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Chansky's Market rests in a tiny Russian neighborhood between Boston College and Allston. Going strong for almost 100 years now, Chansky's is currently one large sofa away from being kind of a cool hangout spot. They stock plenty bare essentials: milk, cereal, bread, alcohol, etc., but make more of an experience out of running to the corner store for batteries or whatever. The first time I walked into Chansky's, there was a small group of dudes chatting around the checkout counter, listening to some weird experimental-garage music, just kicking it.
It immediately set a very leisurely mood for my shopping experience that corporations spend millions of dollars trying to force upon their customers. I can't say they have the best selection in town or anything, but they are likely the only supermarket whose interior decorator desperately wanted it to look like a bar for some reason. Plus, I support anybody who has their very own brand of soda. Chansky's even offers $20 gift bags in four different combinations of Chansky's merchandise -- soda, candles, t-shirts, dressings, and dips. I thought it was a joke when I read it. They also do wine and beer tasting, and raffles in the store. About 1/4th of Chansky's square footage is a room dedicated to a wide variety of beers and really cheap wine (under $20, some under $10), which speaks to the 21-31 year old demographic I would expect to see there. Basically, Chansky's is a cool version of your lame supermarket.
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