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A Valley Dweller In A Darkened City

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I would like to share with all of you my experience in NYC during the 2003 Blackout. With that said, please read something else if my rants and occasional blogs disinterest you. Please share your experiences!


Having suffered a family loss in April I was quite enthused about coming into the city Thursday and leaving Sunday. Though a short stay, I was planning on having extreme, outlandish fun.


I checked in to the always fancy Super-8. http://www.applecorehotels.com/img/st_ico.gif The front desk was happy to see me as I sent in a letter to their headquarters praising the Super-8’s staff. I believe in writing letters like that. Maybe, subconsciously, I thought it would get me more soap and stuff. I then traversed to St. Patrick’s http://www.ny-archdiocese.org/cathedral_156x400.jpg , did my prayers and my candles and then I made another Pilgrimage to Popeye’s. http://www.popeyes.com/imgs_tropical/index_tropical_01.jpg I think they put methamphetamines in their chicken because it is addicting and delicious. I watched some of “Judge Judy” in my suite (yes, the have suites at the Super-8 … I was expecting and planning on a lot of visitors), downed my dead chicken and then I turned the AC on high. After I turned the AC on high the lights flickered, the TV was going nuts and then the power went off. I felt bad thinking I blew out a circuit in the hotel when I jacked my AC up.


At this point the phones in the hotel were still working and I was unaware of what was really going on. I called my dad to share something with him and he told me he had no power. Since he is an hour and change north of NYC I figured something was up. Just call me Angela Lansbury. My dad shared that he spoke with my sister in Ohio and that she told my father she heard it was terrorism. Now, knowing there are 2 sides to every disaster I went downstairs (I was on the 4th floor .. I always request a floor on the lowest level possible) and people looked freaked. I heard many wrong versions of what was happening. However, at this time (between 4 and 5PM) terrorism was the theme. I called my sister in Ohio, told her where all the “important” papers were in my house and then called a friend in my “valley”. I left a message on his cell voice mail http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/cell-phone-nokia.jpg that sounded like, I am sure, something from a really bad Lifetime Network movie. I tried to call all of my NYC contacts and this did not work at all. City cells were not working well.


I stayed outside in front of the Super-8 hoping to get a clue on what was going on. I wasn’t really scared but seeing 5 helicopters http://images.wn.com/i/66/202913d3.jpg at once hovering in the sky was somewhat disturbing. To hear nothing but the low hum of people talking and the sounds of helicopters hovering was very eerie for sure. Many people were looking at the sky. The usual mechanical noise of the city was gone.


After an hour of waiting for the sky to fall I, of course, walked to the Gaiety! Hell, if I am going to die I want to go with a hand job and a smile. Three G dancers were staying at the Super-8 and they also looked confused on where to go and what to do …. unless they were just thinking about their hair and gum. When I made it close to the Gaiety I found Denise and Security Man (I forget his name something fierce BUT I love calling him that) standing near Ho Jo. http://www.slamtrak.com/hojo2003/hojotimesquare2003Front.jpg It was so nice to see Denise out of her box and out of the Gaiety. This is only the second time I have seen her in public. In all sincerity, I had a wonderful conversation with her. She is so calm and sweet. She put me at ease just by talking with her. We discussed many things, shared some giggles, and I was content with the fact that if the power never came back on I was pleased I was able to know a Denise I would have never known. We parted ways as her dogs were home alone with no power and she was concerned.


I then went to Stella’s. They weren’t letting people in at this point but a nice looking lad made the moves on me! Hell, business doesn’t stop for anything. Though I would have went with him if we had power I told him I was funky and if we decided to make a power outage of our own my grid would smell. He said he didn’t care and he wanted to give me a bath. http://www.allwetmen.com/hothung1.jpg We laughed. I took his number and left. As I made it back to Times Square the open container law was out the window. O’Lunney’s was now in the street and people were drinking and whooping it up.


I made it back to the hotel and discovered the room phones were not working. The payphones were ok and everyone was standing on line waiting to use them. After standing near a car with open doors broadcasting an AM radio station I was learning what was going on. I learned America and Canada have the power grids of a 4th grade science project.


Night had fallen. I went to Stella’s again. They were open for business. Now the smoking ban was gone and people were coming in. There were many women and some were unaware of what kind of place Stella’s is. However, the new “bouncers” were making everyone feel welcome and the candles in beer cans added a nice touch. And yes, business continued as usual. I met a dude from Cuba and he too wanted to bathe me. I declined but I told him if the power went on we can bathe together and he was ready to go at that point. I told him I require the basics when I bathe … warm water and light.


I left Stella’s and now Times Square resembled a shantytown. Channel 4 News was set up and I was trying to cheese my way into the shot. Rob Morrison was conducting “where are you from and how has it been for you” interviews.


Though this picture isn’t the best he is very handsome, especially in person. Now, maybe someone in the van said to Rob in his earpiece, “Hey … there is a crazy looking man behind you … talk tom him!” Rob turned and interviewed me! I was on Channel 4. Considering people in NYC had no power at this point (around 11ish) the newscasters outnumbered the people in NYC able to watch TV. Then my pager started to go off. People in my valley up north saw me! My 5 minutes of fame was short and stupid but hell, when given a power outage affecting over 50 million people you “make lemonade”.


