Up and Then Down

Solitary confinement is bad enough. Now imagine your cell is a rectangular box suspended in mid-air in a cold shaft. You have no food, no water. You can’t communicate with the outside world. Sound like some kind of cruel and unusual punishment from the Dark Ages? Try 1999 New York City.

On October 15, Nicholas White stepped into Car No. 30, in the McGraw-Hill Building at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, after taking a smoke break. Little did he know the usual elevator ride back to his office would be the longest of his life. Watch his 41-hr. ordeal accompanied by Jennifer Haines’ haunting “The Storm Begins.”

Nick Paumgarten presented White’s story in his masterful “Up and Then Down” in The New Yorker. You can also watch interviews with White from the Associated Press and ABC.

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