Boston, the American City that Walks, Runs, Survives

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Photograph by Biggunben at Flickr under a Creative Commons license

Boston, Massachusetts, April 15, 2013, Monday, 2:50 PM EST.

My first reaction upon learning of what happened at the 2013 Boston Marathon was sadness. A deep sympathy for all those victimized by the blasts, including three too-young victims: a loving son, Martin Richard, 8, of Dorchester, and two loving daughters, Krystle M. Campbell, 29, of Arlington, and Lingzi Lu, 23, of Shenyang, China.

[Ed. note: one of our team members, Pierre Mitchell of MetalMiner’s sister site Spend Matters, lives in Boston – here’s his recent take.]

At the same time, I felt uplifted by those—everyone—who ran into the blasts and debris to help. As the findings came in, my sadness blended with horror. Disgust. Bits of sharp metal, some in the form of shrapnel and ball bearings, packed into the pressure cookers.

On Thursday, another too-young loving son was murdered: MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, 26, of Somerville.

Friday brought more strain and tension. Lockdown. Suspense. Hours of news, overloaded with speculation. Suspect caught.

A bit of reprieve. Over the weekend, I stumbled upon the blog of photographer Tim Navis. One of his portraits particularly appealed to me: Navis’ neighbor John Perko in his home state of Wisconsin. Perko is a welding artist who makes sculptures for private clients in the Midwest. His garage functions as his studio space, which he gladly shows-and-tells, tools and all, to Navis. Perko’s medium is his art.

Navis’ new project is photographing people and places during his walk across America. His first footfalls were in March of 2013. Here’s one of his reasons to make this step-by-step trek:

“Seeing America on foot will force me to slow down and check out the details of this country that I would normally miss. This is also an amazing opportunity to document my country the way I see it. I plan on photographing and interviewing local artists, heroes, truckers, war veterans, red necks, misfits, landscapes, cityscapes, families and other residents of this country as I walk. Hopefully enriching my life and other people’s lives as well.”

As Navis puts it, “I. Love. America.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of Boston’s nicknames is “America’s Walking City.” The Boston Marathon, begun in 1897, is the oldest marathon in one of America’s oldest cities, founded in 1630. Boston is also America’s Running City. Bostonians walk. Bostonians run. Bostonians survive.

Nate Burgos is a designer who is curious about design and designing at Design Feast.

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