Late Night Open Thread: Hot Time, Summer in the City

Per the Washington Post:

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), who was campaigning for president in Iowa on Saturday, tweeted that the police and fire departments and other city agencies were working to respond to a manhole fire that caused the outage. The New York City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, said on Twitter that there was a major disturbance at Con Edison’s 49th Street substation and that the utility was working to fix it…

Pizza shops on the Upper West Side were selling lukewarm slices in the dark with flashlights, cash only. In the Park Central Hotel on Seventh Avenue near West 55th Street, at least 100 guests were sitting on the floor in the lobby in candlelight. At the Wellington Hotel across the street, guests filed out in the dark holding glow sticks and gathered on the sidewalk.

Horse-drawn buggies were still clucking around in the blackout, aggressively recruiting riders as Uber prices surged.

The streets outside Carnegie Hall were dark, aside from car lights and a mobile hot-dog stand. Some teenagers from Idaho and Texas who had come to watch a concert at the hall instead volunteered to hold glow sticks and direct traffic in the absence of stoplights…

12 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Just a scary sight😯😯

  2. 2
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Hey Billy! Time to fuck off back to NYC.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Close but no cigar, bub. The original Star Wars opened in May of ’77.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:


    The Maui Fire Department revised its containment for Maui’s 9,000-acre wildfire upward to 80 percent late Saturday afternoon, while firefighters continued working on putting out hot spots, especially on perimeter areas.

    Containment remained at 90 percent for [a separate] 200-acre fire first reported at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the vicinity of the new Safeway and Lowe’s in Kahului. Source

  5. 5
    Martin says:

    I see those moments in NY today, and recall what it was like in 77, and I believe that NYC has turned the same sort of corner that CA has. That’s a city that’s looking forward. It may not have the leadership it needs to get there, but the citizens mostly know where forward is. Shame so much of the country is stuck looking backward.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    The Russian Tea Room is right next door to Carnegie Hall.

    Coincidence? // :) // :) // :) //

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    We were living in CT at the time of the large blackout in NYC. We went to bed and the local NBC reporter was clean and shaven. When we woke the next morning, he had the makins of a beard.

  8. 8

    Waterloo is where we lived in Iowa.

  9. 9
    debbie says:

    I don’t remember the year, but I was in NYC for a blackout. It lasted less than a half day, but I couldn’t believe how dark the hallways in my apartment building were in the middle of the day (duh). After feeling my way down the hall and four flights of stairs, I got to stand in lines to not get any batteries or candles. It was not a fun experience.

  10. 10
    Searcher says:

    I miss all the good blackouts :-/

  11. 11
    dr. bloor says:

    I think DiBlasio’s a total fop, but the outrage over his not being on site for this strikes me as a little overdone. I doubt ConEd would welcome his assistance on site, and NYC has no shortage of administrative minions ready to jump in to supervise.

    Meanwhile, Cuomo calls the outage “unacceptable,” as if some superhero whose super power is “preventing transformer malfunctions” has neglected his post and gone off on a bender.

  12. 12
    Connor Cochran says:

    When the big blackout hit all of NYC and vast swathes of the northeast on August 14th, 2003, I was eating an early dinner in a Thai restaurant in downtown Brooklyn. Coincidentally, Mayor Bloomberg was in some kind of meeting/meal in the restaurant next door. There were multiple black security vehicles parked on the block, and various big guys standing around with obvious earpieces and equally obvious shoulder holster bulges visible in their dark suits. My first clue that the power outage wasn’t just this neighborhood’s problem came when I saw the security guys form a phalanx and hustle a comparatively diminutive Bloomberg into one of the security vehicles, which immediately tore out of there.

    Without power the restaurant owner couldn’t run my card and I had no cash, so I wrote down all my contact info and promised to come back and pay later. (Note: I did.)

    As I walked a few blocks through the neighborhood I started picking up information from people out on the street. Nobody’s cellphones were working, but thanks to battery-powered radios the word started passing around that it wasn’t terrorists (everyone’s first big question), and wasn’t just the neighborhood or even NYC, but several states worth of darkness. Since the play I was in Brooklyn to see clearly wasn’t going to happen, I started walking back to where I was staying during this trip — 185th Street in Manhattan — with my backpack full of 25-30 pounds of books and miscellaneous project papers. The journey was a little over 13 miles.

    I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge as part of a vast northbound throng, with an equally vast southbound throng going the other way. And here’s the thing: the whole 13 miles was like Carnival in New Orleans. Once people realized that this was just an effin’ blackout, and not an act of war, it was like the entire city had been holding it’s breath for the two years since 9/11 and was now letting all that tension out in one big blast. Walking the distance was like attending 300 different block parties merged into one. I fell into dozens of incredible conversations with a shifting cast of walking companions. Store owners and apartment dwellers were out on the streets giving away food and drinks that would otherwise have spoiled from lack of refrigeration. People played music on acoustic instruments, and battery-power amps and radios blared. After the sun set, the city was illuminated by a million flashlights and candles and camping lanterns. A whole bunch of folks just danced. It was an incredible experience, probably the biggest display of wholesale human joy and kindness I’ve ever seen (or ever will see).

    I’m glad I was lucky enough to be there: to see it all, hear it all, to breathe it all in. Because that night absolutely showed me the basic goodness of the majority of my fellow beings, like nothing ever had before, and nothing ever has since. That night is how I know we are going to get through the current madness and find our way to better days.

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