The response being positive, I circled the rotary and headed for the former Lucky Garden on Concord Ave. For those not familiar with it, Lucky Garden was a reliably decent Chinese restaurant. Nothing you'd go out of the way for, but a reasonable place to grab food if you were in the area. I'd been there once since the new owners took over, but at that time, the only thing noticably different was the sign. So we arrived expecting to spend an hour eating a pedestrian meal while letting traffic thin out.
The first surprise was that the door wasn't where it had been for the past 20 years. The next was that the decrepit standard-issue Chinese restaurant decor had been replaced with pleasantly understated new furniture. This concerned me at first: While I'm well aware that decor and food quality in Chinese restaurants are orthogonal, my knee-jerk response was to assume they would be negatively correlated. To cut to the chase, I needn't have worried. I can recommend House of Chang unreservedly. So much so that I paid them a return visit last night, taking the friend whose place I'm crashing at for the two weeks until my new apartment is ready. We both left feeling contented.
I had to park a couple of blocks away last night, and on the food-torpid way back to the car after, I found myself rather taken by a couch in a junk shop window.
So today I went back.
I lived in that part of Cambridge back in the days of rent control, more than 20 years ago. It's still a very Cantibridgian, funky/arty neighborhood — and maybe the evening twilight foreshortened the decades. Still, I should have known better than to imagine that the shop whose window I was looking into was a junk shop. In the event, what I was thinking of as the used sofa that I might be able to get for slightly less than a new one at Ikea turns out to be a classic by Jens Risom, one of the founders of Scandinavian Modern. A bargain, I'm sure, at only the price of a half-dozen or so Ikea sofas. C'est la vie.