My first job when I moved to Massachusetts 8 years ago, was on the 28th floor of the Prudential Center (800 Boylston St.) It’s the 2nd tallest building in Boston and surrounded on all sides by a shopping mall. Outside of the building is more shopping, tons of bars, restaurants, gorgeous brick sidewalks and stunning architecture. The Back Bay is one of the prettiest places I had ever visited and all of a sudden I was getting paid to visit there every single day.
My commute at the time was pretty long and I didn’t have a car so most of my doctors and hair and nail places were right in the neighborhood, on Boylston or Newbury (the next street over). All of my friends were my co-workers and we spent countless hours frequenting the nearby establishments. My house was in Salem but I practically lived in Back Bay for 4 years. Even when I left that company, I was always going down there to see my friends. I still do. I know almost every bar, every shop front, every T stop and every brick in every sidewalk. I’ve walked alone in the dark, sometimes for many blocks, and have never once felt unsafe.
I used to love working on Marathon Mondays. The commute was quiet with so many people taking the day off and I would get off the T a few stops early so that I could walk down Boylston and see all the preparation and fanfare. In the afternoons we would walk outside to watch the runners pass us by. It was a real Boston holiday and always felt that way, even when we all had to work.
Yesterday my favorite neighborhood in my favorite city was turned into a war zone. A scary place to be. And there is blood on my bricks. Waiting for text messages from friends who live and work in the area was panic inducing. Friends who have become my family. I can’t remember the last time I was so terrified. My BFF and I just kept repeating to each other that this kind of stuff isn’t supposed to happen in our city. I am sure everyone feels that way. But it is still such a shock, like it happened in some terrible nightmare and not in our backyard.
I am thankful that my loved ones are all safe and sound. I am thankful that there were already so many law enforcement and medical personnel in the area. I am thankful that so many people rushed to help those who needed it. Boston is a truly great city.
I continue to pray for all of the victims, their families and everyone touched by this gruesome tragedy. Boston is still home. Back Bay is still my favorite. I am going to cheer for the Bruins. I am going to pray that the Red Sox make the playoffs. And I will not let anyone make me afraid to walk those familiar streets. I can’t wait to get down there to share all of my city love with all my city friends. Love that dirty water.
I was listening to The Killers on my way to work this morning (life must go on) and the lyrics of my favorite song seemed appropriate to share:
Up against the wall
There’s something dying on the street
When they knock you down
You’re gonna get back on your feet
Cause you can’t stop now
Did they break your heart?
And did they cause your soul to mourn
Remember what I said
Boy you was battle born
Cause you can’t stop now