New Yorkers showing support for Boston after bombings

April 17, 2013 3:09:05 AM PDT
In a city that typically demeans, denigrates and demonizes any and all things Bostonian, there is a metamorphosis under way.

"Right now you got to love Boston," one New Yorker said. "You know, because in competition also brings love, not only hate."

The Patriots Day Bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon triggered an emotional sea-change amongst many hardened New Yorkers.

Images all over New York City and the internet all signal a new mentality that sets aside sports rivalries, clam chowder battles and urban chest thumping.

Listen to the comments of New Yorkers outside Madison Square Garden, where on Saturday the Knicks will host the Boston Celtics in round one of the NBA playoffs.

"My heart goes out to all the people who lost lives and loved ones that are hurt," one fan said. "I think it's time for brotherly love."

"It has to do with America," another said. "It has nothing to do with baseball, football, sports, rivalries. Forget about all that. It's about America."

In Lower Manhattan, New York's flag no longer flies outside City Hall. In its place, the Boston flag is flying at half staff.

"New Yorkers will never forget the extraordinary support that we received after the attacks of 9/11," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "And we will never hesitate to repay that generosity whenever the need arises."

On Tuesday night, a stadium full of Yankees fans stood arm in arm at the bottom of the third inning in the Bronx, singing along to "Sweet Caroline," the Boston Red Sox anthem. Irony and sarcasm were absent. Sincerity was the mood of the night.

The rival teams have buried the hatchet - at least for now. Yankee fans belted the Neil Diamond hit during a game Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, showing solidarity with their neighbor to the north.

"Everybody in New York knows what they're going through," said Mike Petti, 48, a Yankees fan nicknamed Yankee Mike who for 13 seasons has been a staple of the bleacher section where the most hardcore fans - those who hate Red Sox Nation the most - dwell. "When it happened here, Boston was singing 'New York, New York.'"

New York Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, celebrating Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York on Tuesday, said a special prayer for Boston.

"You've got our love, you've got our hope and you've got our solidarity," he said. "You're going to get through it."

So from New York to Boston, the message is this: We know what you're going through and we stand with you.