back to the Black Table

The lights went yellow and flickered. Then they went out for the next day-and-a-half. From 4:11 p.m. on Thursday until 9:09 p.m. on Friday night, The Black Table had no power and could not publish. (We'll be back Monday with Aileen Gallagher's Weekly Rundown and Will Leitch's Life as a Loser -- Amy Blair's Week in Craig will run on Tuesday.) Instead, we ate potato chips, drank three bottles of red wine, finished off the rum, made lots of mac and cheese and sweated in the billion-degree heat. We also took some pictures for the scrap book.


The Blackout came and the entire world headed south down the Bowery, towards the bridges and tunnels that would take them home. Pedestrians crowded the street, some scared, pushing themselves home on shoes ill-suited for a trek home. It was hot. It was very hot.

Without power, the street lights didn't work and cars jammed together to get home. People racked up huge fares in cabs, mired in traffic that wouldn't move for hours. Cars overheated and ran out of gas, making matters worse. And then night fell.

And the entire world as we knew it, had fundamentally changed. There was no power anywhere. In the dark, everyone sweated together peacefully and waited for the lights to come back on. It was an awesome and humbling thing to hear the audible hum of New York City silenced.

And then the power came back ... Almost. Inwood had power. Queens had power. Times Square got power. Then the Empire State Building. All the way until 80% of the city had power, but not the Bowery. Not the Black Table. The Empire State Building mocked us. The Chrysler building gleamed like a beacon from the future. And then, when the power finally flicked on, the Bowery screamed "Hooray," and a billion radios hailed the brightened dusk.