05/30/18: Past — “Where is Cambridge From?” History Cafe 1: East Cambridge & The Facts

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We enjoyed a lively evening of conversation and learning at the great Atwood’s Tavern! Thanks to all of the participants for coming and sharing their curiosity and enthusiasm about East Cambridge and “the facts.” Our speakers, Cliff Cook and Michael Delia, with the guidance of our moderator Reed Gochberg, had much to say on the subjects of demographic trends, a changing East Cambridge, and the central role of the East End House in the neighborhood.

We are grateful to Cliff Cook for providing his presentation about the history of the demographics in East Cambridge: East Cambridge & the Facts History Café.

The audience had much to say on the question of being “from Cambridge.” Enjoy some of the responses to the question “Would you say you’re from Cambridge?”:

  • Yes, though sometimes Boston when out of U.S.—shared values generally, tolerance of others, appreciation and encouragement of diversity
  • I’m 3rd generation “arrived in my twenties,” so in that sense I’m connected.
  • We were married in Cambridge and, after 30 years in Baltimore, have come home to East Cambridge.
  • Yes! I’m from Cambridge—anytime I can say it, I do! BEST city in the world 🙂
  • No—I wasn’t born here so I’m not sure I could ever say I’m from Cambridge.
  • No 🙁  I’d have to live here for more than 20 years.
  • I would love to be—but I don’t think I’ve lived here long enough yet!
  • Yes, when speaking to people outside of Cambridge, no, when speaking to those born in Cambridge. One is never a Cantabridgian unless born here.
  • Yes, I am from Cambridge! I wouldn’t say anything else. I wear my E. Cambridge T-shirt, or my Cambridge T-shirt on vacations, or my Fresh Killed Poultry T-Shirt.
  • I’m from Cambridge when answering in New England—but if I’m really serious, I’m from Chicago. But it’s complicated.
  • Yes, and I “knew” when I moved here full-time.
  • No. In order to say yes, I would have to have my children here.
  • Yes, I am from Cambridge. I felt it when both of my children were born at Cambridge Hospital…my roots were transplanted.
  • Yes. Almost immediately, because I was proud of being from here—the universities, the liberalism, the diversity, the future.
  • Yes! When I started looking at the local obituaries for Cambridge before my hometown (Brighton).
  • Hell yes. I am from the People’s Republic of Cambridge and damned proud. I knew the first day I moved into my MIT rental.
  • I usually say to away people “I’m from Cambridge.” I usually say to locals “I’m from East Cambridge.” But now I see I’m not, because I live just on the “other side of the tracks.” Right next to those tracks.

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“Where is Cambridge From?” History Cafe 1: East Cambridge & The Facts

Cambridge Historical Society History Cafe | Atwood’s Tavern | 877 Cambridge St. | Cambridge, MA

Wednesday, May 30, 2018, from 6:30-8pm

Join us for two perspectives on where Cambridge is from:

Hear from Cliff CookCambridge Planning Information Manager about the demographic overview of newcomers in Cambridge over time; and Michael Delia will talk about the role of the East End House in welcoming newcomers for the last one hundred years.


Cliff Cook joined the Cambridge Community development Department in 1995. He is currently Senior Planning Information Manager, responsible for a variety of topics where urban planning and data intersect. He acts as the unofficial city demographer, providing information about the population of Cambridge from a range of sources. He is the president of the Association of Public Data Users and a member of the Census Bureau’s Data products Review Group. He has Master of Regional Planning and undergraduate degrees from Cornell University.

Michael Delia has over 25 years of experience in management positions within not-for-profit organizations. He has served as the President and CEO of East End House since 1996. During his tenure,  East End House has received numerous awards, including the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s Award for Excellence in Management in 2010 and Family Strengthening Award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and United Neighborhood Centers of America in 2009 and 2010. Michael received a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago in Social Service Administration and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


Reed Gochberg is a Lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. She received her PhD in English in 2016 from Boston University, and she specializes in nineteenth-century American literature and culture, with research interests in the history of science, material culture, and the history of museums.