Cambridge has come a long way from its agricultural roots. With its diverse population and constant influx of bright men and women drawn in to schools such as Harvard and M.I.T. and local companies, the town classifies itself as “a city where counter-culture still lives, classic culture thrives, and multicultural is a way of life.’’
Check out how Cambridge placed in other lists.
Latest: Cambridge was ranked the fourth gayest city in America by The Advocate.
Fourth gayest city
The gay and lesbian news magazine The Advocate ranked Cambridge the fourth gayest city in America in 2014.
The Advocate cited Cambridge’s antidiscrimination protections for transgender people (enacted in 1997,) the city’s and nation’s first African-American lesbian mayor E. Denise Simmons, and its gay club scene as the reasons for the nod.
Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to permit gays and lesbians to wed when Cambridge City Hall welcomed more than 250 same-sex couples who hugged, cried, cheered, and applied for the marriage licenses many thought they would never see in their lifetimes.
Don Picard, left, and Robert DeBenedictis rejoice in the seconds after they were married on the lawn of Cambridge City Hall with their two children, Carmen, 5, and James, 23 months old. They were married by Clerk Donna Lopez.
Sweet! Best Ice cream shops
GQ must really love Cambridge– food critic Alan Richman chose the 10 ice cream shops that need to be visitied in the United States and two of those shops were Cambridge’s very own Toscanini’s (pictured) in Central Square and Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream in Inman Square.
Two other Massachusetts shops made the list. One is Boston’s J.P. Licks and the other is Northampton’s Herrell’s.
If anyone knows books, it’s Amazon. And the e-commerce company says Cambridge ranks number two, based on its insatiable appetite for devouring books in the business and investing category.
More specifically, Cambridge residents have bought the most non-fiction books.
At left, a commuter reads on his Kindle e-reader as a subway train arrives in Cambridge.
Healthiest city for women
SELF magazine ranked Cambridge as no. 1 overall healthiest city for women, citing below average rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and depression.
Highest percentage of million-dollar homes
The Census Bureau ranked Cambridge first in the nation in percentage of homes worth $1 million or more.
That means of all the single-family homes in Cambridge, (excluding rented and multi-family residences) 12 percent of them are worth a lot of clams.
At left, realtor consultant Fred Meyer stands in front of a $4.5 million, 1882 Victorian house at 15 Buckingham Street.
Most walkable town in the state
About 26% of Cambridge residents walk to work, the second highest rate in the United States (after New York City) for cities of more than 40,000 residents.
Walkscore.com gave Cambridge an 89 percent walking score based on proximity of venues that add to a resident’s quality of life.
Maybe there’s a correlation between number of walkers in the community with how difficult it is to find parking.
One of 100 Best Communities for Young People
Programs and activities targeted at the young folks in the community has made Cambridge the only city in New England to be a five-time winner.
At left, Jennifer Brown, 9, lays down feed during Day of Interfaith Youth Service. A small group helps feed geese and clean up the area – off Memorial Drive near the BU Bridge – as part of the Charles River Urban Wilds Initiative.
Best place for businesses
Cambridge’s position in how attractive the town is to businesses fluctuates year-to-year. But with hip technology businesses like video-game maker Harmonix and sometimes-hip Microsoft moving in to capture the smart folks at nearby schools, Cambridge is assured to remain attractive to all.
Forbes recently ranked Cambridge #29 for now…
Guitar Hero creators, Greg LoPiccolo, VP Product Development, Eran Egozy, cq, VP Engineering, and Alex Rigopulos, cq, President/CEO of Harmonix rock on at the company’s Cambridge headquarters.
Most competitive colleges
Record-numbers of rejections are bound to happen at prestigious private Universities like Harvard and M.I.T.
Cambridge just happens to be home to schools that students really, really want to go to. Competitive schools attract the most-ambitious people. Next time you’re in a coffee shop or bar in Cambridge, take a moment to look around. You might be standing next to the next Mark Zuckerberg.
Harvard Square near Harvard University is bustling at dusk on a summer evening.