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Thousands gathered, gawked and cheered at Green-Wood Cemetery for the eclipse

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When was the last time you clapped for the moon? More than 7,000 people streamed through the various gates of Green-Wood Cemetery to take in a once-in-a-generation solar eclipse on Monday afternoon, an increasingly rare water cooler moment of shared experience across Brooklyn and all of New York City.

“Anytime you have a gathering of all different kinds of people, enjoying something in a community, it’s the best,” Maureen Prunty of Sunset Park told Brooklyn Magazine. “That’s the real human experience. I probably won’t live to see another eclipse, but I’m here today mostly for that sense of humanity, of people coming together with no crap.”

Photo by Scott Lynch

A little light weekday hooky added to the general sense of giddiness on a beautiful spring day. And the cemetery, in full spring bloom, was a gorgeous backdrop to the celestial event. The Amateur Astronomers Association invited folks to peer through about a dozen telescopes equipped with solar filters, and, in partnership with Red Hook’s Pioneer Works, Green-Wood doled out thousands of special-edition glasses to all comers.

Photo by Scott Lynch

“We’ve had a long working relationship with Green-Wood Cemetery,” Gabriel Florenz, the founding artistic director of Pioneer Works, said. “For us the sciences are so important as a cultural connective tissue for everyone, so we wanted to do something for the eclipse in a place that could hold as many people as possible. But also: how beautiful is it to look up at the sun with all of these kinds of mythical and auspicious structures in this historic cemetery?”

Photo by Scott Lynch

There was food, a community mural, a “soil listening” session (because, why not?) and a gong sound bath (also, why not?). When the light started getting weird — not quite nighttime dark, but yellow and spooky — some dude from Coney Island wandered around blowing mournful calls from a conch shell, the famous Green-Wood parrots grew still and the huge crowd broke into applause.

Photo by Scott Lynch

“I’m here because it’s my birthday, and what a perfect way to celebrate,” said SoHo resident Issa Reyes. “My grandma said it was foretold at my birth that the eclipse would come on my 25th year and she’s a bit of a witch so I believe her. I’m excited to get my superpowers.”

Here are a few more scenes from the day.

Photo by Scott Lynch

Photo by Scott Lynch

Photo by Scott Lynch

Photo by Scott Lynch

Photo by Scott Lynch

The post Thousands gathered, gawked and cheered at Green-Wood Cemetery for the eclipse appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.


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