If you’ve never heard of Manhattanhenge, welcome to New York! You should stay a while, try our bagels!
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.
The phenomenon takes place only twice a year (well, technically four times if you count the “reverse” sunrise version that happens in the winter), and this summer you’ll catch the full sun event in all its hengie-glory on Monday, July 12 at 8:20 pm EDT, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. Monday’s display will be the full sun on the grid, while Tuesdays will show a half sun.
The weather does appear to be stormy, so who knows if it will be fully visible. Hopefully the clouds break for a bit though!
Here’s what the Museum of Natural History suggests: “Arrive a half hour earlier than the times given [above]. For best effect, position yourself as far east in Manhattan as possible. Be sure that when you look west across the avenues, you can still see New Jersey.”
The best streets to catch the the phenomena (wide enough for the best shots/views) are as far east as possible in Manhattan, on:
- 14th Street
- 23rd Street
- 34th Street (with Empire State Building in your picture)
- 42nd Street
- 57th Street
The Empire State building and the Chrysler building make 34th street and 42nd streets especially picturesque.
NYC Parks also recommends the Tudor City Overpass in Manhattan and Hunter’s Point South Park in Long Island City, Queens.
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.”
featured image source: Pixabay
Also published on Medium.