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Back on Boylston Street, an eerie feeling pervades the bomb sites

April 23, 2013|By Melanie Mason
  • People cross Dartmouth Street en route to their businesses and homes along Boston's Boylston Street.
People cross Dartmouth Street en route to their businesses and homes along… (Pool Photo )

BOSTON -- Residents and workers on Boylston Street -- parts of which have been closed since the April 15 bombings -- were able to return to their buildings Tuesday, marking a new phase in the reopening of the major thoroughfare.

The street remains closed to traffic and pedestrians, but people who live and work on the affected blocks were instructed by the city to meet at Hynes Convention Center at designated times before being escorted to their buildings. They were told they would be able to stay only until 7 p.m. Tuesday at this point.

Residents and workers were told to expect an email update in the afternoon, which could perhaps offer clues to when the street will be fully open.

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Tim Donohue, vice president with IHRDC, a company that provides training for the oil and gas industry, said it had been difficult "not knowing each day whether we're going to be allowed back to our offices."

Being back on Boylston is "very eerie," he said, particularly walking past the two bomb sites.

He said he and his colleagues have kept working despite being unable to enter their office at 535 Boylston, either through remote access or taking meetings at nearby hotels. He said even those employees not working remotely would have an excused absence and would be paid for the last week.

For Enrique Rivera, a cook at Lolita's Cocina & Tequila Bar, the lost week of work could mean a dent in his income.

"The majority of us in this are paid by the hour, so if we don't work, we don't earn," said Rivera, who is from Mexico.

Rivera said that because he has worked for the restaurant's owner for many years, he doesn't think he will go without pay.

"It all depends on how each boss treats his employees," Rivera said. "In my case, the boss I work for cares about the employees."

Rivera spent three or four hours Tuesday helping to clean the restaurant, which is on Dartmouth Street at Boylston, but said he did not know when they could open for business again.

"They won't allow in everything we need to run the restaurant," Rivera said. "For example, the trucks that being in meat, vegetables -- we don't have those."


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