Manhattan Blackout: 'New York Magazine' Cover Photo Captures The Terrifying Beauty Of Downtown In Darkness [PICTURE & VIDEO]

By Jacob Kleinman November 4, 2012 12:18 PM EST
manhattan blackout new york magazine cover ny mag picture photo video

Manhattan blackout photo appeared on the cover of NY Magazine this week. (Photo: New York Magazine)

Manhattan's blackout, which affected almost half of the island, finally came to an end this weekend, but not before New York Magazine could publish their latest issue, featuring a breathtaking picture of Manhattan divided between light and darkness.

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For almost a full week all of Manhattan below 39th street was without power and much of the area, temporarily renamed SoPo (South of Power), was also without cellular single. Other popular names for the Manhattan blackout zone included "Dark Zone" and "Little North Korea."

The amazing Manhattan blackout photo was taken by Dutch photographer Iwan Baan from the air South of Manhattan, capturing a sweeping view of an island divided into what some have taken to calling "A Tale of Two Cities."

Above 39th street the past week has been business as usual. Residents flooded the streets as soon as Hurricane Sandy had passed, filling cafes and restaurants while tourists had Times Square packed again within a day.

The lower half of Manhattan, however, was a different story. Businesses were boarded up, and the few bars and restaurants that stayed open were closed by sundown. Anyone with a place to go quickly headed North or East across the river to Brooklyn, either by foot or insanely expensive cab. Those downtown Manhattanites with nowhere to go stayed put, living by candlelight, huddling around random street corners in search of a faint cell single, and even dumpster diving for food.

Watch the Con Ed explosion that left half of Manhattan in darkness:

The huge disparity between uptown and downtown Manhattan post-Hurricane Sandy led Gawker to ask who would win a borough-wide civil war. The article included an imagined journal page written by an uptown Manhattan resident during the "impending" civil war:

"The station has been silent for 36 hours, and the fighters are restless and hungry, their faces drawn, their figures gaunt. We received word earlier that the troop in Herald Square was forced to fall back to 50th Street, overwhelmed by sheer numbers. That makes us the front line. Rumors circulate the stuffy air: Downtown has allied itself with Brooklyn. Times Square signed a treaty. Among the more superstitious, there are whispers that Downtown has developed a magical, non-electric power source; that on Long Island, a child-king is raising an army to come to our aid. Some of our number have taken to wearing around their necks a token in the form of a dangling crane as a kind of mystical protection against the awesome occult power Downtown is said to wield. But that which goes unspoken is far more terrifying: few of us, if any, will survive through the week; those that do will be taken prisoner, tortured for information, and if rumors are true, roasted on the enormous sidewalk grill as a feast for the children of Lower Manhattan. We are skeptical about the news that passes from one soldier's mouth to another, but no one can disagree that Uptown has lost, and all that is left is to die."

Check out this time-lapse video of Hurricane Sandy hitting New York City:

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