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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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Aug 28, 2018

Storyteller Thea Selby has lived in the Lower Haight since 1999. She's a mom, a member of the City College of San Francisco's Board of Trustees, and, as you'll learn in this episode, a tireless advocate for the art that has defined her neighborhood for decades.

Listen up as Thea walks us through the tumultuous history behind the Love in the Lower Haight mural project

Aug 15, 2018

When City Arts and Lectures call you to be the backup for your favorite writer, you clear your calendar right away. In this episode, storyteller Judson True recalls that one fortunate phone call in 2001, right after 9/11, when he was called to be the backup interviewer for Scott Shafer. The subject? His favorite writer, Joan Didion.

Judson is currently the chief of staff for state assemblyman David Chiu. Before that, he was once the spokesperson for the SFMTA, a job that probably no one envies. You can find him on Twitter at @judsontrue.

Aug 1, 2018

It wouldn't be a cross-town Muni line if manspreading, drinking, and unintentional, impromptu history lessons didn't factor in somewhere, right?

Today's storyteller, Molly Martin, is a tradeswoman and longtime Bay Area resident. Molly previously served san activist and organizer for Occupy Bernal, a neighborhood group focused on fighting evictions in Bernal Heights. She's currently working on a book about the history of women construction workers in the Bay Area.

 

 

Jul 17, 2018

This San Francisco teacher survived cancer, taught hundreds of middle school kids, so you bet she wasn't going to let a creeper on the bus get off easy. Gwen Carmen told this story at Muni Diaries Live's 10th anniversary show and our jaws were on the ground.

Gwen is an activist, actress, educator, and writer whose work has appeared in Essence magazine, Plexus feminist news paper, Haight Ashbury literary journal, and numerous other small presses during the 80’s and 90’s. She was also the editor/publisher of La Morena Women of Color bilingual news paper.

Got your own story to share? We are all ears! Pitch your own Muni or San Francisco story to us at muni.diaries.sf@Gmail.com. You can help us keep the light on at Muni Diaries HQ by supporting us on Patreon

Jun 26, 2018

Some of you may remember Silly Pink Bunny, a sculpture by local artist Jeremy Fish, which held court in the Lower Haight until 2013. Jeremy joins us on the podcast today to tell the story, in his own words, of the bunny's evolution from a goofy pink (and occasionally peed-on) neighborhood fixture to the revered bronze bunny sculpture it is today.

Buckle up for a story that connects art, taggers, grand theft bunny (that's a thing, right?), crowdfunding, community, and condos into one so-San Francisco story.

Jun 11, 2018

Nato Green is an organizer, writer, and comedian in the Bay Area. The East Bay Express sums him up as, “a San Francisco-raised father, union organizer, gastronome, bibliophile, and political sparkplug.” Nato wrote for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX. Nato's story takes us back in time to 1990s San Francisco, which was still finding its progressiveness. In this episode, he recalls an act of courage by one of his high school classmates at a time when coming out was even more complicated than today.

You should definitely check out Nato's new album, The Whiteness Album, and follow him on Twitter @natogreen.

If you liked what you heard today, please support Muni Diaries on Patreon and help us keep telling stories from everyday San Franciscans! You can find us on Patreon.com/munidiaries

May 30, 2018

No one's can-do spirit (and tolerance for municipal mishaps) is stronger than that of tenacious journalists. Enter San Francisco Chronicle reporters Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub with a not-so-simple goal: riding all of the Muni lines in one day.

They called it, appropriately, #TotalMuni2018. In this episode, the intrepid pair walks us through the who, what, why, and how of this very ambitious goal.

And for all us Harry Potter nerds: Can we alternately call this experiment The Knight (Hartlaub) Bus?

May 15, 2018

Reporter Vivian Ho  has worked for the San Francisco Chronicle since 2011, covering criminal justice and breaking news. She reported on the Mario Woods shooting, the San Francisco Police Department, wild fires, and she’s just published an incredible investigative piece called "A Life on the Line." She's seen a lot of San Francisco, from the incredibly serious and life-and-death moments to the more quirky and offbeat happenings around town.

In today's episode, Vivian tells is about the one BART story that she didn't expect to be known for. 

You can also hear Vivian's San Francisco Diaries story here. If you have your own story that happened on or off the bus, our inbox is wide open for your pitches at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com

May 1, 2018
Storyteller Senait Hailemariam uses her time on the K/T train to tell her mom about her life as a twenty-something: it's the only form of therapy she can afford, she says. One day, she encounters a kind stranger who had a surprising reaction upon hearing Senait's phone conversation.
 
Senait is a San Francisco transplant who studied Digital Communication at San Francisco State University. Senait now works at BAYCAT, a nonprofit media production studio that educates and employs young people in digital media. You can check out BAYCAT at www.baycat.org.
 
If you liked what you heard on this episode, please rate and share our podcast! We are always looking for storytellers to share a slice of life in San Francisco, whether it is on or off the bus. If you have a story you'd like to tell, please email us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com
 
 
Apr 17, 2018

Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, has a packed schedule these days, which is why we were even more delighted to have him as a part of Muni Diaries Live in 2017. Matt took us back to the 2003 mayoral election—in which he was neck and neck with current Lt. Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, and why riding the bus as a politician in a highly contested race means you gotta always keep one eye open.

