Saturday, April 20, 2013

Life in Boston After the Marathon Bombing

Just an impressionistic little essay here, about how it has been to be living in Boston over the past week or so.  I am hugely grateful and amazed at the number of e-mails I have received from colleagues who wanted to know that I and my family were safe.  Thank you for thinking of us!

My family lives outside Boston itself, in the adjoining town of Milton.  We were quite to the periphery of the action.  However, you might like to know that the NELLCO board meeting that was scheduled for Friday was cancelled because of the lockdown.  I had assumed it was running, and had been puzzling over how to get there with public transit shut down and no taxis.  But that morning, Tracy Thompson e-mailed the folks on the board that the meeting was cancelled, and offering assistance in getting out of Boston.  The handful of out-of-towners who had driven their cars into Boston for a pre-meeting on Thursday went above and beyond, helping the other out-of-towners who were stranded by the shut-down of all public transit.  These kind colleagues often drove our friends all the way home, or at least to a public transit station that was open and operating outside of Boston's ambit.

Universities all across Boston, including my own Suffolk, were closed as part of the governor's lock-down order.  Students were urged to shelter-in-place and stay safe. Businesses throughout Boston were closed, with a few exceptions, such as hospitals, a few gas stations, and very few restaurants.  There are many photos in the newspaper today of empty streets yesterday, that normally would have been bustling.  Thousands of police officers from across Massachusetts and out of state descended onto Cambridge and Watertown for a massive man-hunt, going door-to-door.  I was interested to hear that officials requested Dunkin Donuts to stay open to supply the officers with coffee and hot food (nobody was willing to say, doughnuts!)  A number of restaurants sent donated food to the police as well.

As everybody knows who followed this case on the Internet or TV, the first suspect was killed in a blazing gun battle.  The second suspect, his brother, ran over the first with their car-jacked vehicle in escaping that battle.  In the early hours of April 20, the second suspect was located, hiding in a boat, that had been covered with a tarp for the winter.  This was in a backyard just outside of the zone where the police conducted house-to-house searches.

In the Boston Globe this morning, there is a full page ad from a kitchen cabinet company:
Don't #@$% with Boston!

The ad goes on to state that the company will donate 100% of their profits from any sales today to the Governor's One Fund, set up to provide support to the victims of the Bombing.   I bet they sell a lot of cabinets today! 


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