April 11, 2012

Apparently This Is One of the Funniest Things I've Written...

While out and about one day, I took a picture of a "For Rent" sign in the neighborhood, posted it to Instagram, along with a caption I found strangely appropriate.

For some reason, this apparently is one of the funniest things I've written. Click on over to the link and see what you think.

May 19, 2011

Perhaps The Only Reliable Muni In the Outer Sunset - The Muni Scooter!

Reader Andy was kind enough to send a photo he'd posted to the iPhone photo app Instagram the other day of a unique "Muni" themed motor scooter. Spotted in the Outer Sunset, it may be the most reliable way to travel from the Outer Sunset these days, as Muni continues to fail, and cabs follow suit.

I have to say, the level of detail on this scooter is rather amazing. To whomever owns this scooter, you have a cool ride.

May 3, 2011

Join Market Street Railway and City Guides for a Charter Ride on May 22nd!

Market_Street_Railway_Logo.pngThe good people at Market Street Railway and City Guides are teaming up to do another "Museum in Motion" charter tour on one of the historic F-line cars on Sunday, May 22nd.

The ride will feature tour guides Ethan Chickering from City Guides and Mike Frew from Market Street Railway, who will regale you with fun and interesting historical notes about San Francisco's diverse neighborhoods along the F Line. The trip will start and end at the Market Street Railway Museum at 77 Steuart Street downtown. Tickets are $30, and proceeds go to support the ongoing efforts of both organizations, and the cost of the charter as well.

I've not yet had a chance to attend one of these, but from what I've heard from those who have , these are a fun way to learn more about the City you live in, and you get to meet all sorts of interesting people as well! If you're thinking of attending, get your tickets ASAP because these events are very popular and you don't want to miss out.

If you do attend and bring a camera, why not submit a few photos to the NJC Reader Photo Group?

April 8, 2011

And Now, Some Fun News: Dogfest 2011 is Next Weekend! Also: Help Japan on Foursquare Day.

dogfest2011.pngTime for some fun news along the Mighty N: the fourth annual "Dogfest" at Duboce Park will be held next Saturday, April 16th, from 11am-4pm. This fun event combines all sorts of cool things that we all like: helping support public school programs, hanging out in Duboce Park, dogs, fun events, and it's got its own Muni Metro stop. What more could you want?

I've attended this event on and off over the last few years, and every year it just seems to be getting better and better, and it started out as awesome, so that's a bonus.

This year they'll be featuring a wide range of events for both dogs and people, and will also host a raffle and silent auction. All of this goes to support science, the arts, and literacy at McKinley public school, located in the Castro. Let's face it, public schools have been taking it on the chin for decades now, and it's only with these kinds of events that our schools can survive and give kids the knowledge and experiences they need. How could anyone say no, right?

If you're feeling especially adventurous, why not help TWO worthy causes (and still have fun)? April 16th is also "Foursquare Day," and Pacific Catch, located at 9th and Irving, is once again hosting a special event for the day and offering you a chance to earn a special badge on Foursqaure. This year, they are dedicating the day to raising money for relief efforts in Japan, in parternship with Sapporo Beer. You can't watch the continuing crisis in Japan and not want to do something, so here's one (of many) opportunities to do so. As residents in an earthquake zone, we have a special duty to help others, since we know how chaotic any quake can be - the one on Japan was really severe. So if you're in the area, or just taking a lunch break from Dogfest, hop on the N and take it to 9th and Irving and check it out.

As part of a revival of sorts, I've resurrected the N Judah Chronicles Photo Group, so if you're at either of these events and see something photo-worthy, feel free to submit a photo to the group! Or if you just see something photo worthy on Muni or around town you feel others might enjoy, submit that too! I'll start featuring these on a regular basis going forward!

January 24, 2011

Teaching ESL on the 18 to the Legion of Honor

Since I knew today was going to be another one of these amazing January days of sun, I got up early and got all my work done as fast as I could so I could go out this afternoon and take some photos and just enjoy the sun (since we may not have any this summer).

I started out taking the N to Ocean Beach, where the N was having a beach party for 3 trains all stacked up waiting to return downtown. On a whim, I decided to take the 18 to the Legion of Honor and take some more photos, so I got on the bus when it showed up.

As we were leaving the Outer Sunset (and I dare anyone at the Times to call it "bleak" today) a woman tapped me on the back and said "excuse me, can you help me with something?" I assumed she was going to ask for directions, as that is the most common thing I tend to be asked, and it looked like she had a map or something in a folder.

Instead, she was asking for help with her ESL homework. Now I have to say, in my entire life, that has to be the most unusual thing anyone has asked me on a bus, or anywhere. So, I figured what the heck and she showed me what she was working on. From what I could tell, the assignment was to read an essay that uses metaphors, and a bit more abstract language, and then write about what it meant.

I took a look at her notes and she had actually done fairly well so far, but there were certain words that she couldn't decipher, and some of the phrases as well. Now, being the writing critic I tend to be, I have to say, whoever wrote this essay should have been edited a bit because some of the sentences, in an attempt to sound big and artistic, just sounded stupid. But I pushed that aside and we went over a couple of words.

For example, one of the words was "instructive." So I asked her "well, do you know the word 'instructor?" and she said yes. One we established that I wrote down the words:

- instructor - someone who tells you what to do

- instruction - something you read that tells you what to do

- instructive - how you describe something that tells you what to do

Obviously these are simplified, but hey we were on the bus! If we had more time I'd explain this is from a Latin word, etc etc etc.

Once she saw that then she got it. I showed how all these words have the same root, and the modifier changes the word ever so slightly. She had that "lightbulb" moment when I explained how many words are like this so it's easier to figure out what they mean.

We did a few more and then I said "you're doing fine, but remember this- English borrows words and grammar from many langauges, and sometimes uses the same words for different meantings, or worse two words that sound the same that have nothing to do with each other. That's why it's not an easy language to learn - every rule has an exception."

She looked at me and said "You said it!"

We then tackled one last thing - a terribly worded sentence about memory and so on. This is when I did something that will blow my high school English teacher's mind, and will be waved around by English teachers (what few that even do this) around the country:

I diagrammed the sentence.

Now this wasn't an according to Hoyle diagram, but I was showing her how the two halves related to create a sort of paradox. It was perhaps more of an equation than anything else, but once we went through it , she got it.

