There have always been talks about a hushed rivalry between Somerville and Cambridge, when really each city both have great things to offer—Somerville being a bit more residential, Cambridge being a bit more commercial.
That can be proven by Jennifer Lawrence (no, not from The Hunger Games) and Pardis Saffari’s new movement to meld both cities together known as Cambriville Connects. Their next big event is tonight at Bukowski’s Tavern from 6 – 8 p.m. (1281 Cambridge St., Cambridge). Now, more than ever, is the time to join forces.
The main objective of this effort is to connect people from both municipalities every month to talk about anything that concerns residents—anything from business to simply meeting neighbors.
“Just people with an entrepreneurial spirit—you could be a city planner, you could be an architect, you could be a bike maker, anything—but if you get other folks together in a room, and you get the creative juices flowing, anything can happen,” Lawrence says.
In addition to hosting meetings every month to parlay ideas, the duo also runs a blog where they write posts on the different squares, what’s happening in them, and unique local businesses to check out.
The idea of linking both cities began in a simple conversation in early February. “I’m from Cambridge, and Jen is from Somerville, but we both work together in Cambridge,” Saffari shares.
Both ladies work for the city of Cambridge, but are a part of their “Local First” boards, which is an organization encouraging others to support their local businesses and economy.
“Our borders are so fluid,” Lawrence adds. “A lot of business owners who work in Somerville live in Cambridge and vice versa. So why wouldn’t we do something that connects both cities.”
It’s hard to deny that both towns are similar in that they’re very walkable and accessible, have an extensive art culture, strive for innovation, and are driven by local businesses.
“Even if there is a rivalry, I hope Cambriville is fixing that problem,” Saffari remarks. “If anything, I think it’s more about pride of where you’re from.”
So if there’s anything that concerns you, or you’re new to the neighborhoods and have some great ideas, join Cambriville Connects. Following tomorrow’s meeting, the next gather will be at the Together Festival on May 15. Visit Cambriville Connect’s website for future details.