The Super-8 was dark and warm. I stayed in the lobby for about an hour. The emergency stairwell and hallway lights were now off. Security personnel were bringing people to their dark rooms via flashlight escort. I did not want to stay in a dark room alone. However, I hadn’t urinated for hours and I needed some sleep. I did both in the complete darkness. It wasn’t fun and I was a bit on edge. At least I was in a bed. I knew people were worse off than me at the Marriott as they wouldn’t let people in at all.




Friday morning sunlight came. No electricity. I made it down to the front desk and they told me 48th Street had power. I called home (thank goodness most payphones worked through all of this) and I said something I thought I would never say from Manhattan: “My goal is to find water, flashlights and conserve my energy”. I felt was going on Safari.


48th Street had power. I found plenty of water. I waited in front of Duane Reade to buy flashlights with a very nice Today Morning Show Crew. Duane Reade never opened. In despair I walked back towards the hotel. As I was leaving 47th Street and approaching 46th Street the power went on! I praised Jesus. I purchased a Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/526-FRONT_SMALL.jpg and a Snickers. In my powered hotel room I finally was able to read news and get the real story. Even as adults the telephone game is still at play. I am addicted to news so it was cool to see what was ACTUALLY going on. After I consumed news and Snickers I took a poop that was brewing for 2 days and I checked out. Part of me wanted to stay. The dirty, smelly, tired and somewhat nerve frazzled part of me wanted to leave. I did.


I came home and had lunch out with my dad. People recognized me from Channel 4 because my town had power when I was on air.


What have I learned? I will now travel with flashlights, candles and transistor radio. I also learned that hustling is very energy efficient, as it doesn’t need electricity to occur. Generally, people were very nice and I am thankful all hell did not break out. My heart goes out to people who were trapped in subway trains and elevators. I counted my blessings, and the money I didn’t spend on slaps and tickles, and went back to my power grid up north. So … anyone else want to share?

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Whew! I wasn't sure you would laugh! I did like your post though but regret that you aren't staying around to go to the G tomorrow night. It's party time!


Personally, I had to walk to Times Square from Chinatown and climb 20 flights up. It was horrible and I hope it is really all over with. If this were the politics forum I would suggest that the government isn't telling us all they know here.

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Hello Lucky,


>Whew! I wasn't sure you would laugh! I did like your post

>though but regret that you aren't staying around to go to the

>G tomorrow night. It's party time!


Trust me in that I wanted to stay. I felt very "trapped" because I drove into the city and my car was in multi-level parking garage. Once the power came on I felt free. And there was no hot water in the Super-8 and I was very funky. I hope the power stays on and you have a grand time! Please tip in my name!!!!!



>Personally, I had to walk to Times Square from Chinatown and

>climb 20 flights up. It was horrible and I hope it is really


OH MY! That is a lot!


>all over with. If this were the politics forum I would suggest

>that the government isn't telling us all they know here.


Well, this is the first I heard of a Power Grid. I am shocked to know that if there is an issue with power in Cleavland I have to suffer here in NY. We are (well, supposed to be) the most developed country in the planet and out power is strung together in such an outdated way. Off to the candle store.




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Thanks so much for shairing what happened to you during the black out

I am sure its something you will remember for years to come. I personally would of invited the G boys back to my room, and made sure

that they where safe and comfortable. I would of sponged bathed them if need be and then hand feed them grapes. But serously while you where in NYC I was stuck at one of the biggest pizza chains in the world, with the computors down, and the air getting hot and sticky

the coolest place to hide was in the ice box and I do,nt know about

you but waching dought rise is NOT a turn on to me, so I quickly went

out side to talk to the other pizza drivers and shop owners, which is

as much fun as the mexican trots which I had from drinking too much water I do,nt know about you but you try to find your way to the can

in the pitch black NOT a fun experience to say the lease How Helen keller ever managed is beyound me. Anyway myself and the other s will

miss you this weekend at the G

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VDN: Great story! and with "super" visuals. I'm happy you're ok and back in the comforts of OZ. I would have gotten a kick out of seeing you on TV. Btw, did you get Denise's #?... I was driving home from upstate when "lightning struck", is that the current excuse? No traffic, no cops to catch us speeders (felt like a kid racing the other SUV's), however, the tolls were up and running. Funny, "EZ Pass" has it's own power supply... I spoke with one of the G-dancers who said when the lights went out it was during Ricardo's "fluff period" and no one was on stage. The emergency lights went on and the few patrons and dancers just left. Not as exciting as I was hoping... VDN, it sounds like the City owes you big time, hope you'll be back real soon.

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>was driving home from upstate when "lightning struck", is that

>the current excuse? No traffic, no cops to catch us speeders


I think the current excuse is the governer's race in California.


>(felt like a kid racing the other SUV's), however, the tolls

>were up and running. Funny, "EZ Pass" has it's own power

>supply... I spoke with one of the G-dancers who said when the


Funny you bring up power supplies .... the "credit card" hotel keys worked fine. I think there are batteries in the doors? I was also glad the closet safes had their own supplies as well.


Let us know how the city is tonight. I am sure things are getting back to normal. I did not want to stay without a flashlight.




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