A Bombing, a Neighborhood, and a Community Forever Changed

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Laurel Street, where one year ago, a shoot out occured between police forces and the alleged Boston bombers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is seen on April 13, 2014 in Watertown, MA. (Andrew Burton/Getty)

On every television channel in Boston this week, frantic pictures flash across the screen showing a site where police chased two young men, where one died, and the other was apprehended.

For three people who live on those streets, they don't need to see any pictures. Those images have been running through their minds for a year now as memories—vivid memories they carry and that have changed them as people, and as neighbors.

In the wake of the bombing, the idea of a neighborhood, a sense of community, and the importance of knowing your neighbors has changed in the last year.

Three locals who didn't know each other—Watertown residents Jeffrey Ryan and Jillian Levine, and Somerville resident Heidi Tworek—were invited to share a couch in a Boston living room this week for a conversation about their changing community. They recounted their memories of a year ago, and how the bombings changed everything on the streets where they live.


Jillian Levine, Jeffrey Ryan and Heidi Tworek

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja


T.J. Raphael

Comments [5]

Tom Cacciatore from Medford, MA

Regarding Laura's comment above, I think what the Harvard person had in mind about Dzkokar falling through the cracks was his time at university at UMass Dartmouth, where he struggled severely in term of grades and attendance of courses. I don't know all the details but I imagine that's what the Harvard prof probably had in mind since she was talking about universities.

Apr. 16 2014 04:30 PM

@Laura Blacklow, He won a college scholarship paid for by voluntary contributions ... so he got sent to college. What happened in there? It just reminds me of "ban abortion but let's not worry about what happens when the baby is actually born". I'm not saying people need to be coddled but the professor has a valid idea.

Apr. 16 2014 04:04 PM
Graeme Anfinson from Saint Paul

There are people, in fact generations of people, who just like these guests feel vulnerable and are acutely aware of their mortality simply by living at home in their neighborhoods. This has been going on so long it creates a distrust of authorities and strangers, as well as close bonds with neighbors, and has basically been forced into local culture. These neighborhoods have many differences, but are all poor and undeveloped. Often this is a direct result of policy. I feel for the guests on the show, but they seem amazed this extremely rare event could happen to them and unaware shootouts and manhunts happen daily in other places. Those people go to work, raise their kids, and don't get to voice their concerns on a national platform.

Apr. 16 2014 03:15 PM
Laura Blacklow from Cambridge, MA

The professor from Harvard got it wrong when she discussed reaching out to overlooked students like Djhokar Tsarnaev. He was NOT a student who "fell through the cracks", as she asserted on "The Takeaway" today. Djhokar was on the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School (purposely, the city's sole public high school) wrestling team, a very good student academically, and a very popular student with a broad group of peers. He won a college scholarship paid for by voluntary contributions from the citizenry and also had housing assistance for renting the apartment where he and, earlier, his family, lived. (So did his older brother, wife, and child.)
AND THAT IS THE REALLY SCARY PART: you never would expect a young man with such community support to be involved in violent crimes. As a matter of fact, Djhokar was so fondly thought of by his teachers and colleagues, that most of them never connected him with the original police photos of the suspected Marathon bombers!
I do not want to discourage the professor from acting sensitively to all her students, but I also so not want her to give the public the idea that the suspect of murder and mayhem was an isolated or forgotten person. This is one of those sad cases where I really look to the others in the Tsarnaev family as the ones who were not attentive to what was going on and not to the Cambridge neighbors, a group known for its efforts to encourage inclusiveness.

Apr. 16 2014 02:55 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

At any moment, violence can happen and many who are not involved, not witnesses, not victims, travel to the scene and become like the paparazzi of "La Dolce Vita."

I find that very sad how cruel people are towards victims of horrific atrocities.

Apr. 16 2014 02:37 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.