Today marks the third anniversary of the 2003 North American Blackout — the biggest power outage in North American history. I was working in Manhattan at the time at the Radio City Music Hall building. I remember sitting at my desk working on the computer when the flourescent lights dimmed. The computer monitor flickered but came back on thanks to our building’s back up generators. It took us a while to figure out what was going on. We were finally hearded to the stairwells where we marched 12 flights down to 51st and 6th. I think I had five dollars to my name. Payday was on the 15th but what good is payday when you can’t access the cash out of a bank or ATM? Although I was living in the north part of Manhattan at the time, up in Washington Heights, I decided to go with a group of co-workers who were walking to Brooklyn with promises of food and beer. The streets of NYC were packed with people, shoulder to shoulder. I couldn’t believe there weren’t more violent incidents. We ended up at a guy’s house who lived near the Gowanus. We got pretty skitzed on booze, pills and frozen pizzas we wrapped in foil and melted over a charcoal fire on his patio. That is, until the guy’s roomates came home and kicked us out. I don’t remember if we did much more that night. It was hot and I was drunk and feeling loose thanks to a muscle relaxant I had taken. I walked with my pal Chris M. to his apartment across from the Brooklyn Museum (an apartment that I would eventually move into a couple of years later) and slept on his futon. The next morning we awoke and made our way to Park Slope where the electricity was miraculously back on. After a horrible Mexican lunch I grabbed a couple of peaches from a fruit stand and started out for Wash Hgts. I walked for six hours. At one point, I found a working ATM (the electricity in the city was spotty, varying from neighborhood to neighborhood) and took out a hundred bucks. I remember offering the money to a cab driver to drive me home. He refused. I threw one of the peaches at him. I was tired and my feet were literally bleeding after walking so long in the heat. There were no subways running and the only hope one had to get uptown was to crowd onto a bus. That seemed impossible until I got to Central Park. I finally gave up and jumped on. It was SRO but I made it home. My pad’s electricity was on and the A/C was running. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more relieved.