I had a sad in my blog when Hollywood Express closed down, but I have to admit, the new restaurant Life Alive is rocking Central Square. Food is great – fresh, nutritious, tasty.Vibe is spiritual-hip, with lots of wood, comfy seats, flower of lifes, Buddhas, wood and growing things. the place always seems to be packed. This is a good thing.
And it has a kids playspace downstairs.
And you can get beer and wine. No coffee though (thanks to a non-competition agreement with 1369 Coffeehouse next door). Hope you like dandelion tea.
Sure, there are plenty of banks in Central Square, but where do you go for things that are actually useful, like drawing pads, paint, and toys?
Artist and Craftsman Supply is hands down one of the best shopping destinations in Central Square – hell – in CAMBRIDGE. Not only do their art supplies blow the pants off of other art stores, like the now mercifully shuttered Pearl, they have actual, awesome toys.
Maybe you don’t care about toys, but I do. And my daughter sure as shakes cares about them. And not just any toys mind you, but interesting, well-crafted, often eco-friendly toys that make great gifts for, I don’t know, birthday parties and as a reward for going potty on the actual potty itself.
They have a ton of more grown-up toys, just in case the kid scene isn’t your thing.
Please go in and support them, or just say hi. The entire staff is very friendly and helpful, which might just be in part because the store happens to be worker-owned.
springtime ant hole mandala by my 4-year-old
I can’t post any more negative news for a while. There are so many batshit insane things happening in the world that I need my own little corner of the universe (aka Central Square) to be warm and fuzzy. But seriously, there is some great stuff happening in Cambridge these days and I can’t wait to tell you about it. Some of the closed storefronts have found great new uses recently (many are still shuttered too), and I am a happy girl.
- A few new vegetarian restaurants opening in Central Sq (one vegan)
- A Pinkberry in Harvard Sq (I don’t care what it is, it sounds happy)
- The Central Square library has reopened after a ridiculously long renovation.
- Boomerangs is going to be opening up in Central Sq
- Jeff Mangum is playing the Sanders Theater in September.
Cambridge is a wonderful place.
Jeff Mangum pen and ink drawing, won in a charity auction
Another venerable member of the old Mass Ave furniture row is closing. This time it’s Oriental Dynasty Furniture, which sold new and used Asian furniture and home accessories. I sensed the end was coming a few months back when I saw the “Now taking consignments” sign in the window, followed by a permanent sale sign. That and almost every other furniture store on the block has closed (closely watching Bo Concept and Crate & Barrel now).
Please excuse the lame photo. I am now working full time far, far from Cambridge and can’t get over to photograph that often. Or post for that matter!
Have any tips or photos you would like me to post? Let me know: lotuspadyoga [at] gmail [dot] com
Posted in cambridge ma, central square, hsba, mass ave cambridge, retail, Uncategorized
Tagged cambridge, cambridge ma, central square, furniture store, harvard square, retail, small business
This one is really depressing. I love Rodneys. I love it for so many reasons – not only do they have one of the biggest and best collections of used books in the area, they also have an amazing selection of new books, toys, posters, and most importantly, kids books. Rodneys is one of the few kid-friendly retail destinations left in the neighborhood. And it is a destination, about as much fun to go to as the park for my daughter.
Apparently, they will be open through the summer. Everything is 50% off. Come fall, Central Square will shed a collective tear.
UPDATE: Rodney’s is most definitely NOT closing. When asked why, the terse clerk responded that the “city stepped in.” He clearly did not want to discuss it, so does anyone else have the story?