In the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C., it looked like someone had sprinkled tiny crescent moons all over the sidewalk, as the dappled light under the trees created thousands of pinhole reflections of the eclipse.
Still, when Ian Stirton, a dog walker, lifted eclipse glasses to his eyes at the peak of the event, he thrilled to the spectacle.
“Oh yeah, I see it, look, look!,” he exclaimed. “Oh yeah, it’s really cool!”
His neighbor Linn Meyers, an artist, had just returned home from Friendship Heights, where people had spilled outdoors to see the event.
“It looked like a scene from “Close Encounters,” or something; everyone’s up there looking up at the sky and they’re all in their suits.”
Neighbor Elizabeth Ashe, another artist (“hey, it’s Mount Pleasant”) wore paint-splattered jeans as she sat on her stoop in the dim midday light. “I think my cats are freaked out and they don’t even know why,” she said. “One, he woke up and squeaked, and he let me pick him up – he’s not a hold-me cat and he wanted to be held.”
The street felt quiet, as if even the insects were holding their breath. Stirton’s dog Chuck waited patiently as he took another look at the sun, which had narrowed to a sliver.
“I’m 72, so does that mean I’ll get to see another eclipse?” he asked. Hearing there would be one in 2024, he seemed relieved. “Oh,” he said, “I might still be alive.”