The winter of 2013-2014 has not been an easy one for Harvard Square’s homeless population, but most winters are not. With nearly a foot of snow last week and more in the forecast, the weather has exacerbated existing shortages in space and resources at area shelters and placed added burdens on the population that spends most of its days on the street.
Harvard Square is a place where even the threatened passing of a Dunkin’ Donuts can prompt student outrage; passion for favorite food haunts runs deep. While both students and restaurants in the Square turn over as fast as patties at Tasty Burger, some local favorites persist. Enter the Grafton Group, one of Harvard Square’s largest locally-owned families of restaurants, which has been around since 1996. In the nearly twenty years since the group’s founding, it has been a witness to a Square in flux.
Alden & Harlow, the restaurant that opened Friday in its location under Cafe Algiers on 40 Brattle St., pays homage to Harvard Square with its decor, its independent ownership, and even its personnel. Featuring many of the murals that decorated the walls of its predecessor, the new bistro employs a line cook whose great uncle was the original owner of Club Casablanca, the iconic bar that occupied the space for more than 50 years. “The name of the restaurant itself is the ultimate nod to the Square,” owner and chef Michael Scelfo said.
Students might have to walk a little farther for their late night burritos once Felipe’s Taqueria, the popular Harvard Square Mexican restaurant, completes its move from Mt. Auburn St. to a new spot two blocks away on Brattle St. Although some students may be dismayed by the longer walk, co-owners Thomas J. Brush and Felipe Herrera said they are excited about the benefits presented by the move.
The City of Cambridge finalizes plans to install a public toilet in Harvard Square
On June 18th the Cambridge Public works department held a public meeting on Harvard Square improvements in the second floor of Starbucks located in the old Wursthaus space at 1380 Mass. Ave. The first few minutes of the meeting were used to update folks about several construction projects that we are or will be seeing soon. These include Cambridge Common and Flagstaff Park, the Cambridge Street tunnel, the Anderson Bridge, Mason Street, and Mount auburn Street between JFK and Holyoke Street.
Celebrating the Boston area’s abundance of Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton and other Celtic-related music and dance traditions, BCMFest (Boston’s Celtic Music Fest) begins its second decade on January 10 and 11, 2014. A program of Passim, the Eleventh Annual BCMFest will bring together dozens of the best local musicians, singers and dancers to three locations for dozens of performances as well as participatory music and dance events right in the heart of Harvard Square.
For the last days of June we’re going to share our favorite stories and pictures from Scout’s decade of local reporting. We need you to share those stories alongside your favorites. And then we need you to stand for Scout by becoming a member. Here’s one from January 2014! Every neighborhood worth its zip code has at least one place that feels eternal—the mom-and-pop drugstore that seems to get its stock straight from the ‘50s; the barbershop that’s on its ninth or tenth presidential administration; the corner pub where the only things that seem to change are the taps. These quintessential local fixtures are equal parts convenient directional landmark and vital component of communal history—the kinds of places that were around long before you got there, and will probably be still selling lozenges, buzzing cuts and tending bar long after you’re gone.
On a typical summer day in Cambridge, a steady stream of guided tour groups will pass by Harvard’s architecturally unusual Science Center building. The stories these tourists are told are not always the same. Some guides say the structure is modeled after a Polaroid camera, while others insist that the architecture represents a stairway to heaven.
Harvard Square is gearing up to usher in the holiday season with a unique take on the Black Friday tradition. The Harvard Square Business Association is planning to use the days following Thanksgiving to promote local businesses and authors, as well as to benefit charitable causes.
After being roped off for over two years, the weathered statue Omphalos in the pedestrian peninsula by the Harvard Square T stop will be relocated to Rockport, Mass. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which owns the statue created by the late Harvard professor Dimitri Hadzi in the 1980s, had originally planned to tear it down due to structural damage and the high cost of repairs.