gnomi: (boston_skyline (shoegal-icons))
So, it's that time of year, when the students return (like swallows to Capistrano) to Boston. And thus it is time for yet another "[livejournal.com profile] gnomi explains it all" post. Not that any of the people this post is directed toward will actually see it, but it'll make me feel better.

1. You see that thing in front of you? It's a Really Big Street. Running across it while those fast-moving things (we call them "cars") are barrelling down at you will hurt you more than it will hurt the cars.

2. Moving trucks, while useful, should not completely block any of the following: driveways, sidewalks, crosswalks, intersections. We know you have to move your stuff. However, some of us have to live here, too.

3. Speaking of crosswalks, please learn how to use them. No, really. They're not there purely for the amusement of line painters.

4. Ah, the T. Yes, it's a subway system. Yes, it gets you and your obnoxious friends from place to place. But it is not solely yours. The other commuters might want to be able to, say, read their newspapers free of your loud, obscene comments at 7:15 in the morning. Or even at 5:30 at night.

5. Also, you see those big signs in the T stations that say "There is no smoking permitted on MBTA property?" Those do apply to you. And they apply regardless of what you're choosing to smoke. I'm just saying.

6. We know you're eager to get on the train. But you and your aforementioned obnoxious friends are just making it harder for everyone if you're blocking the door, keeping those of us in the train from getting out. This also applies to people blocking the doors when inside the train; if you move out of the doorway, people will be able to get off the train and you will get to your destination faster.

7. While we're talking trains and etiquette, let's tackle getting to and from those trains. You see the escalator? It comfortably accommodates two people per stair. But here's the deal. Stay to the right if you want to stand and let the moving stairs propel you upwards. Stay to the left if you wish to walk up the stairs. This is established local tradition, and there's no need for the commuters to have to slalom purely because you and your aforementioned obnoxious friends can't be bothered to notice all the people standing to the right of the stairs.

8. Bicycles are great. We're all for them. In fact, we have bike lanes on some of our major streets. Please, however, pay attention to the following important fact: Bicycles are subject to the same laws as the cars if you're riding on the street (which, for the most part, you should be; many municipalities have laws against riding on sidewalks). This means that you have to stop when the light is red and allow the pedestrians to walk. This does not mean that you should barrel through the crosswalk and curse out the pedestrians who have the gumption to get into the crosswalk when you want to be there (despite the fact that they, not you, have the light).

So, welcome to Boston. Keeping these things in mind will make your life much simpler and will also prevent me from thwacking you with my elbow as I strive to get to or from work.

Thank you,
The management.

*Or, whenever I remember to post it or am reminded to post it.
gnomi: (transportation_local)
Last night, as I was leaving the grocery store, I realized a card that I usually carry in my wallet was missing. This was an annoyance but not calamitous, so after checking the logical places around home, I figured I'd check the environs of my work desk and then, if I couldn't find it, I would replace it.

This morning, [personal profile] mabfan and I were running slightly late due to the vagaries of the Green Line and the subsequent impact on our babysitter's commute. We were discussing something I cannot remember anymore, but I stopped in my tracks when I looked at the light pole near where we were standing. There, tucked into the top of a random flyer taped to the pole, was my missing card.

We then got on the train that arrived. Now, I have a habit of saying "good morning" to the train operator (though I am usually one of the only ones who do so), and this morning was no different. I greeted the driver, and I realized it was a driver I knew, whom I'd seen a number of times while I was unemployed and taking the T back and forth between home and Coolidge Corner. But this morning was the first time he'd seen me and [personal profile] mabfan together in a while. And he remembered that he had last seen us together when Muffin and Squeaker were tiny. In fact, he was the T driver the first time we took Muffin and Squeaker on the T, when they were all of five days old. He was so excited, he asked about how the girls were doing, and he was very surprised it had been almost 2.5 years since he'd seen them.

It was a lovely way to start my morning -- not only did I get back some lost property, but [personal profile] mabfan and I got a chance to take some extra pride in our girls, seeing them through the eyes of someone who had met them and been charmed by them.
gnomi: (transportation_local)
So, we're traveling to Maryland in the very near future for a bar mitzvah. [personal profile] mabfan, Muffin, Squeaker, [profile] lcmlc, Abba, and I are taking a train down to Maryland that leaves Boston at a relatively early hour. Transporting all of us and our luggage is the challenge I am now facing. The current plan is that I will take Muffin and Squeaker in their stroller on the T to South Station while [personal profile] mabfan takes the luggage in a cab. But I'm very worried about the T having issues and us therefore missing the train (this would be a Very Very Bad Thing).

So I have a question: does anyone in the Boston area know of a cab company/car service that can provide car seats for a short trip? Taking Muffin and Squeaker's car seats to Maryland is a non-starter, since they cannot use them on the train and we are not planning many car trips while in Maryland (and for those that we are planning, I am told that car seats will be provided by MD locals). The T-and-cab plan is still the plan of record, but I am exploring options.

