Cambridge Public Library Opening

Cambridge Public Library Opening  I couldn’t help but wonder when I drove down Broadway the other night – Is the Cambridge Public Library finally open? It was brightly lit and looked beautiful. If I knew how to take a picture in the dark (turns out I don’t) I’d have it here.  Instead a 1915 postcard view of the library is below.

It’s been a long time coming. The main branch of the library closed in March 2005. It reopened in temporary quarters in the Longfellow School in June 2005 where it remained through January 2009. The branch libraries have done a tremendous job over these many, many months but a city the size of Cambridge needs its main library.

Cambridge Public Library in 1915

Cambridge Public Library in 1915

The Cambridge Public Library opened in 1889. The Richardsonian Romanesque building was designed by architect Henry Van Brunt and built on land donated to the city by Frederick H. Rindge. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original building has been restored and a dramatic new addition constructed.

Cambridge Public Library Opening

There will be an Open House and Ribbon Cutting at the new Main Library at 449 Broadway on Thursday, October 29, 2009 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The official ceremony begins at 6:00 p.m begins and is sold out. The library received requests from more than 500 potential attendees but the auditorium seats only 200.  People are encouraged to attend the open house and the library may have loudspeakers outside the auditorium.

The library opens for business on Sunday, November 8th. Hours that day will be 2 to 5:00 p.m. Thereafter, the library will be open its regular hours:

  • Monday – Thursday 9 – 9 – Children’s Room closes at 7:00 pm
  • Friday & Saturday 9 – 5
  • Sunday 1 – 5 (November through April)

It will be all hands on deck at the newly reopened Main Branch – all the branch libraries will be closed for the week of November 9 to 14.

The Cambridge Public Library is at 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138.

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Howard Dean Lecture in Cambridge – Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform

One of the things I love about living in a college town like Cambridge is that there are so many opportunities to attend lectures on a myriad of topics. 

Now that I’ve bought my tickets I can post about an exciting upcoming lecture.  Former Vermont governor and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean will be in Cambridge next month for a timely discussion about his new book Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform.

The appearance is sponsored by the Harvard Book Store and takes place at the First Parish Church Meetinghouse in Harvard Square on the corner of Mass Ave and Church Street on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 7:00 pm.

Tickets are $5 and went on sale today.  Order Howard Dean’s book, buy tickets and get more info at the Harvard Book Store’s website.

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2009 Cambridge Discovery Days – Focus on Architecture

Attention old house enthusiasts and local history buffs! This year’s Cambridge Discovery Days will focus on architecture.

Vintage Postcard of the Cambridge Home of James Russell Lowell

Vintage Postcard of the Cambridge Home of James Russell Lowell

Each summer, Cambridge Discovery Days offers a variety of events, lectures and tours on two successive August Saturdays. This year’s dates are August 8, 2009 and August 15, 2009. There’s a wonderful lineup of free events sponsored by the Historic Cambridge Collaborative.

Cambridge Discovery Days – Saturday, August 8, 2009

Some of the offerings on August 8th include:

  • 10 to 11:30 am The Poet and the Civil War: James Russell Lowell.  Tour meets at the Longfellow House at 105 Brattle Street (also offered on August 15th, same time and place)
  • 10:30 to noon A Walk Down Tory Row.  Meets at the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House at 159 Brattle Street
  • 11 to noon What Style Is It?  Meets at the Cambridge Historical Society, 159 Brattle Street
  • 1 to 3 pm Buildings at Fresh Pond I: Homes, Hotels and Ice Houses.  Meets at the Water Purification Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
  • 4 to 5:30 pm  Mount Auburn’s Notable Architects.  Meets at the cemetery entrance gate, 580 Mt. Auburn Street

Cambridge Discovery Days – Saturday, August 15, 2009

Events on August 15th include:

  • 10 to 11 am  The Cambridge Houses of William Dean and Elinor Mead Howells.  Tour begins at 41 Sacramento Street
  • 11 am to 12:15 pm  New Ideas from a Quiet Neighborhood.  Tour begins on the steps of the Longfellow House, 105 Brattle Street
  • 11 am to 1:00 pm  “Baby, Let Me Follow You Down”: Folk Music in Cambridge.  Tour begins at the Johnston Gate to Harvard Yard
  • 1 to 3 pm  Buildings at Fresh Pond II: Club Houses, Homes, Railway Stations & More.  Tour begins at the Ranger Station at the Water Purification Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
  • 2 to 3 pm  Inman Square, Historically Speaking.  Tour begins at the plaza at the intersection of Cambridge and Hampshire Streets
  • 2 to 3 pm  The Women of Central Square.  Tour begins in front of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue

This is just a sampling of events – there’s a very full schedule on both Saturdays.  There are also activities for kids scheduled on both days.

The City of Cambridge website has more info and a full schedule of events available for download.  You can also call the Cambridge Historical Commission at 617-349-4683 for more information.

The 2009 Cambridge Discovery Days – Focus on Architecture is free and open to all. Events take place rain or shine.

