The San Francisco Muni and Inner City Life
There's never a dull moment in the streets of San Francisco. Locals know that seeing crazy things is an SF Norm. Today was no different. On my way to a wonderful Symposium on women in the field of architecture (something I'll blog about next week) I experienced some very interesting things on the Muni. I thought it was a wonderful example of the multiple layers and unfortunate downside of inner city life.
Although San Francisco has some of the best transportation in the country, there's certain lines you should probably avoid, just as any other city has their own. Here's a list of a few things I witness today.
On my first Bus line (Line 14) a man drops a pill next to my shoe, he saids "excuse me I dropped my mint", I moved my foot and he grabbed the small white pill. The man infront of me laughs and calls out "That ain't no mint drop man, who ya' trying to trick. I know what your doing ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM man". The man who dropped the pill chuckles and whispers to his other friend "we've been discovered fool."
- What did I see on the bus? A man getting ready to pop some kind of drug into his system.
I get off this line and make my way to the next stop. To my surprise I see a man walking with his pants down - as if he were using them to sweep the streets.
- What did I see on my way to the 2nd bus stop (Line 19)? A very literal interpretation of the rap song pants on the ground - his butt cheeks greeting the world - hello.
So I'm finally on my second Bus, again I get forced to the back. I took my seat and couldn't help but over hear the conversation of two kids. One kid tells a little girl "You wanna know how I'm not Gay, I have a big %^&* and everyone tells me so - wanna see?" I turn around just to make sure this kid wasn't seriously pulling a Pee Wee Herman on this poor girl. Thankfully he caught my evil eye, and stopped. The kids looked no older than 8- 10.
- What did I see on the 2nd bus of the day? Perverted youth who haven't learned the definition of Gay.
On my way back home I got caught in a weird bus rush hour. It seems everyone and their brother wanted to ride the bus. I get of in the Mission and three teens are standing next to me - a little rough around the edges but nothing major. Suddenly, a short latin homie comes over and tells one of the kids "Hey man I kindly ask of you to take off your hat, you wearing that thing can cause some serious damage over here, ya' here me? You don't wanna be seriously injured do ya'?", the teen argues "WTF man, this is my dead homie's hat and I can wear it if I wanna, no body gonna tell me different yo." As you'd probably assume at this point I stepped as far away from that scenery as possible.
- What did I witness on my 3rd bus of the day? A Sureño and Norteño, Gang confrontation over the color of a guy's hat - Red. Thankfully, I was wearing the right colors for the territory - a blue scarf and blue shirt. I was all good in the neighborhood.
Relieved my bus had arrived and I'd escaped without being witness to a gang shoot out, I entered the crowed bus and had to chose between two empty spots. I chose the one with the older gentlemen who seemed to be asleep. After a couple minutes on the bus I realized I'd made the right choice, since the other one was next to a man with schizophrenia. The man started shutting out that he was a trained assassin - if we kept staring at him he was going to kill us all. He also included that if he could deal with Al-Qaeda he could take on any thing and any one. Now. I'll omit everything that went through my mind at this point, once the Bus reached my stop...I booked it. After all who know's maybe this poor man use to be a soldier and suddenly flew over the cuckoo's nest.
- What did I see on my last bus of the day? Crazy People - an SF norm.
In conclusion, it only took one day riding the Muni to see the full spectrum of Urban Life and it's unfortunate downfalls. I luckily made out alright, however if I can take one thing out of todays experience is Crazy %^& happens in the back of the bus, and Muni Lines 14, 22, 19 are def. interesting.