The Sights and Sounds of Seattle’s Solar Eclipse

What was said. What was seen.

In Seattle Monday, people flocked to the streets to view the 92-percent eclipse of the sun.

Starting promptly at 9:08 a.m. some donned their eclipse glasses if they were lucky enough to snag some, others braved blindness, and still others made pinhole projectors, a means to view the progress of the eclipse without directly looking at it.

Here are a few sights and scenes from around our offices in Pioneer Square:

A couple sitting outside Elm Coffee Roasters: “We got these glasses on Amazon, one day delivery.” When asked about their legitimacy, the man frowned slightly. “I mean, I hope they’re real,” he said, turning the glasses over in his hand, most likely looking for certification.

“When I went to buy them they were almost all sold out so I had to get a pair for kids,” one man, with eclipse glasses too small for his face, said.

People shared coveted eclipse glasses. One man went up to strangers and asked if they’d had a chance to look. “Please, take your time,” he said, pressing his pair into their hands.

“With sunglasses, it looks crisper,” a man said to his wife. (That may have just been his retinas burning.)

“Animals were acting strange,” one guy told his friend. “I saw birds flying toward Tacoma when it got darker and then turning around the other way when it got bright again.”

An old man squinted at the sun before turning around. “I don’t want to go blind!” He yelled, miming as if his eyes were burning before putting on his solar eclipse glasses. “Sorry that’s really not funny, but you know, topical.”

“I think it’s cool that we got this much visibility here in Seattle where it rains all the time,” an older man said to me, his ‘eclipse 2017’ button catching the sunlight. “Some suckers went all the way to Eastern Oregon, which, good for them but the thing lasted like, what, two minutes?”

A teenage girl scoffed at the unbridled enthusiasm around her, “This isn’t the purge, guys.”

A man was unimpressed with the viewing party he was attending. “This is very easy,” he said, “you can plan this out 50 years in advance.”

“What if we all totally misjudged this and this was an event that turned us all into lizard people,” someone muttered, conspiratorially.

Amid the excited din: “What do you think of the LimeBikes and the Spin bikes?”

news@seattleweekly.com

More in News & Comment

Mary Lynn Pannen, founder and CEO of Sound Options, has consulted thousands of Washington families on geriatric care for 30 years. Photo courtesy of Sound Options
Seattle Takes on Elder Abuse as Reported Cases Rise

Local agencies and geriatric care managers aim to increase public awareness about the epidemic.

The Ride2 transit app will offer on-demand rides to and from West Seattle starting on Dec. 17. Courtesy of King County Metro
Climate Action Coalition Urges City to Respond to Seattle Squeeze

MASS asks the city to prioritize reducing traffic and increasing pedestrian safety ahead of the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s closure.

State Supreme Court Strikes Down I-27; King County Will Pursue Safe Consumption Sites

The decision upholds a court ruling keeping the anti-consumption site initiative off the ballot.

Seattle’s Hockey Team And Stadium Are On Their Way

Key Arena renovations will be completed without the use of public funding

Seattle Municipal Court’s warrant outreach event on Nov. 30, 2017. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Seattle Takes Steps to Quash Warrants

City Attorney attempts to address inequities in criminal justice system and enhance public safety.

Andrea Bernard, Allycea Weil, and Phoenix Johnson (left to right) are Licton Springs K-8 parents who want their kids to stay in the Native-centered program. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Licton Springs K-8 Parents Dismayed by Potential School Move

The PTO says children have benefited from the Native-centered program, and that transferring the pupils would disrupt their progress.

The King County Courthouse. File photo
King County Council Acknowledges Report on Juvenile Solitary Confinement

Report also says youth of color face a disproportionate amount of disciplinary measures

Federal Way Megachurch Slapped With Another Sexual Exploitation Lawsuit

Lawsuit calls for removal of Casey and Wendy Treat, and CFO, from church leadership roles.

The Centralia Power Plant is a coal-burning plant owned by TransAlta which supplies 380 megawatts to Puget Sound Energy. It is located in Lewis County and slated to shut down by 2025. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo
National Report Outlines Climate Change’s Course For Northwest

More fires, floods and drought appear to be on their way for Washington state.

Mustafa Getahun and other Washington Federation of State Employees laundry workers picket University of Washington Medicine at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery on May 17, 2018. Photo courtesy of the Washington Federation of State Employees
University of Washington Laundry Workers Feel Hung Out to Dry

The Rainier Valley facility’s imminent closure leaves over 100 people looking for new jobs.