IMPORTANT LAST MINUTE INPORMATION: You are signed up for at least a semester in sunny Cambridge. Mass. If you had intended to pass the time in New Haven, Providence's or Ithaca, get on the telephone in adequately. If you're already lurking in the Square, waiting to get the good bed, trains leave regularly from South Station.
This article is intended solely for the use of those who will be tooling around in what has frequently been called. "The Ultimate College Town. "Your parents paid a lot of money so you could pay a lot of money for over-priced cocktails and listen to New Wave music this fall. Read the following and make the scene.
The food here is line It's the trays food on a tray whether at Harvard or elsewhere, inevitably tastes like over-bolted potatoes or reconstituted scrambled eggs. Sometimes it tastes like halibut cheese casserole, and that when it's time to head for the exit.
If near the exit there's a long black car with your initials on the license plates, you may want to instruct Charles to zip you over to Ferdinand's (121 Mt. Auburn St.) or the Harvest (44 Brattle St.), two of the city's more prominent $30 per person eateries. Beware of the stampeding Brahmins and scheming Harvard administrators, both of whom turn up at these spots for lunch.
When the folks visit and demand to "see the sights" you may want to give their credit card a little workout at one of the more exorbitant
Equally tourist-clogged but less
Closer to home, reasonably priced
The Square and surrounding
You'll immediately want to acquaint yourself with various real-life Harvard student spots--those nirvanas beyond SATs and the public service, where sophisticated undergraduates gather to discuss LSATs and internships.
Cafe Pamnlona, conveniently across from
Elsie's has served River House residents ably for generations. Regretabbly, the place is entering the 21st century with high tech signs, moderately prompt service, and opperssive video games in an adjacent mini-arcade. But everyone must sample the famous TD (Turkey Deluxe), and Elsie's offers a neat breakfast for under $2. The Kennedys allegedly broke from touch football games in front of Winthrop House for snacks and chow-dah at the big E.
Celebrity customers notwithstanding, Tommy's Lunch down the block stands apart from the rest. A cultural Mecca for the Lowell-Adams House axis, the Tomster usually attracts a heady mix of preppies and offspring of third world ruling classes. Don't order anything more than a frappe or a cheesestead, and don't talk to strangers with eye patches.
Even pretentious people like pizza, and at Bel Canto 928 Mass Ave.) you can ruin a perfectly good mound of grease and tomato sauce with bean sprouts or broccoli. The pies themselfs are exemplary. Other options are all within a couple hundred yards of the Yard. Harvard Pizza and Pinnochio's for quick service, Uno's for a full meal; deep-dish Chicago-style and Regine's for lukewarm cardboard.
Your proctor has already organized a field trip to Steve's Ice Cream in Somerville (191 elm St.). Go sign up; it's worth the walk forthis super-rich, semi-soft delicacy. Emack and Bolio's, relocated on MAss. Ave., prepares an equally competent dish but doesn't mix in the Heath Bars. Cahaly's (47 Mt. Auburn St.) sports a newly enlarged ice-cream disco bar. Baskin and Robbins (541 Mass. Ave.) never adjusted to the new generation competition of homemade ice cream flavors, though the famous 31 still beat the hell out of Brigham's (1420 Mass Ave.) chalky offerings. Bailey's, around on Brattle St., has only the old fashioned cones and sundaes, but boasts the most pleasing atmosphere of all.
No respectable college term paper rolls of the Smith Corona before midnight. Thus, the all-night dive. Store 24 (1438 Mass Ave.) provides everything from soup to nuts for the odd hours gourmand. Fig Newtons are just as delicious as you remember, and Mom's not around to stop you from eating the whole box. Brigham's has sour coffee and bad ice cream. Both used to stay open 24 hours a day. Now they close before 3 a.m. No class.
If you have access to a car, use it to get out to the International House of Pancakes on Soldier's Field Road. A lively crowd gathers by sun-up, and the baby blue decor can't be topped.
