Sunday, December 13, 2009

Paradise by Milton

Day breaks but after that everything is ship shape in Dorchester, MA. All the leaks are caulked. There are no drafts to dodge. Snug as bugs in a down quilt, Dorchesterites hunker down and sleep the slumber of the unencumbered.

Where's Dorchester? Look Mac, if you don't know I can't even call you pal... Look Stranger, if you don't know where Dorchester is you'd better take a Duck Tour to find out. This is the time of year to do it. Bundle up as you trundle out. Keep your eyes peeled on that goose chase and stay downwind.

Any bum can rush to Dorchester, but it takes a certain kind of dreamer to linger long enough to catch a Talbot Avenue bus. A Dorchester adventure is an invitation from Fate to a footloose freebooter to bind his or her ties to a geography that includes more three-story buildings than the whole State of Kansas contains and as many active citizens as Vermont's voting population. Dorchester is wild and wooly while being conveniently served by mass transit and civilized amenities. Dorchesterites sip their Dunkin Donuts coffee with pinkies raised.  They are generous tippers too.

When the Red Line splits at JFK/UMASS, conductors announce, "Change trains here for Braintree. This train's final stop is Paradise." Paradise for many, perhaps, but others abandon hope when they enter Dorchester. Dorchester isn't for the hopeless.  Hope springs eternal from under a rock in Dorchester Park directly behind Caritas Christi Hospital's maternity ward.  Hope is the gasoline that lights Dorchester's fire.  The hapless souls who lack hope are welcome to stay to nurture their tinder but most head back post-haste, pre-trauma, on a one way ticket back to Porter. There are no downers in Dorchester, only up-and-comers.  Smile!  The Dot's got your back.

Even if Ashmont isn't the paradise you are looking for in Dorchester, take a transfer to the Mattapan High Speed. You'll find your paradise at the Milton stop.  At the southernmost tip of Boston, there's nowhere to go but uptown and inbound.  Even if it takes a few connections to reach your eventual destination, those connections are easy to make in Dorchester.

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