DNC 2004: Day One

The Democratic National Convention has come to Boston so I have decided to keep a diary of my week.
Here is the first entry:
I woke up a little early today in anticipation of a horrible commute, for weeks the news has been reporting the difficulty of commuting in due to all of the travel restrictions and the closure of North Station. I arrived at the Salem train station and it was deserted. On the platform was a Salem Police officer and about twenty commuters. The train showed up on time and we made our way to Lynn, for the shuttle bus transfer. On the platform in Lynn there were a bunch of people there to help us, it seemed that there were more helpers than actual commuters. We walked towards the Shuttle buses and were surprised to see a park with a bunch of tents set up. It was like a fair right there in downtown Lynn. They had a full Jamaican Steel Drum band playing under one of the tents, in another tent a man was tuning his guitar. Several news crews were there filming and interviewing commuters, while some people were also selling food and drinks. It was rather odd and felt more like a movie premiere than a commute. The shuttle bus quickly filled up and we were on our way towards Boston. After about twenty minutes we were at South Station and unloading onto the street. I glanced down at my watch and found that it had taken me less time to commute this morning than on a typical day by about ten minutes. I couldn’t help, but laugh at all of the critics and coworkers who had been so nervous about how things would go. Unfortunately I feel it will get worse as the week goes on due to the people who took Monday off and also people who will see how well it went and try to go in tomorrow.

At lunch today it was blatantly obvious that the city was the center of some major event, mostly because of the extra noise, armed soldiers and protests. At lunch I went out for pizza and it was pure chaos, there was a parade going around the Common, with lots of yelling. People were all over the place trying to get you to stop and sign up for whatever campaign they were working for. It was amusing with a side of annoyance thrown into the mix. I did see Janet Reno on my way back from lunch which reminded me that I had to keep an eye out for more celebrities. She was walking along Washington Street, without any guards and was taking pictures with the random people that recognized her. Later in the day I was outside again and there was an ambulance outside the train station. About a half dozen MP’s were standing around assessing the situation before they carried up a woman on a stretcher. It was interesting.

It was getting late so I walked to the Government Center T stop to catch the train out to Lynn. On the way I saw Susan Wornick of WCVB-5 fame. Once at the train station I saw several MP’s outside the station and then once inside they were looking around at all of the people as if they had been tipped off. Nothing materialized and I jumped on the Blue Line for the ride out to Wonderland. Once again the shuttle and train ride were easy. It didn’t take very long and I was home in no time. Let’s hope it stays this way for the next four days.
Day One Photo Album