Before the bus got to the Legion she had to get off, but said "Thank you so much! I think you explained this English to me more here on the bus than I learned in class the other day!"

And with that, she was off.

I never really thought of teaching English, but I have to say it was kind of fun in a way, especially when you basically tell people "hey, English is a great language but it has some crazy ass rules" it seems to make them lighten up a little and realize that they're not going insane.

I spent the rest of the afternoon at the Legion, then took the 18 back, getting off at Balboa. My original plan was to buy a soda and take a 31 to the 44, but it was so nice out and I was feeling great so I ended up walking from way out there to 7th to grab the 44 instead. It was a nice walk, very quiet, and I took some pictures of the more interesting buildings and whatnots out there.

Overall a great way to spend one of these non-blizzard, non-bleak days in Not New York.

November 4, 2010

Another Reason to Celebrate in SF Tomorrow Night: I Live Here: SF Opening!

It's been an exciting week, hasn't it? First we win the World Series, then we had an (ugh) Election, then a parade where apparently the Entire Bay Area showed up to celebrate the win. That's a lot to take in!

Now, however you have One More Thing to do - go see the I Live Here: SF exhibit at SOMArts, starting tomorrow!

If you've not already been to the I Live Here: SF site, you're missing out on an interesting photography/essay project that Julie (who happens to be my neighbor) has been doing for over a year. Her photography is amazing and the people she finds are truly interesting. It's an example of how a simple idea can start online as a small project and evolve into something big. I've been a fan from the start, and if you go to the exhibit you get to see her photography in print in large sizes, vs. seeing it on your computer screen.

The opening reception is tomorrow night at 6pm. See you there!

January 15, 2010

Fun Friday: Transit Map Pr0n And A Holiday Surprise from the SFMTA/Muni!

MWTA.pngI was all set to write a short post about an interesting article at The Design Observer about the different design concepts behind transit maps, and the relative merits of each, but then I noticed the (awesome) Burrito Justice blog already posted a similar post, which is cool.

The overall discussion is an interesting one from a design perspective - do you make a map that follows the (often odd) geography of a region, as some do, or do you take the more geometric approach that the London Underground picked? Which one conveys the information best to the potential rider? The arguments for different approaches are interesting to me, as someone who has to deal with design issues daily.

However, after reading Deisgn Observer's post, I ended up finding a number of unusual maps people have created, all with some common themes, and they were rather entertaining. First, was this map of the US Interstate System, done in the style of the London Underground. What started as a post on Flickr ended up becoming a phenomenon online, and you can buy high quality prints of the artists' work.

The other (pictured) is a map of….the Milky Way Galaxy (aka the Milky Way Transit Authority"). Reader Michael noted this on and I found the original site online. I thought this was rather entertaining - you can get a PDF and related merchandise at the original site.

Finally…over the holidays Reader Nina asked me what was going to become of all the old Muni maps at the many bus stops that were replaced and it if was possible to get one before they were all tossed in the recycler. A quick call to SFMTA spokesman Judson True, and I found out they were to be recycled, so I asked if I could have a few, since they were headed to the recycle bin anyways.

Imagine my surprise when I got a very very small stash of high quality laminated maps of Muni (pre cuts) thanks to our pal Judson! They are rather cool, and were a nice find right around holiday time. Also, some thanks go out to Reader Nina, who gave me the idea to ask - I wouldn't have thought to do so if she hadn't suggested it.

Since people seem to like to collect these sorts of things, I'm working on a contest to give away what few I have to Loyal Readers in the near future, so be on the lookout for that. Happy Friday!

August 18, 2009

SF Needs to Lighten Up: Belated Report on the Culture Bus Death March

shapeimage_1.pngI had a pretty fun weekend, actually, which started on Saturday with a trip out to check out the New People J-pop center in Japantown, a nice long walk from J-town to the Inner Richmond, and capped it off with a short ride on the last run of the infamous Culture Bus. I took a few pics here and there and tossed them on Flickr for fun.

Plenty of people have recorded this momentous occasion, including our pals at the SF Appeal, the Transbay Blog, and so on. Reader Jamison was there too, and took pictures way better than mine. Sure it was transit nerdy snarkville, but it was kinda fun. Riding it, however, you really do appreciate just what a half-baked idea it was. The line doesn't connect with BART or Caltrain, it's not likely you'd actually go to all the museums in a day (and yet you pay $10), and the end of the line is 2nd and Howard. How fun.

That said, we all realized how this could have been a fun, moneymaking thing for MUNI if the MTA board ever bothered to listen to anyone (we know they don't), instead of some brainiac from the society set. Not only were we on the cleanest MUNI bus I've ever been on, with one of the coolest drivers, but we also talked about how it would be fun to take over a bus with all of our friends and have someone give a guided tour or something about things we care about ("hey there's Absinthe where that guy from Top Chef worked" and so on).

Magically enough, just hours after our ride, the Restore the 74 bus was posted, and it's funny to see how upset some people got at this so quickly. I mean, come on, Internet, lighten the frak up a little! We're not all crankypants SFGate commenters! It's a fun site but it also makes a point:

Nobody knows where the Culture Bus came from or why it started running, but we’re glad that it did. And now that it’s gone, we miss it more than ever. So we want it back. It doesn’t have to be $10. It doesn’t need to make you wait an hour to catch it. It doesn’t have to be the city’s best-kept secret. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be any of those things. But wouldn’t it be great to ride a bus around town, pointing at the cool stuff and stopping to see the fun stuff? Yeah. That would be really great.

But this doesn't have to be a MUNI funded anything. Heck there are some pretty awesome MUNI lines (well maybe after the October cuts, not so many) that go all sorts of zany places and could use a photo safari/guided tour. It'd be fun. And cheaper than the Culture Bus of the Past.

Which lines would you want to try this on? Post your ideas in the comments.

Oh and for fun, here's me looking like a doofus on camera, and many others looking way cooler than me, courtesy of VidSF:

May 26, 2009

Guest Blogger Wednesday: A Piece of SF History, Right Under Your Feet (Sort Of).


Every Wednesday, we'll be featuring a Guest Blogger who will share their insights into city life, Our Fair MUNI, or anything that comes to mind. This week's guest writer is "Mason Powell," who's been a contributor to the site since its beginnings in 2005, and provides behind the scenes help, including designing our famous The N Is Near T shirts!

