The Bridge

August 21, 2003

by René Clement, Time Magazine

W hile I was figuring out why my electricity was cut off I got a phone-call from my newspaper in Holland. They were looking at CNN and they explained that the East Coast and parts of Canada had a blackout. Two minutes later they called again, telling me thousands of people were going for the bridges. I jumped on my bike and raced to the Queensboro Bridge. When I arrived, the two sidewalks on the lower level of the bridge were full of people.

I started to take pictures, standing on top of a road barrier. Within 15 minutes the bridge got flooded by commuters trying to make their way back home, spilling over from the sidewalks, taking over the whole bridge, an amazing sight.

I moved to the upper deck to get better light and a good view of the skyline. I walked halfway across the bridge, which is also the highest point, and found an elevated platform on the side of the bridge. I climbed up and stretched myself as much as possible over the edge to get a good view of the both decks of the bridge. The whole situation was a kind of bizarre: New York had a blackout, yet it was the middle of the day, the sun was bright and the weather beautiful. Perfect for a nice walk. People were general in a good spirit and it almost felt that New Yorkers were, all together, on a day trip.

© René Clement


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