Thursday, May 23, 2024

Galvin Square, where I live, isn’t as great as I thought. Now that I’m paying more attention to the tiny honorary areas along Massachusetts Avenue, I notice that they’re almost as common as street signs — some disguised by the simple fact that they’re not important enough to be noticeable even from across the street. Dodge four lanes of traffic and you’ll find yourself somewhere completely new, just because it’s called something different.

Head up the street from Porter Square toward Arlington and within four short blocks you’re in Galvin Square, which is probably, sadly, known as “The Gas With a Smile square.” But only a block away is Walden Street and James F. Dottin Square (which actually claims Buzkashi and the combined Taco Bell and KFC; any more combining and it’ll be Taco Buzkashi, the Mexican-Afghan fusion cuisine craze).

Go another block and you’ll find Russell Street, which holds the sign identifying that area as Joseph M. Curran Square, the, oh, I don’t know, American Friends Service Committee square.

A fun one.

In another block, at Rindge, you’ll find Charles D. Keefe Sr. Square, undoubtedly named for the patriarch of the funeral home across the street, but probably better known as “the liquor store square.” Virtually across the street, at Chester, is Judge Jeremiah Sullivan Square, home of … not much. Perhaps Kate’s Mystery Bookstore lands in Sullivan Square, but Raymond & Theresa Proulx Square could claim it as well, along with Pemberton Farms and the White Hen Pantry. But Chief Leo Davenport Square is just across the street, meaning it would be able to claim Kate’s if squares here were actual squares, not intersections or junctions.

Davenport Square needs Kate’s, actually, as it is otherwise “The City Lights lamp shop square.”

Sad. Oh, if only the T stopped there.

Update: The area has changed dramatically since this post. Buzkashi has changed names twice and is now Annapurna, for instance, and the combined Taco Bell and KFC is gone, soon to be replaced by a Banjo’s sandwich shop. (Or, rather, Banjo’s is set to open soon after a marathon delay.) Also gone are Gas With a Smile, which is now a Hess-branded gas station; Kate’s Mystery Bookstore, which has sold this summer to become only a home; and the White Hen Pantry, which also changed names and owners twice to become Pemberton Market.