Yes, that's a picture of a manhole cover. I took it while leaving the KPIX Eye on Blogs blogger party last fall! Now, I don't usually go around looking at manhole covers, but this one was different. It had the markings of the old United Railroads!

For those of us who are not transit nerds, a little background. The URR was the main transportation provider in San Francisco between 1902 and 1921. After it went bankrupt, it reorganized into the Market Street Railway, which was eventually sold to Muni in 1944. The company's #1,#2, and #3 lines all passed by here. Today the #2 and #3 lines are still running on Sutter Street, more or less, and keeping watch over (or is it under?) all of this is a piece of our transportation history.

Would you like to be a guest blogger? Email me and tell me a little about yourself and what you'd like to write about! Most of our spots are filled for now, but there's always room for more!

March 29, 2009

Guest Blogger: N Judah At Day's End

picture1.JPG Today the N Judah Chronicles kicks off the first of several "Guest Blogger" posts. Today's entry is the first of a series of photos submitted to the site. (Click on the image for full size version).

Within sight of a homeless woman, Amy, and her dog Fire, and oblivious passers-by, an outbound N-Judah train squeals around the curve from Irving Street into 9th Avenue in the Inner Sunset on March 5, 2009 (Christian Goepel photo).

Guest Blogger/Photographer Christian Goepel is a freelance photographer and San Francisco State journalism student. More of his work appears at He can be contacted at

June 12, 2008

Photo of the Day: The "Yes We Can" House is Awesome

Every day on the N one passes by what I call the "Yes We Can" house, which has the now-famous Obama-esque phrase painted on the fence. I don't know who lives here, but they seem pretty cool.

Last weekend they had an awesome little flea market which gave you free ice cream with every purchase, and now they're going to have a sort of Summer Solstice Celebration.

Whoever you are, Yes We Can House folks, thank you for making our neighborhood a little bit more fun!

May 16, 2008

Friday Foto Fun: Raiders of the Lost Ark Scene at City Hall

raiders02.jpg I've probably seen the original Raiders of the Lost Ark millions of times, and I don't mean that in a metaphorical way. From the original release in theaters, to cable, to DVD, videotapes, and whatnot, if this movie is ever on, I have to watch at least part of it. One of the more memorable nights I had at the Lone Palm years ago was a discussion led by the bartender about how "sexy" everyone looks in the original film.

What I never realized, though was that in this final scene, they're in City Hall. It never really occurred to me that this is in fact Our City Hall and not somewhere else. I always knew that Treasure Island subbed for the Berlin Airport in the last one, but it just sorta hit me today, "duh that IS City Hall!"

The SFMTA and MUNI Wanna Know: Just What Do You Think of MUNI "Wraps?"

So according to my RSS reader of MUNI alerts, it seems the folks over at MUNI wanna know: what do you think of those lovely "wraps" they're putting on the MUNI trains to raise a few ad dollars. They've posted a sort of convenient PDF file which you can print out and send via US Mail to the MTA.

Yes. A PDF. Which you print out. And send via USPS.

Carry on.

May 15, 2008

How Are You Beating the Heat Today?

Time to lighten the mood around here....first by posing a question to the Loyal Readers - how are you beating the heat today?

The home office here is wonderful because it has so many windows. But that also means it's kind of a greenhouse on days like this (even with the windows open), so I plan to pack up the laptop and find somewhere a bit cooler. I really wish MUNI would post some PSAs about hygiene on the buses and the like. (Maybe we can get those people who do the anti-Meth ads to do some hard hitting PSAs on deodorant? Just a thought.)

Also, in related Fun Stuff, the always awesome Eye on Blogs at KPIX has an incredible round up of yesterday's sunset, with all the blues and reds, on Flickr. It is a pretty darn amazing collection and worth checking out - I've only had time to see a few but they are great!

linked image courtesy of awesome Flickr member keightdee!

May 12, 2008

No That's Not A Mirage, Those Are Actual Parking Spaces...

You know you live in San Francisco when the sight of not one, not two, not three, but FOUR parking spots, free and clear on a busy Saturday on Irving Street by the Post Office is so rare, you have to take a photo because no one will believe you if you just tell them about it.

Also, special thanks to our new advertiser, Joe Nation for State Senate, whose ad has covered the entire cost of hosting the site for the next year and then some! (All the regular features are still available, just scroll on down for subject archives, etc.)

If you've got something you'd like to advertise, feel free to email me. And, don't forget to check out our store as well!

April 30, 2008

Reader Mail: A Suggestion To Pass The Time On A Crowded "N"

Reader Mark sends us this dispatch from the Sunset, expressing frustration with our Beloved MUNI, and a suggestion to pass the time whilst on a crowded train home:

Hey, I sometimes read your website, but have to say it's been a while. I am a 6 year resident of the sunset and for the first 4 I rode the N Judah back and forth to work. Then, 2 years ago I discovered the 16X. Since I live at 17th and lincoln, i take this in the AM and take the N home.

Now, I am done with Muni. I am buying a bike and will use that as my mode of transportation. Still, I have a suggestion for your site. It boggles my mind how Muni is run...the most heavily ridden metro is always short changed. How can they not fix this? Yet routinely i see 2 K's back to back or 3 M's as I saw one day! What a waste...

So here's the suggestion to see if this gets them going: Encourage riders to capture how stuffed the N gets with cell phone videos. I honestly think none of the officials ride muni. (Newsom, BoS, or the Muni head). So they must be out of touch to the realities of I say let's show them. (ok, i am not going to be one as I have given up...but i have hope and sympathy for those still going to use muni)

Perhaps this might be a fun spring project for all of us on the N, or any MUNI bus or train. Take your cellphone pics, videos, etc. of your crowded-like-sardines commute, and join the MUNI Follies group on Flickr. As submissions are sent in, we'll find particularly entertaining ones and feature them here on the site. Thanks for the suggestion, Reader Mark!

February 16, 2008

And Now, a Local Lolcat Offers a PSA on MUNI Fares

Njudahcat offered this PSA as a way to help get the word out about MUNI Fares.

I figured given the latest bad MUNI karma, it was time to lighten the mood!

Enjoy your weekend! For more information on LOLCATS, consult your local library, or go to this site

PS: Oh and for extra fun, why not try and see that spy satellite that's gonna get shot out of the sky....go to Heaven's Above, find your location, and see what it says.

