A total solar eclipse will cross the United States on Monday, August 21st. Unfortunately, in the New York area, the sun will only be 70% occluded. An interactive map with path of totality and timings for every location, total or partial, can be viewed on this website.
WAA Assistant Vice President Claudia Parrington will be hosting a viewing event at the Harrison Library. In our area the partial phases start at 1:23 pm, reach a maximum of 70% effacement of the sun's disk at 2:45 pm, and end at 4:00 pm. Make sure you use proper eye protection if you are viewing the partial stages. Eclipse glasses are available on many sites on the Internet for quick delivery, and Claudia will have some at the library.
NEVER look at the sun directly through an optical instrument like binoculars or a telescope unless they are fitted with special solar filters and you really know what you are doing. Polarizing sunglasses and X-ray film are not adequate and will result in damage to your eyes, including a high likelihood of permanent blindness. #14 welder's glass will work. A safe and effective way of viewing the sun is with pinhole projection. See this article from Sky & Telescope on various safe ways to observe the partial eclipse.
Totality will last between 2 minutes and 2½ minutes depending on your location and proximity to the center line within the path of the eclipse, which starts in Oregon, crosses Idaho, Wyoming, Nebrasa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, small bits of Georgia and North Carolina and finally South Carolina before moving offshore. It will be very difficult (and very expensive) to get last-minute accommodations anywhere near the path.