IDEA! Boston ‘T’ Blog

Today I was sit­ting at the 1369 cof­fee­house in Cen­tral Sq., as I do most days of the week, read­ing the papers and gen­er­al­ly absorb­ing the hap­pen­ings… some guy in a shirt-and-tie fret­ting over Excel spread­sheets at his lap­top on my right. Anoth­er guy on my left, copi­ous­ly prac­tic­ing Chi­nese-look­ing script for words like “cow”, “apart­ment” and “love”. Ahead of me was a man in his mid-40s sit­ting with his young son, who was play­ing Game­boy and occa­sion­al­ly chat­ting with some of the peo­ple who work there. One of these girls was tak­ing a break with a cof­fee, bagel and the New York Times. I liked her Lacoste Izod polo shirt.

Any­way, I had time to sit there, in-between read­ing the Globe, Her­ald, Times and the Cam­bridge Tab, to think about the mer­its of liv­ing in a place like Cam­bridge. I real­ly have a lot of love for this side of the river—be it the bars, the wacky aca­d­e­m­ic types walk­ing around, or the Red Line. It’s got such a com­mu­ni­ty feeling—even for some­body like me who prefers to sit and watch rather than inter­act.

For some rea­son, I began think­ing about NYCbloggers.com, a project that intend­ed to cre­ate a geo­graph­ic com­mu­ni­ty of New York blog­gers, based on which sub­way stop they lived near. I love maps, pub­lic trans­porta­tion, and I couldn’t help but be in awe at the shear balls it must’ve took to tack­le such a project of that scope. I thought, why not try to do that in Boston?

Now, I know there are tons of Bostonite blogs, espe­cial­ly giv­en the 250,000 uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents that are here. BostonBlogs.com is doing a good job of set­ting up social gath­er­ings for us Boston-based blog freaks—although I can’t bring myself to attend one. Call it social pho­bia. Avoid­ance. What­ev­er.

Still, attempt­ing to tack­le some­thing on the scale of nycbloggers.com would be a chal­lenge. Christ, mak­ing the maps them­selves would pose all kinds of issues. And would blog­gers in Boston be inter­est­ed in such a thing?

New York­ers famous­ly have attach­ments to their dif­fer­ent sub­way lines—be it the F, A/C, 1/9 etc. It would be inter­est­ing to see the same kind of B-line or Red-line pride here in Boston. Once the back-end data­base stuff is devel­oped, I could see branch­ing out to oth­er cities—Buffalo per­haps? Pub­lic Trans­porta­tion needs a cheer­leader!

If any­one in Boston reads this and think that it is a worth­while endeav­or, shoot me an email. Maybe it’d be a good col­lab­o­ra­tion.

15 Responses to “IDEA! Boston ‘T’ Blog”


  • I think it would be a good idea, but Boston’s a lit­tle too small for it. Rather, it would have to be orga­nized by actu­al city, major sur­round­ing cities (Cam­bridge, Quin­cy, etc), and then gen­er­al sub­urb areas…

    oh, and nice blog:)

  • Wash­ing­ton, D.C. has a sim­i­lar site which may be more in line with what you are think­ing… DC Blog­gers.

  • I think this is a good idea, espe­cial­ly appeal­ing to those of us who have lived at our stop (Cen­tral in my case) for years.

    I live 2 min­utes from the 1369; I’ve prob­a­bly seen you there as I picked up my dou­ble-tall lat­te.…

  • Thanks all of you for your input…

    You don’t know me but, why wouldn’t it work to use the sub­way map? I have a real pref­er­ence for urban liv­ing and pub­lic trans­port.… also, it’s VISUAL. it’s tak­ing a sym­bol (map) that we see every day, and adding a con­text to it… i mean, i look at stops on the orange line, and i’m like… WHERE THE FUCK IS THAT? i have no real idea.

    start­ing some­thing like this would add a spa­tial ele­ment to boston blog­ging.

    Don, I like the DC site very much. I’m going to email them.

