Wander, Shop, Eat & Pick Up Some Culture in Harvard Square

As history explains how Harvard Square has changed over the years from a large shopping center to a cinema multiplex to the changing of the Red Line’s Subway Kiosk to the now iconic Out of Town News, I’ve been thinking about how the Square has changed for me.

A Boston-area resident since birth, Harvard Square used to be a fun shopping destination for us teenagers riding the T in from Metrowest to peruse the (then) only Urban Outfitters in the state and snag CDs at Newbury Comics on weekends and early release days. As a mobile high school and college student, the area became a fun trek for group dining at spots like the always hopping Border Café or build-it-yourself style Fire + Ice. Finally, as a young professional living a mere 15 minute walk outside of the square, Harvard Yard is a gorgeous destination to bring my dog on a walk, and shops like Urban, Mudo, and the newly inserted, three stories high, Antroplogie are viable green-spending destinations. Gourmet eats and drinks to be found at stores such as Tealuxe and Cardullo’s don’t hurt either.

What else is noteworthy about the neighborhood surrounding the country’s most prestigious university? First, the obvious. How in the world would anyone from outside our great state have any clue what a Boston accent should sound like without the famed saying: “Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd?” Having a mainstream movie theater as well as independent venue the Brattle Theatre doesn’t hurt either. Street performers line the sidewalks in warm months, and restaurants offer outdoor seating. Wise men camp out for hours in front of the massive Au Bon Pain playing chess and drawing onlookers. NPR’s Car Talk radio show’s studio overlooks JFK Street. Films from Good Will Hunting to With Honors to the more recent The Town make use of the area’s beautiful and iconic scenery. (How did I not catch a glimpse of dreamy Jon Hamm during production of that one?!) Conan, Katie Holmes, and Jennifer Garner have been spotted walking the brick streets. If memory serves, there was also a recent Shaq sighting.

You too can feel like a local celebrity when you breeze into Harvard Square with vouchers from today’s CoupMe deals: find inner peace and a strong downward dog at Dahn Yoga, eat some spicy Indian food on the cheap at Chutney’s, or snag that fabulous new ‘do with a serious discount at Carriage House Salon and Spa. See you there– I’ll be the girl with the hundred shopping bags, walking the dog, reading in the Yard, sipping on a frozen matcha bubble tea.

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