24 hours in Cambridge

Posted on
Sep 3, 2009
Posted in: 24 hours, City Guide

During our trip to Boston, the hubby had some work to do in Cambridge. I went along, figuring I’d tour Harvard Square while he was busy. I was sort of apprehensive to do so, because I figured rich kids with neatly parted hair, Mid-Atlantic accents, and sweaters tied around their shoulders dominated the area, and they’d spot an outsider easily. I went to a state school, on a full-scholarship, and up until now I never realized that I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about it.

Plus, for reasons both varied and funny to me now, I’ve never seen Good Will Hunting. If I had seen it when the opportunity presented itself, I likely wouldn’t have met my husband. So now I kind of refuse to see it.

So in Cambridge, I felt a bit out of place. But after walking for a while, it wasn’t so bad. I did see rich kids with neatly parted hair, but also rich kids with dreadlocks. It all evens out.

While Rand met with important folks, I spent my time trying to talk like a Kennedy with varying levels of success (hint: aiming for Mayor Quimby is the best way to go). I also walked around campus …

Admit it: you want to park your car here, in this yard at Harvard. YES YOU DO.

This rather looks like my university, is actually much more expensive. Why pay more? Shop at Ross.

I considered taking a tour, but it was full of bright-eyed Pre-Froshs who had yet to learn the magic of Jell-O shots.

Translated from the Latin: If you can read this, you paid too much.

Translated from the Latin: If you can read this, you paid too much.

And, of course, there’s the famous statue of John Harvard, who was apparently not responsible for founding the school:

The statue has slender little legs (a nod to his TB). Visitors tend to rub his foot for good luck, though apparently some spoiled douches who go there like to pee on the statue. Lovely:

Shine your shoes, gubnor?

Shine your shoes, gubnor?

At this point, Rand managed to escape from his captors to come hang out with me! We toured Harvard Square together and walked up and down Brattle Street, which was particularly cute. Not unlike other college towns …

This was just the newsstand. It was not the entirety of Harvard Square.

This was just the newsstand. It was not the entirety of Harvard Square.

And since I hadn’t eaten in about 2 hours, I was obviously hungry again. We ended up at Sweet Cupcakes on Brattle. And while I am uber-picky about my cakes, theirs were awesome. Gourmet and highly adventurous, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Heaven ... Im in heaven ...

Heaven ... I'm in heaven ...

We ordered a Boston Cream Cupcake, which seemed fitting (I was pleased to find that Boston Cream Pies are actually from Boston. Unlike German chocolate cake, which isn’t German):

It was way too small. I will tell you that now. Buy four.

It was way too small. I will tell you that now. Buy four.

Insert comment here: something about the sweet eating a sweet, or my cupcake eating a cupcake. You figure it out.

Insert caption here: something about the sweet eating a sweet, or my cupcake eating a cupcake. You figure it out.

We then stumbled upon a shop called Black Ink, also on Brattle, which may have been a bit too clever for its own good.

The kids who work there stamp out witty little signs for all their products …

Hee.

Hee.

This was one of my favorites.

I highly recommend stopping in if you are looking for a gift, or just want to experience some of that famous coastal elitism we hear so many bad things about from Fox News. Speaking of uber-conservatism, while we were in Cambridge, we also had the opportunity to visit the extreme-right-wing head of HubSpot, Dharmesh Shah!

Here he is with my husband, laughing about the plight of poor people:

And then ... then they want free medical! Why? So theyll continue to live their poor lives? HA HA HA HA HA.

"And then ... then they want free medical! Why? So they'll continue to live their poor lives? HA HA HA HA HA."

Okay, fine. So Dharmesh isn’t an uber-right-wing Neocon. I just needed a good transition, because this post has taken me WAAAAAY too long to write (I know, I know – it certainly doesn’t seem like I spent a lot of time on it). He’s just plain awesome, and in a lot of ways, he reminds me of Rand: he’s engaging and clever and hopeful and so darn optimistic about the world and mankind. It makes you want to hug a bunny.

We visited Dharmesh at the Hubspot offices, which were brightly colored and fun in a way that only successful startups can be.

I told Rand to pretend he was drowning. I love that I dont need to explain myself anymore - he just gets it.

I told Rand to pretend he was drowning in the porthole. I love that I don't need to explain myself anymore.

And here I am thinking about something important, I’m sure …

If you fart in a space suit, will you be able to smell it?

"If you fart in space, will you explode?"

Sadly, I have no photos of Dharmesh’s wife, Kirsten, but she’s hot. Like, super hot. And smart. I know, I know – it sounds like I made her up. And considering there’s no photo, that might be true. Perhaps her awesomeness transcends reality, and she exists only in my mind. Whoa.

Dharmesh took us to dinner at Oleana, a Turkish restaurant in Cambridge that offers a vegetarian tasting menu he wanted us to try. Now, keep in mind, before I tell you about this place, that I love meat. LOVE it. I carry salami in my purse. I’ve eaten chocolate with bacon in it (and vice versa). I’ve eaten tripe, ear, tongue, foot, kidney, liver, heart, and a variety of other things from a variety of animals. I respect vegetarians in the same way I respect people who get up at 6:30 in the morning to go jogging: I wish you all the best, but there’s no way in hell I’m doing that, because I might poop my pants.

That being said (and I can’t even believe I’m typing this, but it’s true): our dinner at Oleana was one of the best meals of my life. No, seriously. Top five at least. And I realize by telling you that, I’m setting you up for disappointment should you ever go there, but tough – I want to relive the memory in all its glory.

With the tasting menu, we each ended up with different courses (I’m pretty sure I told our waiter to tell the chef that we were a table full of hot, gamine women, in hopes we’d get even better food. LIKE THAT WAS EVEN POSSIBLE).

I think this was Rands. Beets or something. It was awesome.

I think this was Rand's. Beets or something. It was awesome.

Salad with cherries and awesome sauce.

Salad with cherries and awesome sauce.

Awesom-sparagus.

Blah blah blah - AWESOME!

Mush-awesomes!

There are more photos, but I’m tired (and I ran out of adjectives, like, four posts ago … AWESOME!). So let’s just get to dessert. Which was so delicious that I think Dharmesh may have tried to shut me up because he didn’t want me TALKING OVER the flavor of the food. I might be paranoid. But I think it happened, so it did.

Insert caption here: something something EFFING AWESOME something.

Insert caption here: something something EFFING AWESOME something.

And, as payment for trying to shut me up, here is a photo of “Cranky Dharmesh” which I found hysterical, because he’s really not cranky at all in person. Maybe he was hungry. HEY DHARMESH, MAYBE IF YOU ATE MEAT YOU WOULDN’T BE SO TEMPERAMENTAL. HA HA HA HA.

Lucy, you got some splanin to do!

"Lucy, you got some 'splanin to do!"

Seriously, he and Kirsten were great. I’m just really bad at saying thank you. They made Cambridge a place I want to go back to, and soon.

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