Changing cultural locations

From my perspective, Harvard Square in Cambridge has gone downhill over the past decade or so. My chief criterion for judging Harvard Square has always been the number and quality of the bookstores — there used to be more than fifty bookstores in and around the Square, and now there are only eight. People are pushier than they used to be and often nasty. The street musicians are mostly whiny singer-songwriters and pop-star wannabes.

This afternoon, I got off the subway at Davis Square in Somerville. McIntyre and Moore Used Books in Davis Square has become my favorite bookstore. People walking around the square seemed cheerful and friendly. The street musician in the subway station was playing Baroque music on an alto recorder.

Forget Cambridge. Forget Harvard Square. These days, Davis Square, Somerville, is where it’s at.