All Along the Orange Line — Part 2

Dear Reader,

There’s always more to explore in and around Boston.

Traveling along Boston’s Orange Line (subway), one will traverse the cities of Malden and Medford and be granted access to the Boston neighborhoods of Charlestown, the North End, the West End, Downtown, Chinatown, the South End, and Jamaica Plain. Furthermore, stops along the Orange Line allow passengers easy access to adjacent neighborhoods such as Beacon Hill, Fenway, Mission Hill, and Roslindale (more on Roslindale here) as well as the city of Somerville. In short, Boston’s Orange Line can take you near and far!

In my last post, I began to describe traveling along Boston’s Orange Line to the northernmost stop Oak Grove located in the city of Malden (more here). While I found the Orange Line’s northernmost tip to be charming, green, and with enough breathing room, I got a bit of a different impression from Boston’s southern neighborhoods.

Traveling from Oak Grove to Downtown Crossing (located in the center of Boston) is an easy 20-minute ride, which is mostly above ground. Traveling further south, the trains become a bit more packed. Although trains run frequently (with less than 10-minute intervals on weekdays), the Downtown Crossing station is often crowded with people waiting to board on the southbound train destined for Forest Hills (more so than the northbound train in my opinion).

Unlike the beautiful water views of the Charles and Mystic rivers heading north, much of the ride from Downtown Crossing to Forest Hills is underground. However, when the train does occasionally surface, for example between the Tufts Medical Center and Back Bay stops and between the Back Bay and Massachusetts Avenue stops, one catches glimpses of concrete highways and row houses on both sides.

Boston, as a city, is inherently more ethnically diverse, but not uniformly so. While Boston’s Black community (according to 2014 numbers) is about 28.2% (the non-Hispanic, White community is about 43.9% according to 2017 numbers), the Black population of Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood is about 56.9%, with Whites making up 8.1% of the population (according to 2016 numbers). These demographics are reflected in the Orange Line passengers south of the city, in particular at the Roxbury stops of Roxbury Crossing and Jackson Square.

Forest Hills station, Jamaica Plain

At the southernmost tip of the Orange Line, we have the Jamaica Plain stops of Stony Brook (near the Samuel Adams Brewery, more here), Green Street (where the Evergreen Street Eatery is located, more here), and the Forest Hills as the train’s terminal point. I have ventured this far south before to visit the Arnold Arboretum (one of my favorite spots in the city, more here). To conclude my Orange Line adventure, I trekked once more through this park, still beautiful even in the dead of winter. Following along the sometimes paved, sometimes dirt paths, I passed families with small children, joggers, and couples young and old enjoying the “warm” 45-degree winter Boston weather.

To match my northern view of Boston that I took at Waitt’s Mountain Park near the Orange Line stop Oak Grove, I walked the uphill path to Peter’s Hill to get a view of Boston from a southern angle.

Boston Skyline. Top Photo — Peter’s Hill, Arnold Arboretum, Roslindale; Bottom Photo — Waitt’s Mountain Park, Malden

All in all, traveling up and down (and ultimately up again to return home) along the Orange Line was an adventure in itself. Given all that I saw from Malden to Roslindale, 40 minutes and 11 miles on the train is a short time and a great distance. I enjoyed the ride and will likely carryout similar T adventures in the future.

Have a Charlie Card, will travel, I suppose 🙂



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