Oak Grove is a train station that is the northern endpoint of the Orange Line on the MBTA, the subway system for Boston and its suburbs. Located primarily in Malden with parts of its parking lot extending towards the border of nearby Melrose, the station serves as a transportation hub not only for the two towns already mentioned but also for their neighboring towns to the North - Stoneham, Wakefield, and Reading.
Residents of these towns use the station most frequently for their morning commutes to their work sites in downtown Boston and their evening-time reverse commute from work. They arrive to the station from their homes either by regularly running bus routes (about 15 minutes from downtown Melrose, half an hour from Reading or by car. For the reverse commute home, some call for a taxi.
On their way home from the city, those elegant docker shoes and single color starched shirt wearing male commuters, who must bide their time until they get picked up by either a car of a relative or a friend or by the other sort of rides like a taxi or a bus, are treated to a comfortable waiting area. Outside of the station's entrance, there are some benches below some columns and a roof that protects them from rain and snow.
As for the high heeled stiletto wearing women with flowing flower strewn designed skirts, no waiting area is ever comfortable for them. The muddy brown, dust collecting benches will surely smear their beautiful skirts with ickiness and the cracked sidewalks will chip the sharp pointy lifts on their stilettos. Women, please dont wear your absolute best wardrobe when taking the train, cause it will be absolutely positively ruined.
On Friday and Saturday nights, commuters use the station not to reach their workplaces but rather to attend live entertainment events. During the commute times the specific geographical area of the station, a rather drab place surrounded by nothing more than gas stations, auto repair shops, and offices of construction companies, becomes a livened up place filled with happy excited people gearing up for a night on the town.
The people taking the escalator up to the train could either be green spiked hair teenagers with metal chains hanging off their pants on their way to a rock concert. Or a bunch of chatty, snidely smiling elderly ladies, on their way into town to see the play Menopause, who timidly pry into each others private lives with shy yet mockingly phrased questions. Or they could be pot bellied men, who, slightly buzzed from a few recently imbibed cans of beer, excitedly chatter with anticipation about the next Boston Red Sox game and laugh off the cell phone calls from their either doting or pestering wives.
Once the commuters ascend to the train platform via escalator, they may find the place rather uncomforatable. The train platform, elevated above the ground by concrete, unfortunately has a roof but no walls. In the face of unpleasant weather, commuters might be assailed by snow or rain coming from the outside while waiting for the train. But there's an easy way in which they can protect themselves from the inclement weather. That's because a commuter can enter the train as soon as they get to the platform practically at all times and in this way manage to insulate himself from both snow and rain inside its window covered walls.
But why is there so much talk about the weather sheltering features of the station? Weather is a significant threat to the commuting experience, one against which every computer eventually learns to take precaution. On rainy days, it's not uncommon to see commuters dashing like cats in a hissy fit with their claws sharpened as they chase a bird up a tree. All to avoid getting completely splashed before they enter the station. No one wants to come to work with wet clingy jeans or skirts. Not to mention have the seat of their skirt of jeans drip onto their subway seat making them feel like they were sitting in their puddle all during their ride!
Snow, my friends is an even worse enemy! The howling winds on cold days make you shiver, freeze your lips, the area around your nostrils, not to mention the tips of your fingers on both your feet and hands, even if you are wearing warm gloves and socks! And then all the time you are standing on the platform and waiting for the train, your frozen body parts do not begin to thaw off! Nope, not until you sit down on the train itself, do you begin to accumulate enough warmth to make you feel that you've let Antarctica once and for all
Fortunately, on this station, the commuters often luck out and get to start the defrosting process immediately! It works out this way because the station has two tracks going to Boston and one of the trains will not leave until the next one arrives. So that means, whenever you enter the station, you can jump in the train right away and warm up. But remember I did say often not always. On those non rush hours where train service frequency is reduced, waiting out on the platform in the freezing winter cold is unavoidable. So bundle up, my fellow commuters.