Archive for the ‘mini’ Category

My Old Commute

I’ve been meaning to post this video for years, my old commute from Newton to Essex that I captured and finally sped up and posted. This day was “best case” 46 minutes, sped up 800% here, but the return trip often took between 1-2 hours (and too often, more). Thankfully since moving to Medford, though my morning commute has only dropped to 35 minutes, evening is usually 45, and rarely an hour. But, the old commute here is much more interesting.

The route goes from city to country, with plenty of fun curves, tunnels, and bridges. The full length of Storrow Drive into Boston, through some of the Big Dig tunnels, beside the Zakim bridge, and then over the Toben bridge. High speed curves on Route 1 North then commercial mecca. Finally 128 on to Cape Ann, exiting in Beverly, and the farmish suburbs towards the office in Essex. If you’re not from around here you may notice the crazy but clockwork-like Boston traffic, the many old highways with no shoulders, and of course plenty of people zoned out and blocking the left lane.

Details in the MINI like the old iPaq GPS show the age of the video: Early September 2007, just after I started work in Essex. This is just before colleges started, which instantly added more traffic and time. It’s such a relief to know the wasted time and stress that this commute caused me for years is behind me, but it is fun to relive it, especially at this speed.


MINI of Peabody has a new Countryman in the showroom for just a few days so I quickly stopped in to have a look. My feelings were mixed on the mini SUV so I wanted to see it in the flesh and now… my feelings are still mixed. I was impressed with the interior, the rear legroom with the rear seats slid back was still small but the layout was very functional. The new center stack is a definite improvement over the garish ’07 design, and the orange/anthracite scheme looked nice. From the side, the Countryman almost looks like a small Cayenne. Unfortunately they went overboard on the front end aggressiveness, and we were all wondering why the rear bumper (and taillights!) stick out disturbingly far. I’m sure the combination of extra interior space and all wheel drive will make it very successful in New England as I’ve heard so many people say they like MINIs but think they need those features.