Harvard Bookstore Lectures

Jim Lehrer in Cambridge

Jim Lehrer in Cambridge

Last night we went to hear Jim Lehrer speak in Cambridge about his new book, Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain.  The lecture was sponsored by the Harvard Book Store and held at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square.  Lehrer had all sorts of insights and anecdotes to share about presidents and presidential candidates.  The book is a treat for anyone with an interest in politics or presidents and those who came close.

The Harvard Book Store lectures are one of the best things about living in or near Cambridge.   The series bring some of the most interesting scholars, authors and political figures to Cambridge.  Many events are free and ticketed events are just $5.

 

Other speakers this month include:

  • Tom Brokaw on Nov 4, 2011
  • Joan Didion on Nov 7, 2011
  • Umberto Eco on Nov 12, 2011 

That’s just a small sample of what’s on the calendar.  Check out the schedule and ticket  info by clicking on the events tab on the Harvard Book Store website.

You’ll get a chance to buy the speaker’s book at the event and to get it signed. Plus you get a $5 off coupon for the next time you shop at the bookstore.  It’s a great way to support your local independent bookstore. 

Here’s my brother Ted at the book signing table when Ariana Huffington visited Cambridge last year.

Arianna Huffington - and my brother - in Cambridge

Ariana Huffington - and my brother - in Cambridge

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77 Martin Street – 79 Martin St Cambridge MA

77 - 79 Martin Street Cambridge MA

77 - 79 Martin Street Cambridge MA

The condos at 77 Martin Street and 79 Martin Street in Cambridge MA offer classic charm and the convenience of a walk-to-everything location.

This handsome brick Harlow building is on a tree lined side street mid-way between Harvard and Porter Square near the Radcliffe Quad.  The shops and restaurants that line Mass Ave are just down the block.  Typical of Harlow buildings, the condos have handsome original details, plenty of windows, high ceilings, and surprisingly good closet space.

77-79 Martin Street Cambridge Features and Details:

  • 4 stories, 32 units
  • 3 and 4-room one-bedroom condos
  • 4 and 5-room two-bedroom condos
  • 614 – 1292 sq. ft.
  • Landscaped courtyard
  • Wood burning fireplace
  • Oak floors
  • Laundry and storage in the basement
  • Heat and hot water included in the condo fee
  • Professionally managed
  • Pet friendly

Real Estate Sales at 77 Martin St and 79 Martin St.

Recent condo sales at 77-79 Martin Street Cambridge include:

In 2010, a 777 sq.ft., four-room, one-bedroom condo on the top floor sold for $352,500.

Also in 2010, a 915 sq.ft., five-room, two-bedroom condo on the top floor sold for $443,000.

 

If there are condos available at 77 Martin Street or 79 Martin Street, Cambridge they will appear below.  Click on the small photograph for more information and additional photos.

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12-14-16 Ware St Cambridge MA

Ware St Cambridge MA Condos

Ware St Cambridge MA Condos

 

If you’re looking for a condo in Harvard Square you’ll want to consider condos at 12-16 Ware St in Cambridge MA.  Ware Street is one block long and runs from Broadway to Harvard Street, abutting Harvard’s campus.

 

Built in 1940 as the Bancroft Court Apartments, today there are 52 condos in this four-story brick complex.  Almost all of the Bancroft Court condos are one bedrooms, about 660 sq.ft., though there are a couple of larger basement units.

 

Ware St Cambridge MA Condos Feature:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Spacious rooms
  • Some condos have parking
  • Landscaped courtyard entry
  • Elevator building
  • Heat and hot water included in the condo fee
  • Common laundry and storage  in basement
  • Bike storage
  • No pets

Recent Condo Sales on Ware St Cambridge MA:

We saw a very nice second floor condo at 14 Ware Street on our weekly tour last Wednesday.  With a parking space and an asking price of $345,000 it went under agreement almost immediately.  A first floor one-bedroom without parking was listed for sale for $320,000 in March and also went under agreement within a few days.

In 2010 a first-floor one-bedroom without parking at 12 Ware Street  sold for $320,000.

If any properties are listed for sale on Ware St Cambridge MA, they’ll appear below.  Click on the small photo for additional info and more photographs.  If you’re looking for a condo in Harvard Square I’d be happy to help.  You can email me or call me at 617-504-1737.

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Hong Kong Monument In Harvard Square

Tribute to Sen Lee - founder of the Hong Kong in Harvard Square

Tribute to Sen Lee - founder of the Hong Kong in Harvard Square

Hong Kong Monument In Harvard Square   Wander around Harvard Square and you’ll stumble upon memorials –  to the Colonial days, to the Revolution, to various classes at Harvard, and to modern day Cantabridgians too.