Ah, Boston

Jul. 29th, 2011 11:03 am
gnomi: (boston_skyline (shoegal-icons))
(I wanted to post part of this a couple of days ago, but Mr. LJ was uncooperative.)

-- Between Sunday and Monday, I gave a bunch of tourists directions. I helped folks from Kansas (no indication of city) and Detroit, plus some people on State St. near the Old State House who didn't indicate where they were visiting from. They, however, confused me at first by asking for directions to the capitol. What can I say? We locals refer to it as the State House, and I was still pre-breakfast.

-- At 4:30 PM on Tuesday, the Green Line D train I was on derailed. "Switch problems, they said. Ten minutes later they told us we had to get out of the train (we had not quite pulled into Kenmore). There was a Red Sox home game on Tuesday night, so cabs were plentiful. And I even got home in time to relieve the babysitter.

-- I've seen a *lot* of touristy people around my new place of employment. That makes sense, given that I work between the Old State House and the Customs House (which is now a hotel). Yesterday, in front of the T stop entrance at Government Center, three people were standing hunched around a map. "Can I help you?" I asked (I always ask confused-looking people if I can help them find places; it frequently means, when I'm sitting in Park St. station waiting for someone, that I end up giving directions on how to get from the Inbound side to the Outbound side ("Go down these stairs, turn left, go up the next set of stairs, and you'll be in the right place). "Can you tell us how to find Faneuil Hall?" they asked. "See that big brick building?" I asked, pointing. They nodded. "That's Faneuil Hall."
gnomi: (transportation_local)
Actually, it went up Friday, but I was AFK for most of yesterday and the weekend.

Charlie and Children on the MBTA: Taking your kids on the T.

And it includes a photo of Muffin and Squeaker riding the T, too!
gnomi: (Default)
-- Sorry I've been kind of scarce around here recently. I'll try to be better about posting more regularly.

-- I've been knitting much more in recent months. Something about Muffin and Squeaker having a real, set schedule and an actual bed time makes my free time more free. I've made four winter hats for the girls, two pairs of mittens, part of a baby gift, and I have a couple of projects on needles. It feels good to get back to a hobby I love but didn't have brain space for.

-- Our most recent Patch column is up, this time written by [personal profile] mabfan about cars. Or, more precisely, about no car.

-- This is a weird winter so far (yeah, I know it's not yet actual winter; I'm using the colloquial sense): everywhere, it seems, has had snow except Boston. Though [profile] lcmlc reports a dusting of snow on the driveway this morning, and we're supposed to get something this week.

-- Muffin and Squeaker continue to expand their vocabularies. Beside "banana," "this," "that," "Mama," and "Daddy" (or, as Muffin says it, "dah-DEEEE!"), they now say "go," "done," "down," "baby," "beep," and many other words that we're still not 100% sure what they mean.

-- Chanukah is over, and this year -- like other years when the Jewish holidays fall early in relation to the Gregorian calendar -- I have again the dilemma of how to respond to greetings of "happy holidays." My default is "and to you as well."
gnomi: (transportation_local)
When I tell you, upon entering your Green Line trolley, that the guy ahead of you went express and therefore I should not have to show my pass again, the response should not be "Who cares?" Also, when I disembark from the train, the appropriate response to "Have a good night" is "Thank you" or "You, too," not "Oh, Goh-oh-oh-od."

Please make a note of it.

Sincerely,
A passenger who did not happen to get your badge number
gnomi: (feh (dianora2))
Timeline of an Evening Commute:

4:30 PM: Leave Wakefield
4:50: Merge onto exit off 93 toward Storrow Drive
4:51: Driver (O) notes "Check Engine" light illuminated. Nowhere to pull over.
4:53: O finds place to pull over (near Teddy Ebersol Fields at junction of Charles St. and Storrow Drive). Smoke coming from under hood.
4:54: [personal profile] gnomi calls [personal profile] mabfan to tell him she and O are broken down on Storrow and waiting for AAA.
4:55-5:30: [personal profile] gnomi waits O for tow truck.
5:30: Tow truck not affiliated with AAA arrives. Apparently, statey passing by noted broken down vehicle and called tow truck. O starts discussion with driver about fees.
5:31: [personal profile] gnomi heads on foot to Science Park T stop (which she can see is not very far at all), at urging of O.
5:35: [personal profile] gnomi boards E train toward Park St.
5:45 (give or take): [personal profile] gnomi changes to C train at Boylston, having seen it on adjacent track at Park.
6:00 (again, approximately): C train arrives at Kenmore. Unloads and loads passengers, does not move.
6:08: Driver leaves C train
6:09: Different driver boards C train. [personal profile] gnomi asks about delay, is told first driver took sick and asked for a replacement.
6:10: C train arrives at St. Mary's. [personal profile] gnomi calls in take-out.
6:20: C train arrives at Coolidge Corner; driver announces train is going express to Cleveland Circle
6:30: [personal profile] gnomi picks up dinner
6:40: [personal profile] gnomi arrives back at Coolidge Corner. Sees train in distance.
6:43: [personal profile] gnomi gets on train.
6:52: Train approaches Washington Square. Driver announces train is going express to Cleveland Circle.
6:53: [personal profile] gnomi waits for new train
6:55: [personal profile] gnomi on new train. Now riding with across-the-street neighbor
7:01 PM: [personal profile] gnomi arrives home
gnomi: (boston_skyline (shoegal-icons))
Weren't we just talking about this?
gnomi: (Default)
-- Is it rude for someone to blatantly read the back of your newspaper while you're trying to read the front? I felt it was at 7:20 or so this morning, but maybe I was too sensitive. Though her *leaning in* to check out the graphic is the bit that tipped me over to say something.

