I've mentioned that I teach on Monday nights. I generally get to the city at about 6:30PM which gives me enough time to park and grab a tea before class starts at 7:15PM. This week the time change meant that it was light for once when I got there and I snapped this picture (above) of the skyline, just to admire how pretty it was and that spring was on it's way.
Tuesday night I had also agreed to be a "critic" on a review. For those of you who didn't go to school for architecture, this means that the students have to hang up all of their work and present their projects to us "critics" so that we can criticize (or compliment, and hopefully constructively!). The traffic was awful and there were a bunch of police cars and roads closed which made getting to my favorite parking spot tough. I assumed there'd been some kind of accident because I could smell something burning, but when I finally did park and turn around I saw this giant black cloud of smoke.
It actually looked way more dramatic in person and it was billowing from pretty much exactly where I was headed. I thought for a minute about not going but sometimes these things can seem like a bigger deal from a distance so I figured I'd check it out.
There were police on the streets with bull horns but aside from that, and the suffocating smell of smoke, everything was pretty normal. I shuffled back and forth between two school buildings collecting my mail and finding which room I needed to be in. I was in the stair well when suddenly the lights went out. It was completely black for about thirty seconds before the generators kicked on and everything was dimly lit. The building was evacuated but as soon as we got onto the street the police told us to get back in the building because they were evacutating the street. The smoke was toxic and apparently transformers burning.
It was bizarre to see the city so dark. There were sirens and police talking but still it felt somehow quiet with the lights out.
monday night (left) and tuesday night with lights out (right)
I decided to make a dash for my car despite the street evacuation. I didn't like the thought of being trapped there all night. I'm glad I did because they were just closing the streets when I got to the car. I'm not the most confident driver so battling eight lanes of traffic with all the traffic lights out was definately an adventure! As soon as I crossed the bridge into Cambridge the lights were on and everything was back to normal (for me at least). Strange little Tuesday night.