Out on the Town: Inman Square

As Tufts students, the Red Line is our best friend for when we want to get into the city. There are various other ways to travel to Cambridge or Boston, but they aren’t nearly as quick or reliable as our dearly beloved subway cars. However, the convenience of the Red Line comes at a cost: it discourages us from exploring parts of Greater Boston that are lighter on public transportation options. It is easy to miss out on what the city has to offer when repeated trips to Park Street, Harvard Square, etc. are so tantalizing. I am an example of that myself. I waited almost four semesters to see the sights north of Central Square, and I was blown away with the amount of things to see, as well as the character of the area.

One of the places I visited was Inman Square, on Cambridge’s northern border. As usual, the MBTA offers many ways to get there, each with its own charm. I took the Red Line from Davis to Central, and then walked north on Prospect Street for a less than a mile until I was there. From Central, one may also take either the 83 bus toward Rindge Avenue or the 91 bus toward Sullivan to shorten the commute to under 10 minutes. I would recommend walking there, though, because there is a good amount to see just on Prospect Street. The relative lack of pedestrians allows one to fully soak in the narrow, brick-laden avenue. I felt like a well-to-do colonial Bostonian, strolling up the street purely for kicks. The Islamic Society of Boston also lies midway between Central and Inman Squares, a mosque adorned with stunning blue and red tiled patterns.

Arriving at Inman Square, I stopped to appreciate the quaint calm radiating from it. The square has all of the beautiful brick architecture of central Cambridge without the pervasive tourist presence. I walked over to 1369 Coffee House, an adorable little establishment at 1369 Cambridge Street. I was pretty excited when I saw their small collection of essential board games, as well as their easily accessible bathrooms, a rarity in the busier parts of Greater Boston. If you’re looking for a quiet study spot with killer chai lattes, I cannot recommend this place enough. After my pit stop, I walked down Cambridge street a ways. I was pleasantly surprised to see The Lilypad, a music venue and popular watering hole for young people, a few feet from the coffee shop. According to the signs out front, there is live music at least two nights a week, which is something to keep in mind. The block is also home to Gather Here, an enormous fabric and yarn store complete with sewing machines. Touring that store tempted me to take up textiles.

Eventually, I left the area, thoroughly satisfied with my trip. While it may be a little out of the way compared to more popular spots on the Red Line, Inman Square has quite a lot to offer. As a tranquil alternative to Harvard and Central Square, this spot calls my name, and I hope it calls yours, too.