People in Boston can speak for themselves. And do. Loudly, bluntly and often with humor that bites.
It's a city that speaks with both its own broad, homebrew, local accent — although no one really pahks thea cah in Havahd Yahd — and dialects from around the world. It is home to some of America's oldest founding families, and fathers, mothers and children who have just arrived from Jamaica, Ireland, Bangladesh and Ghana.
There are people in Boston who dress in pinstripes and tweeds, and tattoos and spiked hair. Sometimes, they are even the same person.
Al Neuharth died Friday at his home in Cocoa Beach, Fla.
He was 89.
Al's name may not be familiar to you, but this blogger hopes that you are acquainted with the newspaper he willed to life in 1982: USA Today.
From 1984 to 2009, I was either a reporter or editor — and sometimes both — at McPaper (a nickname that critics bestowed upon USA Today, but which those of us who were there in its best days adopted with the pride of underdogs).
An armored vehicle is driven near Mount Auburn and Melendy streets in Watertown.
Credit Essdras M Suarez / Boston Globe via Getty Images
A heavily armed Boston police officer stands guard in front of the Taj Hotel on Tuesday.
Credit Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images
A U.S. soldier patrols at Grand Central station in New York on Tuesday. Safety concerns led to stepped-up security at public places and events after the bombings in Boston.
Credit Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images
Metro SWAT members hang off the back of a truck as they prepare to search the School and Walnut Street neighborhood in Watertown on Friday.
Credit Darren McCollester / Getty Images
SWAT team members search for the remaining Boston Marathon bombing suspect at an apartment building. One of the two suspects died after a chase and shootout earlier Friday. The second was captured late Friday night.
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
A National Guard helicopter takes off in Watertown, Mass., after landing in a shopping mall as part of search operations for one of the bombing suspects.
Credit Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images
A police officer stands at alert in tactical gear in Watertown on Friday.
Credit Matt Rourke / AP
Members of the Massachusetts National Guard wait on Boston Common for orders Monday evening after the deadly explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Credit Michael Dwyer / AP
A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Credit Jim Rogash / Getty Images
SWAT team members search for the remaining Boston Marathon bombing suspect at an apartment building. One of the two suspects died after a chase and shootout earlier Friday.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
"A powerful earthquake jolted China's Sichuan province Saturday near where a devastating quake struck five years ago," The Associated Press writes. According to CNN, early estimates put the death toll around 100. More than 1,000 other people were reportedly injured. Both figures could change substantially as more information comes in.
"I always felt like I was being stalked by that feeling of heartbreak." That's Josh Ritter talking about the beast that exists in the title of his seventh and latest record, The Beast in Its Tracks, an album written in the wake of his 2011 divorce from singer-songwriter Dawn Landes. To the extent that these new songs were written post-divorce, this is Ritter's "divorce album," but that's where comparisons to the likes of Blood on the Tracks and Shoot Out the Lights stop.
With the house-to-house search over and the living and dead largely accounted for, the town of West, Texas, began the transition from shock and disbelief to communal grieving.
On Friday night, mourners gathered at St. Mary Church of the Assumption to remember the dead. Many of the dead were first responders who were fighting a roaring fire for 30 minutes before the explosion, which was felt 80 miles away in Fort Worth.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn caused a stir when he suggested that there might be many more people missing than thought.
Twenty years ago, federal agents clashed with David Koresh's Branch Davidian community near Waco, Texas. The standoff ended with a raid and fire that killed some 80 people. It's remembered as one of the darkest chapters in American law enforcement history.
Two decades later, some of the Branch Davidians who survived the raid are still believers, while a new church group has moved onto the land.
The Boston Marathon bombing suspects are ethnic Chechens with links to the volatile North Caucasus region of Russia. Moscow's reaction to that fact appears to be as complex as the region's turbulent history.