*Deep breath.* I live in Watertown. My two children, my husband and I were not in our neighborhood as the events unfolded, but police conducted house to house searches down the street that I live on. I am told that our house was briefly surrounded by police, probably because we were not there to open the door for them.
I’m holding this entry until after the crisis is over, but I have to say, having data journalism done on the place that I live does not feel good at all. A long time ago, I used to run an independent online news site for Watertown. When I told people this, they’d laugh, and ask, “Is there news in Watertown?” and my standard reply was, “No! If there was news I’d move.”
I wish I could still say that, and no, I’m not moving. As soon as we can, I will be back and we will live our lives normally. I’m with Bruce Schneier when he says:
As the details about the bombings in Boston unfold, it’d be easy to be scared. It’d be easy to feel powerless and demand that our elected leaders do something — anything — to keep us safe.It’d be easy, but it’d be wrong. We need to be angry and empathize with the victims without being scared. Our fears would play right into the perpetrators’ hands — and magnify the power of their victory for whichever goals whatever group behind this, still to be uncovered, has. We don’t have to be scared, and we’re not powerless. We actually have all the power here, and there’s one thing we can do to render terrorism ineffective: Refuse to be terrorized.
Here’s a link to the full map from Quartz., which I feature a thumbnail of above. I don’t know how they produced the map, but it is good work.
[Update, April 20, 11:18 PM EST] My fellow Massachusetts resident Saul Tannenbaum points out that this map is out of date; current information indicates that the armed robbery of the convenience store was unrelated. We should note that Quartz was most certainly not alone in thinking that the armed robbery was related — many media outlets reported this.
Looking at this more closely now, don’t you just love the “Exact Routes Are Unknown”? It almost seems like an existential statement (but it’s late and I’m tired). I’m guessing that they could be known — either because police were pursuing them into Watertown or simply because traffic cameras started to show up at a few intersections in Watertown a few years ago.