Last night I noticed my twitter newsfeed was blowing up with #bostonblackout, which led me to discover all the news about the transformer at the Hilton blowing up and causing a massive power outage in Back Bay. Even though it was almost midnight when I found out, there was only one thing I knew I had to do: grab my digital cameras, hop on my bicycle, and ride around Boston to experience and document the blackout myself. Especially since it looks like power will be completely restored by tonight; biking in a blackout Boston might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I ended up right by the Hilton where the transformer fire started and asked a Policeman about it, who was very happy to see I was exploring around by bike and even gave me a fist pump farewell:
I ended up making new friends with some other bicyclists who also biked into Boston to explore what it’d be like to bike in a completely dark Newbury St:
Where we cheered on other bikers also biking down a completely dark Newbury St.
We rode all over the city, and discovered how strange it felt to bike from a completely lit Beacon St. into one that was completely dark except for the occasional headlights:
Last night was one of the most awesome bike rides I’ve ever been on. I’ll have more to add to this story soon, including more videos, but in the meantime, feel free to checkout the entire Flickr photoset here and keep posted on my Youtube channel.
A few things I noticed while biking: It felt strange for the brightest lights in the city to be the constant flashing of Police Cruiser lights. On the other hand, they were also strangely comforting. The streets were very quiet, and even in the darkest streets, there were a fair number of people walking around, hanging out, and enjoying themselves. We ran into a lot of bicyclists, and even a few other groups of people biking. Cars seemed to be much more cautious towards us, especially taxi cabs, who were not only going slow, they were cautiously approaching intersections and yielding to us bicyclists everywhere.
Oh, and happy Pi Day!