Getting Lost in Boston (Alternative Title: Why I Need an iPhone)

I’m spending the summer in Cambridge, interning for the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Today I went to the office for the first time, met the 30-something other interns and started putting faces with names.

That was all good, and I’m excited about starting more concrete projects with the OpenNet Initiative and the Internet & Democracy Project tomorrow.

But then I tried to walk home.

(Note: I am terrible with directions. Sometimes things work out, and I end up finding a metro station that can get me back home (see: St. Petersburg, New York). Other times, I end up fending off the persistent attentions of a motorcycle taxi driver named Edward.)

The walk from my apartment to Berkman is simple:


Apartment to Berkman: the easy way

But in the interest of exploring the area, I decided to hit up Porter Square (the closest metro stop) on the way home:


Berkman to apartment: exploring

I made it to Porter Square, but then I failed. Miserably:


#fail, or: How I got home

Conway Playground is when I finally stopped and called someone for directions.

Until now, I’ve been vehemently opposed to getting an iPhone: they’re pretty, yes, but something about the clunky, wifi-devoid simplicity of my basic Samsung (or, may it rest in peace, my beloved Nokia 3310) appeals to me: I’m not constantly tied to my e-mail, it’s not expensive to replace, and it does — or at least did, until today — everything I need it to do.

But now that I live in a city that’s not laid out in a beautifully designed grid (barring Broadway and everything below 14th Street), I’m reconsidering. Internet: I think I want an iPhone.


(Related: Ethan Zuckerman’s ode to the retro mobile phone, including the Nokia 1100 (which I use when I’m in Uganda) and its “integrated sewer avoidance system.”)

  • Jillian

    Boston just isn't easy, and Cambridge is even worse, what with its one-way streets and millions of triangles (and even more squares!) You'll get there 🙂

  • artclectic

    Agreed about K'la, but I'm just home from there and loving my new iPhone. Get it. You know you want to.

    Also, there's a music colleague in Boston whose blog you should check out: http://www.wayneandwax.com. Enjoy!

  • Anonymous

    skip the iLeash. it will only further atrophy your direction-finding abilities

  • the apprentice

    thats why KLA is such a great city. Only two major roads and all others branch off from those two. He he he, if you have been bitten by the Iphone bug it’s ok to just admit it.Surely there are tons of other phones with GPS capability but noooo…you had to think only of the iphone.

  • Carsozy

    Kinda like a rat in a maze!