Friday, February 27, 2009

Beautiful day

Today, the warm, spring-like weather definitely had an effect on the population of Boston in general.

The birds were singing.
Leftover snowbanks were finally melting.
And people were...nicer.

Strangers were making chitchat on the T this afternoon, without it being creepy or weird (is that something that happens only in the Northeast? People thinking it's weird when a stranger says "hello" to you? My friend moved to the South for school, and she needed an adjustment period. She wasn't used to people stopping her on the street to say "howdy.")

Too bad it's back to sleeting and snowing this weekend.

This is going to sound a little nerdy, but I'm always fascinated by the "wind tunnel" effect on the Red Line. When I was going down the T stop stairs in Cambridge this afternoon, I was met with so much resistance by the wind blowing up from the tunnel, and down from the weather, that I would have blown away if I had a parachute attached to my backpack.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Universal Hub / Today on the MBTA

Wow! Seems like I got linked on Universal Hub. <>Verrrry niiice.< / borat >

I read a few of the comments and a few persnickety people pointed out that all us T bloggers seem to do is complain on the Interwebs without ever notifying the MBTA. Well I did submit a complaint using the form on to no avail. I also always fill out those silly little surveys they pass out occasionally at T stops and drop them in the mail. However, usually my feedback on those surveys entails something along the lines of "WHY DID I SEE FOUR TIMES AS MANY B-LINE TRAINS GO BY ME DOWNTOWN TODAY BEFORE A C-LINE SHOWED UP"

Anywho, today's commute home to Brookline was the standard, except for the medical emergency at Arlington. I had just hopped onto the train and was standing by the driver on the second car when his radio blew up. Someone on the train in front of us had passed out, and the driver of that train sounded very concerned. Since I was standing right there I could hear "Command Central" (I'm not sure what the MBTA calls it) come over the radio and tell the other drivers to announce multiple times that there was a medical emergency up ahead and we'd be moving shortly. As the minutes ticked by, I looked down my train. The people who were closest to the front, and could hear the information coming over the driver's radio, were the most patient looking. Hope everything turned out okay.

Earlier in the day, I rode the Red line from Cambridge to downtown. I sat down, quietly sipping my soda and nursing the beginnings of a migraine headache when the guy sitting next to me started screaming something about the government, cops, and the fall of society. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine my "happy place," which at that moment involved anywhere but that particular train, and two aspirin.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


This morning was just another sardine-packed C-line train into Boston, as it always is during rush hour. I'm seriously considering asking my internship if I can come in at 10 instead of 9. Getting on the first C-line train after 9 is like a little slice of heaven. A seat waiting for you right next to the door. Light coming in through the windows. Space to breathe.

After the usual stop and go above-ground, the train headed into the tunnel and stopped at Kenmore. 10 seconds pass. Doors don't open. A business-suit guy next to me yells to the driver, "BACK DOORS!" 20 seconds pass. The train moves about 10 feet farther up the track, and then stops again. I look to the front of the train and see the doors up there aren't opening either. 30 seconds. More people start screaming "DOORS!" The train then starts up again and moves onto Hynes. Lots of grumbling and "Wait, seriously? Did the train just SKIP Kenmore?" ensue. There was no announcement made saying the left doors weren't working. I'm wondering if the T driver even noticed.