A Blogger On Lockdown At The Marriott Long Wharf In Boston

Last night, I posted a photo from Boston this week that I took on Tuesday near the Common and close to the site of the Marathon bombings. The city was starting to feel normal again, and the signs of what happened on Monday were of the positive variety: restaurants offering free meals for first responders, guerrilla fundraisers for the victims and families, and everyone showing their Boston pride with Red Sox shirts and caps.

We went for dinner in the North End, waiting on the street for a table to open at one of the popular Italian restaurants. While we stood outside, several special police vehicles pulled up to the corner to investigate some boxes left on the curb. They quickly cut into them, found them uninteresting, and moved on. Usually the sight of bomb squads would cause some alarm, but moods were light (“Don’t they have robots for this?”) as we had all adapted quickly to heightened security. Earlier in the day, I had stumbled upon a few bright spots in the North End: a gorgeous Peace Garden in full bloom and a small alley gallery of saints.

I spoke to the caretaker of All Saints’ Way, who has had visitors from every country in the world (and will quiz you on what church you attend at home), but he reported fewer visitors this week after the “terrible thing.” Too bad, regardless of your thoughts on faith or religion, it was a perfect place to reflect and try to regain some feelings of hope and peace.

We were awoken this morning with a call from one of my husband’s colleagues; the office was closed today, due to a citywide lockdown. We turned on the news, took to Twitter and Reddit for updates, and began following the story that seemed like something out of the movie “The Town.”

Early lockdowns were just for the towns surrounding Watertown, but soon all of Boston was included. Our hotel, the Marriott Long Wharf, has put up signs to inform us that all MBTA and Amtrak service had been suspended, but did not call us to inform us of the developments. Needless to say, we’re still abiding by the lockdown requests from officials and staying indoors.

Our plans today were to check out of our hotel downtown and rent a car for the weekend, checking into another hotel outside the city, but now I was suddenly extra grateful for the leftover pizza and pastries from last night. The hotel has closed except to registered guests, and we were again grateful for the Starbucks in the downstairs lobby, open for business and fully stocked. Hotel security advised us to hold on to key cards if exiting the building, as all visitors will be checked on the registry list and bags searched.

Looking outside, traffic was light and the city seemed a bit quieter than usual on a Friday morning, but one dedicated construction worker remained with his backhoe, digging up dirt. As the morning wears on and media outlets are stretching out their old news and vaguely relevant interviews, life is starting to move on. You can see planes in and out of Logan Airport, and my husband’s colleagues were able to rebook their flights for this morning, though taxi rides were delayed by vehicle searches on the road. Taxis began trickling in and out of the queue outside the hotel about an hour ago, but most guests are still coming and going by foot. My baby (late to bed and to rise) finally awoke, and we changed the TV from CNN to Sesame Street.

Hopefully, by the time you read this, the suspect will be apprehended peacefully and the lockdown lifted, so Boston can get back to healing, and we can get back to showing our support to the city’s businesses and people.

[Photo credit: Meg Nesterov]