August 14th, 2018 @ 12:18 pm
when you live in NYC, you get to have some stories. i haven’t had one of these “stories” in a long while, but blackouts are one of those things on the list. they’re epically creepy (and obviously annoying in the heat). looking back, they were way more dramatic than it could ever be now. we had no cellphones, or at least not many of us did. you couldn’t tweet about it or really post about it. i’m sure there were some people that had ways to, but the majority of people couldn’t.
for some odd reason, i didn’t post about it on my site when it actually happened. i looked through my blog post archives, and i legit just skipped over it, like it wasn’t important to document for some stupid reason. i wish i had pics from back then. why didn’t i always have a disposable camera with me? sigh.
when this one happened, i was working at west coast video on an afternoon into closing shift. i can’t for the life of me remember who i was working with, but i remember we were there for about an hour or two and nothing was going on, so we were trying to close. our district manager refused to let us.
i grew up in an upper/middle class neighborhood where there were rich people bordering our shopping center. the company figured there could be people potentially running on generators, so we should stay open as long as possible. now, i wouldn’t have had a problem with this, but we had THE SCARIEST fucking basement in the world under the store. there was a fire door near the safe room that was supposed to have an alarm on it, but it never worked when the electricity was on, nevermind during a blackout. on the other side of that door was a hallway that connected the entire shopping center… no thank you.
i mean, it’s not like we had many sus/scary people walking around whitestone, but there’s just something so fucky about basements… especially during blackouts. ours was cold and concrete and it seemed like it went back for miles where we had tons of unused racks. we also had some creepy room with no lights that i never went in on a regular basis, nevermind in the dark. i got all of the money shit done before the sun went down and worked that safe with the quickness. during the blackout of 1977, i was always told about riots and theft… better safe than sorry.
i was still getting returns at the store through the slot inside (you damn right i side-eyed every asshole that did), but i opened the outside return bin and called it a night at some point. i remember the next day we still didn’t have power and my manager hadn’t emptied the entire outside bin yet. it was practically overflowing. like, who is making returning tapes a priority during a blackout? lol. we probably would have given a grace period anyway.
after i finished doing whatever i had to do, i walked to my boyfriend jeff’s house and we hung out there for a while. i remember wetting rags and putting them on ourselves to keep cool. at some point, we walked back to the shopping center and the shopping center had store alarms going off. it sounded like some creepy, post-apocalyptic shit.
on our way there, we saw one of the most horrible things i’ve ever seen. some jackass i know was speeding down clintonville st. like a moron and hit and killed an unleashed dog that was walking around. the poor thing’s body spun around like 8 times before it went down and let out such an awful yelp. the kid stopped and came out crying and he was all “omg, i didn’t see it” and freaking out… like, maybe if you weren’t doing 60 mph down a local street, it wouldn’t of happened? spoiled whitestone kids are the worst.
i’d also like to point out that my mother walked home from midtown during this blackout. 9 miles in the heat, with millions of other stressed out, irritated people. i can’t even imagine… it was hours before i got to talk to her again when she got home. thankfully we all still hand landlines back then. i think she checked in with my aunt necie, and i called her for updates or something.
these aren’t my pictures, but just look at how crazy this looks: