Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Heart Boston

"If Louis was right, and you only get one great love, New York, Boston may just be mine. And I can't have nobody talking shit about my boyfriend. ~ Carrie Bradshaw (modified by me)

For as long as I can remember, I've loved Boston, (why else would I be writing my blog)?! I've traveled to many other places and different countries, each being one unique experience after another, but I always couldn't wait to get back home to my city. And until the horrific events on April 15th, I never knew how strong a love for a city could be, until you see it go from its weakest to its strongest.

April 15th started like many other Patriots’ Days from past years: baseball and beers. I had met up with a few friends early that beautiful Monday morning at Fenway Park not only to watch the game but also to drape the American Flag over the Green Monster seats during the pre-game ceremony. To back up a bit, I've been apart of the flag ceremony crew a few times, the first was for the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. I was asked by my fellow skeeball teammate who has family members that work for Fenway Park. (yes, that’s probably the coolest job ever and yes, I play on the Boston SkeeBall League, but I’ll talk about that one another time). It’s such an honor to be apart of something so special and I truly take it all in for all that it’s worth every time.

After arriving to the Park by 9:30, my friends and I were sitting on top the green monsters seats, preparing for the flag drop. After the ceremonial dropping of the flag and the crowd cheering on, it was time for some fun. After having a few Fenway Franks, some $5 beers and some much needed sun, we decided to take off around the 8th inning and begin what should have been a great day for day drinking.

My friend had suggested that we walk up to Dillon’s on Boylston Street since it’s near where the marathon runners turn to get to the final steps to the finish line. I decided against it since we would have to walk through a lot of crowded areas to get near that area. We then decided on Boston Beer Works since it was close and could go elsewhere after that. We lucked out by getting seats right at the bar, the best place to hold your beers & nachos. The bar was getting more crowded and louder from the droves of people out celebrating the nice day. It wasn't until 2:50pm when the crowd went from cheering to confusion.

At 2:50, the first bomb went off. As were about to close out our tab to get to the next destination, I looked at my friend and said “that doesn't look good”. The bar immediately showed it on all the tv’s where at that point, both bombs had gone off. The crowd started to die down as we all were glued to what was happening on the screen and what they were saying what happened. Rumors were spreading that it was a natural gas explosion, but as the news crews were flying over Boylston Street, and sights of actual blood were shown on the sidewalks, it was clear- this was not natural gas and this was no accident.  

Like everyone else in that area, my friends and I tried to phone out to let people know where we were and that we were okay, but the cell phone towers were completely clogged by phones that we couldn't get calls or texts out. After about ten minutes had gone by, my phone was going crazy with incoming phone calls, text messages and Facebook updates. I was able to finally message out to a few friends who I knew were in the area of the bombings and thankfully all of them were not near the area when it happened. With all that was going on, we figured it best to stay at BBW until we could figure out how we could get back home, since roads were being blocked off and they had shut down the T in certain areas. By 4:30, the bars were abruptly closing, and we found ourselves walking towards Cambridge since that seemed to be one of the few roads open for friends to pick us up.

While walking to the BU Bridge to cross over to Cambridge, my friend and I had come across a marathon runner who needed a ride back to Wellington. We gladly said we’d help him out and he told us how he made it to the 25th mile when police suddenly stopped all the runners and told them something had happened near the finish line. As we crossed over the bridge and walked towards the Hyatt Hotel, we found two sisters, one whom had ran the marathon in need of a cab to get back to Alewife. My friends and I immediately searched on Memorial Drive for a cab to help them out, which we were quickly able to find one and help them back to Alewife.

Once we got to the Hyatt, our ride was there waiting for us. I went with my friends back to Chelsea, where I could somewhat relax a bit and figure out how to get back home. The rest of the night, I was completely immersed watching TV, scrolling through social media and reading any online news sites that were talking about what happened. I think I was completely numb that whole time, too many thoughts going through my mind about what I had seen on TV and what people were telling me what they had seen and heard. I went to bed that night with all those thoughts still running in my mind until the next morning. It wasn't until the next morning that it had all sunk in, and I felt sad, shocked, upset and simply confused and just how someone or some people could’ve done something so terrible and why, why would that to innocent people?

Since I was 18 and I would walk around Boston by myself, I've always felt safe, sometimes maybe too safe, naïve, to put it; naïve to think sometimes that something like this would never happen in this city. But it did happen and for the first time, I saw my city hurt and I wish they was so much I could do that would make it stop hurting. The one good thing did see out of all this hurt and sadness, was that there were so many people who helped other people that day and it shows that Boston is a strong city who will prevail and come out of this on top and back to the strong, beautiful and vibrant city it always was and always will be.

I <3 Boston.  

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