boston/harvard square

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
salbev
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boston/harvard square

Post by salbev » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:10 am

after reading the latest colonial drug post i was reminded about the last time i traveled to boston.
indeed, colonial is a great spot. plisson brushes in the window and various creams and soaps and a/s's i have read about many of you loving, not to mention the now famous mitchell's/kent wool fat.

i also found a crabtree & evelyn right across from an art of shaving which then pointed me to a co bigelow all within 30 feet or so of each other. these three were located in the copley place mall on the second floor next to the new barney's store. the co bigelow has trumper soaps and creams and aftershaves like spanish leather and so on, which was neat to smell and see finally. the crabtree has the great starter brush for 35 bucks and the art of shaving has barber shaves on fridays and saturdays. i was pretty excited to find it all so close together.

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Post by Banihex » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:42 pm

I haven't checked out the co bigelow, but I have a diff view on AOS at Copley than you do... I was at the C&E last week, bought a Sienna soap, haven't actually used it yet!

John

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mantic
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Post by mantic » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:10 pm

Dang it...I'm going to be less than 5 miles away from Colognial Drug during a conference at the end of next month. Is it possible to take public transportation to get close (I won't have a car, and besides I hear that driving in Boston for the uninitiated is...a challenge)?

--Mark

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M6Classic
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Post by M6Classic » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:30 pm

mantic wrote:Dang it...I'm going to be less than 5 miles away from Colognial Drug during a conference at the end of next month. Is it possible to take public transportation to get close (I won't have a car, and besides I hear that driving in Boston for the uninitiated is...a challenge)?

--Mark
Depending on from where you begin your journey, take the Red Line of the Boston subway (also known as the "T") to Harvard Square. The Red Line can be caught from many points in downtown Boston and points south or north of Cambridge. Departing the Harvard Square station, ask anyone to direct you to Brattle Street, Colonial Drug is about a two minute walk or less from the subway exit.

If you need more intensive directions, let me know the exact location from which you will begin your search for Colonial Drug.

Buzz

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mantic
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Post by mantic » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:54 pm

The MBTA website tells me its not a difficult trip; one transfer. Looks like the closest station to the hotel is Backbay. This is beginning to look do-able...muwahahahaaaaa....

--Mark

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Post by M6Classic » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:16 pm

mantic wrote:The MBTA website tells me its not a difficult trip; one transfer. Looks like the closest station to the hotel is Backbay. This is beginning to look do-able...muwahahahaaaaa....

--Mark
From Backbay Station, take the Orange Line inbound to Downtown Crossing. At Downtown Crossing, you have a free transfer to the Red Line. Take the Red Line towards Harvard Square. Get off at Harvard Square and take any exit to the street. You will encounter many nice people, any one of whom will be able to direct you to Brattle Street. Colonial Drug is at Number 49 in Brattle Street, it will be on your right and you will notice it's black-striped awning, a statue of a colonial gentleman outside, and an awesome display of shave brushes in the entry way window. From Back Bay Station, the entire journey should take less than a half hour. There is much else to do and see around Harvard Square, but, nota bene, that the Boston subway system shuts down circa a half past midnight.

Buzz

salbev
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Post by salbev » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:45 pm

Banihex wrote:I haven't checked out the co bigelow, but I have a diff view on AOS at Copley than you do... I was at the C&E last week, bought a Sienna soap, haven't actually used it yet!

John
they don't have shaves on fri and sat like the sign on the chair says?

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prism
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Post by prism » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:03 pm

mantic wrote:Dang it...I'm going to be less than 5 miles away from Colognial Drug during a conference at the end of next month. Is it possible to take public transportation to get close (I won't have a car, and besides I hear that driving in Boston for the uninitiated is...a challenge)?