I was tickled to come across the monument on the right while walking through the Square recently.

It’s a tribute to Sen Lee, the founder and long-time proprietor of the Hong Kong restaurant across the street.  Sen Lee opened the Hong Kong more than fifty years ago.  It’s a Harvard Square institution and  a  popular place to see comedy shows. 

My Hong Kong experience is limited to the Faneuil Hall Hong Kong where I briefly waitressed while in graduate school.  Now that was an easy waitressing gig – plop down the scorpion bowl, stick some straws in it, and collect the tip. Sweet!

The Hong Kong in Harvard Square

The Hong Kong in Harvard Square

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New Age Parking Meters in Harvard Square

New parking meter on Church Street in Harvard Square

New parking meter on Church Street in Harvard Square

I did a double take when I spotted this new age parking meter in Harvard Square on Church Street. It’s actually a “pay station” that has replaced all the meters on the block. The City of Cambridge Traffic and Parking Department calls it a “Pay and Display Meter” – actually for some reason they call it “Luke”.  Beats me.

Harvard Square visitors will park their car at one of the now meter-less parking spaces and purchase parking at the pay station which takes quarters or credit cards (Visa or Mastercard). The machine spits out a paper receipt which needs to posted on your dash.

For now these new parking meter substitutes are on Church Street and in three City of Cambridge parking lots though there are plans to make the change elsewhere in the city in the future. Benefits of this sort of system, similar to ones installed in Boston on Newbury Street, include increased revenues and reduced time spent by city workers collecting money from the meters.

New Cambridge Parking Signs

New Cambridge Parking Signs

While I’m a bit horrified at the idea of parking meter charges ending up on credit cards, the biggest drawback from drivers, or I should say parkers’, perspective seems to be that the small joy of scoring a parking meter with time left on it is no longer a possibility. But simply scoring a parking space in the heart of Harvard Square should be thrill enough.

  

SEARCH FOR HOMES IN HARVARD SQUARE 

 

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New Book About Harvard Square

NECN had a segment the other morning on a new book about Harvard Square – Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950.  As soon as the segment ended I called Porter Square Books and reserved two copies, one for myself and one for my parents.

New Book About Harvard Square, Cambridge Massachusetts

New Book About Harvard Square, Cambridge Massachusetts

My dad grew up in Cambridge and one story that’s regularly retold in my family is how he and his high school friends in the late 1940s would jump in their cars, drive to the Square, pull up and park, and go in for a bite to eat at the cafeteria, Albiani’s, on Mass Ave.  The reason the story tickled our funny bones was how far fetched we would all find it – how could they have found three or four empty parking spots all in a row?  Different time for sure.

My mother became a fan of the Square in the 70s when we would take the train in from the burbs to shop and take in the sights.  The book, with its coverage through the decades, had something for all of us.

Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950 by Mo Lotman

Measuring 12″ by 10″ and 240 pages long this is a *big* and beautiful book jam packed with photographs.  When I heard about it I thought it would simply be a collection of photographs – and if it were only that it would be fascinating. Lotman has dug deep for the photos in the book – in archives and in amateur photographers’ personal collections.  It’s an amazing look at Harvard Square through the decades.

But the book isn’t just a photography book – it’s much more.  It’s all about what makes this such a special place – the people, the politics, the shops, the restaurants, the buildings – it’s a rich tapestry and a wonderful record of the last 60 years Cambridge-style.  Streetscapes, interior views, ephemera, news photos – you name it – it’s all here in chock-a-block full, endlessly fascinating pages.

Inside Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950

Inside Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950

The book is organized by decades and pictures are both dated and annotated to direct you to other views or info about the same scene.  Thankfully there’s an index – you’ll be tempted to take a quick look to see if the places you remember are included here.   I checked to see if one of my favorite teenage haunts – Dazzle – was in the book – yes – and was delighted to find four references to one of my regular stops, Reading International.  And for my Dad, Albiani’s is in one of the full page photographs that open the book. There’s so much here that will bring back your favorite Harvard Square memories.

Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950 is the ideal coffee table book since everyone who spots it will be tempted to pore through its pages.  It’s the perfect gift for anyone who’s ever lived in or spent time in Cambridge.

Author Mo Lotman will be at the Harvard Coop on September 12, 2009 to discuss the book and sign copies as part of the “Bookish Ball”.  The book’s official launch will be held at Club Passim, 47 Palmer Street in Cambridge on September 15, 2009 from 7 pm to midnight.

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