Liked what you heard today? Share the Muni Diaries podcast with your friends and review us on iTunes! And we can't do this without your stories. You can submit your own slice of life in San Francisco by emailing us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. 

 

Apr 9, 2018

Andrea Carla Michaels says that she has never done something two days in a row, but a commitment to her neighborhood led to her new identity. Two years ago she found her calling as "Pizza Lady" and you can find her daily in the alleys off lower Polk Street.

Andrea just celebrated her 25th anniversary in San Francisco.
Originally a standup comic, game show writer and briefly a writer for
"Designing Women", she now spends her time naming companies, constructing crossword puzzles for the NY Times and feeding folks.

Know another San Franciscan with a story to tell? We are always looking for tales of what makes living in San Francisco meaningful to you. Submit your own story or nominate a San Franciscan you know by emailing us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. And please share this story with your podcast-listening friends!

Apr 3, 2018

What do you do when you meet a smug pickup artist on public transit? Storyteller Dominique Gelin is a comedian in Oakland, and she says she offers strong opinions on stupid things, -isms, and assholes. She has performed at SF Sketchfest, Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival, the All Jane Comedy Festival, and was a finalist for the Ultimate Miami Comedian. She's here with a lesson in transit etiquette for the newbies — especially if you’re a pickup artist, or for everyone who could use a refresher. 

You can follow Dominique on Twitter at @heydomgelin.

Mar 20, 2018

In this episode, architect and long-time SF resident Bob Collins recalls transforming his super tiny apartment and how, in the process, he discovers the real reasons why he calls San Francisco home.

Bob has lived in the Bay for 30 years, with stints in the Mission, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and the Richmond. He has a blog about walking around San Francisco called Urban Ambles, told from the dual perspectives of a regular pedestrian and professional architect. 

His walks in the blog cover a cross-section of the city; just like some of our favorite Muni stories from the cross-town lines. Go to MuniDiaries.com to check out a photos of how Bob transformed his tiny apartment.

We're celebrating 10 years of storytelling on and off the bus with a special bonus code for our upcoming anniversary show on April 21, 2018, at the Elbo Room. Listen to this episode for the discount code.

If you liked this episode, please share it with your friends and rate our podcast on iTunes. You can submit your own story to us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. Our inbox is waiting for your tales.

Mar 8, 2018

Alexandria Love is a stand-up comedian, podcaster, and writer from Oakland. She's performed at some of the best venues in California, including Tommy T's, The San Jose Improv, and Cobb's Comedy Club. She is the current reigning champion of Tourettes Without Regrets' Dirty Haiku battle with 5 victories under her belt. She was also the sleeper hit at the Muni Haiku Battle at Lit Crawl in 2017.

This tale about relationshipping in your Roaring 20s hits home for all of us who wished we could find love—or that it would find us, as promised in the RomComs—but kept looking for it in all the wrong places.

Feb 20, 2018

Love comes in all forms, and in San Francisco, you'll encounter love and relationship rituals you never imagined possible. Today's episode comes from writer Anna Pulley. She is the author of The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (with Cats!), which Cheryl Strayed called a “must-read,” Tegan and Sara said was “an adorable and hilarious way to start the day,” and Jennifer Tilly said was “thoroughly charming.” You can find her sex and relationship advice column on her blog, as well as in weekly advice columns for The Chicago Tribune’s RedEye and (formerly) AfterEllen. Anna also holds the distinction of being in the first Muni Haiku battle in Clarion Alley. 

Witnessed your own only-in-SF ritual? Tell us all about it: submit your own story at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. Or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/SanFranciscoDiaries. Please help us spared the word and share this podcast!

Feb 5, 2018

You may know storyteller Vivian Ho as the criminal justice reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle since 2011. She's reported on the Mario Woods shooting, the San Francisco Police Department, wildfires, and she’s just published an incredible investigative piece called "A Life on the Line." In this episode, Vivian shares a personal story about the challenges of adulthood in San Francisco, and how a pair of pigeons helped her realize the importance of a new love in her life.

You can find her on Twitter @VivianHo

Got your own story about finding yourself in this foggy city? Share your story with us by emailing us at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/sanfranciscodiaries.

Jan 22, 2018


Steve Pepple is on the board of San Francisco Transit Riders, a rider-supported group for world-class transit in San Francisco. He works as a designer at OpenGov, where his goal is making cities more livable, whether he’s working on a budget or a bus. In this episode, he brought us the thoughtful back story behind his passion for world-class urban transit and the BMW (BART, Muni, walking) experience.

Is your own story burning a hole in your brain? Want to share an unexpected conversation with a stranger that stuck with you? We are all ears at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com.

Jan 8, 2018

In this podcast episode, comedian Tirumari Jothi loses his way on Muni, but a stranger's conversation helps him find his way. Tirumari has been performing comedy for six years, with stand-up as his first love, but he also loves improv and sketch acting . You can find him either performing with the geeky comedy group he co-founded, Komedio Comedy (facebook.com/komediocomedy), or acting on stage with Killing My Lobster (find him at Sketchfest 2018). He says if you can't find him doing any of that, then he's home playing video games or watching cartoons.

Got your own story to share, or a conversation worth repeating? We are all ears at muni.diaries.sf@gmail.com

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. 

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