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Cambridge Historical Tours

Open Hours
Monday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Thursday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
About

About CHT

Cambridge Historical Tours was founded in 2011 by two former guides for the Freedom Trail Foundation who recognized the untold treasures of Cambridge’s rich history. Cambridge Historical Tours extols Cambridge for setting the standard in American higher education and how it ultimately became a town of extreme ingenuity and innovation. Their four major tours give a comprehensive scope of Cambridge culture. They offer The Historical Hysterical Tour of Harvard, The Cantabrigia Tour of Old Cambridge, The Harvard Square Pub Crawl, and The Harvard Square Ghost Tour.

Beginning the season on April 13th, Public Tours will leave from the Harvard Square T Stop at 11:00am, 12:00pm, and 1:00pm daily. Beginning June 1st, Tours run hourly from 10am-4pm, and on the half hour at 12:30pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm. Ghost Tours begin operation on June 15th. Tickets and a full calendar of the year’s Public Tours can be found on the website.

All tours can be booked Privately Year-Round for a minimum charge of $120 for up to 10 people. The Historical Tours are great for schools and families alike.

For evening entertainment, enjoy the Pub Crawl or Ghost Tour, perfect for parties and corporate events. Historical tours are also available in Spanish and will soon be offered in other languages. Check the company website at www.cambridgehistoricaltours.org for updates.
The company offers limited Public tours starting April 13th. The Pub Crawl runs year-round and is offered 2 nights a week at $55, including 5 appetizers and 5 drinks at 5 bars. Our regular tours are offered at $15 for Adults, $12 for students/seniors, $7 for Youth (9-13 years old), and free for Kids.  For the best deal, enjoy the Combo of two Historical Tours offered at $20  ($12 for Youth 9-13).

In honor of the Bookish Ball and Shakespeare’s birthday, a free literary tour will be offered, starting at the Harvard Book Store at 4:30pm on April 20th.

March of 1964:
Coming out of the Prep Shop on Church Street, you get a big whiff of Chinese food from Young
Lees that makes your stomach gurgle. No time for food, though, as you’re on a mission to get
a new tweed jacket. The one you’re wearing has chocolate ice cream stains from the stoned
out Timothy-Leary wannabe who was too busy giggling to himself to watch where he was
going, and got you pretty good with a cone-full as you entered Brighams ten minutes ago.

Down Church you head, past the Oxford Grill, fashion store, and Swiss Watch makers across
the street, past Connie Dee Donuts, and the Ivy Barbershop. Across the street you see your
pedantic friend in front of Berneimer’s Antiques, clearly trying to pick up a girl with his
impressive knowledge of Byzantine art. Where the heck does that place even get that stuff? No
time for him, either, and you cross to Sage’s market.

Passing the Brattle Theatre complex across the way, a mob of smokers crowds the benches
out front, happily chatting away on breaks from studying in the cozy corners of the Blue Parrott
coffee house, or between movies, or drinks at the Casablanca. A guy in front of the Brattle
Pharmacy hands you an invite to join the communist party and three steps later a lady in front
of Paperback Booksmith hands you a flyer that reminds you the Red Menace is still out there,
and McCarthy was right. Harvard Square is, as ever, chock full of weirdos. Get over it, lady.

You pop into the Oxford Shop, since The prep had nothing in your size. Not much help here,
either, so on you carry past Brattle Florist, Brine’s Sporting Goods, Schraft’s, and Woolworth’s.
The crazy stoner who soiled your jacket is now slumped against the wall at Fanny Farmer’s,
covered in his own ice cream and giggling to himself.

You cross the street to the tasty, pass Varsity liquors, and your stomach gurgles again at the
Waldorf when you see the sign “Sandwiches, Sandwiches sandwiches sandwiches, All Kinds!”,
but you plow ahead, as the Waldorf is more your 4am restaurant, when you need to pull an all-night to cram.

