Non-bummer Hurricane Sandy instagram of the day: Guy sharing power strip with strangers

Jen van der Meer snapped this wonderful photo of a nice man sharing power with strangers in NYC, after massive outages from Hurricane Sandy. Click for large. (thanks, @aileengraef!)


  1. Book Recommendation: A Paradise Built in Hell, Rebecca Solnit. The typical reaction when disaster strikes is to band together in solidarity. 

  2. Heard some reports on WNYC of a guy doing this outside of the Ace Hotel on 29th Street. He plugged into an exposed outlet on the street connected to the hotel.  He wins!

    1. So if he walked in to a small grocery store, picked up (took without permission) a case or two of bottled water, and started handing them out; he wins?

      1. Haha. You should get a job in PR for a technologically obsolete industry. 

        It’s more like turning on the water tap outside the Ace Hotel on 29th street and letting everyone fill their bottles. Again, costing next to nothing, delivering unparalleled value to the public.

        1. The difference between what you propose and what I propose is use of someone else’s cost for your own (spare me the doing good for the public shit) benefit without permission. If he walked into the building, asked if it would be all right to help other folks keep in touch with their families, and with the permission of the organization who was paying for that electricity, hooked up the outlet strip as shown.

          1. So it’s about permission? We agree a cost-benefit analysis is in order. The cost is minimal. The benefit in a disaster is huge. But despite this: we need to ask permission? 

            You’ve convinced me – they should be shot as looters for crimes against property. 

          2. I implied nothing about looting. It is, if nothing else, a common courtesy to ask permission before you use anything belonging to someone else. I want to make sure you know I think what he did was nice, but my issue is my perception he didn’t ask before using the outlet. The value of what is taken can’t be the issue because it is subjective. We are not talking about grabbing someone’s ladder to rescue a person from a burning building. All things considered here I feel he should have asked. Without going overboard, he should treat others as he should be treated, not how he thinks they want to be treated.

    1. Because electricity (when paid for by some one else) just wants to be free (for everyone else). 

    1. Bless your Heart @bradbell:disqus . The worse part of my comment is I have no idea if he did ask. It seems I am quick to tell others to assume the best, but I am guilty of assuming he just waltzed up there to steal power. I will spend the rest of my day restoring my faith in humanity, and watch some of your films to keep myself in perspective. And I will make a donation to the Red Cross or other relief organization to help New Yorkers get back on their feet. I breaks my heart to see all the homes that were destroyed by fire on Breezy Point. So much lost, so many memories gone up in smoke. Here in Northern Virginia we had a lot of rain and wind but were spared huge losses. Looking at film of the southern New Jersey coast and the flooding in New York there will be a lot of work required. 

      All the best to you.

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