Luis Chaluisan Salsa Magazine Been contacted by Channel 13 PBS in NY to contribute to PBS’s longest running history series, American Experience

Been contacted by Channel 13 PBS in NY to contribute to PBS’s longest running history series, American Experience: Christine Turner
Dear Mr. Chaluisan,
I’m writing on behalf of Camera One Productions. We are currently producing a documentary for PBS’s longest running history series, American Experience, on the New York City blackout of 1977. Right now, we’re talking with New Yorkers like yourself, who were around at the time and can recall their memory of that evening. We recently came across a posting you made describing your experience in the South Bronx on the night of the blackout, July 13th, 1977. It’s an intriguing story that ends at Nagle Avenue and we’re curious how well you recall the event.
Excerpt from Newricane (c) 2001 Luis Chaluisan
“I’m doing an interview with Felix Romero and the rest of his theater group Teatro Otra Cosa for Latin NY at the Teatro Puerto Rico in the South Bronx the night of the 1977 NY blackout. Not more than 3 minutes after the lights go out there’s a cry outside on 138th Street:
“Hit the jewelry store!”
People are waiting since the blackout in ’65 for their chance to clean up. By the time we get to the corner, the crowd is already lifting the steel gate in front of the store and piling in. One guy drives a car into a storefront and frees up an appliance center. Months later, you can trace all the looters by their electric bills. You see, there’s a significant increase in the use of electrical power due to those new stereos, washers, greenhouse generators, and atomic reactors people now have hooked up to that heavy duty electric chord in the hallway. I know because Joe and Angie — two Otra Cosa performers — see their light bill go from 12 dollars a month to 150 dollars a month. I have to get from 138th Street and St. Ann’s in the South Bronx to the apartment I share with my girlfriend Rosie Hurricanes on Nagle Avenue in upper Manhattan. Isa Diaz gives me a lift as far as 168th Street in Manhattan. That’s when I notice how confused and frightened people are. The buses are running free and are crowded. Emergency flood lamps near the George Washington Bridge on 180th Street create eerie shadows. Then there’s the policemen in riot gear and shotguns. (Where were they in the South Bronx. Well, they’re not stupid.) I finally arrive at Nagle Avenue and in front of our building stands the genius of a super. Gasoline can in his left hand and a huge torch in the right. In the dark he looks like one of the Flying Monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. He’s there to protect the property. You know, that son of a bitch robs my apartment a few months later. Rosie is barricaded in the second floor apartment. She’s a tough Dominican grrrrrl but tonight’s she’s scared and I’m shaking too. I nickname her “hurricanes” because she can come on like one in a heartbeat.”

— with L.f. Chaluisan Batlle and Felix Romero at South Bronx, New York City.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s