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Cambridge, MA, August 6, 2013

Our first sojourn into the United States is to the home of Harvard U, enroute to Cape Cod, before rounding the ten-day trip off in Boston. I’m thinking Kennedys, clam chowder, magical Martha’s vineyard, marathon bombs…yes, the usual cliches – some of which had to be revised by trip’s end.

Move over clam chowder, it's truffled mac n'cheese with lobster chunks!
Move over clam chowder, it’s truffled mac n’cheese with lobster chunks!

I highly recommend staying at the Sheraton Commander (thanks for telling us about it Ren and Brendan!) as it is just a few minutes’ walk to the centre of the village.

Sheraton Commander room
Sheraton Commander room

 

Comes complete with  coffee maker, Starbucks coffee and takeaway lidded cups
Comes complete with coffee maker, Starbucks coffee and takeaway lidded cups

Harvard is where Sherman did his Masters in landscape architecture, and it’s nice to wander around looking at his old graduate design school, the “coop,” (it’s the uni co-op but pronounced like the chicken variety) and where he stayed and regularly ate and went drinking with his best friends.

"I used to live here!"
“I used to live here!”

 

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Inside the functionalist Graduate School of Design

Much to his surprise, the beautiful, beautiful Harry Widener library still has his name on record and accepted his old card, so Jude didn’t have to worry too much!

Oh nooooo!!!
Oh nooooo!!!

I took a few illegal snaps, couldn’t help myself, it was so gorgeous.

Showing the munchkins the inside of an incredible library
Showing the munchkins the inside of an incredible library

 

How to concentrate amidst such beauty?
How to concentrate amidst such beauty?

Sherman’s old barber shop was still in business so we popped by for a quick trim.

old-fashioned barbering
old-fashioned barbering

 

Posing, far from the danger of any shears.
Posing, far from the danger of any shears.

Cambridge is a lovely walkable village, dotted with redbrick university buildings and eclectic bookshops – including one dedicated to Curious George – and cool clothes stores and good restaurants – a typical though I suppose above-average, university town.

Boston ivy
Boston ivy
All things Curious George
All things Curious George

JFK Park is a pretty spot, especially with the setting sun casting its long rays over the green. There was a bunch of people doing strange things – climbing on each other, pushing, pulling, rolling …it is something called “Contact Improvisation”, says a fit-looking woman who pulls up next to us on her bike, as she prepares to join them…something about transferring body weight between partners? Who knows really. In another corner of the park are two guys heating up some kind of equipment – hash? Again, who knows.

Contact Improvisation
Contact Improvisation

 

Sun setting on the Charles River
Sun setting on the Charles River

I absolutely have to give a shout-out to two places we ate at – both  Zagat-recommended – Sandrine’s Bistro and Lê’s, a Vietnamese restaurant that does dreamy phos.

Sandrini's Bistro
Sandrine’s Bistro
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The look says it all.

 

She awoke to a huge array of coloring paraphernalia and a story book! Now that's service.
She awoke to a huge array of coloring paraphernalia and a story book! Now that’s service.

Our friend Carol’s thoughtful gift of a US Zagat guide certainly came in helpful – wherever we saw the Zagat sticker, we knew most likely, quality food awaited.

The fabulous Le's at Harvard Square
The fabulous Le’s at Harvard Square

great pho and REAL soy milk!
great pho and REAL soy milk!