Friday, January 5, 2007

Harvard Square Keeps Getting Better and Better

Haven't you thought to yourself that what Harvard Square really needs
is another bank or two, maybe even a Citibank. Dreams can come true.
The building that once house HMV music will soon have a great big
Citibank. Thank God that people from Manhattan will be able to find
their favorite bank. Wainwright Bank will also share the ground floor
of the building, because as we all know banks like banks as neighbors.
EMS will move upstairs. Citibank is allegedly paying $150 per square

The Square keeps changing. Years ago it wasn't much different from
Cushing Square in Belmont. Then for a decade it was full of bookstores
and cafes and music stores. Paperback Booksmith was open 24 hours a
day and the Harvard Coop music department was headquarters for the
youth of New England. Wordsworth closed. The Architecture Book Store
above Cafe Pamplona is gone, as is the St. Thomas More bookstore, Asia
Books, Moore and McIntyre, Starr Bookstore, the Bookshelf on Church
St., Mandrake Books on Story Street, and the Harvard Law School Book
Annex. The music stores grew into two superstores -Tower and HMV- and
then imploded. Maybe The Coop music department will revive. Bailey's
closed, Brigham's closed, Uncle Ira's closed, Fred's Ice Cream closed
and so did the strange ice cream store on Mt. Auburn store where they
would use the microwave to make a frappe. Cellphone stores looked like
a good threat for a while but the one on Church St. and Brattle closed.
Allegedly Harvard Real Estate rented that space with the intention of
renting it to a cool food store like Dean & DeLuca or an uncool food
store like Trader Joe's. If we move to a cashless society then all
these banks will disappear in a Darwinian ... plop.