Category Archives: Trendsetting

South Station: Setting Trends-Part 2

In the early 2000’s, South Station in Boston was like a mini city to me. It is where my train arrived when I came in from NYC and after I settled in and was hired, it was my lunchtime hang-out. There were a variety of eateries, small shops, kiosks selling Bean Town souvenirs, flower shops, shoeshine men and a small Barbara’s Bookstore located in the center of the station, to name a few. 

I was in a holding pattern in my life as I waited for a quiet storm to pass over. I cannot say that I understood that at the time, but once I landed there, I was determined to make the best of things. Most days were good as I met people from all walks of life; yet a lot of the New England area felt quite foreign to this Midwestern transplant. 

I lived in South Boston and then moved into Boston’s historic Back Bay area. I rented a teeny tiny studio on Commonwealth Avenue and flourished there. I soon saw that Boston was indeed a walking town, so I picked up a pictorial map of the area, went to The Tannery on Boylston Street and purchased some good walking shoes. When that pair began to show wear, I later went to The Tannery in Cambridge near the Loeb Theatre and bought some newer walking shoes. 

And I walked and walked and walked. I recently heard a line from the movie, Sabrina that made me think about my own life. She said that she found herself in Paris. I can safely say that I found myself in Boston. I was far from the maddening crowd, and I was able to breathe, think and walk while listening to inspiring music.  

As life would have it, South Station, my entry point, remained central to my Boston life. Even after changing jobs, me and the station continued our relationship. There was never a dull moment there whether I was eating, shopping, making a train connection or running into old colleagues. 

When I begin to question my purpose for being in Boston, I found ways to comfort myself. I often purchased fresh flowers to give myself that needed boost. And guess what? One day while standing on the subway platform as I waited for a train, I did a double take. There were several women holding on to their bouquets of flowers as I embraced mine. 

I thought, “Wow! Did I just start a new trend? We all silently stood there looking like princesses as we waited for the train. We were showering ourselves with self-love and invisible hugs! 

Lynn M. 
April 7, 2022 

An Unintentional Trendsetter- Part 1

When I was in graduate school at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, I was living on a tight budget. I worked as a graduate assistant while studying, but guess what? We were paid once a month! No, I kid you not. Once a month in the 20th Century. 

A close friend from the area had a standing joke as he tried to lighten the pain of it all. He said the Southern man hiring would ask the new employee, “Do you want to be paid $40 a month or $10 a week?” The humor laid in the fact that the amounts were the same, both mounting to a small hill of beans. 

So, in 1977, the pay was minimal, and I had to learn how to try to stretch it from month to month. That was the law of the land at the University.  After my disbelief turned into belief, I did my best but, sometimes I simply was not able to make those ends meet each other. 

One day, my car was on E, meaning, Empty. Nada. No gas! I knew that I could not call in because my strict boss was not hearing it and I was not about to ask him. What was I to do? As Plato said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”  I thought. I didn’t live that far from campus, so I decided to ride my bike to work. I had a yellow bicycle that my father had assembled for me some years earlier. 

It was a push, but I rose early and propelled my way to the campus. After arriving, I took the bike up the elevator to the 9th floor of the Administration Building and parked it somewhere close to my workstation. Nobody said anything and I certainly did not say that I was out of gas. 

I do not remember any verbal protests, but obviously my trek had not gone unnoticed. I guess they thought that the Chicago girl was just exercising her freedom. And the next day, several of the women rode their bikes to work! I laughed to myself and thought, “If they only knew the real reason behind my brave trek.” Thus, I became an unintentional trendsetter! 

Lynn M. 
April 2, 2022