Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Total Eclipse Open Thread

Happy (almost) Eclipse Day, North Americans! Of the two places we’ve visited this summer, one — Charleston, SC — is directly in the path of totality, and the other — Springfield, MO — is about one or two hour’s drive from totality. Even where we’re headed in a few days — Chicago — is much closer than we are here in NY, so I guess I failed at planning our trips well. I was so sure we’d see zero here in New York that I didn’t bother to secure glasses or anything, but now I’m feeling a little swept up in the anticipation of the big event — probably because I have so many Midwest pals on Facebook who are excited — that I’m wishing I’d prepared a little bit.

The eclipse is supposed to peak here in NYC at 2:44 Monday afternoon. Drew will be at work, Joanie will be napping, and Jackson will be at camp. I might make a cereal box viewer and step outside for a minute and see what I can see. Do you have eclipse viewing plans? Are you in or near the path of totality? Does everyone in your town get the day off work to look at the sky?

30 comments… add one
  • Janelle August 20, 2017, 9:56 am

    Wendy I hear that unless you planned years in advance you couldn’t even get a hotel room within reasonable driving distance for the sweet spots. Apparently people are paying through the nose and have been planning for a long time. I have to admit I am excited too but in also SoCal we won’t get much of a view. Wishing I was closer.

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  • Copa August 20, 2017, 10:19 am

    I’ll be driving south toward the St. Louis area for work tomorrow. I’d pull off the road to see the eclipse, buuuut I don’t have the glasses. Maybe I can try to put together a cereal box viewer!

    @Janelle I’ll be about an hour outside of Carbondale, IL, tomorrow — which is supposed to be one of the best viewing locations — and there were still reasonably priced hotel rooms when I was booking my hotel room last week. (Opting to stay downtown St. Louis, though, because it’s the nearest large city and would rather stay in a city!)

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    • ktfran August 21, 2017, 8:27 am

      Copa, I hoped you planned for traffic, because I think it’s going to be pure hell.

      I know lots and lots of people that went to St. Louis and will be driving to Carbondale.

      Good luck!

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  • Janelle August 20, 2017, 10:44 am

    @Copa sounds awesome. I hope you get a good view and have some city fun!

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  • SpaceySteph August 20, 2017, 1:08 pm

    A lot of public libraries are doing events and have glasses for people attending, might be worth checking out.
    We are getting about 70% here and have our cereal box viewer ready to go!

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  • Kate August 20, 2017, 1:39 pm

    Did you hear about the group that’s protesting the eclipse? Snopes is skeptical though. It’s in this article along with some useful info:


    This has been the weekend from hell! Yesterday I got up real early to drive to Newport with my friend, to attend a bachelorette party on Block Island. We are really not in the bride’s friend group – she’s much younger and my husband’s good friend’s fiancée. The friend I went with is just an acquaintance of hers but decided to take over planning the party because she heard no one else was (not from me, it’s not my business). So everyone, I think, pretty much hated us as a result of those efforts, before we even showed up (me just by association, I didn’t get involved).

    The two of us met a third girl at the hotel and we took the ferry over together, to meet the party on the island. So, there was an offshore tropical storm and the remnants of it were out there in the sea. The ferry was seriously like a mechanical bull ride that lasted an hour instead of two minutes. I was sitting on the deck clinging to a bolted-down metal thing, scared out of my wits. The girl we were with had a bottle of Malibu that she’d filled a flask from for the bride, and I was swigging it out of the brown bag. People were sick, lying down, screaming… other people were into it.

    We were super woozy when we got off, and it was like 900 degrees. I was sweating like a menopausal hot flash all day. The tiki-bar beach was packed and there were like 8 other bachelorette parties all cute and coordinated while we were a hot mess. I drank two pineapple drinks, one before lunch and one after, and tried to stay hydrated and under an umbrella we rented. But at 3pm I was suddenly all nauseous and threw up in the bathroom. The ferry ride back was less dramatic but it totally sucked, I had to lie down on the deck like something the cat dragged in.

    Then I threw up again while riding in a Lyft, though he pulled over in time. I was never even buzzed! I guess it was the heat and sugar.

    I got home at 10pm instead of staying overnight, and there had been a power outage I guess, and no one’s electronic door keys were working. I emailed the building and someone finally came down and let me in. Turns out none of the traditional keys I have work in any of the doors, and I haven’t been able to leave the building all day. Our real estate agent has one that works but she’s not in town right now (the lockbox on the porch just has another electronic key in it). No one is responding about resetting the locks. My husband is in TN on business. So I’m on house arrest! Fortunately my parents had the dog all weekend, and I’ll go get him whenever the agent can get me the key.

    What a tire fire.

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  • Stillrunning August 20, 2017, 4:39 pm

    I’m in Portland, OR which is slightly out of totality, but it still will be exciting to watch. News reports predict long lines of traffic across the state, so we’re staying put and will watch it (with glasses!) from our garage roof.
    The anticipation around the eclipse is a little insane. I watched the total eclipse in Portland in 1979 and don’t remember people being so crazy about being there. But there was no social media then and all the news was from tv and newspapers which didn’t have the constant updates about traffic jams and the little towns in the path running out of gas, food, and tp.

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  • Ange August 20, 2017, 6:57 pm

    Not visible down under at all but I hope to see some good footage of it all on TV, sounds like it’s going to look great!

