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Even though its finals week, Northeastern students (R to L) Megan Wood, Nicole Attella, Jenn Buckley, Lexi Alicea, and Jill Roberts (on floor) took time to view Fenway festivities.
Even though its finals week, Northeastern students (R to L) Megan Wood, Nicole Attella, Jenn Buckley, Lexi Alicea, and Jill Roberts (on floor) took time to view Fenway festivities. (Globe Staff Photo / Pat Greenhouse)

Across Hub, the day belongs to winners

It's usually a buttoned-down place, open only for dinner, serving well-heeled professionals. But a different crowd filled the Capital Grille at lunchtime yesterday, sporting blue jeans, baseball caps, and a particular swagger.

This was a day for winners, when the Red Sox got their long-awaited World Series rings as the Boston Pops played the Hallelujah Chorus. And at the Newbury Street steakhouse, the annual Opening Day lunch was twice as packed as last year's, stuffed with self-proclaimed ''idiots" in a celebratory mood. If there were ever an occasion worthy of porcini mushroom-rubbed Delmonico steak with 8-year aged balsamic vinegar (for $36.95), this was it.

So it was across Boston yesterday, as fans marked the start of a season as reigning champions and the final, symbolic, hex-busting end to an 86-year curse. High school students played hooky. Financial workers lingered on their lunch breaks.

And best friends Heather Duverna and Stephanie Willard stopped gabbing at the nail dryers at Nails & Spa in Dorchester to watch the pomp on a flat-screen television. When the giant 2004 championship banner unfurled over the Green Monster, they couldn't look away.

''That was awesome," said Willard, 26. ''We both are like, 'Oh, we got the chills.' "

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