I watched the police move the shrine from Exeter Street today. I'm not usually moved by shrines, which is odd; I'm so sentimental that I'll cry if I see someone else crying, and I've been known to sob over sappy commercials. Perhaps my aesthetic sense overcomes my emotions; shrines are usually a mess of dead flowers in plastic and sad-looking stuffed animals. But I was moved to see how carefully the police handled all the stuff that was left by the barriers on Exeter, the cross street between the two blasts. I think they are moving it all to Copley Square, where this larger memorial from Berkeley Street went when this section of the street reopened:
I took that photo over the weekend from the windows of the new Restoration Hardware store (more about that experience soon).
I can tell things are getting back to normal because people on street are getting cranky again. I was out walking last night and I believe I stopped three young tourists who were about to breach the barriers across Dartmouth Street at Newbury. They were discussing how to make a run for it — because they could see their destination straight ahead of them in the distance. I said it was a bad idea; they said they didn't know how else to get there. I pointed them toward Berkeley Street, telling them it would be much faster than heading in the opposite direction. They sounded relieved as they thanked me; they just had no idea how far the barriers extended. Not that far.
I also saw this last night:
From the comments I overheard, I could tell things are getting back to normal. People were debating what it meant and everyone had an opinion. "It's because it's been ONE week." "Boston is Number One!" "Looks like one floor didn't get the memo." "Its' a work in progress, they're going to put more around the sides." "I hope it means one more day and we can go there."
It was promoting The One Fund Boston.
Walking on Newbury Street today, I overheard more crankiness about the barriers, more complaints about the inconvenience. People are ready to move on, eager for things to get back to normal. It will happen, but it won't be the same. I expect it will be chilling and sad to cross those sidewalks where the bombs were left and so much blood was spilled. At least the first few times. but we'll get used to it, I suppose. Life goes on, and we're allegedly very tough in this town.
I took this photo of some of the graffiti covering the Nike Building before the rain washed it away. It's the best the building has ever looked:
We may be able to return to Boylston Street tomorrow. I'll keep you posted. And then I'd like to write about something else.