Tag Archives: roundabouts

Pardon Me, Where Was That?

It dawned on me today, I have no idea where I live.

No clue.

Heaven help me if someone were to ask me for directions. Wait, they already did. The conversation went as follows:

“So where are you guys living in Smalltown?”

Oh, we are near the Landing.

“What road is that?”

Blink. Blink. Blink.
Well, shit. I have no fucking idea what road.

I can’t blame it entirely on modern technology. You see, every day Elvis tells me what route to take to and from work. He doesn’t say street names. He just says things like, “In a quarter mile, turn left.” I have to read the GPS map to see the street names.

Even though I’m looking at the GPS, I’m not reading the street name. I’m looking at the line ahead and thinking, okay, I near to make a 90 degree left turn in 1/2 mile….or I need to curve to the right, but not really turn right in the next 30 seconds.

Sad, but true.

Even before I discovered Elvis, I can still quite honestly say, “I have no idea what road.”

Yes, I live in a development, well people want to know what street that’s off of.

It’s a two land road, just like all the others, right off the main highway, you know that one that goes North and South? Yes, but what is that? Is that Route 35? Route 21? Route 4?

I don’t know. We are at the fork in the road. Quite literally.

You know the spot. There’s a Walgreen’s, then a Costco, that Paws Wet Nose day care is across the street, which is next to Dave’s Supreme Body Building. The post office isn’t far from us. If you go down the road about a half mile and turn left there is a cute yellow house and a big Catholic church.

They ask, “Well it’s near the lake right?”

There’s a lake? Where? No, I don’t think we’re near the lake. We’re near the Landing, but not a lake.

Isn’t Donnelly Funeral Home near you?

What? I have no idea. There is a funeral home, across from the Post Office. It has a small parking lot and is next door to my chiropractor. Is that the one you’re talking about?

“No, I don’t think you’re near the lake.”

Well no shit, Sherlock.

Then they want to know the name of the development we’re in. Unfortunately, by this time in the conversation, my brain has exhausted itself trying to remember a street name. Now you want to know what the name of the development is? Dear Lord, I know it is a red sign with red flags. There are huge power lines that run along the side and there’s a bunch of trees. We get coyotes, turkeys and lots of frogs….at night mostly. Is there an area signed up for those three creatures?

You see, had you not been quizzing me about the streets, I could have very easily told you the name of the development.

This is when it dawned on me….I have no clue where we live.

The problem is, I grew lazy with street names. When I lived in Alaska, this is exactly how I gave directions for getting to our house:

At the McDonald’s intersection turn right.
Go down till you see Amerigas on the right and turn left at that light.
Take the first left past the Duck Pond.
Our house is the one that looks like Hanzel and Gretel live there.
We’re on the right.

People found our house every time.

Well, duh. Who can’t find a house if you identify what landmark is on the corner, versus those little tiny green street signs? If I’m not watching the GPS map that Elvis provides, it’s very likely I drive right past my turn….I can’t see those damn signs until they’re in my review mirror and even then it’s a nano-second visual.

And why are there NO street signs identifying the street you’re traveling on? Yeah, it’s all fine and dandy that I just passed Pilgrim Drive, Rock Avenue, Main Street, Columbus Drive….Broadway. But WHAT IS THIS STREET? No signage.

Heaven forbid you’d need to know. I’m at the corner of Repent Row and cute purple Cape Cod style house, you know the one with the lavender bushes along the white picket fence? Butts right up to a house with yellow, almost gold trim and dark blue siding. On Thursdays and alternate Saturdays they offer a miniature petting zoo for little kids… Oh YEAH! Nope. Not a clue.

To combat this, I’ve tried to call out my street names when Elvis advises me I’m going to be turning. Usually my drive home takes me the same way for the first half. I did pretty good today. The problem though….too many alphabet streets. Christ.

Left on A.
Right on G.
Right on K.
Left on C.

L M N O P….

Really, when did C get behind K?

I won’t even go into how many Commercial Roads, School Lanes, State Streets, Main Avenues and Quarry Drives there are around here. You would think they’re all connected. NOT.

To compound matters, there’s all the routes. Route 3, 7, 12, 21, 34, 73, 666, 102, 54. Seriously. Okay, there’s no Route 666, but somedays there may as well be and I’m on the People Mover Express.

This is also the reason I need Elvis to guide me, cause I have no clue where I’m actually going. And listening to the traffic report in the morning is utterly useless.

“We have a slow down on the 22 all the way back to 48 with the A Street artery cut off. Traffic is picking up on the 78 as you approach the curve but forget about the 127-South and 11-North, those are stand stills all the way back to Downtown Abby. Watch out for the accident on Commercial Drive as you come out of the 509 Exit ramp, the pigs are flying with chocolate covered bacon candy bars throughout the expressway heading west and the due north lanes are just clogged for the 2 right hand 33 westward lanes.”

Yeah, whatever. I think learning Japanese might be easier.

Today, strangely enough, I did pretty darn well on the first half of the drive. However, before I get to the roundabout, I start to pray to the roundabout fairy to get me safely over to “the second exit.” Those things are death traps. Want to give someone a punishment? Send them through these Boston roundabouts. Total and utter chaos. It’s like all of the sudden 4 year olds are behind the wheel. Forget they can’t reach the gas pedal….they have no idea where they’re going.

Once safely pass the guillotine that is the roundabout, I continue on my putt-putt of a drive and eventually have a EUREKA moment.

