I live in Cambridge, MA, a city I really like. I moved here from the New York metro area after I got married and it’s hard to imagine another hometown I would enjoy more.
One day, a random thought popped in my mind — that reaching out to other U.S. towns and cities called Cambridge might be a useful framework for considering the ways that we are similar to, and different from, Americans across the country. It’s an artificial framework, for sure. Why not look at other communities in Massachusetts or cities with populations around 100,000? Those would likely be more meaningful comparisons, but not as fun as looking at all the towns and cities named Cambridge.
It turns out that there are quite a few U.S. Cambridges. Nearly 30, including a ghost town and some unincorporated townships or counties. The states that house a Cambridge stretch from the Atlantic (Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland) almost to the Pacific (Cambridge, Idaho) and many stops along the way.
I’ve been reaching out to folks in all these places to ask about their Cambridges, and I’m going to share their responses here. I hope you’ll tune in.