The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

National News

April 19, 2013

Its streets deserted, an uneasy Boston perseveres

BOSTON — The Red Sox and the Bruins both scrapped their games. The famous Quincy Market at Faneuil Hall was closed, and there were more pigeons than tourists on City Hall Plaza. Even the Starbucks at Government Center was shuttered.

The killing of one suspected Boston Marathon bomber and the manhunt for another brought life in large swaths of the notoriously gridlocked Beantown to a screeching halt, leaving residents and tourists alike frustrated and angry.

“It took me an hour and a half to find a coffee this morning,” Daniel Miller, a financier from New York, said as he wandered the desolate plaza beside a statue of patriot Samuel Adams. “I was joking with a person that I guess the strategy is we’ll make this person not be able to get a coffee in the morning, and maybe they’ll give up.”

For Steve Parlin, who is staying at a veteran’s shelter on Court Street, in the shadow of City Hall, the scene was nothing to joke about.

“Helicopters are flying over,” the Gulf War-era Coast Guard veteran said as he strolled across the plaza, a bottle of water in his hand. “Everything’s closed. It’s creepy. Machine guns. Creepy.”

Gov. Deval Patrick, Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis ordered all people in the city of Boston to shelter in place. Several area colleges and universities were locked down. Commuter rail, bus and subway service were suspended, and thousands of workers were told to stay home.

The potential impact on businesses and the local economy was not immediately clear. Jon Hurst, President of the Massachusetts Retailers Association, said he had no estimate yet.

“Certainly it is in the tens of millions for retail and restaurants, and in hundreds of millions in lost productivity when adding in offices, etc.,” he wrote in an email to the AP.

Filming for director David O. Russell’s movie “American Hustle” was halted because of the manhunt and lockdown. The mayhem also interrupted Dallas couple Tom and Vy Nguyen’s fifth wedding anniversary trip to the city.

The couple was hoping to visit the Museum of Fine Art, Fenway Park and several other landmarks. Instead, they were having a hard time just finding a restaurant that was open.

“I just want to eat,” Tom Nguyen, 32, a health-care company analyst, said as they passed the normally raucous Big Apple Circle big top at Government Center. “I’ve never seen a city shut down like this for one person. . This is very bizarre for us.”

One place that did not shut down was the Union Oyster House, which bills itself as “America’s oldest restaurant.” But it was definitely easier to find a table than during your typical lunchtime.

Several people hunched over seafood and beers around the semicircular bar, and only a few tables upstairs were occupied. Manager Troy Thissell said that didn’t matter.

“The city of Boston said do the best you can do. Our choice. So we chose to open,” said Thissell, who was sporting a “Boston Strong” button on his shirt. “We’ve always in the past. During blizzards and other things, we do open. And we’re going to continue to do so.

For people accustomed to the bustle of this “big small town,” the quiet was unsettling.

“We just went to get a cup of coffee, and there’s no line at Dunkin’ Donuts,” said electrician Joe Gore, who was sipping his java on a picnic table bear Rowes Wharf, where he was helping wire a new Starbucks. “So it’s pretty scary quiet.”

Many people seemed to understand the drastic measures. But others considered it ridiculous.

Miller recently moved to New York after spending the past five years in Israel. As the 29-year-old in the black yarmulke strolled through the city’s Holocaust memorial, he couldn’t help feeling that officials here were overreacting.

“You know, when Israel gets one rocket attack, let’s say it injures three people,” he said. “It’s terrible. This event, thank God it only killed three people. And it injured a lot of people. If a rocket attack injures five people, 10 people in Israel and kills one person, we think, ‘Oh, thank God it only killed one person. it didn’t kill 50 people.”’

Miller understands that this kind of event is still relatively rare in the United States, and unheard of in Boston. But he said this is the kind of mayhem terrorists want, and Boston is giving it to them.

“Hopefully, Americans will realize what Israelis have to go through and have more solidarity for them and understand when they fight back and retaliate,” he said. “Because that’s exactly what Boston’s doing today. They’re going and doing everything possible in order to get this one person. The city has come to a halt in order to get this one person.”

Scott Lapworth drove in from Thompson, Ct., to do a wallpapering job near the waterfront Friday morning and noticed that the commute was not nearly as hairy as usual.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so deserted down here,” he said as he chewed a ham and cheese sandwich on the steps beside Faneuil Hall.

“It’s unfortunate that these type of people are around, but it’s not going to keep me from coming to work or going to places to eat in public or stuff,” he said, munching on chips. “I’m not going to let them change MY lifestyle.”

Jesse Bonelli, a video game artist who lives in locked-down Watertown, stayed inside his house and sharpened a machete — just in case.

“It’s something I usually keep hanging on the wall, but it’s the only weapon I have,” said Bonelli, 23. “I want to be ready in case anyone bursts into the house. After everything that happened this week, I keep wondering what’s next.”

 

1
Text Only
National News
  • Salmonella decline seen in food poisoning report

    The government’s latest report card on food poisoning shows a dip in salmonella cases but an increase in illnesses from bacteria in raw shellfish.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge in gay marriage case asks pointed questions

    A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.

    April 17, 2014

  • Obama shows skepticism on Russia in Ukraine

    President Barack Obama conveyed skepticism Thursday about Russian promises to de-escalate a volatile situation in Ukraine, and said the United State and its allies are ready to impose fresh sanctions if Moscow doesn’t make good on its commitments.

    April 17, 2014

  • Cyber cops: Target hackers may take years to find

    Secret Service investigators say they are close to gaining a full understanding of the methods hackers used to breach Target’s computer systems last December.

    April 17, 2014

  • Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies

    As political campaigns begin to heat up, the Supreme Court is deciding whether false accusations and mudslinging made during an election can be punished as a crime.

    April 16, 2014

  • Auto Show Nissan Hot _Cast.jpg Hot models at this year’s New York Auto Show

    With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the U.S. auto industry.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Transportation Blues 2.jpg Congress is giving states the transportation blues

    On the road in a tour bus this week, the U.S. transportation secretary is spreading some bad news: the government’s Highway Trust Fund is nearly broke.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Report: Russia withheld intel before Boston attack

    A yearlong review of information the U.S. intelligence community had prior to the Boston Marathon bombing found that the investigation could have been more thorough.

    April 11, 2014

  • Obama Health Secretary.jpg Obama announces Sebelius resignation, successor

    President Barack Obama praised outgoing Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for helping to steer his health care law’s comeback after a rocky rollout, even as he nominated a successor aimed at helping the White House move past the political damage.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police seek driver in deadly Florida day care crash

    As mourners trickled by Thursday to honor the 4-year-old girl who was killed and 14 others injured in a crash at a Florida day care, authorities scoured the state for the driver they said fled in the vehicle that caused the fatal wreck.

    April 10, 2014

Facebook
Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case