Today at Gawker, we choose to finally acknowledge the borough of Queens, which now enters the second week of an apocalyptic blackout that has even the oldest Greek grannies using AK-47s to get their rationed ice chips. So while you may have spent your Saturday night slumped over an overpriced Stella in the air-conditioned watering hole of your choice, the Astoria warriors were fighting the ConEd Hezbollah:
...THERE WAS A HUGE MOTHERTRUCKIN' EXPLOSION TWENTY METERS AWAY FROM MY DOOR STEP, THAT'S WHY!
And not just one explosion, but a series of explosions that grew in size and smell for over twenty minutes, at 2:47 AM, in the dead of night, with nary a firetruck in sight for the first fifteen long chaotic minutes.
Fifteen minutes before the explosion, our neighbourhood block was celebrating the first return of SOME electricity (still no fridge or stove) for the first time in a week. Then suddenly the lights began to wave in and out of darkness, something that hasn't happened thus far in the debacle.
Then I heard Josh yell from our bedroom window. I found him sticking his head out the window, looking at a hole in the ground that the electric company, Con Ed, had been working on for the last few days. The hole was alive with flames and a series of loud explosions. I craned my head out further and heard this:
"Get the fuck out of there! Are you crazy! Get out of there!"
Which is very scary because that suggested that there were workers inside the hole.
"We've got to get out of our apartment," Josh said. We ran around like crazy monkeys gathering phones, keys, money, ID, comfortable shoes for running —like background actors in a calamity-hits-New-York movie. Then we run out of our dark house and into the dark streets. I got right up to the electric fire before I realized that I had to delete a ton of pictures before snapping away.
I looked behind me and the whole street had gathered outside, piling up at each door step, watching helplessly as the flames got higher. We slowly started to edge backwards ourselves.
"Get away from the manholes!" someone yelled. We laughed nervously and got away from the manholes.
Fifteen minutes later, firetrucks came and began to douse the fire with water. About an hour later, we all slowly creeped back into our apartments and tried to fall asleep.
Today at around 4PM, our block lost 100% of our electricity.
And suddenly your $2400/mo Soho studio seems like a pretty smart rental.
Holy Moly, Great Balls of Fire! [My Fall Collection]