Coming back to the U.S after a year of traveling abroad was HARD. Abroad I could enjoy the best of the world and didn’t have to think about things like the horror show of U.S. politics. But staying in New York, there was no escape. I would be walking down the street only to pass Trump Tower. Down the street from me was a massive dumpster that had an amazing “Trumpster” graffitied on it. And the latest horrible thing always came up in conversation.

But there was one magical day where all of this went away. The day of the solar eclipse on August 21st, 2017. I saw a few tweets about it, but they all mentioned Oregon. I was planning to just work in my AirBNB that day. But luckily, one of my friends was a lot more well-read about it and prepared. She had a ton of eclipse glasses and got a bunch of friends to come down to a cool cafe on the Hudson to watch it together.

It was amazing! The sun was bright, but the glasses made it super simple to look at the sun!

One friend brought home-made eclipse glasses - made out of a cereal box! The maker was kind enough to share it and teach us how it works.

Everyone around us was fascinated with the eclipse! It was magic. We let anyone who didn’t have their own eclipse glasses borrow ours. At the height of the eclipse (it wasn’t total in New York), there were clouds and we could see the sun without glasses:

This gave me a taste. I definitely want to see a full eclipse up close and personal one day! Just completely amazing!

But of course, the most amazing part of the day was how the whole city of New York, and the whole country, really came together to enjoy this magical natural phenomenon. There was no them vs us, your views vs mine. People were sharing the natural fascination with each other, letting each other borrow eclipse glasses on the street just to share the incredible spectacle. It was magic.