Connecting Cambridge & Somerville to create a vibrant community.

Monthly Archives: May 2013

Did you know? Porter Square was named for the now-vanished Porter’s Hotel, operated by Zachariah B. Porter, who also left his name to the hotel’s specialty, the cut of steak known as porter house. And back in the day, the current shopping plaza was home to the 19th Century Rand Estate. So if you think about it, Porter Square has always been center for commerce. Click here for our photo gallery of Porter Square. 

Cambridge Naturals
23 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)cambridge naturals

Cambridge Naturals was founded in 1974 to fulfill a vision of establishing a community natural health store. The mission is to sell nutritional supplements for health and wellness, pure, clean body care products and organic foods. They offer classes, speakers, workshops, and tastings weekly on all subjects from “enhancing brain function” to water filters.

They are a local family-owned store and are members of BOTH Cambridge Local First & Somerville Local First. They are also a Sustainable Business Leader.  Shop there and give back to a truly vibrant organization building a sustainable economy!

Porter Square Books
25 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)

With regular book signings and events, a special section dedicated to local authors, all your favorite guilty IMG_1559pleasure books (The Hunger Games, anyone?), AND the option to purchase e-books right from the store, Porter Square Books really is your one-stop-shop for all things reading.  A recent event included a collaboration with the Cambridge Public Library to bring Temple Grandin to town to talk about her experiences, and an evening with Ilan Mochari, Somerville author of the new book Zinsky the Obscure! Porter Square Books is also home to Cafe Zing, a great coffee corner featuring baked goods and Equal Exchange coffee. Porter Square Books is currently looking for a new owner – so if you have ever wanted to own a book shop, this is the perfect one.

TAGS Hardware
29 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)

TAGS Hardware is a local, independent family-owned store, operating in Cambridge since 1955. As one of the founders of Cambridge Local First, TAGS participates in a variety of local and global issues and offers a vareity of annual events. TAGS Hardware sells a lots of home goods, kitchenware, paint, nuts a bolts. TAGS is great for seasonal needs (plants, salts, etc.) and energy efficiency products.

Liquor World
13 White Street (Porter Square Shopping Center)

In need of local, delicious and inexpensive treats for the weekend?  Well this is the place to stop by. The proprietors are knowledgeable, the wine plentiful, and there are always deals on a variety of goods. Liquor World also provides the occasional tastings, from boubon to sake.

Yuko Wo Katare
1923 Massachusetts AveIMG_1561

Have you ever walked by when this place was open and NOT seen a line down the block? Neither have we! Yuko Wo Katare is the newest addition to the Cambridge/Boston ramen scene, straight from Japan. The restaurant only serves ramen two ways and is open from 5pm to 11pm Tuesdays-Sundays. They do not do take out, so make sure to get in line early!

Tibet Arts 
Massachusetts Avenue

Walking into this shop brings you into another country – or so it seems. Tibet Arts offers a variety of literature, apparel and jewelery from Tibet. The wares are beautiful, the ambience relaxing, and the smells are amazing.  You can get gorgeous healing bracelets for only $7 and prayer flags. Definitely worth a walk up Mass Ave.

Baptiste Yoga
2000 Massachusetts Avenue

Ready to sweat it out?  Then Baptiste is the place to go  for hot yoga – from beginner to expert. Founded in the 1940’s by Walt Baptiste, it has since been taken over by his son Baron, who has brought the movement to national fame with appearances on MTV and Good Morning America.  Stop over for a great early morning class and get your day started off right.

Christopher’s & Toad
1912 & 1920 Massachusetts Avenue

Also a member of the Sustainable Business Network, Christopher’s has been a Cambridge institution for over 30 years, holding strong as an anchor for Porter Square.  Christopher’s is also connected to Toad, a great neighborhood  venue to see live music any day of the week.  Stop by Christopher’s for a delicious and affordable dinner, and make it a date night by rounding out the evening with some great local and live music at Toad.

Cambridge Clogs
1798 Massachusetts Avenue

Oh clogs, how my feet love thee.  Walk into this quirky store with deliciously comfortable shoes packed into every nook and cranny, and you can almost feel your feet smile.  And the owner and staff are so helpful and make sure to help you find the right fit.  Looking for cute stockings, too? You can get a variety fo knee highs and colorful stockings too. Cambridge Clogs is perfect fit for those looking for a comfortable and unique sense of style.

Joie de vire
1792 Massachusetts Avenuejoie de vire

I think that their website says it best: “Our stock includes wind-up toys, kaleidoscopes, jewelry, flashing rings, clocks, snowglobes, music boxes, books, postcards, rubber ducks, singing animals and all kinds of other things designed to enchant, or give pleasure through the unexpected.”  And that is right – enchant it will!  A great place to stop off and grab a little trinket to supplement that gift for your friends or family, or get that gag gift your office desk. You will definitely find something for anyone, ages 1 to 99.  Check their website regularly for a special monthly item.

Guitar stop
1760 Massachusetts Avenue

A family owned and operated store selling all music-playing needs, Guitar Stop has been open since 1962.  You can get private lessons in guitar, bass, piano, and even ukele! Call or email the store to learn more about lessons.  Guitar Stop also hosts group workshops, including Kid Jam, an 8-week series designed to teach kids to play guitar solo or in a band.

Sudo Shoes
1771 Massachusetts Avenuesudo shoes

Walk with principle, indeed. For those of you who are passionate about animal rights and dislike wearing leather, you must check out Sudo Shoes, Cambridge’s only vegan shoe store. Vegan shoes doesn’t mean you can’t be on trend! Sudo Shoes brings in new styles for men and women every day, every season. Check out their facebook page to find out what’s in the store today!

1773 Massachusetts Avenue

Clothware began as a “womens design collective”, producing an original line of fashion alternatives in Cambridge. Founded in the sevenities in Harvard Square, Clothware remains loyal to the same criteria that accounted for its initial success in the store’s new Porter Square location. Clothware offers a variety of apparel and accessories, women’s sleepware, as well as travel, career and weekend wear. Clothware is one of the founders of Cambridge Local First, so its only fitting that many of the designers at Clothware are local, too! 

Miso Market
1963 Massachusetts Avenuemiso market

Porter Square is home to a variety of Asian restaurants, especially in the Porter Exchange retail area, so it is only fitting that the Square has a great Japanese grocery store. Miso Market is packed with fresh made sushi, Japanese sweets, an aisle dedicated to noodles, packaged ramen and much more. Make sure to stop by and grab a bento box today!

ACE Wheelworks
145 Elm Street (Somerville)

Wheelworks is a wonderful stop on your cycling adventure.  Great for commuters, recreational cyclists, racers, or families out for a weekend jaunt – stop in and say hi!  Whether you need to purchase a new bike, are looking for lights, need specialty gear, or are in need of a tune-up, you can do it there.


What is the definition of a maven? An expert or connoisseur. The word maven comes from Hebrew, via Yiddish, and means one who understands, based on an accumulation of knowledge.

Well that certainly describes David Day, a maven in many respects. We were able to meet up with him at Phoenix Landing in Central Square, Day’s professional home base.  And home base it is – he knows many people around the Square, coordinates frequently with the Central Square Business Association, and is in fact the Mayor of the Landing on Foursquare.  This is again bringing us back to how David is a maven – an expert, one who has gathered knowledge and wants to pass it on.


David Day is the co-Director and co-Founder of the MMMMaven Agency, featuring MMMMaven Presents (events), The MMMMaven Project (DJ School), and MMMMaven Artists (artist representation). He is also the Creative Director of the Together Festival, now in it’s fourth year.

Day and his co-founder of MMMMaven, Alex Maniatis took the plunge a little over a year ago when David left his position as Editor of the Weekly Dig to follow his dream of creating the MMMMaven Agency.  David and Alex felt that there was a need for teaching people about music, connecting artists together all year round and not just bringing people together once a year at a festival. As he says, “Entrepreneurs can be creative too!” And MMMMaven brings just that together – entrepreneurship and creativity, all in one building on Mass Ave.  Day and his partners used Indiegogo (a crowdsourcing funding mechanism) to raise start-up capital, and away they went.

Day soon realized that there was more than just a need for event production and artist representation. A lot of people wanted to learn how to produce and perform. After getting feedback from clients and the general public, they started DJ classes in September 2012, and are already expanding into a bigger space in Central Square in the Barron Building! When asked why he felt this was an important thing to do in Massachusetts, he responded: “I feel like this is one way to ensure that creative folks can stay and keep the Boston area vibrant (instead of going to Brooklyn!)”  Well put, David. Well put.

And how does this movement grow community? Why does this matter to the Cambridge and Somerville communities? When asked what community means to him, David had an even better answer than before:

“It means falling in love. Awesome people always meet at the [Together] festival, and some have actually fallen in love! Community also means being comfortable with being uncomfortable – that its a place where with an open mind you can put yourself in a new situation and meet new people and new experiences.”  We couldn’t have said it better. Seriously…we still can’t.


What is the Together Festival? Established in 2010, this celebration of music, technology and art grew very organically. It started with David sending an email out to every promoter, connector and other artist folk involved in the Boston area music scene. He brought together a strong and dedicated core of volunteers to push the first festival to exceed even the founders’ expectations. In 2010 there were around 50 events, a full event, to be sure.  This year there are currently 120 scheduled, culminating with a large Together Festival/Central Square Business Association collaboration – the Central Square World’s Fair on Saturday, May 18. MassArt and Berkelee College of Music have been involved since the beginning, and this year new partners include MIT and the Museum of Science. The MOS Planetarium will host a big arts spectacle, where 5 local artists will project what ethnicities may look like in the future – according to them, it is going to be psychedelic!

In addition to the festival and the classes, David represents artists, and hosts various events around town. He also hosts a weekly event, bringing together his constituents regularly at the “Make it New” night at the Middlesex Lounge in Central Square every Thursday night.

Leaving on a forward thinking note, we asked David what inspires him.  “A friend from high school once said to me: ‘I don’t read the same books from high school, I don’t watch the same TV from high school, and I’m not going to listen to the same music from high school.’ I find this as a guiding principle to being a maven and bringing people new experiences.” So stop by our next meet up on Wednesday, May 15th at the Together Festival Headquarters and listen to new music, connect with new people and have a new experience. We’ll see you there.

Hi everyone! Cambriville does Together Festival & Central Square!


Here are the details:

Where: Together Festival Headquarters, 328 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

When: Wednesday, May 15th, 6:00-9:00pm

Why: To meet great people and connect with what’s happening at Together Boston!

Come join us for an evening of chatting with movers and shakers at the Together Festival headquarters, located in Central Square. Together Festival is a week long music, technology and art festival celebrating our great creative community and we will be invading their headquarters so you can learn about the festival, listen to some great music and learn more about events happening throughout the week.

We will also be crossing the street to grab a drink at Miracle of Science, located at 321 Mass Ave.

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Please RSVP on Facebook & Google+ as this is a special 21+ event.