Remembering the Northeast Blackout of 2003

10 years since the East Coast Blackout

Me: Today’s the 10 year anniversary of the 2003 East Coast Blackout.
Her: Really? Wow. 10 years. Time goes by so fast.

I remember what I was doing that day/night well since it happened just under a year since the 9/11 attacks.

Was actually in a real estate closing when I realized that I was missing a check. So I made a mad dash to my office to get it.

On the train ride back to the meeting, the train got stuck in the tunnel. Was already panicked as this was only my third real estate closing so I remember that when the AC shut off in the subway car, I was already a sweaty mess. I also remember the subway car windows steaming up because of the humidity.

Hours later, the car doors opened in the middle of the tunnel and we worked our way in the dark to the station – we used our mobile phones for light. When I finally got out, I was a mile or so from the closing so I ran there with the check.

Was so absorbed in getting to the meeting that I barely noticed that there were no lights.

Arriving, I banged the door repeatedly when the building manager finally came and opened the door. “I’m…here…for the closing. Checks.” I said, breathlessly.

People walking in New York City during the bla...
People walking in New York City during the blackout (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Closing?” he said, “There’s a ___ing blackout. There’s no closing.” And the slammed the door in my face. Only then did I look up and think, Well, that’s weird.

Eventually, I made it over to Rain’s apartment where we ended up BBQing on his roof since his fridge was stocked. I remember sitting on his roof ledge in a rumpled suit, dirty from my tunnel run.

Hours later in the dark, finally managed to grab a $80 cab ride back to my pad. We went at like three miles an hour up to the Upper West Side because of all the pedestrians and lack of light.

When I got home, found my sister waiting for me since she couldn’t make it to her home. Back then I had a car so I lent it to a buddy to go check up on his mom in Philly. End up eating everything out of my fridge for a late dinner.

Two things happened that day:

  1. I have a checklist for closings now so I never forget another check.
  2. Got this here story to tell people now.

All education’s expensive. Some, though, come with worthwhile memories.

Location: enjoying the strangely cool August weather at my desk
Mood: nostalgic
Music: It’s been a long night in New York City
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There’s something about a walk

84th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in NYC

The day after my last entry, went to see if she was still there – a number of readers and friends sent me several ideas how to help. But she wasn’t there. Checked again the next day and night and then once more two days later.

Suppose I’ll try again this week.

I’m not sure this isn’t a good thing. Cause in my head, someone else helped her out. Maybe some family came? One can only hope.

Life’s hard enough without your people, poison, and pad.

————

Went for a long walk on Saturday. Part of it was cause I had some work to do in my area, the other part is that I just like to clear my head.

Something about stress simultaneously compresses and elongates time.

For example, I remember that during my last really bad breakup (holy cow, six years ago) that the minutes dragged on like hours and at the end of each day, I thought: Well, made it through another one.

On the other hand, deadlines for work at that time seemed to spring up from nowhere and I’d scramble to get things done.

There’s something about a long walk that evens it all out, if only for just a little bit.

When I was dating a lot, I remember taking the long walk home after a date or a night out. Always said I’d tell you what that was someday.

If I was downtown, it was usually in the LES so that meant walking from the lower east side across either Houston to Canal to catch my ride home. If I was uptown, that usually meant walking from midtown to home.

And when my insomnia was at it’s worst, I’d do the latter in reverse, just to see the bright lights.

Yeah, there’s something about a long walk that evens it all out, if only for just a little bit.

BTW, regular post on on Wednesday but on Friday, I’m thinking of posting a page – especially for men – on how to put up a good dating profile page on Match et al…

Location: the past weekend, all over the UWS
Mood: groggy
Music: Hold on cause the world will turn if you’re ready or not
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In front of you

Location: at the rents, in front of the tube
Mood: restless
Music: get your plane ride on time I know your part’ll go fine


Her
: (sadly in Chinese) God doesn’t care about me any more. I’m too old. 86.

