Square is located in Cambridge
where Massachusetts Avenue
(aka Mass Ave) takes a sharp turn around the perimeter of Harvard Yard
. Despite recent gentrification
, Harvard Square has retained a tiny bit of the character that made it well-known. The square is home to a collection of retail
, bars, cafes, restaurants and something of a street scene.
Harvard Square's location just outside of a world-class university has probably always influenced its character. In the late 1960's, Haravard Square was a local focus of the student radical movement, an East Coast Haight-Ashbury. It became associated with the leftism and hippies, acquiring a reputation for funkiness.
Recently, some famous landmarks were razed to make room for generic retail such as Abercrombie & Fitch, and the area is slowly turning into an outdoor mall; however, there are still enough outdoor performers, bands, mentally ill homeless people and evangelists to maintian a fresh feeling that you won't get in any mall.
Harvard Square is also the location of a bus stop and subway stop on the Red Line of the MBTA. The area around the subway entrance is slightly sunken, and known as the pit. The punks and disaffected youth who hang there are known as pit rats.
Harvard Square is adjacent to Central Square and Porter Square, which surround it in either direction on Mass Ave.