Power outage interrupts an Aspen afternoon | AspenTimes.com

Power outage interrupts an Aspen afternoon

Naomi Havlen

Employees of Carl's Pharmacy, and Mabel, hang out in the alleyway during a power outage Wednesday afternoon. (Mark Fox/The Aspen Times)

Nothing – not even the annual community picnic – pulls Aspen together on a summer afternoon like a power outage.Power to Aspen, including all of downtown, was out for about 45 minutes Wednesday after a Gould Construction crew doing work on the Rio Grande Trail accidentally cut the main feed into town. There were no reports of injuries.But in the time it took the city’s electric utility to reroute power from the Rio Grande line to a secondary line strung from poles next to the Maroon Creek bridge, there was a rush on community spirit and melting ice cream.Businesses in the commercial core hung notes on doors that said they’d be closed until the power returned, and headed onto the sidewalks to chat with neighbors. Chefs, sous-chefs and dishwashers clad in white coats gathered in the alleys for cigarettes and laughter, while store clerks held jewelry and artwork up to their front windows to give their remaining customers daylight to shop by.Pizza was still in the works at New York Pizza, where the ovens run on natural gas, and Zélé was pouring the last of its iced tea and coffee and handing customers free samples of a cookie it might sell in the future.The popular fountain at Hyman Avenue and Mill Street shut down, but Paradise Bakery experienced a sudden line for ice cream, scooping out helpings while the product got progressively soupier.”Everyone is happy that we’re open,” said Elizabeth Glover, a supervisor at Paradise Bakery. A pile of cash lay on the counter behind her, where she was making less-than-exact change. “I think we’re the only place in town now with a line.”Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com

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