So, yeah. This storm, huh?
Before I get into any of this I just wanna clarify that , while this week has truly sucked a dick of god like proportions, I’m also very aware that it could have been much worse. Seeing clips from what happened in jersey really puts this whole blackout thing in perspective. My thoughts go out to all the people effected by this who lost their homes , loved ones, ect…For us in lower manhattan, this has simply been a huge inconvenience and not much more. Well, to some it’s been much more but for most people it was a 4 day vacation from work except without power.
Where do i begin? Well, I’ve never been one to get particularly fearful when hurricanes hit NYC. We’re mostly a city of brick buildings next to other buildings made of bricks. While Skyscrapers may be a risk, your average NYC resident looks at rain and heavy winds as just a reason to stay in for the night. Perhaps drink a little more wine than usual. Irene came, devastated tons of people outside of the city but, being the smug pricks we are, we laughed at how little it did to anyone within the bubble of manhattan. Seeing a broken branch would be jokes. So, when word of “frankenstorm” came, I can’t say I was stressed. My girl and I bought some food just in case but , to be honest, it was more just an excuse for us to go shopping. Other than that, we just kinda waited for it. We taped up our window and settled in for a night of watching TV while listening to wind slap against our windows. Around 7:45, I got a text from a friend that the front of a building around the corner from me on 8th ave had collapsed. What!?!? Looking outside, it was raining a little and pretty windy but not exactly “Knock the front of a building” type winds. Okay. So, we just kinda wrote that off as poor craftmenship on the part of the people who built the building. About an hour later, everything went black. Full disclosure, I was taking a shit. Of course I was. I had my laptop in there , so I wasn’t taking a crap in pitch black but, I’ll tell you, shitting in the dark is weird vibe. Having done it a few times this week, it’s kinda what I imagine solitary confinement in jail to be like, but with more shitting and nicer toilet paper.
I finished and my girl was already lighting candles. My phone still worked so the calls started rolling in from all my friends who lived nearby. Checking on if it was just them in the dark or if we were all in this together. Indeed, we were family. Then a friend texted me telling me that the Con Edison building cross town had basically blown up. Dope. This had happened a few years before and resulted in a few days in the dark but just on my block. At least then I could go a block away and get a meal or stay at my moms crib in the west village. But looking outside, the entire block was dark. The buildings in the distance were black. This wasn’t good.
Sitting in the dark is no fun. Around 11pm, my girl and I got restless and decided to be morons and take a walk outside to see what was going on. We stepped out and to say it was off putting would be an understatement. I mean, this was 14th street in manhattan, in complete darkness. Few cars. Black for as far as the eye can see, only lit by a full moon. The first thing I noticed was how it wasn’t raining at all and it was just slightly windy. Like a breezy , far from dangerous kind of wind. This was the culprit? The streets were fairly barren but there were a few people stumbling around. In that lighting, EVERYONE looks like a murderer. So we stepped carefully and went to look at the collapsed building. There it was. A huge pile of rubble beneath what looked like an open faced doll house. Those motherfuckers needed some serious interior decorations as it looked like one of those made up rooms you see in Ikea but one that was put together by a college student. but, I suppose, that was the least of their worries at that moment. Cops were around telling people to bounce so we did. We were gonna walk around more but the vibe on the streets was too unpredictable. So, we were in for the night.
The next day we got up and tried to maintain as much phone power as possible by charging them on our computers. I got word from a friend outside the city that we might be in it for the long haul so once that set it, we weren’t exactly in great moods. We went over to my moms house about 10 blocks away to check on her and that was that…At the moment, I’m on the upper east side staying with a friend for a few nights, hoping this will all end sooner then later. Now that all those details are out of the way, lemme hit you with some bullet points. The more entertaining side of this whole debacle.
1)The deli’s that stayed open are rich now.
I payed five bucks for a box of match books. I don’t know how much they usually cost but I’m pretty sure it’s not that much. The few deli’s in the area that were open the day after the blackout were KILLING it. Lines of people buying anything they could. Fig newtons and pringles have never sold better. It was crazy to walk into a pitch dark store and just kinda buy whatever you can. Chips, water, power bars. It’s funny where peoples heads go when they’re faced with a “What is the thing I would eat once all the real food runs out” kinda situation. Apparently, when in emergency mode, I eat the same shit I get when I’m on tour. Beef jerky, chips, water and something by hostess. LIFE FOOD.
