Antique Shops In and Near Cambridge

Discover antique shops in and near Cambridge

Discover antique shops in and near Cambridge

Do you ever get the bug to go antiquing?  You don’t need to head to Western Mass or to NH – there are a variety of antique shops in or within an hour or so of Cambridge.  Most of these are group shops – antique stores where dealers rent booth space which means inventory is always changing and you can often find a deal or two.  Here are some of my favorites:

Cambridge has a large group shop in East Cambridge, the Cambridge Antique Market.  Booths are spread out over five floors.  I tend to have so-so luck here but there are deals to be found and it’s an easy way to get your antiques / vintage  fix without leaving the city.  Cambridge Antiques Market, 617-868-9655, is located at 201 Monsignor O’Brien Highway.  The  shop is open every day but Monday from 11 am to 6 pm.  It’s right by the Lechmere T or if you’re driving there’s a parking lot.

Waltham‘s not far and I tend to always pick up something when I visit Downstairs at Felton Antiques. It’s a group shop with a combination of open booths and locked display cases.  The shop is having its annual sale November 11 – 28, 2011. Downstairs at Felton Antiques is open every day but Tuesday from 10 am to 5 pm and stays open until 8 pm on Thursdays.  You’ll find the shop at 100 Felton Street in Waltham.  781-894-2223.

Head out to Concord where you’ll find three group antique shops on Walden Street in the center of town.  I’ve always loved Upstairs Antiques at 23 Walden.  It’s got a really nice ever changing array of antiques and collectibles. Thoreauly Antiques at 25 Walden Street has fun smalls, linens, ephemera, Concord themed books and plenty more.  Across the street at 28 Walden you’ll want to stop in at North Bridge Antiques.  By my estimation it has the highest priced stock of the three shops.  It also has, in a booth tucked in the back, used and antiquarian books from the former Books With a Past, a long time favorite bookstore that closed after many years on Walden Street.  All three of these shops are open open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, Sundays noon to 5 pm. 

Concord’s shops can easily fill a day.  If you want to peruse an excellent selection of old books be sure to stop in at the Barrow Bookstore at 79 Main Street.  I always leave with a full bag or two.  Another delightful shop – mixing vintage items with new, creative and unique pieces – is Nesting on Main, on the second floor at 44 Main Street across from Walden Street.

Upton House Antiques in Littleton is a lovely antique shop.  The store features a lot of country style antiques and primitives with plenty of turn of the century cookware, old blanket chests, ironware, and more.  The prices are very reasonable and I’ve picked up a number of favorite pieces here.  The antiques shop is located at 275 King Street in Littleton, not far from Littleton Center, and is open every day but Monday from 10 am to 4 pm.  978-486-3367.

Back in Littleton Center take Route 119 west to Townsend.  In the center of town take a left on Route 13 and eventually you’ll get to Jeffrey’s Antique Co-op Mall in Lunenburg.  It’s a bit of a drive from Cambridge but if you want to hit the aisles of a really large antique shop this store can be worth the trip.  Like many group shops sometimes the stock seems better on some visits than on others but you’ll usually find something that strikes your fancy. Jeffrey’s Antiques is located at 54 Chase Rd in Lunenburg MA and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm and open until 8 pm on Wednesdays.  978-582-7831.

Head back to Route 119 and continue west to West Townsend.   Take a right on Route 124 and you’ll immediately be able to pull in to shops on your right or left.  The Hobart Village Antique Mall has booths and cases on two floors and you’ll find everything from smalls to furniture.  The antiques shop, at 445 Main Street, West Townsend, is open every day but Tuesday from 10 am to 5 pm.  978-597-0332.  Across the street you’re in for a treat at Delaney Antiqe Clocks located in the carriage house behind a glorious brick colonial.  Home to the country’s largest collection of tall-case clocks, aka grandfather clocks, it’s almost an out-of-body experience to be in the shop at the turn of the hour when the clocks begin to chime.  This is a place to dream – the clocks are exquisite and often in the 10s of thousands of dollars.  In addition to tall-clocks the shop carries wall clocks, carriage clocks and shelf clocks.  The clocks are restored and in working condition. Delaney Antique Clocks at 435 Main Street is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

A bit further down Route 119 you’ll find Antique Associates at West Townsend.  This is a group shop that features fine antiques including furniture, art and accessories in 15 rooms.  It’s in a different league than the other group shops in our mix.  Open seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm at 473 Main Street, West Townsend.  978-597-8084.

