High food prices are prompting increased interest in locally grown foods and community gardening — both of which will be on display at this year’s outdoor Cambridge Urban Agricultural Fair in Harvard Square.
Like a lot of people, I’ve been scratching about for something – anything – to feel optimistic about in this week of market misery. On Tuesday, in an empty store on Brattle Street, I found it. There, perched on a dusty old counter, sat brothers Justin and Mallory Slate, late of Bob Slate, Stationer, the store opened by their father some 80 years ago.
It is wrenching to think what must have been rushing through Harlan Bean’s mind that night in September that he lofted an e-mail into the ether, a soft cry for help that he had no idea would find human eyes. His smart and beautiful daughter, Brenna, a track star at her high school in western Massachusetts, was at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital after a horrible car crash left her paralyzed from the waist down. The moment was heartbreaking. The future was overwhelming. So he typed a message of quiet desperation to Fire + Ice, Brenna’s favorite restaurant from her occasional trips to Boston. He described her plight, asked if they did takeout, and added, “I don’t know Boston very well.’’
On April 8, throngs of people lined up outside of Pinkberry’s recently-opened clear glass doors to get a taste of the company’s frozen yogurt. New to Cambridge, the store had already begun drawing patrons the night before its official debut by giving away free samples.
Starbucks will open another location in Harvard Square in late May—a two-level shop open until 1 a.m. that will host live music and coffee tastings in the evenings. The new store, the third Starbucks to open in Harvard Square, is located at the corner of JFK Street and Mass. Ave.
Bob Slate will close its local chain of stationery stores in March after serving Harvard and Porter Square for 78 years, store ownership announced on Thursday. The company, officially Bob Slate, Stationer, has been seeking a buyer since October 2009. It chose two years ago not to renew its Harvard Square lease covering its Harvard Square locations due to “declining sales” and “advancing age,” according to a letter to its patrons on its website.
Bob Slate’s Stationer, a Harvard Square staple for more than 75 years, said it will close its three Cambridge stores by the end of March after a lengthy search for a new owner failed to yield a suitable buyer.
A touchscreen gadget the size of a Moleskine notebook sits propped up at the end of the table at Uno Chicago Grill. It’s not on every table, but certain returning customers ask to be seated where they’re placed. During the busy lunch service at Au Bon Pain, employees greet customers and take customized sandwich orders using iPads. While customers wait for their sandwiches to be made, they can purchase a bowl of soup or order a freshly tossed salad.
Harvard students and faculty joined University President Drew G. Faust and the greater Cambridge community yesterday outside the Holyoke Center to raise awareness about shopping opportunities at local businesses at the second annual Crimson Shops Local event.
The growers who attend farmers’ markets already know you can bring the country into the city. Now the cityfolk have picked up on the same idea. Last weekend, truly local food suppliers converged on Harvard Square for the second annual Urban Agricultural Fair, where visitors could find all kinds of Cambridge-produced foods, from rat-tailed radishes to a mystery melon.