Happy New Year, one and all.
I hope you enjoyed a quiet and cozy holiday season.
I wasn't here to tell you Muni stories, as I was in London for vacation - riding their clean, quiet and on time buses and finding my way through the London Underground.
But now I'm back, as I hope you are, too.
This morning was misty and foggy, but unlike yesterday it was not raining hard enough for me to use my umbrella.
I didn't see C. on the corner, but when I was halfway down the block I heard him singing to himself as he walked toward his bus.
At my bus stop I could tell there was a problem. The Axe body spray guy (who, it turns out, is very nice, though very overly cologned) was waiting. I asked him if the bus was late and he nodded, and shrugged, and wished me a happy new year.
Ten minutes later our bus arrived. Driver James smiled and we exchanged "good mornings" and "happy new years" and the bus moved on down the street, in the misty darkness.
We picked up regulars.
The two women who always get on at Hayes, A man with cool boots who gets on at Clayton, the bald bearded man, the Giant Genie. Everyone wrapped in waterproof layers. Everyone armed with umbrellas.
At Castro and 18th, the bank's memorial wall was still covered with George Michael tributes.
The smiley man who gets on at Castro climbed aboard. We greeted each other and he went to sit in the back of the bus.
Another 33 bus approached in the opposite direction and James stopped to talk to the driver. Apparently there had been wires down further down the line earlier in the morning, but they were now fixed.
We rode on.
The windows fogged up so that several people were not sure where we were. They hurried to get out at their stops before they missed them altogether.
The lights at the Dolores Park Cafe were bright and cheery and while I am often tempted to get out the bus and go in for a snack, this morning the pull was even stronger. But I resisted. Some other time.
The Giant Genie got out at Mission and 16th, stooping, as he does, to step down from the bus.
At Potrero the smiley man and I got out, called a "have a good day" to Driver James.
The corner and the cross walk were blocked by a broken down 33 bus. A PG&E truck parked nearby clued me in that there was another electrical problem. Tough for everyone going further than Potrero and 16th.
I crossed the street with the smiley man and we ended up walking all the way to work together. He has worked in the neighborhood for over 20 years, but lives all the way over by the zoo! He told me about a bad commute a few days ago, that took him a whopping three hours to get to work. All I could do was shake my head.
And I thought I had a long (distance-wise) commute!
We chatted and it made the walk go so much faster. He needs a blog name. Something friendly and fun. A name you could hug. Any suggestions?