-- Morning fire alarms are no fun when one works on the 13th floor of a 14-floor building. The people doing construction upstairs should be more careful.

-- I think I mananged to get through a weekend on Martha's Vineyard without getting a sunburn. This is a big deal because I was actually outside a couple of times while it was sunny, I didn't have sunscreen with me, and I can burn while waiting for the bus in the summer.

-- After this weekend, I have a couple of over-ripe bananas. There is banana bread in my future.

-- Signs warning of the possible presence of deer ticks should be at eye level, not knee level. The deer ticks aren't the ones who need to read the sign. I'm just saying.

-- The weather should make up its mind and commit to warm or cool so that buildings can figure out how to set their HVAC systems. I'm tired of being too cold on cold days and too warm on warm days while inside.
gnomi: (transportation_local)
I got the following transit alert this morning:

Route 66 experiencing 15-20 min delays due to passenger assistance.

To quote Casey McCall, "We got all kinds of sentence construction here."
gnomi: (ani_ma'amin_sox)
There are now available downloadable Red Sox schedules for Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, iCal, Google Calendar, and Yahoo Beta Calendar.
gnomi: (transportation_local)
(with apologies to many, many people, most of all Howard Ashman and Alan Menken)

Stand on the platform
Wait for the subway
Everyone's cranky
End of the day

Wanting a train headed
For Cleveland Circle
Everything else comes --
None heading my way

Suddenly C line
Pulls right in to Park Street
I'm no longer stagnant
Not waiting in vain

Suddenly C line
Is there to transport me
Away from the masses
Here comes my train!
gnomi: (transportation_local)
Dear Mob of Folks Taking Photos at Washington Square T Stop this Evening:

Even though the MBTA's photography policy allows the taking of non-commercial photos on and in MBTA property, I highly doubt it would allow any of the following I observed this evening:

-- Blocking access to the waiting areas
-- Standing in the middle of the tracks to get the perfect shot when the train is pulling in
-- Standing in the doorway to get the perfect shot while actual paying riders are attempting to exit and board the train
-- Smoking on the platform (please note that smoking is illegal on all T property. I wish more folks would pay attention to this)

Please strive to change your behavior in the future.

Sincerely,

That chick who insisted on being able to get to the waiting area despite your desires to get that perfect shot

P.S. I thought your female model looked ridiculous in a sleeveless sheath dress and four-inch heels in Brookline at 7:15 PM when it was 38 degrees out. But that's just me.

Huh?

Dec. 10th, 2008 01:52 pm
gnomi: (transportation_local)
From an MBTA Alert:
Green E Line is being diverted due to automobile traffic on Huntington Avenue. Please utilize route#39 buses between Heath Street and Brigham Circle.


So their solution to automobile traffic is to tell people to take buses that travel *with the automobile traffic*?

I know that the E runs right down the middle of Huntington Ave and stops right in the middle of the street in places, but I'm not at all clear how offloading people onto buses helps the situation at all.
gnomi: (transportation_local)
This morning, I started my commute as usual: waiting for the 66 bus. After being passed by a number of buses that run along parts of the 66 route but are not the 66 (they're designated as buses to take students to Brighton High), at 7:02 AM a "real" 66 finally came barrelling down Harvard St. And I mean barrelling. The speed at which the bus was traveling meant that the driver almost didn't notice the two people (of which I was one) waiting at the Coolidge St. stop, and by the time he noticed us and stopped, he was almost half a block beyond the bus stop.

I boarded the bus (number 2265), and the driver (who, I was subsequently informed by the automated crawl, was operator #2594) apologized for almost missing us. He explained that he almost missed us because of his high rate of speed and that it took him a minute to realize there were people waiting for the bus. When I noted that, yes, he was going at a speed that exceeded the safe threshold for the particular street (Harvard St. is a very busy pedestrian area along with carrying significant amounts of traffic even at 7:00 AM), the driver pointed to the display to his left that indicated that he was already running 12.6 minutes late.

