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Two-Mile Manhattan Stretch Remains Dark

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A two-mile stretch of Manhattan remains in the dark, with traffic signals, street lights and elevators all shut down, and given the scale of Sandy's destruction throughout the city, Manhattanites are doing their best trying to keep things in perspective. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

In densely-populated Manhattan, just walking down the street is difficult without electricity.

With the power grid down below 30th Street, the street grid is suddenly dark and dangerous. It's unclear who goes when with no stop lights or crossing signals. And after dark, pedestrians are almost invisible without the glow of street lights or millions of windows.

"To make the cross streets in a car, I was flashing my lights because people are not going to yield. They don't know you're coming," said Maria Gentile. "And the pedestrians, I really feel bad for them, because you can't see them at all.

On Tuesday, many downtown residents were walking north, looking for food, news and a way to contact their loved ones.

"We have no cellphone service," said Jessica Ortner. "That's the worst part, is that I can't even contact anyone to let them know I'm OK. So we walked up here so that we could get power and also be able to use our cellphones and find hot spots like here, where we can get online.

Hundreds of people showed up to the Ace Hotel, on the border of the dark zone, looking to charge their phones.

"It was pretty crazy. There was about 100 people trying to get powered up on their phone, trying to call their family," said Stephen Schacher. "And then somebody came with a power strip, and soon enough, later, people came with power strips, and that's how you got a spot, if you had a power strip."

Of course, given conditions elsewhere in the city, Manhattanites realize resources are stretched thin.

"Although it's obviously very annoying to be without power, I think most people in Manhattan are just grateful when they see what people in other areas of the city are suffering ," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Still, the lack of power means a sharp contrast between the dark zones downtown and the lighted ones to the north.

"Driving in the cab down Ninth Avenue and it's like, there is so much life going on right there, it's like New York is normal," said one resident. "And then all of a sudden, you hit, like, 29th Street and then it's like, dark and it's a weird zone."

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