I fell in love with Boston the way many who live in this fine city do – while attending college. The day I became a Bostonian will be forever imprinted in my memory. Driving down the Pike, Fenway Park on my right and passing traffic on my left, I felt a mixture of excitement, anxiety, and stomachache-inducing fear. I was leaving everything I knew about comfortable New York State life behind me. Would I fit in? Would I get lost? Would I ever figure out public transportation? I was being thrown into the belly of the beast. Would this city embrace me or eat me alive? It ended up embracing me and letting me thrive.
When I woke up this morning, I looked out my windows to the south, and took in the view of my favorite skyline. There’s the Pru. There’s the Hancock. There’s the rest of downtown. They’re still here. We are still here. That’s a tough thought to put into perspective after a day like yesterday.
Like many people, I was at the Red Sox game with a group of friends, and at 2 PM it was decision time – do we head to the race finish? Do we stay by Fenway and have some food/drinks? Luckily for us, we decided to stay at Tasty Burger on the Fenway end of Boylston, and it was there we learned of the bombings a short nine blocks away. Ambulances sped up and down Boylston, back and forth from the bomb site to Longwood. We had to stay put until we developed a plan to leave the city, which involved walking out over the Mass Ave Bridge into Cambridge, and a frightening moment while police in Kenmore Square yelled at pedestrians to move (quickly) in the direction away from BU.
It has been a scary twenty-four hours, Boston. But we’re still here. This city is more than just the sum of its history, buildings, or sports teams. It’s a resolute toughness that screams “We do things on OUR terms. Not yours.” People are already talking about being scared to go out on Patriot’s Day next year? I’ve made my plans to go the Sox game, the race, and have a great day out in celebration with friends in 2014, without question. We will not be bullied. We will not be pushed around. We will not let someone force us to be afraid of our own shadow in the city we call home. We are Bostonians, and as we have proven time and time again, we rise to the challenge presented to us.
Stand together, for all of us. For Boston.