image courtesy of gruntzooki
I saw a note in the Phoenix a couple of weeks back that the Papercut Zine Library would likely be moving out of its location on Mt. Auburn to a soon-to-be-determined location. Cynical person--ahem, old-school masshole--that I am, my first thought was that Harvard owned the building, and the zine library would be forced out to make room for some student organization. My second thought was that the landlord wanted to attract another sandwich shop or chain store to the square.
Ten years ago the square had a diner, a plethora of used and new bookstores, and independent coffee shops. While cute local businesses like Herrell's, Newbury Comics, Tealuxe and Bartley's remain, they're increasingly sharing a block with cookie cutouts of fast food and suburbia (hi, American Apparel, Lush, phone stores ad infinitum). While the above paragraph could have been written angrily in the year 2000 and still rung true, I have to ask how much longer Harvard Square can embrace the mainstream before there's anything interesting left?
Papercut opened in 2005 and houses over 7000 zines; the space also offers workshops and concerts. I got in touch with the Papercut folk recently to see if the move was going to be definite and here's what they had to say:
Hi library patrons,
At the meeting, we discussed potential spaces where the zine library could move (most likely sometime after the end of June), as well as fundraising possibilities. If you have any ideas about potential spaces, feel free to let us know. Your ideas are our bread and butter.
So...looks likely. I've asked them for some more meaty info, in the interest of passing it on, but in the meantime it looks like the same story going down in Cambridge...another fun, intelligent store forced to leave the square, another cookie cutter vacancy. Rise up, Harvard, rise up. Help use your dollars to keep the counterculture spirit of Cambridge alive.
this post brought to you by the Tasty, the House of Blues, Toscannini's, Avventura, WordsWorth, and the Starr Book Shop, some of the many fine businesses forced out of the square.