Central Square: Great venues, so-so urban design

The live music hangout in Cambridge, MA is in Central Square, the place to be for MIT students. It also has one of the most popular coffee houses (1369 Coffee House), co-op markets and Economy Hardware – where Target meets Ikea meets Home Depot in a small package on your neighborhood main street.

Unfortunately, the main street here is long and continuous, 50′ wide vs. the 36′ wide streets in Harvard Square, meaning the place feels more like pedestrians are secondary to a five-lane street rather than cars infringing on pedestrian territory like in Harvard Square. However, the fact that the place is less desirably aesthetically is the main reason why some of the coolest, budget-conscious hangouts (and people) are here.

If this is any indication, the two biggest art supply stores (by far) are located in Central Square.