If there's one thing that says Cambridge more than any other, it would have to be its universities. Named for the town in England that's also known worldwide for its university, Cambridge, Massachusetts also elicits respect and curiosity near and far. And Harvard Yard, the epicenter of the college, is enjoyed daily by thousands who have absolutely no affiliation at all. In fact, the yard was home to many an « occupier » a couple of years ago, when the anti-establishment youth group was trying to make its point. Now, very much unoccupied, the large grassy courtyard is filled with colorful chairs for anyone to sit down and read or study underneath its many beautiful trees.

On almost any day, one can find a free-and-open-to-the-public lecture or performance of first-rate quality and interest. From space exploration, to documentary movies, political discussions at the Kennedy School of Government's « Forum », scholars and diplomats of all shapes and sizes offering lectures on all sorts of issues, the doors really do swing open to the public for engaging programs and presentations on diverse hot topics.

At the other end of town, young techie’s dart about in purposeful strides, entering the relatively tall buildings in their uniform of T-shirts and sneakers. Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Facebook are now represented there, in Kendall Square, itself just a block or two from the iconic campus of MIT. The newly resurfaced Beacon Street— Somerville’s connector to Cambridge and Kendall Square— now has the area’s first dedicated street-level bike lane that is separated from the cars with a solid barrier. About time!

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Updated: 31st May, 2020 1:11 AM.