It’s been well over a year since the MBTA decommissioned a pair of bus stops near limeduck world HQ, and the space is still vacant. They finally removed the bus stop sign, but there’s still a no parking sign. No car parking, bike parking, no EV charging, no pocket park, no Bridj stop, no hopscotch board. I’ve got to say I’m (still) disappointed. I don’t miss the bus stop much, but every time I walk by, I think, “meh.” It’s in front of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, you’d think they could do something with it.
Well, interestingly enough, this Friday, many Cambridge parking spots will be turned into something else, but this area, since it’s not a parking spot, will remain a void.
This Friday is PARK(ing) Day, a sort of open-source urban intervention wherein people occupy parking spots (the do feed the meters) and create temporary parks and other 200 square foot oases for the day. Our Fair City, Cambridge, is participating and the map below shows the location of most of the sites so far.
I’m looking forward to PARK(ing) Day and I hope it gives Cambridge – and maybe others – some good ideas about using spare street space for something interesting, maybe even more than once a year.
Today I noticed two more casualties along the mid-Cambridge furniture district, the stretch of Mass Ave between Central and Harvard formerly known as the Futon District. One was no surprise, but the other was, at least to me, shocking and even a little sad.
First up, or rather, first down, City Schemes. After looking empty of customers for years and throwing up giant SALE banners to no obvious effect, the Mass Ave showroom is now empty, but City Schemes continue to peddle European style to metrosexual bachelors and James Bond villains from their Somerville warehouse.
Second, Crate and Barrel has closed their second and last remaining Cambridge location after 37 years. I must admit, though I always wished for a CB2 instead, I was a little sad to see the last nearby C&B go. Now you’ll have to go to Boston or Burlington, or more likely the internets, to shop your friends’ commitment ceremony registries. At least you can slake your Marimekko thirst at their shop in Huron Village without crossing the river or the beltway.
Five years ago I surveyed the furniture landscape on this strip and worried it was going away. Well, we never did get that IKEA in Somerville, but furniture retail continues to take a beating here in the 02139.
Getting back to basics and spending more time in the 02139, I dropped in at Mariposa Bakery and got reacquainted with my old friend, the savory scone.
Mariposa offers several scones on some kind of rotation, but I always gravitate to the savory (try their pretzel rolls!) which usually means some combination of cheese and allium, in this case, cheddar scallion.
It’s early in the season so I’ll be kind, this was an entirely adequate scone. Not very cheesy, not very oniony, and a bit underdone in the middle. Buttery but not so flaky. If it were a madeline, it would remind you of a waiting room, and definitely need to be dipped in some tea.
I still love Mariposa and will be back, perhaps to sample a cheese sandwich next time.