So, on Thursday afternoon I had lunch and then left, heading east on the Turnpike.
It was an uneventful ride, really, though at one point I switched from empeg to radio and got like one station. Didn't quite click what was going on.
I stopped at the Highspire service plaza to get gas (just east of Harrisburg) and got a call while I was pumping. I called back afterward, and it was my contact that I normally see in New York. "Do you know where you're staying tonight?" "I assume in the hotel I booked. Um. Why? Is something wrong?"
He explained New York was lacking in the power department, as was a large chunk of the northeast and midwest. Ok...
So, the next day I checked the computer before leaving the hotel in Trenton. Amtrak was running. So I went to the station, and though my train was 20 minutes late, I got on and headed to Manhattan.
Ridership was light, but not extremely. We got to Penn Station probably about 25 minutes late, and I got out and walked up the escalator. Tellingly, it was off. Upstairs, so were all but emergency lights, and a lot of people were sleeping on floors, or sitting around, and it was very warm inside. No train service north to Boston, and none expected until at least noon. Guess they wanted to go north, and couldn't.
So I walked out onto 8th Avenue by 34th St, and of course, no subway, so I walked up 8th to 48th St, and over to 7th. No power on 8th. Port Authority Bus Terminal (which I never wanted to see again) was quiet. Some buses were boarding across the street. When I crossed over to 7th, Broadway and 7th both had power. The walk up 8th revealed a lot of businesses closed, some open with no power and working anyway, people milling about the streets, some asleep along the streets, and the smell of human filth occasionally in the air. I guess people had nowhere else to "go".
So I got to the building on 7th Avenue. It had power, but we weren't allowed in.
Someone else I knew found me and took me back to Broadway, and we waited in a computer lab in his old building. That building was on a generator until 12:15, when it went back on the grid. At 2:20 or so, I left. They were about to be let into the other building, finally, to start powering on network equipment, but there was nothing for me to do. I walked back to Penn, and got on the first train out. It turned out to be a New Jersey Transit Trenton Express, which worked ok. I got back to Trenton a bit before 4. No fare was collected.
So I made it back out of New York. Too bad I wanted to end up in Boston. Amtrak, however, apparently still had no power north of Penn. So I got in the car and headed north.
New Jersey Turnpike sucked as I got close to the Garden State Parkway. I almost got rear-ended. Then I got on the Garden State, and it slowed to a stop. We crawled past Newark. I hope to never need to use it again. From there, smooth sailing to Boston via I-287 (including the Tappan Zee Bridge, my first trip over it), I-684, I-84, and Mass Pike. I hate driving through Connecticut, but when you're coming from southern Jersey...
I made it late to kcr's unbirthday, then goofed off until late. The next day we went to a pool party at obra's family's place, where, not surprisingly, I swam. I also chatted with a bunch of the usual suspects, and met a few new ones. zacheiss and I made a late trip to IHOP. Sunday, he and I went to Cheesecake Factory, and I headed home.
The ride home was long. Something I ate disagreed with me, there were 2 accidents on I-84, and it rained about half the trip through Connecticut. I came back the same way across the Tappan Zee, then stayed on I-287 to I-80, I-80 to US-220, I-99, US-22 and home. I went to bed at 5:15am Monday. Ow.
This week I had several things break at work due to load from returning students, my hamster Butterscotch died, and I moved into an inferior office. I'd like to find someone to pummel, but I suppose no such luck.
I want a huge Cartman for my office door. I was thinking he could say "I hate you guys", but mizmoose suggested "Screw you guys, I'm going home.", which is probably also fitting.