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A Short Report & Photos of the Solar Eclipse of 2017 in NYC

The Solar Eclipse was an American Communal Shared Experience

August 21, 2017 / Queens Neighborhoods / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC.

manhattan solar eclipse photos nyc 2017I set about to experience the solar eclipse of 2017, departing for Manhattan at about 1.30 pm which was about the time the eclipse was to begin. As I made my way to the subway, I met a woman who was heading to Hunters Point South Park to do the same. She offered me the use of her eclipse glasses, which I examined but it was far too early to really use to any great effect.

 

Solar Eclipse Glasses were Opaque

The eclipse glasses were opaque and I couldn't see through them looking down the street. Apparently they only work when you're looking at the sun. The glasses this woman had were sponsored by Cisco Systems through a science camp in Rochester, NY. Consumers were advised to be careful about which eclipse glasses to use, as apparently some would not filter out the harmful, eye-damaging rays of the sun. One eclipse audience member told me that the glasses were being sold online - ten for $100. I'll have more about the protective glasses a bit later as I used the glasses to take what I would call 'meaningful' photos.

There were many reports published about how one can damage their eyes by looking directly at the sun. The Washington Post noted that the damage can begin in as little as one and a half minutes, and that looking at the sun in a sequence of little peaks at a time, may not prevent you from doing real damage. It's worth noting that one can also damage their camera by pointing it directly at the sun for a long period of time. The New York Times noted that the longest the full eclipse will last, is less than three minutes, and that in many places in America it will last less than a minute.

 

Solar Eclipses Happen Regularly, but Not Where We can See Them

manhattan solar eclipse photos nyc 2017Historically, it's worth noting that the moon eclipsing the sun happens every 18 months, but most eclipses happen over the oceans which cover about two thirds of the planet earth surface. According to the New York Times, the last time America experienced a full solar eclipse was in 1918, a full 99 years ago, so few if any who are old enough to experience the eclipse this time, are likely to see it again.

The eclipse began along the west coast in Oregon at about 1.15 pm, the peak was at about 2.45 pm and the final was at about 4 pm. I'll note a few of my times as we run through the rest of this report.

 

Solar Eclipse NYC 2017 on the Upper East Side

Anyhow, I arrived at Lexington and 77th Street about 2 pm, about 45 minutes before the peak of the eclipse. A few folks were standing in the street looking up, so I shot a photo of the sun at that time, but it didn't look like much at the blinding rays of light blocked any real photo clarity.

 

I started journeying westward to Central Park which was my destination. Sheep Meadow to be exact, as I expected there to be a large crowd there - even though it was a Monday afternoon. After all, today was eclipse afternoon in NYC, a once-in-a-century / lifetime event. I wasn't disappointed.

 

Solar Eclipse NYC Photos 2017 in Central Park

nyc solar eclipse photos nyc 2017Actually most of Central Park was kind of teeming with life. My first stop was the Conservatory Water just south of the Alice in Wonderland statue along the east side of Central Park. People were milling about, sailing boats and looking upward. Not much seemed to be happening here, so I moved west to the Central Park Boathouse and Bethesda Fountain. I knew I was getting warmer as the fountain area and terrace were pretty packed. Again, folks were looking skyward so I shot a few photos without any filter and got shots that only marginally indicated the eclipse.

 

Down here on earth, if you weren't looking for it, you wouldn't have known there was an eclipse. And the clouds weren't helping clarify the issue either.

Click here to read the rest of our report on the Solar Eclipse 2017 in NYC with photos of eclipse in Central Park Manhattan & a park in Queens.


A Short Report & Photos of the Solar Eclipse of 2017 in NYC

The Solar Eclipse was an American Communal Shared Experience

August 21, 2017 / Queens Neighborhoods / Manhattan Neighborhoods / Gotham Buzz NYC. Continued.

manhattan solar eclipse photos nyc 2017As I approached Sheep Meadow, I met a group of family / friends who in spite of being out, didn't appear to be participating in the spectacle, even though they were armed with cameras. They told me they didn't want to damage their eyes.

 

Photos of Solar Eclipse NYC 2017 in Sheep Meadow Central Park

In Sheep Meadow, it was something of a communal experience. Many of the avid audience participants had brought along the protective glasses and they were kind enough to share them with people who arrived who didn't have them - myself included. Thankfully, an American woman on vacation from Rome, where she teaches English, showed me some of the photos she had taken using the protective eyewear as a filter. Sadly, though, at this point the clouds were ruining our view - and it was peak time - about 2.45 pm.

Armed with how to go about getting a decent photo I began making my way out of Sheep Meadow, as I wanted to also get some Solar Eclipse photos at Hunters Point South Park in Long Island City Queens. As I was walking I kept shooting photos of the folks looking up and occasionally striking up a brief man-on-the-street conversation. One of the guys with eyeglasses told me the clouds have broken and he offered his eyeglasses to me.

I set up my camera and pointed it at the sun and got a distant shot that was the best of the day. So I kept fiddling and finally got a couple of worthy shots, surpassing the first. After thanking the guy for the use of his glasses, I made my way to the subway along 59th Street, which I think of as Central Park South. It was about 3 pm.

 

Solar Eclipse in Queens Photos 2017

manhattan solar eclipse photos nyc 2017After taking the N / W subway to Queensboro Plaza to pick up the #7 subway to Vernon Blvd, I arrived at Hunters Point South Park around 3.20 pm. There I met a couple of Jackson Heights residents, Carla and Mimi, who had just met each other via their shared eclipse experience. They offered me the use of their protective glasses so I could get a Queens side photo of the eclipse, which still had another 40 minutes to go.

 

By this time I considered myself an experienced eclipse photographer [heh] and went to work trying for a good shot. After several tries, I got a few more photos to put in my scrapbook for the grandkids. Again, after thanking Carla & Mimi for sharing their glasses, I made my way down to the LIC Landing, shooting photos along the way. By this time most of the folks had departed, as I could tell by the streaming lines of people heading down into the subway as I was coming up and out.

 

Viewing Solar Eclipse in Hunters Point South Park in LIC & Photos

manhattan solar eclipse photos nyc 2017I asked several people whether the solar eclipse viewing experience was what they expected. Most said no, that they expected it to get dark in the middle of the day, and that it didn't really seem to get any darker than it would have on a cloudy day. Others said that one could only get the visual experience shown in most eclipse photos by watching it through the protective glasses, as just looking up at it without them didn't provide the same dramatic visual as seeing the eclipse through the protective eyewear.

 

It was a beautiful August day, made even better by the shared experience of it all. As I headed home I spoke with another group of families that had gone to watch the eclipse together. They told me that they went without the protective glasses, and couldn't find them at any of the local stores, but that the people who had them shared.

Too bad it's not more like that in general.

 

According to CBS News about 200 million Americans lived in a place offering at least a partial eclipse viewing opportunity and that millions of Americans took time out of their day to participate in the all natural spectacle.

I hope you had a great eclipse day.

Unrelated to Eclipse - Suggestion for the MTA. I recommend you need to rename the Queens Plaza station serving the E, M and R subway lines, which is only a block away from Queensboro Plaza serving the #7 / Q and W lines, to something that is not so similar. Or better yet - connect these two stations into one station, like you did with the E, G and 7 at Court Square, so people don't have to exit the MTA to change trains at Queens Blvd.



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