You pass the war-zone-like hole in the ground where Harvard has been destroying an entire city
block to construct some monstrosity they’re calling the Holyoke Center, and make the quick
decision to try the Andover Shop rather than J August, so you swing down Holyoke street,
passing Thomas More and The Hasty Pudding.

The smell of roast beef coming from Elsie’s is too much, and your stomach takes control of
your brain as you finally satisfy your hunger with a French Dip, ignoring the Andover as you
pass it. Sated and happy, back out you go, and finally find a tweed in your size next door at the
Andover, happily holding your filthy jacket in the bag for the new one as you round the corner
onto Mount Auburn Street.

You go past Sak’s Fifth Avenue, cross over to the Lampoon castle, and try desperately to avoid
that crazy lady with the bird in front of Starr’s Books. The thing craps everywhere, and you hear
that in spite of being the daughter of a famous harvard professor, Widener library kicked her
out for not controlling the things’ droppings. Passing Tommy’s Lunch, you finally head into
Club 47 to set up for the evening show. As with every Tuesday, Joan Baez is playing again.
She’s been selling out, so you’re confused as to why she’s sharing her billing tonight with some
guy named Bob Dylan, but you’ve never been disappointed in her yet, so you’re keeping the
faith. More than one person can be good at folk music, after all.

September 1971:
You’re walking down Mass Ave from Remington Street, since there was no
parking anywhere closer to the Square. You pass the classiest looking Gulf Gas
station you’ve ever seen, thing looks like a bank, and once you pass the Baptist
Church, you can feel the energy from the square already. You wave to your friend
who’s out in front of the Bow and Arrow, taking a break from darts and day
drinking with a quick smoke. You cross the street at the Hong Kong and pass Mr
Bartleys. Out front of Crackerjacks a guy with no shirt and a headband is shoving
flyers into people’s hands that say Stop The War. You cross over to the record
and music store, Briggs and Briggs where a guy playing a kazoo stops to lower
his purple shades and asks “LSD? Mushrooms? Reefer?”. You’ve already
passed three book stores and a couple of insurance agencies, but you aren’t
quite to the heart of the Square yet.

The foot traffic really picks up as you start to pass the countless diners, always
full of businessmen or professors between meetings or class, retail workers on
coffee breaks, random Russian grandmas, and the usual Harvard students and
hippies who populate the Square.

You drop a few quarters in the cup of a panhandler by the south entrance to the T
in front of J August, where Harvard men are browsing for Oxford shirts. You go
around the stream of folks pouring out of the train and get whisked close enough
to the door of the Hayes Bickford to get tempted by the smell of fresh coffee
pouring from its open doors, the very thing you’re after today, but on you go into
the Holyoke Center. A group of about 150 people have formed a circle around
three men with guitars, and one with an accordion. Two have bell bottoms on.
Two have mustaches and long hair. The other two have bushy beards. And long
hair. None of them have shoes on. The pot smoke is thick as pea soup, and you
need to be sober today, so you move towards the heart of the Square to grab a
paper at the Out of Town News stand from Sheldon Cohen, who’s has been
selling papers since he was a kid. The main T entrance is like a flame for moths,
and the swarm of people all seem to flow in and out from under the sign that
reads Park St 8 Minutes. Yeah right.

You wait for the light, watching the cars to the right of you fly past Brighams, and
the Harvard Trust, and the Harvard Coop and Nini’s Corner. Taxis fly past with no
apparent regard for anyone’s life. Honking fills the air. But the pedestrians are
surprisingly well behaved, perhaps remembering a time not so long ago when a
policeman, watching from a booth in the middle of the action, might publicly
humiliate you via loudspeaker for infractions to pedestrian rules. In the distance,
you hear the faint thumping of the djembe drums in Cambridge Common. It is
Sunday, after all, and there’s sure to be a giant lovefest/drum circle out there, as
there has been every Sunday for the last few years.

