The first time I went to Boston was in early 2009. I was a first year student of MBA and was invited to interview for summer internship with a prestigious strategy consulting firm. It was cold as it most often is in Boston. As the cab pulled out of Logan, I was struck by the beauty of the city. It was still my maiden year in the US, and the only thing comparable I had seen yet was New York. I looked longingly at the streets where the most intellectual people have walked. I looked at signs leading to Harvard and MIT and wondered what in the city inspired the likes of Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, Obama and numerous other luminaries from the present and the past. The air smelled of ambition, innovation and intellectual curiosity. For a moment I felt a little twitch in my heart, the previous year I had nearly made it to the city (and to one of those universities). Quite notably, Logan had free internet, provided by Google, which in a way was yet another indicator to me about the academic superiority of the city. Over the next year, I would go on to make more trips to Boston, and always leave with an even more enhanced respect for the city. in late 2009, when presented with a choice to pick an office among some major east coast cities, my preferences boiled down to Boston and NYC. A friend told me he sees me as a ‘NY girl’ and another friend in an altogether different conversation told me he “doesn’t see me as a Boston person”. I cannot tell you if I was more flattered by the former or more offended by the latter.
I moved to New York with a MIT alum and ironically a Red Sox fan (for being a NY born and raised person, that’s a leap of faith). Her absolute love for Boston was quite apparent! And what a wonderful person she was too. She had run the Boston marathon and considered it one of her top achievements. My secret love and longing for Boston had found a perfect catalyst.
Boston to me is also a city where some of my favorite movies like Good Will Hunting and The Departed are based. It’s also a city from where I made some of the most liberal minded friends. Boston is a city to me where I have the fittest, smartest and funnest friends, and that is indicative of just what the city stands for. It’s a city that has always been lucky for me. Motivation, innovation, commitment, egalitarianism, intellect, drive..just some of the many adjectives that I would use to describe what I have always maintained about Boston.
So, when yesterday they ravaged Boston and the innocent runners, bystanders and visitors, it shook me to my core. It made me think about each of my trips to Boston and each and every friend that I have there , each personal dream I have ever had about living in the city or running the marathon there…
Boston will rebuild itself, will continue to attract and churn out all those thinkers, scientists, lawyers and entrepreneurs that shape our world. It will continue to be beautiful and unbreakable. Stay strong, Boston.