Weekend Night Closures – Forest Hill and West Portal Stations –

I was taking the Muni downtown yesterday, when a Muni employee stopped me. She handed me the flyer below, and told me the station would be closed weekend nights (Friday and Saturday) from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. It’ll last through June 17th, and they’ll have buses. All the details are available at SFMTA.com, or on 311.

I really appreciated the outreach. I’m seldom that late on the Muni, but when I am – it’s often a weekend.


It Happened in Forest Hill Station

It was around 9.20 at night,  Forest Hill station. We’d been downtown, caught the train back. It was a quiet night; most people were probably celebrating or recovering from Thanksgiving.

As we headed for the elevator, we were stopped by a tearful young woman who appeared to be in her early 20s. “Please, stop,” she said, “I don’t know what’s happening! He’s going through all my stuff! I’m just trying to go home! Please stay with me!” We stopped and looked, and there, next to the pillar, a man was indeed ferreting through her flower-embroidered cloth bag which lay on the floor. He was taking everything out and going through it.

What was going on, we asked. He  didn’t have to tell us, he said. But he spoke to the woman, and as far as we could gather from what he said, someone told him she had gone into the bathroom after he had left it, and stolen some insulin he had left on the counter.


I looked at him again. He was wearing the uniform of King Security. I didn’t get his badge number, but I did ask him for his ID. He told me to go away. I said I had every right to ask for his ID. He said he had ID, but he didn’t show it to me. After a few minutes, he stopped trying to search the woman’s bag, and left.

We stayed with her until the next train came. Then we went up to ask about the aggressive security guard, who apparently did not know you cannot search someone’s belongings without their consent.

“I don’t know who he is,” said the station agent. “He came in on a transfer. He’s nothing to do with Station security.

I emailed King Security to let them know. And when I went to Yelp, it turned out that the only two reviews were one-star reviews about King Security guards behaving badly.

Spring comes to Forest Hill Station

Until I researched it for this post, I had no idea our local Muni station, Forest Hill Station is one of the oldest in the land. It was built in 1916-18 as part of the tunnel under Twin Peaks, which actually emerges at West Portal. [Edited to Add: The two pictures of the station aren’t mine, they’re in the public domain. The first one is from 1917, the other from 2006.]

What inspired this post wasn’t the building (though it’s a beautiful one, often ignored as we drive past). It was the garden behind it, in spring. 

The cherry trees that line the back of the property were in ethereal bloom, and their beauty was echoed in daisies that covered the lush green lawn like a drift of snowflakes. The sky was blue and fluffed with clouds. The whole scene was picture-book pretty.

We pulled up half a block forward, and I ran back to take these photographs…

These two pictures are the last ones ever from this camera. It’s been a forgiving gadget. I’ve thrust it into my purse, jammed it in my jeans pocket, even taken it out in a drizzle. But as I backed away to take one last shot, I dropped it on the concrete sidewalk with its lens out. What camera would tolerate that? Goodbye, Nikon Coolpix.

[Edited to Add: I’m glad I did get those photographs. When we drove by there today, the cherry blossoms were past their prime with the leaves coming in — and the daisies had been mown away.]