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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, May 28, 2024

T Time: Spring in Central Square

T-time column graphic
Graphic by Emma Selesnick

This past Sunday, I woke up early, hopped on the T and spent my morning strolling around Central Square and the surrounding neighborhoods. For those interested in visiting, you can take the Red Line from Davis Square and reach your destination within 20 minutes.

Central Station opened in 1912 as part of the MBTA’s extension across the Charles River into Cambridge. Central Station — along with Harvard and then Kendall (now Kendall/MIT) — was designed to provide commuters easy access into Boston. However, even before the subway system’s extension, Central Square had been a transit hub, with horsecars and streetcars passing through the neighborhood. The MBTA renovated the station in the late 1980s, leaving us with the current facade that we know today.

My main motivation for traveling to Central Square was to visit its adjoining neighborhood, which happens to be my favorite in the Greater Boston area: Cambridgeport. 

As the name suggests, Cambridgeport historically served as a conduit for goods traveling up the Charles River to the more urbanized parts of Cambridge. Today, the neighborhood is an urbanist’s dream. Many areas in the U.S. ban mixed-use zoning; however, as I strolled through the neighborhood, I encountered single-family homes, duplexes, apartment buildings, churches, parks and businesses. This diversity in the structure and use of buildings gives the neighborhood a great sense of character, preventing every street from looking like a carbon copy of the other.

Not only do buildings differ in structure, but there is also a wide variety of colors, making every street look like a Crayola Crayon box. Cambridgeport is a neighborhood I would love to live in one day, but with an average home price of over $1 million, we will have to wait and see if I can make that happen.

Given that this was Easter morning, I passed families walking to church, Easter egg hunts in people’s front yards and picnics in parks. I don’t think I could conjure up a more idyllic spring scene than that. After walking for a while, I stopped in at Black Sheep Market, a super cute store in Cambridgeport, got a bagel and iced tea and ate my breakfast in nearby Dana Square Park. After a cold winter and a week of rain and gloom, the feeling of the sun on my skin felt euphoric.

While I spent most of my morning in Cambridgeport, the main drag of Central Square along Massachusetts Avenue is chock full of things to do. There were tons of restaurants, thrift stores (I highly recommend Boomerangs) and even an H Mart where I stopped to pick up a few snacks.  

I hope to be back in Central Square and Cambridgeport soon, and I encourage anyone reading this to take the trip as well!