You cross over to the Tasty, tipping two fingers from your forehead towards the
guy behind the counter whose name you don’t know despite seeing him every
day. He tips a couple fingers back with one hand and slings a hot dog to a
Harvard kid in a turtleneck with the other. Passing the Wursthauss, you look
across the street to the giant hole where Leo’s and Whitney’s had been before
they took the building down. Luckily, something’s going back up. Hopefully they’ll
be back.

As you pass the Mandrake bookstore, you remember you were supposed to get
a book of poetry for your girlfriend, but maybe Grolier’s would be better later. Or
maybe Schoenhoff’s, and you can get her some Proust in French. She’ll love
that.

And when was the last time you took her for candlepin bowling? You think to
yourself as you pass the old sign.

You cross into the park, towards the old Pi Eta club. Taking the U shaped curve
around the little Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park, you turn right on
Winthrop Street. Just before you get to Club Henri IV, which everyone calls the
Hungry Cat, you go down a little set of stairs into the basement under the Troll
House dress shop where you find the new cafe you heard was a groovy little joint
called Grendel’s Den. With wood panels, a classic bar, cheap wooden chairs,
and the smell of pastries, coffee, and broiling beef permeating the place, it feels
like a cozy den, indeed. A guy named Herbie with a slight German accent is
shaving meat in the kitchen. His wife, Sue, greets you and leads you to your
table. It smells good. It’s cozy and modest, with exposed brick on all sides, bar
stools at the bar, weird-shaped tables in weird-shaped corners, and a fireplace.
You kinda dig this vibe.

April 13th, 1984:
You’re on your way to The Harvard Square movie theatre, which is debuting a
midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture show, and you’re gonna be there to
see the madness. You figure you’ll get a good taste of the weirdos in the Square
at this thing, especially considering this Friday is the 13th. Good marketing.

You come down Mass Ave and as you pass Harvard’s Widener Library on your
right, you note the massive 5-story building going up where one Potato Two
Potato had been just a few months before. Hopefully they’ll be back. Bob Slate’s
Stationary and Schoenhoff’s Foreign Books, too. Would be a shame if they didn’t
survive.

You cross Linden, and a guy on the corner tells you to repent, you sinner.
Another guy hands you a “Let’s make the Soviet Union the 51st State” sticker.
You walk past Emack and Bolio’s, where a group of teenagers with the spikiest
dyed-green, egg-white-hardened 3-foot mohawks, stand chain smoking
cigarettes. They’re all in thick leather jackets with spikes coming off of them, and
cut-off jean shorts, despite the chilly weather.

You pass by the old T entrance, now sealed off with metal grates in front of the
Porcellian Club. On the corner there now is a Chinese restaurant called
Yenching. No Hayes Bickford, but Still smells pretty good. And notably, there’s no
more stench of the subway coming up, as the last 6 years of utter destruction to
make the new T station are finally coming to an end. The huge gaping pit that
was Harvard Square is mostly sewn back together, though a few concrete
barriers and other construction equipment show that it’s not all the way over yet.

As you come to the Au Bon Pain in the Holyoke Center, a guy with two amps and
a ton of gain on his electric guitar is cranking out some crazy Van Halen riff from
his latest album, aptly called 1984. You wonder what George Orwell would think if
he could see what 1984 really looked like. Behind the mob is a small army of
chess fans watching Murray Turnbull eviscerate yet another Harvard dweeb for a
dollar wager. No one seems to care about public gambling on that scale.

You pass the Mug n Muffin, where the skater punks are really making a cloud of
smoke, both from tobacco and other smells, and peek through the chain-link
fencing into the Pit-like area that they’re STILL rebuilding as the Harvard Square
plaza, already crawling with Punks, and covered in trash. It looks like a Pit, in
every way. And where the hell do they think traffic is going to go now that they’ve
screwed up the pattern? You shake your head and cross the street from the Tasty
towards Nini’s Corner to grab a pack of smokes. A guy on roller skates nearly
runs you over as he dances through traffic. A large sign on his back advertises
Grendel’s Den, and you immediately recognize the large mustache of the bar’s
owner, and your boss, Herbie, as he flies past.

