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Thread: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autumn...

  1. #11
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autum

    Jim's assessment of Boston driving is correct. We call such drivers "massholes" ; a friendly term of endearment; no offense at all. I learned a little bit of that driving living in Worcester MA for two years. Parking can be expensive in Boston too, but if you're just starting or ending a trip it won't be an issue.

    I've been stuck on those Boston mobius strips trying to get around the block a few times. It's worse when you had to go pee an hour before and are still holding it as you enter Boston and get stuck going around trying to find some destination. But everything is slow from a traffic jam.

    The worst "Take this turn" GPS/satnav ambiguity is when I was driving back to Heathrow airport. There's a big roundabout with a model plane in the middle I think. You come out of a tunnel with no GPS and then the GPS gets signal a few seconds late and directs you to turn here and you can't easily count the exits due to the traffic and lack of street signs. I had to go through that a few times to get to the right exit to return my car.

  2. #12

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    Re: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autum

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
    Oh come on!!! Driving in Boston is a piece of cake. It's where I learned to drive so here are a few rulles of the road that most "furriners" ie not from Boston don't know.

    Pedestrrians belong on the sidewalks. If you encounter one in the street (trying to cross for example) it's your duty to chase them back onto the sidewalk.

    "One Way" just means "Only drive one way at a time".

    The designer of Boston roads was the same guy who invented the Mobius strip. No matter where you try to go you'll find yourself passing the same place repeatedly with no progress toward your actual destination.

    When the GPS gadget says to turn right you'll inevitably be presented with about 3 to 5 possible right turn opportunities. Doesn't matter which one you take because you should turn left.

    Just because the GPS system thinks there's a bridge doesn't mean it's still there. Might have been torn down any time in the last 100 years but the maps were never updated.

    Never try to go around the block to get back to where you were 3 minutes ago.Just back up! There's a strange paranormal force field that makes it impossible to go around a block. Better to just keep driving straight because there are a few warped spots in the local space time continuum that will take you back to where you were whether you want to go there or not.

    The GPS will always go dead as soon as you enter the underground expressway so just take any exit that appeals to you and play it by ear from there.

    If you're on a main street don't expect the name of the street you're on to be written on street signs at intersections unless it's an intersection with another main street (no joke about this one)

    Man up, rent a car, have fun. Remember it's about the trip rather than the destination.
    This I've got to save for future reference! Hilarious.

    The 'real' Little Italy of New York is in the Bronx, on Arthur Avenue:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Avenue

    The historically older one on Mulberry St. is a mere shadow of its former self - mostly restaurants for tourists who don't know a cannoli from guacamole

  3. #13

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    Re: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autum

    All the descriptions of driving in Boston are spot on, I've had many fun adventures there. A few years (pre-GPS) ago my wife and I had hotel reservations downtown and found it impossible to get there. We could see the hotel, but it felt as if no streets actually went to the building. Just because you're on a one way road don't make the silly assumption that it will be heading in the same direction on the other side of the intersection you've just pulled up to. Nope, not only names change, but east-bound becomes west-bound. We finally asked a cab driver for directions to the hotel we were about 4 blocks from, and he said to be sure to write them down because it was going to be complicated—it was. Then there was the time I had to get to the airport and it was in the middle of the Big Dig where nothing went any where and no faster than the speed of a fast caterpillar. Our son recently moved there and owns a car, but mainly walks or takes public transportation being smarter than his father.

  4. #14
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autum

    I will never drive in Boston...

    I promise!
    sin eater

  5. #15

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    Re: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autum

    No no no - Go for it - it's one of the last places you can experience true transportation chaos. Little by little REAL Boston driving is fading away, soon to only exist in the oral history department. The decline started with the silly idea of building a second tunnel to connect with Logan Airport. The eleven lanes of aggressive drivers merging to two lanes in 100 feet at the entry to the Sumner tunnel had to be experienced to be believed. Today things are tame by comparison. Have the experience while you still can.

    It was when the North End really was Little Italy - you never heard English spoken in the back streets and at Easter the Pascal Lambs were hung out over the street. I still remember when Fanuiel Hall had a real meat market with halves of beef hanging out in the open on hooks and the tunnel to the airport was only a single tube with one lane each way for a 10 (or was it 5?) cent toll.

  6. #16

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    Re: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autum

    In the 1970s we travelled to Yale [where we stayed with friends on the academic staff and saw 'Deep Throat'] from Toronto. We also drove into Boston and had difficulty finding our way around the city. The other 'notable' thing was the lack of public toilets as in Rome [Italy].
    Regards
    Tony

  7. #17
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autum

    Most cities in the US have little for public toilets. You go to the bathroom at the business you have a meal at or place you are visiting. Otherwise the only public bathrooms are at rest stops on interstate highways (perhaps closer to your motorway), major public transportation terminals, and parks where someone might visit for a long time.

  8. #18
    David Schaller
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    Re: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autum

    Just FYI, I was just in northern NH, where it was peak foliage over the weekend, i.e., the last weekend of September. Driving back yesterday it was peak foliage in the Green Mountains of Vermont. So for your planning purposes, if you make it out of Boston and head north, the last week of September or the first week of October should be prime leaf-peeping, and Columbus Day weekend will be too late. The whole area is due for the first freeze tonight.

  9. #19
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autum

    When I was last in London, 2001, there was also nowhere to pee.

    But it was normal to see an old drunk peeing just below the window of a fancy restaurant I was dining in.

    Same year I was stuck on the Tube with a beautiful young companion. I was dancing in agony for at least an hour. Finally on the street, i excused myself and peed in a dark corner.

    Paris in 1975 had street pissoirs which were/are gone? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pissoir

    I used them, women did not.

    1999 I was in downtown Chicago a lot. Pissing also a problem. I tried to organize a http://thedaleycenter.com/ protest,. I wanted to get a line of people maybe 50 to line up and pee in their clothing.

    Inspired by a famous life size print by Tony Tasset. I Peed in My Pants, 1994

    Quote Originally Posted by jp View Post
    Most cities in the US have little for public toilets. You go to the bathroom at the business you have a meal at or place you are visiting. Otherwise the only public bathrooms are at rest stops on interstate highways (perhaps closer to your motorway), major public transportation terminals, and parks where someone might visit for a long time.
    sin eater

  10. #20

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    Re: Too late, too expensive for this year, but maybe the next? Little Italy and Autum

    Quote Originally Posted by jp View Post
    at rest stops on interstate highways (perhaps closer to your motorway)
    Its okay, I'm at least bilingual having lived in and/or visited many American and Canadian cities, towns and hamlets. My comment about Boston was its lack of those facilities compared with other North American places. Further, it is the French auto routes and German autobahns that compare well with North American interstate highways. The UK's motorway system is abysmal in terms of facilities and cleanliness.
    Regards
    Tony

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