December 31, 2013 Leave a comment
I moved down to Doral, Florida on July 26, 2013. It was quite the change. The two cities are as polar opposite as you can get. Dorsal strives to be the quintessential 21st century city. The half-built haven aims to be the first modern-day urban/suburban hybrid city in America. The combination of comfortable Florida style homes mixed in with shopping boutiques and trendy night spots is a sharp contrast from the 300 year old buildings that are piled on top of each other in Boston. I’ll always miss my home city but if there is one thing that I don’t miss it’s the sirens. You barely ever hear sirens here in Doral. Anyone who has ever lived in a true urban setting knows how different that could be. Besides I heard enough sirens to last me a lifetime during the week of April 15th.
On April 15th i took the Green Line from my house in Allston to the Hynes Convention Center T stop, just as I had pretty much every year previous for the better part of the last decade. I proceed to go through my usual routine – I ate a Irish breakfast at LIR on Boylston Street, enjoyed a pint of Sam Adams Summer Ale as I took in the start of the marathon and was a few good ones deep by time the Sox game started at 11. We did the usual schtick – spent time with good friends, caught up with some old ones and took in the day. People don’t really understand what Patriot’s Day really is in Boston. It is almost as big in Boston as St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a party atmosphere all day in the city. People saw a small glimpse of it during the coverage but I still don’t think that people truly understand what the day truly means to the city. It’s why outsiders don’t quite get the “Boston Strong” mentality. It’s our day and it was ruined. And we took it personally, as was our right.
It started as a good day. We did the usual thing. We watched the Kenyans win the marathon as they usually do. We watched Mike Napoli walk it off for the Red Sox in a trend of heroics that would last all through October. It was a good Marathon Monday. They usually are. People take for granted those random Monday holidays but we don’t do that in Boston on Patriot’s Day. We have a good ole’ fashion Irish holiday.
I couldn’t tell you the exact time that I left the bar. I was feeling pretty good after what was shaping up to be another good Marathon Monday. I was heading out with my brother and a few friends to meet his girlfriend at a bar by Fenway. As soon as I turned down Hereford Street from Boylston I saw the parade of police cars speeding down Commonwealth in the direction of Copley Square. What I saw next was the most astonishing thing and I wouldn’t even realize it until months later. It was seconds, not minutes before the first ambulances carrying victims started to come from the opposite direction. Its hard to quantify in the moment or even the days and weeks following the event exactly how unbelievable job the medical response team did in the wake of an unimaginable tragedy. 3 people died at the scene from the impact of the bomb before they could receive medical attention. 264 people were rushed to area hospitals with varying degrees of injury. Out of the 264 not one life was lost. That’s a Stat better than anything you’ll see on Sportscenter.