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4th of July Fireworks and Celebrations In and Near Cambridge

4th of July fireworks near Cambridge

4th of July fireworks near Cambridge

Here’s the current 4th of July fireworks and celebrations info with the 2012 info.

If you’re a fan of fireworks like me – this is our week!  Weather permitting (and all bets are off after the last month) there are a number of places to view fireworks on the 4th of July in and near Cambridge.

Here are the firework displays and festivities scheduled for towns and cities within a few miles of Cambridge:

Cambridge Has a Front Row Seat to the Fireworks in Boston

For those who don’t want to brave the massive crowds in Boston there are plenty of options to see the fireworks from the Cambridge side of the river.  Many taller condo buildings or buildings with roof decks around Cambridge offer prime viewing spots for the Boston fireworks.  If you’re not so lucky to live in one of those buildings or want to be closer to the action, the banks of the Charles River between the Mass Ave Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge provide a front row seat.  The bridges are also popular, but crowded, places to view the fireworks.  There will be food concessions and restrooms along the Charles in Cambridge.

The 36th annual Boston Pops 4th of July concert and fireworks on the Esplanade in Boston begins at 8:30 pm.  The restricted area for seating opens at 9 am on the 4th. The fireworks begin at 10:30 pm and last until 11 pm.  The show is televised on WBZ, Channel 4.

With all the cloudy and rainy days we’ve had you have to wonder about the weather.  If worst comes to worst and the event is rained out on July 4th, the fireworks only will be rescheduled for July 5 at 9:30 pm, weather permitting.

Somerville Fireworks

The fireworks in Somerville are scheduled for July 9, 2009 in Trum Field after being rained out on the 2nd.  Trum Field is on Broadway between Magoun Square and Ball Square.  There will also be entertainment by the Somerville Sunsetters.

And on the 4th of July Prospect Hill Park in Somerville offers a great vantage point to view the Boston fireworks.   Prospect Hill Park is at the intersection of Prospect Hill Avenue and Munroe Street in Somerville above Union Square.

Friday Night Fireworks in Lexington MA

Carnival and Fireworks in Lexington

Carnival and Fireworks in Lexington

Lexington will have another early bird special fireworks display at the Lions Club Carnival.  The Carnival will be open on Friday, July 3, 2009 from 1 pm to 11 pm with fireworks scheduled to go off after sunset.

The carnival is being held at the Lexington High School in the Waltham Street parking lot behind the high school.

The carnival is scheduled (weather permitting) for:

  • 6 – 11 pm on Thursday, July 2nd
  • 1 – 11 pm on Friday, July 3rd
  • 1 – 11 pm on Saturday, July 4th
  • 1 – 7 pm on Sunday, July 5th

4th of July Celebration in Waltham Massachusetts

Waltham is holding a family-friendly party on the 4th in Prospect Hill Park from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday.  Food, drinks, pony rides, animal shows, free children’s rides, music and more.  Prospect Hill Park is at 314 Totten Pond Road in Waltham.

From 5:30 to 9:30 pm on July 4th there will be a concert with the Reminicents at Leary Field off Bacon Street.  Fireworks are scheduled for 9:30 pm.

For more information you can call 781-314-3100

4th of July Celbebration and Fireworks in Newton

The party in Newton kicks off at the Newton Centre Playground with fun activities for kids from 10 am to noon.  There’ll be a Pet Parade, a Teddy Bear Parade, a Decorated Doll Carriage Promenade, Foot Races, and best of all – free ice cream!

The party continues at the Russel J. Halloran Field and Sports Complex at 250 Albemarle Road in Newtonville.  From 11 am to 10 pm there’ll be an open air market, crafts for sale, recorded music for dancing, food concessions and amusement rides.  The fireworks are scheduled for 9 pm.

Arlington Celebrates the 4th of July

Fourth of July festivities in Arlington MA will be held at Robbins Farm Park (aka Skyline Park) at 1 Eastern Avenue from 7 pm to 11 pm on July 4, 2009.  Enjoy refreshments, musical entertainment by the John Penny Band, and a chance to watch the Boston Pops Concert and fireworks on a giant screen.

So – from the big screen to the river bank – you’ve got lots of fireworks viewing opportunities in and around Cambridge – have fun  – and happy Independence Day!

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Dancing In the Streets – City Dance Party in Cambridge

dancing-girlThere’ll be dancing in the streets this Friday night as the City of Cambridge celebrates with its annual Dance Party.

Each year since 1996, when the first Dance Party was held during Cambridge’s 150th anniversary celebration, hundreds of people have gathered to dance the night away to tunes spun by DJ Joey Demers. 

The annual City Dance Party is scheduled for 7 to 10 pm on Friday, June 26, 2009.  The event is held in front of Cambridge City Hall on Mass Ave between Inman and Bigelow Streets.  Mass Ave will be shut to traffic by City Hall and a light show will play across the crowd.

Free admission and open to the public.

Participants who use public transportation are encouraged to take the subway since the #1 bus will not run down Mass Ave during the party.  Starting at 6 pm the #1 bus will terminate at Central Square until 11:30 pm when full service resumes.

