Chasing the 2024 solar eclipse means dorm life for some New York spectators (including me)


POTSDAM, New York — I really thought I left dorm life behind 20 years ago. But just when I thought I was out, a total solar eclipse pulled me back in.

For the last few days, my 15-year-old daughter Zadie and I have been living in an unused part of Knowles Hall North, a dormitory here at the State University of New York Potsdam, to witness a celestial spectacle: the 2024 total solar eclipse on April 8. For a mere $60 a night (my original hotel was $370 a night), we’ve dozed in sleeping bags on empty extra-long twin beds (we opted to skip bringing our own sheets and blankets) in order to catch a few brief minutes of totality as the moon blocks the sun on April 8. 

The rooms are a bit hot. We share communal bathrooms. And we’re not alone. 

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