Although the fictionalized Ennet House was my first destination as I began exploring David Foster Wallace’s Boston last summer, technically the Warren Street Station is the first location from Infinite Jest that I actually visited. Indeed, if one is to take the MBTA’s Green Line out to search for the landmarks of fictional Enfield, this is the stop you want. Ennet House—the former Granada House—is visible from the approach, if one knows which side of the train to sit on and where to look, which of course I did.
The Green Line’s Warren Street Station is never mentioned by name, but it does feature prominently in one of the many anecdotes told about Ennet residents past. It’s a minor one, in fact framed by a larger reminiscence about Don Gately’s early processing of AA clichés, and it’s characteristically amusing and sad:
…this guy whose name was Bernard but insisted on being called Plasmatron-7, right after old Plasmatron-7 drank nine bottles of NyQuil in the men’s upstairs head and pitched forward face-first into his instant spuds at supper and got discharged on the spot, and got fireman-carried by Calvin Thrust right out to Comm. Ave.’s Green Line T-stop…
This is obviously Warren Street—which is mentioned numerous times throughout the story—and indeed it’s no more than a few yards away from Brighton Marine’s Building 6, across a parking lot and Commonwealth’s westbound lanes, and by now one will certainly know which way to look.