as my phone and internets exploded several weeks ago, i missed the passing of the Legendary HiLo Market in JP. i can't and won't bitch about gentrification , white and brown colored people, and whatever self serving slime passes for civil serious high minded dialog now but i would not have been able to afford to eat in the early 90s if it wasn't for the cheap and fabulous latinolicious abundance of the HiLo Market. 2 avocados for a dollar, a dollar and change Café Pilon, fresh baguettes, and an entire shelf of votive candles with goddess on them and the mano of power . what else do you really need? oh, and they even had fresh, warm cinnamon buns. mmmmm, buns. Whole Foods Market, which is taking the place of the HiLo, does not have buns like that.
and i do not like Whole Foods Market and never have. they're a cult, they're expensive, and the employees seem like emo Moonies save for the often surly locals on the registers who appear to be considering whether they will ring you up or not while hobnobbing with their friends in an attempt to ignore and negate your humanity because they can't stand the idea that they are ' waiting' on someone. plastic shopping bags are the Devil there even though the parking lot is filled to bursting with big SUVs and everyone has an iphone made by slaves permanently welded to their ears as they mill around in a deluded haze of zombie alleged 'green' consumerism . people believe whatever they want to believe so they can sleep at night and consider themselves superior, better persons but it's all just bullocks.
i lived near Stony Brook T station briefly before i moved to allston- a few blocks from the HiLo, just off a spate of living on other people's couches and with tricks. a few dj'ing jobs here and there but no steady employment, i wandered into finally having a permanent place to sleep all be it a closet sized room in a triple decker not far from a nest of crack houses at the edge of warring gang territories ("Goya Boys are beans"). the center of my life i thought had melted away into chaos but as i look back now- with no money, no place to live, no love, friends on the brink of disowning me- i can't say it was a time of despair. i was relatively happy although i knew i was playing it all close to the edge. it had that element of freedom to it - no place to be, no bills, no dues, no obligations.
with a room secured at last, i sent for 'Co, who was living with my mother, sent there after a relationship detonated and left me homeless. i had been sleeping on some pillows on the floor and off we went to mother's to get the 'Co and a bed. that futon felt like heaven, billowy heaven. 'Co forgave me even though i was to find no one else would or could forgive me for not being what they demanded i be.
although HiLo was the closest supermarket, there was also the horrible now long gone Flannigan's just a block away. flannigan's was too expensive and never had anything i wanted to eat. now every store has south american and mexican food stuffs but back then hardly anyone carried even what we would now view as relatively common spices and staples associated with latino and portuguese/brazilian oriented cooking. 1990 is another world eons away from today. a world wherein i wandered seemingly lost, djing and drinking at night, sleeping in the day and waking up to an entire pot of café pilon with no regrets.
this is all that was left of the HiLo:
sad day. thank you for keeping me and 'Co fed, HiLo Market.
after dropping acid on easter sunday 1991 (as everyone should) , i left a rambling surreal message on a friend's answering machine about their cat george and their roommate's dog maxine going shopping in their low rider to the Hilo and meeting up with my Co ( wearing her sheep skin chaps as she was want to ) and my cockatiel Daisy May. i then received this awesome painting from jennifer harris. consider it an ode to the HiLo and the Year of Living Randomly: