The City Keeps You Company

There will be philosophizing and then pictures. If you aren’t here for the prose, or aren’t in the mood for it, scroll down for my myriad of 2021 Boston Marathon images. If you are in the mood for some choice prose, simply look downwards.

Here is where the prose will begin. So in September, it will be 13 years of living here in Boston. I mean I guess 13 isn’t a momentous number. I guess 15 or 20 or another multiple of 5 would be more noteworthy. But for me, 13 is a big number because it’s the number of years I spent in and around New York City. I lived there from age 5 to age 18 so I guess that was the place I had spent the most time in before this. I’m at the point now in Boston where I remember when this place was here and that store used to be here but it’s gone now. What’s crazy is that the school I worked in for almost seven years, the original building it was in is gone, not even a speck of it left and the school is out of business. It’s really sad to think it isn’t there anymore, even though when it happened, I already hadn’t worked there for four years.

The bigger thing here though is that when you live in a place for so long, it’s almost like everyone knows everyone. I was watching this documentary about the robbery at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum and one of the people said — in Boston, everyone knows everyone. That part is true. I have this sort of odd friendship with this guy who helps me with rides to places. This cantankerous individual picks me up at 4am to get on my ski bus in the winter. Pronouncing Rs??? Yeah. Forget about that. That doesn’t exist. Don’t even get him started on our new lady mayah. Don’t even go there. But what’s so incredible about him is that not only does he know everyone in this city, I’m talking both Bulgers, the comedic, autocratic little Irishman from Southie and the crime lord, but his uncle worked the Green Monster at Fenway in the 1940s and met Ted Williams. Insane.

That’s the thing about this city. No matter what, you are near friends and never really alone. Case in point. I went to the marathon on Monday. I didn’t feel like roping any friends into it. I mean I was there, festooned in camera equipment, photographing the proceedings all day. I had my mega sonic digital firing cannon and my Holga, a tiny film wonder that has no electronics in it and is light on the wallet, $35 a pop. I’m usually there with my mom or a friend but this year I just went alone.

First, there’s the atmosphere. Everyone is cheering everyone on. Everyone. A guy is running and his shirt says “Bob” on it??? Well, everyone is ringing their marathon bells and cheering on “Bob” on his last mile in marathon. People are out with their dogs. Random people strike up conversations with you. That’s how my marathon day went. I was there with my giant camera and I ran into one of my students from my amazing summer class at Boston University, where we discussed such deeply academic topics as where to get the best cannoli in the city and the curse of the Bambino. We had a fun catchup. Two women from the Mormon church approached me to ask about my Holga. We chatted for a bit and I told them I am good for the God, having joined up with my local Baptists recently.

No matter if you don’t even know the people, you are among friends. They aren’t strangers. And the city keeps you company.

Oh and it was amazing to have marathon day back after three years of not having the marathon on Marathon Monday. A dose of normalcy in a couple of years that have been anything but normal.

Ok enough prose. Here are my ton of pictures from Monday. Enjoy:

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