For a short period of time I had to take the 48 Quintara down to the Mission on a daily basis. I found it actually a relaxing and interesting trip that I wrote about previously as I could sit there with my iPhone and read my email and get constant updates on what was going on along with all the other riders because of the 3G access we all had, but if you like the other thousands of riders who have to take the metro downtown you’re out of luck.
There’s no signal in the tunnels at all. Granted, traveling from West Portal to Embarcadero can be rather quick, but it leaves you with unproductive downtime where if there was an emergency at home I couldn’t even get a phone call in most cases for 45 minutes. On the other hand, BART when I got on one day politely asked me if I’d like to connect to their free wifi service. Hell even going through the bay tunnel I could make cell phone calls. Why isn’t San Francisco looking into this?
There was a time a couple of years ago where I saw buses in San Francisco touting free wifi service they were testing out. You don’t see those today. In a city that says it’s so tech friendly I would expect wifi to be everywhere and available. Well, it is pretty much everywhere, but not always available. There was a plan at one time to make wifi available throughout San Francisco, but it never took hold. Couldn’t we at least find a way to first make wifi available in the metro tunnel running downtown and then making it available on the buses? It would make the need for 3g/4g data plans almost superfluous and give everyone with a smartphone/tablet computer access to the internet while they have to sit during their commute. Most people complain about how slow Muni is, but if you had something to do during the time you were waiting you wouldn’t notice it so much.
Hell, if I could watch Indiana Jones while I was stuck in the tunnels for two hours I wouldn’t mind the wait as much.
Well I have to say it’s been a couple of months since I’ve had to take Muni and now I have something to compare it to and I have to say that I have to side with Greg Dewar of NJudah Chronicles on the sad state of Muni.
I have a job in Mill Valley, California. I have roughly 12 miles to travel to work by car and I can drive from the Sunset District to Mill Valley in about 20 minutes. When I went to the SF Weekly awards last Friday I drove up and parked at West Portal station to get the quick route downtown to Montgomery station. Total travel time…35 minutes, total distance, less than 5 miles.
I don’t understand how a metro service that is located underground and with no traffic interference would take longer than getting in a car to cross the Golden Gate Bridge where there is traffic and narrow lanes and tourists that don’t know the area so they drive at the speed limit or less sometimes. I have previously written about my hatred of crossing bridges in San Francisco because it was easy to get out of the city, but hard to get back. That mostly applies to the Bay Bridge. The Golden Gate is a pleasure to drive in comparison.
To take a cab downtown equals about the same time as it does for me to drive to Marin. It’ll cost you more, but if you’ve got to get somewhere quickly why is it a car does it better than a Mass Transit System? Isn’t the idea behind a Mass Transit System is that it does a better job of moving people from point A to point B more quickly and efficiently than a gas guzzling car?
You also have to remember that we’re talking about a subway system here and not buses. If you had to take a bus from point A to point B it would take you at least an hour.
Muni has been in the papers lately due to the fact that they’re paying their people a lot of money, but not delivering a good on time rate. Then there is the Central Subway debate that is supposed to run from King St. to Chinatown [which to be honest, I used to walk from Market St. when I worked at 500 Washington St in about 15 minutes.] It was originally supposed to run from King St.. to Fisherman’s Wharf and then cut back to North Beach which would make more sense as you would have gotten more tourist dollars into city coffers instead of running from Market St. to a ten square block small area of the city. I honestly can’t be in favor of any expansion of Muni lines at this point in time until they can get it right with what they already have.
Friday was sad for me. I was watching a TV show and my phone buzzed at me. Not unusual with all the crap I’ve got installed on my phone. Then I looked down. One of my friends on Twitter just sent the message NOOOOO! Darla’s is out of business.
WHAT! Darla’s while not being an old San Francisco tradition kind of a place has been around long enough to have developed a loyal following. I think she opened up 9 1/2 years ago and my wife and I used to go there a lot back in the day. The burger’s and fries where always juicy and the service was quick. Darla herself could usually be found being the waitress and it was always kind of funny to me watch this Asian woman speaking Spanish to her cooks.
I have a fond memory of one day after eating a burger that she would always make for me [a bacon cheese burger with sliced avocado] I walked up to her and politely whispered into her ear, That was the best motherf*cking burger I’ve ever had. To which she turned around and said, Why thank you! in a rather sugary sweet tone.
Darla Kubala was a smart cookie. She even had an iPhone app called Diner Dash that was based upon her. If you got to see her work you’d see how the game idea came about. She would take all the orders, deliver the food and be the bus boy all the while checking on the customer’s needs. Somedays she had her off days, but the majority of the time she was always on it. The thing that you always remembered was how she ended your meal. You got your check with a brownie for every one at your table. I liked that because after a lunch or dinner there you really didn’t have enough room for desert, but the little brownie was intense and did the job.
Darla was also good with faces. It had been over a year since we had gone in there and she came over to our table and the first words out of her mouth were, you cut your hair?!?!? Then she sat down and talked with my wife about whether or not she like me with short hair or not. She even thanked me once for always bringing my friends in. She had a lot more than just burgers and I tried a few other things she offered, but I always came back to the burgers. Those were her signature along with the fries topped with season-all. When she let that one slip to me I can’t eat fries without them anymore. Now I’m sad that I don’t have Darla’s Burgers to take my friends to for the best motherf*cking burger anymore. I tried to give them a call today to make sure and yep, the number is disconnected. I suppose it was the economy that put her out, but she always seemed to have customers in there. Hopefully she’ll resurface again. I miss her already.
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