Bow Street Flowers is a delightful shop. It is very small and cozy. Not a lot of flowers are displayed, but the ones taht are are usually very unique and breathtaking. The owners are very good about making beautiful bouquets for you and the flowers are all very good quality (very fresh and alive and ready to bloom). This is a very calm, Zen-like store.
Brattle STreet Florist is my favorite flower shop. It is big and it is packed with flowers of every imaginable kind, so packed that it is difficult to walk through the narrow path in the back. I have walked in there many times saying "please make me a beautiful bouquet around $20 with a stargazer" and they have returned to me a wonderfully stunning bouquet. The owners are very knowledgeable and helpful. The flowers will cheer anyone up.
Harvard insignia is dominated by the Harvard Square institution, the Harvard Coop. But J. August, a bit down Mass Ave, is also a great stop to look for more items. It has a great selection of shirts, mugs, pants, and other items for everyone. Downstairs is a lot of sportswear, and baby clothing. The items may even be a bit more expensive than the Coop, but come here for a slightly different selection of products.
Tower Records has 2 floors of CDs, which is a great number of CDs and certainly a large enough collection to satisfy most music fans. The classical section upstairs is especially wonderful, with great labels, and also cheaper labels so you can buy and own the classics for just a few bucks. THey also have good prices on DVDs downstairs, great for impulse buys.
This is a truly heaven-sent place. I know of nothing like it around Cambridge. As soon as you walk into the store, your nose is filled with delicious aromas of all sorts and your eyes take in, with wonder, the array of breads, cheeses, meats, chocolates, preserves, pastries, wines, pates, and much more. The people are very friendly and glad to help you dig up whatever you are drooling over. The selection of gourmet foods is phenomenal and not to be found anywhere else nearby. THough it is rather expensive, the treat is worth it.
This was where I got my first real salon experience, and it was fabulous. I was greeted by a very friendly receptionist and did not have to wait long at all before seeing my stylist. I wasn't sure what I wanted so we talked about it a bit and she gave me some suggestions after asking about how much time I spend styling my hair and such. She was very professional and considerate, and the results were much better than I expected. I felt like a queen.
This is a one of a kind place with one of a kind clothes. Downstairs, you will find a great messy pile of clothes. These are used clothes that you can buy by the pound. It is a most incredible experience to wade waist deep in clothing with a plastic bag in hand, picking through clothing. Sometimes, there are amazing finds, like designer coats. But you have to have patience, a strong stomach, and not be allergic to dust. Upstairs is the perfect place for Halloween shopping with electric and unusual clothes at fairly reasonable prices.
Staples is great for all your office needs, from printers to calculators to computer locks to tape and boxes at move out. The service is not bad and the staff is fairly helpful. There's also a lot of inventory, as there are 2 floors of items. The store also is located in a great place, very convenient, though it closes fairly early.
This is not the most glamorous of places to go but 24-hour CVS sure has saved my life time after time when I feel a sudden craving for chips at 3 a.m. or need the jolt of Red Bull. Definitely get the CVS card because it is no work but definitely leads to great savings sometimes. There are great sales, and while CVS is not fancy, it has all the necessities.
Trader Joe's is in general cheaper than nearby Whole Foods and Harvest Co-op and doesn't have the focus on organic foods. However, its products are still very high quality and very fresh. It has a great selection of cheeses and ready-made meals like sushi and lasagna. It also has great Trader Joe's brand products like Spiced Chai mix. It has a fairly small selection of ice cream though.