Centers And Squares
Archive for the 'Living Here' Category
I was surprised to see this Jumbo Cash Accepted banner on the Tasty Gourmet on Boston Ave. I was psyched – I thought Medford had gotten its own alternative currency.
The alternative currency I had heard a lot about was Berkshares. Berkshares is a local currency for the Berkshire region in Western Massachusetts. It’s intended to encourage people to shop locally and works just like cash in over 400 establishments in the Berkshires. It’s a very interesting way to actually see how shopping locally keeps money in the community.
Turns out, however, that Jumbo Cash is simply the Tufts debit card. It’s sort of an expanded meal card. The Jumbo Cash card is now accepted at more than 20 local off-campus stores and restaurants.
Jumbo Cash – convenient but not world changing.
No saving spaces in Cambridge – parking spaces that is.
With the repeated snow storms this winter, many Cambridge residents who’ve shoveled out spaces on the city streets have taken to saving their parking spaces by putting out barrels, cones, chairs, even appliances.
Some people take offense at saved spaces. I tend to sympathize. Nothing’s worse than doing a top notch job of clearing away mountains of snow only to have a less than industrious neighbor grab your space – leaving you to circle the block over and over again when you return.
The City of Cambridge has been removing the items used to reserve parking spaces. They’re not done yet – I snapped the table at right on tour today – but the trucks have been going out and every item on the street gets thrown in the truck and taken away when they get to your street. My brother’s building lost its trash barrel that someone was using to save their spot.
Maybe it’s time to take the T and let your car save its space.
The mild temps we’ve had the last few days were a perfect opportunity to do some clean up work on the sidewalks outside your house. Just what you need – to ensure nobody slips and falls on your walkway – and to get ready for the Best Shoveled Block in Cambridge contest.
The Cambridge Post Office and the Green Streets Iniative are sponsoring the clean sidewalk contest.
Nominations are due by Feb. 25, 2011.
Local letter carriers will be the judges – since they’ve got to navigate city sidewalks all winter they’re well qualified to select the winner.
It’s a wonderful idea to add some fun to the drudgery of shoveling. Neighbors can get together and make sure everyone on their block has kept their stretch of the sidewalk free and clear of ice and snow. Nothing like some competition to get the neighbors out with shovels and snow blowers at the ready.
Information about the Best Shoveled Block Contest in Cambridge is available on the City website.
It feels like summer … well, maybe spring in Cambridge this weekend. It’s been a welcome reprieve from snow and cold temperatures for a couple of days. Funny how high 30s and low 40s can seem so warm.
Many Cambridge residents took advantage of the milder temperatures and finally started digging out cars encased in several feet of icy snow.
This bicyclist however has yet to get back on the road. Wise move probably – many streets still don’t have full lanes cleared yet making city bike riding even more treacherous than usual.
This Thursday there’s a Farm Share Fair in Cambridge where you’ll be able to sign up for a CSA share from farmers who deliver in the Cambridge area.
CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Farmers sell shares in their season’s produce. Each week you’ll receive a box of seasonal vegetables (and in some cases other farm products such as meat or fish). Shares are delivered to local drop off sites.
It’s sort of a fresh vegetables subscription.
Shareholders purchase their shares in advance of the growing season. Shares typically run from June through October. Prices vary and shares can be bought in different sizes. A typical share might cost on the order of $30 per week for approximately 12 to 15 pounds of fresh produce.
Come by this Thursday to meet the farmers. More than a dozen farms are participating. Be sure to bring your checkbook!
Don’t worry if you haven’t been home for dinner.There’ll be pizza and spring rolls available for purchase as a fundraiser.
The Farm Share Fair is sponsored by theMOVE, NOFA/Mass and Somerville Climate Action.
The Cambridge Farm Share Fair is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm in Harvard Square at the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
No more room in Cambridge… or in Arlington, or Boston, or Medford or any other town or city in the area. No more room for snow that is.
We are buried. The last snow shoveling marathon was prolonged because of the time and energy it took to throw the snow on piles now over our heads.
With piles this high driving is a bear. So is parking. And walking. Forget about biking. Mass Avenue is down to a lane and a half as long as nobody is trying to get in or out of a car along the snowbanks. Two-way streets are one-ways and one-ways – well, you might just be sitting there for a while. We sat on Trowbridge Street during our tour of new listings for over twenty minutes waiting for the recycling truck to finish that one block.
Towns and cities have instituted parking bans to keep the roads clear. Arlington is restricting parking on certain sides of the street. Cambridge has prohibited parking along many well traveled roads like Magazine Street in Cambridgeport or Cedar Street in North Cambridge.
It’s time to take the snow away! Somerville removes snow as a matter or course. On the news tonight they reported that Waltham is removing more than 70,000 tons of snow for the first time since 1995.
If you just moved to Cambridge take heart – this isn’t our typical winter. 1995-1996 in fact was the snowiest winter on record in Boston. We may just beat that this year – it’s still January for cripes sake! but happily we get plenty of winters where the ground is just about bare for many days.
Bare ground. I can’t wait.
It was 6:30 this evening before I finished shoveling so I haven’t been out and about.
I can only imagine the mess – it’s not easy when large amounts of snow are dumped in the city. Working as a real estate agent in Cambridge means that I’m frequently driving around searching for parking spaces ever more rare in the snow filled streets, climbing over snow banks, repeatedly taking off and putting on the LL Bean boots that become my footwear of choice once snow falls.
