Although the weather was pretty bleak, I spent a nice afternoon in Harvard Square on Saturday. I walked there from Porter Square, where I had just gone to the gym.
These photos were taken at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Everett Street, where Harvard University is constructing a new law school building. The building is almost ready, it appears (construction has sure taken awhile!)
As I approached Harvard Square, I spotted a crowd encircling some martial art practitioners/dancers. Here’s a pic:
Listen to the music the martial arts people were moving to by checking out this video:
As I waited for my fiance to finish up an exam at Harvard, I read some of the history displays near Garden Street.
I learned a bunch of new things about Cambridge, including:
- Cambridge was first called “Newtowne”
- The name was changed to Cambridge when Harvard University was founded. Cambridge is a reference to the university city of Cambridge, England.
- Harvard is named after John Harvard, the university’s first benefactor
- The Puritans founded Cambridge in 1630. It was meant to be their permanent capital, as the location was safe from an attack by sea. It didn’t last as a political capital, though it became an educational one (with the establishment of Harvard).
- The community criticized some of Harvard’s early buildings, saying they were “too gorgeous for a wilderness.”
- In the 18th century wealthy royalists built elaborate mansions and gardens along Brattle Street (the stretch of mansions was called “Tory Row). They had grown rich from service to the crown and the rum and slavery trade. When the revolution broke, they fled to Canada and England.
Fittingly, on Saturday my fiance and I had lunch at a relatively new restaurant in Harvard Square named Tory Row.
I had some fresh pineapple juice ($2.50) and a grilled marinated chicken breast sandwich with chipotle aioli, mixed greens, and roasted potatoes ($11).
The roll was nice and soft, the aioli had the perfect kick to it, and the mixed greens and roasted potatoes provided a nice accompaniment to the sandwich.
After lunch, I saw Harvard Square’s newest Starbuck’s. It’s by Citizens Bank and the T.
A sign on the door states the cafe will be opening on May 20 (this Friday). According to comments at the end of this local news post, several business have failed at that location (including an Abercrombie & Fitch).
Harvard Square is such a fun place to walk through. You see guys like this painter, selling their wares.
One of the history displays had mentioned that the country’s first printing press arrived in Cambridge (from England) in the 1630s. I shared this tidbit with my fiance; he told me he knew where the printing press was housed. He took me to Dunster Street, where there’s this plaque.
A little ways down the street we saw this:
What a coincidence! I look forward to trying this place out!