Boston-area arts letters

David kamerman/globe staff/file 2001

Harvard Square we knew
is not coming back

The Tasty is long gone. So is the Wursthaus. The Harvard Coop bookstore is now a branch of Barnes & Noble. Casablanca, gone. The mom and pop drugstore on Brattle Street, going. Harvard Square is dead and has been for some time now (“Back to Harvard Square roots,” A1, Sept. 28).

The Harvard Square of my earlier years was not exclusively about “night life,” although it certainly had that. It was about small, unique, interesting stores, restaurants, shops. You could always find something you didn’t expect to find or even know that you needed. Now capitalism has done what it will always do: replace the small, the special, the exotic with the big, the bland, and the optimally profitable. The square has been taken over by commercial versions of The Borg.

I don’t go to Harvard Square anymore. It really has become nothing more than a venue for chain stores and banks. These days, to me at least, it has all the charm of a suburban shopping mall, and since the mall is closer, has more and cheaper parking, and fewer unbathed homeless people, I just go there.



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Applause, applause

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A group of friends and I saw “La Cage aux Folles” yesterday. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire show. The two leads, Charles Shaughnessy and Jonathan Hammond, were outstanding. They portrayed a beautiful chemistry. These men are great actors and deserve far more positive acclaim than Don Aucoin showed in his review (“Supporting cast, indelible score buoy ‘La Cage,’ ” g, Sept. 28). The audience cheered long and hard at the conclusion. I have never heard such a rousing response from a North Shore Music Theatre audience.



“La Cage aux Folles” was a wonderful show. Don Aucoin is slightly behind the beat on this one.


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Closing thoughts


If you accept that final scene of “The Sopranos” was the blackness of Tony after he was just shot dead, then it works 100 percent (“Lasting judgments are riding on ‘Breaking Bad’ finale,” A1, Sept. 26). If you needed to visually see that scene play out, then it will never work. But I think that’s what series creator David Chase was going for.

“Seinfeld” aged better than it played at the time. In retrospect it captures the cynicism of the cast in a surrealistic way that actually was fairly courageous — but way too big a risk for a sitcom.


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“Seinfeld” was a high (low?) mark in lameness that still irks me. You have to wonder what happened when any last episode is a colossal flop and a breach of trust with viewers who have invested years in a series. What were the writers thinking? How did they lose their courage at the end?


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Museum quality


I’d like to know what differentiates the Doris Lindo Lewis paintings shown in the Globe photos (“What’s that under the bed?,” SundayArts, Sept. 29) from those in MOBA — the Museum of Bad Art. Floating feet . . . dismembered hands . . . art. Really?


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