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It’s lunchtime. Buy it or bag it?

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I was pondering the sad state of the 300 block of N. Charles Street as I walked to work this morning. True, Maisy’s restaurant has newly opened where Copra once stood, but the Starbucks is gone, and a cyber cafe that’s been there for at least 2.5 years – the length of my tenure here – is recently shuttered. Other empty storefronts dot the landscape.

I’m probably (in part) to blame; I began regularly bringing my lunch to work last year in an effort to save some dough, and I’ve kept up the habit.

Often I’ll still wander up to Charles Center for a fountain soda (carbonated sugar is my one, true vice) and today the cafeteria was absolutely teeming with customers. At Pizzeria Speranza, the cashier told me that they had five delivery orders – all for 4-5 pizzas – and a crush of customers descend at once. Yesterday was crazy, too, she said.

Is it the post-vacation, empty-fridge syndrome? (Probably). Or are people opening their wallets a bit more often, now that things are starting to slowly look up?