--Mark
If you look at a close-up map of Boston (downtown, wherever that is) you will see a series of concentric circles. I'm used to a grid (NYC); I've never been so lost WITH a map in my life! I can vouch for their subway system: clean and on-time, at least it was 18 years ago. Vic

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mantic
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Post by mantic » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:05 pm

M6Classic wrote:There is much else to do and see around Harvard Square, but, nota bene, that the Boston subway system shuts down circa a half past midnight.
Buzz--

Thanks! I've been looking at the conference information, and I'll be right next to Copley Mall, where there appear to be all sorts of interesting shaving diversions as well :wink: so this could turn out to be a terrific conference that I may miss significant parts of :shock: :lol: 8)

--Mark

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Post by M6Classic » Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:25 pm

mantic wrote:Thanks! I've been looking at the conference information, and I'll be right next to Copley Mall, where there appear to be all sorts of interesting shaving diversions as well :wink: so this could turn out to be a terrific conference that I may miss significant parts of :shock: :lol: 8)

--Mark
Godspeed on your journey.

Buzz

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Troy
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Post by Troy » Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:27 pm

mantic wrote:Dang it...I'm going to be less than 5 miles away from Colognial Drug during a conference at the end of next month. Is it possible to take public transportation to get close (I won't have a car, and besides I hear that driving in Boston for the uninitiated is...a challenge)?

--Mark
Colonial is a must see for any member of this forum, if only for the extensive selection of Plisson brushes. Because of all the transfers involved in taking the T and your unfamiliarity with the system, I'd recommend taking the #1 bus to Harvard Square if you are staying somewhere close to Massachusetts Avenue. Get on the #1 bus and stay on until the last stop - it will be in Harvard Square.

Across the street from this Harvard Square bus stop, there's a tobacco shop named Leavitt & Pearce that's worth checking out. Big drug store Indian mounted over the door - you can't miss it. They carry shaving products and other toiletries, although not near the selection that Colonial has.

Also, if you like Ivy League style clothing, you'll probably want to check out J. Press (and maybe the Andover Shop) in Harvard Square while you're in the area.

Driving in Boston is a blood sport - you'd probably be dumbfounded at the idiotic stuff people do behind the wheel around here.

Let us know how your trip goes.

-Troy
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Post by Banihex » Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:33 pm

Troy, I have the WORST 1bus story ever, I have to take it frequently. Let's just say one time my trip from Symphony Hall to Harvard took almost an hour, involved someone craping their pants, 2 llamas, a man on a unicycle juggling bowling pins, and a man in a bear suit....Not to mention Halle Berry.....

AOS does have someone to shave you on the weekends only, free with a 35$+ purchase. I've never had someone shave me, I can't get myself to take the risk, I am a musician and need my lips!

John

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Post by M6Classic » Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:03 am

Troy wrote:<snip> Colonial is a must see for any member of this forum, if only for the extensive selection of Plisson brushes. Because of all the transfers involved in taking the T and your unfamiliarity with the system, I'd recommend taking the #1 bus to Harvard Square if you are staying somewhere close to Massachusetts Avenue. Get on the #1 bus and stay on until the last stop - it will be in Harvard Square.<snip>

-Troy
Troy could be quite right about the #1 bus, but I have always been a subway/tube kinda guy. It is certain that if you take the subway from Boston to Cambridge you will miss the brief but exhilirating view of the MIT research reactor.

In fact, most people I know have found the subway expression of the "T" quite simple to use and easy to navigate. Some journeys on the Boston subway system can get a bit complex...Logan Airport to Newton Highlands springs to mind...but the subject trip from Copley to Harvard involves only one transfer each way twixt the Orange and Red lines. Couldn't be easier or safer. Also, let's face it, after a half hour at Colonial, the visitor is unlikely to remember or care where he or she is going anyway.

Buzz

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Post by Steve » Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:43 am

I believe the Andover Shop has shaving supplies too. The Boston location had a small amount of shaving supplies but the store has closed.

I guess I need to take a trip to Colonial Drug. How are their prices?

