Total SF

Total SF

A San Francisco culture podcast featuring celebrity guests, non-celebrity guests, personalities from the San Francisco Chronicle and a celebration of Bay Area life. Hosted by culture critic Peter Hartlaub and columnist Heather Knight and recorded on the streets, hilltops, parks and landmarks of San Francisco. The pair's focus on the whimsy and wonder of San Francisco began in 2018 when they rode every bus, train, cable car and street car in the city in one day. They believe in highlighting the eccentric characters, independent bookstores, burger joints and bars that make the bay so great.

Episodes

September 23, 2022 42 min

Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight visit the cable car barn in San Francisco and talk with gripman Val Lupiz and former cable car barn superintendent David Banbury about the history of the transit network, and ask listener questions about the cable car line. Lupiz and Banbury cover the meaning of certain bells, why Muni no longer allows tourists to push cars on the turnaround and what gripmen think about that cable ca...

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Transit lover and poet Mc "Mack" Allen met Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight on Total Muni 2018, when he was the first civilian to find them during their successful attempt to ride every Muni line in one day. He's since become a Muni operator, and we invited him back on the podcast to answer "Ask a Muni driver" questions from listeners — including his favorite views, the strangest things he's ...

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September 9, 2022 31 min

The ferry system in San Francisco was written off as dead in 1958. But the San Francisco Bay Ferry rose again after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and is arguably the most liked transit system in the Bay Area. Total SF hosts Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub recorded on the ferry with executive director Seamus Murphy, talking ferry history, learning how the system works and what's the possible future for the growing transit a...

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September 2, 2022 39 min

For the first episode of Transit Month on the Total SF podcast, hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight invited BART's Alicia Trost and Seung Lee, who hold the keys to the transit agency's social media. Trost and Lee talk about BART history, modern challenges and the agency's 50th anniversary celebration, which lands during Transit Month in September. BART's big plans for the birthday include video games at the Powe...

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Glen Canyon is one of the most underrated parks in San Francisco, with a dramatic history that's mostly unknown beyond the Glen Park neighborhood. Glen Park Neighborhood History Project founder Evelyn Rose joins Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight to talk about the canyon's history, including the dynamite factory (and a huge explosion), the zoo and plans for a freeway that were successfully fought by three wome...

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August 19, 2022 30 min

Honey Mahogany is a drag queen, small businesswoman, social worker, political aide, "Ru Paul's Drag Race" contestant, singer, and now a candidate for District 6 supervisor. After Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight spent two years of talking about her — including a demand in an early 2021 episode for a Honey Mahogany High School — the San Francisco native sits down near the Central Freeway in District 6 to ...

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Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight announce Total Transit 2022, their attempt to ride as many of the Bay Area's transit agencies in one day. There are 27 transit agencies covering nine Bay Area counties, but most operate independently of one another. Knight and Hartlaub — who rode every Muni line in one day in 2018 — will try to ride as many as possible from early morning until night, while assessing the difficult...

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San Francisco is one of the romantic cities in the world — and we've been spending the week thinking up perfect first dates. Chronicle arts and culture columnist Tony Bravo joins hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight record in the Conservatory of Flowers Dahlia Garden and pick nine ideas for first dates in the city, including museums, the best flower exhibition and the most romantic bar, bookstore and ferry ride. The hosts al...

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Will Clark is a San Francisco Giants legend, and an all-time Bay Area fan favorite athlete. On the week that the team retires his No. 22 alongside Mays and McCovey, Total SF co-hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight joined Clark in the "Tony Bennett Suite" at Oracle Park, where he told some of his best stories. The podcast ended with Hartlaub and Knight handing Clark covers of Chronicle Sporting Greens from the 1980s, whil...

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With the awaited opening of the new Tunnel Tops and Battery Bluff parks in the Presidio, San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King joins Total SF hosts Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub at the new park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge to talk about the changes. Tunnel Tops links the Presidio to Crissy Field, and Battery Bluff exposes old military posts along a pathway with stellar views of the bridge and Marin Headlan...

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A return from vacation sparks a Total SF discussion between hosts Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub about the San Francisco things they miss when they're gone, including weather patterns, food and one very specific transit agency. Knight just returned from two weeks in England, and Hartlaub — who rarely travels — channels the things he missed while living in Los Angeles in the 1990s. Total SF also gets a visit from James Morehe...

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With Heather Knight out for the week, San Francisco Chronicle arts and culture columnist Tony Bravo takes co-hosting duties in to help pick the greatest San Francisco movies of all time. Total SF host Peter Hartlaub and Bravo choose 10 movies to show in a hypothetical two-day festival at the Castro Theatre. They quickly get five locks — starting with "Vertigo" and "Mrs. Doubtfire" — but struggle near the end, decidi...

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Sutro Tower may be the most beloved landmark among San Francisco residents, and after this best-of episode from 2021, we'll all have a PhD in the Sutro's history and present. Sutro spokesman Dave Hyams joins co-hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight to talk about what exactly Sutro does in 2021, the constant maintenance and some wild trivia. Did you know that there's so much concrete underneath Sutro Tower that the cen...

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Longtime Castro Theatre organ player David Hegarty got a scare earlier this year, when Another Planet Entertainment took over operations of the 100-year-old cinema and the future seemed unclear. But the music will go on — the Castro is continuing to employ Hegarty, has been screening movies and a new generation will get to hear "San Francisco" before every show. Hegarty talks about his start as an organ player (including a ...

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June 17, 2022 31 min

The Orpheum Theatre on Market Street has a history that dates back to the Vaudeville era, with classic architecture that has been maintained and restored even through eras of turmoil and closure. Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight get a tour from the stage to the rafters — passing through secret doors, learning about a hidden apartment and hearing how the home of "Hamilton" fared when the lights were turned ou...

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The AIDS Memorial Quilt will return to Golden Gate Park on June 11-12, with the biggest display in San Francisco history. Cleve Jones joins Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight to talk about his first time visiting San Francisco, how the quilt started and why activism in LGBTQ communities is as important as ever.

Produced by Peter Hartlaub. Music is "The Tide Will Rise" by the Sunset Shipwrecks off their album &#...

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June 9, 2022 1 min

New Chronicle podcast: Host Laura Wenus and producer Cintia Lopez are on a quest to find out why one of the wealthiest and best-educated cities in America, one where most people belong to the same political party and subscribe to the same basic values, has so many intractable problems. And more importantly: Can they be fixed? Join us as we find out, one San Francisco story at a time. Coming June 21 from the San Francisco Chronicle’...

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Muni chief Jeffrey Tumlin offers Total SF a tour of the new Central Subway Union Square station and answers questions, including when (after a three-year delay) it might be open for passengers. Total SF hosts Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub also talk about the art installations, Rose Pak, whether the station is haunted — and the importance of the new Prop A bonds on the ballot, with some of the new subway being controlled with so...

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Former San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence and his wife Lexi (who hosts Let's Get Lexi on YouTube) have joined the small business community in San Francisco, serving their Pineapple Labs coffee at Hotel VIA and 25 Lusk restaurant across the street from Oracle Park. They talk about the endeavor and their increasing love of San Francisco — and surprise hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight with some alcoholic coffee dr...

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San Francisco supervisor Myrna Melgar has been dancing in the Mission District's Carnaval festival since the 1980s, and once marched costumed in high heels when she was eight months pregnant. District 7 supervisor Melgar joins Total SF hosts Heather Knight and Peter Hartlaub to give her inside story on Carnaval, and also talk about car-free JFK the Nordstrom valet lot and her commissioned study proving male supervisors talk mor...

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