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November 13, 2001
Which blackout(s) did you experience?
In your own words, tell the story of your experience in the blackout(s). Try to recall specific events and the people, places, and things involved; also include more general reactions, images adn last impressions?
We lived on 102st in Richmond Hill for both.
The first one I was only five years old. The only thing I remember is eating dinner in the dining room with candles.
In 1977 I was watching TV in room(which is in the back of the house). When the lights and Tv went off at 9:30 I thought someone in the house blew the fuses again. It use to happen alot- anytime the blow dryer went on and 2 lights on at the same time. But I then heard people yelling in the street. I went out and saw all the kids running around.
We then walked around a bit to help some people. I looked to Jamaica ave and saw all these people running. We didn't know at the time they were looting the stores- ANY STORE.
When morning came my friends and I walked into Woodhaven.
I couldn't believe all the mess ang glass shattered about.
Kligmans furniture store and half of their furniture stolen.
Remind you the lights were still off. Evening came around
and the lights still weren't back, my friend Scott and I went to her sisters apartment(also on 102ST) and got drunk.
We looked out the windows and saw the strret lights came back on. But we kept our lights off, now it seemed more fun to drink in the dark. What can I tell you I was only 17!!!
Why did the blackouts happen, in your opinion?
Did either blackout seem significant or shocking at the time?
Why did you consider the blackout(s) to be significant or insignificant?
It was significant to me because I was old enough to remember it. the news showed clips from Harlem and East New York, where people were stealing anything they could get their hands on.
How did the blackout(s) affect you?
I saw how people have no regard for others and how they work all their lives to make their business work.But I did see others that helped.
What happened to your perception of the blackout(s) when you heard the news about the full scope of the event(s)?
I was shocked and didn't understand why these people do this? Weren't they taught to respect one another?
How would you compare the blackout(s) to "normal" power failures you have experienced at other times?
Normal power fails last no more than a few hours and is secluded to define areas. This was the entire New York City out.
What affect, if any, did the blackout(s) have on your opinion of Consolidated Edison Company?
If you experienced both the 1965 and 1977 blackouts, please compare them (describe the ways in which they were similar/different):
I don't remember much from 1965 to compare it with.
Did the blackout(s) have any larger meaning in your mind?
Did the blackout(s) cause any profound crisis?
How did the blackout(s) affect your daily reliance on electricity?
Became less reliant
Story #152, The Blackout History Project, 13 November 2001, <http://blackout.gmu.edu/details/152/>.
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