As you pass the Greenhouse, you look in and see your girlfriend and her friends
crowded around a table drinking tea and eating massive pieces of cake. She’s
facing the wrong way, but you make faces in the window, and she finally sees
you in the mirrors on the wall, and blows you a kiss. Tonight is for friends, though,
and you keep walking to yours.

You go past Cardullo’s and the Coop’s other store, now selling huge amounts of
clothing, and check out the place for Preppies to buy clothes, some new joint
called “The Gap.” That’ll never survive in Harvard Square. Man, Harvard Square
USED to be cool. Whatever happened to this place. Back in the day, it was all
music, weirdos, mob bosses hanging out at Charlie’s Kitchen. Streakers, and
violent protests. That’s when the Square had character. Now, it’s turning into
something else.

The Tannery is under The Gap in a humongous space for a shoe store. You know
at least three people who work there. There must be hundreds who do because
the place is massive. It’s where you bought the platform heels you’re currently
wearing as you head to Rocky Horror. Fishnets in a Boston April, though, may
not have been the best choice, you think as you shiver.

There’s a guy juggling flaming torches for a delighted crowd of 150 or two
hundred in front of Paperback Booksmith, but you go around him. On the other
side of the plaza, out front of Calliope, is that cool guitarist you like with the crazy
deep voice for a woman. She’s just finished a song. “What’s your name?” you
ask, as you pop a dollar into her guitar case. “Tracy Chapman,” she says. “OK,
Tracy. I’ll remember you when you’re famous,” you say with sincerity. She
laughs.

You cross Brattle and head over to the Brattle Theatre, and go downstairs to
Algiers, where your friend said he’d meet you, but he’s not there, so you assume
he’s down getting a real drink, and head around the other side of the building to
Casablanca. The air is thick as hell with smoke and people funk, but you find him
and remind him you don’t want to miss the opening, as you love the song
Science Fiction Double Feature.

You both knock back a quick shot of vodka, and head out across the street,
banging a right on Church at Charlie Sage’s Market. You glance at your watch
and realize you might actually have time for either another quick drink at the
Oxford Ale House, or a quick scoop of chocolate ice cream at Steve’s across the
road. But as you approach Palmer street, and hear the dulcet tones of folk music
floating out of the stairway that you know leads to Passim, you see an unruly
mob of folks in all kinds of fishnets and garter belts, and other things that remind
you that you’re also dressed like a vaudevillian hooker, and it’s probably best to
wait in line. You get the feeling you’ll probably be late for work tomorrow, since
you have the lunch shift. But, hey, what the hell, this is gonna be totally rad.

June of 1993:
Your walk down Mem drive was lovely, but it’s time to head to dinner. You take a
right onto JFK Street, and chuckle as you pass the massive park where the JFK
Library probably should have gone, but instead the people of Cambridge
rebelled, and JFK had to settle for the renaming of Boylston street after him. The
old MBTA yards that once were here are a distant memory as you pass the JFK
School of Government, and the Galleria Mall where a gas station had once been.
At least the Janus Theatre gives that building some character, you think to
yourself, though the last movie you saw there was Bonfire of the Vanities, like 4
years ago.

The patio at Shay’s is already full of spectacled grad students in turtle necks,
scribbling poetry furiously onto yellow legal pads, drinking coffee or chardonnay,
or both. The smell of garlic coming down the alley from Iruña is quickly absorbed
by the smell of French pastries from the Patisserie Francaise, and a couple of
cigarette smoking skaters hanging out in front of Planet Records.

As you pass Winthrop Square, with its new look, new crisscrossing sidewalks,
replacing the old horse-shoe path, and a new Newtowne Market sculpture (more
of a rock), you sigh over the fact that you won’t be headed to Grendel’s Happy
Hour this evening, where you could get dirt cheap food, since drinks can no
longer be discounted in MA (thanks, Dukakis). For a second you think about
changing your plans.

