Results tagged “New York blackout” from ARTicles

The strange thing about life in post-Sandy Manhattan is that most useful information comes via word of mouth.  The newspaper is already obsolete by the time we see it, and in any case we blackout victims cannot drum up any interest in the world outside our neighborhood.  The burning questions are:  When will the power come back on?  When will the subways start running through our section of town?  Will there be any taxis available tomorrow, given the gas shortage?  What is the best way, at the present moment, to get from here to anywhere else on the island?  Where can one recharge electronic devices and get access to wireless?

My most useful encounter yesterday was with a young woman from the Lower East Side who was trying to get online outdoors in Bryant Park, where I was gobbling down a sandwich before walking back downtown into the darkened regions. She said she had seen a running line on a TV screen as she walked by CBS studios, suggesting that power would come back on in lower Manhattan by Saturday.  This was better than what I heard as I stood in line to buy candles at an Upper East Side store, where the man behind me (from the East Village) reported that his super said it would be five more days.  As it turned out, the young woman from the Lower East Side was the more accurate: an automated phone call from Con Ed later in the day informed me that "most people" in my neighborhood would have power restored by Saturday night. We shall see.    

November 2, 2012 8:34 AM |
Last night my husband and I ventured out of our Greenwich Village apartment at night for the first time since the blackout started. The lure was a leg of lamb, previously resident in a friend's freezer; he told us it would go to waste unless we helped eat it, since he, too, is in the blackout zone and no longer has refrigeration. He happens to be an excellent cook, and he and his partner are possessed of a large dining table, a fireplace, and many candles, so although their conditions are technically the same as ours (no heat, no electricity, no internet, no hot water), life is much more civilized over at their place.

My friend lives about a mile from us, and I have walked these streets many times. They were almost unrecognizable last night.  (Toward the end, they literally WERE unrecognizable, and I had to ask my husband to shine his flashlight on the street signs to be sure we hadn't passed the correct turn-off.)  The entire walk was in darkness, with the few pedestrians mainly carrying flashlights--if they were not, they would loom suddenly at you out of the darkness like Halloween-appropriate ghosts. Crossing streets was slightly hazardous, since no traffic lights were in effect, but the cars were well-behaved and so were we.  Once or twice in the mile-long walk along Bleecker, we ran into a restaurant or a deli operating under candlelight and selling food for cash; otherwise, every storefront was darkened, and almost every apartment window was dark as well, though a few showed the faint yellow glow of candlelight within.  It was rather beautiful, actually, and strikingly quiet, and it made me imagine that this -- dark, curving streets, some paved with cobblestones; brick buildings of only a few stories lining each side; pedestrians few and far between, each carrying his or her own light -- must have been very much what the Village was like in the  early nineteenth century, before the advent of streetlighting. One resident getting out of his taxi with his groceries and hurrying to his front door remarked to us in passing, "I'm getting kind of used to the dark."  I could see what he meant.  

November 1, 2012 7:47 AM |


Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


    ARTicles ARTicles is a project of 
    the National Arts Journalism Program, an association of some 500 journalists in the United States. Our group blog is a place for arts and cultural journalists to share ideas and information, to celebrate what we do, and to make the case for its continuing value.

    ARTicles Bloggers Meet our bloggers: Sasha Anawalt, MJ Andersen, Alicia Anstead, Laura Bleiberg, Larry Blumenfeld, Jeanne Carstensen, Robert Christgau, Laura Collins-Hughes, Thomas Conner, Lily Tung Crystal, Richard Goldstein, Patti Hartigan, Glenn Kenny, Wendy Lesser, Ruth Lopez, Nancy Malitz, Douglas McLennan, Tom Moon, Abe Peck, Peter Plagens, John Rockwell, Werner Trieschmann, Lesley Valdes and Douglas Wolk. more

    NAJP NAJP is America's largest organization dedicated to the advancement of arts and cultural journalism. The NAJP has produced research, publications and discussions and works to bring together journalists, artists, news executives, cultural organization administrators, funders and others concerned with arts and culture in America today. more

    Join NAJP Join America's largest organization of arts journalists. Here's how more

see all archives