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Harvard Square

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[Out of Town]
Ground Zero: The Out of Town Newsstand.
It's not just that it's surrounded by the historic buildings of Harvard University. Or that it has more book stores per square block than any other place in America. Or that you get to see more unusual haircuts than anywhere else in greater Boston.

[Light]Harvard Square is unique because it is all those things - and more. It is the unique mixing - the tweedy profs with pipes side-by-side with the skate punks down by the Pit.

Recent years have seen the Square become something of an overgrown Anymall, U.S.A., as the local stores get bought out and replaced (nice to have known ya, Tasty!).

The Chessmaster awaits his next victim (if you beat him, you get your $2 fee back).

But there are still plenty of unique things about the Square, from Cardullo's imported foods to the serious chessplayers outside Au Bon Pain. Equally important, Harvard Square rivals Quincy Market as the outdoor entertainment capital of Massachusetts. On your average spring or summer day, there's music for every taste - from folk to Inca to classical. And rare is the day there isn't some guy on a unicycle - or juggling flaming bowling pins across from Wordsworth.

And bookstores! There are women's bookstores and children's bookstores; foreign-language and science-fiction bookstores. You can look down and see bookstores in basements or look up and see bookstores on second floors. And, yes, in a district hard by Harvard, there are stores that sell textbooks.

[John Harvard]And what of dear old Harvard? It's everywhere (it even owns many of the buildings in the Square) - so you might as well not try to ignore it. Walk the ivied Harvard Yard. Pat John Harvard's shoe (fun fact: nobody knows what he really looked like, so the face on his statue is really that of a friend of sculptor Daniel Chester French). Take a tour of the various Harvard museums (Glass Flowers, anyone?). You'll feel smarter in no time (just remember, you can always tell a Harvard man - you just can't tell him much).

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You don't want to pat John Harvard's shoe. Some young fellows, somewhat inebriated, find it amusing to relieve themselves While aiming at that shoe.

Helen on September 25, 2004 03:47 PM.

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