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Longtime readers know that every Christmas Les UDs go to Cambridge, Massachusetts…

…to be with family. This year, rather than stay with family or at a hotel (Les UDs have a house in Cambridge, but they rent it out), we’ll stay at a friend’s house on Professors’ Row, a line of beautiful places steps from Harvard.

The term Professors’ Row, Boston Curbed writes, “is used now only with the bitterest of irony, given the costs of housing near Harvard and the pay of most Harvard faculty.” Which is to say that even, for instance, a $400,000 a year salary probably isn’t enough. You have to be edging up toward hedge fund territory.

No wonder Sheriff Ben Edelman sets his consulting fee so high.

UD will of course blog from these privileged precincts. She has been stomping around Harvard for decades (ever since she and Mr UD, a Harvard professor’s son, became an item) and she has blogged, a bit, about her impressions of Cambridge and its university people. She will now do so again.

Margaret Soltan, December 20, 2014 8:21PM
Posted in: snapshots from home

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5 Responses to “Longtime readers know that every Christmas Les UDs go to Cambridge, Massachusetts…”

  1. Contingent Cassandra Says:

    Interesting. Although I lived in Cambridge for four years in the mid-late ’80s for the usual reasons, I don’t think I ever heard the term. Very few if any of my teachers lived within walking distance of the university (unless, of course, they were house masters or other resident faculty). The neighborhood is familiar, however, since the English department was housed in a frame house somewhere over in that general direction at the time (the street name, unfortunately, escapes me; it’s now in the former Freshman Union).

  2. Polish Peter Says:

    Similarly, having lived in Cambridge 1975-81 I never heard the term “Professor’s Row”. Most of my Harvard profs lived out in Medford, Wellesley, Lexington; the only ones who lived in Cambridge were off Mass Ave near the Radcliffe Quad.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Cassandra, Polish Peter: Here’s a NYT article from way back in 1986 about Professors’ Row, among other unaffordable close to Harvard locales. (We’ll be staying on Francis Avenue.) (Adam Ulam was a friend of Mr UD‘s family; I met him a few times.)

  4. Polish Peter Says:

    That NYT article is a trip down memory lane. Many of the giants of that era at Harvard: Homans, Galbraith, Ulam, Kaplan. A very special time and place then. One of my jobs was to take attendance at faculty meetings. The most distinguished faculty members would always tell me their names politely. The brash ones aspiring to celebrity status would blow by me, expecting me to recognize them on sight.

  5. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Polish Peter: Yes. The faculty luminaries I met – Ulam, Wiktor Weintraub, Baranczak, a famous expert on modernist literature whose name for some reason escapes me, even Galbraith who I wouldn’t exactly call humble — were all polite, pleasant…

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