In case you’re too embarrassed to ask what Manhattanhenge is, we’ll tell you: Manhattanhenge is when the setting sun aligns with the street grid of Manhattan, illuminating every cross street on the north and south sides of the borough. Yes, thousands of people will be strolling zombie-like into the middle of busy intersections like lemmings…and it’s a beautifully eerie occurrence.
However, the winter version of Manhattanhenge is slightly different…Known as the “reversehenge,” or “sunrise Manhattanhenge,” the phenomenon occurs when the rising sun aligns with Manhattan’s street grid. Though the reverse Manhattanhenge brightened city streets yesterday morning (January 11), it should still be visible early this morning (January 12), though you’ll have to brave the rain.
The stunning sight takes place each year around the winter solstice. Last winter’s reverse Manhattanhenge lead to some gorgeous photos you can admire here. See a photo from yesterday’s event below to get a glimpse of what you can expect for this morning.
Try and head over a bit before 7am to 41st Street & 5th Avenue as the best viewing time is a little after 7am.
However, getting the Empire State building and the Chrysler building make 34th street and 42nd streets especially picturesque.
TIPS: Turn off your flash, you’ll want the sun alone without any glare caused by a bright flash. Don’t bother zooming, and you wont need an Instagram filter.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, the discoverer of Manhattanhenge, declared the event to be “a unique urban phenomenon in the world, if not the universe.”
Also published on Medium.