From what I can tell tonight (Saturday) is not so great for us in the Inner Sunset, as it may be hard to see at 6:33 tonight, but Monday should be better. Enjoy!

February 9, 2008

Enjoy the SPECTACULAR Weather Today!

It's hard to believe that just a few weeks ago the weather was so rainy and cold, and today...well if you haven't gone outside yet, get thee away from thine computer, and go outside!

I will be semi-offline for a few days as the lovely knuckleheads at Comcast and AT&T have found a new way to screw up ordering home internet service. In the meantime, enjoy this piece of art some awesome artist drew on the paper "tablecloths" at Wunder Beer on 9th Avenue.

Brock, over at SFist was kind enough to make this the Photo Du Jour. Thanks, Brock!

February 3, 2008

A Few Random "Eli Stone" Screenshots for Your Enjoyment

While I'm awaiting the start of the Superbowl, as well as all those Awesome Superbowl Ads, I thought I'd post a few screenshots from the first episode of "Eli Stone" on ABC.

For some reason, I have a morbid fascination with movies and TV shows that shoot on location in San Francisco, and now that Journeyman, with its many only-on-TV MUNI moments off the air, means that for now, "Eli Stone" will have to fulfill San Francscans' need to be validated by our cousins to the south in Tinseltown.

Those Loyal Readers who peruse my my Flickr photos may recall that I took some photos on the day they were shooting this scene on the cable cars as it just happened to be a couple of blocks from an apartment I was house sitting in Nob Hill.

Anyway, enjoy the Superbowl, and enjoy the ads! And if you can get outside, enjoy the momentary sun we seem to have as well!

January 15, 2008

Righteous Folks Saving Our MUNI Heritiage, Courtesy of Telstar Logistics!

The seriously cool local phenomenon known as Telstar Logistics which combines coolness, local history, and a dose of kick-ass all in one once again alerts us to some awesome investigation on their part.

Already, we've talked about their blasts from the past, but today, Telstar Logistics tells a story about the the good citizens who make our F-line cars rock like no other.

Lighter lit because once again Telstar Logistics rocks - and once again we're alerted to the good citizens who do the things that make Our Fair City the kind of place that we want to live in.

January 7, 2008

MUNI Bullsh*t Results in Tragedy - Injury at Irving and 9th!

This is one of those times where all the "I told you so's " suck because it means someone got hurt - and I mean really hurt.

While having a pint at the Blackthorn Tavern, awaiting the begining of pub trivia, Bobby, the owner alerted me to a situation just outside the door. It seems that at 5:41 pm (according to sources on the spot) an outbound N-Judah making the potentially hazardous left turn hit and injured a woman who'd had trouble crossing the street. The combination of slick rails owing to the recent rain, combined with the fact that humans, cars and trains have to share a busy intersection have resulted in a needless tragedy.

Loyal readers will recall that we have tried, with marginal success, to try and improve safety at 9th and Irving, both here and at the Mayor's "blog" with mixed results. MUNI, in its imitable bureaucratic style, promised to "study" the "issue" and promised to do something.

Problem is, we were promised a "solution" (scramble signals that would give pedestrians their turn to cross the street, then keep them OFF THE ROAD when cars and LRVs and buses were in the intersection) that should have happened sometime in Spring 2007, but of course, after making promises to fix the problem they since have offered nothing but excuses and bullsh*t.

Now someone has been hurt, potentially fatally, and we can expect to pay out another big settlement because Mayor Newsom, the Board of Supervisors and the Esteemed MTA would rather talk and talk than do and do. (Ironic, since common sense would dictate that fixing the big problem would be cheaper in the long run than payouts for incidents like these, but I suppose in today's San Francsico, the hipper-than-thous can't be bothered.)

It was especially galling to hear some spokes-droid for MUNI pumping out true bullsh*t to the press about "how they continue to study how to make things safer" when they knew exactly what to do - but offered more BS at the time instead of just getting the job done.

Being right sucks in situations like this, because it means someone got hurt, and it was senseless. MUNI, the MTA, and the city of San Francisco should be ashamed of themselves. I don't give a good goddamn how cute the Mayor is or how great the scenery is. If we can't even have the basics of a safe, reliable transit system and a government that gets the things done, none of that means squat.

For shame, City That Once Knew How. For shame.

What Is Going on at 19th Avenue and Ulloa/Vicente? UPDATED

"Mason Powell," one of our loyal corrrespondents, reports that something is blocking 19th around Ulloa and Taraval, necessitating a re-route of the bus he was taking from the Daly City BART to Irving Street.

Trains don't seem to be delayed (too badly), however. Anyone see what happened?

UPDATE: Flickr user DeathByCamera took some pictures of the incident yesterday and posted them to Flickr and SFist's "contribute" section!

December 6, 2007

Double Decker Muni Bus!

On the same day that the Mayor said that his own ballot initiative to make MUNI efficient "85% of the time" was fanciful (!), he and the folks at MUNI also rolled out the Magic Double Decker Bus, which will start a trial run on December 12th on various routes.

Details of the routes served, etc. are avaiable at the MUNI/MTA website, if you're curious. I took a quick tour of the bus and it's very Las Vegas-y (the bus will be on loan to MUNI, then be delivered to Vegas). Personally I think they should run this on one of the steep lines, like the 1 California, and charge extra for the front row seats up top.

If and when I get a chance to actually ride it with real passengers, I'll post more fun photos!

November 27, 2007

N Judah Business Review - Sunset Super!

One of the main reasons I continue to hold out for a new apartment somewhere within striking distance of our Mighty N (despite the amazing amount of pain and suffering such a decision has inflicted on me) is because there are so many interesting local businesses that offer bargain hunters like me incredible deals, as well as saving me a trip to other parts of Our Fair City. Sunset Super is one of those places.

I don't know that I've ever been in this store when it wasn't busy, and Saturdays are obviously incredibly busy, but frankly that has never bothered me since no matter what, I'm always able to get in, buy what it is I need, and get out in a reasonable amount of time.

More important than the speed of service is the fact that if you are looking for any sort of Chinese or other Asian ingredients, this is the place to go. I bought a container of the good green curry that the folks at Whole Paycheck charge a fortune for, at a significant discount. Sunset Super also has an amazing array of frozen food that you can't find in most stores, and their selection of candy and snack foods from all around Asia is one of the best I've seen.

