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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sitting Forever 'Neath the Streets of Boston

I took the T into town yesterday. You see, for all its annoyances and they are myriad, it’s way easier than driving in even with my mega easy to park Bix. I may have already mentioned that it’s ALWAYS rush hour in Massachusetts.

Here’s the dealio though — I have to build in a full 90 minutes to get from Valhalla to my destination of Coolidge Corner in Brookline — about 17 miles. Google maps laughably notes that this journey takes, in current traffic, about 32 minutes to drive. More like an hour minimum, not including the parking spot hunt and that’s on a splendidly fab-ola day.

So then, for an additional 30 minutes of my precious time I can leave the driving annoyances to the good folk of the MBTA. The ride involves one bus and two different subway lines. There's loads of sitting, waiting and hoping to snag a seat once my stunning coach arrives BUT I can space, dream, people watch, read and sketch. Sometimes there's even puppy watching!

By the time I reached Park Street Station yesterday, more than halfway into my trip, I had 40 minutes until my three o’clock appointment. Should’ve been PLENTY of time —no?
Ah, not so much.
There are four different westbound trollies passing through Park. The B train goes to Boston College. The D goes out to Newton. The E goes out to the VA Hospital in Mission Hill and the C terminates in Cleveland Circle, Brighton  .

I take the C and for some unfathomable reason they don’t run anywhere near as often as any of the  other three lines. I don’t get it.

As I waited, waited, waited I found that a fragment of Lilli Ann Killen Rosenberg’s brill mosaic mural  still exists. It’s unlit, shrouded in soot and way too easy to miss. What happened to the rest of this glorious, fun, tiled panorama? It's been covered over or replaced by posters advertising New Balance sneakers, Wagamama noodle restaurants, Svedka vodka and cut rate cell phone carriers.

Yeah, that was a real improvement, eh?

I arrived at my appointment with mere seconds to spare. Yea me! Maybe next time I go in I'll allow two hours for the trip so that, if lady luck is with me, I'll have time to peruse the stacks in Brookline Booksmith's Used Book Cellar.

*sigh* I'd be happiest if I could walk or trike (!!!) everywhere that I need to go.

whine, snivle, kvetch.
The Kingston Trio — M.T.A. 


  1. Thanks for the biographical link. I had no idea that the mosaic at park Street and the way cool sculpture in my hometown of Newton were children of the same mother. Though now that I see them in my mind's eye, it makes perfect sense. I really wish Boston had more outdoor art, other than drab statues of our Most Prominent Citizens (nearly all being white guys in suits, natch). Public art gives a sense of vitality and fun that we could use more of around here.

  2. I've been a big fan of Lilli's work since the 80s - besides the Park Street mural and the one in Newton, she did a fabulous one in the Villa Victoria housing project in the South End, one on the sidewalk on School Street in downtown Boston, and one on a library in Cambridge - plus many others around the Greater Boston area.

    I met her a couple of times, although under sad circumstances - she was also the mother of my brother's girlfriend at the time he died. She was a lovely woman, and was absolutely thrilled that I knew some of her works.

  3. I know the School Street one but not the one in Newton or the South End. Clearly I need to make a Lilli Rosenberg expedition soon!

    Charity — way cool. Nasty, awful, sad circumstances but still, exciting that you knew her.