The traffic-deterring giant slug, systemic honk reform and fruit-picking through the car window with a retired bat researcher

# Lyft Line # Kids Who Lyft A college-aged guy sits down in the front seat. After announcing that he has philosophy homework and a big research project to turn in, he gets to work.  The app tells me our ride has two stops; next we will be picking up his niece at her elementary school.Continue reading “The traffic-deterring giant slug, systemic honk reform and fruit-picking through the car window with a retired bat researcher”

Pancake dates, fruity conversations, and fireworks galore: Lyft passengers on 4th of July

“Make sure you secure your pets tonight Folks, because some of them might get scared!” the woman on the radio encourages in a sweetly concerned tone of voice, as I drive the crowded July 4th streets of San Francisco. It’s cold out. One guy has his arms folded up inside his short-sleeved American flag shirt whenContinue reading “Pancake dates, fruity conversations, and fireworks galore: Lyft passengers on 4th of July”

Honks, Expletives, and Relentless Traffic: Dispatches from the Wild Wild Road

The driver lets out a sigh as he waits for pedestrians to cross the street at the speed of molasses. Seeing that one of them has a walker, he eases up on the steering wheel, which he’d been gripping tightly before. “No one to blame, Anger. Stay down,” he instructs his festering emotions. The walker scootsContinue reading “Honks, Expletives, and Relentless Traffic: Dispatches from the Wild Wild Road”

Toast with Me: Golden State Bars

Step inside and unwind at these California bars with memorable ambiences—all stumbled upon in my excursions as a Lyft driver across the state. **No need to worry, as I can assure you that sparkling water was my beverage of choice at pretty much all of these. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First and Last Chance Saloon (Oakland, CA) PaperContinue reading “Toast with Me: Golden State Bars”

To Hug a Porcupine: A Marin County Passenger Talks Bojack Horseman and Intergenerational Trauma

*Names changed to protect confidentiality For many years, Marin County was home to Robin Williams. Its natural beauty and proximity to San Francisco have made it a popular dwelling for affluent retirees in search of sanctuary without having to forgo easy access to the culture and bustle of a city. When I look up fromContinue reading “To Hug a Porcupine: A Marin County Passenger Talks Bojack Horseman and Intergenerational Trauma”

Are we too Siri dependent? Comparing now to the climate of yesteryears

When I think back to the days before Siri, my mind lands on that time when my 18-year-old self drove from the East Bay down to Gilroy, California (a city 1.5 hours south), on a journey to retrieve a bag I’d left in my date’s car the previous night. I’d printed out Map Quest directionsContinue reading “Are we too Siri dependent? Comparing now to the climate of yesteryears”

Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA

Nice things people on Yelp had to say about Ukiah, a rustic town in Mendocino County with a population of 16,000: “The air is always sparkling clear (unless there are forest fires). Every night we can go outside and look up and feel as though we are camping in the Sierras—billions of stars! There areContinue reading “Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA”

Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns

Ride along this week as we step foot into the snow globe town of Shasta City. Later we’ll let notes from a gently strummed harp seep into our souls as we stare out at a view of the state’s largest lake (in California’s Lake County). We’ll soak in the bucolic, woodsy calm of a townContinue reading “Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns”

Bros eat Girl Scout cookies, passengers talk Bitcoin, and the beastly pothole dream in San Jose, CA

On deck for this week: A male passenger describes how a bro bonding Girl Scout cookie binge sesh made up for a disappointing date. In “Spanish Practice,” a daughter reveals to her mom the shocking gift she plans to bestow on her dad for Father’s Day. Two passengers in #Lyft Line speculate over the futureContinue reading “Bros eat Girl Scout cookies, passengers talk Bitcoin, and the beastly pothole dream in San Jose, CA”

Ostrich tattoos, antique shops, and the Greek island hangover store in Fremont, CA

I’m in Niles, a quiet, peaceful, and little-known neighborhood of the East Bay city of Fremont. Fremonts’ overall population is 238,000, while 7,500 reside in Niles. Antique shops pepper the buildings of the district’s main road, while yellow hills running parallel to train tracks mimic the parched humps of a giant camel. Outside one store, twoContinue reading “Ostrich tattoos, antique shops, and the Greek island hangover store in Fremont, CA”