There’s a huge crowd waiting out in front of the House of Blues. You wonder
who’s playing tonight, and think about taking a brief peek. Instead of House of
Blues and Grendel’s, however, you’re headed to Upstairs at the Pudding, where
you’ll spend a pretty penny, but you’re probably likelier to get your date’s
attention.

As a silent protest to the Radio Shack, you take a right down Mount Auburn
Street. Or is it because your ex is working at Uno’s Pizzeria, you hear, and you
just want to avoid any possibility of seeing her tonight to throw you off your
game?

As you pass Tweeter, across the street, and Tower Record, and Gnomon Copy,
you wonder when it suddenly became cool for chains to open up shops in
Harvard Square. Although the Dunkin Donuts wasn’t so bad. You look down into
the depths of the one-room comic book store, Million Year Picnic, in a basement
that looks up out its window all day at the big cross on the top of the Holy Cross
Armenian Church. The church is closing, or moving soon, it’s rumored. Low
attendance. The Armenian community in Cambridge is not what it once was.

You cross the street to the plaza in front of the express. That awesome Russian
puppeteer is out, doing shows with his crazy little puppet he calls Doo Doo. You
watch with 15 or so others, as this guy brings this little wooden doll with a
trumpet for a nose to life. But just for a second. Don’t want to be late.

You cross to the other plaza where Brother Blue is out telling stories to another
little crowd. Can’t stop, though, and you keep walking past the Au Bon Pain, the
Booksmith, the Bertucci’s, and the two new little jewelry stores. You pass the
Gap, and Origins. Cardullo’s is bustling with activity, as is the Greenhouse, and a
steady flow of traffic streams in and out of Nini’s. The Square is just as busy as
ever. And everyone’s oblivious that the Square USED to be so much more fly.
Back in the 80s, there were independent businesses, and more locals than
tourists, and far more bookstores and intellectuals, and culture, and music in the
streets. Those were the good old days when the Square had character.

You wait for the light next to Frank Cardullo, who you recognize as the old man
who ran Cardullo’s and the Wursthaus across the street. He retired a year ago,
but you can’t imagine he just walked away. He’s probably just checking on stuff in
his absence. You look up at the hilarious sign those car talk guys put up,
pretending to be the law firm Dewey, Cheetham and Howe that’s just above the
bank across the intersection. On the other side, above the Photo Hour, is a
cowboy on a giant billboard smoking a Marlboro Red holding a lasso in the
middle of cows.

As you cross through the Pit, a guy hands you a flyer for Frozen Yogurt from the
TCBY on Mount Auburn. Out of Town News, recently purchased by Hudson
News, glows like a Beacon in the middle of the Square. Musicians and homeless
dot the bricks benches and very sidewalks themselves, napping, laughing,
littering. You admire a girl with her lip pierced with seven rings, and more than
twice that many in each ear. Best she avoids magnets, you think.

You walk past the Holyoke Center, and all the chess masters playing in the plaza
in front of the Au Bon Pain. The break dancers are drawing a nice crowd next to
the chess crowd, which isn’t tiny. It’s packed, in short. But you slither past to
Yenching, the chinese joint on the corner. You bang a right, and are clear of the
crowds. You pass The Hasty Pudding, and head past the Crocodile mounted on
the wall, that apparently Teddy Roosevelt shot for some reason, and up to the
roof deck in the restaurant upstairs where your evening awaits you.

Episode 4: Early 2000s, Gay Rights, Grendel’s Transitions (Potential
Title: Things Change)
Cold Open:

Coming out of the weirdest, darkest productions of Uncle Vanya you’ve
ever seen, courtesy of Robert Woodruff at the ART, you turn down
Brattle Street. As you pass the old building that inspired Longfellow to
write The Village Blacksmith, you sniff the passing aromas of High Rise
Bakery, which used to be the Window Shop.

Or maybe that sweet scent is coming from the LA Burdicks, which is
packed with folks coming out of the theatre. You go around them and
past the Indian restaurant and cross Story street, past Crate and Barrel,
peeping down the alley that leads to Harvest. You’ve got one thing on
your mind, and that’s food. Time to get something cheap to eat. And
maybe a beer.