This problem is past the fad stage and is on its way into the heart of American culture. Pac Man. Asteriods, Robotron. Bzeeeep-Bleeeep-Kzing! Etc. At Harvard, the games dominate entire social cliques. People do psych papers on them and plan class schedules around prime-time hours at their favorite areade. Play it safe and give all your quarters to the wheelchair basketball man who parks across from Out of Town News.
For use already addicted, a brief description of the places you'll spend your fall;
Tommy's brags only a few choice machines, but many of the top area games people gather there to challenge the Alpine slopes or drive a bouncy little racer into oblivion. Mel, the Bookseller, the bearded gent who sits in the corner near the jukebox most afternoons, gives Tommy's five stars, mumbling something about space creatures in his office.
B>Elsie's has walled off an entire game room, where the people in the candy-striped shirts also sell tackets to rock 'n' schlock extravagances at the Cape Cod Coliseum. Plenty of variety, and when it rains, they put green sawdust on the floor. Sort of like being on Neptune.
on Mass Ave. offers three times as many machines but not half the atmosphere of the two luncheonettes. Too clean; too many little kids. No french fries. Stay closer to home, or even try the small arcades in Quincy House and the Union.
Booze and Tunes
Har healther for mind and soul is a belly full of been and a head full of rhythm and blues. The Boston must scene features an electric range of garbage hard contenoise maker, firesome. New Wave cover groups and many interesting bands floating somewhere in between Indulge with guste but don't stand too close to anyone whose head gets that lemon fresh Joy shine
The excitement only rarely produce science at Jonathan Swift's in the Square More often, you'll find blues, reggae, or some old-style rock and roll. The cover charge is usually moderate, and even the area's top bands such as the Stompers--play for at least three hours most nights. Arrive early or stand all night, especially when a nationally known act is in town
Jack's down the street on Mass Ave.. leans a little bit more toward the middle of the road and attracts more blown-dried hair. Seating is even more limited, and the sound varies from fuzzy to static. The door man at Jack's is often lentent with IDs, and this is key in a state where you have to be 20 to drink legally. (Keep this criterian in mind before setting off for some highly recommended saloon on the other side of Boston).
The Paradise, on Common wealth Ave off the Green Line, is the top club in town, just short of the Orpheun and the Boston garden Covers are often steep, and shows tend to end rather promptly at midnight. Drinks, needless to say, are even more expensive then elsewhere. Since you can often see the same band at Swift's a day or two before or after the Paradise date, it pays to stay home in Cambridge.
Music fans on the cutting edge of trendy rock will want to explose other venues, including Boston's Channel, Metre, and Rat.
For drinking without distraction, the Hong Kong offers an interesting variety of Polynesian drinks and international beers in a second-floor lounge. The house speciality is a salad bowl full of fruit juice, rum, and God knows what else. It comes equipped with long straws and plent of stale popcorn.
The Bow and Arrow, two doors down on Bow St. has the cheapest, thinnest beer around. The bikers and townies start brawling by 11 P.m Watch for broken glass Charlie's Kitchen, on Eliot St. offers a decent grill menu (the cheese burger platter is a great filler-upper) and a big screen for sporting even upstairs. No tough stuff but dominated by natives who don't care where you prepped. Harvard Provision, on Mt. Auburn St. sells by the case for the economical consiner.
Flicks and Shows
The regional specialities are non-first-run movies, cult flicks, and Borgart orgies. The Harvard Square Theatre shows a lot of movies that probably didn't deserve to exist the first time around, but you will also find a steady stream of classies and up to 20 different shows every week. The midnight screenings often feature soft porn along the lines of Emmanuclle and the New York Frotic Film Festival. Yes, there are little old men in rain coats there.
The Orson Welles (100 Mass. Ave.) shows share of oldies but also features current European films and the work of obscure artists. If you go often enough, you'll notice that everyone else in the audience knows each other and speaks German.
The Brattle Theater on Brattle St. shows classics, the Galerin on Bolyston St. offers an interesting mix of old and new. For the season's that staff, check the SACK listings in Boston and the 'burbs
Boston offers only a smattering of drama and musicals, but on Brattle St., the Loeb Drama Center will once again provide students with wide ranging