Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Seeing Red on the MBTA Red Line

I want to thank the MBTA for that great commute this morning. Yes, I left the Framingham commuter train for the Red Line, and I was warned. Yes, the Red Line is known for delays, I realized that. Sometimes the train will just sit in a station for a couple of minutes, but eventually it moved. But today's commute was just a mess. A normal 25-minute train ride today took 70 minutes. Switch problems in Park Street. And thanks to you, MBTA, I missed my 9:00 meeting today.

And I read in today's Boston Now that the MBTA is changing the schedules of the Worcester/Framingham trains to reflect their actual running times. God help those poor people out there. I am so glad I don't have to hoard dollar bills to pay for parking in that ridiculous Byzantine scheme where you have to fold and fold and fold again your dollars with frozen fingers then slip them in this tiny little slot in this metal box that has a number that corresponds with the number on your parking spot that you can't see when it snows because they don't necessarily do a great job plowing the lot to begin with and they painted the numbers in white anyway so you can't always tell what the number is because it blends in with the snow. Note to the geniuses in Framingham DPW: Get some red paint. Then slipping on ice and dodging over-the-ankle puddles and taking your life in your hands crossing Rte. 135 to get to the station where you don't know which side of the tracks you're supposed to stand on because the trains ran so late you didn't know if, just because it was 8:15 if the 8:00 had come through yet.

I moved to Boston in the fall of 1980 after visiting a friend in the spring. For some reason, that spring the T ran on time and the weather was just beautiful. It was a freak spring, what can I say? Now I talk to colleagues in Detroit who want to move here because they think the city is so cool and cosmopolitan (well, maybe compared to Detroit it is) but the city has long lost its glamor for me. It's fun to be back close to the city, it really is, but the bloom is definitely off the rose. Massachusetts is a drag of a state. The locals have long ago ceased to be colorful to me, and are just sort of dumb and annoying. And Boston is just full of itself. It's the most exciting game around, but that ain't necessarily saying much. It's not the international city it could be, because it doesn't seem as if anyone in City Hall cares to be. Like most of New England, it's pretty insular and parochial. Massachusetts is kind of the laughing stock of the country (hey Mitt, the country will never again elect someone into the White House from Massachusetts; I could have saved you a ton of money and time if you had just asked.)

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