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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Power Blackout: People's Stories

Aired August 15, 2003 - 19:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was down at Pier 23 auditioning for "Law and Order," and I was doing the scene, and I said the last line of the scene I was supposed to be doing. All of a sudden, the lights all went out. And I was, like, whoa. I looked at the director and I said, See how powerful my performance was?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, people all across New York have found their own ways to pass the time during the blackout. And they all have their own stories.

Jason Bellini has some of them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One more step, maybe, anybody?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can't go no further here.

JASON BELLINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Push came to shove, and today we saw two different types of New York attitudes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make some way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax, guy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, they've been waiting a long time already.

BELLINI: Those who enjoyed the break from a regular workaday Friday...

(on camera): Are you having fun?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Basically, I am, yes. I'm having fun, but I'm going to be tired too.

BELLINI (voice-over): ... and those experiencing the blackout as a colossal inconvenience.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had to go just get my paycheck and leave, even though I might not able to cash it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BELLINI: But today, neighborhoods like Chinatown felt like neighborhoods, absent cars, tourists, and somewhere to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It feels like a holiday where everybody's just out in the street.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, they're enjoying it. They love it. There are plenty of places to skate.

BELLINI: People lounging in the sun in Tomkins Square Park found it a different, undefinable kind of holiday.

(on camera): Is this better than a Saturday, or different?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. It's different. I never see this (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BELLINI (voice-over): But then you meet East Villagers like Dina Spavina (ph) and Justin Pollan (ph), for whom the charm of no power was wearing thin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today, everyone's just going to get so much more annoyed with it, because things -- like, there's food running out.

BELLINI: Sick of it or not, New Yorkers find ways to cope. My cab driver today brought along his bull terrier to get him out of the heat, share a tangerine, and enjoy a little Jimi Hendrix. Their attitude, different is good -- today.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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