Monday, July 17, 2017

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York.

Hot weather settled in here in the past week, and along with the humidity, some other challenges occurred in my neighborhood.


Last Thursday afternoon, as I was washing my brushes after some hours of working on my current painting, I noticed that the electric lights were flickering and that my fan's rotating blades were slowing down.  

I suspected an electrical "brown out" which sometimes is put into place by Consolidated Edison, the electrical utility, to protect the electrical grid from an actual brownout. I clicked on a local TV station's 5 o'clock news and learned that some vast thunderstorms were in nearby areas, but would probably pass the City by.  No mention of a brownout.

I switched out the TV, shut down my computer, and then the lights went out and my fan stopped.

As sunset was still come hours away, I decided that I'd better fix a  quick pasta supper in my tiny kitchen, making use of my gas stove and my two flashlights and that's what I did.

Next on the pre-sundown agenda was to walk downstairs to see what was going on at street level.  The elevators were shut down, but dimmed lighting was still on in the hallways and stairwells.  I wanted to also buy some additional "D" batteries for my large flashlight.

It was when I reached the lobby that I discovered that my half of the block was roped off to any vehicular traffic and that many (perhaps over a hundred) folks from the City Fire Department, Police Department and Con Edison were hard at work putting out a very smoky fire that had been caused by underground electrical explosions.  It was an amazing sight to see what was happening at the Broadway corner.  Even the subway station and trains were affected.

I walked in the opposite direction to find a shop and buy my batteries, then came home, chatted awhile with fellow tenants and apartment building staff and even a few firemen, then walked up the stairs to my apartment, had a wash, and went to bed.

The fire was put out overnight and massive Con Edison work has since continued to restore electricity and repair and replace damaged equipment.


These are just a few photographs from my front window showing a bit of the work and equipment.


In the photo below, you might be able to make out the giant elevated "vacuum cleaner" that was being lowered into the man hole in order to draw out all sorts of trouble-making debris.  While this was going on, other Con Edison workers were using hoses to flush out the area.  This process was being repeated all along the block.


I'm glad to report that my apartment's electrical power was restored by 10 on Friday morning.  Other large building residents and businesses in the immediate area were not so fortunate, and had to rely on generators provided by the city.  This was, and still is, a huge repair job.  It is amazing to see how many stages are involved.  I truly admire the workers' skill and dedication.  


I wanted to take more photos, but did not want to get in the way of the amazing teams of workers.

I have returned to working on my current "rescued" painting that I abandoned about 25 years ago.  I am thoroughly enjoying this process.


It's also grand to have my trusty little fan back in service.

Thank you all for your visits and comments.  I have been continuing to post more regularly over on by Instagram page which may be found here.  Now it is time for me to return to work on that painting.  It's almost, but not quite, done.

41 comments:

  1. That must have been something else, with the whole crew trying to make things right. At least you are safe and well. Warm greetings to you and best wishes!

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    1. Good afternoon and many thanks for your visit and comment. Yes! That hot night in the city when the explosion happened was crazy...what's now remarkable is how involved the aftermath repairs are. xo

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  2. Your city services are extremely efficient. You were lucky to get your power back quickly. So interesting to hear how you fared and compare it to our municipal catastrophes!
    I do love your paintings!

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment. Everyone involved in the recovery really do deserve lots and lots of applause. I am so glad you like the paintings. xo

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  3. Frances, your painting is amazin?g especially the cup which is such a perfect piece of work.
    Electrical fires are scary aren't they?
    You must have heard of our recent one here at Grenfell Tower. I don't suppose they will ever know exactly how many people died - the number stands at eighty for now.

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    1. Weaver, it's grand to see your comment. I know I am well overdue in visiting your posts and wish you well.
      Yes, I am aware of the horror of the Grenfell fire. Fire definitely is very scary...I was a bit hesitant to post this report, but thought that it would be good to do as a tribute to the rescue/repair teams. xo

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  4. So glad it wasn't anything more serious, though it was obviously an important work.
    How pretty your teacup is.

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    1. Yes, Elizabeth, it could have been worse, but it was great that no injuries resulted, even though over 600 homes and many businesses were affected...that's probably = to thousands of people.
      I am so glad you like the teacup. xo

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  5. That pearl-essence on the inner surface of the cup is amazing! Beautiful work. Glad you are safe and back to normal.

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    1. Oh Wilma, thank you so much...if you do click on the link to my IG page, you will be able to see lots more of my paintings, some also recently rescued, some left untouched from way back when.
      Yes...it's grand to have electricity! Promising to visit your site soon. Best wishes! xo

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  6. I think a very old word for your painting is 'fetching." The blue attracts the eye at once. I do hope you consider it a success.

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    1. Joanne, I like the word fetching very much. Many thanks! I'm still working on the painting...almost there. xo

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  7. It is good to hear positive news from you that life goes on as usual and repairs and hard working men have not changed in recent months and still do their jobs.

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    1. I thought it would be fun to show folks how the city responds when something goes very wrong. I liked being able to say, "Thank you," in person to many of the men who are getting everything back to normal. (I am now very behind on my blog visiting...see you over at your place soon.) xo

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  8. So happy to hear you are fine and the fire did not come up your building. Very thankful for that.
    Your painting is beautiful and I also love the word fetching Joanne used.
    I have been overwhelmed by the heat and fires in Tucson. Have felt very exhausted and have been quiet. Then if there was not enough to catch up on
    the Scotty puppy that I was on the list for arrived.
    So I now am raising a puppy after 15 years ! ! !So I am very distracted.

    cheers, parsnip. thehamish and fergus

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    1. Parsnip, thanks so much for your visit and meesage...I will have to head over to your place to learn more about young fergus. xo to you and the hamish

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  9. Hello Frances. Miss you. That would definitely be scary in the city. I love that your apartment is down low where you can see what is happening. I don't think I'd like living in a high rise. Your painting is beautiful and I'm sure you'll know the minute it is done. Stay cool. The heat is on this week here.

