The most opinionated zip code in America

I’m spending a few days in Cambridge, Mass, site of my old haunts from grad school and my first postdoc. One of the few places in the world where running into string theorists on the street (as I did today) is not too surprising.

And I enjoyed a treat I hadn’t had in years: Toscannini’s burnt caramel ice cream. I’ve always loved ice cream, but this is the flavor that made me a fanatic. After moving to California for my second postdoc, and making a desultory appraisal of the ice-cream situation, I was moved to buy my own ice-cream maker and churn out the burnt caramel myself. Some good comes out of every hardship.

Cambridge has an absolutely unique charm, although it’s not for everybody. I love the brick sidewalks, the scattered cafes and bookstores, the predominant scholarly aesthetic. I’ve only bought one book so far, but there are a couple of days left.

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