We've arrived.
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Aug 28 2004 Kelly Norton

By dint of perserverance, we now have a Cambridge address. The move went as well as any other out-of-state move, complete with that desparate feeling of homelessness that accompanies you through states that seem increasingly less like the one you just left. On the upside, the furniture and equipment casualties were suprisingly low considering that the state of New York's idea of highway repair involves the maximum amount of asphalt with the minimum amount of smoothing and so far we are even pleased with our apartment despite having committed ourselves without ever setting foot in the building. I would bravely declare a victory, but I will wait until Steph and I figure out how to negotiate the Massachussetts round-abouts. If you have never experienced this driving hazard, it is yet another failed attempt by civil engineers to do away with the supposedly dangerous left-hand turn by creating a system of arbitrary right-of-way. You would think that with the money this city has saved on street signs and other helpful traffic devices like dividing lines, they could at least construct a decent intersection. Yes of course I'm just kidding; I do realize there isn't much you can do to simplify the Boston twenty road intersection. However, I am not kidding when I suggest that a set of decent street signs somewhere in the vicinity would be a nice start. And, for the love of god, have someone paint a line or two on the road.

So far, our life has been too frantic to make the call on whether our new environment will suit us. We have had to constantly contend with dilemmas like: what should be done with five hundred books until someone finds the hardware to assemble the two large bookcases? Or why did we pack five phones when our current plan is to just use our cellphones? Fortunately, we finally found the hardware for the bookcases and began to dissassemble the pyramid of books in one corner of the living room but the phones remain an unsolved mystery.

As I mentioned earlier, our apartment is better than we had anticipated though it is just as small as we feared. My work area doubles as the living area and as the dining area and our closets look like the optimal result from some sort of travelling salesman problem. If everything I do for the next two years seems inspired by either Sponge Bob Squarepants or The Fairly Odd Parents, you will understand why. On a positive note though, the surrounding area is nice. Across the street is the cleverly, yet inappropriately, named pond, Fresh Pond which includes the usual running trails, sports fields and playground areas that you would expect to find around a body of water. We also continue to find that all the commercial necessities, like a grocery store, a Target, a neighbor hood pizza joint, and a liquor store are conveniently close. Now if I can just figure out how to get down to MIT on the busses in less than five hours, we will have our new environment licked. We immediately found that one of the big selling points for our building, that bus 75 picks up right in front of the building is not exactly as convenient as it sounds considering that bus 75 runs a very infrequent schedule. The 72 bus is a little more dependable, but that's two blocks down the road. I can imagine those two blocks will grow longer when the temperature begins to drop and snow covers the sidewalk but I will cross that crosswalk at a later date.

We still have a few more days of settling in, getting our items adjusted in closets and unpacking all the crap we thought we couldn't possibly live without. Next week, orientation begins down at MIT so I will work on breaking the bus schedule code. As you can tell, one of the most important factors in getting settled has been taken care of; we have internet access. I will try to take some pictures of our new surroundings next week and post them in case someone out there is interested in seeing three people compressed into a laughably small apartment. Until then, we will continue to practice our pronounciation of “car” and “park” and begin stocking up on milk and bread for the first snow.

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