Obviously at this point, everyone in the world knows what took place here in town during yesterday’s Boston Marathon.
I’m not going to go into great detail about it, we’ve all seen the news and read the papers.
I just wanted to let you know that all of us in the Maison Decor family are safe and sound. Thankfully. Our Boston store is in the South End, ten blocks or so from the finish line in the Back Bay.
Marathon Monday is one of the great days this city has to offer. A lot of people associate celebrating in Boston with St. Patrick’s Day, but really it’s Marathon Monday that brings out people in droves. People come out to cheer on loved ones, runners themselves are overcoming momentous physical and personal challenges, millions of dollars are raised for charity, and lots of people are just flat-out partying. There’s always a Red Sox game during the day, and it’s tough to find fault with anything in Boston on that day. In my younger days, I was as eager as anyone to get out and celebrate early and often; making my way up and down Boylston Street and Commonwealth Ave, bopping between house parties and bars. If you saw the footage of the first blast, you’ll notice Forum restaurant in the background. That’s exactly where I chose to spend part of my Marathon Monday just a few years ago when my friend Alex ran the race. Due to it’s close proximity to the finish line, it’s such a popular spot for people to go during and after the race. I’m sure there were lots of people watching yesterday who had been there and felt like me.
Even though our stores are closed on Monday, I always go into the Boston store to get work done when I know there won’t be customer interruptions. The gym I go to is also on Harrison Ave, so I usually duck out to get a workout in at some point during the day. I did just this at about 2pm yesterday. After working out for about 45 minutes, I showered and as I was walking out of the gym I noticed people getting off of their machines and treadmills and crowding around the television sets. It was 2:50 and all we knew were that there were explosions. It literally just happened. I hurried back to the store and put the news feed on my laptop. Madison called me from work and I in turn called my mom up in Malden. Amy hadn’t yet heard the news, but exclaimed something to the effect of, “Oh my god, I just heard two loud explosions.” She lives 6 miles north of the city.
From that point on the day took on a very hazy feel. Needless to say I barely got any more work done. Harrison Avenue is also the sight of Boston Medical Center, and from about 3 to 4pm the cacophony of ambulances screaming by was haunting. It doesn’t feel real when these things happen in your back yard.
It was encouraging to see the efficiency of first responders and civilian volunteers. These tragedies though horrific, will always bring out the best in human beings. I texted my brother to see that he was safe as he lives in the city, too. He didn’t write back until much later, but only because he is a blood technician at the Red Cross and he was overrun with donors. I received emails and messages from friends and acquaintances around the world, some of whom I am very close with and others not as much. Everyone cared equally, however, and I am encouraged by that, too. I really hated yesterday. I hate that people had to lose their lives for nothing. I hate that arguably the most important street in our city is closed and barricaded and guarded by soldiers. I hate that possibly the most fun and triumphant day of the year for our city and our citizens is changed forever.
All you can do in times like these is count your blessings.