One of the nights my girl and I walked home from my mothers house , the streets were littered with random people just sorta chilling. Like a lone man standing on the sidewalk not doing anything. Literally just staring into the darkness. These weren’t threatening people. They were more like the walking dead had they lost their hunger for human flesh. It was so bizarre cause sometimes you’d pass packs of them. A group of people, not speaking to each other (most likely strangers) , just hanging out under an awning even though it wasn’t raining. People just kickin’ it in the dark. Maybe they were considering when the exact moment to start the looting might be but they seemed far more docile. Well, whatever they were doing, fuck’em. They were creeps and made walking around the hood weirder than it already was. I think a good rule of thumb for urban blackout is only go out with an idea of where you’re going and , if you do, go directly there. Loitering isn’t the move, dewds.
3)great time to have a girlfriend
Man, if I was single, I’d probably be dead right now. Not cause I’m incapable of feeding myself but because it would appear the survival instincts of women are far beyond those of men. My girl did preparations that I would have 100% overlooked. Also, I can’t cook shit without a microwave. The fact we even had beans and rice in the house was a miracle. Had it been me alone, I’d be eating mayo like a savage and hoping that jar of capers hadn’t gone bad. All my other friends from the lower manhattan area were in similar relationship statuses as me and they seemed to do well. My one single male friend though? I’m amazed he didn’t accidentally walk out of his 6th floor
window. He’s a dude who doesn’t even have non-plastic silverware in the crib and his fridge is a collage of delivery left overs (Exactly like my fridge was as a single guy). He called me and was bugging. There was no way this dude had candles. What single guy that’s not in kamasutra has fucking candles in his crib? Luckily he had a flashlight and I’d imagine he survived that night eating whatever blunt guts he had laying around his ash trays.
4)first third world problems.
As a dude who complains on twitter a lot about petty things like my internet service or my shitty phone, I’m constantly getting comments from dipshits who think I’m being serious talking about “First world problems,bro”. First off, fuck those people. They’re almost as bad as grammar/spelling nazi’s on social networks. Hey fuckhead, you’re on a computer. You’re part of this first world just like me. unless you’re tweeting from a fucking coconut, I don’t wanna hear it. But I digress…
This blackout was some next level shit. It turned lower manhattan into a much safer game of thrones world crossed with a little bit of mad max. Instead of gasoline, everyone was searching for power. Phone power could have been used as currency. There was a truck on 14th and 8th that was offering free phone charging. Only problem was people were crowded around it like a bunch of feeding jackals. The line to charge your phone for like 5 minutes was insane and , seemingly self defeating. This is what happens when you take civilized people and put them in an uncivilized position. Like with most NYC tragedies, people were being overly civil. It was very 9/11ish. But , deep down, I’m pretty sure most people would push an elderly woman into traffic if it meant getting a fully charged Ipad.
5)Tourists love a nice disaster
My moms block is where the outside of the building used in the TV show “Friends” was filmed. It’s a hot spot for people from other places who are complete fucking losers. Even in a blacked out Greenwich village, the amount of tourists snapping shots of that building where Joey and chandler kinda lived was staggering. Not just that though. I saw tons of tourists (I could tell they weren’t from here pretty easily. I got good tourist-dar) just walking around taking pictures of fallen trees. I get that. it’s a sight to see NYc in such disarray. I certainly saw a lineup of people instagramming any crazy looking damages but these tourists roaming around with their passports in those around the neck satchels? Ughh…Not the time, guys. Come back when we have hot water at least.
6)look at all these rumors
One of the most frustrating parts of something like this happening where you live is the speculation. Everyone knows a guy on the insider or has a friend who knows the truth of when everything will be back to normal. You got the optimists who say it’ll be 1 night tops and the doomsday motherfuckers who are saying we won’t have power till next week. Both are fucking idiots and both forget that there is a 24 hour news stream covering every tiny move of this disaster. All it takes is a text to someone with power and they could tell you “Friday or saturday”. Trust me, your boy nostradamus who lives in the chelsea projects knows just as little as you and me.
While there were a decent amount of tourists, the majority of people walking around the hood were locals. Why? cause where else are they gonna go. Much like 9/11, when the public transportation gets shut down, there’s kind of a nice neighborhood mood that comes in. Sure, it only happens when some disaster occurs but still, it’s nice. Not only are things far less crowded but the quality of people just seems better. It’s really the one thing I don’t mind about these kind of tragedies. Come monday, everything will be back to normal. The streets will be flooded with people. Trains running. People back to work. I’ll be happy to see it. But , really, if they could just get our power back and keep public transport down a few more days, I wouldn’t be mad.
Anyway, I’m typing this in a starbucks like some dickhead working on his screenplay so I’mma just stop right here. I hope everyone out there is okay after this and I look forward to getting back to normal. At least , I look forward to writing this blog every day and making some beats. Okay? great.
See you next week guyzzzzz!