Yumminess Returns to Davis Square


The Somerville News reports that Mr. Crepe is once again open in Davis Square. Susan and I were fond of noshing on their sweet and savory crepes in their old location on Holland Street and took to calling it Monsieur Crepe. It’s good that Mr. Crepe is open once again in a more central location.

On the other hand, that location was home to the legendary Someday Cafe coffee shop. Although I often found the Someday too crowded to go into, it was a great meeting space and subject of a Jim Infantino song. Real estate concerns forced the Someday out last summer. However, the Somerville News also has happy news to report about the possibility of Someday Cafe reopening within Sacco’s Bowl Haven, an intriguing if odd combination. If both these local businesses can reopen and succeed in new locations it will be the happiest moment for me since The Globe Corner Bookstore reopened in a new and larger location in Harvard Square.

This whole issue has me thinking of all the great local businesses that have gone away in the short eight years I’ve lived in the Boston areas. I started jotting down a few names and came up with this list.

The Necrology of Boston Area Businesses
Denise’s Ice Cream – Davis Square
Disc Diggers – Davis Square
Union Square Bistro – Union Square
Eat – Union Square
Tir Na nOg – Union Square (closing on January 30)
hardware store – Magoun Square (just because I can’t remember its name doesn’t mean I don’t miss it)
WordsWorth Books – Harvard Square
Billings & Stover Apothecary – Harvard Square
Sage’s grocery store – Harvard Square
Johnny’s Luncheonette – Central Square
Kendall Cafe – Kendall Square
Curious Liquids – Beacon Hill
Cafe Marliave – Downtown
The Littlest Bar – Downtown
Irish Embassy Pub – West End
Mike’s Doughnuts – Everett
Juicy Lucy’s – Watertown

I suppose people of a certain economic bent would just say that’s the way of the market economy and that businesses like these just didn’t have what it takes to succeed. But each of these businesses provided something to me, something of high quality, and in most cases something I’m not finding in surviving businesses. I’m certainly not finding it in the chain stores, banks, cell phone stores, and condos that are popping up everywhere the local businesses used to operate.

I Went to School in Allston


The old joke — or is it a truism? — about Harvard University alumni is that they will say “I went to school in Cambridge” as way of modestly saying that they attended Harvard without saying the word Harvard. In the future this line may not work anymore, because Harvard University has acquired large tracts of land across the river in Allston. And they have a plan.

The Boston Globe revealed the news about the plan for Harvard in Allston earlier today. I perused the 74-page document (oh, okay I just looked at the pictures) and includes ambitious efforts to reshape Allston into a dense neighborhood similar to Harvard Square and have it be friendly to pedestrians, bicyclists, the local community, and the environment. All this work will take place over the next 20 to 50 years. I should live so long!

I envision myself as a curmudgeonly old man wagging my finger and shouting “You whippersnappers don’t know what it was like to ride a bicycle down North Harvard Street when it was nothing but potholes and broken glass.”