Me: That’s not true. He’s the one who put me in front of you.

Saw an old friend for dinner last night. We hadn’t talked in ages; he’s now the senior VP at a major internet marketing firm.

We talked shop and it was like talking to an adult after being surrounded by kids all day. Like Sheridan and somea the others, he believes in me more than I do, I think.

Man, I gotta get outta what I’m doing and back into my old life.

On the way there, heard an old Chinese lady yelling over and over again, “CHINATOWN!” on 37th and Lex. She reminded me of my grandma. So I went over and told her in my crappy Chinese that I’d get her there. She was visiting an old friend in a hospital nearby and got lost. Took her arm, walked her to the right stop, and waited for the bus with her.

Me: (to driver) Hey man, this nice little lady needs to get to Chinatown. Can you make sure she gets off on Bowery and Bayard? (driver nods and smiles broadly at her)
Her: (to me in Chinese) Thank you – your Chinese’s not as bad as you think.

Me: (laughing) Nonsense. But I’ll let my dad know you said so. Told you – God put me in front of you.

Hopped off the bus and made it over to the Shelburne. Afterwards, walked from there to Columbus Circle, just cause I can’t sleep anyway. Thought about my mom – if she got lost, I’d hope someone’d help her get home.

Speaking of home, Heartgirl’s on a plane back as I write this. Was only two weeks but I missed her terribly.

YASYCTAI: Help someone old. Cause you’d want someone to do it for your ma. (20 mins/1 pts)

We know…

Location: 22:00 yest, walking down Broadway
Mood: still in pain
Music: And now I’m never gonna get to sleep

Me: Wait, did I make a pass at you the other night?
Her: (thinking) No.

Me: (relived) Thank goodness…

Her: I know!

Meet a pretty German girl Monday night on the way home. Woulda asked for her info but, as I said, I’m distracted. Naja, I say, angenehm…tschüss.

Get home, shower and run out the door to meet up with LisaV. We’re supposed to go to a church function but she can’t get outta work so we meet up at Mooncake Diner. It’s packed so we bounce to Excellent Pork Chop House for take out and head back to her place where her roommate’s painting. We inhale it all over conversation and a glass table. Surprisingly, it’s actually excellent.

Head out to meet up with an old friend but we can’t coordinate so I swing by Rain’s for some scotch. A photoshoot’s going on with some models so I take a few pics of them and his new canine friend before taking the long walk home.

Tuesday? Tuesday was a whole ‘nother story.

Too many faces and places in my head.
Some I wish would stay away.
Some I wish would stay this way.
With my luck, the ones I want to stay will go.
And the ones I want to go…we know…

Distracted

Location: home
Mood: in pain
Music: Once again I found myself with my friends

Her: Home on a Friday? Want some company?

Me: (pause) I’m…I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Stayed in on Friday; just tired and irritated. Saturday morning, saw PCD for brunch. We ended up cooking and I made a frittata. Since she was a pro, I was flattered that she thought it was good. Went off to class and got a beatdown. I’m quite literally COVERED with bruises (do not click if squeamish). Should take up yoga. Or at least something that doesn’t involve people stabbing, slashing, kicking, choking, strangling and punching me. Yes. Yoga.

Spoke to Heartgirl afterward. She confided in me something and I was a bit touched. We’re more alike than she knows.

Saturday, LisaV invites me to a house party downtown. It’s a literal and figurative sweatbox. An hour in, a girl grabs me and sticks a huge bottle of tequila down my throat and, later, kisses me on the cheek – of course she’s 22. Before I leave, another girl leans in and kisses me too. Huh. Must be the tequila. Close out the night with this cool blonde that boxes and threw me a nasty uppercut. Impressive.

Note to self: Hang out with LisaV more often.

At 2:00, walk LisaV home across the LES. Woulda been terribly romantic if she wasn’t seeing someone and I wasn’t…so damn distracted.

Him: You didn’t get anyone’s number? Did you even ask?