Are you truly training drivers that the way to compensate for running late is to drive unsafely along heavily populated areas? That goes beyond stupid to reckless. The 66 bus is notorious for not keeping to its schedule, but the answer is not to encourage drivers to endanger both those inside and outside the bus.

Endangeredly yours,
A concerned rider
gnomi: (boston_skyline (shoegal-icons))
So, it's that time of year, when the students return (like swallows to Capistrano) to Boston. And thus it is time for yet another "[personal profile] gnomi explains it all" post. Not that any of the people this post is directed toward will actually see it, but it'll make me feel better.

1. You see that thing in front of you? It's a Really Big Street. Running across it while those fast-moving things (we call them "cars") are barrelling down at you will hurt you more than it will hurt the cars.

2. Moving trucks, while useful, should not completely block any of the following: driveways, sidewalks, crosswalks, intersections. We know you have to move your stuff. However, some of us have to live here, too.

3. Speaking of crosswalks, please learn how to use them. No, really. They're not there purely for the amusement of line painters.

4. Ah, the T. Yes, it's a subway system. Yes, it gets you and your obnoxious friends from place to place. But it is not solely yours. The other commuters might want to be able to, say, read their newspapers free of your loud, obscene comments at 7:15 in the morning. Or even at 5:30 at night.

5. Also, you see those big signs in the T stations that say "There is no smoking permitted on MBTA property?" Those do apply to you. And they apply regardless of what you're choosing to smoke. I'm just saying.

6. We know you're eager to get on the train. But you and your aforementioned obnoxious friends are just making it harder for everyone if you're blocking the door, keeping those of us in the train from getting out. This also applies to people blocking the doors when inside the train; if you move out of the doorway, people will be able to get off the train and you will get to your destination faster.

7. While we're talking trains and etiquette, let's tackle getting to and from those trains. You see the escalator? It comfortably accommodates two people per stair. But here's the deal. Stay to the right if you want to stand and let the moving stairs propel you upwards. Stay to the left if you wish to walk up the stairs. This is established local tradition, and there's no need for the commuters to have to slalom purely because you and your aforementioned obnoxious friends can't be bothered to notice all the people standing to the right of the stairs.

8. Bicycles are great. We're all for them. In fact, we have bike lanes on some of our major streets. Please, however, pay attention to the following important fact: Bicycles are subject to the same laws as the cars if you're riding on the street (which, for the most part, you should be; many municipalities have laws against riding on sidewalks). This means that you have to stop when the light is red and allow the pedestrians to walk. This does not mean that you should barrel through the crosswalk and curse out the pedestrians who have the gumption to get into the crosswalk when you want to be there (despite the fact that they, not you, have the light).

So, welcome to Boston. Keeping these things in mind will make your life much simpler and will also prevent me from thwacking you with my elbow as I strive to get to or from work.

Thank you,
The management.
gnomi: (transportation_local)
This afternoon, I was riding the Green Line C to Winchester St./Summit Ave. from Park St. The train, a one-car trolley of the newer style with the increased accessibility and the interior staircase (for those unfamiliar with the Green Line, usually the trains are two-car), pulled in at Park St. and disgorged a large number of passengers. Subsequently, I (and many others) made our way onto the train and stood smushed up against each other.

And that's when the fun began )

(The train subsequently went express from Coolidge Corner to Cleveland Circle, so I ended up having to change trains anyway, but I got home in plenty of time.)
gnomi: (transportation_local)
Dear Lady Blocking the Exit,

When I say, "Excuse me, coming out," that is not an invitation to block my path. When I then say again, "Excuse me, coming out," most people clear a path to the door. Since your spoken, heartfelt response of "I don't know what to do" seemed to be seeking information, I responded "Move out of the way to the door." I hope this better educates you as to how to respond when someone in the future asks you to excuse them as they are attempting to get off the bus.

Yours in the name of education and fostering communications,

That chick who *didn't* hit you with her tote bag on the way out despite your best efforts to get hit therewith
gnomi: (transportation_local)
Dear Idiot Tourists,

I realize you're probably in town from somewhere that doesn't have a subway system or, if your home area *does* have a subway system, doesn't have an electrified trolley system. That said, it is *not smart* nor is it at all safe to have your under-ten-year-old children *stand in the middle of the tracks* at one of the busiest stops in the whole system right before the lunch rush in order to take their picture. Really it's not. You're lucky those two youngsters of yours were not smushed by that big green thing that is coming around the corner and cannot stop on a dime.

Yours sincerely,

The chick who cringed while the kids ran back and forth across the tracks

August 2015

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