I haven't spent much time in Boston in some twenty years. When I did, we didn't have cell phones, or any type of computing devices. The T required tokens, but if I was lucky sometimes I got a french centime in my drawer at work and I could use that. T drivers made incomprehensible announcements, and "CAWP LEE STATION" barely broke through the background noise. We drank a lot, Guiness or Sam Adams when we were fancy, and forties of Miller when we weren't. We made tofu pot pies and pasta with prego. One night I was in the Stop & Shop buying dollar frozen pizzas late after I finished a night shift, and I saw the cops nab a guy who was smuggling meat out under his parka. There were Vietnamese restaurants where you could still smoke, and we would eat cheap food we didn't understand, and drink strong sweet little coffees, and smoke for hours.
I had a job in Cambridge that started at 5:00am. I'd spend a dollar at the Dunkin Donuts in Allston and get a coffee, a donut, and a Globe, then I'd sit on the curb and wait for the bus. Sometimes an obese raccoon would waddle across the street while I waited. There was a bar on the other side of the street, and every morning at 4:45am two old guys would come and unlock the door and go inside. I never found out why.
[There was more to this post, but I started going to a bad place musing about young women and feminism in the early 90s and the first job that I knew I got because I'm white. I think that will all have to wait for another day.]
For years after that Stop & Shop incident, this song would get stuck in my head every time I went shopping.