New York City has recovered from a mass blackout Saturday night. The power outage hit mostly midtown and the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The other boroughs were not affected.
The worst news from Saturday night was the cancellation of a J-Lo concert at Madison Square Garden, and the interruption of Broadway performances. Mostly, New York’s citizens just sucked it up and directed traffic, while life in the dark went on.
New Yorkers have a way of making the best of things, and any opportunity for a party or a performance cannot be refused.
And then it was over and power came back, beginning around 10pm.
Contrast this with 1977, when on the same day, a blackout lasted 25 hours instead of just three to six hours. In one day 42 years ago, nearly 3,000 people were arrested for looting and vandalism. According to a government study cited by CNN, 436 police officers were injured, around 2,000 properties were damaged, and two people died.
In 1977, NYC’s population was 17,924,000 and declining in a sea of crime and decay. The city was at its peak of urban blight: 942,057 property crimes, 149,087 violent crimes, 1,919 murders, 5,272 rapes, 84,703 robberies. Times Square was a sewer of peep shows and porn shops.
In 2018, serious crimes were at a historic low of 95,509, with 289 murders. Times Square is a crowded tourist mecca of commerce, NYC weirdness and Disney marketing. But it is safe. In 2016, the population estimate is 19,745.289.
A combination of technology advances, aggressive law enforcement, and 20 years from 1994 to 2013 without Democrats in Gracie Mansion, has transformed the Big Apple into a better place.
It’s fairly obvious that New York City is a more livable place today than 42 years ago, and contrasting the two blackouts is a stark reminder that the world is in fact not ending, society is not breaking down, and life is in fact much better today than 46 years ago, when a brash 27-year-old Donald J. Trump prowled the streets in a chauffeured silver Cadillac Fleetwood with vanity plate “DJT.”
I’d say that’s a cause for gratitude.