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More Adventures In Wonderland

Okay, last time, I was talking about our recent trip to New England. I had us, in fact, on the way to the Wonderland T-stop.


We arrived there and discovered that the place had greatly changed since last we visited...which was quite a while back, truth to be told. It had been expanded and rebuilt. There was now a vast modern parking garage with a collection of fairly high-end apartments attached to one side of it.




About the photos: I thought I had some photos of the Wonderland T-Stop, but apparently I didn’t take any...or they didn’t turn out. Anyway, here’s a photo of the station from Wikipedia. It is by Derek Yu and is released under a Creative Common license, specifically Derek Yu CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons. It is on the Wikipedia here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_Line_at_Wonderland.jpg


This is, by the way, kind of amazing. At one time, the city of Revere -- the location of the Wonderland T-stop -- had the reputation of being a pretty sleazy place. Not as bad as Lynn (“city of sin”), but, still, not terrific. Let’s just say that it had a “Jersey Shore” sort of vibe. None of that might have been entirely fair...or even at all fair...but you heard the opinion in a lot of places.


Also, the idea of living at a parking garage would have seemed absurd, or, at the very least, the height of déclassé.


Now, though, much has changed. Boston is undergoing yet another of its periodic booms. Like a lot of urban areas, the city is now full of new businesses and young people moving in to work at them. And, Revere is one of the areas which has benefitted from that. Programmers and technologists and designers and managers are making their way to the town in search of lower rents, or even just available space. Suddenly, Revere is a Happening Place.



The second photo, naturally, has nothing to do with the story. It is from our recent trip to New Mexico and shows a bemused Martha while we listen to the talented musician, James McMurtry.


And as for living at a T-shop, well, why not? What little I saw of the apartments at Wonderland seemed pleasant enough. Certainly, I lived in worse when I was younger. And there’s no difficulty with parking, not with the garage right there. (And a covered garage to boot. No small thing given Boston’s weather.) And as for the T itself, honestly, if you work in town, what could be better? You just roll out of bed, dress, grab a slice of toast, and take the escalator down to the train. Rather honestly, if I were once again young and single, and a well-paid software engineer or something like it, I’d be tempted...


Well, maybe in my next life.


Anyway, we parked, and then we had the obligatory bit of fun trying to figure out the system for paying for your lot. You do it with your phone. And that proved way harder than it was supposed to be. First, we had to download the app, but we had very limited connectivity in the middle of a concrete parking garage so that almost didn’t happen. Then, when we finally did get it loaded on my phone, it didn’t want to let me pay via ApplePay, or with any of my stored credit cards, so I had to laboriously enter a new credit card number just for the app. Then, it didn’t like the number, so I had to re-enter it. Then it wasn’t too sure about the license plate of our rental car (“are you certain this really is your vehicle?”). Then...


Well, let’s just say that the whole process was as much fun as rubbing your teeth on the sidewalk and it consumed fifteen painful minutes while we tried to figure it out, and, naturally, we missed at least one train that way. Ah, the joys of modernity.


Where was I? Oh, yes. Then...we had our second bit of “fun” when we tried to find our way from the parking garage to the train station. We went up. Then we went down. Then we went up again. And around. And, well...let’s just say that the whole Minotaur thing was definitely on my mind and a couple of times I coulda sworn I heard a malevolent Moo, and next time I do the Wonderland thing I’m taking a cattle prod. Or a Sjambok. Which does kinda of the same thing but is way kinkier.(*)


But, finally, we found a very nice young gentleman, a T-employee, who sent us to the right place and we were soon down on the platform. And, shortly after that, the train arrived. We boarded and were on our way.


And the curious thing? It had been years since either one of us had been on the T. Yet...yet...as we sat in the seats, and heard the doors shut with their distinctive hiss, and we felt the car pull out of the station...heard the sound of the wheels on the steel rails...felt the movement as we rumbled across the landscape...entered the tunnels...found ourselves underground..


It was like we’d never left Boston.


And maybe...just maybe...


Some part of us never will.


More to come.



Footnote:


*Okay, a Sjambok is a kind of a cross between a club and a whip. It comes from southern Africa and is made out of a ...out of a ...er...um...gulp...the wangdoodle of a Rhino. At least traditionally. And, yes, it is politically incorrect to talk about it because it was used by the South African police in the bad old days. Except Sjamboks were around long before the police were, and probably will be among us in some form (alas) when cops and robbers are both long gone.


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So, to get beyond that, I’ve decided to make it possible for you to leave me a “tip” for my posts.


If you like what I write or the videos I produce, and feel you could make a small contribution to support my efforts, please go here:




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Again, I don’t mind if you don’t. I just want to provide you with the option so that I won’t feel quite so much like I’m just tossing my works into the wind.


Either way, thanks hugely for dropping by the blog :-)


~mjt



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Copyright©2023 Michael Jay Tucker

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