Time lapse video of the 2019 blackout by @nyc_timescape

42 years ago, on July 13th, 1977 a major multi-day blackout began. This past Saturday, as if on cue on the anniversary, power went out in Midtown Manhattan and the West Side of Manhattan at 6:47 PM. Unlike in 1977 which led to looting and violence, a reinforcement of the fear-mongering going on in a bankrupt city, much of Manhattan seemed to relish the three-hour break from the usual patterns of the City that Never Sleeps. Though someone like Marie Carter, a New York City writer and tour guide (and member of our community of Untapped Cities Insiders) could not believe her own “luck”: “The odds of winning HAMILTON lottery tickets are 1 in 400, but what are the odds of winning on the night of a major blackout in midtown and the show is canceled?” she posted on Facebook.

Meanwhile, others were capturing the rare beauty of a New York City without lights. One of those folks was Joseph DiGiovanna, who runs the Instagram account @nyc_timescape. A photographer, cinematographer and composer, DiGiovanna has made it his mission to capture and film the sunrise over New York City for at least 30 years. For the last four years, he has been taking a photo of the skyline from New Jersey every 30 seconds and last week made it to 4 million images. He tells us, “When I heard about the blackout I went right to the TimeLapse computer to see what was being captured.” He writes on a longer video, “It was still very light outside when the blackout started so here is my TimeLapse from sunset until all the buildings had power restored.”

See more videos from@nyc_timescape on Instagram. Next, check out an exclusive clip from the PBS documentary, “Blackout” about the 1977 blackout.

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