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    1. Thanks so much for those kind words, Donna. It's funny that this is the third time that I have lived on the fourth floor of a building...good to be able to use the stairs! (This building is actually 14 floors tall.) xo

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  10. That was quite the adventure Frances. I'm glad all is well and you can now return to your painting. Have fun! Chy

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    1. Thank you, Chy. Even though all is pretty much returned to normal for my building, there is still quite a lot of work still going on to finish the electrical repairs. It's hard work for the Con Ed teams in this hot weather!

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  11. Frances, what a lovely long reply to my post - I so enjoyed reading it and also reading how you occupy your time. I think we have to learn how to fill our time pleasurably and usefully. We all have differing needs - mine is for friendship and luckily I seem to have plenty of that.

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    1. Weaver, I think you know how much I love your posts. I'm pretty sure that if we lived closer we would regularly be getting together for lunch, just like our mutual friend Elizabeth and I do! xo

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  12. I'm pleased your power was restored the next morning. In the depths of very cold winter we once had a 4 day power cut and hope not to have to endure that again!
    Your paintings are progressing wonderfully. I wonder if you will exhibit them somewhere one day?
    xx

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    1. I appreciate your comment so much, Celia. Every now and then it's an eye-opening experience to go without electricity for a Short Time. And so grand to welcome the power's return!
      The last times I exhibited any of my work was way back in the 1980s, and so it is quite pleasant now to be able to do some sharing here and on IG. xo

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  13. Hi Frances, unfortunately the painting on your blog here is the only example of what you are painting that I can see, I have no need to subscribe to IG as well. I so wish that I had a talent such as that, that I could re-discover after many years but the cupboard is bare I'm afraid. I so agree with Wilma about the pearl-essence on the inside of the cup, that's amazing.

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    1. Derek, thanks so much for your comment. I think that if you click on the IG link in this blog post, you will be able to see my IG page...even though you would not be able to leave a comment there. (I used to visit friends' IG pages long before I ever joined myself.) Hoping the link will work for you.
      It's grand to know that Wilma is blogging again. I have lots of blog pals to visit...I am way behind. xo

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  14. By the way Frances, have you noticed that Wilma is back blogging again.

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  15. I love how calmly you dealt with the loss of power. And I also love that little painting -- such a beauty!

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    1. Thanks so much, Vicki. After 9/11, this recent explosion and follow up seems easy. That doesn't mean that we don't appreciate the amazing efforts that continue to restore our neighborhood to normal...or even better!

      Promise to visit you place soon. xo

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  16. It sounds like you have some very skilled and dedicated utility workers to thank for a job very well done!+ I'm glad it was all resolved so quickly.

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    1. Pondside, it's grand to see this comment from you! One of the benefits of living in NYC is knowing that we, collectively, do know how to deal with emergencies. We learned a lot from 9/11.

      I need to visit your site and find out what is happening on the west coast. xo

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  17. We've had similar issues here in Toronto - mainly caused by all the rain we've had flooding the underground vaults - especially in the downtown area. Smoke starts to come out of the manhole covers and more than a few of them have then flown off - caused by an explosion. It's been a miracle that no one at street level has been injured! A power outage follows but luckily they've been quite localized. One of the downtown bank towers had to be evacuated and has been out of commission for a few weeks.
    The normal humidity here hasn't been as bad this summer but it has been grey and wet a lot of the time, which has been disappointing. Today however was gorgeous so a friend and I took advantage and spent the afternoon wandering around High Park and treating ourselves to an ice-cream.
    I love your painting - so colourful - just a delight, you are so talented in so many different areas!
    I'm always interested in how and where people live - would you ever consider giving us a wee tour of your apt. or at least talking a bit about it?

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    1. Margie, what you describe about the steam and then the flying off of the manhood covers is exactly what happened here. Yes...rather a miracle that no one was hurt.
      Your High Park stroll, with ice cream, sounds great. Thanks so much for the kind words about the painting...I've done a bit more work on it, and think that it's now close to being finished.
      I am laughing at the notion of showing any photos of my apartment. It is a tiny place that is quite filled with stuff...the accumulation of my life. Its tall ceilings are its saving grace...and it is in a great location. xo

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  18. Thank goodness you are safe and well and that the fire was contained. Three cheers for the skilled workers who restored power so quickly. Cx

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    1. Yes Chris, the entire situation could have been so, so much worse. The repairs continue along the street. Early this morning...around 2:30 until about 6 (True!) there was lots of noisy work underway. That way, the street might be re-opened to vehicular traffic for commuting rush hours. I will definitely be needing a nap later! xo

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  19. Oh dear! I´m so happy that all is well with you Frances...
    Love from Titti

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    1. Thanks Titti....sorry to be late in seeing your comment. xo

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  20. Gosh, I'm just catching up here having read your next post before this one. So pleased it is all being fixed!

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    1. Gina, the repair work continues...really noisy...began this morning at 5. Sometimes it seems as if the building is shaking. I keep reminding myself that it's in a worthy cause! xo

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    1. Thank you...it's sort of fascinating to see what is involved in the layers of repair work.

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