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🚇 It’s a rough week to ride the Orange Line

Plus: 👑 The DunQueens have arrived

It’s Monday, Boston.

🍀 Sunday scaries, meet post-St. Paddy’s Day hangxiety. If you were part of this mob that was on the commuter rail yesterday heading to the parade, we hope your liver is okay. 

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Let the (March) madness begin

  • “Work from home” is getting too real

  • The Dunqueens

Up first…

TRANSPORTATION

The Orange line blues

Image: Carlin Stiehl for the Boston Globe. Illustration: Gia Orsino

Orange Liners, it’s your turn to face the MBTA grim reaper. Starting today through March 21 (Thursday), the Orange Line will be shut down from Jackson Square to North Station. 

Here’s what to know:

🚇 This is the first of five major Orange Line shutdowns this year. Not including upcoming smaller weekend shutdowns. As you probably guessed, it’s another step toward the MBTA’s massive plan to remove all speed restrictions by the end of 2024 (20 of which are on this section of the line). 

🚌 From Jackson Square to Back Bay, shuttle buses will replace the T. You can check out the exact dropoff/pickup locations here — they’re not always directly in front of the stations, especially Downtown, but there should be plenty of signage. 

🚃 From Back Bay to North Station, you’re using the Green Line. Yup, there will be no shuttle buses on this part of the route. So, if you’re heading Northbound: Once your shuttle drops you off at Back Bay, you’re walking .2 miles to Copley (where fare gates will be open — likewise at Jackson Square and Back Bay) and continuing your trip on the Green Line until North Station. If you’re heading Southbound: Transfer from the Orange to Green Line at North Station and continue until Copley, where you’ll get off, walk to Back Bay, and hop on a shuttle.

📝 BTW: If you’re unable to make the Orange to Green Line transfer, an accessible van will be available from Tufts Medical Center to take you between Back Bay and Arlington. Also, the station entrances to State and Downtown Crossing will be closed throughout the shutdown.

🚆 Bonus: Parts of the commuter rail will also be free. During the shutdown, you won’t have to pay for the commuter rail between Forest Hills, Ruggles, Back Bay, and South Station. And considering how crowded the Orange Line-Green Line crossover was during the Green Line shutdown, it may be the move. 

🙅 Want to avoid the MBTA all together? Check here for our two cents on the best alternative commuting options during a shutdown. But let’s be honest: It’s probably going to be rough no matter what. Godspeed! 

QUICK QUESTION

🚇 Vibe check: How are you feeling three months into our year of shutdowns?

Let us know below!

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

CITY

Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Nick Wass/Associated Press 

🏀 March Madness is officially upon us. It’s that time of year when your friend that knows nothing about college basketball somehow picks the team that wins it all. The men’s and women’s NCAA tournament brackets are settled, with UConn (the No. 1 overall seed), UVM, and Yale representing New England on the men’s side, and the UMaine and Holy Cross (the only Mass. team in the tourney!) representing the women. Bonus: TD Garden will host the men’s East regional on March 28 and 30 (tickets are $300+ if you’re feeling irresponsible). You can create your own bracket for the men’s tourney here and for the women’s tourney here. Games start Tuesday!

🏘️ “Working from home” just got a whole new meaning. Gov. Maura Healey officially unveiled a $1 million program that’ll use state funds to help cities and towns figure out if and how they can convert underused office buildings into housing. A similar program already exists in Boston, which so far has proven to be pretty tricky logistically and financially, so the state’s help will likely be much appreciated. As for the plan of what to do with all the empty lab space across around Boston … that’s above our pay grade. 

🥊 Packies and restaurants are going toe-to-toe. At the end of the month, pandemic-era legislation that allows restaurants to sell alcoholic drinks to-go expires, and after three extensions, Mass. officials are considering making it permanent. While restaurant groups are pretty much all-in for the potential legislation, local liquor stores are decidedly not. Their gripes? Between big box store competition, increasing bans on small bottles and tobacco, and the lottery going digital, they’re struggling, and they feel more than a little snubbed by Beacon Hill. Next up: The Senate needs to greenlight before it hits Healey’s desk. 

🙋‍♀️ Tonight’s Celtics game is all about the ladies. In honor of Women’s History Month, for the second year in a row, NBC Sports Boston is collabing with WNBA team the Connecticut Sun, to put together an all-female broadcast for tonight’s Celtics matchup with the Pistons. The broadcast team will be a seriously stacked and impressive lineup of women in sports, including local fan fave Abby Chin and NBC Sports’ Zora Stephenson. You can see how to stream the game through NBC Sports Boston here.

THINGS TO DO

Weekday checklist

🌿 Get a head start on your garden. Growing up is admitting fresh herbs actually taste better than the dried stuff. So head to Arsenal Yards for their mini herb garden workshop on Tuesday. 

🥟 Have dumplings. And more dumplings. Mei Mei in Southie is about to give you goosebumps with this one: Bottomless Dumplings. Head there on Wednesday for a $28 ticket to all the dumplings you can eat. 

🌇 Sip while you shop al fresco. Head to Boston Landing on Wednesday for their pop-up event Vino & Vintage, where you can browse local makers’ wares and sip on wine.

🧠 Brush up on your facts and figures. It’s never a bad week to squeeze in some trivia. Head to Short Path Distillery in Everett on Wednesday for their free-to-play general knowledge trivia night

🥐 Behold the free sample fantasyland. We could not be more excited to become regulars at Boston Public Market’s midday munchies event on Thursdays, where free samples with local ingredients are the star of the show.

— Written by Claire Nicholas

🎉 Want more things to do recommendations? Refer five friends to unlock two bonus items. For those who already have, enjoy below.

🧶 Learn to knit without needles. Did you know you can knit a whole blanket with just your hands? Learn how it’s done this Friday at Boston Public Market’s chunky knit blanket party on Friday. 

🎤Make an impromptu casino visit. Lil Jon is coming to Memoire at Encore this Friday night for what we can only assume will be an iconic concert. Tickets are still under 50 bucks, so grab ’em now!

ONE LAST THING

The DunQueens 

Image: Joshua Qualls from the Governor's Office. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

If you were wondering who actually bought the $120 DunKings tracksuits when they came out last month … The answer is Gov. Maura Healey … and former Governor Jane Swift … and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.

In a move that truly no one saw coming, the three women surprised everyone at Boston’s annual St. Paddy’s Day breakfast by swapping out the traditional green blazers for full-on DunKings merch, bucket hats and all, seemingly throwing munchkins into the crowd as they entered the room, proclaiming themselves the DunQueens. 

"To Ben, to Matt, to Tom, just reminding everybody that now, Massachusetts runs on DunQueens," said Healey. 

For our part, we fully endorse. The tweets and video that came of it are now officially canon. 

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

🍩 Thanks for reading! Trying to picture Charlie Baker in a DunKings tracksuit rn.

☘️ The results are in: It looks like most (35%) B-Siders have never been to Boston’s St. Paddy’s day parade, with almost as many readers saying they’re not going and find it overrated. One reader said: “Once you've seen one drunk Southie girl pop a squat and pee on the sidewalk, you don't need to see it again!” Fair!

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