Eclipse Watching – South Shore Long Island- My Take

 

OK, so I don’t know why, but normally as two teachers off on Summer vacation we would pay more attention to “Solar Eclipse 2017” heading our way. We did not. We scurried around trying desperately to find the appropriate glasses at all the 7-11’s and libraries etc. My son ransacked Target, Walmart and the like. So, early Monday morning even though my sweetie and I thought we had (what we believed) were 100 productive things to do, we decided to forego them and find a local “Solar Eclipse 2017 Party.” Well –  that certainly didn’t take long. Even though there was some confusion with our last minute reservations, we ended up having lunch on the upper deck of Hudson’s on the Mile in nearby Freeport’s Nautical Mile. We were excited to get seated and were told that the “first 100 people will receive glasses.” Well, that didn’t work out too well because if we are being honest, there was no way for the management to really tell who was there “first.” Not their fault – people such as us were calling last minute, people were coming in off the street and people had legit long standing reservations. Well, we had delicious little neck clams on the half shells, a juicy burger and satisfying lobster salad tacos. We made “friends” with our lovely server, Maria and we enjoyed  a beer or two as we eagerly awaited the “big moment.” We scored ourselves a pair of glasses – as did all of the tables sitting on the upper deck, and when the time came everyone “OOhhed and AAhhed” at the first partial solar eclipse in 99 years. Mayor Robert Kennedy showed up and was quite personal, as did the News 12 team, Fios team and Channel 7. We all donned our glasses and posed for pics, the vibe was exciting and the people were enthusiastic. The best part of our whole experience? When we paid our lunch tab and went downstairs to the outdoor bar. There we met so many people who did not have reservations nor viewing glasses. We met Michelle and Harold from Hollbrook as well as Doreen and her daughter Tara and at least 30 other lovely people that were so grateful that we were sharing our glasses. Even customers that weren’t frequenting the restaurant but walking on the street outside of the outdoor bar stopped and we either suggested or they asked, “Hey, can we get a peek with your glasses?” Of COURSE! And we heard the “OMG How COOL IS THAT?” exclamation from nearly everyone from 7 to seventy years old. It was worth the experience even though the meal and bar tab broke us a little, to share this moment with people who were less fortunate than us to score a pair of glasses or have the time/energy to make their own out of a cereal box! Everyone was sharing pics, videos etc and the overall atmosphere was quite united. We would have liked to have stayed longer and chatted with our newfound friends, but unfortunately  we are both paranoid pet parents and left the dog and cat in a lock down situation back at our apartment. Lights out, blinds drawn shut and TV on. If there was a chance of our pets peeking out the window than we were certainly more than prepared! I’m glad my one son got to watch this historical event at the beach with his girl who surprised him with a pair of glasses purchased off Craig’s List. My other two – One was forced to work like a grown up and maybe peeked out on his lunch hour and the other was probably more into watching NASA Stream coverage live. Whatever the case, it was more than  a good day ; a day that I saw people of all different backgrounds and socio economic classes forge together as one to witness something we all have never seen – and, we made plans with quite a few people to meet up again – same spot, same time April 8,2024!

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Author: Thea Ferzola

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