Life & Style

Couples plan once-in-a-lifetime “eclipse dates”

Couples plan once-in-a-lifetime “eclipse dates”

As the total solar eclipse reached Syracuse, New York, students and residents flocked to Thornden Park for unforgettable dates.

Samirah Crawford and Court Watson, students at SU, sit side by side on a blanket in Thornden Park, Syracuse before the eclipse.
Bibiana Snyder
Samirah Crawford and Court Watson, students at SU, sit side by side on a blanket in Thornden Park, Syracuse before the eclipse on Monday April 8th.

Syracuse University buzzed with excitement Monday afternoon as the much-anticipated total solar eclipse made its way over campus. Friends, families and couples gathered to watch this rare event, using the opportunity to connect with their loved ones and partners in unique and unforgettable ways.

As millions across North America prepared to witness the eclipse, some Syracuse residents sought out the perfect date-worthy meetups to enjoy the cosmic phenomenon. From hammocks to picnics, the eclipse offered a perfect backdrop for romantic rendezvouses and quality time together.

Cait and Matt

Bibiana Snyder
Caitlyn “Cait” Brady and Matthew “Matt” Lynch sit in their hammocks wearing eclipse glasses on Monday April 8th.

SUNY-ESF senior Matt Lynch said he saw the eclipse as the perfect opportunity to plan a fun date. Lynch and his date, first-year Library Information Science master’s student Cait Brady, decided to embrace the “chill vibe” of the day, enjoying each other’s company in hammocks where they watched the eclipse from Thornden Park. 

“We started talking a few weeks ago and we both have a passion for hammocking and enjoying the outdoors,” Lynch said. “Then we both got news of the eclipse, so you know what better way to make the day than spending it together and seeing the event.” 

Lynch said he asked Brady on an “eclipse date” a few weeks in advance. The two were setting up when Brady explained that they had only been on a few dates since meeting on Hinge in early March. She said they agreed that the eclipse was the perfect opportunity to merge her love for astrology with his passion for astronomy. She also appreciated Lynch asking her to do something different as opposed to past experiences.

“I don’t like doing dates that are just like, we go to a restaurant and we just sit there the whole time or they come over and all we do is watch a movie,” Brady said. “I want to do stuff,” Brady said. 

Despite the cloudy weather, Matt said he was still optimistic that he would be able to “see enough” of the eclipse, focusing on the excitement of the moment and being able to share the experience with someone. 

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, so I’d say that sounds pretty date-worthy,” Lynch said.

Court and Samirah

Bioengineering sophomore Samirah Crawford said while it wasn’t her idea to watch the eclipse, she liked the thought so much that she sent a schedule she found of when it started and when totality was. Her boyfriend, dual Maxwell and Whitman sophomore Court Watson said that he had the idea to watch the eclipse after finding glasses in his dorm room. 

While Watson joked that the eclipse’s rarity was the only reason they were spending time together, Crawford laughed and clarified that they both would have found a way to spend the afternoon together anyway.

“We were probably going to hang out regardless, but I’d say that he planned it because he got the glasses,” Crawford said. 

The couple said they enjoyed the chance to watch the event unfold together. They sat side by side on a blanket in Thornden Park. With glasses and snacks in hand, Crawford and Watson said they planned to be outside for the entire eclipse. The couple said they have been together for nearly a year and love “hanging out” outside after their classes. 

“We hang out all the time, but it’s nice weather, everyone’s outside, it’s beautiful,” Crawford said. “So the eclipse is just a bonus.”

The Staffords  

Joe and Telisha Stafford sit in folding chairs at Thornden Park, Syracuse preparing for the total solar eclipse Monday April 8th.
Bibiana Snyder
Joe and Telisha Stafford sit in folding chairs at Thornden Park, Syracuse preparing for the total solar eclipse Monday April 8th.

Joe and Telisha Stafford moved to Syracuse during the pandemic. Telisha found out about the eclipse a few weeks ago and said she was eager to plan a date with her partner of eight years. Armed with chairs and a small lunch, the couple settled down to enjoy the view along with others in Thornden Park. 

Telisha said she originally wanted to go to Oswego, which is to view the spectacle, but after some back and forth, they both settled on going closer to SU since they visit the area “all the time”. Although disappointed by the clouds, they said they were still hopeful it would clear up and were happy to enjoy the beautiful scenery outdoors. 

Telisha began reflecting on the couple’s past experiences and explained that they try to plan fun dates every other weekend. She said that she values being able to spend quality time with her partner laughing and communicating. Joe chimed in saying how important it is to “get out and enjoy”, especially after the height of the pandemic. 

“I think it all came back after the pandemic,” Joe said. “We were always stuck in the house, so it’s sort of a new thing – evolving to be outside doing stuff together again.” 

Both Telisha and Joe happened to be off work Monday and said they were excited to make the most of the special occasion. They urged others to head outside and appreciate the once-in-a-lifetime event. 

“Just enjoy today,” Telisha said. “While you get a chance to come outside, just enjoy the environment and everything like that.” 

Whether your “eclipse date” was with a new date, long term partner or your closest friends, as long as you took in the moment, it was sure to be a memory you won’t forget.