One Manhattan native managed Friday morning to get out of Cambridge, Mass., just before the lockdown prompted by the chase for a Boston Marathon bombing suspect.
Rebecca Margolies, a 21-year-old Harvard College senior, by happenstance caught a cab to the Boston airport at 4 a.m. for an early morning flight. She was headed to California for a friend’s wedding. She said authorities shut down cab service at about 8 a.m.; she only learned about that and the manhunt when one of her flights landed at mid-morning and she was deluged with text messages.
“I guess I got out just in time,” she said in a mid-morning phone interview with the Mercury as the manhunt continued back in Massachusetts. “None of my friends are leaving their rooms. Harvard is shut down, which never happens. It’s scary. Everyone’s freaked out.”
Margolies lives in a dorm about a mile from the route along which authorities chased one of the bomb suspects from the MIT campus to Watertown, Mass. MIT and Harvard are both in Cambridge, Mass.; Watertown is the next town west.
She said students got text-message alerts starting at about 10 p.m. Thursday about “something going on,” but she was unaware of exactly what had happened until Friday morning. Had she been scheduled to leave a little later, she wouldn’t have been able to make her flight.
“I got out just in time,” she said.
Margolies said she knew several people running the Boston Marathon; all of them were uninjured. She said one of the women killed in the bombing was the sister of a man who worked in the dining hall in her dorm. She described the atmosphere on campus as “subdued” since the bombing.
Margolies is a 2009 graduate of Manhattan High School. She is the daughter of David Margolies and Sheila Hochhauser.