Harvard Square: Where you can find gourmet food, cozy coffee shops, cute clothing stores, and wait…two of the exact same drug store within 100 yards of each other.

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a second CVS in the square squeezed on JFK street in between the Yogurtland-Shake Shack plaza and the Curious George store (Side note: Why do we have a Curious George store? In what world would you ever need to shop at a Curious George store?). The “other” CVS is puny, cramped, and a tad pathetic, but it still holds its ground. While most Harvard students probably frequent the gleaming mecca that is the Mass. Ave CVS, its lesser counterpart does yield some merit.

We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for each of the locations, in case you feel like doing some convenience store exploration in the future.

Mass. Ave.

Pros:

  1. The size. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Venture upstairs. Chat with the pharmacists. Take a nice stroll around the makeup aisle and see what the nail polish selection has to offer. This CVS is standing proof that bigger is indeed better.
  2. Self-checkout. If you’re like me and aren’t in the mood to socialize when you’re making a snack run at 1 a.m, then this location is for you. The self-checkout stations make it easy to get in and out without the human interaction in between.
  3. Frozen food options. Probably your best bet to get large quantities of ice cream and frozen pizza in the square. Also, frozen burritos aren’t as bad as they sound. You definitely won’t start craving them when you’re p-setting in the wee hours of the night or anything...

Cons: 

  1. It’s an abominable mess. The floor of this CVS is covered in so many unrecognizable fluids…it can be a bit off-putting.It’s freezing. After the one week of nice weather in September, this CVS will remain at an indoor temperature of around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Happen to stop by on a day when it’s raining or snowing? Your every step will squeeze water out of the carpet.
  2. No plastic silverware. How are you supposed to eat said tubs of ice cream? Free plastic silverware is a basic human right.

JFK St.

Pros:

  1. It’s cozy. Walk in and feel instantly at home. The employees will greet you with a warm and friendly smile. After all, you’re probably the first customer they’ve seen in months.
  2. The office supplies. Highlighters. Pens. Lisa Frank pencil cases. It’s got it all. If you don’t feel like spending a fortune at the Coop, then this CVS is calling your name.

Cons:

  1. The size. Yeah, coziness has a downside. After about 5 minutes, you’ll feel like you’re being trapped in a prison cell filled with hair products.

 Stay tuned for next week when I review the Target in Somerville! (jk too far)