The chain owner of the long-lifed Out-of-Town News has decided not to renew his $5000/month lease, says the Boston Globe.
The owner, now a chain vendor, has notified Cambridge officials that it does not plan to renew its lease Jan. 31, saying the public appetite for printed news has all but vanished.
While I’m mostly the heartless sort—one who believes in the law of supply and demand at least at the local level—this will all but eliminate access to foreign newspapers and magazines in Cambridge for those who don’t have internet. But that’s kind of the point: who passes through Harvard Square every day, reads a foreign language, and doesn’t have an internet connection? Cambridge and neighboring Somerville have working-class immigrant communities, but they’re not who I’ve seen browsing the two cramped aisles at Out-of-Town News.
Don’t misunderstand, this is a big loss to Harvard Square. But demand for information, like water, has its way of finding and exploiting cracks, changing the landscape in the process.
Added: A Harvard grad friend of mine says, “How will I tell people where to meet me in Harvard Square?”