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Despite crime, crowds, expensive real estate, and awful swings in temperature, native New Yorkers say they'll never leave the Big Apple, often claiming that there's no other city where you can get a pastrami sandwich at 3:30 a.m.

In Boston, they spell it pastromi, and pronounce it a little differently, but increasingly, it is becoming easier to locate a sandwich of it on a bulkie roll, no less, in the wee hours of the morning.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Harvard, Square, where 24-hour food stores are slowly making their way into Cambridge. Or at least they claim to be.

For in Cambridge, unlike in New York, "Open 24 Hours" doesn't necessarily refer to the amount of time the establishment is open each day. In Cambridge, "Open 24 Hours" could very well mean per week, rather than per day.

Take for example the huge banner atop the Star Market in Porter Square, boasting the slogan "Open 24 Hours." What a great place to get pastromi for the whole family! But upon arriving at the door some late Sunday night, you will find that the bulkie rolls have been locked away, and the doors are closed. Further, you'll notice that the signs on the door say they are open from 8 a.m. until 12 midnight.

A rock to the management of Star Market for false advertising and then arguing with customers who challenge them on their promise to stay open all night.

On the other hand, a rose is in order for the new managers of Store 24 for restoring it to its open-all-night status, as the store's name suggests. After years of being only Store 22, the change is a welcome one to late-night pastrami and pastromi lovers everywhere.

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