New Yorkers are supposed to despise New Englanders. We hear it all the time.
But is it really true?
We’d argue that — particularly here on the North Fork, where a ferry system effortlessly connects us to New England — that simply isn’t the case.
We have so much in common with our cousins to the north. Many of our immigrant ancestors came from the same places. Our seaport communities feel like theirs. Our funny little accents even sound alike to the untrained ear.
There are countless similarities between the inhabitants of New England and our former Middle Colony, yet our differences, forged mainly through meaningless sports rivalries, are so often the focus.
Unfortunately, this past Monday, New England’s principal city gained one more thing in common with ours. We have both now been targets of terrorist attacks.
So we’re told we’re supposed to dislike Boston, but today we love it more than ever.
The news of Monday’s tragedy hit particularly close to home for many in our newsroom, some of whom once lived in or around Boston or have family living there today. This is what they had to say.
Sarah Olsen, co-owner: Boston University graduate
“Yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon brought me right back to that city that was my home for four years. As a small-town North Fork girl, going to college there was incredible but a bit overwhelming at times because the entire city really is your campus at BU. The bombing site is not far from the center of BU’s campus. I attended my fair share of Patriot’s Day marathon parties, cheering on the runners from the side of the road. There was always a great sense of a party atmosphere that day, since it’s a state holiday. I kept thinking what a sad and scary thing for today’s BU students (and their parents) to go through — something that this generation has had to think about far more than mine due to Sept. 11. Let’s all hope this is something that will not define this generation.”
Paul Squire, reporter: Boston native, Boston University graduate
“The marathon’s the heart and soul of the city. I’m shocked by what happened but, at the same time, Bostonians are nothing if not proud. I get this sense of determination that they’re going to get through this and next year they’ll be along the marathon route cheering twice as loud. Because no one messes with Boston. There were some very nervous moments yesterday as I tried to reach out to friends up in Boston to make sure they were OK. I could barely think straight.”
Cyndi Murray, reporter: Suffolk University graduate
“When I first heard about the explosions I was in disbelief. I always say I am a New Yorker by birth, a Bostonian by choice. While I attended Suffolk University, I lived just three blocks from the finish line in Copley Square. I have fond memories of watching the runners come down Boylston Street with my college roommate. There are photos of us standing at the site of the blast three years ago, cheering. It makes me sick to think we could have been there. My first thought was the safety of my friends who live in the Commonwealth and attended the race. One of my friends, who works for the Globe, was reporting at Exeter and Boylston, another was taking the T to Copley. When you hear about a terrorist attack the last place you want a loved one to be is on a subway. Bostonians are strong people. Go Sox!”