By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

You learn something new every day

And here I thought the Orange Line stopped in back of Northeastern and the Green Line in front. And that Oak Grove was the closest station to Media Nation World Headquarters.

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Where it all went wrong


Meeting my match


  1. O'Reilly

    James Parker has a nice writing style and an inclination to find the orange line-ing.

  2. Neil

    I don't get Parker's article, or your blog post. Coincidentally I just finished GK Chesterton's The Man who was Thursday, quoted by Parker, last night. And didn't get that either.

  3. Bill H.

    "A contraction in enjoyment"? "Spiritually orange"? "A clandestine corridor"? "Only Boston offers these gifts"?Holy moley, and I thought it was just a ride into town!

  4. Aaron Read

    I rode the Orange thrice weekly for four months in the fall of 1996…same time the Green Line tunnel flooded and was closed for months…to get back and forth from the old Kiss108 studios at the Wellington stop while a student a BU.Later, I rode it daily like a normal commuter from either Oak Grove or Malden to Park to commute from Melrose to Kendall Square. That was for about a year and a half.I'd sure as hell like to know where this magical ride is that Parker talks about. My experience says the only way you get something magical out of the Orange Line is if you ingest a lot of hallucinogenics. It's a creaky, loud, smelly, slow, overcrowded line. Not quite as hideous as the Green Line, I'll admit…and I commuted daily on that bastard for a total of four years off and on…but the Orange still sucks. It's invariably badly affected by snowy weather, and the trains don't run anywhere near frequently enough to keep up with demand. And there's ALWAYS a spilled puddle of coffee sloshing around a large area at least twice a week. Yeecch!Well, upon re-reading, I did notice that Parker says you should have a pint or two before boarding. Try about one or two DOZEN and maybe it'll get closer to what he describes.

  5. Aaron Read

    I will share this amusing story about the Orange, though:One day in February (I think) 2005, it was during one of several brutal snowstorms we got that winter, and I was trudging into work because my boss said I needed to (he later decided to work from home, but I'm not bitter). As was expected, the Orange was PACKED solid. The roads were a mess but a lot of people couldn't just stay home, so it was beyond standing room only in there…it was take-your-goddamn-backpack-off, stop-trying-to-read-the-paper, don't-even-think-about-trying-to-sip-that-coffee, we're-all-in-here-like-sardines-in-parkas PACKED SOLID. Ugh.I got on on Oak Grove and considered myself lucky to be squished up against the driver's door at the very front of the train. At least I had a wall to lean against.Well there were two operators in that driver's compartment. And, shall we say, they had voices that very much conveyed the impression of two middle-aged, seen-it-all-and-take-no-backtack, black ladies. Think Loretta Brown from Family Guy, the voices were that stereotypical. But hey, whatever. Anyways, the Orange Line is really loud so they were almost shouting at each other just to have a normal conversation. And at some point after Sullivan Square… seeing the hordes of people left adrift on the platform because we were already way too full…they started going off about all these (and I quote) "Stupid-ass people trying to take this stupid-ass train in this this stupid-ass blizzard when they should all have their stupid-asses home in bed!!"Myself and three other people close enough to hear just busted out laughing. I couldn't help it, it was the funniest thing I'd ever heard. At least considering what a miserable commute that was.And then the operators heard us laughing and realized we could hear them, and one said "Aw sh*t we been made!!!" and we just lost it. Of course, here's a half-dozen people guffawing in a train stuffed full with perhaps 80-100 people…and none of the rest of them have any idea WHY these crazy people are laughing so hard. Especially the large, bearded freak in the red parka…It was a lousy day at work, and an even lousier ride home that night. But at least it was a bright spot on the ride in. 🙂

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