This blog is meant to be about my thoughts on fashion and style but today I need to write about Boston style, the style of the town and the style of the people who live here. I moved to Boston 13 years ago and I knew immediately that this town was my home. It was a comfortable feeling, one that I had felt when I visited the campus of the college I attended. I knew St. Bonaventure would be a great place to go to college and I knew Boston would be a great home. Within my first month in Boston I dined at the Top of the Hub (located at the top of the Prudential building), I took a harbor cruise, and I ran along the Charles River. I learned what a bubbler and packie were, I knew to shorter any long words (it is Comm Ave and Mass Ave, not Commonwealth and Massachusetts), I learned after a snow storm you don’t park in a space that has been saved by a lawn chair or cone, and I learned how to use wicked as an adjective. I knew I loved this city. I loved all of the neighborhoods in Boston and I loved the surrounding towns. I loved that many people who grew up in Massachusetts never move and have many family members in and around town. I learned that the north shore and the south shore are very different areas and if you grow up in one you will never move to the other. I have visited the Cape and the islands (Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket), and I have had a lot of fun memories here over the years. Even though I’ve lived in New Jersey, Atlanta and Nashville I consider myself a Bostonian.
The events that took place last week in Boston were upsetting to say the least. I was with a friend cheering on the runners on Comm Ave near Hereford St. It is one of the last turns the runners take in their long journey. In two turns, they are on Boylston St. for the final stretch. I had run that final stretch the day before in the BAA 5K. It was late in the day, and many runners had finished. I saw them as I walked from the North End to Back Bay. I knew the group of runners I would cheer on run at about the same pace as me; I am not a fast runner. I knew these people would need the cheers. So we cheered them on as best as we could until we heard the two explosions. I was in denial. I have never heard an explosion before but I couldn’t believe something like that would happen in Boston. No way. So it took me a minute or two to realize what was happening. Suddenly the cops were on the street stopping the runners in front of us. The rest of the afternoon was a blur, I heard many sirens, saw police running and driving toward Boylston. We were told to evacuate the area. We slowly walked away. I still didn’t know what happened. People were talking about a bomb at the finish line. I was in shock. We walked with the crowds of people, some were really upset and some like me were confused. I tried to contact my family and respond to texts as best as I could as I walked home. It wasn’t until I turned on the television at home that I knew the severity of the day’s events. I was very lucky. I didn’t see anything and I wasn’t that close to the explosions. There have been many years when I stood in or around the spots where the explosions took place but I’m not a fan of standing in big crowds these days so I was happy with our spot on Comm Ave. It doesn’t matter where you were on Monday April 15, 2013; everyone has been affected by the events. Just like the rest of the town, state, country, today I am trying to start the healing process. So I am going to write about the style of Boston. Boston is strong.
Boston has a strong history.
Starting in 1630 when the colonists from England founded the town. Boston went on to experience the American Revolution, the Boston massacre, the tea party, and the battle of Bunker Hill. In 1919 Boston survived the Molasses flood in the North End. There was the art theft in 1990 in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Of course we can’t forget the big dig and the 84 year losing streak of the Boston Red Sox. This town has survived a lot of tragic events and Boston will eventually recover from the events of last week.
Boston has strong traditions
Whether you live in Boston or have visited Boston you have experienced these traditions. Riding on the swan boats in the Boston Garden, skating or wading in the frog pond in the Boston Common, walking along the red brick trail called the Freedom Trail that highlights Boston’s strong history, visiting the U.S.S. Constitution and Bunker Hill in Charlestown, eating and shopping in Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, buying a cannoli at Mike’s pasty in the North End, shopping on Newbury St., walking or running along the Charles river, visiting the Science Museum, Aquarium, Museum of Fine Arts, etc, going to a Red Sox game and singing Sweet Caroline, cheering on the Celtics and Bruins in the Garden, freezing your butt off at a Patriots game, watching the fourth of July fireworks on the Esplanade and of course running or watching the Boston marathon on Patriots day.
Boston has strong people
Boston has a history of strong people starting with Paul Revere who rode a horse across Massachusetts to warn people of the arrival of the British troops. The people in Boston on April 15, 2013 were just as strong. The first responders included a mix of volunteers, police officers, veterans, and runners. People ran toward the injured and helped stop bleeding as well as kept the injured company until they could be taken to the hospital. Some runners continued to run to area hospitals to donate blood. One runner was a doctor at MGH who performed surgery on the injured. The Chelmsford man who lost his legs asked for paper and pen while he was recovering so that he could help identify one of the bombers. A Lynn off duty firefighter who was dining at Abe & Louie’s ran to help the children who were injured. These are a few examples of Boston strong people.
The week after the events on Monday was unsettling but there were strong moments. The crowd at the Bruins game singing the national anthem, flowers and messages placed on Boylston St, people tried to go on with their lives while authorities searched for those responsible for the bombing. The week closed with dramatic events on Thursday and Friday resulting in the death and capture of the two people responsible.
Now it is time for us to try to heal. Those injured have to heal physically and mentally, I can’t even imagine how they feel. Those who lost loved ones also must heal. If you want to help, everyone could use thoughts and prayers and love. If you have money to give, there are many charities set up to help the victims. There is the one fund set up by Mayor Menino and there are pages set up for individuals who lost limbs. One woman lives in my neighborhood, Roseann Sdoia lost a leg on Monday. Her website is http://www.gofundme.com/roseann. http://www.gofundme.com/BucksforBauman is the site for Jeff Bauman who identified one suspect after losing both legs. http://www.gofundme.com/CelesteandSydney is for the mother and daughter who were both severely injured. If you can’t donate money, read their stories and offer words of encouragement or keep them in your prayers. Now is time for love and caring, for spending time with friends and family, and time to read those inspiring stories. I’m done watching the videos of the explosions. I don’t need any more reminders. I will never forget the explosions and I will never forget those who lost their lives on Monday.
and Officer Sean Collier