Now, a word on the meat market - some of my colleagues, upon entering said store immediately make all sorts of assumptions, none of them good, about the quality of the meat here, but they are incorrect! Not only do they have just about any part of the pig or chicken you might need, but they also have an incredible array of seafood. Now, sure, some of it, in fact much of it is alive when you buy it, and that may not be everyone's cup of tea, so to speak, but to me that just makes coming to Sunset Super that much more fun.

True, it was a bit wince-inducing when a woman and her young daughter were in the market, obviously for the first time, and the kid exclaimed "Look mommy! Pet Froggies for sale!" as she pointed to a vat of live frogs. But to me that just made the visit that much more interesting.

Other notables include an incredible selection of sake, soju, and some types of imported Chinese liquor that I have never heard of that looks rather fierce. Their sake deals are amazing - the same dry sake you'd pay a fortune for at Safeway for some little bottle comes in a 1.5 liter bottle for like, 7 bucks. Talk about a bargain! They also have the city's biggest selection of canned luncheon meats as well so if you find yourself jonesing for some SPAM but just can't bring yourself to picking one up at Safeway, try "GreatWall" luncheon meat instead and impress all your pals!

All in all, one of my all time favorite places to find bargains on Irving Street. Check it out sometime and you'll most likely end up buying something good at a great price!

Sunset Super
2425 Irving Street
(415) 566-6504
Next Door to the Awesome Tel-Aviv Kosher Deli, which we'll review soon!

September 9, 2007

Miller Chill Girls at the Blackthorn!

You know you've picked the right afternoon to make that last stop on the way home of a very productive day of work, at the Blackthorn (where the awesome folks who work there make a late afternoon of rugby and live music like, awesome), and not only do you get to meet the lovely ladies of the Miller Chill crew, but ALSO the Miller Lite ladies giving out free bottle openers.

True, I've been drinking Miller Lite for years with limes and/or hot sauce and tomato juice, but if the Miller Chill ladies are handing out samples, and don't have that awful Clamato crap in their beer, well then let's just say the day was a two-fer.

Yes, the photo is a bit night-goggly, but it's better than nothing. Otherwise I'd be vulnerable to the "pictures or it didn't happen" meme, right?

Woo hoo!

September 6, 2007

A Relic From the Past On The Peninsula

While visiting Burlingame yesterday, I noticed that the backs of the signs attached to the parking meters in the parking lot were none other than recycled signs from the long-extinct Burlingame bus system.

Prior to the merger of all the city bus systems in 1976 which created the hellish system known as SamTrans, Burlingame had its own little bus system and you'd see these signs everywhere indicating a stop.

For years afterwards, there was a lone "ghost stop" on California Drive (ironically not far from the abandoned Interurban lines of the olden days) which remained. Today, the signs have been recycled to indicate extra penalties for parking your car too long in the parking lots downtown.

August 28, 2007

Den N Judah Kronisk är Stor i Sverige

The N Judah Chronicles is big in Sweden!

Well, sort of. One of the benefits of having photos on Flickr is that you never know who will discover them. In this case, I got an e-mail from Kristofer Rengfors, editor of, who asked if his site could republish a photo I took of a "Space Invaders" themed car recently.

And, of course I said yes, and now the N-Judah Chronicles is big in Sweden. Check out the article here and to our new Swedish fans, välkomnande!

PS: I used autotranslation software to write this, so if you have better translations of said witticisms, feel free to let me know!

Pub Trivia Superheroes At the Blackthorn

I've just returned home from a fun evening at the Blackthorn Tavern, the unofficial bar of the N Judah Chronicles. Thanks to the pub trivia superheroes, recruited by Anna from SF Metblogs, we not only had a great time, we won! Woo hoo!

If you're in to pub trivia and have a free Monday, the Blackthorn's deal, co-sponsored by Brainstormer, is a pretty good one. Not only do they offer a drink special, and free food (tonight's was chicken curry!), you have the chance to win fabulous prizes. Most importantly, the vibe of the crowd is fun, and win or lose, you're bound to have a great time.

We made a bit of a splash when we named our team Stop Global Warming, Ban Burning Man, which was kind of funny. Plus, I got to meet several of the Loyal Readers in person, which was even more fun, including the wonderful person who bought our first BBM t-shirt. Thanks for reading the site!

It's always nice to meet folks who read the site and offer some feedback, and it's especially fun after a Pilsner Urquell and racking one's brain about James Bond trivia, and figuring out who the oldest Rolling Stone is.

Most importantly, it was an evening of good fun in a good locally owned business with good people. Can I use the word "good" any more times in one sentence? Yes? Good. .

UPDATE: I got a nice note from Quizmaster (and Loyal Reader) Stan, who hosted last night's event! Check it out!
Hi Greg,

Thanks for the great writeup of the quiz last night at the Blackthorn. Thomas had mentioned to me after the quiz that the blogger of the N Judah Chronicles was one of the guys who I'd called out for a prize. I'm a semi-regular reader of your blog (I live on 21st and Judah), so I was thrilled. I'm glad you had a good time. Did I say "good?"

Come by and say hello when you're in the Blackthorn for the quiz again. I'm enclosing the pic I took of your team last night, which will be posted this week on the Blackthorn quiz page. You can use it on your blog if you wish, since you're in this one.
Take care, Stan the quizmaster

August 20, 2007

How About A Party for The Rest of Us Who AREN'T Going to Burning Man?

Hey fellow San Franciscans! As you may or may not know, the infamous Burning Man shindig starts on August 27th and lasts through September 3rd. Now, while I have nothing personally against the .02% of San Franciscans who engage in this (or any other) fun activity, I do get tired of some people in town telling me if I don't go to Burning Man, I'm somehow not cool enough to live in the Bay Area.

So, maybe it's time we had a party whilst the better-than-us crowd is out of town...any ideas, folks?

August 8, 2007

Riding One of Those Fancy Hybrid Buses: A Quick Review

By now, you are bound to have seen one of MUNI's fancy new hybrid buses around town. In my neighborhood they've been spotted on the 44 O'Shaughnessy and 29 Sunset lines, but they pop up with more frequency around town as more buses are introduced into the fleet.

I have tried these buses on several occaisions, either going to my favorite Chinese restaurant, Melisa's over in the Richmond.

