Next door, the cat at Maria's Pastry finally decided we were paesani and let us pet and photograph her. I could never get near her before. That counts, too.
The guy at Galleria Umberto is magnificently kind to everyone, so I guess he doesn't count.
The brothers at the former Dairy Fresh Candy shop would always recognize me and chat, but that's because we flirted like mad for 25 years. That used to count, but then they vanished. Boy, do I miss them and their chocolate. Who needs two yuppie yoga shops in the North End? Who needs one?
One of the Haymarket vendors where we buy asparagus called me "baby" and "love" today, in the presence of my husband. That doesn't count, either, but I appreciated the sentiment; his form of chivalry.
I think it will become official when the waitresses at Regina's stop handing us menus and say: "Large cheese, cooked light?" We'd better start showing up weekly if we want that to happen. The sacrifices...
The North End may not be my neighborhood, but it feels more and more like home.