The day that the city went dark…Posted: March 19, 2012
By Alicia Deily
Tuesday seemed to be like any other day, The evening, however, turned out to be anything but ordinary. I got out of work and was heading back into the city to meet a friend for dinner.The T driver announced that the train would not be stopping at Hynes, Copley, or Arlington. I was supposed to meet my friend at a restaurant at Arlington and was immediately confused and alarmed. This never happens. What could be going wrong? As we passed each station, they were eerily empty.
I emerged from Boylston station to find crowds of people on the sidewalks, walking where the T was not taking them. I could hear the wail of sirens and the roar of helicopters overhead. At this point I received several texts from my roommate, who works on Newbury, and my sister, who goes to Northeastern, telling me there was a fire near Back Bay station and asking if I was safe. I wondered how a fire could possibly cause all of this chaos. I had never seen the streets like this.
As I walked down Boylston further towards Arlington, I started to realize that the power was out in every building that I passed and the streetlights were completely dark. Residents and employees from apartments and businesses had been evacuated and were huddled outside the entrances. At the first intersection I passed, I noticed that even the traffic lights were out and cars were weaving around each other in an effort to get by. The skyline of Boston was dark…really dark. The only lights that could be seen were the bright lights of the helicopters, the blue and red of the sirens and the white of the Prudential sign hovering above it all.
By now, I was worried, really worried and began rushing and weaving through people to meet my friend. Thoughts rushed through my head about injuries, deaths, and possible attacks..I had no idea what to think. When I finally arrived at the restaurant, I saw him sitting on the lightless patio with a drink in hand as if nothing out of the ordinary was occurring on the streets. This helped me to regain a sense of calm.
When we went to try and pay the bill, the waiter said the credit card machine was down and that the drink was on the house. We walked away from the chaos towards the north end for dinner, leaving behind us a view of the city I had never seen…a completely dark one.
In the end no one was hurt, many people were left without power, but overall the situation was not nearly as bad as I had initially thought. I ended up having a delicious dinner and a good story to tell.