The hyenas of Fell Street, our plastic pandemic, and Mission district gentrification in San Francisco, CA

Bearded and bespectacled (**generally that word annoys me, but I just couldn’t resist the alliteration here), Jim* exudes an instant air of sophistication when he gets into my car at 9th and Irving. He’s just finished having sushi dinner with a female friend he hasn’t seen in over three years (“She’d been living in BerlinContinue reading “The hyenas of Fell Street, our plastic pandemic, and Mission district gentrification in San Francisco, CA”

Lyft Pawsenger Series Part 2: parakeet PDA, the verbification of animals, and the psychology of crazy cat ladies

In honor of International Cat Day, here is part 2 of the Lyft Pawsenger series. In today’s batches: a passenger brings his parakeets, thoughts on using animals as verbs, and a ride with a male cat lover who fosters 22 cats with his wife and comments on the habit of hoarding. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Parakeet PDA PassengerContinue reading “Lyft Pawsenger Series Part 2: parakeet PDA, the verbification of animals, and the psychology of crazy cat ladies”

Lyft Pawsenger Series Part 1: resplendent quetzal, a chill chihuahua, and the coyote face-down

Driving for Lyft put me in contact with a fair amount of furry, feathered, and scaled friends. Given how much I love animals, it was a true delight to have them as passengers. Even when no creatures were present, the excitement of fellow animal loving riders rubbed off on me. One time a woman from GuatamalaContinue reading “Lyft Pawsenger Series Part 1: resplendent quetzal, a chill chihuahua, and the coyote face-down”

Beach connoisseurs, soccer ball artists, and female celebrities v. paparazzi vultures in Los Angeles, CA

Exploring the city Along the lengthy path that runs parallel to Manhattan Beach, I hear a pre-teen boy and an older guy (both on their bikes) yelling out numbers between one and ten. My first thought is that they’re ranking the women who pass them by.  After turning to glare at them though, I realizeContinue reading “Beach connoisseurs, soccer ball artists, and female celebrities v. paparazzi vultures in Los Angeles, CA”

Musical chairs road anxiety, our flawed U.S. food industry, and Amy Schumer rides the ever-expanding Toyota Corolla

In the lineup for this week: a wild #Lyft Dream featuring Amy Schumer and a car that lengthens on command. #Lyft Thoughts compares the discomfort of being caught in the middle of a four-way intersection when the light turns red to the anxiety of playing musical chairs. A #Lyft Quote features a passenger who drawsContinue reading “Musical chairs road anxiety, our flawed U.S. food industry, and Amy Schumer rides the ever-expanding Toyota Corolla”

A future guitar painter, retired globe-trotter on birthing happiness, and the Pizza Monster of North Beach

This week on #Passengers Speak Spanish, a little girl shares her future career aspirations—and they’re not what you’d expect. #Lyft Thoughts explores the difficulty of determining the degree to which distress is caused by one’s own faulty machinery versus when it’s the roads that need repair. In #Bigger Passenger Stories, Nancy discusses the joy ofContinue reading “A future guitar painter, retired globe-trotter on birthing happiness, and the Pizza Monster of North Beach”

A tardy friend redeems himself, the firefly rescuer, and why driving behind massive trucks is scary

We’ve got a couple of father daughter stories in the line-up today! See “A Good Caring Dad” (the first in my Uber Eats series), and “The Frog and the Unsuspecting Firefly” (also part of a recurring series, “Passengers Speak Spanish”). #Lyft Thoughts explores the anxiety of driving behind big trucks with lots of items jostlingContinue reading “A tardy friend redeems himself, the firefly rescuer, and why driving behind massive trucks is scary”

Judging other cars, a Lyft Line reunion, and the Uber Eats burger dream

This week, a girl, her brother and their mom talk about stitches; “It’s like sewing, but you’re not doing it to a blanket—you’re doing it to your skin!” the brother exclaims, making noises that mimic a sewing machine. The girl looks fearful. The mom reassures her it will be okay. Another passenger comments on how books theseContinue reading “Judging other cars, a Lyft Line reunion, and the Uber Eats burger dream”

Wild Lyft Ride Series, Part 3: A Weaponless Hold-up and the Salinas Sunrise Ride

A Weaponless Hold-up “Please. I’m on the car now. You can’t drive off,” says the woman with her head inside my passenger’s rolled-down window, hands gripping the car. Minutes earlier, I’d picked up Liana and Jessie* outside of Elbo Room in San Francisco’s Mission district.  “It was too hot in there!” they exclaimed, the fluffyContinue reading “Wild Lyft Ride Series, Part 3: A Weaponless Hold-up and the Salinas Sunrise Ride”

Wild Lyft Ride Series, Part 2: A Journey through the Woods with a Goat Yoga Instructor

After a slightly serpentine and bucolic ride up to *Marie’s house in the Aptos hills, I park in front of her rustic dwelling to find my phone has no service. Leaving the car to inform her of my arrival, I pass by dogs and goats along the way. Two friendly chocolate labs greet me atContinue reading “Wild Lyft Ride Series, Part 2: A Journey through the Woods with a Goat Yoga Instructor”