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Nestled under thick blankets, I can feel the cold air of our apartment on my nose. We like rules, and we set one a while back, when it was still warm, that we’d wait until the high outside was consistently below 55 degrees to turn on the heat. To save money on gas each month, we said. For now we burrow in bed for as long as possible and then rush out of the apartment. We kiss goodbye in the little yard behind our house and I nibble on a concord grape from our neighbor’s vine. Sam bikes to MIT, and I bike to Harvard. On my way to campus I pass the Rindge & Latin School and that’s when I know I’m almost there.

Like every other Harvard student, I live in Cambridge. But my Cambridge is a 15-minute bike ride and two and a half miles away from campus, and it’s not really a destination for most students. In order to explain where I live, I’ve developed the following explanation:

Have you ever been to Inman Square?

Oh, good! Yeah, it’s really cute.

Do I live there? No, not exactly. I live past Inman, in East Cambridge.

I’m actually pretty close to the Cambridgeside Galleria.

That’s right, the mall. Have you been?

My neighborhood is suburban and quiet. I live on a street that is part of a larger network of streets filled with three-story houses and small lawns. It’s the sort of neighborhood where people decorate their houses for Halloween and leave them up even once the holiday has ended. We have local convenience stores that don’t carry everything but generally do the trick. A few days ago I tried to buy pureed pumpkin for a cake I was making. The store only had pureed squash, but I figured it would do. Last Saturday night I tried to get a slice of pizza from the local place, but they were closed. What kind of pizza shop is closed on a Saturday night? It worked out, though, because we went home and put some soup on the stove. It warmed up the apartment nicely.

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