While a massive blackout plunged much of Manhattan into darkness, a choir and the casts of Broadway musicals have entertained tourists with impromptu performances in the street.
The outages struck at around 7pm on Saturday, as many shows were starting at theaters in Midtown and at the Lincoln Center plaza on New York City's Upper West Side.
With subway stations and traffic lights suddenly dark, thousands of people spilled outside on a hot summer's night.
Briallen Hopper, who had been trapped on a subway train for an hour.
"I guess this is what they call in New York moment," she wrote on Twitter with a video of a choir singing at sunset.
"I emerged to see dark restaurants and traffic lights, civilians directing traffic, and an evacuated Carnegie Hall concert happening in the street."
Fellow Twitter user Caryn Ross agreed, posting video of the concert with the hashtag #BeautifulSoundsDuringBlackout: "Now this is what turning lemons into lemonade is about!" she wrote.
Snarled by the lack of traffic lights.
One middle-aged man in shorts and a red tank-top managed the flow of vehicles at a junction of 45 minutes, drawing plaudits on social media.
In a photo on Twitter taken after darkness fell, one civilian was seen directing traffic in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood with a toy light saber.
At Madison Square Garden, the blackout put a sudden stop to Jennifer Lopez concert, plunging the arena into darkness.
"I am obviously heartbroken and devastated," Bronx native Lopez said in a video clip she sent in a Twitter post for her fans.
"I love you. I'm so sorry this happened in the middle of our moment, at our show"
All Broadway theaters were closed to the blackout except for the Winter Garden Theater, Nederlander Theater and Lyceum Theater, authorities said.
But among those entertained theatregoers with off-the-cuff performances nonetheless were the casts of the musicals Waitress, Hadestown, Come From Away, and Rock Of Ages.
One Twitter user named Antony posted video of the cast of Hamilton: An American Musical singing from theater to crowds in the street below.
"It was awesome!" he wrote.