and, although it was interesting, here's hoping that it lives up to its name and is the only blackout of 2003.
ok, from my perspective here are the:
bad things about the blackout:
1-a lot of wasted food.
2- a lot of people trapped in scary places (elevators, subways, etc)
3-a lot of people unable to get home due to cancelled trains, etc.
good things about the blackout:
1-after the traffic jams abated manhattan became like a big, but cozy, village. we went for a walk last night (after having a nice communal dinner on my roof with teany employees and friends) and the streets were filled with people sharing drinks and playing guitar and hanging out, all illuminated by candlelight.
the best moment of the night happened on a street in the lower east side where an impromptu block party had started. people were drinking beer and hanging out and a police car showed up. and everyone looked around disappointedly, as they expected the block party to be broken up. and the police car turned on it's flashing lights and then one of the policemen started singing 'new york, new york' over the intercom and everyone started cheering and dancing.
2-the quiet. new york has never been so quiet in the summer. no air conditioners. and although the lack of air conditioning sucked for a lot of people (i slept on the roof, which was nice), the quiet was great.
3-the civility. people really were civil and decent towards one another. it was quite touching, actually.
4-the stars. due to the lack of light pollution you could actually see a lot of stars in the manhattan sky. and mars looked big and red and fierce, as it's so close to the earth.
5-the unstructured time on friday. friday morning and afternoon were spent eating and leisurely playing cards and napping and wandering around. no one could get any work done, so no one felt guilty about not working.
so now the power's back on, and i'm glad that it's returned.
but the 29 hour blackout wasn't without it's charm. and i wouldn't be surprised if 9 months from now there's a tiny little spike in the birth rate in manhattan, not so much from the lack of electricity on august 14th & 15th, but from the glimpse that most people had into the very civil and gracious side of humanity en masse. seeing people behaving so decently and altruistically might have made reproducing seem like a slightly nicer idea to some.
eh, in 9 months we'll see.
and i guess that the obvious questions of 'why did an obscure power failure near the canadian border shut off the power for 60 million people in and around the world's largest financial center?' and 'why were parts of manhattan without power for 18 hours longer than the surrounding boroughs and suburbs?' are being answered by the people who are best prepared to answer such questions.
i hope that everyone managed to have a benign experience in the blackout of 2003.