I am from Boston. I grew up in Brookline, a few miles from the famous heartbreak hill, and about 3 miles from where the Marathon runs through Brookline. I left Boston a few years ago for job in D.C., but it will always be my home
There is something particularly horrific about a violent attack on your hometown. As frightening and terrifying as any attack on an American city is, there is something viscerally unnerving about knowing you’ve walked those streets, had coffee at that Starbucks with the blown out windows, and spent countless hours in Copley square. There is something about the hours of texting and waiting that makes the world more frightening than it has ever been before.
My best friend goes to the Marathon every year. It has been a point of contention between us since we were kids as I find standing at the finish line incredibly boring. At hour four, after those fateful moments when we know the winner, I would be long gone. Not her. She loves to stand there for hours. She says there is nothing better than watching the relief and joy in Marathon runners eyes as they finally cross the finish line. She was there at the finish line this year, and the hours I spent frantically trying to get a hold of her were the longest of my life. A craving for pizza left her a few blocks away, where she could still hear the explosion and see the smoke but was completely unharmed.
As I sat, glued to the news, a lot of thoughts crossed my mind. Mostly I thought about how much I love Boston, and how, like a true masshole, I still fervently believe it to be the best city on Earth.
I cried is I watch friend after friend post on Facebook and Twitter their addresses as they offered to take in Marathon runners. We have a reputation as a somewhat unfriendly place but when it counts our homes are always open. I love Boston. I love the history that surrounds our every step, the monuments, the statues, the single houses that are older than some American cities.I love how we are the birth place of American Democracy(Philadelphia should feel free to take offense). I love how welcoming Boston has always been to the Jewish community, and that I can find synagogues, kosher butchers, and bagel stores throughout it.
I love that most anyone from a Christian scientist to Buddhist can find a welcoming house of worship.I love how people in Boston think Dunkin donuts is the best coffee in the world. I love when the Boston Commons fill with flowers and when people wrap scarves around the bronze ducklings in winter. I love the north end, chinatown,Jamaica Plain and Kenmore square. I love driving past the sailboats on the charles river and taking on autumn stroll around Jamaica Pond.
Today, I am not only proud of being from Boston. I am proud of how Bostonians opened their hearts and homes. How they ran, civilians and first responders alike towards the blast site. How they handed out orange juice and snacks. How they will get up tomorrow morning and carry on, because as the president said, we are a tough town. I may not live within the city limits but as always, I love that dirty water, Boston you’re my home.
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