Every year I find myself wishing that Cambridge would follow Somerville’s lead in snow removal. The city of Somerville does a great job of snow removal – not just during the storm but in the days after. Somerville actually removes snow from the streets – clearing parking spaces, making sure that crosswalks are cleared, making room for the next storm’s snow. In Cambridge we just hope that the snow melts quickly.
Sure enough, yesterday I spotted this City of Somerville truck loaded with snow removed from the streets in anticipation of the storm. The DPW has been out all month taking away snow, days after the last storm. It only makes sense in the city where there just isn’t room for large piles of snow that make driving, parking and walking a hassle or worse.
I’m a frequent book buyer – never leaving the store without a big bag. While I do spend plenty at bookstores in Cambridge sometimes when a book buying urge struck I would head out to Burlington. Typically the Barnes & Noble there would have a good selection in that day’s targeted subject plus plenty of other enticing books. More than once I’ve left an armful of books on the counter the better to free my arms to find more books.
But B&N seems to have made a distinct shift in emphasis – the store seemed markedly different than just a couple of months before. Much book space has been given over to toys and to promoting their electronic reader, the Nook. The books that were on display were a disappointment – lowest common denominator sort of books – the “masses” in mass market seem to be the target.
So I’m resolved – next time the book buying urge strikes I’m heading to a Cambridge bookstore. Sadly there are fewer independent bookstores in Cambridge nowadays – I still miss Reading International, Wordsworth and Paperback Booksmith. All the more reason to frequent the bookstores in Cambridge that we still can.
Bookstore hours and phone numbers are included below. Before planning a visit a call to confirm store hours would be a good idea.
Cambridge Bookstores – New Books
Porter Square Books – Years ago there was a bookstore in the Porter Square mall that I used to pop into to find something to read on the train back to Concord. After it closed Cambridge was without a bookstore north of Harvard Square for many years. Happily some folks from the Concord Bookstore – another wonderful independent bookstore – opened Porter Square Books several years ago. It’s become very popular – at Christmas the cash register line stretched to the back of the store – a sight that warmed book lovers’ hearts. There are frequent author appearances, a buyer reward program, and a cafe that’s become a popular neighborhood destination.
Porter Square Books is in the Porter Square Mall by the T station. 617-491-2220
Open M-F 7am – 9pm, Sat 8am – 9pm and Sunday 9am – 7pm
Harvard Book Store – Located in Harvard Square on Mass Avenue, the Harvard Book Store has been a favorite of Cambridge book lovers for over 75 years. It’s difficult to walk past their windows without spotting a must-have book. The Harvard Book Store has one of the best lecture series in Cambridge and when admission is charged you get a coupon for a discount at the store. A super destination for new books, there is also has a strong selection of used books downstairs.
The Harvard Book Store is located at 1256 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA.
Open Mon – Sat 9am – 11 am and Sun 10am – 10pm. 617-661-1515
Globe Corner Bookstore – the Globe Corner Bookstore in Harvard Square specializes in travel books and maps. I shop here when looking for guidebooks about various regions and countries and always make it a point to stop in when shopping for my Dad who appreciates the hiking books, maps, atlases, etc. I’ve bought here over the years. The owners have announced plans to sell the store so Cambridge book lovers have fingers crossed that they will find a buyer to keep this local treasure going.
The Globe Corner Bookstore is located at 90 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge
Open Mon – Sat 9:30am – 9pm and Sun 11am – 7pm. 617-497-6277
Cambridge Bookstores – Used Books
Bryn Mawr Book Store – This used book store has an excellent selection of fiction and non-fiction. You can find recent bestsellers at used book prices as well as rare books here. The store regularly holds sales of books by subject matter – one week (or is it month? I’m not sure) gardening books will be on sale, the next week sociology books will be discounted, etc. Proceeds from book sales fund scholarships to Bryn Mawr College.
Bryn Mawr Book Store is in Huron Village at 373 Huron Ave, Cambridge. 617-661-1770
Open Mon – Sat 10am – 5:30pm. May to December on Thursdays open until 7 pm.
McIntyre and Moore Booksellers– McIntyre and Moore has long been one of my favorite used bookstores in Cambridge and I’ve followed them around from their first(?) location in Harvard Square, to Davis Square and now to their current spot in Porter Square near Bob Slate Stationery. McIntyre and Moore specializes in scholarly books in wide range of subjects. You can also find fiction, children’s books, cookbooks, and books on sports, games, gardening, health, finance and much more.
McIntyre and Moore bookstore is in Porter Square at 1971 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
Open Mon – Thurs 10am – 6pm, Fri & Sat 10am – 8pm and Sun noon – 6pm 617-229-5641
Rodney’s Bookstore – Rodney’s, in Central Square, is a big store for a used bookstore with a very good selection in all sorts of popular subjects. They’ve recently added a second floor for remainder books and also offer pine bookshelves if you’re looking for some new bookcases to hold all those books you just bought.
Rodney’s Bookstore is in Central Square at 698 Mass Ave, Cambridge.
Open Mon – Sat 9:30am – 9pm, Sun noon – 8pm. 617-876-6467
These are my favorites but there are more used bookstores and specialty bookstores in Cambridge. Feel free to put in a plug for your favorites in the comments below.