These are my regular haunts and admittedly the outer reaches of my antiques trail are probably a bit over an hour.  If an hour’s drive is doable that also puts Sturbridge within reach – but that’s a day’s worth of shopping and worthy of another post.

Do you have favorite antiques shops nearby?  Leave a comment to let us know!

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First Impressions

Jellybean Rugs at Tags Hardware in Cambridge

Jellybean Rugs at Tags Hardware in Cambridge

When you’re selling your house or condo in Cambridge the first impression your home makes on real estate agents and buyers is critical.

Often that first impression comes at your doorway.  When your house is for sale it’s time to replace that worn and faded old welcome mat.  Nowadays, with stylish doormats available at your local hardware store, it’s easier than ever to spruce up your front entrance. 

These rugs, displayed near the entrance to Tags Hardware in Porter Square, are just what you need to add a splash of color outside your door.  The indoor / outdoor mats are washable – said to wash “better than your jeans” – and come in a variety of bright, colorful designs.  Dog lovers take note – several have cheery designs featuring Labs and other dogs.  No cats, however, so I bought one of the more traditional patterns – the pineapple welcome mat seen below.

The Jellybean rugs cost $29.99 – a small investment for a big return when you’re selling your home.

My New Jellybean Welcome Mat

Visit Tags Hardware in the Porter Square shopping center, 29 White Street, Cambridge MA  02140.

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Red Carpet Sidewalk

Red Carpet Sidewalk Outside Yayla in Cambridge

Red Carpet Sidewalk Outside Yayla in Cambridge

 

 The sight of all these rugs on the sidewalk outside Yayla Tribal Rugs on Broadway in Cambridge gave me a chuckle.  In fact, everybody who walked by / on the rugs had a smile on their face.  Passersby tended to tiptoe around the rugs despite the sign, pinned to the rug in front, that encouraged people to walk on the rugs.

 Yayla, at 283 Broadway in Cambridge MA,  is popular with real estate agents who sometimes rent rugs from the shop for staging properties for sale.

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Jumbo Cash

Jumbo Cash In Medford

Jumbo Cash In Medford

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.

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Cambridge Bookstores

bookstore signCambridge Bookstores   After a particularly unsatisfying trip to Barnes & Noble I’m recommitting to shop at the wonderful independent bookstores that remain in Cambridge.

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

Used bookstores CambridgeBryn 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.

 

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Holiday Shopping at Museum Shops Near Cambridge

Want to steer clear of the malls but still need to finish your Christmas shopping?  Visiting small local shops is always my preference – I’ve made the rounds in Cambridge, Belmont and Concord in the last few weeks.

Every year I try to take shopping local one step further and hit some of the local museum shops.  I’m far happier spending my dollars at a non-profit than at a big box or chain store.

Audubon Shop 

Audubon Shop in Lincoln

Audubon Shop in Lincoln

By far my favorite local non-profit gift shop is the Audubon Shop at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln.  It’s amazing how many people I can cross off my list by the time I’ve finished shopping there.

The Audubon Shop carries plenty of items for bird watchers and bird feeders but the store’s inventory goes far beyond the birding realm. There’s a very good selection of kids’ items and wonderful things for adults too.  There are household accessories, ceramics, jewelry, ornaments, books, and much more. It’s a lovely shop and kudos to the people that make the selections of what to carry in the store.  I can’t list all the treasures I found this year since my family reads this blog – but my bags were heavy when I left. 

