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Where to Find the Necessities

By Kathy Lin

As you start settling in, chances are that a Target craving will hit, or you’ll realize that your sheets just don’t fit those extra long beds. Where can you find all things familiar?

Here’s a list of what I looked for when I arrived, and where you can find it. For directions, try an online mapper like

Mall — CambridgeSide Galleria

100 CambridgeSide Place

Cambridge, MA 02141617-621-8666

Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

The Galleria is a vibrant mall with everything you’d expect, from Gap to Sears. A complete list of stores is available on their Web site. It’s just a 15-minute walk from Kendall Square, and if you buy a lot, you can take the mall shuttle back to Kendall and the Tech Shuttle back to your dormitory. Without a car, this is the place you’d want to go for anything you want for your new room.

Look in tomorrow’s Tech for a more comprehensive list of similar shopping options.


180 Somerville Avenue

Somerville, MA 02143617-776-4036

Open Mon.–Sat. 8 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.–9 p.m.

For those who are unfamiliar with Target, it’s a one-stop shop with clothes, furniture, electronics, bedding, toys, and more at low prices. It’s an addictive store that I browse through at least once a week when I’m at home, but unfortunately, it’s far from MIT. By foot, the trip is about half an hour each way — close enough to walk to, but too far to lug lots of stuff home. If Mom and Dad are still in town with a car, drop by Target to pick up everything you weren’t able to bring from home.


781 Lynnway

Lynn, MA 01905781-592-4300

Open Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–8 p.m.

At a distance of 12 miles, Walmart just isn’t worth a trip, with or without a car. The one time I drove there took over half an hour, and the prices and selection were both about the same as those at Target.


2 Mystic View Road

Everett, MA 02149617-544-4806

Open Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

A warehouse open only to members, Costco is like others: at driving distance only (and if you buy anything, you’d definitely want a car to haul it home). If you’re a member, you probably love Costco as much as I do, and the 3.5-mile drive is well worth it. The mall housing Costco also has other standards like Home Depot, Target, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.


57 John F. Kennedy Street

Cambridge, MA 02138617-491-1166

Open Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.–9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

For all the school supplies you need, drop by the Staples in Harvard Square — and check out some of the cute, quirky restaurants and shops while you’re there. The store is right in Harvard Square, and you can take the No. 1 bus ($0.90) right down Mass. Ave. back to MIT.

A slightly further away Staples is close to Fenway Park at 401 Park Drive in Boston, right near a Best Buy.

Grocery stores — Star Market

20 Sidney Street

Cambridge, MA 02139617-494-5250

Open daily 7 a.m.–12 a.m.

Star is the closest supermarket beyond LaVerde’s in the Student Center. For a more comprehensive list, check out yesterday’s Tech.


624 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02139617-876-7868

Open daily 7 a.m.–11 p.m.

The largest drug store chain here is CVS, and the closest store is in Central Square. They don’t seem to have much that Star doesn’t, though. I mostly go to only the 24-hour CVS stores, but the closest ones are quite a walk at 1426 Mass. Ave. in Harvard Square and 587 Boylston Street in Boston.

Boston Public Library

700 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02116617-536-5400

Open Mon.–Thu. 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Boston Public Library, America’s first public library, hosts an enormous collection in an architecturally interesting, comfortable building. BPL is definitely worth a visit, whether you love books or just want to be a good tourist. Beware that you have to show proof of residency (a piece of mail is sufficient) to obtain a library card, so it might be worth waiting until the junk mail starts rolling in. Also, keep an eye out for their book sales about once a month where you can buy paperbacks for $0.50 and hardbacks for $1.

Post office

Student Center. Open Mon.–Fri. 7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

The closest Post Office is actually in the basement of the Student Center and can fulfill all your mailing needs.

Movies — Loews Boston Common

175 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

Loews Boston Common is the closest large, mainstream movie theater. For all the popular new releases, take the inbound T to Park Street, and the theater is right down the street. A more comprehensive review of movie theaters will be published in Friday’s Tech.

Movie rentals — Blockbuster

541 Mass. Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139


Open daily 10 a.m.–12 a.m.

This Blockbuster, located in Central Square, is among the most comprehensive in the area. But if you’re going to rent more than a few times a month, why not just sign up for a DVD delivery service like Netflix and spare yourself the trip?


For most college students, the subway, known here as the T, is the best way to get around. The closest stop to MIT is in Kendall Square. A ride costs a standard fare of $1.25 to almost anywhere, unless you go to one of the end of the line stops particularly far from Boston. To travel along Mass. Ave., you can take the No. 1 bus from 77 Mass. Ave. for $0.90. Both are generally quite efficient and reasonably clean. For more information about schedules and maps, check out their Web site.