boston/harvard square

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
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M6Classic
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Location: Not as near Colonial Drug as when they were at Harvard Square, but near enough.

Post by M6Classic » Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:51 am

bladerunner wrote: 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 !
Harvard Sqyare seems to change character every ten years or so, at least it has changed over twice since my student days. Alas, most of the bookstores have been wiped out by Amazon-dot-com, though your favorite, the Harvard Book Store is still on Mass Ave and the Grolier, a book shop dedicated to poetry on the printed page is just around the corner. The Brattle Street theatre hangs on, but barely. The restaurants you would remember have been replaced by restaurants that today's students will remember in a decade, but the choice is always excellent. Sadly, Charlie's Kitchen and the Hong Kong somehow survive. La Paloma still serves rich coffee and delicious sandwiches underground on Arrow Street, but the exotic smell of Galoise has been extinguished; it is a cozy retreat to go and play with your purchases, be they books or badgers.

One hopes that Colonial Drug is forever, but I assume that requires that every member of this list stop in...or call...and buy at least one brush and one puck apiece. Do it soon.

Buzz

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wenestvedt
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Post by wenestvedt » Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:04 am

Indeed, Boston's bus system earns a raised-middle-finger-with-clenched-jaw-and-scowl from me, and I lived there for a dozen years as a po' college student. And that bus station near Harvard Square is one of the worst I've ever been in: don't tell poor Mark to descend tht hole!

Mark, take the T up to Hahvahd Squa'uh by all means. The northbound Red Line trains probably say "Alewife" on the front and the southbound trains for your return trip will say, um, "Ashmont/Braintree," I think. If you go down to the wrong side of the platform in most stations, you can't get on the train you want!

The MBTA web site has printable PDF maps somewhere, though this Flash-based tool might help: http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/ Do not take the orange line south of downtown -- nor the Red Line for that matter. [1]

For the tourist in a hurry, a cab wouldn't be out of the question, and will probably let you see some of either the Charles River waterfront (look for the Harvard Boathouse) or parts of vibrant Cambridge, either of which will show you more than a trip to Harvard Square.

And yes, it has changed. Anyone remember Charlie the cook at the Tasty? sigh *wipes away a tear*

- Will
[1] An old friend is a very petite woman with a Boston accent exceeded in breadth only by her wit (and mean streak). One day while she was working as a park ranger, a woman from the south kept pestering her about her accent and patronizing her with remarks about how cute it was. When the woman asked her for directions to another tourist site, my friend, very fed up, told her to get on an Orange Line train headed south, get off at Forest Hills, and ask -- "Oh, anyone can tell you where to go from there!" When she retold this story some years later, it still gave her grim satisifaction. *shiver*

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M6Classic
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Location: Not as near Colonial Drug as when they were at Harvard Square, but near enough.

Post by M6Classic » Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:32 am

wenestvedt wrote:Indeed, Boston's bus system earns a raised-middle-finger-with-clenched-jaw-and-scowl from me, and I lived there for a dozen years as a po' college student. And that bus station near Harvard Square is one of the worst I've ever been in: don't tell poor Mark to descend tht hole!

Mark, take the T up to Hahvahd Squa'uh by all means. The northbound Red Line trains probably say "Alewife" on the front and the southbound trains for your return trip will say, um, "Ashmont/Braintree," I think. If you go down to the wrong side of the platform in most stations, you can't get on the train you want!

<snip>

And yes, it has changed. Anyone remember Charlie the cook at the Tasty? sigh *wipes away a tear*

- Will
Twelve years as a po' college student? Perhaps if you had spent a little more time with the books... :lol:

The old Harvard Square bus stop is gone...the busses are now dispatched from a modern station deep beneath the square.

One can change direction at any "T" station without charge. A few stations, including Park Street, have center platforms from which trains can be caught in either direction, but they are clearly marked. Everyone should bear in mind that the entire Boston/Cambridge subway system is simple to navigate and easy to use by even the most dedicated motorist.