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  • veritek33 August 21, 2017, 9:03 am

    I live in one of the best viewing spots in the country – 2 minutes of totality at 1:13 CST today – and I have to be honest, I really don’t care! lol

    Our town has been flooded with people, NASA is here, tons of campers and tourists. I get it, but here I am at work, and I’ll step into the parking lot at lunch and watch it, but I didn’t take off work and have a party like some people I know. I’ll save my days off for something that lasts more than 2 minutes.

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  • Bubbles August 21, 2017, 11:21 am

    Apparently you can watch it on your cell phone if you flip the camera over to selfie and then watch it over your shoulder. I guess your can record it as well with your reaction.

    I’m in SoCal so we’ll be seeing it around 10:15 a.m. (in less than an hour!). One of my co-workers left last Wednesday for Oregon with her husband in their RV. She has a sister that lives there so they were planning on camping out near the site or at her place. They’ve been planning it for months, so I’m hoping they’ll have a good view.

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  • Mylaray August 21, 2017, 11:38 am

    I live an hour away from the totality path so I went up with a few friends on Friday night and we’ve been staying in a cabin. I’m able to work from home so I’m not heading back until tomorrow as traffic is supposed to be a nightmare later. I’m not super into it but I live so close and I know this is so rare to be happening here, I figured why the hell not.

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  • Moneypenny August 21, 2017, 12:34 pm

    Where I live it got to about 75% coverage at 10:15am- it looked like the Cheshire Cat’s smile! Someone at work brought in a bunch of glasses and we all watched outside. I also managed to take some decent photos through the glasses with my phone. I thought it was really cool!

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  • Portia August 21, 2017, 12:52 pm

    It’s started here, and we’re going to get about 80%! I have spacial glasses ready, and hopefully I’ll get a picture through the glasses at some point…

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  • Kate August 21, 2017, 1:36 pm

    Did anyone see the frickin thing at totality? It’s about to happen here but we won’t notice anything and I don’t have special glasses. Some weirdos down on the street are yelling about it.

    I want to know if anyone had like, a weird or spiritual experience.

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    • Dear Wendy August 21, 2017, 2:07 pm

      My neighbors had glasses they gave us, so I got a great view of it. Not a tidal eclipse here – just partial, but it was cool. I have a headache now though.

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      • ktfran August 21, 2017, 2:10 pm

        Same. I have a bit of a headache. My coworker had glasses and we viewed. But it was difficult to see. Super cloudy in Chicago today.

      • Kate August 21, 2017, 2:15 pm

        How long did you guys look at it? That’s freaky that it gave you a headache even with the glasses.

      • ktfran August 21, 2017, 2:27 pm

        Three other coworkers and I were passing the glasses around, so I maybe checked it out a dozen times for no more than 10 seconds each.

      • RedRoverRedRover August 21, 2017, 6:42 pm

        I got a headache just from the light coming in the window. I was working at home and the kitchen faces south – when I went to make a cup of tea I couldn’t even wait in the kitchen for the water to boil, my eyes were going crazy. My eyes are light-sensitive already though, so that’s probably why. I don’t think any of my windows even had a direct line of sight to it, but it still bothered me.

    • veritek33 August 21, 2017, 2:20 pm

      We had complete totality and it was cool, but like Ktfran I have a headache now too.

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    • Cleopatra Jones August 22, 2017, 9:37 am

      Yes. There was 2 minutes of totality here in STL.

      Right before it, there was just an eerie calmness in the air. Although, a couple of people that I talked to said that in their location the birds and cicadas went nuts and were chirping pretty loudly. But it was really quiet at my location.
      It didn’t get pitch black during totality but more of a sunset duskiness. It just felt odd for it to be that dark in the middle of the day.

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    • K August 24, 2017, 8:54 am

      I saw it at totality and did feel like I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time! It looked like something from a movie.

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  • Kate August 21, 2017, 2:18 pm

    Omg, Trump actually looked at the sun without glasses.

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    • Dear Wendy August 21, 2017, 2:31 pm

      Cool — we’ve never had a blind president before.

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  • TheLadyE August 21, 2017, 2:24 pm

    We got about 96% here in NC where I am. We all went outside at work and looked at it with glasses. I do have a bit of a headache now, too, but it was cool. It felt very ominous and dark and still during the height of it.

    Plus it’s unbearably hot here today so that cooled it down a little bit.

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  • carolann August 21, 2017, 6:40 pm

    We had 99% here. We didn’t get any glasses. They sold out everywhere. People were selling some on craigslist for $40! They got some more in at Walmart, but my husband didn’t buy them and when I sent him back(cause I am allergic to walmart) they were all gone. (he had to go to work and made it just in time, people were going a little crazy on the highway.)
    My son saw part of it with our neighbors glasses. I just saw it on tv. I went outside, but I didn’t know you could use the phone to see. The moon made a really neat pattern all over the ground.

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  • dinoceros August 21, 2017, 6:49 pm

    Nothing happened here in Michigan. I went outside, but it was like a normal day. Same amount of light as a partly cloudy day and no cool shadows.

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  • Scattol August 21, 2017, 7:05 pm

    Yup. Got 2 mins of totality in Madras OR

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  • _s_ August 21, 2017, 10:57 pm

    Eclipse tourist here! Big clouds covered the sun a few minutes before totality, so I only got to see a few seconds of it when the clouds got thinner for a few seconds. Saw lots leading up to and after totality.

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  • K August 24, 2017, 8:54 am

    I was in central Oregon, about an hour northeast of Madras. It was amazing – looking up and seeing the corona peeking out from behind the moon was incredible.

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