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Friday, May 19, 2017

Shopping at CambridgeSide Galleria

I recently was invited to an event at the CambridgeSide Galleria. They're updating the area mall and needed the extra construction help. Actually, we weren't brought in to do construction, more as a reminder that they're there and to show off some of the mall's stores. The construction will be completed in time for the fall holiday shopping season. In the mean time, when visiting, just watch out for the signs to help you navigate between the different levels as they upgrade the escalators and flooring.
There were about 40 bloggers invited. The night started with a scavenger hunt through the mall where you had to stop at several stores and see what's new and different for spring, or to just sample the available food and drink. With three levels, I visited all the first level locations first, then hit the top level, before wrapping up with the middle level. We had an hour to make our rounds.

Some highlights of the night...

The night was definitely focused more on the woman / fashion bloggers. There were three men there but I think the other two were just photographers brought along by a couple of the women bloggers. At some of the stops like Sephora and Macy's, we were offered makeup advice. Thankfully, I didn't need to get a highlight session, though the makeup guy at Sephora made sure I knew his name.
The soft serve yogurt at Freshens was really good. We were offered a small. I got their cake batter. The small was definitely bigger than what I've seen at other places.

I stopped to checkout the sunglasses at Sunglasses Hut. I wear prescription glasses so typically can't get regular sunglasses. To my surprise, I can put prescription lenses in nearly any pair thanks to their relationship to LensCrafters, they're both under the Pearle Vision umbrella of companies.
For some reason I felt drawn to the socks at Club Monaco. They seemed a bit tame compared to some I've gotten from online subscription services, but definitely my style.
J Crew
Banana Republic
Armani Exchange
Men's shorts were out in force at many of the vendors that offered menswear. The two I explored were Banana Republic and J. Crew. Not sure if I had a real favorite. I was surprised to see you can get New Balance sneakers at J. Crew. Armani Exchange also had shorts available but I liked their polo shirts more. Never really considered them before when shopping but will definitely give them a chance next time I'm looking for that wardrobe update.
The flower arrangements at Casablanca Florist were gorgeous. Living in the burbs, I never really thought about going to the mall for flowers. However, if you live and/or work nearby, this seems like a great place to stop to grab something you can walk away with.
To my surprise, many workers at the mall didn't know where other stores were. It seems they come in for where they specifically work but don't shop around, or at least not at the stores we had to visit. To get through things quickly, I occasionally asked where the next store was located and I think, with one exception, they had no clue. The exception was one of the workers a Teavana... Macy's has several entrances/levels. She knew exactly where to go for that stop. She also directed me to a second store, too.

While the scavenger hunt was limited to the blogger participants, the events at each stop weren't. Many of the regular mall visitors were enjoying the sampling and goodies left out for the bloggers.
The feature of the night was a boat ride on the Charles River. There is a siteseeing boat that leaves from right behind the mall and takes you up and down the Charles for a quick 20-30 minute ride. I was surprised at how choppy the water was but otherwise it was an enjoyable trip, especially the sushi from PF Chang's. Even though I've been in the area for over twenty-five years, I've never actually been on the Charles before. This is a great way to see the city. As you're on the river, you see how others are enjoying the water, too, like the Community Boating sailboats that you can rent out.
It was a fine night overall and a great night to be on the water. The breeze was welcoming even though it created some choppy water. We all left with goody bags from the mall vendors with one lucky recipient (not myself) getting a $100 gift card to World of Beer, the first one in Massachusetts.

*Read my Disclosure


  1. This sounds like a fascinating trip! (Although you didn't get any highlighting at Sephora!). I'm also surprised you can get Rx lenses that interchange with sunglasses - I wear glasses, too. I didn't know this was possible! Time to check it out in NY. That boat ride sounds great - I've been on the Circle Line around NYC a few times, but would love to see Boston from the Charles. I've only been to Boston once, and it was a quick day trip of only a few hours. Sounds a super, time, John!

  2. That looks like a swell mall! I like the bounty at J. Crew!

  3. Cambridgeside Galleria sure looks nice, and they gave you bloggers a good time. I've never been to that area, I've been missing out.