It is 38 years now from the time when NYC was almost completely blacked out due to a very hot day and a rolling series off failures in the elctrical tranmission infrastructure, starting at about 9.30pm, which over an hour resulted in the city being blacked out. Two small parts of NYC were not affected because they were being supplied by a different company.
The blackout had widespread effects: both NYC based airports were closed, car tunnels were closed because there was no ventilation, 4,000 people were stranded in the subway and had to be rescued.And of course radio and TV mostly went off the air.
In poorer areas there was widespread looting and arson. The metal grates which protected shops were torn off and clothes and electrical goods were all carried away by looters. But upmarket areas were not spared it’s just that the damage and looting was worse in poorer areas.
1616 stores were broken into, there were 1037 fires and 3,776 people were arrested. The overall cost was $300 million in the dolalrs of the day. The hardest hit areas part sof NYC were Crown heights and Bushwick, though 35 blocks of Broadway were vandalized and 50 pontiacs were stolen from one dealership.
It is generally accepted that the widespread looting of electrical equipment during the blackout at the very least enabled young, poor hip hop artists to get some equipment that allowed this music form to take off much more quickly than would otherwise would have been possible.