It’s still early for Casablanca, and you don’t know anyone upon first
glance outside of Algiers, so you decide to try one more spot for some
company this evening, so you cross Brattle in front of Express, and then
again towards WordsWorth, passing Million Year Picnic, which you
prefer to Newbury Comics, as Newbury has gotten so mainstream, like
the rest of Harvard Square.

You cross into Winthrop Park, and hop the fence by Peet’s Coffee to
enter Grendel’s patio, wriggle through the chairs, down the stairs, and
fling back the double hinged doors to see who’s there. The answer is no
one you know. But you sit down on the classic wooden barstools and
order a Smuttynose anyway. Suddenly, your trusty Blackberry starts
ringing. You pick it up and your buddy greets you : “Wassaaaaaaaaaaap.” “Whazaaaaaaaaaaaaap,” you reply.
Humiliatingly, in retrospect.

He’s at Pinocchio’s munching on pizza, and wants to see some comedy
show, or something, so you toss back the rest of the bottle, tip the
bartender well, and wander upstairs, where you wink at a couple of
tourists on their way into Tommy Doyle’s to experience a “Hahvahd
Bah”. Ohm, across the street, is already bumping with club music. You
head across the road and around the backside of Berk’s shoe store,
and into Pinocchios, where your hunger is finally satisfied by a thick
Sicilian slice of mushroom and a slice of Buffalo Chicken. It’s so light
and crispy. It’s gone in an instant.

And off you both go, heading past Harvard’s Fox Club, waiting for the
light, and crossing Mount Auburn to the Garage. You peek down the
stairs at the Skate shop on the other side of the 7-11, and almost get
whacked by the street kids from Youth on Fire who are heading
somewhere in a hurry. Uno’s Pizzeria is, as usual, pretty full of tourists,
and Finagle a Bagel is the only dark storefront on the block at this hour.

As you turn the corner, you cringe wistfully at the Abercrombie and Fitch
where the Tasty used to be. At least the Greenhouse is still open, you
think, turning into the Pit, and crossing Dunster.

It’s a hive of activity in the plaza front of Au Bon Pain, as usual. Chess
matches are flying, coffee and sandwich wrappers everywhere, a
Beatles cover band blaring their fare with a crowd of tourists gathered
around them. On the corner you spot Gregory and Butch smoking a
hard earned cigertte after a day of selling more Spare Change
newspapers than imaginable. You pass expecting Gregory’s familiar
“Well, Hello Young Man,” but he’s clearly done for the day.

You pass J Auguste, now entirely full of Harvard paraphernalia for
tourists, and then the store that you know will never close because it
hasn’t, not since 1883, and the familiar delicious tobacco smell wafts
out of the open door. Although there’s talk of a smoking ban indoors
sometime in the near future. Seems unlikely, but you never know. This
is the People’s Republic of Cambridge.

Passing Zinnia’s and Bob Slate’s Stationary and the hip new spot
Grafton Street, you cross Plympton and admire the Harvard Book Store
in all its splendor. It seems like this block is immortal, with its giant
independent book store, Mr. Bartley’s burgers, and finally, your
destination for eggrolls, scorpion bowls, and comedy on the third floor,
The Iconic Hong Kong. The rumor you’d always heard that there was a
brothel on the third floor in the 50s and 60s turned out not to be true,
but Paul Lee, whose family owns the joint told you not to tell, as they
kind of liked the publicity from the rumor. Tonight’s show will be funny,
but after the second scorpion bowl, you won’t actually remember.

As you come out of the disco-themed Donkey Show at Club Oberon,
the ART’s new-ish bar/dance/theatre venue, you look down and see a
text from your lady that says “Went to Starbucks. Meet you there.” You
scratch your head, and sit on the steps of Follow the Honey to gather
your thoughts. There are three starbucks in Harvard Square, so you
finally just pocket your phone, and head down Arrow Street, past
Berryline, past the offices full of yoga instructors, psychologists, and
architects, and swing a left just before Cafe Pamplona, passing the
amazing facade of St Paul’s Church. For a minute you think of heading
into Oona’s to get a tight pair of vintage pants so you can tell your
girlfriend that they liked your dancing enough to cast you in the Donkey
Show, but you’re covered in glitter already, and that’s enough.

