Midtown Manhattan was surreal Saturday night.
The center of our little island is supposed to be the center of the universe — yet I am writing this after eating a lukewarm peach for dinner by (hot) candlelight in 90-degree temperatures with the windows shut tight, racing against time to finish it before my computer runs out of its last moments of electricity.
Yes, we want to be the center of finance, tech and media, but we cannot even keep the lights on for a Saturday evening. Meanwhile, our fearless leader, Mayor Bill de Blasio, is radioing it all in from Iowa, where they have plenty of power.
Yesterday, at about 7 p.m., the lights in our apartment just west of Midtown flickered — hard.
We had seen this before. This past winter — Feb. 16, to be exact — as my husband and I were eating dinner, our lights went out, then went back on.
We looked at each other and then suddenly, boom! A manhole had exploded right outside our window. The next two manholes exploded in succession, each boom rattling the windows harder, and sending our next-door neighbor, two small dogs in tow, over to ask what she should do.
Our answer: nothing. The entire street in front of us was in raging flames; even the firefighters were standing well behind their trucks, which were well behind the fire, waiting for a good half-hour for Con Ed to turn off the power before they could put water on it. We couldn’t evacuate directly into a fire; we just stood, far from the windows … and the lights didn’t go out.
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