You may have read several days ago that we transformed the Red Line into a First Class Train. We hopped on the Red Line -- dressed to the nines -- at Alewife, handed out snacks, cleaned the cars, and generally brought some good humor to a handful of lucky passengers. That was our original plan, anyway. This is the second part of that story.
See, we had soon arrived at JFK/UMass, where we'd been planning on exiting and boarding a northbound train to continue our experiment. Alas, it was not to be... apparently officials had gotten wind of our shenanigans, and -- pursuant to the MBTA's apparent policy of making people's rides as unpleasant as possible -- asked us to leave, rendering the train decidedly more coach class.
The good news is that we are persistent, and creative. So after a brief meeting, it was decided to take our extravagance out of the subway and into a more public space...the Boston Common.
What we weren't prepared to find was that it -- being the first real nice day of spring -- was the perfect day to find throngs of people sprawled out on the grassy expanse.
So, with missing hardly a beat, we descended upon the park green with our typical flair, much to the delight of the patrons who seemed pleased to realize they were in the newly-appointed First Class section.
It's kind of a given that you don't ride the subway for the experience. If the faces on your typical MBTA rider are any indication, it's a mundane experience at best: people stare into space, jostle amongst each other, and generally appear to wish they were anywhere but in the cavernous depths of a monotonous, clattering tunnel.
We changed all that for an afternoon. Gathering an enthusiastic group of dedicated BostonSOSers who opened their top shelf and dressed to the nines, our mission was to create a unique, pleasant, first class subway experience.
There were butlers and maids who made sure the cars were in tip-top shape: wiping down seats, cleaning the windows and support rails, and dusting those hard-to-reach corners. Keeping an attentive eye to the surprised passengers, they also offered hot towels, platters of hors d'oeuvres, magazines, shoe shines, and even a full-service coat check so passengers could shed a layer, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
The pièce-de-résistance of this spectacle: live musicians who provided pleasant ambience to the weary passengers: a piano crooner (taking requests!) in one car and a classical string duo in another.
So, without further ado, let's hop on the subway and take a closer look at the experience through pictures:
In late February, we were contacted by a nationally-televised travel show* and asked whether we'd be willing to participate in a story about Boston and the neat, free, offbeat-ish stuff that goes on here. The bad news? Their schedule was set and they'd have a slot for us at 1pm on a work day. Ugh. The good news? We've got a strong, loyal group of BSOSers who are either happy, enthusiastic, or unemployed enough to make the trek out and participate.
We had advertised it as a "secret spectacle" partly because some of the details were unknown even to us. We knew they wanted us to do something silly. We knew they wanted a group of people to cause a bit of a ruckus. And we knew that the target of our shenanigans was to be the host of the show being filmed.