Saturday, October 13, 2007

Suburbanism strikes the (reasonably) big city, part two

Wanting a piece of dessert tonight but refusing to cross hateful Route 60, I spent a half hour tonight looking for an open cafe or convenience store in my new neighborhood of downtown Malden. Because it was after 8 p.m., I had no luck until I found a tiny market (a bodegita?) on the ground floor of a nearby apartment building, right next to the entrance to the building's garage. I was the only customer, spending a lot of time agonizing over the large but not very appealing sweets section, until a woman came in and gave a cheery hello to the man behind the counter. "I forgot my pass key to the garage again," she said. "Can I borrow yours?" He wearily handed it over and said, "I'm going to have to start charging you." That seemed to startle her a bit, but she took the key and breezed out of the store. After I made my purchase and left, I passed the garage and spotted her through a window, taking a bunch of bags out of her car -- which, I suppose, she carried with her as she stopped at the convenience store to return the garage key. Lady, I know that convenient stores are more expensive than Costco, but would it have killed you to BUY SOMETHING from the poor guy who's trying to run a business, not serve as your concierge?

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