Early Saturday evening, when Manhattan is already brimming with tourists and New Yorkers enjoying the peak of a summer weekend, a blackout hit the city.
Mandatory building evacuations forced hundreds of people onto the street. People had to walk out of Carnegie Hall, Broadway musicals, even a Jennifer Lopez concert.
Then, while the sun set, music began.
I guess this is what they call a New York moment. After being trapped on the F for an hour because of the power outage I emerged to see dark restaurants & traffic lights, civilians directing traffic, & an evacuated Carnegie Hall concert happening in the street. #nyc #Blackout pic.twitter.com/3p9UWtRrel
— Briallen Hopper (@briallenhopper) July 14, 2019
The Millenial Choirs and Orchestra was scheduled to play at Carnegie Hall. In the wake of the blackout, they continued their show and captured an audience outside of the theater.
The cast of “Waitress: A New Musical” also kept an audience’s attention, singing to passersby outside.
— Dave Quinn (@NineDaves) July 14, 2019
The “Hadestown” cast brought out a trombone and sang about the blackout, prompting people to dance on the streets.
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) July 14, 2019
“Rock of Ages” whipped out a classic.
— Michael Mahany (@MichaelMahany) July 14, 2019
And the cast of “Frozen” sang into the night.
— Patti Murin (@PattiMurin) July 14, 2019
The blackout may have prompted brief moments of joy and camaraderie, but obviously it wasn’t fun for everyone.
It outage impacted more than 40,000 customers in the city, shutting off street lights and causing major traffic snarls. It also stalled elevators and subway cars.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), who was campaigning for president in Iowa, said he believed a mechanical issue caused the problem.
Con Edison reported that power would be restored to most of Manhattan by midnight.
See what New York’s Great Summer Blackout of 2019 looked like from the streets and above.
A photo from the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art shows the line where the #blackout begins in NYC. (📷: @RyanFieldABC) We have live coverage here: https://t.co/kqpvL0H3pa pic.twitter.com/eM4A75UtgH
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) July 14, 2019
Here is another clip! My name is Ken Richardson, and I’m a member of the Millennial Choir! You may use this clip in anyway you would like. pic.twitter.com/8B0XkVXm6w
— Ken Richardson (@kjjmbaa) July 14, 2019
upper west side in NY is currently experiencing major power outage, including the Carnegie Hall. Performers were evacuated outside of the building but they continued their performance. #blackout #NYC pic.twitter.com/pPa0iE7MOT
— PG MarlinPie @ NYC (@MarlinPie) July 14, 2019
NYPD cops continue to pay special attention to all areas affected by the blackout in #Manhattan — keeping people safe as they do every day. Check in with neighbors, especially those who may need assistance. Follow @ConEdison for power info. #nycpoweroutage https://t.co/jfVVclSo8T pic.twitter.com/SLbIK2B4IC
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) July 14, 2019
Now this is what turning lemons into lemonade is all about! We can hear singing from the streets below…the entire @carnegiehall choir including conductor are putting on an impromptu concert by singing outside during the blackout! #NYCBlackout #BeautifulSoundsDuringBlackout pic.twitter.com/ll5ocnGYvc
— Caryn Ross (@SuperSassyMama) July 14, 2019
The West Side of Manhattan at the moment. pic.twitter.com/KsJw2O8ex2
— Zach Haberman (@ZHaberman) July 14, 2019
— Amy Blasenstein (@aimers0608) July 14, 2019
After many hours of complete darkness though, when the light finally came, the reaction to it was the most overwhelming. Streets were filled with cheers from the New Yorkers and the videos are setting social media on fire.’
— Jason Mante (@jasonmante) July 14, 2019
— Quentin Alexandre (@qa_alexandre) July 14, 2019
— Gizem Vural 💗💜💙 (@gizemvdrawing) July 14, 2019
The outage happened on the anniversary of the 1977 New York City outage that left most of the city without power 42 years ago.