Muni Diaries, Live! offers tales of laughter and woe 

Every San Francisco transit rider has a favorite Muni tale to tell. That one epic fight, that one hilarious bus driver, or even falling in love with a fellow passenger.

Saturday night, a group of like-minded Muni lovers will gather at the Elbo Room to tell their favorite stories, at “Muni Diaries Live!” — an offshoot of local blog

Muni Diaries features daily submissions from readers celebrating Muni culture. Posts this month showed off a reader’s Muni train tattoo, and an “elderly pineapple” occupying a Muni seat, Big Bird and a bunny waiting at a bus stop, and an Emperor Joshua Norton impersonator texting while riding a Muni bus.

The blog channels the lovable wackiness that is Muni, said Muni Diaries co-founder, Eugenia Chien. She and her friends Jeff Hunt and Tara Ramroop Hunt started it seven years ago, and published over 3,500 stories about everyday San Franciscans riding the much derided, but still much loved, transit service.

“We started Muni diaries because we thought it was fun,” Chien said. “Everyone we knew has a Muni story.”

Now in its sixth year, Muni Diaries Live! at the Elbo Room will share similar stories told on stage by an eclectic mix of performers: Muni driver Doug Meriwether, “haiku battler” Jesse James, artist Tarin Towers, musician Katie Haverkamp, as well as comedians Yayne Abeba, Caitlin Gill and Ronn Vigh.

For $16, the audience will hear Muni tales from the comedic to dramatic, and everywhere inbetween, Chien said.

Local band Mesquite and Mustard will also jam through the night, playing songs about “whiskey, trains, biscuits and mamas,” according to Muni Diaries’ website.

And the night will also feature a Muni haiku battle.

“Muni is a common denominator – Anyone who has ridden the bus sees a cross section of people they never would’ve been in a room with otherwise,” one of the night’s performers, Tarin Towers, told The Examiner. “You interact with people across the economic and cultural spectra of San Francisco.”

Saturday night she plans to talk about gentrification, buts also, she said, “those moments people have on the bus where everyone experiences the same thing, and laughs together.”

Saturday night, people will get to relive those moments again.

The Elbo Room is at 647 Valencia St., in San Francisco, Muni Diaries Live is April 18 from 7-9 pm.

About The Author

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Born and raised in San Francisco, Fitzgerald Rodriguez was a staff writer at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and now writes the S.F. Examiner's political column On Guard. He is also a transportation beat reporter covering pedestrians, Muni, BART, bikes, and anything with wheels.
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