A BGE worker told Krabbe that the damage could be remedied by late Sunday or Monday. She and her husband, Kent, seemed to accept the whole episode with grace.
"We played Scrabble by candlelight," Krabbe said.
"Things like this tend to get people out of their houses," her husband added. "You slow down, take a walk, run into neighbors you don't see for weeks or months at a time. It's nice."
A few blocks up Beech, Dillin and her neighbors laughed about the power divide as well, albeit with a tinge of aggravation.
"When we lost power last night, I could still see them with their porch lights on," said Chip Banister, pointing up the street. "I don't know if it's frustrating exactly but …"
"It seems ridiculous," Dillin interjected.
Gould said neighborhood divides happen because different sides of a street can be served by two different "feeders," which he described as the backbone of the company's power equipment. Some of the feeders were badly damaged by the storm, he said.
Banister said his father, one block to the north, was among the power-privileged. The difference must represent an invisible line between Hampden and Roland Park, he said jokingly.
"They're the ones living large, with their fans blowing and everything," Banister said, grinning.
Many Marylanders tried to shrug off Irene's blows. They knew the storm was likely to steal their power and were just happy it didn't slap them around worse.
Teri Hunt is used to the power going out in her Ellicott City neighborhood. The combination of many large trees and above-ground power lines makes it inevitable. During a previous storm, a tree crashed into Hunt's house and forced her to move out for six months.
In that context, being without power for a short time seems like nothing.
"I'm just grateful it's in the yard," she said, surveying the wreckage of an uprooted poplar. "This is no big deal. I can replace my mailbox."
Hunt's neighbors seemed equally undaunted by the loss of power. Instead of moping, they threw on work gloves and with the help of a chain saw, began clearing the poplar from their road.
"It seems like the wind blows just a little, and we lose power," said Ashu Mehta, who has lived in the neighborhood since 2007. "But it's America. You can still survive."
He said he had played cards with his three young children the night before and had an afternoon of pingpong planned for Sunday. "We limit them to an hour of TV anyway," he said. "They'll be fine."
In Catonsville, Jerry Hockstein said he would have been more surprised if he had not lost power. He planned to spend the afternoon cooking up all the food from his refrigerator. "If nothing else, we'll eat well tonight," he said.
In Towson, Josie George clutched five coffees for family members and neighbors as she left a crowded Starbucks. The Ruxton teenager didn't seem terribly flummoxed that none of her neighborhood's homes or businesses had power.
"It is a pain," George said. "You would think that at least the Internet would work. But it's kind of peaceful. We've all been sitting around talking to each other, and we probably wouldn't be doing that otherwise."
George said her family's good cheer might give way to crankiness if the outage lasted beyond Monday.
Anyone who has ever lost power for a few days knows the gripes and questions that arise: Why can't they just put all the lines underground? Why are they fixing that problem two streets over but not the one on my block? How is it that 42 years after we put a man on the moon, we can't keep the lights on through some wind?
Neighbors trade rumors of BGE truck sightings and try to guess where they might fall in the power company's priority list. (Gould said that if you're not part of a block of 2,000 or 3,000 outages, you'll likely need patience.) Everyday routines become uphill battles.
Yvonne Gladney waited in a line of more than 20 customers at a Pikesville Starbucks. "If I had power, I'd be fixing my own coffee," the Randallstown resident said, admitting that the lack of caffeine had left her a little cranky.
Gladney tried to cover all the bases in preparing for Irene. She washed all of her work clothes in advance, and avoided the grocery so she wouldn't have to throw out food. But she didn't account for her coffee.
"It's the little comforts," she said, explaining the storm's ability to aggravate. "The most irritating thing is that you feel disconnected from regular life."
Baltimore Sun reporter Hanah Cho and wire services contributed to this article.