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Troy
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Post by Troy » Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:55 am

Steve wrote:I believe the Andover Shop has shaving supplies too. The Boston location had a small amount of shaving supplies but the store has closed.

I guess I need to take a trip to Colonial Drug. How are their prices?
I find Colonial Drug's prices to be a bit on the high side. I think buying something there would only qualify as a bargain if you live outside the area and get it shipped for free (CD's standing offer for SMF members). However, if you want to fondle a Plisson in person that's the place to go. They carry some Trumper colognes (but not the shaving products) and have almost the whole line of Knize Ten products. It's also a good place to get toothpaste (Marvis, Elgydium) and bath soap (Claus Porto, R&G, Yardley).

I've only had one visit to the Cambridge Andover Shop, looking for Bills Khakis. I meant to look for toiletries while there, but got sidetracked and forgot. My impression is that it's the Colonial Drug of clothing stores, and I mean that not in the sense that they carry lots of uncommon brands, but in the organization of the store. Tiny, tiny store with the walls completed covered with shelving and containing mostly bolts of fabric. The two gentlemen minding the shop when I poked my head in looked like they could probably whip up anything I dreamed up clothing-wise on the spot. I felt like I didn't know enough about clothing to be in that store.

-Troy
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Post by M6Classic » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:12 am

[quote="Troy<snip> My impression is that it's the Colonial Drug of clothing stores, and I mean that not in the sense that they carry lots of uncommon brands, but in the organization of the store. Tiny, tiny store with the walls completed covered with shelving and containing mostly bolts of fabric. The two gentlemen minding the shop when I poked my head in looked like they could probably whip up anything I dreamed up clothing-wise on the spot. I felt like I didn't know enough about clothing to be in that store.

-Troy[/quote]

If you really want clothing, stop by Rizzo the Tailor upstairs in 66 Church Street, around the corner from Colonial Drug. Perhaps the last and the best of the hand-made clothing people in Cambridge. If you can't visit Saville Row, Rizzo's is the place to go for one-off suits, jackets, et cetera.

Buzz

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Post by Troy » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:21 am

M6Classic wrote:Some journeys on the Boston subway system can get a bit complex...Logan Airport to Newton Highlands springs to mind...but the subject trip from Copley to Harvard involves only one transfer each way twixt the Orange and Red lines.
That's true, but if his conference is at Hynes, then it may be easier to hop on the #1 bus if starting from there. Particularly if it's during the middle of the day. I was thinking more about simplicity in directions here: get on the bus and stay on until the driver makes everyone get off.

But if it were today (about 8°F as I write this), I'd probably stick with the subway.

-Troy
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mantic
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Post by mantic » Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:04 am

Troy wrote:That's true, but if his conference is at Hynes, then it may be easier to hop on the #1 bus if starting from there. Particularly if it's during the middle of the day. I was thinking more about simplicity in directions here: get on the bus and stay on until the driver makes everyone get off.
The conference is going to be at the Boston Marriott Copley Place on Huntington Ave., if that helps.

--Mark

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Post by M6Classic » Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:16 am

mantic wrote:
Troy wrote:The conference is going to be at the Boston Marriott Copley Place on Huntington Ave., if that helps.

--Mark
Backbay Station is right across the street from Copley Place. I for one would recommend the subway.

Buzz

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Post by bladerunner » Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:22 am

I'm a Boston native and all this talk about Harvard Sq. and such is giving me major nostalgia. The guys are right about the "T". It's a breeze and very extensive.

Harvard Sq. was one of my favorite hangouts all during my dissolute youth. Haven't seen the place in 20 years, but as I remember, there are tons of great bookstores. Especially downstairs in the used book section of Harvard Book Store. If you like old films the Brattle Street Theater is a must. And the restaurants! Chinese, vegetarian, Italian, whatever you're into. If Charlie's Kitchen is still around, it's a fun little neighborhood bar where you can eat in a booth or at the bar and rub elbows with the locals.

Have fun and don't forget to post your adventures !
Paul

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