This coming Monday will be different from the standard mediocre slog that starts every working week: An extremely major astronomical phenomenon is happening for the first time in 38 years! The Great American Solar Eclipse, in which the moon passes between the earth and the sun, blacking out the skies, will occur from 1:23 p.m. until 4 p.m., with a two-minute peak of total darkness at 2:44 p.m. — although in NYC we’re only expected to glimpse 70 percent “totality,” so, it'll be more of a browning out, if you will. Speaking of, if you’re free during the day and would like to pair this rare cosmological event with booze (or you’re just looking for some other options besides watching NASA’s livestream on your work computer), here are a handful of eclipse watch parties at bars, rooftops and museums across the city. Solar viewing glasses are provided at each so you don’t lose your eyeballs.
This Midtown rooftop bar will host a watch party on Monday from noon to 5 p.m. Come for the panoramic views of the Empire State Building and the Hudson River; stay for the Solar Eclipse of My Heart cocktail. $12, cocktail included.
Catch the eclipse poolside at Dumbo’s hottest new eco-luxury hotel while sipping a Frozen Eclipse (gin, aperol, passionfruit) and noshing on lobster rolls. Even if you don’t get much action astronomy-wise, the East River views are enough of a sell on their own. 11 am til, $35.
Entry is free at this eclipse party on the rooftop of a swanky Chelsea hotel, or it will cost you $40 to reserve a poolside lounge bed. Enjoy a special cocktail for the occasion: the Solar Eclipse Black Martini, with Grey Goose ($14). Just don’t “eclipse” out! Noon - 3 p.m.
Make a trip out of it and head to the Rockaways to do your eclipse-gazing oceanside at this waterfront tavern. From noon to 4 p.m., enjoy tunes by DJ Teddy, a Total Solar Eclipse Cocktail, and of course, all the seafood you desire. Post-eclipse, go for a late afternoon dip. Free.
The astronomy hang at NYC’s preeminent rooftop farm is called “Commune with the Moon,” which is reason enough to attend. The event opens with a farm tour from 1:30 to 2:30, followed by the main event of eclipse viewing, then yoga from 3 to 5 p.m. (BYO yoga mat) and drinks. At $75, it’s a bit on the steep side, but you get a whole day of activities in.
If you want to be around folks who actually know what they’re talking about when it comes to the cosmos, your best bet is heading to the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. The event goes from noon to 4 p.m., with a 12:30 p.m. talk and Q & A with the museum’s astrophysics educator Brian Levine, followed by the actual outdoor viewing beginning at 1:30 at the Rose Center for Earth Space and the Arthur Ross Terrace. Free with museum admission.
Ditto here: Head down to Red Hook for this free watch party hosted by The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York Society. Gather in the backyard of Pioneer Works, where you can take a gander at the skies via solar viewing glasses, or through telescopes with solar filters. Feel free to wander Pioneer Works’ art galleries and studios before or after. 1-4 p.m.