New Yorkers come together to appreciate partial eclipse: ‘It’s beautiful to witness’

The eclipse was partial, but the camaraderie felt by many skygazing New Yorkers was complete.

City residents took a break from their busy lives on Monday afternoon to gather together and watch a partial solar eclipse that briefly darkened the sky and chilled the spring air.

At 3:25 p.m., the moon covered about 90% of the sun above the city, and cheers erupted in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow and Prospect Park’s Long Meadow. Others took in the solar rarity from rooftops, stoops and sidewalks.

The much-anticipated moment came after some New Yorkers made a last-minute dash to pick up special eclipse sunglasses, which offered a view of the moon covering all but a golden crescent of sunlight, as the moon passed between the sun and Earth.

“It’s stunning,” said Monique Robinson, 28, a sales associate from Harlem who scored eclipse shades from a woman — an “angel of the eclipse” — who handed out pairs on the street.

Susan Rusea-Robinson, Monique’s 49-year-old mother, was impressed as she shared shades with her daughter at W. 149 St. and Amsterdam Ave. in upper Manhattan. “It’s absolutely beautiful,” declared the mother.

Batya Goldberg, a 50-year-old chef, gasped as she sat on a Harlem stoop and watched a sliver of sun through eclipse glasses. She described the sight as “incredible.”

“This brought the neighborhood together,” she said. “Nobody should go back to work.”

Not everyone had the special shades.

Carol Langford, an author in Park Slope, Brooklyn, said she didn’t manage to pick up a pair in time. The Park Slope Library was out of the glasses for part of the day, and some local pharmacies put up signs telling locals they were not carrying them.

But Langford still headed to Prospect Park before 3 p.m. Lounging under a tree, she said she appreciated the mass of humanity that had convened in the park.

“I’ve just been enjoying being part of this collective gathering,” she said. “It’s beautiful to witness.”

Around the same time, in Jamaica Estates, Queens, Ava Delpino, 17, was standing with some friends on her softball team waiting for a bus to a game. She wore purple paper solar eclipse glasses and kept looking skyward from Hillside Ave. and 178th St.

Also on Hillside Ave., Fernando Delarosa, 33, tried to capture an image of the cosmic marvel with his phone by covering its camera with eclipse glasses, which his coworker had nabbed at a library.

“More than surreal,” he said of the eclipse.

The city fell outside the course of an even more striking total eclipse that cut a 100-mile-wide path across 15 American states, and darkened upstate New York cities including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. Those cities were mobbed by tourists on Monday.

In the five boroughs, some New Yorkers seemed a bit underwhelmed by the partial eclipse.

“It’s cool,” said David McCalla, 30. “That’s about it.”

But even partial eclipses in the city are rare. New York City is expected to see 34 total this century, according to NASA.

And countless awe-filled New Yorkers took full advantage of the moment on Monday.

Mayor Adams, who watched the eclipse from the roof terrace on lower Manhattan’s Norfolk Senior Housing Center, offered reporters a sunny takeaway from the astronomical anomaly.

“No matter how much darkness will come, light will shine through, and the sun is going to come back out,” the mayor said. “The sun keeps coming back out.”