Brad Kelly was in Harvard Square recently and stopped by what he called the portal to your emo past - the now closed Hootenanny.
Copyright Brad Kelly. Posted in the Universal Hub pool on Flickr.
Now I will have to drive to the suburbs to find considerably less cool clothes for the teens at considerably higher prices ... if I can even find the skinnyass teen sizes I used to find here!
The horror! Harvard Sq. has lost all it's meaning since "The Tasty" closed.
Elsie's closed. The old man really misses those fressers.
More a total pain in the ass. I used to hand them cash to go buy what they needed in a place they could get to that didn't cost too much.
All these stores turning over - Hootenany, the Tasty, Elsies, Wursthouse, etc. closing (you can pick your pain point) highlight the essential problem with the Upscale Malling of Harvard Square. Harvard Square is a convenient place to get to. When you lose the local businesses that cater to many people with modest incomes in the area and replace them with expensive and useless tourist traps you can find in any convention area or upscale shopping district in the US and Europe, we all lose.
Swirly is spot about the mallification of Harvard Square and I'll add other formerly unique shopping area in the metro area.
My guess is that retail in the Boston area is shaking out to a lot of businesses, small and large, all chasing the carriage trade with modest income folks being left to locate the nearest Walmart or Target.
It was not too many decades ago that almost every town had a nice mix of retail ranging from premium full service department stores to Woolworth's or other 5 and 10 types stores. Other than small niche consignment stores or thrift shops, which are hit or miss bargain centers.
This is quite evident in Davis Square and Union Square (Somerville), and I think also to some extent in Inman, Ball, and Central squares.
I was annoyed when Hootenanny *opened*, since it replaced a video store I often went to.