Commuting and Reading

May 14, 2012

It’s funny that it makes such a difference, my new commute from my old.

When I first started at BigFirm, we were in a less-than-easy-to-get-to location.  It was easy for some people to get to, particularly people who lived on the shore south of Boston and took a boat to work.  Some others who took the commuter rail into one of Boston’s major commuter stations.  People who lived in Cambridge had an easier time.  But my particular line of the Boston T system didn’t have a station near the old office.  I’d get off in central Boston and walk 10-15 minutes.  It was a nice walk.  If I didn’t enjoy the walk, I could have connected to another line and gotten myself a few blocks closer.  But I prefer walking to waiting for trains.  Even in bad weather.

When BigFirm moved, it cut my commute in half.  And cut my time on the train by a third or more.  Instead of riding all the way to the end of the line, I was only on the train for 3 stops.  Then I had a walk similar in length to my old one, but man, did that walk SUCK.

The old walk was through the streets of the financial district.  The path had me grazing Quincy Market/Fanueil Hall, but I knew how to avoid it, and the walk was quick.  Most important, my fellow walkers were 95% business people who were, like me, quick walkers.  We either wanted to get HOME or we wanted to get to WORK.  No dilly-dallying!

The new location of BigFirm was, literally, in the middle of a mall.  And between that mall and the T station I used was either a nasty bridge over the freeway, or Boston’s famous Newbury Street.  (I got a lot of shopping done.)  But the walk drove me CRAZY.  I was forever behind tourists, shoppers, strollers, whining toddlers.  Ugh.  It was impossible to just squeeze through them all to get to the train.  They walked 6 abreast.  They walked and just – BOOM – stopped!  Right in front of me.  To look at a coat in the window of North Face, or to think about whether or not they were in the mood for Pinkberry, or to marvel at the newest design of Chucks in the window at Converse (a frequent stop of mine, I admit).

And the shorter train ride wasn’t as great as I thought it was going to be.  When I was on the train for only 10 minutes, I never settled in.  I never opened a book.

I kind of lost my reading time.

I was cranky all around.  And then if you throw in the “this job isn’t going so well . . . “, misery!

NewFirm is smack dab in the middle of Boston.  Mere steps away from the T station I used to get off.  So now I have what feels like the best of both worlds — a moderately long train ride (30 minutes), and a 3 minute walk.

I’m reading again!  Lots and lots of reading!

Here are some things I’ve read since I started my new job:

  • Peony, by Pearl S. Buck;
  • Swamplandia by Karen Russell;
  • The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan;
  • Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon;
  • The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides;
  • The Magician and the Magician King by Lev Grossman;
  • Skippy Dies by Paul Murray.

There may have been more, but I can’t think of anything else. I’m currently reading a collection of short stories by Etgar Keret (Suddenly, a Knock on the Door), and am also reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, my Mother’s Day gift from David, after watching (and loving) the movie on Friday night.



One comment

  1. A good commute makes all the difference. I’m glad that that has improved, along with your new job.

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