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Vanishing Boston

A field guide to Boston's 'lasting' treasures — to be enjoyed before they're razed in favor of chain stores


Portugese Inman Square
Each morning they're there. Portuguese men, mostly from the Azores, fraternizing on the street corner in front of Cafû Casal. They smoke and bicker. Unshaven, gray-haired, they wear flat caps, sometimes the occasional track suit. And at night, it's there, down at the end of dark Cambridge Street: the gargantuan new Archstone North Point apartment complex, glowing like some futuristic beacon. Is it an omen of what's to come? Seldom does a neighborhood 'round these parts wear its ethnic heart on its sleeve as proudly as Inman/East Cambridge. The bathtub Marys. The doors adorned with Portuguese tiles. The statuary stores that sell crucifixes and soccer balls. The restaurants, from Casa Portugal to the Snack Bar O Senhor Ramos, a few blocks down Cambridge Street. The members-only Faialense Sport Club. Perhaps the fact that Inman has no T stop has allowed it to stay tucked away and maintain most of its character over the years. But with new condo complexes springing up in East Cambridge and in nearby Union Square, and with the immigrants in those well-tended triple deckers only getting older, it's clear the demographics are changing. Hopefully it'll be some time yet before the neighborhood loses its lusophone charm.

— Mike Miliard

CAFÉ CASAL | 1075 Cambridge Street, Cambridge | 617.576.2171 | CASA PORTUGAL | 1200 Cambridge Street, Cambridge | 617.491.8880 | SNACK BAR O SENHOR RAMOS | 691 Cambridge Street, Cambridge | 617.491.8292

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