Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free WiFi May or May Not Be Available in Harvard Square, Herrell's Ice Cream Definitely Is Not

When I first saw the free WiFi pendants flying in Harvard Square a couple of weeks ago I wasn't sure if they were new or had been there for years. But I did know would have to try my hand at live blogging from one of the Square's many outdoor cafes.

So tonight I took out my new Windows 7 laptop and cozied up outside my second-favorite ice cream parlor. Alas, I could connect to the free network but could get no internet connection. And the diagnose connection problem feature was no help whatsoever. To get additional help, you need an internet connection. Talk about your Catch 22s.

And why did I go to my second-favorite ice cream parlor? My favorite, Herrell's Ice Cream, a fixture of Harvard Square since the 1980s, has closed. Harvard Square still has at least four remaining ice cream shops, so I'll just have to make do.

You can read this obsequious note, but the important thing is that they plan to open a restaurant to be called First Printer in its stead. It promises to have a moderately priced menu of classic American and traditional New England fare. And a liquor license.

This site on Dunster Street was the location of the first printing press in British North America in 1638. At least they didn't take the history too seriously and open a print and photocopy shop.

Where can you still get ice cream in the Harvard Square? There's Baskin Robbins on Bow Street, J.P. Licks on Massachusetts Ave., Ben and Jerry's in the Garage on JFK Street, and Lizzy's Homemade on Church Street.

But where can one go for a smoosh-in, the concept Steve Herrell introduced of mixing various toppings such as crushed heath bar, Oreo cookies, M&Ms, nuts, and fruits into the ice cream? There was something magical about the way Steve slapped the ice cream down on the counter, hand-sprinkled the goodies, and smooshed it around with those big serving spoons.

Northampton, Massachusetts is now the smoosh-in capital of the world.

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