I knew Charlie the cook. Charlie is gone and so is the Tasty. The Tasty was replaced by an Abecrombie & Fitch which was, in turn, replaced by a faceless bank.

Buzz

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mantic
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Post by mantic » Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:39 am

wenestvedt wrote:Mark, take the T up to Hahvahd Squa'uh by all means. The northbound Red Line trains probably say "Alewife" on the front and the southbound trains for your return trip will say, um, "Ashmont/Braintree," I think. If you go down to the wrong side of the platform in most stations, you can't get on the train you want!

The MBTA web site has printable PDF maps somewhere, though this Flash-based tool might help: http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/ Do not take the orange line south of downtown -- nor the Red Line for that matter.
I looked at the link you provided, and its seems like simplicity itself; one transfer and about 30 minutes end-to-end. There's even a little scrollable map that I could use to zoom into Brattle Street. I think I'll take my video camera with me and make a "webisode" out of the visit 8) .

--Mark

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wenestvedt
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Post by wenestvedt » Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:45 am

Buzz;

Abercrombie & Fitch? Oh, that stings! I cherish my "So Good They Built Harvard Around Us" t-shirt from the Tasty. We went there every Wednesday morning for a long time, and I shouted out loud when I saw it in "Good Will Hunting"!

(Note that I started as a college student, but largely maintained the lifestyle for some years thereafter. And I really should have hit the books harder than I did, but I eventually finished my worthless English degree.)

Your point about the center platform is well-taken, but it can cuse confusion in visitors: I have seen plenty of people follow one set of signs down to the center platform but get turned around in the crowd.

Mark, it's simple enough, you'll have a grand time. Let us know when you post the video -- and don't pester the Rangers. :7)

- Will

bernards66
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Post by bernards66 » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:19 pm

Troy, The gents at the Andover shop CAN make anything, or at least the founder was able to. He copied some of JFK's custom suits for members of the family, I've heard. They apparently carry T&H and some Trumper toilitries and Simpson brushes, according the their last catalogue that I got. But, here's the special thing to look for there; Coate's hairbrushes. They still had a few...maybe they still do.
Regards,
Gordon

Steve
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Post by Steve » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:48 am

The Andover Shop in Andover, MA (main location) has the largest selection of shaving supplies. They also carry Alden Shoes, which are made in MA. They are fine calfskin shoes that will last forever, if you take care of them and replace the soles when needed.

The last time I was in the store I purchased a D R Harris almond soap and they told me they were not going to carry it anymore. They also have Mitchell's of Bradford Wool Fat Soap.

http://www.theandovershop.com/

Steve

bthomasb
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Re: boston/harvard square

Post by bthomasb » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:13 pm

salbev wrote:-...]
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.
There's also a l'Occitane, across the pedestrian overpass at Prudential, too, and some decent men's shaving items of a more modern-oriented nature can actually be found at the Sephora there.

But what's really exciting about the Bigelow store, to my mind, beyond their stock of Trumper's and T&H and so forth, is the supply of the Acqua di Parma Collezione Barbiere line at the back, where I believe I also saw some Floris shaving soap.

Again, on the newer side, the Bigelow store also has Shiseido's men's shaving line (which I've heard good things about-separate from the Zirh stuff that they also own) and Molton Brown's frankincense Olibanum Supershave, one of the best brushless shave creams I've tried (a lot). It doesn't seem to provide a lot of cushion or protection unless you rub a little of it in well into your moist face, until it's fairly absorbed, before re-wetting slightly applying the shaving layer.

And MB's Bai Ji Light Moisturizer, which is intended as an aftershave balm type product, is far and away the best I've tried (again, a lot). Totally a class above T's Skin Food, Musgo's balm, Harris' Milk, C&E, &c. Plenty of moisture, but it doesn't over moisturize, the Bai Ji has great anti-inflammatory prop's to rein in and quickly recover from a bad shave, and the Macadamia Nut oil is a great skin conditioner. After it all soaks in, you're eventually left with a smooth, slightly firm but not tight, healthy face.

Actually, these MB things can be found at larger Bath&Body Works stores in whatever mall.

