Cold Open

Each winter, the ice hockey teams of Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern face off in the Beanpot Tournament. This year, the Indy takes to the ice. At the Park Street T-stop, I switched from the Red Line to the Green Line, bound for North Station and the TD Garden above it. The Green Line is really more trolleys than trains, slow-rolling pairs of cars harnessed to the electrical wires above them, and as I climbed into the back seats of the second car I overheard two old-timers talking about the Beanpot. One of them wore a green ski …






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Paint Wars

 Harvard and Yale’s museums battled it out.  By the time we got to New Haven, we were more than ready to get off the bus. It was one of those charter numbers, fifty-six seats or so, and there was a bathroom in the back of the bus that slowly but steadily emitted the noxious fumes of bathroom solvents reserved for buses and airplanes. Yet most of us had slept for two hours despite the smell – or maybe because of its slightly ammoniac and anesthetic qualities – and we were glad to disembark for the Yale Art Gallery, textbooks cases …






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Knights of the Smokeful Countenance

The Indy sits in on a smoker’s rights meeting.  A couple of weeks ago I found myself in Stephen Helfer’s apartment at a meeting of the Cambridge Citizens for Smokers’ Rights. Helfer is the Citizens’ leader, and you’ve probably seen him if you’ve walked through Harvard Square enough times. He’s got an off-white mustache and a face like a well-hewn walnut, and he sets up shop in the Square a few days a week. Sometimes he’s seated behind a table collecting signatures for a petition, and sometimes he stands and holds up a sign like some smoldering Jeremiah, smoking a …






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Harvard-Brown Game: Splendor on the Grass

Field Notes from Harvard-Brown By five o’clock, the Harvard-faithful surged down JFK Street. They came in loosely packed shuttles from the Quad and in tight-knit droves from the river houses, and at the confluence of JFK and Mt. Auburn the channels merged and streamed across the river. When they crested Anderson Bridge, some people wanted cheap sunglasses to block out the still-bright sun and the glaring river, but by the time they reached Cumnock Field they’d decided they didn’t need them. A handful of well-contained tailgates formed alongside the access road to the fields. Here, old men drank Sam Adams …






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