Malden anticipates Orange Line reopening but will the commute be better?

By Michael Cao As Malden residents anticipate the promised re-opening of the Orange Line by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), commuters expressed mixed feelings about the suspension, which was intended to facilitate major repairs and upgrades of the transportation system.  The MBTA’s Building a Better T 2022 program suspended the Orange Line on Aug. 19. This included three stations that could impact Malden residents. Passengers were provided with shuttle bus service as alternative travel options.  William C., interviewed by Neighborhood View outside the Malden Center Station and who asked that his last name not be used, said he has been riding the T for more than four decades. “The shuttles are nice to ride on, luxury buses are nice and comfortable,” he said. “But it’s still not as quick as the train at the Orange Line, which goes directly to stops.” He also said that he has seen the MBTA fixing the same track many times over the years. He expressed disappointment. “I hate to say this, but they are doing a lot of work […]


The Road to Morocco from Malden: A Pressing Event

This is the last part of the Road from Malden to Morocco series By Bonnie Blanchard Our whirlwind visit in Marrakesh left our imaginations, memories and cameras full of sensations, stories and pictures. With a visit to the city of Essaouira we were winding down for our journey back home. Like vagabonds we wound our way to a rambling little coastal town with a view of the ocean from our lovely little hotel. We unwound with a walk on the windy beach. Camels and horses were competing for ride business, but we were not too eager for repeat lumps, so we contented ourselves by walking along the village shoreline. Essaouira is a laid-back old port town on the Atlantic Ocean. In the mid 1700s the then installed sultan liked the area and engaged the services of a French architect to create a city there. It is rather off the beaten path and windy, so there are not too many beach goers. Essaouira remains a fishing village where folks can buy their catch of the day […]


The Road to Morocco from Malden: Into the Sahara

By Bonnie Blanchard Part Three of Five Parts Getting on a dromedary is like straddling a furry bathtub. It’s not the most graceful of feats. You begin the mount while the beast is lying down. You have to figure out how to get your feet across both sides; their bodies are wider than that of a horse. There are no stirrups to lock your feet into, only a steel bar in front of the hump to hang onto. A layered blanket pack is the saddle. When each member of my group was finally aboard their ship of the desert, we started our journey into the Sahara. As I bounced and hung on, I had visions of rolling off to the side and being deposited on the desert floor. It was a premonition of things to come. This camel-back journey had begun after an exhausting yet exhilarating day driving from Fez to Ouarzazate, the entrance to the Sahara Desert, in another leg of our Morocco trip. As our van crossed through rosemary-dotted hills and cedar groves, […]


The Road to Morocco from Malden: The Medieval City of Fez

By Bonnie Blanchard Part Two of Five Parts Our extensive tour of Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca was overwhelming. But the journey was just beginning. We headed to our van for a 5-hour ride into the hinterlands of Morocco towards the medieval city of Fez. (Which is sometimes spelled Fes.) Along the way we stopped for a traditional Moroccan tagine (a clay cooking utensil with a vented conical top that cooks in the  oven or stove-top) lunch and relaxed into our new home away from home – the van – for the next two weeks. Finally we arrived at our hotel, welcomed by most gracious hoteliers. After a refreshing buffet dinner in the hotel, and fresh from a good night’s sleep, our group was ready to explore the ancient city of Fez. Traveling out of the Ville Nouvelle (French for new city) section of Fez, we were dropped back in a time at the large gated entryway, Bab Boujeloud. Bustling cafes and markets quickly turn into narrow streets with children playing and donkeys hard at […]


The Road to Morocco from Malden: The Journey Begins

By Bonnie Blanchard Part 1 of 5 parts: Casablanca Riding a camel only looks romantic. Sore and tired, I ease myself next to a wood-burning fire; it had been a long and lumpy journey on the back of the camel into the Sahara Desert. I find myself staring up into a sky studded with stars big as dinner plates, thinking that despite my sore body, I had achieved a life-long dream. As a kid, I would pore over pages of the National Geographic, staring at the photos, and think that someday I would visit exotic, faraway places. Now, I wasn’t reading a magazine; I was actually here, in Morocco, the quiet of the desert enveloping my group like a velvet blanket. And to think I was only here in Merzouga, Morocco, because I noticed a sign in Somerville, Massachusetts, 12 years ago. It happened like this: As I drove through Union Square, Somerville one day, my eyes caught sight of a building sign that said Moroccan Caravan, Gallery and Showroom.” As a kid, I was captivated […]