More recently, I rode several on the 29 Sunset line from beginning to end on a wonderfully sunny day, as part of a new feature that was to have debuted already (MuniTrekker), but sadly I had to shelve the photos since many of them didn't come out as well as I would have liked. D'oh! Thus, I had to postpone the feature's debut. But at least I got this shot of the interior of the bus. Woo hoo.

Generally, I have to say, as buses go, these are a lot better to ride in than your standard, lurchy-jerky-make-you-queasy MUNI bus, as you wind your way around town. These are much more stable, and they are easier to board for most people as they don't have steps at the front and back door. An informal survey of bus drivers indicated that they found the new buses much easier to handle in traffic than the older models, and the view from the seats in the back (which are elevated) is quite nice. And there's the fact that they are a lot quieter, as well.

The one caveat I'd offer, along with that piece of conventional wisdom called "low floor buses will make MUNI perfect" that people chant over and over, is this - yes it's great that it's a "low floor" bus, but the sacrifice is a significant loss in the number of senior and disabled seats at the front, not to mention that some modles of wheelchair may have a harder time getting in the disabled area, even though getting on is much easier without the steps. When there are not a lot of folks on board, this can be mitigated a little, but when it gets crowded it could be trickier.

I've never been one to worship at the temple of Hybrids Are Superior To Everything, but I have to say, given how lousy the ride usually is on a regular MUNI bus, the prospect of a better ride is quite appealing. If it saves some money on the diesel bill and pollution, that's lovely as well.

If you've ridden a hybrid bus and have a comment, please post in the comments section!

August 7, 2007

A Non Work Safe Post For Tuesday: Splattered Birds On The N!

Because your day is not complete without at least one non-work safe gross out post, here's one of a series I'm compiling entitled "The Splattered Birds of the N Judah Line."

It seems like almost every day now, I see a newly splattered bird on or near the tracks of the N. This was the first, with the additional gross-out factor of another bird apparently taking advantage of the free food on the N line, and the second was this one, I saw on Sunday.

And there's been others, but I wasn't in position to take pics. What gets me is that these are almost always at stops and it's not like the bird cant, you know, fly away from the oncoming slow train!

July 28, 2007

Having A "Larry David Day" on the N and Around Town....

As I mentioned previously, I managed to avoid the latest MUNI goof-fest on the KLM lines going downtown on Friday. Little did I know that upon leaving my home for downtown to go see the Simpsons Movie, I was going to have what I have named a "Larry David Day" in honor of the star of the show Curb Your Enthusiasm, and those odd situations one sometimes find themselves in around town.

The fun started when I boarded the N on Carl St. at Stanyan and was a bit surprised to find so many apocalyptic looking old hobos on the train. These were not your usual less-fortunate citizens sharing a ride as part of our usual diverse N Judah riders. These were the kind of angry, older, pissed off types that all have that look on their face that says "I'm gonna go down and don't mind taking as many as you with me as I can." I've written about these types before.

Anyway, as we traveled downtown, our mix of commuters, apocalyptic hobos, and geeks such as yours truly made our way without too many incidents, aside from a loud argument over the relative value of plastic bottles vs. cans (No I am not making that up). I got off the train at Civic Center and met up with colleague Mason Powell, to go see the movie and get a sandwich at one of my favorites, Tommy's Joynt. Aside from a few dumbass fratboy types from out of town who blocked the line with their incessant guffaws, body slamming, and dumb questions (tourists, behave, please) it was fine.

Continue reading "Having A "Larry David Day" on the N and Around Town...." »

July 9, 2007

And Now, Another Crusade: Making Irving and 9th and Judah and 9th More Safe

Hopefully, all of you Loyal Readers had a fun Fourth of July holiday. I went to a party at SF Metroblogging's Anna whose place featured the groovy view you see in the accompanying photo. Thanks, Anna!

However, as I was out and about on all these sunny days we had, a problem which won't go away, despite everyone's attempts to ignore it, reared its ugly head as it does most every day - the unsafe intersections at Irving/9th and Judah/9th.

Right now, the status quo is simple: no one wins. Every day you see plenty of near-misses as N-Judah trains try to make a left turn going outbound, or trains trying desperately to sync with the traffic lights, but can't because of other delays.

Cars are not having much fun - they're often stuck in the middle of the intersection and end up turning as the light changes to red, clashing with pedestrians. And people walking or riding a bike? Well, even for those who can sprint across the street, it's a crapshoot, and for our seniors and disabled citizens, it can be really tough. This is not working for anyone.

The funny thing is, we were promised a fairly obvious solution to this rather serious issue way back in November 2006, when assorted citizens and Sup. Mirkarimi challenged MUNI management on this issue.

Continue reading "And Now, Another Crusade: Making Irving and 9th and Judah and 9th More Safe" »

July 2, 2007

So How Was Your Commute Today?

So how was your commute today?

The Chronicle reports no major dramas, so far, and my own limited experience has been fine. In fact, today was the first time in like, forever, that I went to Safeway on Market, exited the store and a virtually empty N-Judah car pulled up, around 4ish, and was air conditioned quite nicely! I was shocked.

I took a few pics of a very busy Duboce and Church intersection as several J's were changed to N Outbound, one N was changed to a J Outbound, and so on.

And, in a bit of irony, some hapless volunteers were out at the 9th and Irving N Judah stop trying to get signatures to get Mayor Newsom on the ballot. Somehow, I think anyone running for re-election in this town might wanna consider alternate venues....

How was your day? If nothing else, the weather was really great today! Not a hint of fog, even in the Sunset!

June 28, 2007

Giants Fans! Starting June 30th, The N Goes To AT&T Park and Caltrain as God Intended

Big news, folks! Starting tomorrow, June 30th, the N-Judah once again goes all the way to AT&T Park and Caltrain, just as God intended. For those of you going to the Giants game tomorrow, you can disregard previous bulletins and board the N like you used to for all those times you went to the ballpark, pre-T Third calamity.

If you're not going to the game tomorrow, why not drop by the pre-scripted fun in North Beach and find a creative way to cut through the chatter and let Mayor Newsom what you think should be done to improve MUNI!

Either way, have fun, play safe, and enjoy your weekend!

May 21, 2007

Argh...A Mini Meltdown At My Own Blog...And A Short Story About BTB Day...

The one time I didn't compose a posting offline, complete with links and whatnots, and that's the one time my ISP decides to pull a MUNI and crap out on me. I cannot communicate just how frustrating this is. Lesson learned - never compose a complex posting online, and follow the rules one sets out for themselves, in this case don't compose online.

