The *Bleeping* B’s; Part One

Why the *bleep* did I agree to ride the B’s?


It took me almost 4 months to commit to riding the B’s since that fateful August day. I knew that once we rode the B subway stations I would have to be 100% all in with this ‘alphabetical’ thing. I would be committed to years of riding public transportation all around Boston for no reason at all. Well, no reason except for making my son very happy.

On November 26th, 2016, Alex and I left Salem on the 450 Bus at 8:13AM. We knew that there were too many ‘B’s’ to see in one day so we’d have to split up riding the B’s into two days. We took the Green Line to Kenmore to bus 57 and rode to Babcock Station arriving at 9:45AM. I decided to start documenting these trips better by snapping photos at every stop (proving we were there) and documenting how we got there. I started taking notes of our paths to each destination on my phone.

After getting on the Green Line (B) to Copley Square we walked to Back Bay Station and got our photo op. We took Bus 39 to Back of Hill Station. Alex was very excited when we got on a brand new accordion bus that was empty of passengers! I captured a picture of this very exciting moment (in the middle of the B station collage above).

We boarded Green Line E at Back of Hill Station at 10:43 heading to Beachmont, which was located on the Blue Line. It took us 52 minutes from one station to the next. Once arriving at Beachmont, we estimated it would take us another 44 minutes just to get back to the Green Line (D) where Beaconsfield was located. We both decided we needed a lunch break. We exited at Government Center and ate a local Irish pub. He chatted about how he was planning the rest of the day and already asking when a good day would be to finish the B’s.

After our break, we arrived at Beaconfield Station at 1:33pm and left again on the next Green Line (D) train going back the opposite direction. We got off at Kenmore Square and walked about 5 minutes to Blanford Station on the Green Line (B) arriving at 1:52pm.  We boarded and headed out to the end of the Green Line (B) to Boston College arriving at 2:26pm. It was empty when we arrived. The subway train turned around in its half circle and the driver wondered what happened. Why were we getting on again? We mumbled something about missing our stop and she graciously allowed us to not have to pay again.

Thankfully, Boston University has three stops in a row on the Green Line B. Boston University Central, where we got out first, Boston University East, which we walked back to, and then Boston University West, which we walked to last.  Even though it was a cold and gray day, I was pleased to get in a little walking. We boarded the Green Line B and headed to Park Street where we disembarked and walked a half mile to Bowdoin Station arriving at 3:30pm. We took a quick picture and walked briskly from Bowdoin to Haymarket, boarding the 450 bus back to Salem arriving at 4:46pm.

Part 1 of riding the B’s was done. And I was crabby and done too. I couldn’t help feeling that I had led myself down a crazy inescapable underground subway hole and I just wasn’t sure when I’d see the light again.

“Did you have fun Mom?” he asked. Honestly, I didn’t really so I gave him a weak smile.  It was really frustrating seeing all the cute neighborhood stores, ethnic restaurants, cafe’s and interesting historic sites whiz by me as our train passed them. I’d have to just take note of them for another time.

“When can we do the rest of the B’s? Soon, right Mom?” he asked with hope in his eyes.

My thoughts raced. Was it good for him to feed into this obsession to this degree? Was it good for me? How am I going to continue to do this? Will it ever get to be ‘fun’ for me too?

“Yes,” I said. “Let’s make a goal of doing them before the end of 2016.”


Author: MomwithanMBTAmission

Mother of tween twins. One is obsessed with the MBTA. This blog is about him. The other says she can't stand public transportation. They couldn't be more opposite, but I adore them both.

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