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City Lights

January 3, 2009


The day after Christmas we decided to go check out the light display at city hall. As we were leaving our building, the island-wide blackout hit, trapping us in the elevator between the 16th and 17th floors. Since our building has no back-up generator, we immediately found ourselves enveloped in hot darkness, sealed off from the outside world. You can sense the Hollywood potential already. Although it took us about half an hour to reach the elevator company’s emergency service line, we were able to reach the building manager fairly early on. If he didn’t know exactly how to handle the situation, at least he was nice enough to go floor by floor until he found us. Luckily in the course of our circular discussions, the woman who lives in the corner unit on the 16th floor came out and joined the conversation. It turns out she had been trapped in the elevator a couple years back, and told us to slide the door open from the inside and pop the lock on the outer door. Which we did, with surprising ease, jumping down to safety, and eluding an 18-hour stay in the box of death.

After the intensity of our first attempt at viewing the city lights, our second, successful attempt the following night was a little anticlimactic, but certainly more enjoyable. Highlights included the giant Hawaiian-style Santa (above), a Christmas tree and wreath exhibition inside the hall itself and an overpriced Christmas train ride. All in all, a good evening of family fun. Beats getting stuck in an elevator any given night.

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