Outside the shop there’s a butterfly garden and bird feeding / watching stations to entertain the family while you shop.

The Audubon store is located at 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA and is open every day until Christmas.

Orchard House Museum Store

Orchard House ConcordWhen we visited the Orchard House in Concord earlier this year I was amazed to see how the gift shop has grown. Unlike many house museums, Orchard House is open year round so the gift store is worth checking out for holiday shopping.

Most of the store’s merchandise has an Alcott or Little Women tie-in but there’s a lot more here too.  Collectibles, books, stationery, t-shirts, posters, and more fill the shop.  If you can’t make the trip to the Orchard House you can shop the catalog online.

The Orchard House museum shop is open during museum hours and is located at 399 Lexington Road, Concord, MA.

More Museum Shops

Many of the Historic New England house museums have small gift shops including the Otis House on Cambridge Street in Boston. The museum carries an excellent collection of books on historic preservation, architecture and history as well as gift items. Historic New England has an online catalog with some of their most popular items.  The Roseland Cottage ornament is on my wish list this year. 

For kids or anyone on your list with an interest in science or nature the Museum of Science gift shop is worth a visit.  You don’t need to pay museum admission to visit the gift shop.

The Museum of Fine Arts gift shop is a great place to shop for people of all ages – from kids to grandparents. Sculpture, music boxes, prints, games, jewelry, stationery, toys, books, ornaments and much more can be found here. Don’t have time to get into Boston? – you can shop the MFA online.

Seven days left… time to get shopping!

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Comella’s Is Coming to Arlington and Belmont

Comella's - Opening Soon In Arlington

Comella's - Opening Soon In Arlington

Comella’s Restaurant is coming to Arlington and Belmont and I can’t wait!

My first Comella’s sighting was in Concord when a family came out of the store weighed down with take-out bags.  One look at the menu and I was ready to become a regular – even if it meant driving to Concord.

Comella’s serves homemade Italian food – pasta, pizza, salads and sandwiches. But what really caught my eye is the long list of “messes” –  a mystery recipe that has a non-meat base and over 30 variations that include various combos of eggplant, chicken, veal, sausage, shrimp, etc. The messes come in individual portions or in multi-person “buckets” – you gotta love a restaurant that serves delicious food in buckets!

It turns out that I won’t have to drive too far – Comella’s is expanding and two restaurants are opening nearby.

The former site of the Monroe Saltworks on Mass Ave in Arlington by the Capital Theatre will house a Comella’s soon. I was sad to see Monroe Saltworks go but if you still want to do some holiday shopping there you can stop by the store in Copley Place.

In Belmont Center, the former Charlesbank Bookshop will be a new Comella’s location.  It’s always bad news when a bookstore closes but Belmont residents are sure to love Comella’s.

No word yet on when the restaurants are opening.  The Arlington Comella’s is further along and a “Now Hiring” sign is posted in the window.  I’m counting the days.

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Rodney’s Bookstore Is Not Closing After All

Rodney's Bookstore Is Not Closing After All

Rodney's Bookstore Is Not Closing After All

Rodney’s Bookstore Is Not Closing After All   

Great news this week for all of us who appreciate a good book store – Rodney’s Books  in Central Square isn’t closing after all. 

If you’ve been bummed out, as I have, by the Going Out of Business signs in Rodney’s windows you can relax.

In fact, the owner hopes to remain in business for at least another five years according to Brock Parker on boston.com who reported that owner Shaw Taylor

 “said renegotiating his rent will help the business remain open, and the success of the closing sale has enabled the store to pay of its bills.”     read the rest of the story

I know I did my part!  Rodney’s Books is one of my favorite local used bookstores.  When I heard about the impending closing I headed right over – and emerged with several hundred dollars worth of books.  “Books” and “sale” – a dangerous combo!

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