Those who live in the lower part of Manhattan have been without power since Monday. That means no lights, including no traffic lights, no hot water, no perishable food except what can be kept cold by generators, no electrically-powered hospital equipment, and no vision at night. Con Edison, the main energy supplier for New York City, called its clients in lower Manhattan Thursday to inform them that power should be restored by Saturday at 11pm. By then they will have spent five and half days in the dark.
The loss of power is a small issue when compared to the harrowing pictures coming out of the Jersey shore and other places where Sandy mangled property. Still, it's a surreal moment in America's largest city when you can stand in Times Square at night, look south, and see where the lights give way to dark streets beyond. It's an island split in two—on the upper half, life goes on as normal, establishments are open again, and even the subway runs to all local stops. On the lower half, people line up for food, ice, and water; they share cabs and crowd around surge protectors to plug in their cell phones.
And it's a story better told in pictures. Here are some of the best:
A view of a partially powered Manhattan Thursday in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP Photo)
Luis Moreta puts some steak on the grill in front of the Old Homestead Steakhouse where he works in New York. (Seth Wenig/AP Photo)
Ryan Nelsen (R) and Fields Harrington (2nd R, white shirt) ride a tandem bicycle to generate power as people wait for their cell phones to recharge on Avenue C in the East Village. (Stan Honda/AFP Photo)
Joseph Leader, vice president and chief maintenance officer of New York City Transit and Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), stands in a flooded stairwell which leads down to a platform beneath street level at the flooded South Ferry-Whitehall Subway Terminal. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
Cars piled on top of each other at the entrance to a garage on South Willliam Street in Lower Manhattan. (Stan Honda/AFP Photo)