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Boylston Street got back to business Wednesday, nine days after two bombs ripped through the Boston Marathon finish line, killing three and injuring more than 250.
City crews have scrubbed Boylston Street of most evidence of the bombings and the investigation that followed.
Wednesday morning, workers hurried out of the Copley Square T station. Buses screeched in and out, and there were more police around than usual — usual before last week. Pedestrians stopped by a makeshift memorial that was moved near the site of the first blast. Three white crosses, for the three bombing victims, were strewn with flowers and rosaries.
Some people brought fresh flowers, some brought tears. Neila Hingorani, anxious to get back to her job at the Boylston Apple store, was visiting the memorial for the first time.
"It's great to be coming back to work,” she said. “We miss each other and we miss our customers, and it's just great to be back."
It was also time for taking stock. Elias Perez is senior sexton at Old South Church — "the Finish Line Church," 130 years old this year.
"When the bombs exploded the chaos out here was crazy,” he said. “And to come back here to a totally clean street I want to say the city did a great job, along with law enforcement and all the agencies that were working. We suffered a shattered window, just one, but all the stained glass seems to be intact."
Many were just returning to routines: joggers passing through, tourists with maps out, a panhandler propped against a mailbox. Neighborhood resident John Bowen took his golden retriever, Leo, for his first walk here since the attacks.
"It's been a tremendous tragedy and a lot of sadness," he said, "and I am glad it's — this part at least is past us and we can begin to frequent the places we love."
By lunchtime, there were crowds at the memorial, and looking up at the still-boarded-up exterior of Marathon Sports, which was directly in front of the first explosion. It's one of the few businesses near the blast zone yet to reopen.
Inside, a worker spread spackle on the floor, laying new stone tile. Contractor Rick Parini says he has nine workers on the job. "We're just trying to get the store back in operation for the good of everybody. The store and the city of Boston. Boston Strong."
This site was a triage center the day of the bombings. Now, shoes are on the shelves, new carpeting and tile are coming in. With a complete cleaning, Parini says, the store should be open by the end of the week.
This post was updated with the All Things Considered feature version.
This article was originally published on April 24, 2013.
This program aired on April 24, 2013.
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