May 14, 2016

Save the Date: MANHATTANHENGE is May 30

Manhattanhenge -- an urban photographer's dream -- is coming! This solar event, when the sunset is perfectly aligned with the east-west streets on Manhattan's grid, occurs twice a year -- though there are also two days when a half sun alignment is almost equally dramatic.

Like SantaCon, this event is a rather recent phenomenon in the annals of New York City street parties. The name, inspired by England's Stonehenge monument, was coined in 1996 by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium.

The best vantage points for Manhattanhenge are the eastern ends of Manhattan's broadest cross streets: 14th St., 34th St., 42nd St. and 57th St. The Tudor City bridge spanning 42nd Street is arguably the best of them all because 1) you don't have to dodge traffic for a perfect view of the sunset and 2) the view also includes photogenic city landmarks like the Chrysler building and the lights of Times Square. The only potential bummers are 1) overcast skies and 2) massive crowds on the bridge -- bring a ladder.

Here are the 2016 dates and sunset times:

MAY 29, 8:19 PM - half sun
MAY 30, 8:20 PM - full sun

JULY 11, 8:28 PM - full sun
JULY 12, 8:27 PM - half sun

 Below, some pix grabbed from the interweb; TOP ROW, full sun, BOTTOM ROW, half sun

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