With a pair of special solar eclipse glasses, Ashley Abril peered up in the shaded sky at Williamsbridge Oval Park, paused for a moment and did something few have thought to do: she made a wish.
It was her hope that the rarity of the solar eclipse, the first for the Bronx since 1978, would make her wish come true.
“It’s something special,” Abril said after witnessing the celestial event.
She didn’t have special eclipse glasses of her own. They were on loan from the Norwood News, which found few Norwood residents ready to look up. Many seized the moment when the News was there to offer an assist.
“I told you I saw it! I told you I saw it!” screamed Joan McGriffith, watching the eclipse on Bainbridge Avenue. “It’s the cow jumping over the moon.”
For Tony Vizcarrondo, the image resembled Pac Man. “I see it shifting,” Vizcarrondo said at Oval Park just around 2 p.m., 45 minutes before the eclipse reached its peak. He was with his two kids, Ivan and Diana.
Near the park’s playground area, Angela Andino couldn’t help but notice a blue shade surrounding the pearly and partially eclipsed sun. She was thrilled to see the eclipse, having stopped by several stores in Norwood to find eclipse glasses. They didn’t have it.
New York wasn’t quite within the so-called Path of Totality, the regional area where a full eclipse could be seen, but for ninety minutes Bronx residents couldn’t help but keep up to see 71 percent of the sun blocked by the moon.
On Bainbridge Avenue, Valeria James called it beautiful. “I think it’s an amazing wonder in the world,” said James, whose only hope to see the eclipse before using the glasses was her camera.
Along Mosholu Parkway, Yaritza Jara fashioned a cereal box into a projector. She took the Norwood News up on its offer to view the sun with genuine eclipse glasses.
“Oh wow,” Jara said. “Oh that’s cool. It kind of looks like what I see [in the projector], but it’s nothing compared to what I see here, actually.”
Meantime, Sheila Sanchez, a resident and president of Friends of Williamsbridge Oval Park, rushed to Bronx River Forest on the hopes of catching wildlife sound off during the eclipse.
Juan Pablo Morales knew about its importance to astrophysicists. On the ground, Morales saw it as the perfect time for unity.
“It’s a social thing,” he said after watching it. “We’re meeting here in community for something beautiful and productive”