Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Geography Question

Clementine and Joel live in Roosevelt City, which, according to Mapquest, is in New Jersey. They travel to Montauk, at the eastern end of Long Island, and also to the frozen Charles River, in Massachusettes.

On the map these places seem awfully far away from each other for things like a day outing and an impulsive nighttime quest, but maybe I just don’t live enough.

So what are the actual travel times involved, for those who live in the areas?

Well, the train station Joel leaves from is in Roosevelt (11757), not Roosvelt City. That should clear up half of your question. I don’t know where the lake they visit is, but I’ll look into it.

Was it a lake? I thought it was the Charles River, which runs through Boston.

Whoops…I meant to say River. I think there might be a Charles River in New Jersey, but I’m coming up empty right now. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the film, but I seem to remember Clem mentioning going “up” to the river. That could mean upstate NY. There are plenty of places no more than an hour upstate where you could find a frozen river off the road. Massachusettes would be a 3-4 hour ride away, but I wouldn’t put that past Clementine.

Montauk, and other points east here on Long Island (Hamptons, the North Fork) tend to be places you go for a day outing. The party where Clem & Joel met seemed like an all day event, possibly at someone’s Summer home. The train ride from Roosevelt to Montauk (I’ve never taken that ride) would take at least an hour & a half…probably more.

Usually more – the official schedule gives three hours plus from Penn Station. Assuming they left from Jamaica in Queens (there is no Roosevelt stop on the LIRR), that would take a half hour off the trip. It a local train and makes many stops.

If memory serves, they used the Rockville Centre station.

I thought they lived on Long Island just in a made up town name.

(For some odd reason there is a lot of of stuff up here named Roosevelt)
Does the Charles river run out of Boston to anyplace else? CT?

Their crazy run up to the Charles eats up most of the night so a few hours driving time each way is not out of the question.

Interesting. Though Rockville Center is on the same line as Montauk, the LIRR says there’s no connection; that you can’t get to Montauk from that station.

On further research, the schedule indicates that there are usually no stops between the Jamaica and Babylon station. Looking at the map, and the fact that once or twice a day there’s a stop at Hicksville, it looks like, though the line connects Rockville Center and Montauk, the trains to Montauk use a different route.

Evidently, Kaufman looked at the LIRR route map, saw the two stations were connected, and assumed the train to Montauk stopped in Rockville Center.

However, Montauk is reachable by train by Rockville Center – you go west to Jamaica and then get onto the Montauk train. If you caught the 7:17 train from Rockville Center, you’d get to Jamaica around 8:00, and then should be able to catch the 8:11 to Montauk.

Not to be pedantic, but you and Carlotta are putting an extra “e” in Massachusetts.

You can get to Montauk from Rockville Centre without going to Jamaica. You just take a train from Rockville Centre to Babylon, then transfer to a Montauk train at Babylon. Rockville Centre is a local stop on the Penn Station to Babylon line. Unless I’m mistaken, the Penn Station to Montauk line runs express from Penn to Babylon (but still stops at the Jamaica hub), and then local the rest of the way.

My understanding was that they drove up to the Charles River in MA.