Friday, April 19, 2013

Tweeting the Night Away

Binghamton, New York and Boston, Massachusetts. Some five hours apart.  Worlds apart.

In downtown Binghamton, population 47,000, I found myself in the throngs of noontime shoppers.  With my former walking companion, I was in a department store helping her to shop for a baby shower for a little newborn baby girl. We oohed and ahhhed over the cute outfits, purple and pink and yellow and pale green, covered in little flower prints.

I left work and sighed as the 74 degree breeze washed over me.  I admired the springtime flowers.

The beautiful blue of chionodoxa..

I doubt anyone was listening to our police scanners online, or tweeting about our backyards.  We had our 15 minutes of fame on April 3, 2009.  But, you know, because of our mass shooting that day, I can identify in some way with that city five hours away.  In a small way, we are siblings.

 Now, at 8:49 pm Eastern Time, we are in some kind of unreal drama in the town of Watertown, MA.  If this had been a movie script, it would have been tossed on the discard pile.  Boston Marathon bombers.  And, four days later, after a carjacking (with the driver released!), and a police chase worthy of a M rated video game complete with suspects tossing bombs and grenades out of their car, Boston and surrounding areas were in a suspended Friday, mass transit shut down, people told to stay home and stay away from windows.  No spring day for them. 

Instead, people posting pictures on Twitter. Deserted downtown Boston.  Deserted I-93.  Deserted Kenmore Square, it's iconic Citgo sign.  It's like the movie set of some strange apocalypse movie.

The house on Franklin Street.  The suspect, in Watertown, hiding in a boat.  Watertown? Boat?

Dead? Alive?

So now, I follow the news on Twitter instead of TV.  I find links to eyewitness photos.  Links to police scanners.  And the most hysterical, side-splitting irreverent tweets.  I don't dare repeat them here.  It really isn't funny except maybe in a black humor kind of way but I'm reading them to my spouse, while he eats pistachio nuts on the couch and watches a baseball game, and he's laughing away.

And now, it's just been confirmed by NBC news that the suspect is alive and in custody.  I read it first on Twitter.  Boston, can you breathe now?  It's safe to turn off your computers now.

What a spring day.


  1. We are living crazy days indeed, Alana!

    However, we need to step back, reset ourselves, and look at what's good in our lives and be grateful for what's shine and bright. It's the only way it works :)

  2. It really was a crazy day, wasn't it? I missed almost all of it because of work, but caught news in snatches here and there through the day. I hope we don't have another week like this for a while.

  3. Love your background. Just like you - I have relied on Twitter for news update. While miles away from Boston, the news of the bombing still came as a shock and our hearts go to the victims who on that fine morning just wanted to celebrate marathon milestones in their or their loved ones lives. I can never comprehend such senseless acts of violence. ~Luchie

  4. It's so strange how we're all connected to this drama. Even I, an ocean apart in England, feel for the people whose life has been traumatized. It's inconceivable that people should stay inside while law enforcement officers searched for the bomber. Thank goodness they were successful.

  5. Alana,
    Such a horrid week for the people in Boston. You captured it well with this post. "I read it first on Twitter." seachange?

  6. Awesome post - must get more active on Twitter. I do hear mot of the news now on FB before I read it in the papers. Thx for posting

  7. An exciting week and something out of a crazed film makers mind, indeed. Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. I thought it could not get any worse, until I heard about him hiding in a boat? A boat? Really? Just listened to their mother via BBC declaring her sons innocence and alluding to an FBI set up...The streets may be free and movement can resume now that the suspect is in custody but this situation is far from over..


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