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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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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. 

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.

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