Waiting for the light at the end of Bow Street, you turn right onto Mount
Auburn Street. You pass Deadalus, the Boat House, and the empty
gallery on the corner before approaching the little plaza in front of the
Harvard Lampoon building, where 12 Poonsters stand in a 6×6 PVCpipe-and-tarpaulin swimming pool holding cans of Narragansett. You go
past the student-run Harvard Store, you pass Insomnia cookies, Boloco
burritos, and the hard-to-believe Tennis and Squash Shop that must be
a mob front, right?:I mean, how much money can you possibly make
selling squash balls these days? Best of luck to them.

Music is already blaring from the back of the Phoenix Club, or maybe
the Spee, and In Your Ear music across the street has a small a
cappella group in front of it, snapping in time, unsuccessfully competing
with the bass from the amplified house music. They’d probably have
more money in their hat if they were on the little platform leading into
Schoenhoff’s Foreign bookstore, though no one seems to actually buy
books in stores anymore, so maybe there’s just no foot traffic to justify
it.

You pass the Holyoke center and cross Dunster across rom J Press.
You enter the Garage, whiffing the basil and garlic from Le’s, and you
poke your head into the Square’s sneakiest Starbucks, contained within
the mini-mall, barely visible from the street. She’s not there, though, so
on you go, past the chemical-bread smell of Subway, past Ben and
Jerry’s, and underneath Crazy Dough, whose upstairs seating is always
bustling with half-stoned teenagers, and this evening is no exception.
Exiting the Garage on the other side of the building, you drop your
spare change into the cup of some guy out in front of the old Life is
Good store. You see a friend across the road, and he motions you over.
In front of the Amex Travel, he invites you to Grendel’s for a drink, but
you need to find your lady, so you say “Maybe in a bit,” and turn down
JFK to Starbucks #2, smiling, as you always do, at the sign in front of
the Travel agent that says “Please Go away . . .often.”

You can smell the Lush bath bombs from across the street, and as you
pass Mudo shoe store, Vision Works, and the World’s Only Curious
George store, you follow a whim, and pop around the corner into
Tealuxe, just to make sure she didn’t confuse her coffee shops. Tealuxe
and Crema Cafe are your spots but for some reason she’s fixated on
the burnt coffee from Starbucks. But she’s not there, either, so you
cross in a gap in traffic, scurrying past Cardullo’s, and Tory Row and the
Coop, where the self-appointed mayor fo Harvard Square, Bob
Marshall, and Dennis sit smoking cigars while Kelly does macrome, or
whatever she’s up to, and cross over to the T stop, where Antonio is out
late, entertaining tourists with his spraypaint art.

You enter the Square’s largest starbucks, next to PinkBerry, but she
isn’t downstairs, or upstairs either, upon perusal, so there’s only one
left. You cross Brattle street at Out of Town News, heading past Bank of
America, CVS, T Mobile, and the Body Shoppe, turning left onto Church
street, and passing Mint Julep, and the depressingly vacant Harvard
Square Movie theatre. You wander across traffic, making sure to be on
the other side of the road before you come to the mayhem of Margarita
drunks in front of the Border Cafe, inhale the delicious scent of
woodfired pizza from Cambridge One, and enter the tiny Starbucks next
to Lizzy’s ice cream to find your lady reading her book of poems at the
large window table, equipped with her typical grande chai latte with soy
milk. “Want a coffee?” she smiles and asks, since she knows you aren’t
drinking this month. “No, i want a mocktail. Let’s go to Grendel’s,” you
reply.

Tour Schedule

Check our website for our full schedule! Find our Calendar at the bottom of the Home Page.