Friday, October 31, 2008

Exiting: A Right of Passage.

(Of course I have these momentary ridiculous thoughts while riding a bus.)

Has anyone before ever pondered over how many different exits there are available here on SF MUNI? It can be very confusing. Lets take a look shall we:

one: On most buses (the all famous) step down to open the back doors sets one free.
two: Step down, but you must push the bars in front of you to open back doors.
three: On muni rail push the side bars to open doors.
four: For exiting the 'green' bus press your palm to the back door and it magically opens.
five: And on the street car who the hell ever knows how those doors are going to open.

Thank god Bart doors open automatically.

No wonder people who don't ride often and tourists get so confused. Knowing how to get off a bus in SF is actually a very special piece of knowledge.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Did anyone see the accident on Van Ness at Geary this afternoon around 1pm? I think it was a 77x or 74x. One of those special buses, I guess. Well it was traveling down Van Ness and smashed into a pole on the corner of Van Ness and Geary. I saw if from the 47 window. Don't know if anyone was hurt, perhaps it will be in the papers? Wish I had had my camra on me. Oh well.

Where is the Special part II

I finally had an excuse to go to the SFMTA Customer Service building on Van Ness and Market.

I wanted to get to the bottom of why the word 'Special' was taken out of the 'Late Night Special' all night bus transfer ticket. I had no idea what to expect but I thought that this place, of all places would be the place that would know. Right when I walked in there sat a guard checking people in.

"How can I help you?"
"Yes, I would, um like to speak with someone about the transfers."
"Bus transfers."
"Bus ... transfers?" He said it like he had no idea what a bus transfer was. I struggled a little, then went on, "Yes, see... I am an artist and I use these (I take out 2 late nights. One with the special and the other without) in my art and see here they took the special out of 'late night special'
(He chuckled - amusingly or condescendingly - I couldn't tell) I would like to know who took out the special and why." At that moment I felt a burning sensation in my solar plexus. It occurred to me that I was talking to the wrong person. This guy had no clue what I was getting at.

The guard picked up the phone and dialed a number, "Uh yes, we have someone here who has a bus - transfer - and wants to know why the late night is missing.... yes... why, uh there is no more late night..."

No that's not it!

"Uh huh.... ok.....(to me) are you using this transfer at night?"
"Yes, but I-"
"(Back into the phone) Uh huh... huh uh huh... ok ..." He hangs up the phone, "you need to call this number (311 scratched onto a scrap paper) they will help you. Have a nice day."
"(shit) Thanks...."

I must re-think my strategy in getting to the bottom of this. To be continued...

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Orange Crush" and Fried Chicken Breakfast

An sunny, autumn, Sunday morning sitting in the back of the bus a woman drinking orange Crush soda strikes a conversation with a handsome man, reading the paper, sitting right in front of her. She tells this man about how she woke up that morning at 6am, "ta get me some whsky" (swishing her "Crush" can - sly smile) and proceeds to inform him how to make the perfect fried chicken and gravy breakfast going into detail about how you want to leave the skin on cause that's the best part, how much butter to use and how you want to save the grease for the gravy. The man is very polite, rolling with the conversation.

She sits back observing life happening by out the window, drinking Crush, sun in face. I wondered at that moment what it would be like to be her. ....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Please Litter

Back Door

No one really cares who you are. No one really pays attention to you when you are on the bus. People hardly lift a finger to help you in any way .... but .... if that back door light shuts off before you are able to exit suddenly the whole bus is going to make sure you get off at your intended stop,