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NauenThen

The old days (blackout of '77)

Maggie gave me the idea to write about the old days in the neighborhood so I'll see what I can remember. Early last summer, when the city was shut down, it felt a little like it did in the late 70s when I moved to NY. There wasn't anything to do, because I had no money to do anything & all I wanted to do was hang with the poets. We had all the time in the world, or so it seemed. I had a job as a messenger for Enroute, a gay-run messenger service. One hot July day, my first summer here, I had to drop off a truck (although I was almost exclusively a foot messenger) way on the West Side then walk back in the swelter to the subway. I got home exhausted, & went to sleep before dark. I woke up the next morning to no electricity & called a friend (because landlines didn't depend on electricity, which is why I kept mine till a couple years ago) to complain. He laughed & held the phone up to a transistor radio. And that's how I learned about the big blackout of 1977. I regret that missed seeing New York without lights. It was a fun day with no work, no movies, just rambling around running into people. My entire 20s seems now like a blackout. 

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