Pathway Through Boston
The Lost Art of Getting Lost: A Meandering Path in Cambridge
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Getting lost doesn’t always have to be a traumatic situation, particularly if you find the right area of the city in which to be a wanderer. Most importantly, the area has to have a lot of crisscrossing, non-grid streets with houses, and features that look similar. It’s not a difficult requirement in Boston, particularly around Harvard, since the school was founded in 1636, and at the time builders thought letting their cows determine the road routes was a perfectly valid system. Regardless, in the fall, the red brick buildings of Harvard Square match the foliage, and the beauty of the area derails any attempts to have a pre-determined destination.
Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t a few points to gravitate toward, and Petsi Pies is a magnetic point for anyone with a sweet tooth. The self-proclaimed “indie bakery” has been open for almost a decade, and founder Renee McLeod has expanded into savory items—soups, sandwiches, and coffee—at the Cambridge front. Those are not what a first-timer should sample, however. Apple pie, pecan pie, and lemon meringue are a few of the traditional offerings, but the sweet pies branch out into apple-pear-cranberry and sweet potato, while the savory pies could be on any high-end menu with offerings like butternut squash, caramelized onions, gorgonzola, and walnuts, or spinach ricotta with pine nuts.
And since a sweet tooth is a very strong compass, just blocks from Petsi (keeping in trend with Petsi’s “indie” theme) yet really adorable specialty store: Follow the Honey. Granted, a honey store is not on everyone’s immediate must-see list. But half of the fun in a meandering day is coming across random storefronts with peculiar products and histories. To this end, Follow the Honey proclaims that it is “not just a store, it’s a honeybee-centric STORY [an adventure!]. Illuminating the landscape are the wildlife and humanity from whence its nectar flow originates. To this noble mission, Follow The Honey travels the world bringing the finest of ‘transparency of source’ honeys and bee-inspired offerings to you and your sweet ones.”
With such a specific and narrow field, one has to wonder how they stay in business. Part of their foot traffic undoubtedly comes from the popularity of The Donkey Show next door. At 8 and 10:30 p.m. every Saturday night, Club Oberon honors its name inspiration with a critically acclaimed, eccentric adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a glitter bomb disco show complete with feather boas, roller skates, and a mirrored ball. Director Diane Paulus has created a one-of-a-kind show that is as exhilarating as it is unexpected. Unlike Shakespeare’s character Bottom, getting lost in the woods of Cambridge won’t leave roving travelers with a magically altered donkey-head, but perhaps a few ethereal memories.