Just across the Charles River from Boston, the city of Cambridge is often considered an uber-intellectual, liberal enclave—"Boston's Left Bank" or "The People's Republic of Cambridge." Home to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge attracts brilliant academics from around the world.
Bostonians and locals refer to Cambridge residents as Cantabrigians, rooted in the city's Latin name—Cantabrigia. Yet defining a Cantabrigian is not so straightforward, particularly in such a cultural melting pot. English Puritans settled the city in 1630. In the 19th century, Irish immigrants escaped the potato famine to Cambridge and boosted the population 22 percent. Polish, Italian and German transplants soon followed. The city's historical makeup has resulted in today's extremely diverse population of 105,000.
Visitors arrive from Boston by hopping on the Red Line and crossing the Charles River. A top attraction in Cambridge is Harvard Square—the center point of the city, where John F. Kennedy Street, Massachusetts Avenue and Brattle Street converge. Book stores, bars and cafés pepper the area that is alive with an eclectic mix of mathematicians, poets and musicians, working students and wealthy alumni. In the middle of Harvard Square, at the information booth, volunteers hand out area brochures and maps.
Updated: 21st September, 2019 6:07 PM.