I'll reconstruct it and repost it later on. Meanwhile, I will regale you all with an incident that happened after the infamous Bay To Breakers event yesterday, which according to our friends at SFist had some issues Sunday.

So, there I was minding my own business, heading out from the Duboce Park Cafe towards downtown. As you all may or may not have been aware, MUNI was in overdrive (sort of) providing extra trains and buses and 7 dollar fun rides for all those people after the big race.

Anyway, so as I wait for my N to show up, one pulls up and it is packed, sardine-style, with happy people from all over the city. What I did not count on, however, was seeing the N used as a recycling truck. Yes, that's right. You see, two enterprising individuals took it upon themselves to collect nine huge garbage bags worth of plastic water bottles in hopes of getting the CRV for each. So, intelligently, they chose to take an N on the most packed day of the season.

Yeah. That was my reaction too.

Oh, but it gets better. You see, as I watched these two Rhodes Scholars try to get all of these huge bags off the super-crowded N-Judah, I noticed that one bag was starting to snag on the handrail by the exit. Before I could say "Stop, kind gentlemen, you're about to spill f*cking bottles all over the place," it tore open. Suddenly the stop, the train floor and the sidewalk were covered in stupid water bottles. Of course this delayed things even more.

Finally, I managed to get on the train, while everyone else was trying to kick water bottles out the door. The Genius Duo decided to snap every one of them up, and had no problem reaching under the about to start moving train to grab every last one of them. News flash, geniuses - you can still redeem the bottles if they are flat. You cannot, however, get a new hand if your existing one gets chopped off, at the recyclers.

I was glad to get off the train when I did and go about the rest of my day. I did leave MUNI wondering a few things - one was why it is they can have enough trains to run for BTB, but not for the daily commute. The other was how much it costs MUNI to service all these big special events - and how it is that MUNI riders are the ones that end up shouldering the costs for these things (in both actual costs and lost service) and not those who created the added burden in the first place?

April 28, 2007

Friday Foto Fun: Critical Mass, Park Life Gallery, and Mayhem on Geary Street

In what is becoming an almost weekly ritual, I have another Flickr Photo Set of various events from Friday afternoon and evening.

Among the notable events - Critical Mass folks at the Ferry Building, art and more at Park Life Gallery and Store on Clement Street, and a really bad accident that happened on Geary and 3rd while I was on the way home (and watching the media copters cover the cookie monsters on wheels).

More today if I get a chance...if you're not already outside enjoying today's weather, get away from the computer and do so now!

April 22, 2007

Weekend Fun Photos on Flickr!

This weekend I spent a lot of time out and about. On Friday, I took the Mighty N down to City Hall, where I checked out the latest "Third Friday" art exhibit at Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi's office This time the featured art was of San Francisco movie theaters (working and forlorn) that are a part of the Left In The Dark exhibit.

Aftewards, I walked to the I Spy Gallery on Market Street, where they featured the art of Ryan McGavin, as well as the assorted items they sell in their store. Afterwards, I went home and caught a 6 Parnassus where I was treated to a mini-feature of Muni Street Theater before heading home.

Check out the various photos I took at Flickr, and I'll post more photos soon!

April 19, 2007

T Third Opening Ceremony Photos Up on!

Loyal Readers: I finally downloaded all the photos I took of the T-Third Opening Ceremonies on April 14th and posted them to this Flickr Photo Set! If any of you have some photos, post a link in the comments section.


UPDATE: Matier and Ross report on the cost of the parties - $158,000! The trains may have been screwed up, commutes ruined, and faith lost in the MUNI or MTA or whatever, but the elites had their fun! Yay!!!

April 12, 2007

Past Apologies, Current Events, and More!

Well these last few days have been rather dramatic, eh?

"Mason Powell" found this apology from a simliar crisis in 1981, which was posted on shelters, buses, etc. so I posted a copy (which originally appeared in the book "Tours of Discovery" by Anthony Perles) on Flickr for everyone's enjoyment.

I also had the chance to talk to NBC 11 today about the recent MUNI follies. If you're near a TV at 5 or 6pm, and you're interested in seeing me look like a goofball on TV, check it out.

After the interview, I took the N-Judah to the Inner Sunset(where a particularly distressed gentleman finally shook his head in disbelief and shouted "WHERE ARE THE N JUDAHS?!?"). Upon departing the train, I ran into Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and the Senior Action Network, who were holding a press conference with the SFPD about pedestrian safety on sidewalks. I took a few quick photos, and once they were finished, took the opportunity to ask Sup. Mirkarimi a few questions.

As some of you may recall, during a town hall meeting on MUNI last fall, scramble signals on Irving and 9th and Judah and 9th were promised to help speed up the trains and improve safety for pedestrians and cars. This promise has not only not been kept, but now MUNI is fighting the effort entirely, and Sup. Mirkarimi was clearly ticked off about it.

He told me that another Town Hall Meeting on MUNI is coming - one where you can ask any question you want and they'll be followed up as before. We'll definitely be keeping you posted on that when a date is set!

Keep sending in your comments about your experiences this week, and don't be shy about sending your comments to all the Supervisors who represent the N-Judah line. The Mayor and the Board can't ignore us if we all make enough noise.

UPDATE: Some have suggested that those upset about the recent follies pay a visit to the MTA, MUNI, and assorted local dignitaries on Saturday. Hmm.....

April 11, 2007

Being MUNI Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry...

Although I still would like to hear your tales of commuting woe, this bit of news merited an entry on its own.

As I mentioned earlier, SFist hero MattyMatt posed some video detailing the dreadful N-Judah performance on Tuesday, and included a link to a pretty sincere apology from MUNI director Nate Ford.

45 minutes later, it was removed, and this error screen appeared in its place.

I have no doubt Nate Ford was trying to be honest about the situation, in particular apologizing for MUNI's seeming inability to communicate with the public, despite paying all those pros all that money.

I also have no doubt that upon seeing such an apology, some MUNI or MTA bureaucrat took it down.

Time to make 'em all accountable: the Mayor, the MTA board, the Board of Supervisors, all of 'em. And someone needs to say they're sorry.

March 20, 2007

Hey MUNI! What's Wrong With This Picture?

Ah, NextBus, If you ever want to start something, start talkin' NextBus and you set off a range of emotions, urban legends and angst that can set off people like few other issues can.

