Tag Archives: cambridge ma

OMG Boomerangs in Central Square

Have you been to the new Boomerangs that just opened in Central Square where the Attic once was? (563 Massachusetts Ave)

Go. Now.

Not only do your purchases support the AIDS Action Committee, but it’s shaping up to be a Central Square institution.

Treasures. Clothing. Furniture. Local Central Square celebrities (such as the “guy with the fence” on Brookline and Franklin, aka my neighbor).

Last week I found an unused full cowhide for $5 that I used to patch our leather chair.

Also, make sure you check out the stairway to nowhere and the old air conditioning sign that used to be the wall for the Central Square Movie theater that was most recently a Blockbuster video.

Oriental Dynasty Furniture is closing

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

What’s up, Cambridgeport Saloon?

I had a thing for dive bars right after college, but there was something about the Cambridgeport Saloon that didn’t really grab me. Maybe the bright lights and the fact that it frequented by many of the same skinhead girls from the Pit in Harvard Square who wanted to beat me up in high school (good times).

The place wasn’t one of those ironic dive bars (Think Model Cafe in Brighton circa 1994). No, this was the real deal. Stabbings, shootings, and brawls were pretty common, according to this lovingly maintained Myspace page. But a glance of Yelp reviews shows that the place had somewhat of a revival in its twilight years, and was a regular hang out for local skinheads, MIT students, and neighborhood folks.

As the creator of the Cambridgeport Saloon’s Facebook Fan page writes:

“A truly dirty den of evil and villainy populated by some of the most “interesting” people you’re likely to ever meet outside of the county lockup. Was the pool table truly level? How many degrees does the MIT grad student behind the bar have? Is that crazy old man in the corner fingering a knife handle and talking to himself?

Nothing will ever beat the Gay.com sign on the roof. There are too many martini bars catering to those with no credit limits on their platinum cards and not enough for those who feel that over $3 for a beer is highway robbery.”

No matter why, the Cambridgeport Saloon closed down years ago and shows no signs of rebirth or renewal.

So what’s happening there? Some reports say the property is owned by MIT, which is the process of evalualting all of its empty properties. A neighbor disagrees, saying the property’s situation is complicated.

Dive bar or not, the saloon’s absence leaves a hole in the Avenue. From descriptions of the scene there, it seemed to bring a wide variety of very different classes and types of people together into one room to share their love of beer and music, and where else are you going to find that on this stretch of Mass Ave (or anywhere in Cambridge)?

Woulda, coulda, shoulda

In its development stage, this property at 309 Massachusetts Ave was a yogi’s dream: a beautiful new space for yoga and wellness led by some major names in Cambridge / Boston yoga. Despite the hype, the project withered and the space never opened. According to the neighbors, the yogis overspent on construction and the project was shuttered mid-project. But this prime empty Mass Ave location is not a victim of the economy, but rather a victim of MIT’s new policy of “evaluating” all of its current property holdings in Cambridge. Learning this made me curious-how much property does MIT own in Cambridge, and what are its policies towards community development with regards to its vacant commercial properties?

A hole in the heart of Harvard Square

alpha omega It’s been closed for over two years, but the storefront that once housed Alpha Omega jewelers at 1380 Massachusetts Ave is still jarring in its emptiness. In what should be the most desirable space in retail, there appear to be no plans to develop this enormous property.

Alpha Omega closed abruptly right before Christmas, 2007 when the owner fled the country with his family.

All Day I Dream About Storefronts

Adidas store mass aveThe Adidas boutique on Mass Ave in Harvard Sq is gone, and I’m not sorry. There, I said it. To me, it’s always been a symbol of everything corporate, overpriced, and overly shiny about what Harvard Square has become. The old photo store Ferranti Dege next door left a big hole, as did the sweet children’s boutique Calliope. Harvard Square did not need an overpriced shoe store, but what is going to take its place?

What was this storefront before Adidas – anyone know?
Of course it was the famous music store Briggs & Briggs. Thanks!