Saturday, March 5, 2011


My plan this afternoon was to deplane at Logan and then take the subway to the commuter rail to get home.

Boston has a very efficient public transportation system from the airport. Unlike some cities where it can cost you an arm and a leg and some other appendages to get from the airport to your destination, there is a shuttle bus that takes one from your terminal to a subway line. From there, you can get almost anywhere in the region by combining the subway with the commuter rail.

Armed with my "Charlie card"...[for those of you not reared in, or in your, 60s, there was a song by the Kingston Trio called "Charlie of the MTA" (Mass Transit Authority). The song became popular and the MTA now requires one to buy a "Charlie card" to use the mass transit system.]

So armed with my Charlie card, I took the shuttle bus, arrived at the Blue Line and saw a sign that read that the subway was down. After one stop riders would be bussed. This was not what I wanted to read.

After one stop we, the riders, were herded like livestock into busses and taken downtown. My commuter train was at 530 and I thought I might miss it. As it turned out, I believe the bus driver took the wrong route which benefited me as I was deposited only steps from North Station where my train would be.

The Boston Garden-- now with some commercial name attached to it that keeps changing as businesses succumb to bad economic times--is above North Station. Just like in New York where Madison Square Garden sits above Penn Station, fans of the Bruins and the Celtics can take the train into North Station to watch a game and not have to shake much of a leg to get to their seats.

As I walked from where the bus stopped, I began to see armies of fans adorned in Bruins paraphernalia on the streets surrounding the train station. There must be a dozen restaurant/bars near the Garden catering to the Celtic and Bruin fans, and each seemed packed. I walked into North Station, still 90 minutes before the game and the station was mobbed.

When I first walked in I saw the real crazies, the ones who line up hoping to see a player come into the arena and get an autograph. Then, throughout the train station, all I saw were people adorned in their Bruin gear. By the ticket window there was a long and at one point serpentine line of aficionados hoping to get a ticket from those who could not make the contest.

All this brought a smile to my face which was not easy to do after being herded onto a bus. The people in North Station were excited like children on a birthday morning waiting for a regular season hockey game. There was an energy that you rarely see in other settings.

If you do not get sports, you should have been at North Station at 530 this evening, a full 90 minutes before game time and seen hundreds of adults busting with excited energy waiting to see a sporting event.

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