Friday, July 19, 2024


Five questions. We just want to ask you five questions — or, rather, get five recommendations of things to read, listen to, watch, eat and buy from people who live, work or otherwise spend time in Cambridge. First up is Marian Schmidt, a Hampshire College grad now working as a researcher at Harvard.

Read: “Every Living Thing: Man’s Obsessive Quest to Catalog Life, from Nanobacteria to New Monkeys,” by Rob Dunn (HarperCollins, 2009). “It’s a portrait of biology. People view the world as human-dominated, so Dunn breaks it down into all the living things and their part in it. It’s a new portrait of life — recommended to me by a friend’s grandfather.”

Listen to: The Tallest Man on Earth, also known as Swedish songwriter Kristian Matsson, has two studio albums and two EPs. “He’s kind of folkie, kind of indie rock — he’s very relaxing. He sounds like a modern Bob Dylan.”

Watch:, an online branch of the Technology, Entertainment and Design idea-sharing conferences, was recommended to Marian by her mother after she saw a video by neuroscientist  Jill Bolte Taylor, who suffered a stroke and, uniquely, “understood what was happening — scientifically — and gave a whole recap of the experience” from the inside. “It’s just totally amazing people presenting on such mind-blowing things.”

Eat: Masala, an Indian and Nepali restaurant at 1127 Broadway, Teele Square, Somerville, the former location of Tip Top Thai. “They have $3 margaritas and the food is way better than all the other Indian places I’ve been here.” Key dish: the Navraltan Korma, a combination of nine vegetables in a mild cream sauce with almonds and cashews.

Buy: “The No. 1 place I like shopping here is Paper Source,” the stationery and craft store, at 1810 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square, “for seasonal crafting. They even sell little crafting kits.”

Send us your own five recommendations and your best big photo at [email protected].