Walking from the Quad: STEM Edition

By Tiana A Abdulmassih

Now that we’re a few weeks into the semester, that shopping week “This semester I’ll wake up in time for a leisurely breakfast!” motivation is gone. Unfortunately for Quadlings, this just makes it more likely that your worst fear will come true: missing the shuttle. However, if you’re trying to get to a building north of the Science Center Plaza (hi STEM folks), congratulations! The Quad is deceptively close to the Oxford Street premises. This route is the fastest way to the science buildings, and has the added bonus of taking you through “real people Cambridge” so not everyone you see will be a harried Harvard student. It will also take you via Starbucks, if you are inclined to grab your morning joe to-go.

Step 1: Walk to the Jordans

Yeah, that’s right, Jordan residents. You have a head start here, by maybe a couple hundred feet! (For the uninitiated, the Jordans are the satellite Pfoho buildings at the corner of Walker and Shepard, separated from the Quad proper by Walker Street) The denizens of Cabot’s I/J island, aka Eliot Hall, also are #winners by 20 seconds with this route.

Step 2: Walk down Shepard Street and turn right onto Massachusetts Ave.

Some tips: You can cross Shepard at the Mass. Ave. light, but Shepard is a one-way with little to no traffic usually. Not that we’d encourage you to jaywalk, but...if you’re running late, keep it in mind. If you want Starbucks, do not cross Shepard until the intersection.

Step 3: Cross Mass. Ave. at the Everett/Chauncy intersection

This is a big intersection that you can’t miss. The general rule is to cross first in whichever direction the light lets you, but this intersection is a bit wack. The Mass. Ave. crossing is a shorter light (around 20-30 seconds) than the Chauncy Street crossing (around 50 seconds), even though Mass. Ave is a much bigger road. Be prepared to walk fast — Boston drivers do not mess around.

Step 4: Cut through the Law School

Y’all are math nerds, so you’ll understand what we mean when we say this is some trigonometry magic. Don’t walk down Everett and Oxford because those are straight lines! The path through the Law School makes the hypotenuse. Ergo, shorter walking distance. Boom.

One potential route is to turn left into the Law School right after Wasserstein Hall (the building with the COOP), but you can also follow Everett and turn right just beyond Wasserstein’s other corner. You should end up in front of the Caspersen Student Center either way, which you can identify by the stressed law students in front of it. Pro tip: walk right through Wasserstein if it’s windy or rainy or generally unpleasant.

Step 5: Surprise! The engineering buildings!

Walk down the path that puts Hauser on your left and the Law School Library on your right. You’re here! Maxwell Dworkin is down to your far left, as is Pierce, and the physics buildings are across the lawn. Follow the path straight down, keeping the library on your immediate right, and you’ll find LISE and Gordon McKay to your left. The Science Center is just beyond, and you can go in through the side entrance to avoid the crowd.

At any point, you can walk left to hit the Oxford Street sidewalk, and cross the road to buildings like Northwest, the Chemistry department, and the Natural History museums. Congratulations, you are energized and ready to take on the day.

N.B.: This route is reversible! What’s more, it’s way faster than taking the shuttle, which will loop all the way around Mem Hall at best and the Yard at worst before getting to the Quad again.

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