Me: No…I’m very distracted.

Him: Dude, you gotta fix that.


Awful Things

Location: my bed
Mood: tired
Music: I think it’s gonna be a long, long time

Her: You know what? I’m not your ex. I’m me. (long pause) You’ve never done awful things in your life, Logan?

Get a surprising message on Friday from someone I was dating. We opted to be friends and she calls to tell me something I really don’t wanna know. So, I’m disappointed in her. Then again, she called cause she needed a friend and I wasn’t the friend I should have been.

So, I’m disappointed in me.

Go out for the usual fun and games for Friday. Some girl keeps grabbing my butt so I bounce early. Saturday, wrestled. That’s a whole entry on it’s own. Then I go to my cousin’s wedding. Could do without everyone asking me when I’m getting married.

Orbit around Heartgirl all weekend; more misunderstandings between us. We’re supposed to meet up but something comes up so she bails. Thing is, I’m slightly glad we didn’t meet up cause who she is in my head might not be who she is at all.

Then again, I’m not the man they think I am at home.

Her: Hey…what are you doing up?

Me: I’m always up. I’m at 6th & A, heading home. Look…I’m calling to say that I’m sorry.

Her: Thanks. (pause) I’m really glad you called. I’m really glad.

That’s WM the night before. Heartgirl wanted to watch the Eurocup so I arranged it for a friend of mine to show it at her bar. Since Heartgirl didn’t come, WM came and we caught the game. And talked about our many regrets.

Paul, WM and I’re great at parties. Cause the people that’re really great at parties are the ones that just wanna forget the awful things.

Value vs. Price

There’s a difference between Value and Price

 

Her: Do you like girls, Logan?
Me: (laughing) Why do you care?

Thursday, soak in HEI’s eyes over coffee and homemade yoghurt; again on Sunday over yellow rice and black beans.

Friday, I’m supposed to meet with the girl from last week but was stuck up round Spring Valley so we reschedule for the following week. On the way down to Hoboken, a client slips her number into my shirt pocket. I don’t keep it. There aren’t enough hours in a day.

3AM, Saturday morning, I’m sitting on a Gramercy stoop with a girlie who’s, quite literally, crying on my shoulder.

You know the difference between value and price? Price is whatever you say something is; the price of a glass of Cruzan Single Barrel Aged Rum is about $14 in the big city just because that’s what the pretty bartender says. Sometimes, if I smile just right at her, it’s $11. That’s just the price.

The value of a glass of Cruzan Single Barrel Aged Rum after a long summer day is…well, a lot more than $14. I tell the girl on the stoop to stop crying cause she’s confusing the two; someday, someone’ll see all she’s worth. Then I tell her about my two rules, say goodnight and take the long walk home.

3AM, Sunday, see Heartgirl in the sweltering heat of NYC and I also tell her about my two rules over a candlelit table. She looks at me, takes my face in her hands and pulls me into her green eyes.

Her: (whispering sweetly) Oh Logan…you’re so…dumb.

 

That sounds about right. We both laugh. I hail her a cab on 2nd Avenue and she’s gone in two lights.

I check my phone, delete a few things and take the long walk home again. There aren’t enough hours in a day.

Location: 20:00 yest, cooling in the cellar
Mood: so…freaking…hot
Music: Strolling the street we’re strangely complete

You heart me

Location: 1993 in my head
Mood: melancholy
Music: It’s a little bit funny


Her
: I think you (draws a heart in the air) me. (laughs) Why does our meeting have to mean something? Can’t it just be we met and I just had too much to drink?

Me: Because I want so bad for it to mean something. That’s why you can’t be the girl.

———-

Friday, meet up with WM and Paolo for a party at Duvet. Not my scene. We bounce and meet up with Elle and company for some rum and beer at Reservoir. Meet a girlie who thinks I look too young. I tell her I’m not.

