That One Time SF Went Dark: Where Our Editors Were

Photography by Andrew Collins

Photography by Andrew Collins

Remember that one day SF had no power? Our editor's do. Here's a recap of what, where, and how it happened through their eyes.

From one of our Editorial Assistants:

I was scheduled to work at my part time job in the Marina last Friday when we had the city-wide blackout.

I was actually running late to work to begin with, but ended up being even later—when I was realized none of the stop lights on Lombard St. were working.

When I got to Union Street, someone who works on corporate was waiting outside the store, and I thought I was going to get scolded for being late, but, really, she was just there to tell me there was absolutely no power. Ironically, I work at a store that sells tea lights. I had really no excuse to take the day off, especially considering the fact that the manager of our Seattle store was coming in for a visit. So...there I sat, in the dark, surrounded by candles, for five-hours waiting for the power to come on. It never did so I left as soon as the closing shift came in, only to find out it came on fifteen minutes after I left.

From Our Editor-in-Chief:

The day consisted of riding the perimeter of the black-out, a 22 to the Dogpatch, where the power outage didn't reach. As SF was caught in a blood bath of no signals or running appliances—I was riding ambivalent to the chaos around me, blissfully unaware to the carnage outside, I wrote stories, scheduled posts, and made the rounds on social media. As the stories came through of "no power in downtown," I scratched my head with my monitors running without worry. As people were hitting 10% on their batteries, I was charging my laptop whilst heading out the door. By the time I boarded the 9R, however, all my favorite café's were closed. "No power, no food, good luck out there," read the Mazarine coffee sign on Market Street. 

Though the power had closed my favorite spots, I did get a small break and "blamed" it on the power outage. All-in-all, thanks whoever hacked SF, LA, & NY. You forced me to break... In a relaxing way.

From our Managing Editor: 

I was nursing a lukewarm Diet Coke when I noticed my Macbook began running on battery-power—absent of the fact a plugged-in magsafe charger hung from its left side; the once green-glowing icon was suddenly void of any color. 

Much like the rest of the city: it was black.

It was at around time that time I looked up from my LCD screen and discovered my fellow patrons appeared equally perplexed, distraught even. Their faces, once well-collected and calm, became creased with curiosity. They, like myself, were baffled as to why the street lights were flashing with all manners and hues of bright red. Why car horns chorused up-and-down Market Street; why our smartphones had lost their café-connected Wifi signals simultaneously.

Above all: you know something’s not quite right when you have an entire room of otherwise hunched over twenty-somethings look up in near synchrony to peer through a street-facing window pane.

(And I, having lived under a perpetually gray cloud of bad luck for the past twenty-five-years, also came to the realization my car was in a parking garage—gated by an electrically operated pulley system. Thanks, universe.)

So, when I came to terms with the inescapable truth that my '08 Prius was, by circumstance, trapped behind a ten-foot by ten-foot metal barrier, I hastily packed-up my Macbook and scribbled legal pad to embark on an activity some might find trivial in the 21st century: go for a long, mindfully present, headphone-less walk.

Alas—a walk without any electro-pop melodies reverberating off my eardrums.

Another note for the universe: thanks for the impromptu digital detox.