This afternoon I biked eagerly to the art gallery Pioneer Works, in Red Hook, which was hosting an eclipse-viewing party and was handing out the special glasses needed for viewing, only to find that even at 12:45pm, the line for admission wound all the way around the block, looped, and wound all the way around the block again. I waited until I reached the inner ring of waiting, at which point a staffer declared that the building was at capacity and out of eclipse-glasses and we should all go home.
Biking my retreat, I stopped a second-grader carrying a jerry-rigged cereal box to ask how she had made it. While she carefully explained, her brother let me have a look through his eclipse glasses. I saw that the Cookie Monster of the moon had begun munching the sun. I hurried home, and following directions, cut two holes in one end of a shoebox, taped aluminum foil over one of them, pricked the foil, and managed to see a faint dot inside the shoebox at the far end, slightly nibbled. It was a little clearer than this in real life; I couldn’t quite photograph it:
When Peter and I wandered into Prospect Park, my homemade pinhole camera proved useful for trading views with people who had better apparatuses. The simplest and most spectacular was an upside-down colander, which sprayed a whole constellation of eclipsed mini-suns onto the sidewalk.
Holding a pair of binoculars backwards, with one eyepiece shuttered, and aiming the image onto a blank sheet of paper, created perhaps the most elegant design. There are two here; my shaky hand is holding the pair of binoculars on the right.
It was one of those lovely rare moments when New Yorkers seemed happy to be approached by strangers and willing to share with them easily. A few more devices and images: