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Hyatt Cambridge

Louisville, KY
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Hyatt Cambridge

I'll be in Cambridge next week and wanted to find out what was interesting that is in walking distance. I'm not real adventureous so I don't want to stray too far from my hotel. I'm also looking for interesting thrift/vintage clothing stores. Any help would be great!!!

Cambridge, MA
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791 posts
12 reviews
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1. Re: Hyatt Cambridge

A store near Kendall Square (at 200 Broadway) called the Garment District is a thrifter's Mecca. They sell "clothing by the pound" and carry rack after rack and tablesful of duds from last month all the way back to the mid-1900's, even earlier. I think you're destined to be toting some of their signature pink shopping bags with the smiling black cat logo :-) "Kids of all ages" flock there every day. It's a mile or so from the Hyatt, but the hotel offers a courtesy shuttle service to the Cambridgeside Galleria mall and I'm sure the driver would be happy to drop you off and pick you up since it's en route.

Goodwill, that all-time favorite of thrifters and bargain hunters, has a store on Mass. Ave in Central Square, near which (on River St) is everybody's #1 spot for well-kept used formalwear: Keezer's. When I was once compelled to buy a fancy white dress shirt for a singing gig, I scored one there for $14.

There are several vintage-clothing stores in Cambridge along Mass. Ave. between Porter and Harvard Squares. But these have a more upscale feel to them so getting a "happy price" would be an effort. If you find yourself along that stretch of the street, continue north until you reach the Porter Exchange and go inside there. The Exchange was having a hard time getting started as a shopping destination until a half-dozen Japanese entrepeneurs opened small restaurants and a bigger one. Now all the retail space is rented, with much of it Japanese-oriented (so to speak) once you get past City Sports and the Gap.

As for interesting sights close by, the MIT Museum (free admission; on State St and visible from Mass. Ave.) is fun. They have all kinds of exhibits on scientific invention and innovation, along with an area devoted to the grand MIT tradition of elaborate "hacks" (one of which was constructing a life-size model of a police car complete with lights and siren and donut-munching cop - atop the dome of the administration building!)

If you'll be here on a Sunday, take advantage of the closing of Memorial Drive to all vehicles between Western Ave and Greenough Blvd from noon to 6 PM. The street is dramatically quieter without motorized traffic; the only sounds are from rollerblades, bicycles, joggers, birds, and conversations. On any day of the week, a walk upriver along "Mem Drive" is relaxing, then a right turn on JFK St takes you to bustling Harvard Square. The core area of the square draws all forms of humanity, with street musicians and chess players keeping it unique. Out of Town News and Nini's Corner both carry extensive lines of magazines and newspapers from around the world, and the Harvard Bookstore sells thousands of titles in its main store as well as the bargain basement. Leavitt & Peirce (that's not a typo) is a tobacconist in a class by itself. The same can be said for the Hartnett's natural health/beauty store at Brattle and Church Sts. ("Class by itself," that is.) Cardullo's is a favorite shop for gourmet foods of all sorts. I could go on.

Just outside Harvard Square, to the west along Brattle St, is "Millionaire's Row" with its spectacular mansions and the Longfellow House.

And finally, still within Cambridge, there's a small colony of white geese between Mem Drive and the river, on the Hyatt side of the BU Bridge. The geese are loved by many, but plans are in place to "redevelop" their nesting area for a park and boathouse. So "goose activists" are the latest addition to that species of human in our fair city, which already has tree activists and dance activists to name but two kinds. Cross the street and pay them a visit while you're here, the birds that is.

Boston, MA
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182 posts
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2. Re: Hyatt Cambridge

Just a little more on the Garment District. They have to different ways to shop. You can fill a trash bag and pay by the pound. The clothes for this are all just scattered on this big floor. It can be a lot of fun digging through to see what you can find. The other way is like most thrift shops. They have an area where everything is on racks and are priced. Paying by the ppund is definately a little more time cosuming but, is a lot of fun and cheaper. I would definately reccommend checking this place out. It is one of a kind.

P.S. They also have sales evry now and then that you can fill an entire trash bag for like 2 bucks!

Boston...
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3. Re: Hyatt Cambridge

Depends on what "walking distance" is...

the Hyatt isn't exactly centrally located for walking, except for a stroll along the river.

With that caveat, I concur with the previous posts, and would add that the strip of Mass (achusetts) Ave. between Harvard Square and Porter Square has quite a few used clothing stores, where you might be more likely to find vintage clothing with a little more "character" than what my friends and I refer to as "buck-a-pound"... old couture items and designer labels from the 50s and 60s, for example. If you're into old military uniforms, there used to be an army/navy store right in Harvard Square that had a whole second floor devoted to that stuff. I haven't been there in awhile, but with all the students in the area, I'd think they'd still be there.

FYI - Central Sq is about 1/2 mile from the Hyatt... then either Kendall or Harvard Squares would be another 1/2 mile (but not in the same direction), then Porter Sq would be a mile from either of those. It's easier than I make it sound, and they're all close together on the "Red Line" (one branch of the subway), though the closest subway stop to the Hyatt is Central Square.

Cambridge, MA
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791 posts
12 reviews
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4. Re: Hyatt Cambridge

Soaring rents caused the Army/Navy store to leave its prime location in Harvard Square and relocate to Central Square some years ago. Unfortunately, they couldn't make a go of it in Central either. It's a rotten shame because you could get all kinds of clothes and gear there :-( The one on Boylston St in Boston is also history now. The "outdoors" stores like REI and Eastern Mountain Sports did them in.