There’s sun in the forecast for the end of the week – if that’s not an excuse to celebrate I don’t know what is!  Put on your dancing shoes and boogie on down to the Cambridge City Dance Party.



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Free Fun in Cambridge – Local Events in Cambridge MA – March 27 – April 3

Join the MIT Jugglers in Cambridge MATrying to fill your calendar in Cambridge?

Here are some free upcoming events  in Cambridge, MA: 

The public is welcome to join the MIT Student Juggling Club for juggling.  Free lessons and no experience required.

Friday, March 27, 2009 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Building 10 at MIT under the Great Dome, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA.


Many Rivers to Cross – Reggae, Marcus Garvey & The Harlem Renaissance, Revisited. Address by Lesley University master’s degree candidate Kevin Alymer based on twenty-five year’s of research.

Saturday, March 28, 2009 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Lesley University, University Hall, 1815 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA


Feminist critic and Princeton professor, Dr. Elaine Showalter, will discuss her new book,  A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx, the first comprehensive history of American women writers.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 7:00 pm at the Harvard Bookstore, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. Free admission.


Lecture at Harvard’s Peabody Museum:  Starting at Standing Rock: Following Custer and Sitting Bull to the Little Big Horn by Nathaniel Philbrick.

Friday, April 3, 2009 at 5:30 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. Free admission.

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Fun And Often Free Things To Do In Cambridge

There’s always something cooking in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  College lectures, museum events, movies, tours and more.  Best yet – most events are inexpensive and many are free – it doesn’t get any better than that!  Here’s the latest roundup of things to do in Cambridge.

Author Readings in Cambridge

Science fiction author, David Weber, reading from his new science fiction adventure novel, Storm From The Shadows. At the Harvard Coop, Harvard Square. Tuesday, March 3 at 7 pm.  Free admission.
Marion Kilson and Florence Ladd, authors of Is That Your Child: Mothers Talk About Raising Biracial Children. At Porter Square Books, Porter Square Mall, Cambridge, MA. Thursday, March 5 at 7 pm. Free admission.
Frank Shirley, author of New Rooms for Old Houses (this is a wonderful book for old house enthusiasts!) will share ideas for expanding the space of your old house without sacrificing its vintage charm.  At Porter Square Books, Porter Square Mall, Cambridge. Tuesday, March 10 at 7 pm. Free admission. 

Lectures In Cambridge

Survival of the Swiftest, Smartest, or Fattest? Human Evolution 150 Years After Darwin
Lecture by Daniel Lieberman at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA. Thursday, March 5, 6:00 pm.  Free admission.
When Doctors Are Writers: Elissa Ely (Ely writes amazing essays for the Boston Globe) and Tess Gerritsen talk about how writing affects their medical practice and vice versa. Cambridge Forum, First Parish, 3 Church Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge. Wednesday, March 11 at 7:30 pm.  Free admission.

Films In Cambridge

Movie Night at the Schelesinger Library: Dogfight (1991) starring Lili Taylor and River Phoenix.  A discussion with Andrea Walsh, of MIT, will follow the film. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College Room, 10 Garden Street, Radcliffe Yard. Wednesday, March 4, 6 pm. Free admission.
Harvard Film Archive: The Notorious Landlady (1962) starring Kim Novak and Jack Lemmon and Operation Mad Ball (1957) starring Jack Lemmon and Ernie Kovacks. Harvard Film Archive at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge.  Monday, March 2 at 7 pm.  Admission: $8.00, seniors $6.00
Friday Night Anime, MIT. 77 Mass Ave, Rm. 6-120, Cambridge.  Friday, March 6 at 7 pm. Free admission.

Other Fun Things To Do In Cambridge

Cambridge Community Television Orientation.  Learn how you can get involved – produce your own tv show, learn video production skills.  CCTV Studios, 675 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.  Monday, March 2 at 6:30 pm. Free admission. 
Walking Tour: Discover Mount Auburn.  This 1.5-mile walking tour will focus on the stories of history, monuments, and the lives of those buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark.  580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA. Saturday, March 7, 2:00 pm.  Admission: $10
 Check back often for more fun things to do in Cambridge.  And if you would like your event posted here please contact me.

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Cambridge Events – Hasty Pudding Club Woman of the Year Parade

Following a tradition that began in 1951, Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club has chosen Renee Zellweger as 2009’s Woman of the Year.  Previous recipients of the award include Katherine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Bette Midler, Jodi Foster, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Scarlett Johansson.

The celebration kicks off with a parade through the streets of Cambridge.  Tickets to the ceremony that follows the parade are available for purchase.
Here’s a video from the day:

When: Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 2:30
Where: Harvard Square
How Much: No charge for the parade.  Following the parade, the pudding pot presentation ceremony and roast will be held at the New College Theatre, 12 Holyoke Street, Cambridge at 3:15pm.  Tickets for the ceremony are $80 and are available at the box office, 617-495-5205. 
For more information visit  or call (202) 465-1311

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