Commuters on trains arriving at North Station said yesterday morning was much like previous mornings. “I didn’t notice anything different,” said Monica Gaudet, of Peabody. She and a friend, Maria Schneib, also of Peabody, said besides the train being late and the policeman with the dog at North Station, nothing was out of the ordinary.
But normal was kept just at arm’s length near Boston Common and Boylston Street. Besides the street closing and the media swarm, the National Guard used part of the Common as a staging area. Rows of heavy humvees lined Charles Street as a group of people played catch with their dogs not 100 feet away.
“You can’t let it distract you,” said Sonia Bustos, who lives near the Common and was out with her dog. “Life is too good. You have to be focused on the positive things, though of course you’re sad.”
On Berkeley Street at the Hancock tower, Boston Athletic Authority officials were returning bags to runners, again under the gaze of National Guardsmen and police. Mindy Craven and Jeff Campbell, an engaged couple who ran 25 miles of the marathon Monday, were among many runners who got their medals yesterday morning. The race was cut short by the explosions, and many could not finish or claim their participation medals.
On Boylston Street near Copley Square, paper cups and debris blew up the deserted street in a gusty wind.
But people choked the sidewalks on nearby parallel streets, hurrying to work. Both locals and visitors went about their day despite the added security. People wearing marathon jackets looked for pizza in the North End. Couples kissed and tourists shopped at Quincy Market. Students sat on the Common and watched the police and National Guard mill about on Charles Street.
Some attractions were closed, but many more stayed open. Big Apple Circus carried on as planned at Government Center, and families sat on the brick steps and checked their tickets as heavily armed officers stood watch. Police vehicles from all over the state, including North Andover, parked along Cambridge Street.