To make a call Wednesday afternoon, planner Maura Griffin stood at the corner of 20th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, an intersection rumored to harbor a pocket of live cell phone signals. There, the founder of Blue Spark Capital Advisors -- who has been trapped in her blacked-out Chelsea neighborhood since the arrival of Hurricane Sandy -- got a call out, no small feat in some New York City neighborhoods.

“It’s very strange,” Griffin told Financial Planning. She wasn’t just talking about all the people around her holding their phones aloft in the hopes of grabbing a connection. “Usually where I’m standing right now, people would be dressed up and crazy for Halloween. I don’t see anyone at all in costume.”

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