On the subway going up, I bump into three lovely young German women, smile and say, Hallo, habe ich ein Witz fuer euch – ein Typ…usw, usw, usw…

Saturday, see the girl that I thought was the Ship in the Night Girl who says the above. We chat from midnight to four again before I put her in a cab and take the long walk home, just for old times sake. Walking home I think of something: this girl has green eyes. The SING had green eyes. I think. You see I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue.

Sunday, meet up with Rain downtown to do a month’s worth of laundry. He makes me stand on a plank of wood he’s cutting with a powersaw as my whites hit the rinse cycle. Later that night, attend Cappy’s wedding an upscale midtown Greek restaurant. I see friends I’ve not seen in 15 years. They ask me how I am and I lie and say I’m fine.

Outside, take a picture of the attractive hostess who looks up at the sky and tell her that I won’t take her number but I’ll give her mine. She smiles and says that very gentlemanly. It’s my turn to laugh as I hand her my card. Of course, she’s 21, but not, however, a pescatarian.

———-

Her: I think you want the drama. You like the drama.

Me: I really, really, do not.

Her: What if it did mean something? But not what you were hoping. What if we did connect, but as friends?

Me: (laugh, lean into her ear) I think you heart me.

Her: (leans into my ear) That’s my line. You can’t take my line.

Me: I just did.

9 to 6 or 6 to 9 / 25 or 6 to 4

I’m on the wrong side of 6AM when I stick my key in my door and turn to unlock it. I’m wondering what happened this weekend.

Half-an-hour earlier, I’m walking alone in the snow to the West Side Highway to catch a cab home.

An hour earlier, I’m in Guest House with Gio and Paul both gaming the same hottie. Drama. I’m too old for drama. As usual Gio floated us in and gets us a table with a bottle of vodka. Not my poison but it’s comped so I take it. I chat up a group of lovely Irish actresses and girl from Kentucky that’s a great dancer.

Two hours earlier, I’m in Sway being told by a girlie from Holland that I should meet her again in the hidden club at the Village. Nah.

Four hours earlier, I’m with “Clara” celebrating her birthday at Sugar. I tell her to text all my friends: Logan’s all up in my grill – where are you guys? thinking they’ll come save her. Nope.

Six hours earlier, I run into an old ghost from my club days. I tell him I’m a Christian and don’t run hustle or sweatboxes any more. I don’t think he believed me. He woulda never had believed I got grifted.

Seven hours earlier, I’m speaking crappy German and Chinese to Benlbr at The Back Room where John McEnroe slipped past me. Ben and I are on our own tight schedules but it’s good to meet up.

Eight hours earlier, I’m stepping into Bar 151 with Paul to see Kung, the Grey-Eyed Girl and Randi. Two girls smile at me but I demur to saying hello. I’m on a schedule.

I’m on the wrong side of 9PM when I stick my key in my door and turn to lock it. I’m wondering what’ll happen this weekend.

Location: two hours ago, having dinner on Columbus
Mood: restless
Music: Searching for something to say; Waiting for the break of day

Cornell

Location: guess
Mood: nostalgic
Music: I feel like I just got home and I feel like…I’m home

Click the music link because you can download the song for free. You’ll thank me later.

———-

I’m in Cornell right now; was working in the library until just before. Spent the day running about causa work. I followed my GPS to get here so it took me on a road I never took before. I was disappointed because I didn’t see it rise up like it always does.

I ate in the food hall and felt very, very old. Then I took a long walk to the main campus. The campus was pretty much completely empty because it was late and hella cold. It was weird because I was always out by myself late at night because of the insomnia so, on the one hand, it looked like it always did to me; on the other – they built this monstrosity in the middle of my campus.

Guess, you can’t go home again. More to tell but I’m sorting.

I really I don’t think I’m seeing the green-eyed Italian lawyer until March and I completely randomly thought of the curly-haired girl today because she went to school near here. But I’m seeing L tonight for dinner if I can make it back in time. I’ve not seen her in months either.

My timing’s never right but the Venn Diagrams I draw make up for it somewhat.