Over the past 350 years Harvard has grown from grazing fields in a village north of Boston to an international university that dominates the geography of West Cambridge.
Over the years the University has expanded across the Charles River into Allston and north into Somerville. But in pursuit of this Manifest Destiny, Harvard's expansions have prompted people living at the edge of Harvard's property to join in angry debates over Harvard's land purchases and building projects.
Harvard's prestige and size presents the community with a paradox--they enjoy its resources and revenue but at times bemoan the monstrosity it has become.
"A lot of people who are not from around here think that Cambridge is Harvard," said area resident and schoolteacher Lisa Marie Shaler. "But of course living here we know that there is much, much more to the city that just the University."
The Crimson trekked to the edges of Harvard--although not as far as the villa in Italy--to find out what people living just past the University's edge think of their fair neighbor.
East Side Intellectuals
The Broadway Starbucks is a place where town and gown mingle. Students--from Harvard and the nearby Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School--dash in for a cup to go, while grad students and locals linger to read and chat.
At Harvard's eastern edge a neighborhood of modest row houses bumps against the University Art Museums, offices and the Law School's parking garage.