Friday, July 30, 2010

How (Not) to Get to the MFA

Let's start at the sign. This lonely little sign, at the corner of Park Drive and Brookline Ave., across from the Sears Center. This sign in the middle of nowhere, with no other signs pointing to it or away from it.

Turn right, it says, turn right here onto Park Drive to get to the MFA. After turning right, there's a sign for the Longwood area and the hospitals, a sign for the Gardner Museum, even a little sign for Fenway but no sign to the MFA. And there are three possible route options: 1. make a hairpin turn left back onto Park Drive (or is that the end of the Riverway? or both?) 2. go sorta in the middle onto the Riverway and into JP and beyond or 3. go straight past the Sears Center into Brookline toward Cambridge.

Which will it be? Door number one, door number two, or door number three? Two of the three options could get you to the MFA (one in a roundabout way) , but only if you already know how to get there. Or are ignoring that one little hopeful related to nothing sign and relying on your GPS, smart phone, or a good, old-fashioned map. Welcome to driving in Boston. Don't forget to pack your patience and sense of humor.

Or better, leave the car at home and to get to the MFA, (assuming you're sleeping in the metro Boston area) make your way to Copley Square and take the number 39 bus to the MFA. It's much less confusing than the Green Line and you can see a bit of the city en route.

Walkers can, again from Copley Square, get on Huntington Avenue and walk west for a little more than a mile to get to the MFA. That's probably the most hassle free way to do it and the nicest, weather permitting.

After you finally make it to and have had enough of the MFA, go for a stroll through The Fens and the gorgeous Victory Gardens on the west side of the museum and then grab lunch in one of the small eateries on the west side of The Fens. The area around Peterborough and Kilmarnock streets has Turkish, Thai, Japanese, Italian, and Brazilian food provided by small independently owned restaurants.


  1. Didn't the restaurant block burn down last year?

  2. Yup. That block is out of commission so you're right: there is no Japanese or Brazilian. Still, there is Church and Hidyan at the corner of Queensbury and Kilmarnock; Trattoria Toscana and Thaitation on Jersey; College Pizza and Blackjack Pasta Bar on Queensbury; and Canestaro on Peterborough.