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.

TV & Film
Society & Culture
One day. 27 transit agencies. Can we ride them ...
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 difficulty of riding different lines in our balkanized transit region.
23 min
9 perfect first dates in San Francisco
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 also share their own stories of first dates in San Francisco, and Bravo and Knight question Hartlaub's Homer Simpson-esque choice for bowling as a romantic first date.
37 min
Will Clark on the 'Stick, *that* brawl and his ...
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, while he told stories about his biggest game in the 1989 playoffs, his involvement in an epic brawl with the St. Louis Cardinals and why he thinks the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake happening during the World Series saved lives.
26 min
Does Presidio Tunnel Tops meet the hype?
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 Headlands. After a review of the new spaces, King, Knight and Hartlaub talk burritos, San Francisco movies and share their favorite and least favorite landmarks and buildings.
28 min
9 San Francisco things we miss when we're gone
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 Morehead, the poet laureate of Dublin, Calif., (and Total SF listener) who shares a poem he wrote about San Francisco.
27 min
The 10 greatest S.F. movies of all time
34 min
Secrets of Sutro Tower! (Best of 2021)
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.
31 min
The Castro Theatre's organ player rises again
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 stint at Pizza & Pipes) and the new digital organ for the theater that is close to reality.
26 min
Secrets of the Orpheum Theatre!
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 out because of the pandemic.
29 min
The AIDS Quilt returns, with Cleve Jones
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.
27 min
Introducing Fixing Our City
New Chronicle podcast: Host Laura Wenus and producer Cintia Lopez are on a quest to find out, one San Francisco story at a time, why one of the wealthiest and best-educated cities in America, one where most people belong to the same political party, has so many intractable problems. And more importantly: Are solutions to any of these problems within our grasp? Coming June 21 from the San Francisco Chronicle's SFNext project.
1 min
What's inside the new Central Subway!
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 software that still uses floppy disks.
27 min
Surprise day drinking with Hunter and Lexi Pence
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 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 drinks. Also in this episode: Talk about paddle boarding, surfing and a bonus Hunter Pence review of "Top Gun Maverick."
24 min
Inside story on the Mission District's best party
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 more than the women. Melgar also takes on the Total SF lightning round, picking her favorite place in S.F. to get a burrito, and which supervisor she'd like to take to Carnaval..
29 min
Exploring San Francisco's new waterfront park
33 min
Started as a waiter, now he's Warriors president
Brandon Schneider was a waiter at a Burlingame restaurant in 2002 when he took an entry level job cold-calling fans to sell ticket plans to see a losing Golden State Warriors team. Now he's the Warriors president, handling operations for a team shooting for its fourth title of the Steph/Klay/Draymond era. Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight join Schneider outside Chase Center before a Warriors game to talk about the team's watch parties on the giant outdoor screen, planning an arena in a city where it's hard to build anything and the new statue of former San Francisco mayor Ed Lee.
27 min
Hop in a time machine with Emperor Norton!
Total SF's first live podcast in three years is a tribute to Emperor Norton, featuring the emperor himself (played by Joseph Amster) in front of a wonderful crowd at Manny's in the Mission District. Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight host an evening of history featuring Amster and Western Neighborhoods Project board president Arnold Woods — then everyone (including the audience) hops in a time machine to decide where they'd most like to go in San Francisco history. With cameos from Muni head Jeffrey Tumlin and Countess Lola Montez.
45 min
Love for the Tenderloin, with Matt Haney
33 min
How to save S.F. small business
What we can do to save small business is San Francisco? "Fun Police" podcasters Manny Yekutiel and Sharky Laguana join Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight to talk about the present and future of San Francisco, and how lessons learned from a worldwide pandemic can help independent business in the future. Laguana is CEO of the van rental business Bandago and Yekutiel founded Manny's — the community space that will host Total SF's "An Evening with Emperor Norton" on April 28, 2022.
43 min
8 things to do in S.F. this spring!
19 min
8 S.F. tourists traps that we love
With tourists returning in larger numbers to San Francisco, Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight choose the eight touristy destinations they wholeheartedly embrace as locals. Along with the cable cars, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, Knight and Hartlaub pick some surprises. Tell us your favorite tourist traps on Twitter — using #TotalSF and tagging @PeterHartlaub and @hknightsf.
22 min
Garfield, Batman and the joy of Bubba Gump Shri...
The Cartoon Art Museum is one of the all-time non-profit survival stories, moving several times since it opened in 1987. It may have found the perfect home in San Francisco's tourism epicenter, on Beach Street a block from Fisherman's Wharf. Total SF co-host Peter Hartlaub sits down with museum curator Andrew Farago, to talk about Garfield, Mark Hamill, Batman, Peanuts, eating at Bubba Gump's Shrimp House and the underrated power of San Francisco as a cartooning powerhouse.
31 min
Secrets of the Armory building!
The National Guard Armory has had fascinating and somewhat random 110-year history in San Francisco, including a military training site, boxing arena, studio where "The Empire Strikes Back" was made and porn studio for Stephanie Blake and Jeremy Houston from Skylight Studios join hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight to talk about its latest use — as a flexible event space. The current exhibition is Imagine Picasso, an immersive art experience that has been extended to April 9, 2022.
31 min
Teen "Turning Red" star kept a huge secret
Teen voice actress Rosalie Chiang, the Bay Area native who stars as Mei in Pixar's "Turning Red," wasn't supposed to appear in the finished movie — then was stunned to learn she would have her name at the top of the credits alongside Sandra Oh. Total SF hosts Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight meet Chiang at the San Francisco Zoo, where a red panda like the one in the movie was renamed for the film. Hartlaub and Knight tell Chiang about the history of S.F. Zoo animal thefts, and Chiang talks about how she landed the role, her first visit to Pixar and how she kept a four-year secret from her friends.
23 min
Comedians! Donuts! Spice Girls! (This episode h...
27 min