36 Hours in Cambridge: Student Edition

By George J Lok

If you read the New York Times, as most Harvard students do, you may have noticed an article by Ethan Gildsdorf about Cambridge today. The article starts by describing Cambridge’s long history since 1630 and points out that it’s difficult to “tune into Cambridge’s legendary countercultural vibe of used bookstores and punk rockers.” The bulk of the article goes on to give interested readers ideas for what they could do should they find themselves with 36 hours to spare in Cambridge.

Much like some of Harvard Square’s shopping outlets, the article’s author forgets that his audience includes (broke) college students. But have no fear: Flyby always remembers. So here are ways to modify Gildsdorf’s suggestions so you don’t have to sell your soul to your accountant. We won’t be describing the whole 36 hours because, let’s be honest, if you ever have 36 free hours you probably missed the deadline to enroll in classes despite the 594 emails you got reminding you about the deadline.


The article suggests that you visit Grolier Poetry Book Shop, the Harvard Book Store, Newbury Comics, and more in order “to taste the brainy shock waves of Harvard Square.” But brainy students know, you’re better off paying a visit to the Free and For Sale Facebook page. After all, you’ll never get a better deal on books than you will from an upperclassman desperate to get rid of all traces their unfortunate encounters with previous classes. If it’s Ec 10 they might even pay you to take their book.


In this section, Gilsdorf suggests places for visitors to fill their stomach. He suggests Mr. Bartley’s for its dorm room vibe. You know what else resembles a dorm room, but you don’t have to pay extra to eat in? Your dorm room. Grab your cereal and potentially expired milk and you’ll have a meal fit for royalty without having to go more than 10 feet.

3. M.I.T. TOUR

I really had higher hopes for Ethan. I never thought he’d stoop so low as to suggest Cambridge visitors take a trip to M.I.T. Here’s Flyby’s advice for you on this one. Don’t. If you have enough free time to wander M.I.T’s campus, you should find a hobby (Even if that hobby is staring at a brick wall).


The author of this article wants you to pay $6 for “garlic knots” and also get coffee at Area Four. But we all know, if you’re craving caffeine, there’s only one place to go. Capital One bank. That’s right, you should skip right over all the overpriced cafes and head straight to Capital One. Because with a Capital One card, you can get 50% off Peet’s coffee. Take that, garlic knots.


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