My best friend recently moved to Boston, a city that I love and happily lived in until my marriage took me twenty miles up the coast in the early 1990s. Last weekend, masked and respectfully social-distanced, she and I walked for hours, from the Back Bay, along the Charles River, up and over Beacon Hill, through the North End. On Mount Vernon Street, central to one of the town’s most iconic brick and cobblestone neighborhoods, we passed the building where I lived in the mid-‘80s. An overwhelming sense of nostalgia hit me hard.

To be sure, I didn’t miss my studio apartment’s makeshift corner kitchen, subsisting on ramen noodles and boxed macaroni and cheese (3 for $1 at Star Market), or the couple in the garden apartment below who blasted their stereo at all hours of the day and night. But I missed that feeling — being young, and…

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