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.”)