By  on August 21, 2008

Cambridge, Mass., sits just across the Charles River from Boston, yet this city of about 100,000 people — home to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology — has a rhythm unlike its neighbor’s urban churn.

An intellectual town with an earthy, liberal bent, Cambridge has as many bookstores as fashion retailers. People walk and bike in all seasons, pairing loose, bohemian garb with backpacks and comfort shoes. Grocers here sold wheat germ in bulk decades before Whole Foods arrived. In 2006, Cambridge City Hall issued the first same-sex marriage licenses in America.

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