(cross-posted on Civic and PBS)
I met my baby niece yesterday, Sunday morning. She was born late Saturday night. I went to some news sites to grab some screenshots of the things that happened the day she was born, and stopped myself. There were some really bad things happening in the world, Saturday, and every day. Instead, I wrote down that the Red Sox beat the Rays, 2-1.
Today is Marathon Monday, Patriot’s Day, one of those wonderful Massachusets-only-and-why-do-they-get-an-extra-day-off days. My niece is home from the hospital, thank God. I had saved today, like most Bostonians, as a light at the end of the dark winter tunnel. The day I knew there’d be college cookouts and the largest crowd that assembles, anywhere, to watch distance runners go by. People work their asses off to qualify for Boston’s tough time limits. Others get into the race by raising large amounts of money for worthy charities. Runners of all speeds and shapes stream by wearing Team in Training and Dana Farber’s colors, in addition to an endless array of less formal causes, sick cousins and memoriams to those who have left us. The Red Sox are granted an exception by Major League Baseball to hold a home day game every year on this day, so that as the game finishes, another 40,000-strong may walk a couple of blocks and join the throngs already cheering on the waves of runners.
Today, we walked over to right near the finish line and cheered people in their last few blocks. We were impressed by how fresh everyone looked, how the crisp, sunny day had buoyed their spirits and helped them make running a marathon look easy. We tried to decide whether we should head to a bar at the finish line or out to Fenway. At the last minute we decided to hop on Hubway bikes, make use of the closed streets, and go over to watch the crowd pour out of Fenway.
After failing to navigate the Lansdowne Street crowds with bikes, we walked over to Kenmore Square, the 1-mile-left mark. We stood next to a jovial group of undergrad girls, who shouted out personal cheers based on whatever the runners had written on their shirts. We told the runners how good they looked, and to finish strong. And then the girl next to me said something about a bombing. “Where’d you see this? On the internet, or real news?”, I asked. We all whip out our smartphones and find the Globe and others reporting multiple explosions. No. Not here, too.
Continue reading The Boston Marathon, Social Media, and the News