I know where I’m at! Well, I don’t actually know where I’m at…but I recognize enough to turn off Elvis and continue forth without guidance. It literally goes like this:

Stay to the right, go to the bottom of the hill where the weird boarded up house on stilts is at and go straight.
Continue straight past the fire house and house with unique brick pattern.
Veer to the left at the lovely purple house.
Ignore Elvis when he tells you to turn left after the old gas station, go straight.
Turn right past the big white church….you are homeward bound!

Yes, it’s true. this is how I know where to go. Visuals. Not words on a tiny sign.

The best part of my trip, is at the end when Elvis comes on and says, “You have reached your destination. Ahhh thank you, thank you very much.”

Whew, victory yet again! This production could not be possible without the contribution of Elvis and the Waze app on my iPhone. “Let’s rock and roll baby!”

Beantown Observations #1

Image 9

I am approaching the 3.5 month mark of living in the Boston area.

Things I’ve learned.

1. I don’t believe they have any streets that go in a straight line. Whoever designed the road system must have been drunk or on the tilt-a-wheel ride. How many intersections have I come across where it’s not the typical four, perfectly 90 degree angled lanes, we all love. No, I’m talking 5 lanes…or 3 lanes… and every which way but straight ahead roadage. I get so confused, that I can’t figure out which stop light is my light. I pray to either get through the light or have someone in front of me who knows the area.

2. They LOVE roundabouts. Or traffic circles.
LOVE.
THEM.
Generally they have 3 or 4 exits off of them, as normal roundabouts would. But no, last night, I entered a roundabout where Elvis, on Waze, told me I had to get off at the “6th exit on the roundabout.” How in the hell am I supposed to know when I’ve reached the 6th exit? First off, I’m trying not to get killed in the two lane traffic. Secondly, it’s not like there’s any signage. Thirdly, the roundabouts are strange little NASCAR race tracks…no lines, it’s a free for all. Enter from the right and keep on going. Best to just keep your eyes shut.

Needless to say I went around this particular circle….TWICE.

3. If you come to an intersection, where you have a stop sign and the road in front of you has traffic going in both directions…you know from left to right….and right to left…..

Well, if you are waiting for traffic to clear and you don’t move fast enough, the residents here won’t honk at you. They just drive around you.

INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC.

And to think I thought Miami drivers were crazy!

The kicker is, as I learned today, when two cars went around me…… The oncoming traffic STOPS!

4. Cars here don’t have horns. Unlike Miami, now when I hear a horn, it scares the hell out of me. They are rarely, if ever, EVER used.

E V E R.

Forty thousand of us could be backed up on the main highway into downtown Boston. In fact, we are every morning, but you don’t hear a single honk. No beep. No WAAAAHHHHH. Nothing. We’re all in this together. Putting along at 7 mph.

5. Houses here are stinking cute. CUTE. CUTE. And historic. I saw one the other day, with a giant sign over the front door. It was “Ye Olde ______ House.” I can’t remember the name. I quickly scribbled it down on a piece of paper while I was sitting at the light. Researched it on Google. Yeah, it is a historic house, belonging to the wax maker that supplied the candle wax for Paul Revere’s candles. You know, the whole one by land and two by sea? Well this little house currently has 4 apartments. Oh and a guy was killed there last year. (I joke about the wax maker. Not the killing.)

6. There is history EVERYWHERE. I love it.

7. The check out folks at the two Whole Foods I’ve gone to are actually NICE! Genuinely nice. In fact, everyone here is nice. It’s odd. Strangers talk to each other. They let you into traffic. They hold doors for you. I thought Alaskans were friendly. Well, these folks here are Alaskan cousins. Of course, after this winter….I’m calling our area, “Little Alaska.” That was a whole other earlier blog…the winter. Some of these people I’ve met for the first time, I feel like I’ve known them FOREVER. Odd.

Of course, the fact that my new chiropractor said she can’t help it …..but I remind her of someone, she can’t put her finger on it. Then she said Anna from the show Downton Abby. Okay. I’ll take that.

8. They have a lot of wildlife. And I don’t mean just squirrels and birds. Right now there are hundreds of frogs outside singing in the night air. Could be thousands, but since I am not a fan of frogs (they’re so unpredictable) we’re going with hundreds. Coyotes roam in the woods behind my house and literally take down deer. Someone said to be happy it killed the deer…. as the deer has ticks. Yeah, well, I don’t think a deer is going to try and take me down on my way to take out the trash at night…..a coyote…could. And I’m small. And if I’ve just had a bath, I’m salty from the detox soak concoction I make. If anyone wants to know where the wild turkeys are hanging out ….they’re here! I hear them in the morning in the woods behind our place. Gobble, gobble, gobble. The cross the highway like they’re on the Thanksgiving Day Parade! They’re protected along with the squirrels, coyotes and Fisher Cats.

9. I see things I haven’t seen in ever time period….still operating Dairy Queens. Shoe repair shops. Nearly every gas station is full service. Of course, when I drive into the gas station, all I hear is, “Monna. Wachta servictico bolded whishtenfoul booperbump today?”

Did you catch that?
Me neither.
It’s the Boston accent.

Wicked Smarht.

Yeah, fill it up, unleaded. Fuck. Shut the door. No idea what that guy just said. Good thing Norman is only a 10 galloner.

10. The crowning glory, for the moment, which was a tie with the beauty of spring. Trees are just leafing out…whites, pinks, greens, yellows….just gorgeous. No, the crowning glory has to be the genius idea to offer a ferry from this side of the pond right into downtown Boston. Forget the driving. Buy a breakfast sandwich from the lunch truck out front of the ferry terminal, where the guy knows your name or jump on board and get a cuppa cuppa coffee. Relax and enjoy the ride. The best part of this ferry? The return trip. BAR SERVICE BABY! Oh yeah! 40 minutes….what can I get ya?