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Here’s what San Franciscans are writing on the walls at BART since the election

Notes from the underground

With anxiety running high since last week’s election, some locals have taken to posting sticky notes to the walls around BART stations.

While that sounds like an odd response at first, in makes sense once you show up and read them. The “Wall of Empathy” at 16th and Mission Station (actually situated in the plaza upstairs rather than the station itself) invites anyone to post any supportive message to the world as a kind of mass catharsis.

The idea started at a subway station in New York. A few local 20-somethings took the inevitable step of bringing it to BART, and similar but smaller displays at 24th Street and Montgomery stations too.

It was only meant to be a one-day affair “so that it doesn’t turn into litter,” but co-organizer Muriel McDonald tells Curbed SF that the response on Monday was so big (with thousands of postings) that it will continue through today, and possibly beyond.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” she adds.

So what are people writing?

Many of the messages are just general slogans about support or sympathy. Others are pointedly political or even militant. And a few rather creative and thoughtful. Here’s a few standouts from last night:

  • “Failure is the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.”
  • “Imagine a day in the life of a stranger—or your enemy.”
  • “They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know that we were seeds.”
  • “Stick it to the man.” (Get it? Stick?)
  • “If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
  • “Let’s love each other—in our undies.” (?)
  • “No one has the luxury to despair.”
  • “What does it matter that the nightmares all came true?”
  • “There’s an election in less than two years.”
  • “Show respect to all, grovel to none.”
  • “All motion is relative: Maybe we’ve moved apart because some of us are standing still.”

So, if you’re wondering what’s on your neighbors’ minds lately, now you know.