I published a short essay called “Cheekbones” in the literary magazine Brevity. It’s about ideals of beauty, femininity, feminism, my moms, and, well, cheekbones. Please check it out!
Wow, The Guardian published another one of my pieces–on ethnic otherness! In other words: it’s about how I’m often asked where I’m from (“No, where are you really from?”), and how I find this somewhat irritating, as if I belong ’round these parts.
Hopefully it will make us rethink how we view Americans of other extractions…especially a certain famous Chechen brotherly duo…
People are out and about on the streets of downtown Boston. Every single one of them has the most unabashed grin on his/her face. My usual cynical self would take issue with this. Not today! Today I’m totally one of them!!
The city of Boston is on lockdown. The MBTA (Boston’s MTA) is closed down. The universities are closed. All the stores are shuttered. The streets are empty save for the po-po. All residents are advised to stay inside. It feels like a ghost town. Or martial law.
Against better judgment and citizenly regard, I selfishly went for a run this morning. If I stayed at home, I knew I’d go stir crazy and eat all of the almond butter. Also I was rather clammy when I woke up this morning, so I felt, for the sake of showerly efficiency, that I should exercise first before showering, instead of holding off on a run until the coast was clear, and then having to shower a second time today. Good to know I’ve got my priorities straight.
Downtown Boston was mostly empty. Some cars, yes, but virtually no pedestrian traffic. There were police officers stationed everywhere. It continues to be all very eerie.
Below is a pic of the Mass Ave Bridge. Usually the bridge is teeming with cars, runners, and bicyclists. But today: virtually no traffic.
As I ran into Cambridge, I started to feel very self-conscious, like I was that a-hole who decided to blatantly ignore the city’s warnings that everyone stay indoors. I know that because I saw one or two other runners out and I thought exactly the same thing about them. So I cut my route short.
Usually people are crowded at the Hynes Convention Center bus stop, and cars run up and down Mass Ave. Not today (except this one dude.)
I popped over to Boylston Street (the street where the last stretch of the marathon takes place), at Hereford. Police officers were stationed here, but they moved away when I snapped a pic. Straight ahead is the finish line.
Below is a view from Newbury Street (the Fifth Ave of Boston), in front of the Niketown. This is as close to the Boston Marathon bombing site as you can get. A camera crew was right next to me, and when I ran away I totally video-bombed the on-air news anchor (err, poor word choice). Wellwishers left messages in chalk on the sidewalk. Straight ahead is Boylston Street, and the marathon finish line. If you look to the far left, you can see they still haven’t taken down the marathon bleachers and such.
Below is another view from Newbury, but from the next block over, at Dartmouth St.
Cherry blossoms do their thing on empty side streets.
But: everyone stay safe, and be well.
What is this f-ing world coming to? Hot off the heels of the Boston Marathon explosions, comes this shooting on MIT’s campus. at 10:50pm tonight (ie, Thurs).
A shooting on MIT’s campus. Police officer shot and killed. The suspect is still at large and on the loose. They’ve shut down the red line, and the latest breaking news is that s/he might be on the loose in Boston. The Mass Ave bridge and Mass Ave south of Cambridge is ablaze with police cars.
I had just emerged from the Friendly Toast (a restaurant in Kendall Square) when a friend offered to give me a ride to the foot of the Mass Ave bridge. Otherwise I would’ve walked home, cutting through MIT’s campus, right in the thick of everything.
Take care and be safe, peoples of Boston and Cambridge.
I know I have no claims to this day (to this tragedy), but everything that just went down is just…terrible. I wasn’t near the explosions at the time (caught some of the marathon over by Kenmore), but I’ve returned home to the neighborhood and it’s eerily quiet. Only the occasional flare of sirens or helicopters overhead. It feels like the streets are in solemn mourning.
All the commercial businesses in the area have been shut down/evacuated. Mass Ave and the Mass Ave Bridge are shut down for cars; Boylston St east of Mass Ave is closed off to both pedestrians and cars. Please plan accordingly, and be safe.
This past academic year, I’ve been getting an interesting assortment of excuses from my undergrad students re why they are missing class. These excuses keep getting more and more elaborate, almost to the point of TMI. I don’t know whether there’s some undergrad manual floating about that advises students to get extra-specific in their emails to their professors, but at least they make for an entertaining read.
One student sent me a pic of his plane stub a few hours before class. The flight was from Denver to Boston, set to land long after the class was over. (Why he didn’t think to give me the heads-up before he boarded the plane is another story entirely.)The plane stub was accompanied by a breezy email: “thought I would be able to return by tonight, but it does not appear that will be in the cards.” I found the switch to the passive in the latter clause of that sentence to be extremely irritating, as if he were freeing himself from blame. If you’re going to be absent, just own up to it like a responsible human being.
Here’s an email I got today from one of my ESL students: