Friday, August 18, 2006

Good Old Logan

For years I have been the designated "airport" guy in my family and with friends. I took great pride in the old days in my ability to navigate in and out of Logan Airport in Boston with ease while most people had conniptions, if I am spelling conniptions correctly, negotiating one of the worlds most difficult airports.

Things got markedly easier when the added the direct-access tunnel to Logan off of the Mass Pike. Sometimes I would go down through Cambridge (for going through Cambridge out of anything but neccesity read: silly) just to jump on the Pike and get the easy in and out now offfered.

All this has changed...dramatically. With the tragic accident that killed a Boston woman and caused the shutdown of the new tunnel into Logan, things have switched back to the nightmarish, exit-from-the-pike-take-expressway-to-the-Callahan-tunnel technique of getting to Logan from all points west.

I am seemingly unaffected by this, as I can simply jet down rte 93 (expressay) and take the still-open airport exit.

Last night, I was baptised into the "new" difficulties arising from the tunnel closing.

I got to the airport exactly on time, three minutes early actually, to pick up my pal Tommy, whop was flying in from Denver via Cleveland. You can't wait for arriving passengers anymore and there is no short term parking, so you have to do drive-bys until you see the guy waiting out there. I glanced at the clock in my car, noticing that his plane would not land for three mintes, and it would take him another 5-10 to get out there, and thought I would make a lopp around the airport and come back- big mistake.

As I started my loop, I accidentally took the "airport exit" ramp instead of "parking" (which loops you around). Thus began an odyssey through which no man should be forced to journey. I made this dough-headed blunder once before, but the results were nowhere near as nightmarish.

I mumbled *&$% as I exited the airport and scraped through my change for the $3 it was going to cost me to leave, and come back. As I emerged in South Boston (Southie) I realized that all the re-entries to the airport had been changed. I followed signs "to airport" most of which were not lit and were dull. Eventually, I was re-routed through Southie, still eyeing signs "to airport" and was led to some beat up access road with about a million cars on it. Once the sitting period ended, we were whisked through red lights, traffic cops with flashlights wavingwavingwaving...let's go let's GO! the flashlights said.

"Where the &^$% are the airport signs?" I wondered.

There weren't any...nothing, nada. Are they leading us ALL to the airport? Why would anyone be on this access road if not for that purpose?" I glanced at the clock, my friend landed ten minutes ago, he would be on the curb by now.

Whsikwhiskwhisk... we whipped through red lights in a long line.

Rte 92 South appeared on the first sign I have seen since Junior High.

"SOUTH??? That can't be good, why south?"

As I entered the highway, I knew I was $%^&ed. Now to put this into perspective for you, to show you what Massachusetts signage and highways systems do to people, I began to scream at the top of my lungs at the moon (who was completely innocent in al of this), MUTHA&#$@# This from a man that had his vehicle struck and didn't blink, didn't swear, wasn't angry. I have a weird pseudo-zen guru-like reaction to catastrophe. I don't get rattled, as a rule. Cancer calls, accidents, Red Sox implosions... nothing gets to me... except Massachusetts roadways and the ludicrous joke that is our siganage (or lach thereof) system. Call it my spiritual achille's heel.

I get off at the next exot, on the edge od Dorchester, and notice there is no re-entry to rte 93 North, which is a nice surprise, as now I get to tour Dorchester while my friend waits at the airport wondering where the hell I am.

Speeding along the streets, listening closely for gunfire, I finally see some stuff I recognize. I figure I am cloise to Andrew Square. I amble over to Southie and find Broadway, eventually getting back on Rte 93 North. Amusingly, there is no exit directly to the airport on 93 North anymore (chuckle chuckle)

I think to myself, "Hey, self... if you get off at Government Center, the airport is RIGHT THERE. There used to be an exit to shoot right into the airport, this isn't THAT bad after all. A quick glance at the clock tells me my friend has been waiting for about twenty minutes. As I approach Government center, exit 23, there are THREE SIGNS, three, and two of them lit AND blinking which state "Government Center ONLY" and Government, NO EXIT.

I think to myself, "Damn... they really need that open, especially with the Pike exit closed... why would it be closed now?" As I pass the third sign warning me of the situation, I wonder how the hell you get to the airport.

Forty feet after I go by exit 23, a flashing signs informs me: Exit 23 or 27 to airport.

Again I cry out, this time to the ceiling of the South Boston tunnel instead of the moon, 'MUTHA&^%@#!!! thinking, geez...that would have been great to know about 60 feet ago.

I wonder why exit 27... thinking, "doesn't exit 27 take you to the Tobin Bridge, which runs your around through, Chelsea Everett and Revere?"

BINGO...that's exactly what it does. As I travel over the Tobin, gazing at the airport I know I won't get to for another fifteen minutes, I signal and steer into the middle lane to avoid a work truck with it's flashers on. Some jackass in a speeding SUV beeps at me from about a hundred yards back, forseeing that if he doesn't click off his cruise control, set at about 70 in a 40 mph zone, he will eventually collide with my vehicle.

This time, there is no shouting at the moon, or the bridge. I coolly, calmly, extend my fist through my moon roof, gently extending my middle finger to its full glory. As the guy passes, I look straight ahead, utilizing my left hand in much the same way, filling my driver's side window my a message of disapproval. I don't know if I need to tell you, but flipping the bird to SUV's in Revere isn't the brightest idea in the world.

I see the signs for AIRPORT, and in spite of the final sign for the airport being unlit, in drak green and having the arronw colored-in by some wiseacre, I make the turn.

Again, I haven't behaved this way in traffic in about ten years. Long story made painfully longer... I arrive at the airport a scant 47 minutes after I made "the loop". The hysterical thing is that I only LIVE 15 minutes from the airport.

Thanks Logan!


Blogger Dot Dwyer said...

I could almost hear your voice and inflection ! You know. .. the Silver line picks up at the terminals and connects to the Red Line , which is , like, a couple of blocks from where Tom lives . .. I'm not being snarky , but it's a lot more convenient !

7:07 PM  
Blogger GB said...

And you know what? You ended up on the Tobin AND you paid $3 to get through the Callahan Tunnel. If you had turned right right before the tunnel then you would have saved $3 AND ended up below the Tobin to begin with, thus saving you 30 minutes in your "loop" around.


7:31 AM  

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