Thursday, August 9, 2007

White Knuckles, Knotted Shoulders

My daughter Olivia has type 1 diabetes. She's had it for nearly 10 years and for 8 of those 10 years, we've made the drive in to Boston so that she can be seen four times a year at Joslin. It's one of the leading diabetes centers in the country and they take top notch care of her and her diabetes.

But, and there is a big but (and not just mine), the drive in, from the hinterlands of western Massachusetts, is most decidedly Not Fun. It's all smooth sailing until you hit the illustrious 95/128 interchange on the Mass Pike. That's when all hell breaks loose. Invariably, some moron, usually from out of state *coughNewYorkcough* gets in the Fast Lane when they don't have a Fast Lane tag. There's usually a couple of confused tractor trailers trying to figure out if they need to go north or south. And me, cursing 'em all out, like the good little Masshole that I am.

Then there is the garage. Any of you familiar with the Pilgrim Street Parking garage in the Longwood area? It's over there behind Children's and Beth Isreal. Turns are so tight that every ramp has dozens and dozens of bumper scrapes on it. The up and down ramps are about six inches apart, so you need to have quick reflexes and new brake pads when you use this place. I don't know how people with honking SUVs manage - I have all I can do to get my little Honda Accord thru there unscathed. The rates are ridiculous, even for Boston and Joslin no longer validates parking tickets. Between the tolls, the gas, lunch and parking, it's easily a $60 day. Olivia's currently involved in a study there, so we get free parking (yay!), but once that's over, we'll be taking the T in again. Much easier. And I don't have to navigate the car-killing potholes that pop up along Route 9 in Wellesely and Chestnut Hill. What's up with those things? Rich suburbs like that and you can't keep the potholes filled? Or is that your way of saying "Come, shop at the Atrium, wander thru Chestnut Hill Mall, but don't even THINK about going anywhere else or your chassis is ours. Suckahs!"

I'm glad to be back out here in the Happy Valley, behind the Tofu Curtain, but now I need a massage. And a drink. Thank all the little fishes I don't have to do that again for another three months.


margalit said...

Rt 9 has NOTHING to do with Brookline, Newton or Wellesley. It is a state owned road, and the state decides what and where will be repaired. Like everything else in the state, Rt 9 is falling apart because of Mitt the Twit. He refused to put one cent into the infrastructure of this commonwealth and those of us who traverse Rt 9 on a daily basis are the ones that suffer.

And, btw, next time you come, you're driving thru my nabe. Stop and say hi. I'm blocks off Rt 9.

margalit said...

Oh, I forgot one thing. As one that uses ALL the parking lots in the area, as we see doctors at the BI, Brigham, Children's and Joslin, the cheapest parking BY FAR is the Children's parking lot across from the hospital. Plus, they validate and they NEVER ask to see proof that you've seen a doctor. And for an extra 3 bucks, they'll valet park for you. If you have a handicap sticker, they'll only make you pay the regular charge minus validation, and not the valet fee.

The worst lot is the Children's building with the Coop in it (where the ped gyn is located). It starts at $9/hour and goes up a buck every half hour. You can never get out of there for less than $10 and usually more like $15. No validation, very few handicap spaces in basement. I hate that lot.

Best place to park short term on street is across from Boston Latin on that wide street off Longwood.

Major Bedhead said...

I waved and said "Hi, Margalit" as I was driving thru your area. Next time, I'll let you know ahead of time - maybe we can meet up for coffee or something. Once her study is over, I'll try to remember about that garage. Do you think it's cheaper than taking the T from Riverside?

Mitt The Twit. Excellent.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I have only had to go to Children's Hospital once but the drive gave me a few gray hairs (and I'm used to driving around Boston!).

I will soon be dealing with diabeties, although it is of the feline variety, but I just hope I can deal with the needles. I'm a needle-phobe but will have to get over it fast!

Rock the Cradle said...

Oh the loverly Rt 9. Oh the driving.

Let me know the next time you're in town...Longwood is within walking distance...good for unlicensed slobs like myself.

We also have some pretty neat playgrounds near where I live (if Olivia is still interested in that sort of thing).

Miguelina. said...

This reminds me: Meetup.

I'll make sure we don't meet anywhere near Rt. 9 (my hood) or Longwood (I refuse to drive there myself, you brave woman)

Whirlwind said...

The good thing about living in this area is Boston Children's Hospital is supposed to be top-notch. The bad thing - apparently the drive there.

The last time we drove into Boston, we were surprised at how easy it was. Then of course, a week later the tunnel collapsed...

So far, we've been blessed and only had to go to CT Children's Medical Center once and we had a great experience.

margalit said...

I must be a glutton for punishment because I kinda LIKE driving around Longwood. It's sort of like adult bumper cars. I love seeing the total diversity of people on the streets. I like the rushing around and the feeling of it being a REAL city. I really enjoy going there, which is good because we're in that area almost weekly with my appts and the kid's appts. I'm sort of an expert at manipulating the system of parking lots, too.

The T from Riverside is always going to be cheaper.. it's $4 round trip per person, right? But convenience wise, the Children's lot is the BEST. It's big, it probably won't cost more than $10 for a couple of hours, and I think the limit you can pay is about $12 or 15 bucks. It is the cheapest lot in the area, for sure.

We do Rt 9 to Brookline St, Brookline to Longwood and then park.

If you have 2 adults, the quickest thing is to drop 1 adult and child where you're going, then have the second adult take the car to in front of Harvard Public Health on Huntington. There are always parking spaces on the street there, it's on the sunny side of the street, and said person can sit in car and read or nap until you're ready to be picked up. You can also park at the brand new Stop N Shop at the corner of Francis and Huntington and then walk down Francis. It's not that far on a nice day.

Man, is it apparent I spend WAY too much time at hospitals or what?

Major Bedhead said...

Next time I'm in there is in November. If, after meeting me, you think you may actually want to meet me again (optimistic is my middle name) I'll give you all a shout.

Poppy Buxom said...

I won't mention how many years ago I went to a girl's school across the street from Beth Israel--the playing fields beyond the brown fence--but it was congested then, when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

I took the green line. But Riverside's a long ride. How's the parking situation closer to the hospital, in Brookline or Newton?