Sorry for all the run-ons. Basically, I like the Bigelow store's selection. They're a great local supplement to Colonial, which latter I love but which always seems to be out of more than half of what I'm looking for. And their prices are so high.

P. S. I also noticed the Gentleman's Refinery line upstairs in the new Barney's at the Copley mall, nextdoor to the AOS shop. Haven't been interested in this line myself but others seem to look for it.

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Troy
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Re: boston/harvard square

Post by Troy » Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:36 pm

bthomasb wrote:Sorry for all the run-ons. Basically, I like the Bigelow store's selection. They're a great local supplement to Colonial, which latter I love but which always seems to be out of more than half of what I'm looking for. And their prices are so high.
I agree about stock levels at Colonial. Some days it's shavegeek bliss, other days not so much. The stock of the Knize Ten line is always pretty good, however, and that stuff's not easy to find elsewhere.

I must have missed a thread or two here - I wasn't even aware there was a Bigelow's in the area. And their website doesn't seem to be too helpful in this regard either.

I know there were a couple of places in the Back Bay - Stoddard's was one (that location's now closed IIRC), the name of the other I can't recall - but from what I'd heard those places really didn't warrant a trip down there given that I pass within a block of Colonial on my daily commute. The Bigelow's sounds intriguing however.

How are the prices relative to Colonial?

Have you checked Louis Boston? I've heard they carry Trumper's.

-Troy
The difference between theory and reality is that in theory, there is no difference between theory and reality, but in reality, there is.
--Anonymous

bthomasb
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Re: boston/harvard square

Post by bthomasb » Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:16 pm

Troy wrote: I agree about stock levels at Colonial. Some days it's shavegeek bliss, other days not so much. The stock of the Knize Ten line is always pretty good, however, and that stuff's not easy to find elsewhere.

I must have missed a thread or two here - I wasn't even aware there was a Bigelow's in the area. And their website doesn't seem to be too helpful in this regard either.

I know there were a couple of places in the Back Bay - Stoddard's was one (that location's now closed IIRC), the name of the other I can't recall - but from what I'd heard those places really didn't warrant a trip down there given that I pass within a block of Colonial on my daily commute. The Bigelow's sounds intriguing however.

How are the prices relative to Colonial?

Have you checked Louis Boston? I've heard they carry Trumper's.

-Troy
When I say that I like Bigelow's selection, I should clarify that it's definitely not as good as Colonial's overall and it's mainly so relative to what I was expecting from a chain like it.

But the Bigelow's is actually a relatively a recent addition, I think, to the Copley mall. It's on the second floor just down from the end with the Gap and the Victoria's Secret.

But Colonial's definitely good for its stock of harder to find things. I think Bigelow's prices are a little better. I find Colonial's seriously overpriced, even factoring in the cost of shipping in one's internet purchases. I see things regularly more than $5 more than what seems to be the standard rate elsewhere, and not at all infrequently $10+ more (w/r/t prices online in the US). On my last trip in, though, I noticed their somewhat depleted Castle Forbes stock was at the standard rates. Perhaps I exaggerate from a vivid few (but hardly isolated) cases. I imagine most things you would want are within $5 and definitely $10 of the usual.

It's hard to compare Bigelow's prices with theirs. Bigelow's tends to have the standard prices, Colonial's tends to be noticeably higher. But I particularly value Bigelow's selection for its inclusion of things like the AdP, which is already exorbitantly priced, so it's hard to tell.

There's no replacing the uniqueness of Colonial with a chain like Bigelow's, though. I've even come to like the experience of looking things over under the brusque attentions of the kind of surly gentleman who tends the store during the morning and much of the afternoon. He's helpful enough when you need something, and generally seems very slightly busy, but mutters the absolute minimum and gives off the impression that he might despise all this stuff (even though he probably doesn't). (Although he did comment once that the Algemarin shower gel was good stuff.) He reminds me of my uncles. Mostly he just tells me stuff's out of stock and they're still waiting on the shipment. I never dare to ask him, still?

The bearded man in the afternoon and evening is really nice and quite solicitous.

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