LET THE SUNSHINE IN: While many companies held informal gatherings on their office rooftops to view the solar eclipse Monday, others initiated more formal plans for the event. Warby Parker bussed its Nashville headquarters’ employees to celebrate the eclipse at its Nashville store, Warby Parker Edgehill. The party included a performance by Futurebirds, then during the city’s one minute and 57 seconds of eclipse-induced darkness, the Nashville-based ALIAS Chamber Ensemble played a composition that they crafted especially for the occasion. Martin’s, a local barbecue joint, fired up lunch on-site for attendees.
Lividini & Co., a fashion public relations and brand strategy company at 264 West 40th Street in New York, entertained some 30 to 40 people on their rooftop Monday afternoon, including staff from other companies in the building, such as Robert Graham, as well as media. Bottled water and stars and moon cookies were served, along with sun-protection glasses.
Nike held a viewing party on it Beaverton, Ore, campus, while Nautilus threw a viewing party for hundreds in their corporate office with a glasses-decorating station, brunch and drink stations for specialty coffees and smoothies.
There were virtually no cars on the roads in Portland during what is typically the Monday morning rush hour, according to one observer. However, the highways south of the city, heading toward Salem, a prime viewing site in the country, were at a standstill. Many Portland businesses opted to open late or advised employees to stay home to avoid the traffic. More locals (including 25 percent of Nautilus’ staff) used Monday as a vacation day to catch viewing parties in eastern Oregon.
Select Columbia Sportswear’s branded and outlet stores handed out glasses in advance of the big event last week.
Companies such as Coach, DKNY, Alice + Olivia, Tory Burch, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Kate Spade and Saks Fifth Avenue planned no formal viewings for their employees at their offices.
From the media world, Wired’s head of social media Natalie DiBlasio went skydiving in Oregon during the eclipse and managed to take a photo of the totality of the solar eclipse from 13,000 feet and posted it to Instagram. Wired’s Jason Tanz watched the solar eclipse and had lunch with Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie on the rooftop of Salvation Taco at 145 East 39th Street for a Wired segment that will air on Tuesday’s “Today” show.
Time Inc.’s Women in Technology, one of the company’s community groups, hosted an ice cream social in the café to celebrate the solar eclipse and provided safety glasses for viewing. In Casper, Wyo., Time editor at large and author of “Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon,” Jeffrey Kluger hosted a live broadcast, while Amy Shira Teitel, host of YouTube’s Vintage Space and author of “Breaking the Chains of Gravity,” aired from New York City.
“The solar eclipse was brought to you by Instagram,” quipped one viewer after watching the event on her company’s New York rooftop and returning to her computer screen to catch better views.
Meantime, the solar eclipse was creating plenty of buzz online. According to Talkwalker, a social data intelligence firm, as of 3:30 p.m. EST, just after the peak eclipse hit the East Coast, there had been 10.9 million mentions of the event in the last seven days. More than 8.1 million of those mentions were in the last 24 hours.
Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian took advantage of the trending topic by posting a photo of herself with her children, with the caption “Total eclipse of the heart.” It quickly rose to the most engaging Instagram photo around the eclipse, with 1.4 million engagements, according to Talkwalker. One of the other top posts about the eclipse came from Miley Cyrus on Sunday, who posted a message about the eclipse serving as a tool for unity and peace — it reached 71.1 million people, and 672,000 people engaged with the post. Katy Perry also posted a joke photo on Instagram about the Eclipse — with fake glasses made of Eclipse gum wrappers, said Talkwalker.