Senator Edward M. Kennedy is lying in state at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum this evening and tomorrow. If you are taking the Red Line to JFK/UMASS to pay your respects, you have to go through the station to get to there. Don't go up the stairs at the end of the platform to exit on Sydney Street. Sydney Street is, as they say, on the wrong side of the tracks.
The stairs, and elevator, to the station are in the middle of the platform. You go into the station suspended above the tracks, you can't miss it, and exit out the right hand doors. Then you go downstairs or downramp to catch a bus to the Library. The bus trip is free of charge. This isn't just for admirers of the Senator. The bus is always free.
If you lose your way and end up on Sydney Street, as many tourists do, you will find yourself in a picturesque, residential neighborhood that lacks any landmarks to help you get your bearings. Most people choose one direction or the other. If you take a right, Sydney Street dead ends but there is a narrow walkway that will take you to Columbia Road. Once there, you can take another right and get into the T station again and ask the attendant where to catch the bus. Like most MBTA employees, those who staff JFK/UMASS are courteous, patient and helpful.
If you take a left on Sydney Street, you will probably end up passing my house. Seeing me on the porch, enjoying a 68 degree, August evening in jacket and hat, you can ask me how to get the library. Like an MBTA employee, I will courteous and patient and helpful. You will be about the thirtieth person tonight to interrupt my musings, but this happens all the time, if a bit less frequently when Massachusetts has a full complement of senators, so I'm used to it.
I will tell you that you have to turn around and go through the station. You will tell me that you tried but the turnstyles are one-way. This is true. The turn styles at the end of the platform are for egress only. The opposite of a Roach Motel, you can get out but you can't get back in from there. I will tell you that you have to go a bit farther down the road and there will be another break in the fence at the second police call box. Pass through and you can get into the station to its other side without paying a fee, and catch the bus on the opposite side. Don't take the UMASS bus, take the JFK Library bus.
If you do take the UMASS bus, and you might since you don't seem inclined to read signs, don't worry. At the last stop, walk to the water and turn left. If you take the Dorchester Harborwalk, you'll enjoy some lovely views of Quincy and Shawmut across Dorchester Bay and the JFK Library is ten minutes away if you stroll in a leisurely manner.
You'll tell me that the T should post signs on the platform with clear directions so that people like yourself don't get lost. I'll agree and say that there are signs but they aren't very prominent. I'll reassure you that you are in good company and this happens all the time. It's not just run-of-the mill Midwestern tourists who stop by my porch for orientation. I've doled out directions to my share of celebrities, none of whom I'll name even though the National Enquirer once offered me a tidy sum for my autograph book and recollections.