You have to hand it to attorneys for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. They really do have balls the size of birthday balloons, or at least an admirable dedication to delaying the inevitable.
We can only speak for ourselves, but the Hub really does seem to be healing somewhat well since last April 15. News about tangential cases that involve the friends of Dzhokhar do get coverage, but there’s a sense that folks are either calmed down or at least bracing for wounds to get ripped open during the looming Tsarnaev spectacle. So it’s for better or worse that a federal judge ruled last week that the defendant would not be granted a change of venue to another state.
While the start date for the death penalty trial has been pushed from early November to January 5, 2015, there is at least a starting point in sight now. It could have been worse, as the defense had also tried to postpone matters until next September. With the court case unfolding here now, and so soon, it’s time for the world’s media to plan for their return to Boston. And while the Dig is probably the last place anyone would check for travel tips, hopefully by some miracle of Google indexing a few hacks headed here will discover our red carpet …
-Your outlet probably handles your accommodations, but if not you should know that anyplace along the Red Line of the MBTA will do, as it connects to the Silver Line that goes right to the federal courthouse. There are plenty of cabs right there too, plus a glut of Uber and Lyft drivers circling.
-Beyond the nearby Barking Crab, an obvious but rather pricey choice, there are several spots to drink and grub within skipping distance. On the other hand, if you feel like walking to someplace more authentic, try Murphy’s Law on L Street in Southie, or Biddy Early’s on the other side of Atlantic Ave. For a big wooden slab fit for a laptop and documents, try Lucky’s Lounge on Congress Street.
-For closer hanging, we recommend the cozy District Hall, or the HarborWalk seating area off Fort Point Channel. They’re both chill with free Wi-Fi, while the latter’s almost always empty plus your best spot citywide for 24-7 restrooms.
-This is annoying to even have to say, but Boston is different from Cambridge, is different from Somerville, is different from Watertown.
-We hate to help anyone with man-on-the-street interviews, but if you must engage in this ridiculous and futile exercise, you won’t find anything but Innovation District transients and tourists near the courthouse. Your closest bet for native Massholes is in Government Center or near South Station at rush hour.
-By the time you arrive here in 2015, Deval Patrick will no longer be governor of Massachusetts. In fact his replacement will be sworn in the week you get to town, on January 8. On that note, we also have a new mayor since you were last here, and his name is Marty Walsh.
-Writers who loathe word repetitions will be psyched to know that it’s acceptable to describe the neighborhood by the courthouse as the Innovation District, the South Boston waterfront, or downtown (though no one around here says “Innovation District”). As for the finish line, that’s in, near, or around Back Bay (neighborhood), Boylston (street), Copley Square (area), the Boston Public Library (next door), or even downtown (generic).
-Most important is that you respect the people of Boston. You’re probably saying, “Of course we will.” But we mean it. Last time around was pandemonium; we understand that. Still people held their noses while the national media turned Copley Square into a mourner’s theme park, with patronizing anchors dressed in caricature Boston garb perpetuating cheap regional stereotypes. There are people here looking for closure. That doesn’t mean the press should show up with a circus tent.
[Media Farm is wrangled weekly by DigBoston News + Features Editor Chris Faraone. You can read his book about covering the aftermath of the marathon bombing for FREE HERE or grab the AMAZON VERSION HERE. Visiting reporters are also all welcome by the Dig offices at any time for Wi-Fi and a beer.]