Just outside Harvard Square a world of activity buzzes in your face. There's the guy creating and selling his art for $10/piece just to the left of the Harvard T (metro) station. It's not Monet but there is something appealing about the paintings and their vibrancy.
Along this walkway, there are numerous beggars with their cardboard messages "I'm hungry" or "I'm unable to work" and even one that says "I'm sexy, judge for yourself". They come in all sizes and shapes but the thing that you notice most is the precision in which they have drawn the letters with their Script felt markers. It's easy to miss them as they slouch along the walls of the buildings. Nearby them, a man sits at the table with a sign ban the ban for no-smoking on patios.
A corpulent black woman sits Buddha style on a colourful blanket where she displays jewellery and trinklets for sale. Further down the way, a group of homeless youth drape themselves across the doorway of a vacated business. Noticing beyond their dreadlocks, multiple lip piercings and camouflage clothing, defiant symbols of their counter-culture, you see fatigue, misery and vacancy. Their skin is dull and green and I wonder about their livers as I pass by them. One has a stray pup attached by an old beaded belt to his wrist.
You can hear music sung or played above the traffic and hum of the place. Several are very good and one in particular makes you rest awhile to listen. He strums his guitar and closes his eyes as he sings Billy Joel's "she's got a way".
There are the "wicked smahrt" Harvard tour guides sporting their burgundy polo shirts and khaki shorts and their broad rimmed hats herding in their curious flock. I overhear one say that Harvard freshman have been known to streak across campus in the dead of winter for their hazing. Maybe not last winter.
The cobblestone sidewalk along JFK boulevard, uneven and narrow, is always crowded with tourists and students. I'm surprised how many come to see the campus and explore the area.
I'm glad I'm here and that I add to that buzz however faint it might be.