The Power of New York

Everybody I've seen all day is tired. They slept on the steps of Penn Station, or on the floors of the studios here.

They haven't had warm showers. They have had spotty cellular phone service. They've been eating pizza for 24 hours.

Sometimes, they are a little cranky.

But what can you expect?

A few million people walked off the island of Manhattan yesterday, or walked to the Hudson River and waited hours and hours for a ride on a ferry boat.

Visitors spent the night on the sidewalks in front of their hotels while their $300-a-night rooms sat empty... no air conditioning, and most with no way to get in because key systems now require power.

But when I walked to work this morning, I found the power in New York was on above 42nd Street. The lower half of the island is still without power, and anybody with lights is using a generator.

On the other hand, I noticed visitors around noontime had evidently gotten into their hotel rooms and taken showers — all cleaned up, back to being tourists in New York City.

We saw some amazing pictures from Thursday — tens of thousands of people streaming off the island in giant crowds, and huge assemblies of people waiting for ferries in crowds so large it looked like Mick Jagger must be giving a concert.

It was terrible that this happened, but there was some good news in all of it.

People who are civilized have taken over New York. The city did not turn into Baghdad when the power went out. The Iraqis are snickering at us over this problem, but they might notice that when the electricity went out to 15 million people, not one single RPG was shot at a cop.

Obviously, the Iraqis have a ways to go to catch up.

What do you think? We'd like to hear from you, so send us your comments at Some of your emails will be featured on the air or on our site.

Looking for previous My Word columns?
  Click here!