**disclaimer: this is one of those historical posts that I will read after thanksgiving dinner 2045, while I am sneaking my grandkids beers on the back porch.**
Answer to the question that everyone will be asking for like, oh the next 6 months:
So like where you during the blackout?
When the lights went out, I was in the basement of Grand Central with my cousin Tania, my brother (Joshua) was outside. The place went pitch black - and I said "I don't like this. This is scary." So we grabbed our bags and made our way to the nearest exit. People were crying out and panicking. I thought we were under attack, and was fighting back a massive amount of tears wondering if my brother was o.k. Once outside, we immediately found Joshua and my Aunt. They started laughing as we were still in a state of panic, and explained that this was all a power failure, and that it would be up momentarily. Joshua and I eventually left them and walked to my office because I had to get something out of my desk.
At 53rd and 7th - I realized there was no way that I was getting up to my office, so we made our way down Broadway. By that point, all of the buildings were vacant, no phones were working, and the streets were crowded with people. It was such a trip to see Time Square screens pitch black. I couldn't stop thinking about Oceans 11, and was convinced that this was some kind of intentional shut down.
Once we got to my apartment, we decided to go over and check out the bar where we had a party planned for that evening. The bar was virtually empty - so we scratched any plans of staying there and hung out on my roof with the neighbors for a bit. After the sun went down, we went walking around the streets. We then made our way to Union Square. The energy there was so incredible. People were so alive and free. It felt like that's what it must be like at an x party. We joined in, got really hyper and started yelling & dancing around.
We then decided to walk down to Washington Square. On the way there we actually had a small group with us - all in search of a cold beer. Once at the park - the pit was full of hippies drumming, and people freaking out. We found the pit to be a little more exclusive, so we made our way to Tompkin square park.
At that point that huge mass of bikers passed us. I thought the bikers all hooting and hollering was so crazy and fun. I wanted to be biking around with them. Whenever they passed it just made everyone start screaming. That might have been my favorite part of the blackout.
At one point, at St. Marks place I exclaimed "I CAN YELL WHATEVER I WANT!" and someone randomly shouted back: "AND NO ONE WILL KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!" and then I said "EXACTLY! TONITE KICKS ASS! HOLY SHIT!" so that was kind of random and cool. I loved how everyone was just howling at each other. I absolutely freaked over all the hippie drummers. Joshua asked: "so, do you think this is what the world would be like without any electricity?" I said I hoped so.
We then saw a man outside a bar coaxing people inside. We asked if he would give us two beers for four dollars - he said yeah, so we went inside. Once inside, Joshua started tripping out because the place turned out to be the Milk Bar, from Clockwork Orange. I was freaking out because there were five men at the candlelit bar, all comparing bird calls. It was silent in this huge space - and all you could hear were these random "coo coo" "kaw, kaw" it was so crazy that we didn’t even sit down. We stood in the middle of the bar with our mouths open, and then eventually left.
Finally, we made it to Tompkins Square. The first group had a fire going, and a naked guy. The drumming there sucked but we wanted to see the fire get busted. We watched the cops peacefully walk into the group and put out the fire, and then walk away. The cops were so friendly and peaceful. Everyone was drinking publicly, and smoking some mad weed. We followed our noses and went to join this group that had the most amazing set of drummers. I remember being fixated on this guy drumming - you could see every muscle in his back. His whole body was in the beat. I predicted that the "missed connections" forum on craigslist would be spilling over with "blackout - you were drumming, I was dancing" type announcements. Anyway, this other guy lit a fire stick, and started dancing. I couldn’t take my eyes off the flames and felt like a snake being called out of the basket by some guy wearing a turban. Trippy.
After having our fill of dancing around like crazy hippies, all of that walking and 2nd hand pot smoke - we made our way back to my roof. Chilled there for a while, and went to sleep in the muggy mug air.
In summing it all up, I think I liked Joshua's theory the best about the blackout. He said: "Anise, I don’t think there is any kind of bad conspiracy. I think that if anything the government wanted to give you guys a break, because you work so hard. They want to let you go crazy and throw a kick ass party, so you can go back to work with vigor and create more things. this will create hype, increase relationships, making communication better - thus improving creativity. this is their way of pushing progress."
Well, that’s how I spent the blackout of 2003.