Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston, MA, 19 April

I’m sitting in a diner having eaten ham and eggs where an abusive teddy bear was filmed with Marky Mark. 

On the fast walk here a phalanx of twelve cops on motorbikes had glided down the one-way street, the area was otherwise empty of people, just bags of uncollected garbage everywhere and me paranoid about wearing a backpack, but I figure it’s a New Zealand backpack so I’m safe. My phone hasn't worked properly since late last night. 

The diner is full of people seated at a long counter and five small tables. As I’d walked in the Bostonian cook joked Kim Jong-un must be upset because North Korea is no longer on the front pages. I really wanted to find the internet here. 

Yesterday I saw the occasional duo of black vehicles, each pair was an SUV followed by a short black truck with discrete three-pronged antenna on the roof— the last pair I’d seen had the driver of the SUV so pissed with traffic that he drove up the gutter and followed by the truck went along the sidewalk of Colombus Avenue (it was like watching a movie). A Bostonian heading outside says “I’m not gunnah find ah bus, am I?” he’s hopping on crutches “I don’t wannah waste money on ah cab.” 

The diner isn't playing any news. I’d read a headline this morning of one dead police officer and one dead suspect. At my table is a guy who has just finished eating. He tells me with his English accent that a cop was ambushed and killed, three other cops have died. That a guy is on the run, they’d like to take him alive, “but you don’t kill children or cops and it’s hard to hit people in the leg.” I think about the people posting conspiracy theories and passing on photos from sites claiming to “think”, some people’ll believe anything the internet tells them. 

A French couple at the counter ask the cook if he thinks the Freedom Trail tours will be on, he says he doesn't think so. I remember yesterday as I turned a corner in the Central Business District of Boston that I’d run into a SWAT team of ten standing at the back of their armoured car, of single officers with suppressor equipped assault weapons standing on all the street corners, of the unarmed Marines walking everywhere, and of possies of transit cops armed with handguns and staring at commuters. 

And despite all this it really is beautiful outside in Boston today, hopefully this will be over soon.


  1. great 'eye-witness' account of what the mood was like at this horrible time in Boston. Thanks A.G.

  2. Your timing is really fantastic.

    Wait, I can't even tell if I'm being sarcastic anymore.