"We just went to get a cup of coffee, and there's no line at Dunkin' Donuts," said electrician Joe Gore, who was sipping his java on a picnic table near Rowes Wharf, where he was helping wire a new Starbucks. "So it's pretty scary quiet."
Many people seemed to understand the drastic measures. But others considered it ridiculous.
Miller recently moved to New York after spending the past five years in Israel. As the 29-year-old in the black yarmulke strolled through the city's Holocaust memorial, he couldn't help feeling that officials here were overreacting.
"You know, when Israel gets one rocket attack, let's say it injures three people," he said. "It's terrible. This event, thank God it only killed three people. And it injured a lot of people. If a rocket attack injures five people, 10 people in Israel and kills one person, we think, 'Oh, thank God it only killed one person. it didn't kill 50 people.'"
Miller understands that this kind of event is still relatively rare in the United States, and unheard of in Boston. But he said this is the kind of mayhem terrorists want, and Boston is giving it to them.
"Hopefully, Americans will realize what Israelis have to go through and have more solidarity for them and understand when they fight back and retaliate," he said. "Because that's exactly what Boston's doing today. They're going and doing everything possible in order to get this one person. The city has come to a halt in order to get this one person."
Scott Lapworth drove in from Thompson, Ct., to do a wallpapering job near the waterfront Friday morning and noticed that the commute was not nearly as hairy as usual.
"I don't think I've ever seen it so deserted down here," he said as he chewed a ham and cheese sandwich on the steps beside Faneuil Hall.
"It's unfortunate that these type of people are around, but it's not going to keep me from coming to work or going to places to eat in public or stuff," he said, munching on chips. "I'm not going to let them change MY lifestyle."
Jesse Bonelli, a video game artist who lives in locked-down Watertown, stayed inside his house and sharpened a machete — just in case.
"It's something I usually keep hanging on the wall, but it's the only weapon I have," said Bonelli, 23. "I want to be ready in case anyone bursts into the house. After everything that happened this week, I keep wondering what's next."
EDITOR'S NOTE — Follow AP National Writer Allen G. Breed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/allengbreed . Associated Press writers William J. Kole and Carla K. Johnson also contributed to this report.