I love Harvard Sq. I've been going there all my life. I visited it again yesterday, after an absence of a year, due to living in upcountry New Hampshire. Drove down on I-93. New Hampshire is widening I-93, making that four lane strip between Manchester and Mass, into 6 lanes. They are building the new lanes in isolated bits and pieces, so that they won't do us motorists any good until all the road is widened, in maybe four to five years. Smarter would be to start the widening at one end and build methodically toward the other end. That way as sections are finished they can be placed into service.
Harvard Square is still there, but it saddens me to think of all the great places that are no longer there. Ferranti-Deggi, that great camera store, where once upon a time I acquired a Kodak Retina SLR is gone. The Sunflower, with it's magnificent copper topped bar down stairs, got turned into a Pizzarria Uno. The Crate and Barrel in the three story concrete building out Brattle St, is now a ladies clothing store. The great book store that used to be across the street from it is gone. Wordsworth books in the basement of that strange round brick building on Brattle Sq is gone and the space is "For Rent". Abercromby and Fitch wiped out The Tasty and the Wurst House. Now Abercromby is gone and the space has a bank and a Starbucks. Boring.
The Starr bookstore in the Harvard Crimson building is gone. Brine's Sporting goods is gone.
There are a few survivors from the old days. The Million Year Picnic is still there and so is Charlie's Kitchen.
After three hours of Christmas shopping all I found were some comic books (aka graphic novels) for daughter, and a used Andre Norton paperback for myself.
Pretty soon it won't be worth going to the Square at all.