Sunday, June 16, 2013

Across Cambridge: A Brief Unused Itinerary for an Out of Towner on the Fly....

1.) The Maritime Museum at M.I.T. A small but well organized collection of professionally ship models. It is otherwise a good showcase of an art form that if it hasn't been abolished by digital imaging it soon will be. The scale model of the "USS President" alone is worth the trip. 2.) Either Central Square or Inman Square...a decision that would have to be made on the fly. In Central there is "Rodney's Bookstore" one of the last independent publisher overstock/used bookstores left on Mass Ave (an empire that once stretched from the Back Bay out to Route 128). For shits and grins we can stop in at the Pandemonium Bookstore, which shells fantasy and SF exclusively, these days it is a front for marathon RPGs. Not sure just how they make their money quite frankly. My parents grew up in and around Central Square, it has been trying to "class up" since 1936 with little luck, it'll fruitlessly continue this process right up until perdition. 3.) If Not Central, Then Inman: Home of the "Lorum Ipsum Bookstore" a gathering place for the last of the amateur "zine writers" of Metro Boston. Small but good collection of vintage pulp paperbacks. Also home of the "S&S Deli", lunch here is still considered a corporal work of mercy in the Dioceses of Boston. Targets of opportunity "The Zeitgeist Station" and "The Lily Pad", they might be open and they might have interesting art therein displayed who knows? 4.) Harvard Square: Across Cambridge Common on Foot perhaps a look see into the remnants of the Coop, definitely a stop in at the "Million Year Picnic" (if only to paw thru their collection of pulp fiction). A stroll thru Harvard Yard, the Steps of the Widener Library by which to briefly gawk at the progeny of the overclass, Memorial Hall and the cheesy-ass student center under it. There is no point in seeing The Harvard Film Archive unless somehow something worthwhile is being screened, the building is unremarkable and given over to modern art exhibitions for the most part. Oh and of course "The Harvard Bookstore" best used book outlet left in Cambridge, I buy a lot of stuff here, it's ability to beguile should not be underestimated. Oh and the Grolier Poetry Bookshop round the corner, if only because they still believe. Targets of opportunity, The Porcellian, well hidden Harvard Frat composed well heeled layabouts. In Your Ear Records, an actual for real used record store! The Harvard Lampoon which is off limits to helotry but nice to look all the same. And then there is the Mount Auburn Cemetery, last resting place of the Brahmin Elite of Boston, a class of cold unyielding people given over to austere theology and self denial...when they died after a lifetime of eschewing all immodesty they'd be buried under a two ton replica of the Sphinx or perhaps if of a retiring disposition the Temple of Athena. See it all soon, a lot of it is bound to vanish over the short term.

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