Hanging with the Cantabrigians in Cambridge, Boston

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While visiting Boston, I spent a good bit of time in the Cambridge neighborhood. Like the Loop in St. Louis, Cambridge isn’t technically part of the city itself. But that’s just semantics. Cambridge is part of Boston as far as we’re concerned, and it’s a fun place to hang out.

And, according to Wikipedia, a resident of Cambridge is known as a “Cantabrigian.” Quirkiest demonym ever!

Cambridge, of course, is home to Harvard, which makes it a university town, although it’s not your typical, bar-filled college town. Visiting Harvard’s campus wasn’t high on my list, so I settled for taking a photo of Gate 1, the entrance to Harvard’s athletic complex.

harvard gate

While walking through the area I was amused and happy to see a big table of used books sitting on the street. It was an outdoor book exchange/book purchasing center, entirely based on the honor system. No offense, but you probably wouldn’t see this in a place like New Brunswick.

book honor system

Attempting to park my huge conversion van on the busy streets of this neighborhood proved to be impossible, but at least Cambridge is right on the subway’s red line. Emerging from the subway into Harvard Square, you find a number of cute local shops and a vibrant walkable neighborhood with red brick sidewalks.

hidden sweet cambridge

Cambridge is where you’ll find Newbury Comics, the amazing record and entertainment media store I mentioned in Five observations about Boston that surprised me. I could spend hours in this place.

newbury comics

Perhaps my favorite part about the hood is that it’s just a place where people sit around and hang out. This small little park area had bicyclists, hackey sack players, lunch-eaters, and old guys reading books. Cool!

cambridge stoop


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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Chicago-based journalist and blogger who seeks out quirky sights and awesome destinations throughout North America and beyond.

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