Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ain't moving there, no way.

Of the following cities, which is the hardest to get to from Boston?

A. Paris
B. Baghdad
C. Jamaica Plain
D. Johannesburg
E. Sydney

If you didn't answer C., Jamaica Plain, then you clearly have never lived in the Boston area.

You look at it on a map, and it's RIGHT THERE, just left of Boston, under Brookline. And it's a perfectly nice community. Affordable, charming, good bars, restaurants, businesses, etc. But to actually GET there, you have to travel miles of strange, unfamiliar terrain, braving the strangest traffic patterns I've ever seen, turning this way and that, to get to the final leg of the journey, a game of death on a high-speed, four-inch-wide, two-lane death trap, called the Jamaicaway. Cars wiz past in the oncoming lane with a centimeter to spare between you, the road turns in a ridiculous series of tight curves and loops, and there are giant, ancient, killer trees lining either side, so if you lose control of the car, or if you have to veer away from oncoming traffic, or if someone invades your lane - not hard, since the lanes are four inches across - you're toast.

I hate to say it, but it is true, that once a friend moves to that area, I'm not going to visit. Much as I might miss that person's company, if they want to see me, they have to meet me on some middle ground. I'll go downtown, I'll drive to the suburbs, or you can come to me, but there is NOTHING that'll get me on that death trap of a road voluntarily. Sorry.


Blogger Chris Cope said...

<<a game of death on a high-speed, four-inch-wide, two-lane death trap>>

This describes all driving in Boston, doesn't it?

02 November, 2005 12:00  
Blogger Andraste said...

Close, but no. A lot of driving in Boston is slow and confusing, because it really is, as legend has it, constructed on old cow paths. But the issues arise because of all the one-ways, streets that mysteriously change street names, and lack of signage, so even natives of the area haven't a frigging clue where they're going. So, you see a lot of rudeness, sudden, unexplained stops, and panicked U-turns, which gives us that reputation.

The Jamaicaway...someone could design a video game based on it. It's truly awful.

02 November, 2005 12:17  
Blogger the anti-barney said...

Its all very well for you but all our roads are like that.

02 November, 2005 13:31  
Blogger mrshife said...

Note to self, never rent a car in Boston.

02 November, 2005 13:46  
Blogger Andraste said...

You can rent one, just insure it to the hilt and then...ENJOY!

02 November, 2005 13:47  
Blogger Dr. E. Scientist, phD. said...

I keep an old rental agreement in my car for just such a purpose, Andraste.

If I happen to be playing road tag with some other immature asshole, I just wave the folder at him and shout "I've nothing to lose, ya bastards!"

That, and wearing "escaped convict" orange coveralls usually give me the passing lane to myself.

03 November, 2005 10:06  
Blogger Andraste said...

That, and peeing into the upholstery must ensure that you never get asked for rides, either.

Nice work!

03 November, 2005 10:14  
Blogger Dr. E. Scientist, phD. said...

Hmm, didn't think of that one. Thanks!

03 November, 2005 11:19  
Blogger tgic said...

It's not worth it to rent a car. Just take a cab and hold on FOR DEAR LIFE!!!

Strangely enough, the J-way was one of the first places I ever drove in Boston. Granted, it wasn't during rush hour, and it seemed a bit treacherous, but I did survive.

I do know what you mean about JP. Hell, I barely visit Cambridge anymore and I live on the fucking Red Line. Laziness knows no bounds ...

03 November, 2005 11:48  
Blogger abbyladybug said...

Hilarious! I live in JP, but I do not ever ever EVER drive on the Jamaicaway, and I rarely go on the Arborway either. It's difficult, but I value my life too much. If you avoid those roads, AND you avoid driving through Roxbury, you aren't left with much. To go West, I use Centre to VFW, and to go downtown, I pretty much have to take Washington.

I adore JP, but the prospect of staying there is a tough one, only because of transportation issues.

Public transportation isn't much better. Want to go to nearby Brookline, say Coolidge Corner? You're pretty much SOL. It's a 45 minute train ride all the way downtown and back out... might as well take the 45 minute walk option.

09 November, 2005 14:06  
Blogger Andraste said...

Unbelievable, isn't it?

And it's probably safer to walk than take the T anyway.

Thanks for stopping by, and for pimping the HAP on your blog!

09 November, 2005 14:29  

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