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Pathway Through Boston

Experiencing The American Dream In One Day Trip

Asst. Metro Editor

Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

Harvard Square continually attracts the most eccentric locals—those who mutter to themselves as they walk, enjoy reading a book in a traditional cafe, and love chowing down on a cheap hamburger. It is one of the most liberated areas of Massachusetts, manifesting its free spirit in quirky bookstores and the occasional cobblestone street. Given the amount of history and diversity within the Square, it is an area of Cambridge that merits continual exploration. A visit to Harvard Square results in a genuine American experience for both the traditional and modern local.

After taking the trip on the Red Line to Harvard Square, Charlie’s Kitchen makes for a worthwhile first stop. With mouthwatering hamburgers, waffle fries, and nachos, Charlie’s satisfies both taste levels and price points. It attracts a diverse crowd, ranging from college students to the older locals, and provides a comfortable hangout atmosphere anytime of the year. During the summer, Charlie’s opens its beer garden to all eligible drinkers, allowing its customers to choose from a wide selection of beers throughout cool summer nights. Its small size and friendly servers contribute to the relaxed environment and help make the bar a fantastic place to reunite with some old friends amidst the craziness of an all-American bar.

Following a visit to Charlie’s, take a stroll down Brattle Street in Harvard Square’s renowned shopping area. Specifically, spend some time at “Black Ink,” a store that sells “unexpected necessities.” The store’s merchandise is arranged in tall, thin shelves, giving the illusion of a library. The shelves are stocked with quirky greeting cards, gift wraps, and miscellaneous home appliances. The store also sells items under the brand “The Museum of Useful Things.” The store boasts that “The Museum of Useful Things byline has always been ‘the beauty of function,’ the satisfaction of a well-designed product that is economical (not just in price, but in usage) made of appropriate materials, and one that does the job well, intuitively if possible.” These products include kitchen appliances, reference materials, and storage devices. As one of the very few locally owned businesses left in the area, Black Ink represents the American ideals of innovation and reinvention.

Finally, a trip to Harvard Square would not be complete without a chance to experience a local cafe. Also on Brattle Street, Crema Cafe refers to itself as a “third place—somewhere that many of us naturally seek out—a place between home and work where we can feel relaxed and comfortable, yet also connected to our community and the outside world.” The cafe offers its customers high-quality homemade goods and excellent customer service. Finding an empty table may be difficult during peak hours, but the wait is most definitely worthwhile. Whether you are looking to get some homework done or spend some time away from school or the office, Crema Cafe satisfies all its customers with savory sandwiches, creative desserts, and the best house coffee in all of Harvard Square.

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