September 26th, 2007


Why I Was Almost Late to Work This Morning, Part 2

So since my adventure a few weeks back when I planned to take the Green Line C to work but found it had been stopped by a flatbed truck, I've mostly been sticking to the Green Line B instead. Generally, I get it at Harvard Street, which means a nice ride along Commonwealth Avenue during which I can read my morning newspaper.

This morning, though, we had a minor adventure. The train held at BU Central for a few minutes, and then, at around 7:35 am, the driver announced that an ambulance was coming to pick up a sick passenger. He said that they were going to try to get a bus for us, but that there could be a delay of about ten to fifteen minutes.

Most of us decided to get off the train.

The Green Line B Empties Out At BU Central The Green Line B Empties Out At BU Central
Photo copyright ©2007 by Michael A. Burstein

A lot of people decided to wait on the corner for the bus.

Will the Bus Come in Time? Will the Bus Come in Time?
Photo copyright ©2007 by Michael A. Burstein

On the other hand, I, along with many of my fellow commuters, decided just to walk to Kenmore Square. It's not that far, after all, and it would give us a fighting chance to get to work on time, what with the possibility of boarding a Green Line C or D. So I started walking, and passed this little bit of irony in a bus shelter.

A Delicious Irony A Delicious Irony
Photo copyright ©2007 by Michael A. Burstein

As I passed it, I heard and saw an ambulance coming down Commonwealth Avenue, presumably for the sick passenger.

Turns out I was right. Just as I reached the BU Physics building (where I spent two years getting my Master's)...

My Old Stomping Grounds My Old Stomping Grounds
Photo copyright ©2007 by Michael A. Burstein

...I heard and saw the Green Line C pull into the Blandford Street station. A fellow commuter dashed across Commonwealth Avenue, and after checking that there were in fact no cars coming, I followed her.

In the end, I made it to work on time.

And, I ask again for those of you to whom it was relevant, how was your commute this morning?


As Nomi has already noted, tonight begins the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the final major holiday in the fall. Because of the holiday, I'll be away from the Internet until Saturday night.

One of the nice things about Sukkot this year is how much it's letting Nomi and me realize that we've become a valued part of our local shul community. For those of you who don't know about the holiday, one of the customs is for us to build little booths in our backyards or porches. The booth is called a sukkah, plural form sukkot, hence the holiday name. We're supposed to take our meals in the sukkah and some folks even go so far as to try to sleep in the sukkah for the duration of the holiday.

The problem we have is that we don't have an appropriate porch or backyard wherein to construct a sukkah. Most years, Nomi and I go to her parents' house for the holiday, because they have a porch where they build their sukkah. But this year I'm reciting Mourner's Kaddish for Mom, which means that I want to be close to a shul so I can daven with a minyan. That meant staying at home, but what would we do for a sukkah?

Well, Jewish communities tend to come together on this problem. For one thing, shuls tend to build sukkot on their own property, so anyone who can't build a sukkah at home can use the one at the shul. But in addition, families that have a sukkah on their property will invite those who don't to come over for the holiday meals. This means that Nomi and I are eating out at the homes of friends for pretty much the next three days, all through to the end of shabbat.

Sukkot doesn't end there, though. The holiday continues through Wednesday, meaning that we'll be at work for three of the days. What to do about meals? Well, as it so happens, a few communities in the cities of Boston and Cambridge build sukkot that folks can use during the day. For example, one of the rebbes builds a sukkah on the plaza of Old City Hall, on School Street. So at lunchtime, we'll be able to enjoy one of those local sukkot. And for dinner, we might go out to eat at one of the kosher restaurants...because they too build sukkot for their patrons to dine in. All in all, it's a wonderful example of a community working together to enjoy a religious observance.

Next week, Sukkot ends with two more holy "yom tov" days, Shemini Atzeret and Simchas Torah. I'll probably post about those next week.