Then, of course, there's this little error on 9th, at Irving I spotted this weekend (as did one of our loyal readers from SF State!) Now, my camera phone's shutter speed can't capture a flickering NextBus sign in its entirety, but if you look closely you'll see a NextBus sign freshly installed at a stop that only serves the 44 O'Shaughnessy.

One problem: the sign is a light up sign for....the N-Judah. Another problem: every thing I've read suggests that diesel lines (such as the 44) are going to be the last ones to get a NextBus upgrade.


March 15, 2007

Yes, It's A New NextBus Sign, and YES, it WORKS.

SFist posted some new news regarding the availability of NextBus info for several lines. The saga of NextBus has been one of mythology, facts, and a mashup of the two that have made for some interesting theories, discussion and whatnot.

So in the spirit of posting some hot, new, reliable NextBus info, here is a picture of a brand new NextBus sign at the corner of 16th and Valencia. Due to my cameraphone's lame shutter speed, the light up board is incomplete in this picture. However, I can assure you, yes it works just fine and looks spectacular.


February 16, 2007

A Sunny Friday on the N-Judah

It was too nice to stay cooped up inside today. I mean, really - after all that crap-tacular rain the other day, it was great to get out in spring-like weather.

I took the N all the way to the end, with the idea I'd get a drink and hang out at the always nice Java Beach Cafe, but every other person in the area had the same idea....there was literally nowhere to sit!

So, after hanging out for a little bit, I made a retreat to the always reliable Yancy's Saloon where they have reliable WiFI and friendly bartenders. I got a little work done, enjoyed the view, and had a nice chat with one of their servers and discussed the merits of Google Earth.

I took a couple of quick camera phone photos and posted them to this Flickr Photoset. Enjoy the rest of the good weather while it lasts!

January 19, 2007

There Are No Atheists in Foxholes or on MUNI

A number of readers have been asking me when MUNI would restore nighttime service to the N-Judah line, and one day, whilst leaving the N at the Embarcadero Station downtown, I saw this sign and snapped a photo.

True, it means Really Bad News for the KLM riders - starting soon they're going to have to take a shuttle bus out to West Portal and points beyond. But look carefully and you'll see - N Judah service is restored (complete with the new blue ciricled N in the logo!)

So, that's good news for some of us, anyway. I was really starting to wonder if I'd ever be able to take the N home at night ever again....

Special Note: This posting marks the 100th posting here at the N-Judah Chronicles! Woo hoo!

September 14, 2006

Mayor Newsom Gets an Earful, and Maggie Lynch Says a Mouthful - The Latest MUNI Blowout!

On Wednesday, I hopped on MUNI, to take a trip downtown to check out the "soft launch" of the Market St. Railway Museum and take a few pictures. Although the "official" opening is not until early October, the Museum is open now and has some great exhibits plus some really nice photos and posters for sale. What could possibly go wrong?

Little did I know we were going to have Yet Another Muni Blowout, and we were also going to get Yet Another Mindbending Quote from Muni Spokesdroid Maggie Lynch. I was amazed.

First, of course, was the meltdown itself, when we were all stuck on the N-Judah waiting to go into the tunnel, only to find out that a train ahead of us was "stuck" and we had to get out. There is nothing as fun as being cooped up in a crowded train, not knowing what's going on - or why you can't leave.

The many rush-hour commuters that morning were just thrilled to get out en masse to try and catch a train on the F-Line, or one at the Church St. Station. The poor station agent just let the masses in, to speed things up for people so they could get to work on time. No one was happy, to say the least.

But the real fun was watching coverage on KPIX News about the latest meltdown, in particular this gem of a quote from our well-paid spokesdroid:

Muni spokesperson Maggie Lynch said, "Unfortunately, what we've had is like Lemony Snicket -- a series of unfortunate events -- and they just came all together, and it makes it seem like there is an overriding problem."

Put aside for a moment the mismanaged cultural reference, and read that statement again. It flies in the face of any reasonable nalysis of the many analyses of MUNI indicating significant systemic perfomance problems with MUNI management and service.

To somehow suggest that there's "no problem" after Yet Another MUNI Folly Day, as MUNI's spokesperson does is simply amazing. I can't fathom how someone could say something like this with a straight face, much less repeat it to the press and expect to be taken seriously.

However, Mayor Newsom does not seem amused by the latest antics. Let's hope he can suggest to the well-heeled managers of MUNI it is in their interest to get things on the move. Something's gotta change soon, or we're all going to be a city of de facto pedestrians, outrunning MUNI.

UPDATE, 9/16: The Chronicle recaps the week in Muni Follies, with a bonus of both an F-line closuer and our famous Cable Cars as well. And we got more silliness from MUNI's spokesdroid.

I wonder if we are at that point in our culture where an agency can routinely screw up and the People In Charge can keep peddling the PR that "nothing's wrong" and still a) be taken seriously by The Media and The Public and b) keep getting paid out of our taxes and fares?

July 21, 2006

Friday Fun: Photos From A Sunny Day In San Francsico

Yesterday, "Mason Powell" and I did a photo shoot for my work, taking advantage of the unusually clear and bright weather we're having. Here are some samples, with pop-ups. Most were taken at the park in the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood, which is just a few blocks from my house.

This is a nice photo of the Sunset, framed by the trees of the park:

Here's another from the park, looking towards the city. Later we went to the Presidio, and over to the Marina. San Francisco is really not that big of a city!

Here's a view of Sutro Tower and Twin Peaks from Moraga Avenue, on the way to the park:

The Mighty N-Judah making the turn at Ocean Beach:

And some birds at the beach, enjoying the sun:

March 25, 2006

"V for Vendetta" on the N-Judah Line

I'm going to the AMC to check out V for Vendetta, based on the comic novel of the same name by one of my favorite authors, Alan Moore.

The poster artwork for this movie has been amazing, and I was surprised to find a complete set of four posters along the N-Judah line near Sunset. You can click on the image and see them full size, photo and photoshopping courtesy of N-Judah contributor "Mason Powell."

February 3, 2006

Irving and 9th Avenue at Sundown

My brother took this photo at Irving and 9th. I think it came out rather nicely.

September 21, 2005

Some pictures of the faux BART Station in Duboce Park

Courtesy of my brother Dave, here's a picture of the faux BART station. Filming is on Wednesday!


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