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18 September 2009 @ 12:19 am
Dear Bostonians...  
I can see that MapQuest isn't going to be a lot of help in this area, so let's ask the natives. I know at least a few of you live in/near Boston, or have in the past:

Say you were going to go out for a drive starting from around the M.I.T. campus, and you wanted to wind up somewhere that was semi-isolated/rural, possibly with a good view.

Is there anyplace like that, within a 60 minute drive? The area looks pretty thoroughly urban from the map, and it's probably also fairly flat (no "lookout points"). Any ideas you can suggest?

*offers virtual cookie*

Helen W.wneleh on September 18th, 2009 09:46 am (UTC)
How much isolation do you need? And, what do you define as a good view?

Are you looking for woods? The Middlesex Fells (http://www.fells.org/) is full of trails, but it would be odd not to run into other people on most of them. They're about 15-20 minutes from MIT, depending on traffic and traffic light karma. From a rock in the Fells a three-minute walk from my house you can see all of Boston across to the hills to the south, plus Boston Harbor, if that's the sort of view you're looking for.

As far as travel times go, if you look at Google Earth, almost anything within 495 can be gotten to from MIT within an hour (as long as you're not driving at rush hour; then, you're getting nowhere fast!)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 18th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
It could be a view and/or isolation.

The view ideally would be impressive at night.

And I need enough isolation for a couple taking a drive to stop off the road and have thingsturn romantic with little chance of being interrupted. *is nefarious*
When it is darkest, men see the stars.witchofthedogs on September 18th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
Go to the Boston Head Light.
cindy: spn - metallicar (by mara_sho)tsuki_no_bara on September 18th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
what kind of view do you want? an hour north on i-95 might get you to new hampster, but it's not exactly isolated along the coast.... (it's fifteen or twenty minutes from mit to get to 95 north, i think.) if you veer inland it might be, tho. if you get on the turnpike - which is a fair few minutes from mit - and go west for, say, forty-five minutes, you'll get out of the city into less settled towns, but still, not entirely rural. and out west the view is, uh, kind of flat. pretty, but there aren't mountains or anything. around here the best views are probably from the coast.

the other thing would be to take 128 east to, like, gloucester and rockport, which, again, not rural, but there might be parts of the area that feel kind of isolated. maybe. if you get off 128 and end up on 127 along the coast. and it will only take you an hour if there isn't traffic.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 18th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Is it isolated enough for people in a car to pull off to look at the view, and then get up to some sexin' without being discovered?

That's the sort of thing I'm looking for, and from MapQuest everything looks highly populated!
cindy: da - alec's thinky facetsuki_no_bara on September 18th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
it's possible there are some secluded enough spots, altho i think they'd be very small spots. there are certainly enough trees.... but i think anywhere with a good view is going to at least have some houses right there.
Helen W.wneleh on September 19th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
ITA. We're basically living in forest; anywhere there's a view into Boston, you're either on bare rock (very rare, except for a few hilltops) or some combo of highway/road/sports field/playground aligns itself so that you can see into Boston.

Some thoughts driving through suburbia today - sunset was gorgeous, and it would have been easy to pull over some place relatively secluded to watch, then let nature take its course in the twilight. Alternatively, my husband suggested heading north to/toward New Hampshire and having the view be a starry sky (not something one can really see in Cambridge!)

There's a really good view into Boston from Robbins Farm Park in Arlington; we watched the Boston fireworks from there on the 4th this year, and if there hadn't been hundreds of people there we could have done almost anything. Your couple could be driving out from Boston on Rt. 2 and decided to go into Arlington, then park on a sidestreet (I think lot parking is patrolled after dark) and go out into the park to catch the view. Probably 20 minutes from MIT in decent traffic.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 20th, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
I think I could work with your scenario or Cindy's, so thank you!

I know that for people who don't live in that area that the wholly implausible wouldn't even register if I wrote that, but it would bug me. And there's always someone who DOES know.

I still remember the "24" season opener with President Palmer off fishing in the mountain wilds of Lake Oswego. And you know some writer opened Google or Mapquest looking for a sizeable lake that was really close to Portland and picked that one, not realizing that it's completely surrounded by expensive houses on all sides. :0
Helen W.wneleh on September 20th, 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
My biggest peeve about written locations is when the geometry or lighting doesn't work. So, I wouldn't really mind people looking out over Boston at night, even if I can't figure out where they'd be. In fact, one of the peculiarities of the area is how many good views into Boston there are, that last for a couple-dozen feet. You're in a hilly neighborhood and make a turn and are facing just the right way and BOOM there's Boston.

But looking out over farmland or, as in a book I read with younger daughter recently, the ancient Egyptian desert, at night and seeing anything but differing shades of darkness, throws me out of a story.

Mostly, Boston and Washington D.C. (where I grew up) are always done wrong, but as long as the palm trees or mountains aren't too obvious I'm okay.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 20th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)
Thanks for the great info! Between you and Helen, I think I can work with this. :)