The easy part is the snow, but it hides and reveals much. Underlying the white stuff, the ice, the subzero weeks, what does Boston's ability to manage itself say now and beyond?
Chums around the country and beyond ask us how we are faring, whether our roof can take it all, and more. We can report good — as in no power outages, we have heat, water, power and internet. Outside that small fence, it's not so good.
The city's T, as in subway, trolley, commuter rail and bus have been totally shut, then mostly shut, and running only on the few underground lines. Workers, students, shoppers and plain folk are back in previous centuries, at the mercy of the elements.
The mayor and governor have avoided blaming each other for various failures, likely knowing there is plenty of shame and naming to share. Yet there will be reckonings, as businesses tabulate many millions of losses, schools calculate federal dollars, required dates, vacations and such, and ordnary citizens wonder whether they can trust Boston to provide basic services.
This is the big town that won the US bid for the 2024 Winter Olympic Games. Granted blizzards then are extremely unlikely, but what does all of his say of its transportation system? Can students' [parents rely on the city to keep its skeds? If the city can't haul away snow, i9s it ready for more acute emergencies?