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The Crimson

Harvard Square To Support Local Businesses, Charities on Black Friday

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.

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The Crimson

Harvard Square Statue To Be Relocated

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.

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The Crimson

With Tastings and Festivities, Foodies Celebrate National Food Day

Cold temperatures and strong winds failed to deter visitors to Harvard Square from attending the third annual National Food Day celebration in Brattle Plaza. The event is held each year to promote sustainability practices in the food industry and the community and includes free tastings from restaurants in the Square.

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The Crimson

UpStairs on the Square To Close After 31 Years

After more than three decades serving the Cambridge community and visitors with its famously flamboyant flair, UpStairs on the Square is set to close its doors on Dec. 31, co-founders and co-owners Mary-Catherine Deibel and Deborah Hughes announced in an email to subscribers over the weekend.  In an interview with The Crimson Monday, Deibel and Hughes elaborated that the building was up for sale by the landlord. Deibel said that the sale of the building presented a logical time to end the long-running business, and she and Hughes decided not to sell it.

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The Crimson

Beyond HUDS: Eating in the Square

As much as every Harvard student loves the dining services, sometimes it’s nice—okay, necessary—to venture beyond the cafeterias and enjoy Cambridge’s culinary offerings. I certainly need breaks from my Annenberg meals and am always eager to go into the Square for food. Here are some of my recommendations and favorite spots for quick meals beyond HUDS:

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The Crimson

The Economics of the Head of the Charles Regatta

Roughly 9,000 rowers will pour into Cambridge this weekend to compete in the 49th annual Head of the Charles Regatta. But the athletes will be far from the only visitors along the Charles this weekend, as upwards of 400,000 spectators are expected to be in attendance during the two-day event.  With so many individuals flocking to the river, the Regatta will require 1,400 volunteers alone, and the event has developed into an economic coup for the city of Cambridge.

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The Crimson

Play Me Pianos

An elderly Russian chess player who charges two dollars per game often sets up shop on the patio outside the Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square. A consistent crowd of tourists wanders in and out of the adjacent Holyoke Center, but this Mass. Ave. hotspot has recently developed a musical dimension: a public piano now graces the street corner, one of many pianos installed by Luke Jerram’s international “Play Me, I’m Yours” project. In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Celebrity Series of Boston which features local performances by internationally recognized musicians, the project has installed 75 pianos on the streets of Boston from September 27 to October 14.

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The Crimson

Restaurant Brings New Beat to Harvard Square

The restaurant and concert venue Beat Hôtel is now open at 13 Brattle St., bringing live music, colorful décor, and a taste of “la vie bohème” to Harvard Square.  Led by the same team that operates The Beehive in Boston’s South End, the Beat Hôtel draws inspiration from a rundown hotel in Paris that housed numerous writers and artists of the so-called Beat Generation during the 1950s and ’60s, according to Jack Bardy, Beat Hôtel’s operating partner.

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Boston Globe

Public toilet urged for Cambridge Common

It’s a problem that just about everyone who has walked through Cambridge shares:  finding a public bathroom around Harvard Square.  Now, a loose coalition of churches, homelessness organizations, and businesses have launched a campaign called Advocates for a Common Toilet, in an effort to get a public restroom for the Cambridge Common. 

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Boston Globe

Crumbling Hopes for Harvard Square Sculpture

The weathered plaque at the base of “Omphalos”, a towering statue in Harvard Square, is hard to spot behind the metal barriers.  A dirty pair of shorts and a discarded plastic bag sit at its concrete base.  A rusty bicycle has been chained to an adjacent pole and apparently abandoned.