This is an odd post to write. If you’d asked me 24 hours ago what JBL’s next update would be I’d have answered “JBL Review: G.I. Joe Con Night Force Lady Jaye.”
However all that changed at 2:50pm EST today when some SOB detonated two bombs in the 600 block of Boylston St in Boston. Reading the events online and listening to the streaming coverage from WBZ somehow made posting a review feel wrong.
I wasn’t born in Boston and I didn’t grow up there. However, after college I went to Boston University to get my Master’s Degree. I lived in Boston and the surrounding metro area for almost exactly seven years. For three of those years I worked between the Copley and Arlington T stations on the Green Line. I ate frequently ate lunch at Copley Square with friends and would walk up Boylston St to what was then Tower Records at the corner of Boylston and Mass Ave. Back Bay was, in many ways, the heart of the Boston that I knew.
When many people across the nation think of Boston and holidays July 4th immediately springs to mind. It’s our nation’s birthday after all and the seeds of the revolution were planted and nurtured in Boston. Yet, for many who live in the city Patriot’s Day (or “Marathon Monday” as it is more commonly known) really is the city’s holiday. It’s a day when Boston springs to life with an energy that is almost tangible as hundreds of thousands of people descend upon the city to share in the experience of the Boston Marathon. All of that energy, hope, and excitement is centered around the finish line– located at Copley Square. It’s day where the city celebrates the success not just of one or two individuals who place first or second but rather the accomplishment, dedication, and determination of ALL who participate in the course that begins out at Hopkinton, MA.
Today was reported to be an excellent Marathon Monday. The weather was ideal for the runners, and the Red Sox pulled off a win at an afternoon home game at Fenway. I can just imagine that excitement of the crowds and the smiling faces of children who were enjoying a day off of school in the city with family and friends. When the news broke of the incident on CNN this afternoon, I was seated in a desk in an office nearly 1,000 miles away and yet I felt for those in the city at that moment. This wasn’t some distant place on the news that I’d never been to. This was a place that I’d worked, lived, and made life-long friendships. This was a city that I still can regard as a second home.
At the risk of sounding terribly melodramatic, posting reviews of plastic figures from a toy convention just didn’t seem as important as it did 24 hours ago. So, I’m taking a few days off from posting the 2013 Collector’s Convention reviews. The site isn’t going away– but quite honestly this has hit me harder than I’d have thought possible. Even though I’ve been gone since the Fall of 2007, Boston still is a city that I’m very close to and to see it bloodied like this raises in me an ire as strong as if the attack had happened in my own home town.
Reviews will begin again next week. In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of the injured and to the families of the three individuals whose lives were taken by an act of cowardice. To the individual(s) that set in motion this tragic series of events I can say only this– you’ve struck the Cradle of Liberty today and that city will not take this act laying down.