Bruce’s Cambridge

As vice chair of the Cambridge Historical Commission, Bruce Irving sees his city as both a hotbed of innovation and a repository of three centuries of history. But after Marathon Monday everything was put in a new light:

“Most of the endgame went down behind my favorite pizza shop, Stella’s. The Town Diner, where I’ve taken my children to breakfast so often, glowed in the background of every newscast. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was known and loved at my daughter’s high school; he hung out in my neighbor’s living room.

It was too close to home.

We pride ourselves on our city’s diversity and inclusiveness, and many of us are having a hard time comprehending what went wrong. But when it all comes down to it, I think the dark side of this tragedy has only made the bright side of where it happened more brilliant.

I love my city because it will always rise again.”

Cambridge, Massachusetts is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is Harvard Square.

Fall is the best time to visit my city because of great foliage, crisp air, and the Head of the Charles Regatta.

You can see my city best from Washington Tower in the middle of Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Locals know to skip Boston’s Cheers bar and check out The Plough & Stars instead.

The Harvard Coop  is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like Vladimir Nabokov, Peter Wolf, and David Mamet have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is Harvard’s Fogg Museum of Art because it’s being transformed into a glass-topped masterpiece by architect Renzo Piano.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that the Red Line T is good when it’s raining and Hubway bikes are great when it’s not.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is along the beautiful Charles River.

My city really knows how to celebrate World Peace Day because it’s that kind of place.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they are not wearing a Harvard sweatshirt.

For a fancy night out, I go to Harvest.

Just outside my city, you can visit picturesque Cape Ann and the windswept rocks of Halibut Point.

My city is known for being socialistic, but it’s really dedicated to keeping a place at the table for everyone who lives here.

The best outdoor market in my city is the Charles Square Farmers Market, next to Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Sofra  is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and Tasty Burger is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read

My city’s biggest sports event is the Head of the Charles. Watch it at Eliot Bridge.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I see a classic film and drink a beer at the Brattle Theatre.

To escape the crowds, I walk through Mount Auburn Cemetery.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Ben Affleck or Matt Damon because they’re cool, they’re talented, they’re modest, and they’re Cambridge homies.

The dish that represents my city best is a veggie burger, and a good pint is my city’s signature drink.

The Ruggles-Fayerweather House  is my favorite building in town because it’s quintessentially New England and was used as a hospital after the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The most random thing about my city is that it’s shaped like a bowtie.

Toad is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out the Cantab Lounge.

Love Story could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should have a beer outside at Shays Pub on JFK Street.

In the summer you should walk around Fresh Pond, a glacially formed lake that’s part of the city’s water supply.

In the fall you should take a riverboat ride on the Charles.

In the winter you should have oysters by the fire inside the Red House Restaurant, a circa 1802 building in Harvard Square.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the Museum of Science.

The best book about my city is Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950, by Mo Lotman.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is “New England,” by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers.

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because it’s brimming with history, art, great food, folks from around the world, and the scientific and intellectual innovation they bring to town.