    Jason, i prob­a­bly have bumped into you there. i’m a bit of a wall­flower in there though. get my cof­fee, sit, read paper, exit.

    i’ve only been in Cen­tral since sep­tem­ber… i used to live on the oth­er side of the riv­er, but i pre­fer it here.

  • that’s you Don, from work Don? How are ya?

  • reenhead.com, home of the DC blog site list­ing, is run by my friend Mau­reen. Small world, eh?

  • When I start­ed col­lect­ing blog URLs for Boston Online, I thought the T idea would be wicked cool — that NYC blog­gers site is very nice. Then I real­ized I’d actu­al­ly have to ask most peo­ple what stop they’re near — oh, the work :-).

    But there were a cou­ple of oth­er rea­sons I decid­ed against it. One is that Boston itself is real­ly small, so you’d have to have all the com­muter lines for all those “Bosto­ni­ans” who real­ly live in Nat­ick or wher­ev­er (plus, what do you do about peo­ple like me: I live in Boston, but the clos­est sta­tion to me is actu­al­ly the Hyde Park com­muter-rail stop, not a sub­way sta­tion). Also, the def­i­n­i­tion of a “Boston­ian” is a lot more flu­id than a “New York­er,” we don’t real­ly have the sort of cul­tur­al (and geo­graph­ic) bound­aries that sep­a­rate “us” from the rest of the uni­verse (well, 128 or 495 maybe…).

    More impor­tant, for the most part, what does know­ing where a blog­ger is real­ly get you? With a few excep­tions, exact­ly where a blog­ger lives around here doesn’t real­ly seem to mat­ter in terms of what he or she writes (Sur­face City writes a lot about South Boston, which is cool, but oth­er than that?). So I’ve start­ed try­ing to cat­e­go­rize blog­gers by top­ic, which I real­ize intro­duces its own prob­lems, since most peo­ple seem to write about lots of things — still, there are some def­i­nite “pol­i­tics” blogs, even some reli­gious blogs (all Catholic, as far as I’ve been able to find so far.

    Still, if you do want some help, I could, at a min­i­mum, get you the Boston Online blog list­ings in an Excel file (well, CSV).

  • So, my com­ments about T stop are mere­ly based on num­bers. While Cen­tral Square and a few oth­er stops will, I’m sure, be burst­ing with locals — I’m at Ash­mont, on the red line, and ques­tion how many peo­ple from my T stop are blog-obsessed.

  • well, You Don’t, I think you might be suprised. Obvi­ous­ly there are a lot of sub­way stops in NYC, and not every one has a blog­ger list­ed.

    I don’t see why that’s unin­ter­est­ing… if any­thing, it would put your blog on the map.

    sor­ry for the pun.

  • why would any­one take up such a daunt­ing task of massholiz­ing NYCbloggers.com?

    There’s no mon­ey in it.… or is there?

  • you know what? I don’t know why!

    I just thought it would be a good “com­mu­ni­ty” type thing to bring to Boston… There seem to be a ton of “blog­gers” in the Boston-area… but I don’t seem to read any.

    Maybe I just need to move to NYC? You think? Oh, and if any­one is inter­est­ed in doing this, then talk to me!.

  • I found your site when googling for exact­ly what you’re debat­ing — a boston blog­ger map. One thing that hasn’t been said about the NYC blog­gers is that you don’t actu­al­ly have to reside in NYC; you just have to con­sid­er your­self a “New York­er” and then map your­self to a stop that res­onates with you; it doesn’t have to be your actu­al RL abode. I am a for­mer Boston­ian now liv­ing in NYC and was hop­ing there was some­thing with the same set­up.

  • i know. it is sooooo tempt­ing. but i’m work­ing on a boston events guide now…

    i can’t imag­ine why i’d add myself to a stop in NYC… ya know?

  • Would you be kind enough to define the dif­fer­ence between a “Bostonite” and a “Boston­ian” for me. Thank you in advance.

  • SO, I noticed this Slate arti­cle– http://slate.msn.com/id/2085046/… any awe­some data­base coders out there? want to team up?

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